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Sunday, March 21, 2010
Nicol wants drastic Liverpool changes

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol believes the club need to make "drastic'' changes if they are to challenge again for major silverware.

The Reds' only hope of a trophy this season is the Europa League and they have a fight on their hands to finish fourth in the Barclays Premier League in order to qualify for next season's Champions League.

Nicol, who coaches US Major League Soccer side New England Revolution, stopped short of calling for Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez to be sacked but is convinced a lot has to change for the Merseysiders to challenge Manchester United, who they face at Old Trafford today, for top honours.

"Something drastic has to change because the team is going nowhere and ultimately someone is responsible for that," he told the Independent on Sunday. "They need players and they need investment.

"They've spent over 200 million so you can't say they've not had money to buy players. If you don't get the right players, you're not going to win games, and you have to say they haven't got the right players as a unit.''

That lack of overall quality is placing too much pressure on star duo Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres according to Nicol, who was part of the last Liverpool side to win the domestic league title in 1990.

"(Gerrard and Torres) look as though they're carrying the whole stadium on their back<" Nicol said. "Every time they touch the ball they are under pressure to do something.

"You have big European nights where Gerrard and Torres are winning the games but it is not possible to carry that burden every single time you step on the field.''

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