Liverpool's resurgence to the pinnacle of the Premier League owed a lot to an unstoppable attack that glossed over a creaky defence. This season, however, has seen the attacking threat erode whilst the infamous defence continues to let goals in.
Luis Suarez was Liverpool's talisman as he scored a record equalling 31 goals and helped himself to 12 assists. As he departed to Barcelona, much was made of how Liverpool would struggle to score without him.
By and large that has been the case - but such a conclusion ignores the finer points of Liverpool's plight in attack.
For all his talents, Suarez was just one half of the famed SAS duo that instilled fear into the hearts of defenders. Indeed, Daniel Sturridge was available for Liverpool's first three games this season - winning twice (including the 3-0 win over Spurs) and losing once.
Since he succumbed to injury, Liverpool have lost twice in the Premier League and have crawled to victory against Ludogorets in the Champions League and Middlesbrough in the Capitol One Cup.
Suarez was certainly the creative hub and all-round genius between the two, but it was always Sturridge who was relied upon to put the ball into the back of the net.
Whereas Suarez scored his goals in bulk (i.e four against Norwich), Sturridge's goals were more spread out. Sturridge earned Liverpool 18 points last season compared to Suarez with 15 - this is made all the more special considering Suarez played several more matches than Sturridge did.
Furthermore, Sturridge equalled Ruud van Nistelrooy's record of scoring in eight consecutive league games in a row - a run of form that helped Liverpool back into the title race.
The 3-0 win over Spurs (the last time Sturridge played) was the first and only time Liverpool have replicated last season's attacking form. It also coincided with a time where players like Lallana and Markovic (previously injured) and Mario Balotelli (debut), were all coming back into the first team.
Since then, the aforementioned, as well as the likes of Coutinho and Steven Gerrard have been major let-downs - leaving Raheem Sterling alone to carry a frailing attack.
Lallana and Markovic, whilst disappointing, have the excuse of not having pre-season to fall back on. Even then, whilst Lallana looked somewhat back to his best on Tuesday, showing a few deft touches against Middlesbrough - including clever link up play to assist Suso for the second goal, Markovic has continued to look ponderous and borderline petrified on the ball - baffling considering he is arguably faster than Sterling and is potentially Liverpool's strongest dribbler.
Others like Mario Balotelli, Coutinho and Gerrard have no such luxuries. Balotelli has laboured up front in the 4-2-3-1 system, a tell-tale sign he needs a partner up front to create space for him. In this regard it is no surprise his best game to date was the 3-0 win over Tottenham.
Coutinho has been off-form with wayward passes and horrible first-touches. Last season he recorded 2 key passes per game, 1.8 dribbles per game and just 1 turnover per game; this season his key passes and dribbles have dwindled to just 1 per game and he has 2.3 turnovers per game so far - the 12th highest in the Premier League.
Likewise, Gerrard was a danger from set-pieces last season, with most of his 13 goals and 13 assists coming from them. However, barring his penalty against Tottenham, he has failed to remotely threaten with a dangerous shot or cross into the box. Add in his defensive frailties, his position in the team is coming under scrutiny.
With Sturridge set for a timely comeback against bitter rivals Everton, Liverpool's attack should be lifted as they return to a more familiar system. Nonetheless, others need to step up before the Reds are cut adrift in the race for the top four.