It wasn’t so much the fact Liverpool lost to Man United on Saturday, which was bad enough, it was more the manner in which they lost that was hard to take. Seemingly in control at half- time Liverpool lost-the-plot almost immediately after the restart conceding two Wayne Rooney goals in the space of 5 minutes. Poor defending and a schoolboy error cost Liverpool the match and not until the last 10 minutes, when Suarez scored a poachers goal, did Liverpool look like they had any chance of salvaging something from the game.
The reality is too many players continue to disappoint which is compounded by Dalglish’s insistence on rotating his starting line-up to the point no one knows who will make the first 11 for any given game. Why didn’t Carroll start? He’s been playing well, even scoring, yet he was confined to the bench. Teams that have had success at Old Trafford have gone out and attacked United so why leave out your in-form striker? The same applies to the always effective Bellamy. If the fear is he can’t last a full 90 minutes then why not have him help Liverpool stamp their authority on the game from the beginning before substituting him?
I understand the demands of modern football can necessitate the rotation of players but our last game before this one was Tuesday and we’re not involved in Europe this season so why get too clever and constantly change the starting 11? How can the team gel and perform at its best each and every week when the team is always changing? It’s not working and I doubt it’s a case of player exhaustion.
I’m betting the same 11 players would happily start every week if given the opportunity. It’s time to create stability and consistency. Kenny also has to accept that out-of-form players such as Downing, even though they cost a lot of money, need to be consigned to the bench. And if Carroll focused more on winning the ball instead of complaining to the referee every time he challenges for one he’d instantly become a more effective player.
With Chelsea and Newcastle losing, amazingly Liverpool are still only 4 points away from 4th place Arsenal but if Kenny insists on the current rotation system I fear 4th place is beyond us, even though a few weeks ago I was optimistic.
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