The League Cup holders (now in its ‘Capital One’ guise) were dismantled by Swansea on their own patch as Rodgers’ former team gave his current one a lesson in calculated, vibrant attacks which ultimately led to a 3-1 victory.
Liverpool’s starting XI was much changed from the one that began the game at Goodison on Sunday, with opportunities handed to those now deemed as ‘fringe’ players. Whether these opportunities are genuine, rather than forced, due to the squad’s current lack of depth is a contentious issue around Anfield.
An opportunity it was nevertheless, and one which yet again bypassed Joe Cole, who was dragged off at half-time, then singled out by Rodgers after the final whistle for failing to make the most of his time on the pitch.
“Joe had an opportunity. The club have invested an astronomical amount of money on a player who is talented.
“Obviously he has been back fit now for a couple of weeks and the opportunities have been limited for Joe but then you’ve got to seize the opportunity.
“I thought it was difficult for him just like it was for the team in the first half. We were too slow. It wasn’t what I’d want and expect from a team that we’re trying to set up to be dynamic so I think it was a difficult night for him.”
Keen to emphasise the point of opportunities being given, Rodgers included:
“We’ve got a very small squad and a thin squad and like what I’ve done in the other games I’ve rotated players, looked at young players and fringe players and given people the opportunity to come into the Premier League team.
“[We've] given players the opportunity to come in and shine and that is all you can do, it then becomes quite easy [to judge players] but the problem is that your squad is even thinner. I can’t keep playing Steven Gerrard, and Luis Suarez is our only striker.”
Is Rodgers right to bemoan the current squad depth, whilst also shunting responsibility onto those players who should be fighting for a first XI place? Or is the former Swans boss equally, if not more culpable, for the current squad size at Anfield? Have you say below…