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If the Squad Lacks ‘Depth’, Who’s To Blame For That?

Date: 30th January 2013 at 3:50 pm
Written by: | Comments (12)

brendan-rodgers_2463718aFOLLOWING a hugely embarrassing exit at Boundary Park to the League One side, , on Sunday evening everybody – the manager included, it would seem – was left fuming. As can often be the case in these situations, did by no means field a ‘weakened side’.

A starting line-up that included the likes of Jones, Skrtel, Coates, Allen, Sterling, Sturridge and Suarez is by no means, not a strong side.

Given some of the youngsters involved, that may have been an argument had we been playing one of the top Premier League sides, but this was a team over two divisions below us (given their lowly standing in League One).

However, Rodgers was keen to point the blame at the young players. He spoke, clearly angry following the game, saying ‘We are bitterly disappointed. We started the first half poorly and we started the second half and got punished’. He went on to say ‘We’ve got a big week of games but our mentality in that opening period was poor and it ended up costing us. I was disappointed with the young players today I’ve got to be honest.’

When you consider that the only two ‘youngsters’ in Liverpool’s starting line-up were and , it really is quite a questionable response from Rodgers to lay the blame at their door. Other young players such as Coates, Henderson, Allen, Sterling, Sturridge and Borini are all first-teamers and have played regularly enough to be considered such so the excuse really fails.

Everybody, bar Suarez, was dire in the first half. When Gerrard came on after 55′ he was the only useful looking player we had on the pitch, as Suarez also slumped into a mediocre performance, along with the rest of his team-mates.

It would seem that, with these comments, what Rodgers was attempting to do was deflect some of the criticism from himself for some questionable selections and I hope that that failed with all but his most blinkered supporters.

Against Oldham what we saw was a demonstration of the issues with his preferred system. Too often in the first half, we got swamped in midfield and the lack of a ‘leader’ in the middle meant that Oldham bullied us into submission. Playing Allen, Sterling and Borini was a mistake.

What we needed was Gerrard, Shelvey and Lucas – three players who know how to mix it up but Rodgers’ insistence on sticking with his usual formation and style largely contributed to our downfall. What we saw in the second half was a side with too little time to get back into a game that they’d already lost psychologically.

Pointing fingers will get us nowhere, though – we’re out, and we need to accept that. But some comments that the manager has made in recent days have irked me slightly, in his suggestion that we lack depth in our squad.


It is not so much the suggestion that bothers me, but the fact that he is partly responsible for that lack of depth. I would assume the inference by Rodgers in blaming the young players and then going on to say we lack depth, is to let the owners know that we have too many young players and what the squad needs is depth of experience.

I agree. However, it wasn’t the owners that wanted Allen and Borini; Rodgers has worked with both and he chose to sign both, one aged 22, the other 21. He also moved to sign – just 18 – during the same window.

Fast forward to the following January and we’ve just signed – only just 23 – and are odds-on to sign Philippe Coutinho, who himself only turned 20 in the summer.

Whilst all of these players are undoubtedly talented, none of them are even close to 25 – the age at which many would say that a player begins to become ‘experienced’. So perhaps the manager needs to take a look at some of his signings before pointing the fingers at the young players already at the club when he arrived, or pointing out to the associated press that he hasn’t got a deep squad, because he can take some of the responsibility for that particular problem.

As with many Liverpool fans at present though, I’ve seen enough from most of our youngsters to be happy with their progress and I believe that most of them have what it takes to make the grade.

I also believe that, while the two cup exits we’ve already suffered this season are hugely disappointing, they also reduce the stress and pressure on what many believe to be a small and over-worked squad.

By my estimations we have a ‘first-team’ squad (i.e. those who have, or do, figure regularly in the first-team) of 20. That would be 21 if we included the long-term injured Martin Kelly. Should Coutinho and any more players arrive in the next couple of days that number would increase again.

Add in other youngsters such as Yesil, Robinson, Pacheco, Flanagan and Gulacsi who have all figured in the side (or on the bench) this season we certainly don’t have a small squad, nor one lacking in talent. What we do have, as I mentioned earlier, is a squad lacking in experience but that can be attributed to a combination of the clubs’ transfer policy, the manager’s transfer decisions and the quality of the club’s youth system.

I’ve already written a number of times this season that while the club transfer policy of signing young, talented players with a sell-on value is admirable, it essentially won’t work unless we bring in some experience from time-to-time to help bring that talent to fruition. In letting the likes of Maxi, Kuyt and Bellamy leave in the summer, we hamstrung ourselves badly in that regard.

At the end of the day though, with the two domestic cups out of the question this season, we only have two competitions to focus on – the Premier League and the Europa League. This means that we’ll most likely only be facing 4-5 (6, at the most) games per month until the end of the season and provided our more important players steer clear of injury, I can’t see us having any problems coping with that. If we do, however, then that’s something that the club as a whole needs to seriously take into consideration during the end-of-season transfer window.


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12 thoughts on “If the Squad Lacks ‘Depth’, Who’s To Blame For That?

  • DEV
    1 year ago

    Brenden Rodgers has to take the blame . he is the manager after all.

    Reply
  • Gaz
    1 year ago

    Getting rid of senior players over the summer was the right thing to do for the long term. We have to accept that keeping Maxi, Bellamy, Kuyt all on large salaries with no re-sale value was not in the best interests of the club and it will take a couple of seasons at least for us to start to see the benefits of that approach

    In the meantime I would agree that Rodgers would probably pick a different team, maybe formation too, if he had to play that game again but those youngsters learned an important few lessons in that match and those that have the mentality to go on and become big players will grow as a result.

    Reply
  • DB
    1 year ago

    Rodgers is 100% to blame , the manager choose to get rid of many players in the summer and replace them with rubbish

    30m spent in the summer . And what did we get for our 30m ? Not one decent player thats what

    FSG may be tight , but Rodgers choose to waste 15m on Allen . The manager must take responsibility . This whole disastrous season is down to Rodgers

    Reply
  • Snake Plissken
    1 year ago

    Allen, 15m, borini, 10m, sturridge, 12m, assaidi, 3m, Sahin, huge wages on loan, Coutinho, undisclosed, up to 9m. We are talking about FIFTY million spent in just 2 transfer windows by Brenda. Is the squad stronger? No. Is there better competition for places? No.

    Reply
    • M.
      1 year ago

      Then think about what KK did with 120mn? BR is paying the price of the worst ever transfer spending by an incompetent manager; who had been 20 years out of football; by the time of which, the English game has improved lot from sky-hoof long ball game due to the high number of quality European & Latin players.

      Just let me give 1 equation: Mapou-Mawinga+Debuchy+Moussa Sissoko+Demba Ba+Cabya+Ben Arfa = Andy “Donmel (Hybrid of Donkey & Camel)” Carroll. The Manager needs players for 60 games, be it with MU or Oldham. Enough said

      Reply
      • Snake Plissken
        1 year ago

        M,You cannot blame the previous manager, Brenda signed Allen, Borini, Sahin, Asssidi, its the present team and signings that is under scrutiny now. You are obviously just a Kenny hater, get over it and move on. The current mistakes are being made by Brenda.

        Reply
      • Dean
        1 year ago

        Rubbish . Rubbish talk

        Dalglish spent 38m NET – Guess what ? Rodgers has now spent more
        15m on Allen ? Criminal

        At least Kenny could get a lot of wins against the good teams

        Reply
  • Ozred
    1 year ago

    Another ‘who’s to blame article with the regulation ‘Brenda’ responses. Grow up.

    Reply
    • Snake Plissken
      1 year ago

      What are you going to add to the debate then Ozred? Are you happy with the state of the club and current performances/results. You need to seriously grow a pair and stop trolling.

      Reply
    • Gary
      1 year ago

      idiot oz , u know zero about football

      Reply
  • Chan
    1 year ago

    When it comes to taking responsibility when things go wrong, it can be assured that BR or even FSG for that matter, would not willingly comes forward. The word “coward” would readily come to our mind when we think of them.

    We all knew how KD set us back for years to come with his transfer policy (some blinkered fans of his would of course wants to blame DC for that but who in the first place wanted those players?) but Brenda is not supposed to make it worse.

    Brenda signs, Allen, Borini, Yesil, Assaidi and Coutinho could be on the way. All have a few things in common young, inexperince and would most likely have a very miserable Liverpol career. In the case of Assaidi for example, he really is a mystery to us. We are cash strapped and yet Brenda treats the club like some youth academy. He would of course tries to blame FSG for that but at the end he is the manager and needs to grow a spine.

    We all knew very well that the team lack experience, even our Captain and Suarez had said so in the open and we of course knew that BR is a one dimension manager tactically but there are of course a few LFC “fans” out there who clearly loves Brenda much more than the club and think of all possible even illogical reasons to defend this sorry excuse for a manager or even a man.

    Reply
  • Gary
    1 year ago

    No good will ever come to LFC as long as Brendan Rodgers is boss

    Reply

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