Under previous manager Rafa Benitez, one of the most overused criticisms of his reign at Liverpool was his use of the squad rotation system. In every newspaper and from many pundits on TV, one of the general talking points on Liverpool Fooball Club would be Rafa’s use, and in their eyes over use, of squad rotation. The absolute antithesis could be seen last night when Roy Hodgson picked the same team to face Wigan that played against Chelsea on Sunday. After a strong first 15 minutes, the Reds faded badly and did well to hold on to a point. Manager Roy Hodgson blamed fatigue:
“We didn’t deserve to win the game. We looked tired today and I don’t think our passing was anywhere near as good as we expected it to be. We had a bright start and a bright finish but for a long period in between we weren’t anywhere near where I would expect us to be. I think we can be more than happy with the point we got from the game.”
There was no criticism that he should have changed the team if he felt there were tired legs; obviously the notion that playing your best team every game should be adhered even when there is a lack of fitness. To be fair though, there wasn’t much Roy could have done. If you look at the players on the bench: Martin Hansen, Christian Poulsen, Jay Spearing, Nathan Eccleston, Milan Jovanovic, Jonjo Shelvey and David Ngog, there is not much he could have changed. Unless he opted to play David Ngog instead of Torres up front, Jovanovic instead of the in form Maxi on the wingas well replacing Lucas with Christian Poulsen in central midfield; all changes which would have made the team significantly weaker.
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