View from the Kop

Evidence enough for a return to a much criticised policy?


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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  • stan howard says:

    yet again roy has opened the disaster hole, (his mouth) belittling his young players by saying we finished the match with kelly shelvey and eccleston, well kelly and shelvey are well up to it and if he chooses to play an untried boy over an international player like jovanavich then thats his fault.

  • stan howard says:

    if you show you have no confidence in some of your players you are doing the exact opposite of what a manager should do. seriously if i was the owner i would ban him from speaking to the press live, his mutterings should be edited before release.

  • me says:

    squad is too big and full of ‘flops’ when he arrives. so he naturally sends two of them on loan and brings in 2 far worse replacements.

    now of course the squad is too small.

  • Jay says:

    Maxi is in form??? Wow, some people are so easily impressed!!

    Even with that team he selected yesterday and under those same circumstances, Hodgson could’ve switched to 433, put Jovanovich on for Maxi and had a front 3 of Torres, Jovanovich & Kuyt ahead of a midfield 3 of Gerrard, Lucas & Meireles (Shelvey). A midfield 3 would’ve given Shelvey more protection and time to get a feel for the game (in his natural position), while also giving us a foothold in the game and preventing the opposition from attacking our back line so consistently

    Ecclestone (or even N’gog) then could’ve been coming on in a much more attacking role that is natural to him, instead of playing a defensive role in a midfield 4.

    There are always options to improve our style of play, and for me, playing any of Maxi, Meireles, Shelvey or Kuyt out wide in a midfield four do not come close to doing so

    • David Shamash says:

      Shelvey was absolutely awful when he came on

      • Jay Wright says:

        yes I’ve acknowledged that Shelvey was poor when he came on, and also acknowledged that he was put in a position where he should be expected to fail – he clearly didn’t have a clue what he was supposed to be doing out on the wing.

        It’s like putting Wilshere in at full back to give him some time on the pitch and expecting him to show his quality!

  • Steve says:

    What about pacheco? why wasn’t he or babel on the bench.

    • Pranav says:

      Babel was injured, so will be ‘eased’ back in action. So you may expect him to leave in Jan without playing a match. It would be a shame.
      As for pacheco I have no bloody clue. He isn’t present even in the Europa league matches! He might not be a player to start and finish the game yet(his physical level is low) but he needs to be given 15-20 minutes to play as a sub. Dont surprised if like nemeth he too leaves by end of the season!Again, such a shame.

      • Jay Wright says:

        it’s funny how player’s he doesn’t like (Babel & Agger) had to be “carefully looked after” when they had light injuries to return from, whereas Kuyt could be thrown straight into the starting line up as soon as he declares himself fit.

        Hate to say it, but Hodgson just replicates all the bad that Benitez did during the end of his reign. I just can’t see the point of waiting a year or two to acknowledge that he isn’t the man to lead us to where we want to be and should be dismissed.

  • A FINNIGAN says:

    roy is a plonker fact. he has won nothing in this country fact. kenny is the best manager at the club today fact

  • Frank says:

    I’m not sure if Roy had a batter squad he wouldn’t send the better players out on loan as he said, Aqua was too good for the bench!!!

  • Eric says:

    Tiredness may be a factor leading to our lacklustre performance at Wigan, after all the players were exhausted after the Chelsea game but that can’t be an excuse. If Roy knew beforehand that the first XI were suffering from tiredness then why didn’t he change the team and use the likes of Jovanovic, Pacheco and Poulsen? So after the match, he says the team was tired when he knew perfectly clear that was the case before the match. He took a gamble and played all the same players and when they couldn’t get the job done, Roy gives the excuse. It’s clear, Roy doesn’t have a clue but he had it all planned out that if he couldn’t win at Wigan then he would give the excuse that the team was tired.

  • dee says:

    What actually suprise me with ROY is that a team that was over staff @ d begining of the season( that we can even loan out 2 players) is now too small. Candidly Roy is confused.

  • andre says:

    give jovanovic a decent go. The lad has speed and was player of the year in the belgium league. im sure if you gave him a chance, he’d show you what a true player he is…

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