RAHEEM Sterling “sleeps when he wants” apparently but there’s plenty to cause a waking nightmare about the way Liverpool are playing right now.
Winning like that – in the last minute, after playing so badly, after throwing it away, after getting on top, after turning the gift horse around and sending it on its way only to see it return – was brilliant. It was punch the air, order the drinks, hug your mate, run down the street stuff. I’m pretty sure my neighbours already thought I was weird. If they didn’t, they do now.
But as heart rates return to normal and glasses empty, sobering thoughts to turn over on a traditional night of sleeplessness return.
I take on board and acknowledge the validity of all the positive spins that are playing on repeat among the sunshine sect: it’s a psychological boost to win that way; it’s three points; it shows character to secure victory in such a manner. But while others seem to be finding comfort from some Houllier-esque turning of a corner, the only certainty I can find about Liverpool right now is the uncertainty. Everything might be. But it might not. And that’s putting it kindly.
The Raheem Sterling-inspired (fuck off, Roy) three points at Loftus Road has left Liverpool ‘handily placed’ for the Champions League spots and there’s the context of other team’s struggles in the league, too.
But for Liverpool to truly take advantage of that they need to discover what they’re about. Fast. And, as it stands, I’m not sure they know.
Spurs away said maybe it could be the fluid attacking force that finished fast after starting slow last season. But that Liverpool has never shown its face again since the coach pulled out of White Hart Lane. There’s been OK. There’s been alright. There’s been very little wow. If everything relies on the presence of Daniel Sturridge we’ve clearly got problems.
So how about a more solid Liverpool then? One that sacrifices verve for steel, shows some backbone and creates a confidence that if a result needs to be ground out, then ground out it will be.
There’s little sign of that either. There are mitigating circumstances. Valid points as to why. But none of that changes the fact that right now a supposedly stronger squad is failing to convince and stuttering to scare. The opposition, whoever they may be, fancy their chances against Liverpool right now.
It might click and it might come. As late as December last season we were turning in worrying performances. The manager has banked a lot of goodwill and deserves time for the job he has done. But that doesn’t change what has unfolded so far – we’re lacking the certainty to end the uncertainty. A fortunate win at QPR doesn’t change that in my eyes.
We’ve just beaten the bottom of the league club thanks to two own goals and a deflection (good football from Liverpool caused that, but even so). They hit the woodwork twice, there were off the line clearances, Simon Mignolet is being put forward as a credible man of the match candidate and Glen Johnson was fortunate not to concede a penalty.
It’s good to be lucky but it’s hardly a commodity to trade on as an approach to a season. Liverpool didn’t so much as ride their luck at Loftus Road as fill the coach with it, stock up the plane for Madrid next month and top a few jerry cans to boot.
We made a QPR side featuring Richard Dunne look good. This is a team that were trounced 4-0 by Spurs and Manchester United. We struggled to deal with basic tactics from the opposition: hit the big man, bully, battle, work hard. Bobby Zamora was transformed into a world-beater. Every hoof to his chest saw our defence react like a family of arachnophobes spotting a house spider on the rug.
It was a performance that was ultimately the equivalent of pulling in a beer belly, throwing on a few layers and fastening up a big coat. It’ll kid a few tonight but the problem is still there for all to see tomorrow morning. For a long-term result, something resembling a plan of action is required.
The Reds’ shambolic defending has been blamed on a lot of things: personnel, the system, new faces, the goalkeeper. It’s probably a combination of all of those things. But when the defence – no matter who plays – consistently fails to convince on set pieces, you’ve got to also consider the coaching. It’s hardly a new development and the fact it continues to rear its head as a problem is a worry.
At the other end of the pitch, Mario Balotelli has been cut a lot of slack among Liverpool fans, rightly so in my opinion, but he’s got to start delivering. Football at the top level is unforgiving and last time I checked we’re not a charity. He was awful at Loftus Road. The obvious incident to point to was the open goal miss that will have Ronnie Rosenthal breathing a bit easier tonight. Perhaps more worrying was the propensity to go alone, to dribble down blind alleys and attempt things that were never on in the first place.
It was clear by the reactions of his teammates that being boss on Instagram and a laugh at Melwood doesn’t excuse those on-pitch misdemeanours – it was as hard to watch for them as it was for us. No footage of a laughing Brendan Rodgers on the side-line this time around. And no surprise, either.
Then there’s the general demeanour. The supposedly cool not celebrating thing looks suspiciously like sulking when things aren’t going his way. And for a player of his reputation, an opponent who simply attempts to kick you out the game shouldn’t be enough to stifle his talent. So far though, the evidence is that it is enough. And word is quickly getting around Premier League defender circles that it’s a tactic worth deploying.
The Steven Gerrard ‘issue’ remains, too. He can clearly still contribute, and he was so close to a rare goal from open play, but while his shift forward was welcomed against West Brom, its effectiveness was limited against QPR and lasted only a half. That Rodgers opted for the experiment is a double-edged sword – is it flexibility or is that he is struggling to know how or where to accommodate him? It all adds to the confusion.
All that said, it was good to see Joe Allen and in particular Coutinho contribute from the bench. Coutinho looked more like himself in that cameo, and while he seemed to briefly tread a fine line between stupidity and being motivated, he eventually employed his undoubted ability in the way it could hurt QPR most. We need more of that and he’s capable of producing.
And this is my issue with this squad. There’s talent there, even more so when Daniel Sturridge returns. But it’s the harnessing of it to create that collective force that is proving the problem so far. Last season we were more than the sum of our parts. This season only some of the parts look worthy of the task.
Even so, the talk of today being a barometer for Wednesday is bunkum as far as I’m concerned. The ‘if Bobby Zamora, Eduardo Vargas and Charlie Austin can do this, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale will do that’ line doesn’t wash.
Real Madrid is the biggest European game at Anfield for five years. The Liverpool side will be different anyway. And if the Kop can’t get up for hosting the European Champions after so long away from the top table then it really is time to admit defeat to Giles and his corporate chums.
On paper, it’s not a match in the true sense of the word. No Championship Manager-playing nerd would back the Reds based on the numbers. But we’ve seen it all before. We know you can be mediocre in the league and magnificent in Europe. And like any football fan in any situation before any match ever, we can dream.
But can we say with certainty how Liverpool will play this week, this month or this season? Can we bollocks. The only thing certain is the uncertainty.
Don’t have nightmares.
Good cop / bad cop, welcome to The Anfield Wrap.
People have different opinions. It’s generally the idea, yeah.
Thought it was well written, accurate & fair. Regardless of the loss of Suarez, not one player is up to last season standard bar maybe Sterling. Whether that’s down to coaching or individual performance is up for debate
A lot of people like it! Spot on as usual
We were poor and need to improve but were in the results business as they say. Though won’t win many more playing like that. Bring on Madrid
I think Rodgers has tried to tighten up our defense but he just doesn’t know how to. This team has the worst Liverpool defense I can remember. Rodgers said after the QPR game that he doesn’t have a magic wand, spending over a £100m not enough then? I think Liverpool having the best strike force in Europe last season papered over a lot of cracks.
Once it was known that Suarez was leaving, surely the answer would have been to sign quality players who could play at EPL level immediately. But we now have too many hopefuls or others that we can’t manage to sell. And poor Rickie Lambert, a great guy and fan of the club but its clear that Rogers doesn’t really fancy him so why did he buy him?? It was also known that Sturridge is a sick note, so for Rogers to have the likes of Balo, Borini and Lambert as back-up is criminal. Rogers said it himself today – we have lost 60% of our goals from last season, but it was so predictable Brendan, and he had 100mil to solve the problem. So disappointed.
Rodgers just doesn’t have the answers to our problems in defence and there is a suspicion that he isn’t even that interested.
He reminds me of a political party leader that can deliver a keynote conference speech without notes and then forget to bring up immigration and the economy, when those are exactly the issues that stand between him and success.
Red Brendan only seems interested in the new figurative homes, schools and hospitals that he is going to build. To be fair, that’s what we all want to see happen but when you look at a side like Chelsea (whose manager’s first instinct is to show a grim austerity to opposing forwards), they are the ones who look like champions-elect.
I’m all for new schools, homes and hospitals myself, though I might just have missed your point!
I’m with flying pig here. As soon as we were aware that Suarez was off we should have been spending big on another top class attacker. Whether that be a striker, attacking midfielder or winger it doesn’t matter, just someone who can scare the opposition, score goals and go into team straight away. It might have meant over spending but it’s better to over spend on a guy that delivers straight away than to over spend on potential. We needed to buy players who could walk straight into the team and deliver consistently immediately instead of potential like Can & Markovic or on above average players like Lallana who we over spent on anyway. Brendan didn’t like the target man idea, he sold Carroll, but then we went out and bought 2 this summer, neither that prolific (take Balos free kicks and penos out the equation and you have a guy who scored 15 goals from play in 54 appearances at Milan). We can’t defend and are toothless up front, not a good recipe. I just don’t understand what the plan is or what we’re trying to do.
BR has told Balotelli he will be judged on goals but MB now only thinks ‘my goal’ wherever in possession. Perhaps he will get his wish to play with a strike-partner vs. them Meringues.
Hi Gareth, what is it that you expect to see from Balotelli??
Brendan always talks about “Hungry & humble ” players with a team etiquette, who are technically excellent & who are willing to learn & improve. How exactly does Mario ever fit into this vision?
Fuck. ing. hell. You lot are miserable and panicky. We won. Probably the jammiest win you will ever see but in my mind that squares off with the derby draw. If united don’t get the win tonight we are equal on points with 4th after 8 games. Hardly time to start panicking. It is like last season never happened the way everyone is moaning. Rodgers will get it right, just give the team time to settle.
That said, balotelli is a genuine worry. He is shaping up as Andy Carroll mark two, less expensive but still a big enough name that it is difficult to bench him. Similar to Carroll as his body has matured into his twenties he has lost that bit of nimbleness and the ability to cover the ground and it his positioning that is all wrong, which is absolutely killing us. But he can’t get much worse, and if he can buy himself a goal and the confidence starts to return maybe Rodgers can get him to move into the right areas (at least when sturridge is back to help him). Until then I reckon we are probably better off with lambert as at least he does all the little things right.
Re the defense, it is not pretty. Maybe it is Rodgers fault that the defense can’t get its act together but I don’t remember Swansea having much trouble with set pieces when he was there. My money is still on that is mignolet’s lack of confidence coming for crosses which is destabilizing things. If Rodgers was permitted to buy vorm as he wanted to then I don’t think we would be having this conversation. Though Lovren really isn’t helping with his desperation to make his mark on the game. The shirt is weighing like a tonne of chain mail on him at the moment. I reckon Rodgers got this bit of man management all wrong, buying a big defender to make his mark and clean up the defense has got Lovren in a really bad head space, he should have been eased in regardless of his price tag. In other back matters, I’ll never quite understand why Johnson gets it in the neck while Enrique has his own song. The guy makes so many bad decisions and doesn’t have the technique to retain the ball when pressed. We will look much better with moreno back in the side.
But hey Madrid mid week, so chin up fellas it is not all that bad especially considering where we have been on this journey!
I’m a Liverpool fan for over 35yrs and have been very patient for No19 for over 24yrs now but that patience is beginning to wear very thin. You might find this a strange statement considering last season but I’ve seen it all before. I can count on one hand the number of proper title challenges in the last 24yrs and they’ve never been back to back. This summer we missed a massive opportunity to consolidate and we are now paying the price. I don’t see one of those summer signings scaring the opposition! This season is beginning to look like all those other seasons after a genuine title challenge. We cannot defend and we cannot score! The only reason we beat QPR is because they didn’t take their guilt edge chances and scored 2 OGs…….and they are terrible! If that was a blip in our season I could write it off but it’s not. It’s now looking like the Spurs performance was the blip in our season!
This line is often repeated but I just don’t get what makes it our God given right to win the title. It is definitely not the because of the fans who are able to suck the ball into the net with their passion alone given how quite Anfield has been in recent seasons. In those 35 years you have seen some amazing teams, amazing wins why not just be thankful and appreciate the fact we have managed to shed the H&G leaches, are no longer managed by that twat Hodgson, are back in the champions league and have a team full of players who if they reach their potential could take us back to number 19. The best thing about last season was that there was no expectation, just like in 2004/2005, carefree, ridiculous fun.
I think you could probably ask some questions of the transfer committee, whether it would have been possible to push the boat out and land Di Maria for example. But that is not the blueprint the club is working towards and probably not sustainable in the long term. I also think that although there have been mistakes in the transfer market (there are always mistakes in the transfer market, see Spurs) there have also been some spectacular moneyball successes that justify the approach they are taking. This summer definitely a step backwards but we will have to see in a couple of seasons whether it takes us two steps forward in the long run.
I don’t believe we have God given right to win the league but what I’d do expect is to put together more than a handful of title challenges over 24yrs. I expect to see us to be challenging for the title on a consistent basis. If we are serious about winning the title then this is the attitude we need to adopt. Instead we have this thinking where we will try these out of the box ideas again and again in the hope that we might once be successful. You can’t sustain success with that type of thinking. You mention spectacular moneyball successes. Who?? Sturridge and Coutinho?? So 2 out of about 30 purchases under current ownership. That doesn’t strike me as a successful policy.
Been attending for the same period and have seen exactly what you have seen and enjoyed/disappointed just the same!
That your patience is wearing thin is a shame because that would suggest that due to our history we are entitled to win the league which we are not. Last season came entirely out of the blue and was fantastically enjoyable as you are well aware – but it was like a good night out there was always going to be a hangover unfortunately!
I would love to know how many people on these blogs were actively against the summer signings that we made because on the face of it, Balo aside, they appear to be a good mix of the proven – Lallana, Lovren,Lambert and the promising. hindsight is a fantastic piece of equipment.
To be fair plenty of people were also pretty enthusiastic about Balo – its not worked out so far – however even if he didn’t put the ball in the back of the net yesterday by being in the vicinity he gave the defenders a decision. You may laugh but look closely – Dunn doesn’t intervene it gets to him, same with the last one. Don’t get me wrong he needs to do a hell of a lot more.
Who is this world class striker we missed out on to replace Suarez – how many are actually willing to come to Liverpool from abroad?
Cutting the manager slack/goodwill in the bank – come on! The lad is doing a fine job but is not overly experienced and makes mistakes – so what – he also appears to learn from them. Maybe he does need a good defensive coach – a comment normally made about Wenger funnily enough – but all the coaching in the world will not stop individuals making stupid mistakes.
Its no wonder our blue brethren think some of us are a touch spoilt on the red side – its not been a great start but live with it because IMO as a club we are in a far better place than a few short years ago.
By the way, if Madrid don’t batter us I will be a very happy man!!
At the min I can’t say that any of our summer signings are gonna be flops……it’s too early to make that call. What I can say and could say during the window is that none of those buys are gonna scare the opposition. We lost one of the best players in the world during the summer who terrified opposition defences who was always gonna be impossible to replicate and we replaced that attacking threat with Lambert, Balotelli and Markovic. Really??! Do any of them names strike fear into the opposition?? Simple answer is no. We needed to buy at least one player who would go straight into the team that the opposition would sit up and take notice off when he was on the pitch. Someone that would worry the opposition when they seen him on the team sheet. We simply did not buy a player like that. At the min none of the new buys make me think “he’s definitely in my starting XI” apart from possibly Moreno….and he’s a left back, a position we’ve struggled with. That’s not a good position to be in. Rodgers doesn’t like a big target man, he sold Carroll, but now he’s went out and bought 2 of them for a combined £20mil and neither are prolific. Doesn’t make sense.
The manager has loads of goodwill with me. I support him but he’s not immune from criticism. We still can’t defend over 2yrs later and tens of millions spent on the defence. We keep buying players, not really giving them a chance then loaning them out. It’s mad and not sustainable.
This is not just about this season with me, it’s about Liverpool FC as a whole. If we are serious about winning the league or at least challenging for it on a consistent basis then we need to change our attitudes about what we’re prepared to accept.
I agree with most that you say.
However, if the player we both want is not available what do we do?
The truth is as outsiders we don’t really know why Di Maria et al didn’t want to come to us. We can speculate, wages, name, location etc But it does remain a problem that we do not seem to able to bring the big names in if that is what is required.
If it was me I would have started with as many of last seasons players, we did it once and won convincingly at Spuds. If you subtract some of the names you mention and also the injuries and lack of form we would probably be down to youth team players by now. We effectively had a squad of 14 last season so we had to buy to cope with the workload even if it was mid range players and promise.
Its kind of catch 22 – the big stars will not come until we are challenging year in year out. Maybe we have to be a bit more clever when buying – Rafa managed to get hold of Spanish players just prior to them becoming established Spanish internationals – It would take big balls but maybe hang onto some of the money until someone we really wanted appeared and work with a smaller squad who know exactly what they are doing.
Your right, Brendan is not immune to criticism and shouldn’t be. Deffo made selection mistakes and has moved away slightly from what was so good last season.
Saints fans tell me Fonte led the line at St Mary’s. Hope to Christ they’re wrong as if true, it makes Brendan look very, very foolish indeed.
That is not what was said when we signed him. He is definitely in a bad place at the moment but I think we need to cut him a bit of slack until he settles. Because unless you would prefer Sakho or Toure we are stuck with him for the season at least (although I actually quite like Sakho and reckon if he could speak English he would be a really good leader like he is for France).
Nerves do terrible things to your decision making, as does trying to prove everyone wrong about you.
The problem is Tom, that we’re playing without identity for the first time since Brendan joined the club. Most of us we’re happy to cut him some slack when he joined, because we could see what he was trying to do, and it paid off: big time. I can’t see what we’re trying to do this season; he’s changed formations far too often, he’s Hodged Gerrard and Henderson after seeming to solve that particular problem last season and the defence has gone backwards, which takes some doing. I can only pray that everything falls into place once Sturridge comes back, but the first 45 minutes yesterday were as bad as we’ve been in a long time: utterly shapeless. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been behind Rodgers from day one, there’s no need to panic yet, but let’s not pull the wool over our eyes either; we’ve been very poor this season, and, of the new signings, only Moreno and Lallana look up to scratch thus far (and Lallana’s really slow, like a poor man’s David Silva). Still plenty of time to get it right though, and I haven’t given up on the younger signings.
Transfers: I’m increasingly uncomfortable with the did Brendan sign him/did he not debate. Reminds of the dog days of Rafa’s reign. We need a single point of accountability, not craven politics.
I reckon if you went back to after the Villa game last season you could find almost exactly the same comments on here. I think my own comment on here was something along the lines of “maybe Gerrard has shown something in training to suggest that he can play a holding midfield role but on current evidence it doesn’t look very likely and Rodgers needs to find the balls to drop him to the bench”. Then look what happened, Rodgers and Gerrard made us all look like tits and we very nearly win the title.
Fast forward 6 months and the same people (it seems like) who were calling for Rodgers’ head for playing Gerrard in a deeper role in that game when he is obviously an attacking midfielder are now calling for his head for playing him as attacking midfielder when it is obvious he is better as the deepest lying midfielder. It drives me mental.
The thing I have always like about Rodgers is that he is always being bold and trying new things. Some games it is going to work okay, others it is going to flop, and every now and again you are going to hit on a winning formula that gets two talented strikers who like to drift all over the place and an ageing spiritual leader on to the same pitch in a formation that tears teams apart! But even if you come up with the winning formula it takes time to get the team playing the way you have envisaged (see Villa game), particularly if you are aiming for nice possession/pressing based football with new players. Give him time and I’m sure he will come up with something, he is dealing with some pretty difficult pieces of the jigsaw at the moment (namely Gerrard and Balotelli).
He first played the deep role against Stoke and I could see the logic behind the decision to prolong his career, he hasn’t the legs to play 90 mins up top anymore, something that was again painfully apparent on Sunday. Lots of journalists saying he didn’t get the service: he did but was too slow to either get into the right position or do the right thing with the ball. The goal he nearly scored? He would have scored 5 years ago and without taking it around the player. Again, not his fault, I recently watched all Nando’s goals and the difference is both stark and dispiriting; too many of us have forgotten what made Stevie and Nando so great together – they were both incredible athletes: strong, fast, powerful, dynamic, choose your own superlative. He’s struggling at the moment, but I’m in no doubt his best position is as one of three at the back or as a deep lying midfielder. I’d be happy to be proved wrong, but can’t see it: he’s really slow these days.
By and large I agree with you but I think you missed my point slightly, which was last week when Brendan first tried it at the west brom game, the interchange between Gerrard and balotelli seemed to work well and bring balotelli into the game. This week he tried it out properly and it flopped and it had to be changed at half time. Maybe that is because Gerrard can’t play there any more or maybe with a week to fine tune what Rodgers wants from him he comes out and plays well. Either way this is what happened last year with Gerrard’s last switch, so my point is that it is crazy to have a go at Rodgers for being bold and trying something different.
Regarding Gerrard’s legs, that is what I have been saying for the last two years, the problem is that without Suarez and Sturridge to put opposing teams on the back foot they can come on to us and press or man mark Gerrard out of the game. Then you are in the position where his attacking threat has been nullified and he doesn’t really have the legs to get about and put out fires like other dm. So what to do, can you really drop him when he is your inspirational leader who can win over the dressing room? Or do you try to come up with another inspired move that squeezes another season out of him?
Same old story. Awful defending again. I don’t understand why Brendan Rodgers isn’t doing anything to sort the defence out. It’s not like this is a new problem; this has been going on now for 2 years. It can’t be the players because under Benitez we had Johnson, Skrtel and Agger and we were generally good at defending. Yes Skrtel and Agger would make the odd mistake and get out jumped but it was much better than now. If anything we should be even better at defending now as we have have added Sakho who is a better defender than Agger. Rodgers either doesn’t know enough about good defending or he’s spending too little time on the training pitch on defending. If he doesn’t start focusing more on the defence then we’ll never progress and we can forget Champions League football next season. Winning today is just papering over the cracks and we won’t get anywhere defending like this.
I’ll never understand the Balotelli signing. Not because of his attitude or off-the-field antics, but because he simply isn’t very good.
When you take away his deadball goals his record is roughly one-in-four – and that despite playing for massive teams who dominate possession and chances and being surrounded by great players for most of his career to date.
So if he’s not a reliable scorer what is he? A target man? Nope. A Heskey-type who sacrifices himself so others can prosper? Definitely not. A Dirk Kuyt-type workhorse, covering back and closing down opponents? Again, no. A Beardsley-type who can unpick well-organised defences? No.
So what does he do? What had he ever done to justify the hype? He once said only Messi is better than him and the whole world seems to have somehow believed him in an act of collective gullibility the likes of which Derren Brown could only dream.
I’m not trying to get on the guys back, I genuinely feel sorry for him. He looks like he’d rather be anywhere other than on a football pitch. I feel sorry for the bloke cos he’s being judged by his own (aforementioned) naive proclamation regarding his own (very modest) talents. Put simply he’s an average player who’s expected to be world class.
I blame whoever decided to sign him, be it Rodgers or the transfer committee (although I thought Rodgers insisted on final say in his renewed contract?) If Balotelli was ‘the best we could do’ then we should have waited IMO. Whether £16m or free, he was never going to be a good signing. At best now, Sturidge will come back and Balotelli will be dropped but even then I can see him being like Collymore in his final season – a dark, negative cloud hanging over the club, infecting team spirit.
When he signed I thought he’d be our Tino Asprilla in that he’d be individually decent but wrong for the team. So far I’m half right.
As for the defense it’s extremely worrying. Look at the 3 goals we conceded away at West Brom in Rodgers first competitive game as manager over two years ago. The errors in that game included teammates going for the same ball (lack of communication), unforced errors under no pressure, not closing down long range shots and unmarked opponents in the 6 yard box scoring free headers. Then look at yesterday and all those errors are still there in abundance, especially Vargas’ free header in the 6 yard box for the 2nd goal. Rodgers can change personnel all he wants but as long as these basic errors aren’t being addressed then it’s merely rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.
As Gareth says, Rodgers has enough credit in the bank from last season, but it’s very worrying that none of the basic problems look like they’re even being addressed, much less eradicated.
For the love of God, Brendan, hire a defensive coach because we no longer have the best player in the world to bail us out at the other end of the pitch!
I think he is what you would call the mother of all projects. In that he has all the attributes to be a world class striker barring the mentality and perhaps he isn’t as fast as he was when he was 18. Quite possibly Brendan has bitten off more than he can chew with him though, especially with Sturridge getting injured so early on. Still early days, but he just doesn’t seem all that happy with life at the moment, everything seems difficult.
All of the players that the football genius John “Aldo” Aldridge described as a ” shower of mediocrity” will look much better when our confidence and rhythm finally resurfaces.This is the man who famously guaranteed that “Big ” Andy Carroll would get a bagful of goals for Liverpool. Absolutely ludicrous to be slagging Markovic off after so little game time.
The defending is woeful at times .We performed badly yesterday against a team pumping balls up to a big man up front and we we probably don’t practice defending that in training. We won but people are treating it like a defeat. We will probably play even worse games and lose them this season but we will also play much, much better than that. That’s guaranteed Aldo.
What’s happened to Suso? Why isn’t he getting a look in? Last season, around this time of year, he was at the same level as Sterling when he got the chance to play. Seems strange to say it, but I’d like to see Rodgers show more faith in youth. Get Rossiter on the bench and Suso into the first XI, out side, shifting Sterling to centre-forward until Sturridge gets back.
Suso is injured, has undergone a groin op I believe and if reports are to be believed will be away to Milan in Jan. I find myself asking could Suso do a better job than Markovic?? From what I’ve seen the answer is yes, and at a saving of £20mil.
Ah, didn’t realise he was out. Still worth keeping (and playing) when returns, though.
Seeing Wisdom rip United apart in the build-up for Sessegnon’s goal last night, I’m also wondering whether it was really necessary to ship him out and bring Manquillo in. Why not persist with Wisdom?
At least Manquillo has looked reasonably good and didn’t cost us anything. I understand Markovic is still young but for £20mil I expected to see something from him by now to grab my attention, all I can say about him at the min is he’s fast.