LIVERPOOL did not lose that game of football, but like the Chelsea game it feels like it. Like the Chelsea game there were surprises in the selection and, as a result of a disappointing result, the selection is now questioned. This is the reality and the manager accepts it.

I’m not against rotation, in fact it is clearly necessary, but we seem to be doing a hell of a lot if it. In fact the numbers show we are on 20-plus changes more than our rivals. More than necessary? It does feel a bit like that.

Only an injury crisis should see a young striker who has yet to score for Liverpool lead the line in a Merseyside derby, yet it happened today with Roberto Firmino on the bench and Daniel Sturridge missing entirely. The midfield that played so well in the 7-0 win in midweek was missing completely. The change at left back was the only one forced.

It feels like something has got in Jürgen Klopp’s head over all this. Probably the January last season where we looked shattered. Possibly the criticism from many, including “some Dutch fitness guy” that he runs his players into the ground. But it seems mad we have gone from one extreme to another.

I always worry when managers seem to be making decisions that are too heavily based on sports science rather than football. Only that can explain the substitutions to me. Surely taking off your two best attacking players and leaving on the two not performing must have been pre-determined decisions. They can’t have been a reflection of what the manager could see with his eyes. What was needed to win that game of football.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, December 10, 2017: Liverpool's manager Jürgen Klopp reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool and Everton, the 229th Merseyside Derby, at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Managers can’t become obsessed with the future to the detriment of now. Especially when football fans live so relentlessly in the now. Right now you wonder what we are saving some of these players for. West Brom? April when we might have nothing to play for? The World Cup when they are all playing for someone else?

I’ve seen comments that “If Mane squares it,” or “If Lovren doesn’t put his arms up,” we win and the manager is lauded. But we shouldn’t need ifs and buts playing against such a poor Everton side. Luck shouldn’t come into it. Liverpool playing at 80 per cent of Wednesday steamrolls that side. Instead Jordan Pickford doesn’t have to wash his kit tonight. A lack of cohesion in attack coming from lads who didn’t know each other’s game.

My Evertonian friends used to make fun of me for my love of Rafa Benitez. They would list his faults, his strange decisions and his bad buys and I’d say “Yeah, but he wins his big games and he beats yous”.

We’re on a journey with Klopp and it’s a huge amount of fun. I think he has a better chance of winning a league title for Liverpool than Rafa did and there is still plenty of reasons to be positive even now. But some points are bigger than others.

Winning your big games and beating The Blues buys you time to complete your journey. Jürgen needs to remember that when picking his teams. Some points are worth more than others.

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Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo

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