Perhaps I’m going against the grain here but I appear to be the only person not surprised or “shocked” by the Liverpool lineup last night.
Let’s face it, the team isn’t going to win the Champions League, even to qualify from the group is now a bridge that’s realistically, just a tad too far.
Why waste your best side on an apparently lost or at best unlikely cause midweek when you have a humongous fixture at the weekend.
I was pleased with Rodgers’ choice last night. It showed that he’s finally realised which side his bread is buttered. The team lost 1-0 but the players he put out should by rights be able to cope. They may perhaps not be the first choice players but they are Liverpool players and I think a lot of people in the press and many fans forget this. The current said first choice have not exactly covered themselves in glory thus far this season, let’s be honest.
The selection may not have included names akin with Souness, Dalglish, Barnes or Gerrard and Sterling but the fact is the manager has bought them because he believes these players are worthy of the shirt and can perform when called on. With that in mind, why shouldn’t he play them? Personally, I would expect them to perform too. And frankly, they played with more desire than the “first choice” eleven Rodgers threw out a few weeks ago. You know – the one that got battered 0-3.
The result was not ideal but to be fair not expected either in terms of the margin of loss. In reality, I’m not sure last seasons team would have feared much better. The hosts always looked as if they could crank things up a notch or two. As if fifth, sixth gear and possibly even an overdrive was there if required.
The fact is Rodgers now has to focus on the Premiership and perhaps one of the cups if the club want to be competing in Europe next season and from that perspective, I can’t blame him. Saturday’s fixture against Chelsea is one that if there is any possible way of improving the side’s chances of getting a result, then that chance should be taken. Even at the expense of one Champions League fixture.
Roll on Saturday and the visit of Jose Mourinho and his merry men. The so-called “first choice” eleven should be available for that. However, being available is one thing. Ready and able is a different conversation, probably best had on Saturday at 2:30PM!
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