Brendan’s Threadbare Squad
Brenda Rodgers has stated that his squad is too thin to compete in so many competitions this season and his statement was highlighted by his old team disposing of Liverpool in the Capital One Cup on Wednesday night.
Rodgers felt he had to rest some of his regular players for the cup tie as most of them had played against Russian side Anzhi and in Sunday’s Merseyside derby against Everton. But it was sad to see Rodgers basically give up on the cup that Liverpool won last season by making so many changes to his team that played against Everton on Sunday.
Rodgers should have been well aware that Swansea would be right up for the match after him leaving in the summer and also taking midfielder Joe Allen with him. In fairness to Rodgers he has tried to give his fringe players a chance in the cup competitions this season, just like he did on Wednesday.
He has put great trust in his players this season but I felt he showed a bit of naivety by making too many changes against Swansea and ultimately paid for it. Swansea had more regular first team players playing and they were far more hungrier on the night than the Liverpool team Rodgers’ assembled.
Jordan Henderson was played out of position at right-back, although he did a decent job for the team. It was a big ask for Assaidi and young Yesil to start in a cup tie like that, with little experience in the English game, and they both struggled. Joe Cole was a massive disappointment and Liverpool have paid the former Chelsea player a lot of money for very little in return, and it will be interesting to see how many more chances he gets in a Liverpool shirt.
Joe Cole is an experienced player who should now be thriving on this opportunity at Liverpool as the squad has little in the way of experience with so many younger members. But Cole has featured very little this season and on the rare occasions he has featured for the first team he has not impressed.
Liverpool have a wealth of talented youngsters coming through at the club with the likes of Sterling, Suso and Wisdom who have become regulars in recent weeks in the first team, but it is difficult for players so young to step up to this level and perform at this high standard every week. But this is what they are being asked to do at the moment with the lack of experience in the squad.
During the summer Liverpool let a lot of experienced players leave which has heaped pressure on Brendan Rodgers and especially the youngsters who have stepped up to the first team squad. Experienced players like Charlie Adam, Craig Bellamy, Aquilani, Maxi and Dirk Kuyt have all moved on to pastures new and Jay Spearing and Andy Carroll are out on loan this season.
Yes Liverpool has brought in a few players in this summer but most of them are very young and some don’t have any experience in the English game. Borini, Allen, Yesil, Assaidi and Sahin have arrived but they don’t share the experience that Adam, Bellamy, Maxi or Kuyt have.
We don’t know if this was Rodgers own doing or the owners telling Rodgers that he must sell and reduce the wage bill before he brings new players in, but whatever the reason there has been players leaving that could have helped this season. Bellamy and Kuyt could both play up front and Andy Carroll’s move was a joke considering Liverpool are only left with Suarez as a their only recognised striker after Borini’s unfortunate long term injury. Maxi could have also played an important role with his knack of scoring goals from midfield, which is sadly lacking in the midfielders Liverpool possess.
It will be a tough season for Liverpool and Rodgers having to rely on a “threadbare” squad but the good thing is it will give the youngsters great experience. But the results must be positive along the way at such a big club like Liverpool.
Rodgers keeps reminding everyone of his thin squad which makes me think that the transfer dealings in the summer has not been his own doing and he has went in to the job with his hands tied by his owners, which has made his difficult job a lot more difficult.
The owners must back Rodgers and give him the time he needs and back him in the January transfer window as his squad is in much need of at least one more striker. Time will tell, but Rodgers has a really tough task to put Liverpool back where they belong.