Why Don’t We Start the First Team?

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By Dan Asulin

Week after week I see the same pattern. A first team start in the EPL and a sub-par team start in every other competition. This past week Liverpool F.C fell to Swansea City in what was in my opinion an embarrassing loss that could have been avoided. Let us start by taking a look at the starting 11 that Brendan Rogers chose for the match against Swansea.

Jones, Robinson, Coates, Carragher, Henderson, Shelvey, Allen, Cole, Assaidi, Yesil, Downing all started on Wednesday with Ward, Suarez, Gerrard, Suso, Sterling, Skrtel, Wisdom on the bench. The team that started the match saw a 9 man change from the match against Everton on Sunday. My question is this, Why wouldn’t we start our best players in all competitions? Isn’t winning the point of playing any match?

We don’t have many goal scorers on the team and with Borini out things have been made even harder. To win games we must score goals so why not start Suarez our top scorer? Why not start Sterling who has proved himself in tough matches and recently scored in the Reading game. Why not start Gerrard who is another consistent goal scorer. Yesil and Assaidi have potential but they aren’t capable of scoring the goals we need.

Starting our best players in competitions should be our main focus but we fail to do so time and time again. This pattern can be seen in some of our earlier Europa league matches as well. Liverpool F.C is not the team it once was. We cannot afford to sit the best players on the team just because it’s a league cup match or a Europa match. We cannot underestimate the so called “average” teams anymore because we no longer beat those “average” teams. We want wins, no matter what fixture it is. Had we started the first team and given them more time to play I feel we could have gotten the result we were searching for. It is important to give every player a chance to play so that they gain much needed experience but only do so when we have a solid grip on the game and hold a lead. Hopefully we can learn from our mistakes and finish the season strong. YNWA


  1. Perhaps because we did it last season and ended up outside the CL places? Liverpool may have performed better in the EPL last season if Dalglish had rotated more – and King Kenny might still have been around. In addition to the overpriced acquisitions (for which Comolli and the owners must take at least part – or even most – of the blame), the exit of Dalglish was down to the failure to reach the top-4, so why would Rodgers want to make the same mistake?

  2. yeah and if we’d played Suarez or Gerrard from the start and tehy got injured then we’d be without them for league games.

    We have a squad for a reason and playing them in lesser matches is exactly what we should be doing, let’s not forget Gerrard and Luis played Saturday, Thursday and Sunday, Gerrard has spent most of the past 2 season on the sidelines and losing Suarez would leave us without a recognised striking option.

  3. I’m sorry, but thats ridiculous. You expect us to play our best team in every game? It is never going to happen, especially when you are in 3 competitions, with possibly 5 games in a two week period.

    The players need rest, and in competitions such as the Capital one cup and the Europa league its the opportunity to rest certain players, and put the youngsters in and to have a look at any players on the fringe e.g. Henderson.

    We know the problem with the squad is the lack of depth, as it has been for many years. We’ve always had the first XI to beat any team, but once certain players got injuryed (Gerrard, Torres, Agger) we started to look worse. Thats been the difference between us & United & Chelsea for many years. With this in mind, it makes sense to use young & fringe players in less important games & save ‘best’ players for Premier league, which lets face it is most important.

    Until our squad is stronger, this is the way it has to be.

  4. Play a europa league match.Then a premierleague match.Then a league cup match.They are humans,not robots.They need rest too.

  5. If you cannot see why Brendan Rogers doesn’t put his first team out for the Capital Cup you are a clown!!!!

    With only 1 goal scorer in the team as you suggest, why would he risk him in meaningless games? Just 1 of many questions I could throw back at you.

  6. When I saw the 11 chosen I did a double take, I thought Rodgers was all too aware of what happens when you field an under strength side against a good passing team like Swansea. Our best 11 is a match for anyone in football, so why didnt we start with them….Stating you have faith in all your players is admirable, but faith doesn’t win matches, tactical nounce, and astute changes at crucial times, wins you a match.
    Luis, Stevie, Raheem, Morgan, Sahin, all should have started with yesil Assaidi on the bench and Joe Cole at the local job centre.
    Our priority should be getting in the champions league, therefore, the prem is all important, but Brendans been playing the youngsters in the Europa, so why not just stick adorjan wisdom morgan suso Sterling etc etc into the side…..Yesil is work in progress, Assaidi needs service, as proven against Swansea….he was completely isolated, and cole hopefully has played his last game for Liverpool.
    Come on Brendan, pull ya finger out and do the simple things right before you try to fiddle.

  7. most of those players wednesday night are full internationals or under 21 internationals,still should have beaten swansea

  8. How are articles chosen to be posted in EOTK? This sounds more like a childish rant than anything else?

    But in all seriousness, what is Liverpool’s first team? Our first team, despite looking great for the future, is apparently weaker than I would like to think. Sterling and Suso aren’t exactly ‘first-teamers’ that I was expecting prior to this season. Wisdom was brought in as a cover. Him, and Brad Jones. If you consider them as first team, then so be it.

    For our second-string side against Swansea, they aren’t as much of fringe players as you’d think. Jones is currently playing in our first team. Carragher was a decent first teamer last season. Coates played against Everton. Robinson probably has more experience than Wisdom. Henderson and Downing was Kenny’s first team choice. Allen and Shelvey, definitely first team. Assaidi is someone whom many think should be playing more in the Premier League. Yesil and Cole would probably be the only sub par players to me. But unlike Cole, Yesil should be given runs of important games to see what he can do. Cole is old, battered and lazy, but what I consider worse about him is that he wears his heart in his wallet.

    My point is, our sub par team, while definitely weaker, isn’t that sub par at all. When I hear teams like Man Utd or Arsenal fielding a second string side, I would usually see a bunch of players probably not even some of their fans know. This team we field against Swansea was filled with decent players that could and should have won. Well, Kudos to Swansea.

    P/s, great to see Suarez scoring consistently.

  9. Reasonable individual players,not well jelled as a team,Brendon Rodgers knows exactly what he is doing & I suspect that was a personal sacrifice to send a clear message to the owners that they need to spend some proper money in January.i went to Anfield & was disappointed but that Cup is not so important at this time.

  10. You may all be attacking what I had to say but take a look what just happened against Anzhi. Again we come out with a weak team and we lose. Does anyone expect differently? I mean good player win, average players don’t. It is that simple.

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