Following Brendan Rodgers’ much-maligned selection strategy for the Champions League fixture against Madrid on Tuesday night, it appears to ex-England favourite Gary Lineker that there is more to it than meets the eye.
According to those at Here is The City Lineker claims Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli among others were actually dropped. The ex-housewives favourite is quoted saying, or tweeting shall I say to use the correct verbal grammar nowadays “Rodgers intimating that many of his players were dropped for being awful at Newcastle rather than being rested. If that’s true, fair enough.” And I couldn’t agree more.
I would even contend that Rodgers didn’t go far enough. It’s about time Rodgers became more aggressive in his approach. If the players have performed poorly then why not make this public? Poor results cost managers’ jobs and poor performances – by the players ultimately lead to those results. The gaffer needs to make his feelings known. The problem with that, one could argue is that it’s of his own making. And he probably knows this.
Players like Lazar Marković, Balotelli and Lovren, arguably even Gerrard and Sterling have not been at the expected levels this season. In respect of the new arrivals, Rodgers has to carry the can. In particular Marković who has been an immense disappointment. For the price paid, one would expect far more than he’s given. Unlike Balotelli, he hasn’t been played out of position and he hasn’t been asked to play against his natural game. This has had a knock-on effect in my opinion.
Sterling, at 19 is virtually carrying the hopes of the team and has had to play in positions that should by rights, be occupied by those brought in to fill them. He’s played up front, out wide and through the middle. He may have the technical ability but he’s still a young lad and this is starting to show from what I can see from the boy. Rodgers lauds the youngsters “tactical appreciation” but if this is used out of necessity due to the ineffectiveness of others then it kind of defeats the object.
Should Rodgers not get a result on Saturday against Chelsea the spotlight on him will intensify albeit a game that few would expect Liverpool to get anything from. I’m afraid, this is the nature of beast that is football. If Lineker is correct then support for the Northern-Irishman is justified. However, I he needs to fight his corner more. Now is the time for him to come out fighting. He has to take his share of the blame, but then so do the players. Many of them have come to the club with big expectations and price tags to match. It’s about time they started to live up to them and Rodgers should have no hesitation in making this known – publicly.
As The LFC File pointed out earlier this week, there’s a growing wave of discontent with Rodgers in the light of recent results. Football fans have short memories and clearly one (where one = Brendan Rodgers) needs to start fighting fire with fire.
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