Despite our two wins from two games so far this season, there is disharmony among some Liverpool fans about Brendan Rodgers’ early team selections.
Mamadou Sakho, France’s vice-captain and potentially our best centre-back, has twice been left out of the squad, much to the bemusement of many.
While some supporters accept Rodgers has the right to make a call between Dejan Lovren and Sakho, barely any can get their heads around the fact Kolo Toure has been selected on the bench ahead of the Frenchman.
Tony Barrett from the Times though reckons fans are getting needlessly upset, and that his poor fitness and performances towards the end of 2014/15 warrant his dropping.
Spanish & Turkish reports indicate that Illarra will arrive to replace Besiktas bound Lucas – with decreased £10.6m offer submitted
Why Rodgers is right to leave Sakho out, but wrong again in his execution
He discussed the issue in a webchat today:
“Yeah, I think far too much is being read into this situation to be honest. He’s not currently first choice, that’s abundantly clear. He’s had fitness issues and his form towards the end of last season wasn’t great so Rodgers wants to have a look at Skrtel and Lovren.
“He’s not the first player to have to earn his place back and he won’t be the last. It’s up to him now how he reacts.
“I agree on Toure for what it’s worth but I got the impression that Rodgers is looking for a reaction from Sakho, it’s an age old managerial technique.”
While managers in the past have of course ‘tested’ players, Rodgers is surely risking alienating Sakho. L’Equipe (cited here by the Mirror in English) claim that the player could demand a loan move before the end of the window, because he’s desperate for first-team football with a home European Championship coming up in summer 2016.
We’ve rejected bids from Roma and Bayer Leverkusen already (via Sky Sports), so it’s clear we want to keep the player at Anfield. But if he grows fed up of the situation, we’re putting ourselves in a dangerous position.
If we continue keeping clean-sheets of course, Rodgers has the perfect comeback to any questions about his preferred central defenders.