Madrid Away Team selection - (Posted Nov 6, 2014)

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Well, the lambs didn’t get slaughtered after all, in fact the performance from what the press referred to as your B team did you, themselves and the fans proud despite the loss.

Although the reaction of the press, pundits and even some so called fans was bordering on the ridiculous, any true Liverpool fan could see the effort of the players and their application and that they were playing for the shirt and certainly didn’t see themselves as the B team.

How could you play a weakened side they cried in unison, play your strongest team, play each game with your strongest team. It obviously slipped their collective minds that the strongest team available (in their minds) have been struggling for form and have played poorly in all but the Spurs game this season.

Rodgers drops 7 of his strongest players, they said, well let’s break it down, starting with Glen Johnson, who has not justified a place in any of the first teams in my book; his performances to date have been littered with poor defensive work, misplaced passes, lost possession and poor final passes. His only contribution for some time has been his work ethic and his pace but too often nothing comes of any of his work.

Then there’s Dejan Lovren, another player who has been consistently poor since a bright start against Southampton. He’s failed to live up to his remit of organising and leading the back line and seems to be a million miles from the player who played so well for Southampton last season. He’s often guilty of going for the same headers as his teammates, stepping out and trying to play Hollywood balls instead of giving it to a midfielder and generally creating uncertainty with his tackling and positioning.

Next up is Jordan Henderson, who has been a shadow of the dynamic player of last season and has been consistently poor bringing memories of his first season at Anfield. He’s sparkled occasionally but all too often on the fringes of games.

Raheem Sterling is another who despite being the ace in the pack has been on a downward slide over the last three games, his overall contribution has been too little and although he always has the potential to do something his influence has been on the wane. Maybe he is being played too much or maybe he is being affected by the overall malaise of the team performances but his overall contribution has not made him irreplaceable.

Phillipe Coutinho is another who has taken time to get back to the levels he showed last season and has only recently showed some glimpses of his old self and has been used on and off the bench all season.

The Press, Pundits and fans themselves have been calling for Mario Balotelli to be left out most of the season, citing poor form, wrong player for the club, never a Liverpool player, as well as because the manager prefers a lone striker approach. Mario has also been castigated for his perceived lack of effort, which I think is unfair and his attitude and his application have also been derided.

Lastly, we have Steven Gerrard who probably have more cause to feel aggrieved than any of the others, but even he wouldn’t argue that he hasn’t performed to the levels the he would expect himself and at his age would benefit from not playing the number of games per week that is required for a player in Liverpool’s situation.

Let’s not also forget, that the press were reporting the all-knowing tactical master Sam Allardyce, after he had master-minded West Hams victory over Liverpool telling the world, how his mentor, Fergie told him that he always played two teams, one for Europe and one for the league, to ensure his players were fresh and this experience served as the cornerstone of their success over the years. Sam said he knew you had not rotated the team after the Ludogorets game and set his team up to play on this. I also recall the “hacks” reporting this as a weakness in your strategy or your lack of experience at the time.

At the end of the day, you are the one who has to make the decisions on what’s best for the players, the team and the club as a whole and I for one think that is what you are doing. I don’t and haven’t agreed with all of your decisions, teams and / or tactics but then that was no different when other managers were in charge. It is of no consequence what the likes of Gary Linekar, Paul Scholes, Robbie Savage, Martin Samuel of the Mirror, Henry Winter of the Telegraph, Ian Ladyman of the Independent say or report other than they get paid to offer an opinion and that the more controversial they are the more publicity they receive. That is what their paymasters expect from them.

I read and listened to all kinds of rubbish reported before and after the match about how you’ve “thrown in the towel”, betrayed Liverpool’s rich European pedigree, prioritised the Chelsea game over the Madrid game and was amazed at how this line was gobbled up by so called fans.

Avid listeners to “Talks**t” would have listened to all this garbage being spouted as if it were true, Micky Quinn reported back from Madrid and made two astute observations, the first being that despite the result we were toothless up front (well done Sherlock, given that we have been toothless up front all season maybe expecting anything else was a tad ambitious against arguably the best side in Europe?) and second was that Rodger’s team decision will be measured by what happens against Chelsea on Saturday (another piece of rubbish, peddling the press line, seems like only “The Special One” can make tactical changes and be called a Tactical Genius?)

The Liverpool mantra has always been one game at a time, win lose or draw we learn and go onto the next game. The Press and some Pundits (and probably some so called fans) seemed a bit perturbed that we didn’t get the expected thrashing and I suppose when they saw the team they wrote their reports with a thrashing in mind and looked to heap more pressure on you and the team. The real people who matter are the likes of those fans who travelled to Madrid and sang their songs all game, they sang your name as a message to the detractors and to those who support you (and even had time to take the p*ss out of Adrian Chiles and Paul Scholes which was a bonus)

The majority of Reds fans do support what you are trying to do and are still backing you and the players to come good.

Some of us have followed this club since before you and any of the current players signed and will still be here when you’ve gone; we are in this for the duration and believe you are on the same overall wavelength.

So, Brendan true fans see you as one of us and while you are with us we will support you all the way.

YNWA and JFT96

 



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Category: Sport & Leisure | Posted by: The BabelCopter

Comments

Good shoutPosted by LiddelRed on 07/28/15
Not a bad summation to be honest and unfortunately the malaise never stopped
LiddelRed rates the above article at 7 out of 10
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