Monday, 23 February 2015

Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Whilst like almost everybody else I think rotation, used correctly, is vital, sometimes I think it  is getting out of hand and dare I say ridiculous again with our supporters appearing to jump on a bandwagon and start shouting their mouths off before engaging the brain and thinking about what they are saying or asking for.

Firstly let me say that i agree with most it is absolutely imperative that we rest players so that we don't ruin careers like we have done in the past with the likes of Owen through over playing but also so that out team doesn't suffer in the hear and now suffering with unnecessary injuries or loss of form through tiredness both of which could cost us points.

Having said that I have listened to one recent podcast that during the course of their show called for all ten of our outfield players to be rested or rotated for an important league fixture and this is silly, taking things to extremes again.  Obviously all ten can't be replaced while we still field a strong enough team and whilst I agree that tired players need to be given a week off occasionally we have to look at it from the perspective of the whole team and who we can afford to drop and who we need for that particular fixture as well as who is available to come in and replace those we are resting, if we don't have replacements fit and available then players can't be rested they are just going to have to tough it out.

Form is an important consideration, if a player is in top form banging in the goals every week, for me it is not the time to rest him, let him play, let the team get the benefits and rest him when there is the inevitable dip.  By the nature of it his form will drop off when he tires and that is surely the time to drop or rest somebody not when they are in the middle of a hot streak.  At Liverpool we always seem to want to protect players for the later, that never seems to come.  When is the big game that we are resting or wanting to rest all these players for?  We have calls to rest players in the League Cup semi finals, in the FA Cup, in the UEFA cup in the Champions League and in big six point League fixtures exactly what are we saving them for, there is nothing left, they will all be nice and fresh for their summer holidays.

The opposite is also true a player struggling with form should be the one who is dropped or rested and given a chance to recover, poor form will inevitably be a symptom of tiredness so this would be the ideal time to take somebody out of the team but hen our manager does this we seem to criticise claiming he has chucked players under the bus and we should be supporting them.  Rodgers does take players out of the team when they appear to be suffering and when he brings them back it appears to work Sterling last season was dropped, Mignolet this season was dropped or rested and now looks like a star, Lovren, Balotelli, Sakho, Can, Lucas, Markovic, Lallana, Moreno, Sterling all possiby first eleven have had time out of the team and when they have come back have looked stronger with possibly only Sterling not showing terrible form before he was rested, when you add to this list the players who have been injured Sturridge, Gerrard, Johnson, Allan and those such as Lambert, Enrique and Manquillo who were possibly always just cover we are changing or rotating our team a lot.

 For me Rodgers is taking people out of the team and when they come back their form has been good so we are resting players and now at the end of the season when the fixture list is becoming more of a problem and every game seems to be a six pointer we should be seeing the benefits, we should be able to play our strongest team more often then rest players over the summer it's what Rodgers does look at our record in his previous seasons we finish strong look at the evidence players have been taking out of the team and have come back stronger and better.  So please trust our manager in this at least he appears to know what he is doing.


Saturday, 14 February 2015

Cup Competions

I think I may be old fashioned but I love the cup competitions, all of them.  I get frustrated when i hear our supporters say that they don't want us to progress or don't want us to qualify for the Europa Cup because the extra games could possibly effect us, i just don't get it, surely the aim of the club, for all of us, is to be successful, to win trophies, nothing else matters other than putting trophies in the cabinet so why do we not want to progress in competitions or qualify for others.  Like everybody else I would prefer us to qualify for the Champions League but if we fail I would rather be in the Europa Cup than nothing at all.  This season I was gutted when we failed to qualify for the later stage of the Champions League and i'm certainly jealous that we wont be playing in the big fixtures and earning the big money later in the season, but i am looking forward to playing Besiktas and hopefully progressing further in the competition why shouldn't we try to win it and the other domestic cups for that matter, i'm proud of our history and everything we have won and want more.
There are lots of reasons other than just the glory that we should want to progress in every competition.  Firstly the money, i know the big money is in the Champions League but there is revenue to be gained in every competition gate receipts, television money and prize money, sponsorship, more coverage means more endorsements and we need all the money we can get to invest in players everybody does so why not try to earn some perhaps it is just a drop in the ocean but every little helps and I don't thin we can turn it down.
Any extra fixtures during the season gives the manager the option to introduce some young players to the first team squad or team.  If players are to move through from the youth teams they need to be given a chance at some point, recently we have seen Stirling, Ibe, Flannagan, Rossiter, Williams, Sinclair all be given a chance to develop both themselves and raise their profiles and value if it wasn't for the cup competitions i'm certain they wouldn't be as far along in their development as they are now and would almost certainly have to be out loans to get any experience at all.
We have a first eleven at the club or perhaps fourteen or fifteen players that are regularly used by the manager there are plenty of others who need minutes on the pitch.  We all want and can see the benefits of a strong squad but its no good if the players in this squad never get on the pitch or have no experience of playing for Liverpool they need to be ready when they are needed, this season players like Can, Markovic, Moreno and Manquillo all new to Liverpool needed to be given time on the pitch and we are now getting the benefits of seeing these very young players settle in and starting to produce.  We also have older more experienced players such as Lambert, Balotelli, Enrique and Allen who all need minutes we can't just continuously leave them out doing nothing but training then expect them to produce when suddenly thrust into the team.  The cups are important to give people chances and experience.
Most important of all though is the glory, we have a huge history and the cups are a big part of that and to keep our status in the game we need to pick up trophies we need to have Wembley appearances, we need the big games that bring out the passion in the support, we need the cups and we are Liverpool we should be trying to win and compete in every game, in every competition and this year in particular Gerrard leading the team out at Wembley in his last game for the club and then holding up the FA Cup as his last action as our captain would be a fantastic moment in our history.


Thursday, 12 February 2015

Talking Rubbish

I have commented before about the issues I have with commentators and media forming incorrect opinions on players and then repeating these opinions over and over with others jumping on board until they become fact, the best or worst recent example is that Sakho cant pass everybody without exception on television was constantly telling us that Sakho cant pass and is a liability to the Liverpool team, to the point where our own fans started repeating this lie on Twitter and I actually believed it effected the player with his confidence levels dropping.  This has now been mostly corrected with many appreciating his ability and he is been classed as a ball playing defender, but we still have to listen to Michael Owen spouting the same old rubbish.  How can somebody be given a job as an expert when they are so often wrong?
This bad enough but we are now getting so many, in my opinion, daft comments made by so many people not only in the mainstream media and television commentators but also from our own fans via fanzines, podcasts and blogs that it is spoiling my enjoyment of articles and shows.
Some recent examples include television experts and commentators getting the wrong player, not just the pronunciation, the actual wrong player this happens every game when surely a major part of a commentators role is learning who the players are.  The so called experts on the television on all channels regularly are unable to tell what position on the field a player is playing or even the formation a team is using not just a little wrong or a small mistake but totally and obviously wrong.  Worse comes after the game when we here interviewers refusing to challenge managers and players on stupid comments, "you didn't see it, why the fuck not, you were three yards away and your the bloody coach, your paid to watch the bloody game" should be heard more often.
Over the years we have all grown used to lazy, repetitive, boring journalism from the mainstream especially the television they are to worried about loosing their privileged position rather than do their jobs but I didn't expect it from Liverpool fans.  I need to point out that everybody has an opinion and a right to voice it, this is not what i'm going on about its the contradictions and inaccuracies.  I recently heard the same person on a podcast say "Gerrard is vital to the team, he should be found a place" and then within 90 seconds "Gerrard is regularly off the pace, its time for him to be used from the bench as an impact sub".  When picking prospective teams i've heard on podcasts people name fourteen players as definite starters who we couldn't consider dropping and they haven't even included a keeper simply ridiculous this is not a difference of opinion its people being wrong we cant pick that many players so why say it.
We all have different opinions thats why i read and listen and i appreciate all the work that goes into producing podcasts and blogs but please don't just jump on bandwagons and please think before you speak we can only have eleven players on the pitch no matter how much we would want more.