Why Brendan Rodgers must bear part of blame for the loss to Oldham !!
When BR was appointed as the Liverpool manager in July 2012, one of the first things that I expected was that there would be ample squad rotation.
As much as it pains me to say, Kenny Dalglish failed to utilize the entire squad and put the responsibility almost entirely on the 1st team members. Although it is expected that this set of players (1st team members) are the ones who will ultimately decide where a team finishes, its paramount that the fringe players do get a chance every now and then.
Brendan Rodgers has done a remarkable job in promoting and then extracting the best out of young talents like Raheem Sterling, Suso and Andre Wisdom. And these kids have not let the boss down, on most occasions that is.
The problem lies with he defense. Even though we managed to score a meager 47 goals last term, we still ended up with a goal difference of +7, thanks in no small part to the sensational center back pairing of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger.
Only the 2 Manchester clubs managed to concede fewer goals last season. Everton too were level with us in this department.
So it was almost a given that we could expect a similarly stellar defensive display this season as well. How wrong have we been. We have leaked 28 goals already this season.
Sebastien Coates was brought to Anfield after a breakthrough Copa America tournament. He did have limited opportunities in the 1st season but this season, its almost as if he doesn’t exist.
Its unfair for anyone to expect Coates to not be rusty considering the game time (or lack of it) that he has had. As it turns out, it was the case when we visited Oldham this Sunday for the FA Cup the round clash.
At 6’6″,one doesn’t expect a man mountain like him to be out-muscled. This is something for which Coates himself is to be blamed. His rustiness however, is a whole different matter altogether.
However talented or experienced a player may be, without enough game time, he/she is bound to be rusty. This is where Brendan Rodgers must also bear some responsibility.
A viable solution to keep this problem from recurring, is to keep the squad rotating. He must stick with the trusted players for the big games, but for the games against ‘weaker’ opposition, the squad can be tweaked.
This way, the squad stays fresh and who knows, the manager may unearth another gem.
If Coates does indeed have a future, I say if because up until now, even Rodgers doesn’t seem to be sure if this is the case, then he deserves more playing time. That’s the only way he can have any sort of a contribution.
Else, the only viable solution is to send him out on loan.
Martin Skrtel, voted fans’ player of the season for 2011-12, has been experiencing a somewhat expected dip in form. Expected because, fatigue takes its toll on even the strongest of people.
This would be the right time to give Coates & Carragher more games, both in the league and in Europe.
But …. Brendan Rodgers is the man in-charge and I am sure he is totally aware of what he is doing.
Onwards and Upwards !!