Recent weeks have shown us that the youth players coming through the ranks at Liverpool are superb. The club has played some of the best football in the country but this football has appeared inconsistently. The home defeat in the League Cup to Swansea City shows there are still major problems at Liverpool as they strive for a bit of form in the league and also in external cup competitions.
The confusion sets in a little bit because Rodgers has previously praised the young and inexperienced players for producing this high standard of football. Now here we are after the club were unable to defend their League Cup trophy and he is blaming the squad for being thin which seems a little contradictory. There were only one or two names in the match day squad that hadn’t seen regular first team action.
“We have a very, very small squad. A very thin squad. With three competitions, I have rotated, looked at young players and looked at fringe players. That was a lesson for me in terms of where we are at,” said Rodgers after the defeat as on the BBC sport website.
This is not to take anything away from Swansea City who arguably have an even smaller squad of players to choose from than Liverpool. Swansea fans would have been unsure over how the club would cope without Rodgers in charge but Michael Laudrup has shown that he can get the side playing efficient football although inconsistently.
One area where Rodgers does have a point is that the size of Liverpool’s squad and the nature of it means he has to continuously play the same big players for big games and bring them off of the bench when he would probably rather not have them in the squad altogether. This does have a knock on effect in terms of fatigue and means that Liverpool will suffer for it in the second half of the season unless Rodgers is allowed to bring in some high quality personnel this January.
“I have given players the opportunity to come in and shine and that is all you can do as a coach and a manager. It then becomes quite easy for me, but the problem is then that your squad is even thinner. I can't keep playing Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez is our only striker,” added Rodgers.
January is going to be a big month for the club because it’s clear they need bodies in all areas of their side. Rodgers has so far resisted the chance to do a u-turn and recall Andy Carroll from his loan at West Ham United which would add much needed size and power to the Liverpool attack. He needs to bring in maybe four or five players this January so it’s down to the owner to give him the cash.
image: © Bernard C