Following Liverpool’s last two games which we have both lost and conceded from corners in both games, Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he will not be afraid to drop players who slack in defence.
“To concede two goals like that in the past two games was bitterly disappointing and it cost us,” Rodgers told the Liverpool Echo.
“It’s the one moment in the game where the ball is static. It’s you as an individual against another opponent.
“I felt coming in last year that we conceded some goals man-to-man so we went to zonal defending. But I prefer giving players responsibility so that everyone knows who they mark. Now it’s purely man to man.
“There are no grey areas with it. Everyone knows their job to do from corners. If you don’t do it then ultimately you suffer because you don’t play.
“We have been let down by us not doing our job in what is arguably the easiest part of the game.
“Sometimes when the ball is moving it can be difficult as you can lose track of your man when you are watching the ball. That sometimes happens, but when the ball is static you know where your opponent is.
“It’s not tactical or physical, it’s all about concentration – that is the biggest thing.
“That is one area of the game we have to be better at. It’s something we will address and improve upon.
“That one moment in the game at Old Trafford was the only negative but it cost us the tie.”
Jose Enrique is the player who went to sleep against Manchester United in the League Cup defeat and let Chicharito score the only goal of the match. You would expect better from Enrique who has been solid in defence thus far this season.
One player though who seems to have been struggling with marking this season from set pieces is Daniel Agger. The Danish centre back is costing us in defence as his opponents are easily getting away from him at set plays. Now that he is injured, we have seen Skrtel and Sakho coming in and those two seem to be much more solid. One flaw though so far with Sakho is that he is going to ground too often and early when he is making his tackles. I guess he just needs a bit more games to get used to the pace of the English game and to realise that you do not have to go to ground all the time when tackling.
Martin Skrtel has been outstanding thus far this term and it is funny to think that we almost sold him to Napoli in the summer. Skrtel may still leave the club following the arrivals of Toure, Sakho and Illori but it would be a bad sale in my opinion to let him go as he is still quality and is proving to be our best centre back right now.
As for Enrique, he is fortunate right now that Cissokho is injured so he has no one really pushing him at the left back position. But when Cissokho is back and fit again, I am pretty sure Enrique will not be a guaranteed starter all the time.
With all the options we have in central defence right now, it is easy to see why Rodgers has come out and said that he will drop those who slack. All the players have to be kept on their toes as they know there is an equally good player on the bench waiting to step in for them. I just wish we had the same amount of competition in our central midfield areas to give Lucas, Gerrard and Henderson a run for their money.