There has been a lot of talk about Liverpool’s current 3-5-2 formation. It has been working well in the last two games against Manchester United and the win over Sunderland. But still many fans believe that Liverpool should not stick to this formation and rather revert to just having four defenders at the back.
Brendan Rodgers was quizzed about this formation and asked if this is his preferred formation now. “It will depend on the players that are available,” Rodgers said.
“When we tried it last year, we looked at it in training and then played it in a couple of games. But you have to see it under pressure and have to see where you need to adapt things.
“The players have carried it out really well in the last couple of games. It can be a system that works for us; but what doesn’t change is our idea of the game, how we want to pass, how we want to be aggressive in our attack.
“It gives us numbers going forward, which is important. It’s another system that the players have shown we can play. With more play and more development, it’s one that we can flip to quite easily.
“It’s wherever you can get superiority in the game. If I look at Daniel and Luis Suarez, they are both nine-and-a-halves. They are not straight up and down strikers, they like to move and get in between.”
The system is clearly designed to accommodate the wealth of centre backs we currently have at the club. Currently Sakho, Skrtel and Toure fill the three centre back roles and Agger and Ilori are waiting in the wings to step in. Out of all those five, we have a fine group of players to pick from.
The second and main reason I think Rodgers is sticking with this formation is that he can play both Suarez and Sturridge in positions they enjoy. In a 4-3-3, Suarez would most likely be pulled out onto the left and he is not as effective there. The return of Coutinho will also suite him in the 3-5-2 because playing Coutinho out on the left is a waste of time, the Brazilian revels in playing in the middle and creating chances for the strikers.
In short, Rodgers should stick to this 3-5-2 formation as it suites the majority of our players well. The players suffering are the wide attacking men such as Sterling, Ibe and Moses as the formation relies on the wing backs for width. Moses has been slotted in as a temporary number 10 but that is not the position for him as he has struggled there.