Date: 30th October 2013 at 12:39am
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Liverpool put in arguably their best performance of the season so far against West Brom on Saturday. The game ended 4-1 in favour of the Reds with much of the teams success lying in the way the central midfield performed. Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson each had their best games in the red shirt this season.

Brendan Rodgers opted to go with Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson as the heart of the central midfield against West Brom and it worked like a charm. Victor Moses is the player who had to make way.

Speaking in the Liverpool Echo, Rodgers explains the success behind deploying these three midfielders:

“It’s something that I have always wanted to do. When you play that system (with three at the back and two strikers), that is how you have to do it.

“Lucas was out last week, and Joe Allen wasn’t fit enough to play that controller role, so we had to go with what we had.

“When you play two controllers and one in front of them, you don’t cover the pitch, you don’t fan out well enough, so when the ball gets switched, you’re open.

“If you look at the games we’ve played, we’ve had quite a few shots against us. But when you flip the triangle and play with the one controller, it pushes the other two midfielders up the pitch more, so they can press it better. Then when the ball does get switched, they’re in position to press again.

“It’s something I’ve always known, and always wanted to do, but I can only deal with the players I have available.“We’re getting better. We’ve got wins this year without playing fluently, but Saturday was probably as good as we have been.”

It is interesting to note what Rodgers has to say. It seems like for the first time we deployed this 1-2 midfield formation we actually played well. Why we have not used it more often is only something Rodgers can answer. There is no doubt that it worked very well against West Brom but the true test will most likely come on Saturday against Arsenal when we are up against a side with a very good midfield.

With Coutinho also set to return to the Liverpool side following his shoulder injury, Rodgers will have a selection headache as to whom he replaces between Gerrard, Lucas and Henderson. It seems like Lucas and Joe Allen are the two options for the ‘controller role’ as Rodgers calls it and Coutinho is not suited for that role at all. I can not see Gerrard being dropped by Rodgers any time soon so Henderson will most likely be the player to make way for Coutinho.

But for matches such as those against Arsenal on Saturday where the opposition has a strong midfield, it may be advisable to go in with a player like Henderson who will run, press, tackle and pass non stop for 90 minutes.


13 responses to “Rodgers explains how Liverpool’s central midfield should work”

  1. Jas says:

    Totally agree about picking Hendo on Saturday. Can’t see Coutinho starting anyway. Though I’m sure he will come on from the bench at some point. Can’t wait!!!

  2. frank says:

    I agree wif u bro

    • Michael ikechi... says:

      Up liverpool……..up Henderson….a.k.a…. Non stop marker……coutiho should be drop….henderson is the right man……all hail L.F.C…..long live Y.N.W.A..

  3. Eze says:

    Take it easy bro.coutinho cant be dropped cos he is our only creative midfielder.the kid is class,our little brazilian magician

  4. Ofem Johnson says:

    B.R. can not affort to drop Hendo. and Lucas for a game like Arsenal, he can only adopt a formation that will accomodat Vic.Moses.
    Jos Enrique will be needed to maintain possession for a star game like Arsenal.
    LFC win 2-1.

  5. coper coutinho says:

    rodger seems to be getting it right, playing freeflow football is what every fans cherish,so agains arsenal we need coutinho to keep possession,and henderson,lucas,gerrard are indispensable,i think rodger should revert is defense line up to four instead of three central back so as contain coutinho,with enrique and johnson at fullback,with skirtel and agger/ dat lucas can remain in his position while coutinho gerrard and henderson will be pressing forward behind sturridge and suarez 4-1-3-2 formation ynwa.arsenal 1-3 liverpool

    • victor says:

      well said coper coutinho.. yu are very correct!! i think that will be the best formation for this game

      • sean says:

        So I assume you want no width or to be left extremely vunrable at the back by pushing the wing backs forward and leaving no defense behind. Please against a team like aresanal we’ll get smacked in that formation. This is the the type of game that calls for a 4-2-3-1 Or 3-5-2 win defensively away from home and go for 1-0 and then counter attack. Much in the same vain as the start of the season.

  6. don says:

    i would opt us to play a 4-4-2 formation in a diamond formation in midfield. lucas as holding player , hendo and gerrard to press a bit higher up, and coutinho at the tip of the diamond . back four to be composed of enrique, sakho, toure and johnson.

  7. sam says:

    Well said I also thaught it would be a good idea but I am wary of coutinho playing the full 90 mins so he could come in at 45 mins

  8. hasan says:

    i could only see coutinho comin up from the bench to replace henderson.. his creativity could kill the game against arsenal when the player gets tired

  9. r says:

    I don’t care what Rodgers play. This is his biggest test for me. He has to get it right to a point in which were always strong in the game. To say i’m not worried is a lie. Still way way far from being consistent enough under his managing. Me i would go with Coutinho of course for he is one of our best players, and henderson, meaning 4 at the back. It work well for us against Arsenal in the last game when we were 2 up, but stupid mistakes crushed us from then on… He talks about progress. Progress is not conceding those stupid goals. If they win it has to be out of our grabs is what i mean. Big big test. If we win it can be key for the rest of the season confidence wise, hoping an ego trip won’t ruin it the week after, as we have seen already many times under young ahead of himself Rodgers management. Our standard shouldn’t be the PL current performances, it should be our on. Look at Bayren they could beat Man City who are title contenders 6-0. Just keep it together LFC, further we stay down tougher it becomes.

  10. Eze Sunday says:

    i also agreed wit u, i think Coutinho shld come from the bench bcoz he lack match fitnez, Hendo shld start!!