Liverpool’s vice-captain Daniel Agger continues to find himself on the substitutes bench even though he is fully fit. Brendan Rodgers has been opting to start with Sakho, Skrtel and Toure as the three central defenders in the 3-5-2 formation.
To be fair, neither of Sakho, Skrtel or Toure have done too much wrong to warrant being dropped for Agger but the defence continues to concede goals and now Rodgers needs to figure out if the problem lies in the system or with the individuals in it.
Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has told the Liverpool Echo that Agger must return to the Liverpool side somehow. Aldridge said:
I think the time has come for Daniel Agger to return to the Liverpool side for Saturday’s game with Fulham at Anfield.
Agger is too good a player to be out of the team for too long and after a defeat like Saturday I expect to see him back in the starting line up.
We haven’t been defending particularly badly but we haven’t been keeping clean sheets.
Agger has been at the club a long time and is a real stalwart. The vice-captain has been patiently waiting for his chance over the past month and deserves a recall.
Agger is so comfortable bringing the ball out from the back, he reads the game well and also provides a goal threat.
Once again on Saturday we were undone by another long range strike.
I know it was a wonderful goal from Aaron Ramsey and it sounds hyper-critical but you can’t afford to back off players of that calibre.
We didn’t close him down quickly enough and that’s cost us a few times already this season.
Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho haven’t done much wrong and I’m not sure which one will make way, but I just think the backline will be stronger with Agger in it.
The first thing Rodgers has to decide is if he is sticking with the 3-5-2 formation. Since it is Fulham at home on Saturday, I would expect him to continue playing 3-5-2, although against the bigger teams he may have to look at playing 4-3-3 so that we keep some control of the midfield.
If Agger is to come back into the side against Fulham then it will most likely be Mamadou Sakho who steps out. Sakho has not done anything wrong and was actually one of Liverpool’s best players against Arsenal. The only logical reasoning for replacing Agger with Sakho would be that both of them are left footed centre backs so Agger would be more comfortable slotting into the left side of the back three. Agger could also replace Skrtel and take over the central role of the back three although I have fears of that because Agger is not the best physical defender out there and could be deemed a soft spot in the heart of the defence.
Rodgers has a real selection dilemma if he feels he wants to introduce Agger. Whoever falls out for him will be very unlucky in my opinion but I guess it is only fair to see if the defence would actually be better with Agger in it.