Liverpool went down to an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Hull on Sunday. If Liverpool are to finish in the top four, these are the kind of games Brendan Rodgers’ men have to be winning.
The squad has been rocked by late injuries which never helps a team in preparation for the game. Daniel Sturridge has now been ruled out for 8 weeks and judging from the display today, he is going to be missed. Philippe Coutinho only managed to start on the bench for this one following an ankle knock picked up during the week.
Brendan Rodgers has to shoulder a lot of blame for the result today. Firstly he dropped Daniel Agger for Kolo Toure which meant that Martin Skrtel had to shuffle across to play on the left side of the back two when he has been playing regularly on the right. This change would obviously have an impact on Skrtel’s game. Why did Rodgers not just pick Sakho in place of Agger as Sakho would have just slotted in on the left and we keep Skrtel on the right. We know we need to rotate players but wise rotation is needed.
Secondly, yes, injuries forced Rodgers to go with Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling out wide to support Suarez, but these two looked lost and I believe it is because they did not know exactly what they were meant to be doing i.e. no clear instructions from Rodgers. Granted that Moses and Sterling as players had shocking games but Rodgers has to be questioned whether it was right to start them and if they were tactically aware of what they were meant to be doing.
When the game was locked at 1-1 in the second half before Hull scored to make it 2-1, Liverpool were on the front foot and at that stage Rodgers should have made the change earlier to bring Coutinho on. We do not know the fully extent of the Brazilian’s injury but an earlier introduction could have helped us go and grab that killer second.
Having seen that Victor Moses was having a poor game, Rodgers should have reacted earlier to take him off and bring on Luis Alberto.
Sitting at 1-1, this is a game we must have pushed on to try get a win and not just sit and hope something comes up. Rodgers was too slow in making tactically substitutions to help us grab the win.
All in all, a bad day at the office and we need to bounce back in a big way against Norwich at Anfield. All hope is not lost for a top four finish but we need to be beating these smaller teams.