Every once in a while Brendan Rodgers makes such a huge tactical blunder you can’t help but wonder if this Liverpool gig is a bit too much for him. Luis Suarez is talented, but even he can’t do it on his own against three central defenders.
Liverpool lost 3-1 to Hull City, conceding three goals that could have been avoided – two of them bounced off the leg or the head of a defender, while the third (the second chronologically) was a case of defending so poor you can’t actually give credit to the attacking team.
The news of Daniel Sturridge picking up an injury that will leave him off the pitch for the next six to eight weeks should have meant a chance for Iago Aspas to return, but Rodgers preferred using Victor Moses as a supporting striker, along with Raheem Sterling in a rare start. The result? Disaster.
It was a reminder of how bad Liverpool looked last season, as the midfield trio of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Lucas rarely provided any support to the front trio, which looked disjointed and unprepared for the formation they were in. As if Rodgers made the decision to start them only a minute or two before the opening whistle.
Philippe Coutinho? He only came on in the second half? Mamadou Sakho? Daniel Agger? The two best centre backs Liverpool have are sitting on the bench while Martin Skrtel, a player who should have been sold two summers ago, continues to make big mistake after big mistake, costing the team crucial points over the last couple of weeks. Glen Johnson hasn’t really made an impression that experience is making him any better or wiser with his decisions.
The decision to add more players to the midfield while Hull City were leaving no one there after their second goal is also beyond understanding. As if Rodgers thinks that possession is the problem, instead of adding targets other than Luis Suarez for Gerrard, Henderson and later Coutinho to pick from.
The title race isn’t over, although 7 points is getting difficult. As good as Sturridge is, his injury shouldn’t be the cause of this kind of identity crisis for the team, who might have the best player in the Premier League, but they also need their manager to keep up with him and stop putting on formations that make it impossible to win.