During his pre-Southampton press conference yesterday, Rodgers revealed the true extend of Allen's injury. He told reporters:
"If you touched it [Allen's injury] with your thumb you would have broken the shoulder, so that just shows you how flimsy it was and also how much pain he was in for a period of time"
Liverpool FC has world-class doctors on its staff, so it's likely Rodgers already knew the extend of Allen's injury prior to the surgery. How else would they know that he needed surgery in the first place?
The point here is *why* would Rodgers start Allen ahead of Lucas and a fully-fit Henderson against Southampton? Where was the pressing need to play him? It makes no sense whatsoever, and that decision clearly contributed to the Reds' downfall on the day.
Allen had an atrocious game, possibly his worst in a red shirt. He was alarmingly off the pace; constantly gave the ball away, and barely protected the back four. Rodgers obviously realised his mistake because he yanked the midfielder off at half time and replaced him with Lucas.
In what universe is it a good idea to play someone who is a 'thumb away' from a broken shoulder ahead of quality, fully-fit alternatives? Can someone explain it to me because I just don't get it. When a player has such a 'flimsy' shoulder, he won't be 100% committed to the physical side of the game for fear of making the injury worse, and this showed during the match.
Rodgers must surely have known this, and I can't imagine the club's medical staff were too thrilled with Allen playing. For me, it's a prime example of prioritising the individual over the team, and Rodgers' catastrophic decision failed miserably, and quite possibly cost the club its final chance of making the Champions League places.
That may sound like an exaggeration, but if Liverpool had won the game, the club would only be six points off fourth place right now, which is infinitely more surmountable than the current nine-point gap.
All managers make mistakes, and that's fine, but mistakes like this go further than common issues like carelessness, a lack of foresight, or failed gambles. This is, IMO, managerial negligence of the highest order, and it may just turn out to be the straw that broke the camel's back.
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