8 Nov 2014

Confirmed LFC XI vs. CFC: BR dumps £52m trio & makes a mockery of Madrid strategy

[Scroll down for post-match discussion] So much for the merit system! As expected, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made seven changes to the team that lost 1-0 to Madrid, which makes a mockery of his post-game suggestion that the likes of Gerrard, Sterling and Coutinho were dropped due to ineffective performance in previous games. It's clear that Rodgers simply rested them for the Chelsea game, and that, irrespective of performance, the likes of Toure, Borini et al had no real chance of retaining their places.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Johnson, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Gerrard, Can, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli

SUBS: Jones, Toure, Lucas, Allen, Lallana, Borini, Lambert

CHELSEA: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Matic, Fabregas, Ramires, Oscar, Hazard, Costa

In his post-Madrid press conference, Rodgers claimed that the Madrid performance was 'excellent', and praised his team for showing 'courage', and 'defending well'. He added:

"We picked the team to try to get a result tonight. All those that weren't playing tonight, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll play against Chelsea. The changes were for a team that I thought would get us a performance and a result - we got a performance but unfortunately we didn't get the result."

Hmmm. If the performance was so admirable, then why has Rodgers dumped everyone except Emre Can? Kolo Toure arguably did enough to retain his place, but he has also ended up back on the bench.

This comes as absolutely no surprise, though, and I argued yesterday that this is the way things would play out. Rodgers' clearly doesn't have the courage of his (false) convictions, and he's done himself no favours with his disingenuous explanation for the Madrid changes.

Rodgers should've just been honest about his strategy: making the changes had absolutely nothing to do with sending a message to under-performing players; he simply rested the bulk of his first-team for the Chelsea game.

Alas, it looks like Rodgers will also stick with 4231 for this game, with Balotelli up-front on his own:

--------------- Mignolet

Johnson --- Skrtel -- Lovren ---- Moreno

------------- Can --- Gerrard

----- Hendo ----- Sterling ----- Coutinho

----------------- Balotelli

The likes of Borini, Toure, and Lucas can feel legitimately demotivated after being dumped on the bench. All three played well against Madrid, and arguably deserved to keep their places. Indeed, a couple of LFC legends have questioned Rodgers' selection. Reacting to the team, Ronnie Whelan tweeted:

"A little surprised by team. Let's see how the game starts"

Ray Clemence added:

"Predictable line up but slightly surprising in a couple of areas for me"

Whelan and Clemence are 'surprised' because - like many fans - they thought Rodgers was finally showing some balls against Madrid, and sending a message that constant underperformance will not be tolerated. Clearly, this is not actually the case.

I still can't see Liverpool getting a result. My prediction: 3-1 to Chelsea.

Author:



635 comments:

  1. I can't believe BR, he has lost it.

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  2. Very dissapointed.


    Why not reward those who played well? Bigger squad doesn't still mean you have to play every player in one game week...

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  3. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:12 pm, November 08, 2014

    So disspointed with line up
    its the same vs real home and newcastle
    so are we meant to expect different results


    balotelli,gerrard,johnson,skrtel ,coutinho
    shoudl not eb in line up




    lucas,borini,lallana,manquilloa nd toure should be




    RODGERS OUT!

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  4. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:13 pm, November 08, 2014

    If we dont win i would rather lose heavily
    anything to get rodgers close to that exit door
    he has lost it
    he keeps making same mistakes every week


    he odes not learn

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  5. Jaimie, can I just ask what it is about Rodgers that keeps your 100% faith in him? You're bagging him 90% of the time...

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  6. The result today will define BR's position at the club.

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  7. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:15 pm, November 08, 2014

    if thats the case the result should be negative
    cant believe he still stick attacking midfielders around balotelli
    when you need wingers liek lallana and markovic

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  8. Enemyofeverydisbeliever12:16 pm, November 08, 2014

    Man, just what does balotelli do to start every game, this is insane. Then you have kolo and borini who deserved 100% to start after madrid game. Johnson again.. I dont know but if we lose today which is highly possible, rodgers should leave. Its nonsense, he just cant stop picking the wrong team every single game. Looking at chelsea team.. Oh boy this gonna be tough, hopefully we get some luck!

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  9. Do people honestly think a different manager would turn us into world beaters?

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  10. this is what happens when you cant keep your personal and professional life separate

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  11. no guarantee but he will try something different..this is insanity

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  12. Enemyofeverydisbeliever12:19 pm, November 08, 2014

    I dont think he would, but at least he should be managing a lot better especially in defence, and pick the right team, the thing BR totally lost it.

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  13. Some of the decisions look a bit off on this. Should definitely have kept Toure in. He earned it. Manquillo can feel a bit unlucky also. He was always going to bring back Gerrard and that being so he couldn't play Lucas. It's beyond doubt now that Lucas and Gerrard can't play together. Borini ran around a lot but that's different to playing well. Don't think he looked like scoring once, for all that's said about him at least Balotelli he is there to miss them more often.

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  14. I haven't said I have '100% faith in him' for months.

    I still think he can turn things around, but I don't have 100% faith anymore. It's more like 65-70%

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  15. I just hope that LFC sack delusional Rodgers asap before he inflicts further damage to the club and the hopes of millions fans

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  16. Brendan Rodgers has got a team, that judged man for man against the other teams, is probably about a 6th/7th place team.


    We're 7th.

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  17. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:21 pm, November 08, 2014

    this team would ahve beat cheski:
    ......................................borini
    markovic.......................lallana..................sterling
    ...........................can...............lucas
    moreno...............lovren............toure,...........manquillo
    .....................................mignolet


    but rodgesr plays league 2 palyers liek balotelli

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  18. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:22 pm, November 08, 2014

    he bought the players
    he could have bought players like pelle,tadic ,erner valencia
    etc

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  19. Can was one of the few high points in the Madrid game, so I'm glad he starts. But Johnson? Where the hell is Manquillo? Injured?

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  20. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:24 pm, November 08, 2014

    rodgers gone by christmas don't worry
    as fsg proved with comoli they are ruthless
    tehy wont tolerate their investment being wasted

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  21. Markovic? Not even God could manage to turn him into a player.

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  22. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:25 pm, November 08, 2014

    you aint funny
    i notice you only turn up when liverpool lose or when you think they will lose

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  23. Ah, that makes things a lot more transparent then. I'm probably sitting around the same as you at the moment. I wanted to give him a chance to prove himself in the recent summer window, but so far, he's absolutely failed. Yeah, hindsight does help with players like Balotelli who were expected to rip and tear, but managers should be in positions where they know a lot better than fans...at least our scouts were sacked. We could use with Southampton's- in fact- their whole bloody football operations.

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  24. You're entitled to your opinion, but aren't you embarrassed to post nonsense like this? Hoping that LFC 'lose heavily'? The typical reaction of the knee-jerk generation of fans.

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  25. We need 2 players up front.... not just Mario.....

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  26. This is the manager who took the club to the brink of winning the league last year. It's amazing how short some people's memories are. Think he deserves/ has earned the time to get through this.

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  27. Rodgers OUT! - regardless of the result! (and likely it will be a defeat hope im wrong like).

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  28. Yes because too many "fans" think our average squad should be doing the league/champions league double. We simply do not have the players and unrealistic expectations only damage the club.

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  29. Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same things over and over expecting to get different results. This insistance with 1 up top may not only lose BR his job, but also put him in a mental institution it seems.

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  30. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:28 pm, November 08, 2014

    knee jerk?


    look this is the same team
    that got thrashed by newcastle
    bar can for allen




    it is the same mistakes over over again


    mistake lose repeat mistake lose repeat mistake lose repeat


    balotelli sterling and coutinho as a front three dont work


    does rodgers expect that suddenly his mistakes will work out
    im sorry but this is not knee jerk
    rodgers needs replacing preferably by conte


    a repected man in teh agme unlike rodgers that will sign us world class palyers unliek rodgers

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  31. If it bleeds we can kill it go reds 2-1 Liverpool

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  32. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:29 pm, November 08, 2014

    unrealistic expectations maybe


    but we have the right to expect a team where players play based on merit rather then favoritism

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  33. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:30 pm, November 08, 2014

    no LUIS SUAREZ took us to the brink of winning title

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  34. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:30 pm, November 08, 2014

    exactly rodgers is CRAZY

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  35. Wow. That really is some statement. Beggars belief really.

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  36. That is why i refuse to reply to his post from now on. Wind up merchant.

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  37. Yes, knee jerk. You are clearly young (you've admitted this), and have no concept of LFC's history or philosophy. If you did, you wouldn't constantly be calling for team to lose to achieve the result of getting rid of the manager. As I said - you're entitled to your opioin, but my view, it's embarrassing.

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  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:32 pm, November 08, 2014

    27 matches ?


    do you want to tolerate balotelli,gerrad,johnson for 27 more matches ?
    a front three of balotelli,sterling and coutinho for 27 more matches?

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  39. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:33 pm, November 08, 2014

    but imagine if roy got a draw vs blackburn at ewood park


    what would happen?

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  40. Fabregas should be our biggest concern. If we let him dictate then it it game over.

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  41. Nevergonnacrackthecode12:34 pm, November 08, 2014

    no you are just angry that
    i went against your ideology that suddenly pressing will get us winning again


    sorry if you feel i am winding you up
    but thats not my intention

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  42. People calling for BR's head before the game has even started! I thought I'd seen everything, well I guess not :)

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  43. Johnson like a love child. FSG thankfully will not be renewing his contract.

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  44. There's still a very small chance that we may play a 4-4-2 diamond with Balo & Sterling upfront. But I wouldn't count on it...

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  45. Daniel Sturridge confirms on @btsport that he will be fit for #LFC trip to Crystal Palace on Nov 23
    LFC Echo tweet: JamesPearceEcho

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  46. To say your logic is flawed would be to imply there was some logic in the 1st place. So I won't do that. I can see from the general tone of your posts you are beyond reasoned debate. Enjoy the game.

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  47. Lets hope their biggest concern is the scoreboard after 90 minutes mate.

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  48. Transfer policy has been poor. Results have been par for the players we have.

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  49. I think you would't disagree that we had a different team last year - SAS were firing ,terrorizing defenses and our opponents were playing rather poorly.

    Things have changed(opposition has strengthened itself) - he got 100 million and look what he has brought - a crop of average ,under-performing and untested players. Balotelli for Suarez !! what a joke
    Currently all his moves are tactically very poor.He can't do a mere team selection on the basis of merit(based on a player's current form).
    Being so stubborn and haughty to not even change the formation that is failing him game after game.
    Could't mend our defense even in 3 seasons(he has no excuse that he was short of funds to do defensive reinforcements).
    Rodgers is simply not manager to handle a top 4 club!!

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  50. I think I just gave up on him!!! I was supporting him against the likes of Steve Nicol and his regular brouhaha!!! If we loose he is defiantly one step out of the door.

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  51. I totally agree. Loosing Suarez was my biggest fear last season as I feared this would derail the entire team.
    Looks like my biggest fear turned real !

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  52. great start from Can

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  53. get in, park the bus

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  54. I didn't like the line-up, but 1-0! Emre Can! :D :D :D Go Reds!

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  55. No keep up this energy and pressing bang in a second.

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  56. another set piece goal for crying out loud

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  57. This back four is a freaking laughing stock. Rodgers needs to wake t F up.

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  58. Yeah Rodgers but not the players supposed to defend the ball.

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  59. Regardless of the result, it's so apparent from the marking at the corner from which Chelsea scored, that BR cannot organise a team defensively. We cannot cope with corners or free kicks near our goal. It's embarrassing.

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  60. Good finish from Balotelli, anyway. Unlucky.

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  61. Well that is what you get when you persist with player who are incapable? Manager needs to wake up.

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  62. Costa playing like a thug. This is where Skrtel and our midfield must step up physically and put morals to the side for a few minutes. Must assert yourself physically.

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  63. Fantastic from Coutinho

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  64. What I need to understand is who the f*** is instructing Balotelli to play as a defender. for the life of me I just around this cannot get my head


    We have done nothing else besides a deflected shot resulting in a goal.


    Piss poor football once again.

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  65. Our set pieces are poor compared to theirs

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  66. We need to start winning the first ball at corners.

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  67. Balotelli isolated up on his own as usual. Sick sick sick and f'n tired of this mish mash BS. Chelsea are just going with the flow.

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  68. Costa is owning Skrtel.

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  69. I like Can he's getting better But our defending is shocking

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  70. Playing from the back doesn't suit us! Mignolet is playing like his drunk!

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  71. STOP PASSING OUT OF THE BACK YOU ALWAYS F*** IT UP LIVERPOOL. ABOUT TEN TIMES ALREADY ITS BEEN GIFTED TO CHELSEA. YOU'RE F***ING PROFESSIONALS FFS

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  72. How? By playing dirty?

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  73. Costa is fouling Skrtel.

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  74. HENDERSON, GET IN THE BOX YOU CAT!

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  75. No just like all other physical forwards own Skrtel.

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  76. IT'S JUST SIMPLE, COMMON SENSE SHIT THAT THEY ALWAYS SCREW UP

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  77. Disagree! For now Skrtel looks up for the battle!

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  78. Where is Balotelli Rodgers? Are you f****** blind?

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  79. Lovren is playing for ski

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  80. Okay, this inability to play out of the back is embarrassing now.

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  81. They just bloody march down there when they please!!!!!

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  82. Crazy football! We're throwing possession away, as opposed to them breaking us down!

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  83. Our midfielders are reluctant to support the attack because they must compensate for Gerrard's lack of legs to be a good defensive midfielder. So Sterling and Balotelli are so isolated.

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  84. It's beyond appalling. Are they Liverpool or a Sunday League team? Where the hell is the ball security? The urgency?

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  85. Rodgers is making this team look like a circus.


    What is Balotelli's purpose on the pitch. So sick of this rubbish.

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  86. Emre Can- the Chelsea player has the ball on the edge of the box. Instead of trying to jockey him, he just snaps in for a hopeless challenge. It's these types of SIMPLE errors that just plague us. Every day.

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  87. Henderson's been unrecognisable lately, take him off and put Lallana in there.

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  88. What should Balotelli do?

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  89. Ask Rodgers. he is the one giving the instructions.

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  90. Cant get over Sterlings yellow card Loges esp with Costas little antics we started well but yeah Balotellis not being used right.

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  91. I'm surprised you haven't blamed Rodgers for Ebola yet

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  92. I am asking you because you are wondering about his role in the team. How should he play according to you? Almost entire first half was played at Liverpool's half.....you expect him to be what? superman?

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  93. Strerling is being wasted out wide. absolutely wasted.

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  94. Is this the game where kolo was supposed to start 200 percent or I am I confused

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  95. AKA Brendan Rodgers. Digging his grave even further.

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  96. Well same old with set pieces poor at taking them and poor at defending them.

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  97. Toure, Lucas, Borini....all three players are hungry and SHOULD STAY AT THE CLUB....but BR is daft. I have out of all excuses/justification for whatever BR does.

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  98. Lovren is making so many bad passes and Hendo has been poor

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  99. Most common of all the common sense. Toure deserved to play. Lovren is playing shite.
    Brendon has lost it

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  100. 20m for Lovren biggest joke in world

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  101. Very disappointed with this line-up. Clearly form has nothing to do with selection.

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  102. As usual you've got no answer when we ask you a simple question. Why complain in the first place then?

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  103. Mignolet is world class when it comes to short stopping but his distribution and authority during corners is absolutely pathetic.

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  104. Anyone happy with the football being displayed need to go for counselling.


    Blame the players all you like. The football that is being asked to play by Rodgers is a laughing stock.

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  105. Hazard walking past Gerrard as if he is not even there

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  106. For about five minutes there, I felt like I was watching the Three Stooges. Lucky it's not 3-1.

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  107. For god's sake, who cares? This pathetic whining about the team selection at Madrid is inane and meaningless. It's already justified by the performance of those players. Liverpool were woeful against Newcastle. Some players were dropped. The team played better. Now some players come back? So what? All that matters is what happens on the pitch and there no way that anyone can argue that putting more supposed first teamers out against Madrid would have gotten a better result. Liverpool put out a different team and exceeded expectations. That makes a joke of all of this ridiculous argument.

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  108. Nevergonnacrackthecode1:41 pm, November 08, 2014

    borini on for balotelli
    henderson off for lallana

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  109. BR I have lost words for you

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  110. Go read Vyas's post again. You do not understand.

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  111. Lallana should play instead of Henderson. Henderson is below par .He has got nothing to contribute. No technic, poor passing, and no b@lls to shoot .
    What the hell he is doing in the team??

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  112. Rodgers is asking his players to pass to the opposition yep surely

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  113. Yeah, I will blame the players. Rodgers doesn't have a jersey on, does he?

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  114. BR doesnt have a clue

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  115. no but he ask them to play this way, the players didn't decide the team selection or the formation.

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  116. What are you trying to say exactly?

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  117. Nope I think you are the one who hasn't understood, read it again properly.

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  118. he is saying BR is clueless

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  119. and his shite breed of players - Henderson,Allen,Johnson,Balotelli.
    Axe these players and we can easily get a draw out of every game

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  120. I am saying Rodgers is misusing Balotelli and Chirag Vyas has said the exact same thing.


    Good night.

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  121. ask nevergonnacrackthecode...he's got plenty to spare.

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  122. For goodness sake; please take a valium or something. The world is not falling apart.

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  123. Diego Costa should have been booked AT LEAST once. Hope he bites Lovren so Toure can come in.

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  124. So it's Rodgers fault that Lovren is getting held up by attackers? Or making poor passes? Or not winning headers? And it's Rodgers fault that the team doesn't win a header at a corner? How is it Rodgers' fault that Sterling tries to make killer passes through 4 defenders that goes nowhere? Or when Gerrard gives away the ball on the edge of the box?

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  125. He is saying no matter what the personnel support the team.

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  126. Really- axe Henderson.. One day his missing is the reason we lost the title and the next he should be axed. Fickle is the word.

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  127. Adam, it can be both. Let's not create false dichotomies just yet.

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  128. I'm saying there was nothing wrong with the team that played at Madrid.

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  129. Balotelli wasn't Rodgers choice. The only reason he persists in playing him up front on his own is so he can go back to J Henry and say "look, I told you he wouldn't work out - can I now have that Reus guy everyone keeps banging on about. " That aside, we can't defend. We couldn't defend last season either, we just had a pair of strikers and a fearless 19 year old destroying teams on a weekly basis to mask our deficiencies.
    I don't want to say Rodgers out but at what stage will he be able to construct a balanced team?
    We do not have poor players, quite the contrary. Can anyone name a defender who has played for us under BR who has looked class?
    Is it just coincidence that Cissokho was terrible for us but actually looks like a decent player again at Villa?
    He's a defender and that should be his FIRST thought. Under BR, the defenders do not think of defence first. That is the only reason he continues to persist with Glen Johnson, as he offers slightly more going forward than Manquillo but not a great deal more in defence.
    This is simply Rodgers' way and it will not be successful, so the question is how long do we give him to continue doing the same things over and over again?

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  130. So people who are criticizing team selection, do not support the team?

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  131. He didn't though. And I'd have sworn we're in the afternoon :)

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  132. it's Rodgers who put Lovren on the team, it's Rodgers who decided to put Sterling wide and Balo up-front on his won and it's Rodgers who put Gerrard deep, so indirectly yes it's his fault.

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  133. Ask Rodgers what his intention is for Balotelli. I would relly like to know as it seem he is selecting a player to just run around aimlessly.

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  134. Chelsea often comes stronger in second half and with this defending Lfc can barely survive this match

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  135. I totally agree.

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  136. What a stupid theory!! Balotelli may not be BR's first choice but he certainly wasn't bought despite BR's disagreement.

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  137. He did not?


    What should Balotelli do?



    Is that a question directed at me or Mr Rodgers?

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  138. We need to start dominating this midfielf. Swap Henderson for Lallana and Gerrard for Lucas.

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  139. So Rodgers is therefore the only person who feels Balotelli is a solo striker. In which case , he doesn't know what he is doing.

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  140. When will it be Rodgers' fault according to you?

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  141. Can't pass a ball for shit...

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  142. Good tackle and run by Sterling, but when did he forget how to cross?

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  143. That the Madrid game is basically irrelevant now

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  144. gotta be lallana for hendo

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  145. OH JUST F*** OFF JOHNSON!! THAT WAS THE MOST PATHETIC PIECE OF DEFENDING I'VE EVER SEEN!

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  146. Lucas for Hendo with Stevie in an attacking berth

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  147. was pretty terrible

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  148. Ridiculous wasn't it 😄

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  149. It is Rodgers who persists on playing Lovren when Toure is in better form and it is he who is in love with Gerrard.

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  150. Soon BR will be irrelevant.

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  151. So. Many. Errors.

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  152. Who do you think is to blame though?


    1. Manager/tactics/formation


    or


    2. Players

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  153. true But Skrtel didnt even try and cover.

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  154. F*** off Logan I don't really care

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  155. Glen Johnson is rubbish either way so does not matter

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  156. We are defending corners with 11 players, still can't defend effectively and it also kills our counter threat

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  157. wow Lovren just tried to win the ball by placing the opposition player goal side of him. did that really happen?

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  158. Another error by Lovren. It really is a circus. Sorry for the continuous negativity but jesus christ can you blame me?

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  159. Chelsea just having fun now. Rodgers, Rodgers, Rodgers...

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  160. well thats not fair

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  161. totally agree

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  162. STOP BEING OFFSIDE MARIO OH MY GOD!!!

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  163. Toure must replace Lovren. Much like Carra's last season when he came in for Skrtel, we need his experience and leadership which compensates for any lack of pace / finesse in his game.

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  164. Lovren. What an absolute f***ing sham he is at the moment. Bloody hell.

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  165. CAN, THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR BALL. This is a big difference between the sides. Chelsea are 100% into every challenge with conviction. We are not.

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  166. WTF is Balotelli still doing up on his own. I mean for heavens sake how many more times does Rodgers have to put us through this.


    What a joke.

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  167. team has no idea.

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  168. hmmmmmmmm

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  169. THAT WAS SO SOFT COUTINHO!!!!!!!!!

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  170. Hello MR Rodgers. Need some spectacles?

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  171. WE ARE SUCH A SOFT TEAM. REFLECTIVE OF A SOFT MANAGER!

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  172. Johnson had all day to cover but jogged. He watched all of it happen

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  173. taiiiiiii

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  174. LOVREN- PISS OFF
    SKRTEL- PISS OFF
    JOHNSON- PISS OFF
    BRENDAN- YOU'RE ON REAAAAAALLY THIN ICE.

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  175. We dont cover each other. Its every man for themselves out there.

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  176. Joe Allen waiting to come on hahahahahahahahahahaha

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  177. WHAT'S JOE ALLEN GONNA DO BRENDAN!? HE DOESN'T KNOW WHAT WAY 'FORWARD' IS!

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  178. It's tru not a team at all

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  179. Never going to get dropped
    Never going to get dropped
    Never going to get dropped
    Never going to change

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  180. Hhhahahaaahahahahaaaa

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  181. BR PISS OFF YOU WAN@R

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  182. Nevergonnacrackthecode2:12 pm, November 08, 2014

    allen?
    when you ahve lallana on the benchj

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  183. Our two most viable threats off. Typical.

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  184. BR'S MENTALITY- PLAY FOR A 2-1 LOSS.

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  185. I think Allen is the Rodger's love of life

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