4 Nov 2014

Confirmed LFC XI vs. Madrid: Big shock as BR drops 6 players worth £100m. Disgrace?

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has selected a disgracefully weakened team for tonight's Champions League clash with Real Madrid, and in the process, he's handed Los Blancos a psychological boost, and conceded defeat before a ball is even kicked.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Manquillo, Škrtel, Kolo Touré, Moreno, Allen, Lucas, Can, Lallana, Marković, Borini.

SUBS: Jones, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli.

MADRID: Casillas, Varane, Ramos, Arbeloa, Marcelo, Kroos, Modric, Isco, James, Benzema and Ronaldo.

Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, AND Balotelli on the bench, and Lovren not even in the squad? I'm sorry, but this is an absolute disgrace, bordering on cowardice. Rodgers has basically given-up, and meekly surrendered the game to Real Madrid, which is (IMO) totally unacceptable.

As for the argument that players are being 'rested' - it's nonsense (IMO). Why not rest Gerrard, Balotelli et al in previous games? Why not manage them more effectively prior to this game? Why wait till one of the biggest and most anticipated games in years to throw in the towel? In this case, 'resting players' = loser mentality, and it sends the wrong message to the players, and the fans.

Additionally, how is a thumping defeat to Madrid ideal preparation for an important Premier League game with Chelsea? The Reds need to go into that game on the back of a good performance, not a humiliating thrashing. Yes, it's possible that this weakened team may get a result, but with practically zero European experience on the field, it's clearly a long-shot.

Some may argue that this game doesn't matter, but of course it matters! The club has been fighting for years to get back into the Champions League, and when it finally happens, the manager buckles under the pressure and fields a weakened team against the reigning European Champions (!)

As I said, it's a disgrace. Rest one or two players, perhaps, but SIX first-teamers? This is a grave misjudgement, especially since Madrid have named their strongest team (bar Bale), and if Liverpool get hammered, then Rodgers deserves all the criticism inevitably coming his way.

There's also something else to consider: if (hypothetically) this team surprises everyone and beats Madrid, will Rodgers reward the players and keep the same team for Chelsea? Of course not, he'll dump them all and bring back Gerrard, Coutinho et al, which will be demotivating for the players involved in tonight's game.

Of course, if LFC get a result tonight, and then beat Chelsea, Rodgers will be hailed as a managerial genius...

Author:



213 comments:

  1. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:09 pm, November 04, 2014

    Rodgers obviosuly sees the league and carling cup as more important
    so it is not a disgrace
    IMO the basel defeat was most the most defining game and rodgers rightly has given up




    this is the chance for new players to show what they are about

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  2. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:11 pm, November 04, 2014

    Look Jaimie
    we would have lost here no matter what team we play
    it is impossible to stop this team


    but chelsea at anfield is a different story we can get points in that game
    this is similar to what mourinho done vs us
    but obviously we wont get anything from it


    good man management first time i am satisfied with a line up since everton match


    markvic,lallana and can
    in teh same team is an exciting prospect

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  3. Enemyofeverydisbeliever7:11 pm, November 04, 2014

    Ouch, that will hurt. This team cant beat a conference team, now will face the best real madrid team? Speechless. 13-0. Im feeling terribley embarrassed already. What a night ahead, oh boy.

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  4. Rodgers has been digging his grave from the word go this season.


    I was not expecting us to win no matter who Rodgers puts out. We are most likely going to get throttled.

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  5. The idea that LFC would've lost no matter what the team is defeatist nonsense. It's Real Madrid _ you play your strongest team and go for the throat. You put up the strongest possible fight in a bid to preserve self-respect, and the reputation of the club.

    You don't surrender before a ball is even kicked and invite an embarrassing thrashing. That is the height of football-related cowardice (IMO).

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  6. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:19 pm, November 04, 2014

    look football is not about being moral but practical
    if it is seen as defeatist so be it
    but we need to get something out of chelsea and by resting our better players we increase the chances of doing so

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  7. Well Rodgers has shown how stubborn he can be this season.

    Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.



    Last season vs this season.


    Good times vs WTF.

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  8. I don't care what team goes out there tonight, they're all highly paid professionals. What I do want to see is a performance that is at the very least full of passion, effort and concentration.

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  9. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:20 pm, November 04, 2014

    also i dont understand theory of weakened team


    they all are here because liverpool know their good players
    they get paid to play football by the club so
    how is it a weakened team?

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  10. How is this team any better or worse than any other team we've fielded this season? Balotelli, Gerrard, Sterling, Henderson and Coutinho haven't exactly done much to make me feel as though the team would play any better or worse if they were included.

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  11. Thats not how BR should approach it, chances are that basel will get beaten by RM in the future. Even if we don't get results here and end up winning our remaining games we should go through.

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  12. But it is defeatist. We haven't played the game yet, so how do you know we'll lose. There have been stranger things than an LFC upset vs Real... We have a good chance if we can get on the score sheet. I mean, the reverse fixture wasn't even that bad, mostly individual errors. They were a class above us, but how often does that go out the window?

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  13. This...is a good idea :D

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  14. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:28 pm, November 04, 2014

    exactly
    borini>balotelli
    lallana>coutinho
    can>henderson
    lucas>gerrard


    only sterling is not upgarded upon

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  15. Disgrace. Im not going to waste any more words on that man. Time himself and his golddigger move for pastures new

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  16. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:29 pm, November 04, 2014

    what has rodgers private life got to do with anything ?


    why are you bringing his girlfriend into your agenda vs rodgers

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  17. Of course we can get points against Ski but we won't

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  18. Rodgers is responding to what Sam Allardyce said.

    http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/sep/21/liverpool-west-ham-brendan-rodgers-premier-league

    The biggest worry for Rodgers with regard to juggling domestic and European commitments is that West Ham saw them coming.

    “We did a high press based on knowing Liverpool had been in the
    Champions League and it was such a big game for them, emotionally and physically,” said their manager, Sam Allardyce. “Most of the team that played in that game played here so we thought they would want to control the tempo, get it slow to begin with and feel their way into the game.

    “Maybe they were a little jaded and when you get into the game as quick as we did it clearly caught them by surprise.”

    Madrid kicked our butt good and proper in the last game whilst we were close to what BR considered full strength. We did nothing in the last prem game at Newcastle to suggest we were going to come close to even drawing with Real so why not use the expensively assembled squad (we might actually learn something to take away with us). No shame in it, in fact it is the one piece of common sense BR has
    demonstrated all season.


    When a team hits rock bottom and drifts to the lowest depths the wisest amongst them make sure to collect the pearls that lie at the bottom of the ocean. I'm hoping on a few gems tonight.

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  19. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:30 pm, November 04, 2014

    btw i want him sacked as well
    but he has made right decision here

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  20. AGAIN ONE STRIKER....BRRRRR

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  21. Everything what Jamie said times 10.Weak as water...... Afraid Can might get red card for lunging at some Real players.....

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  22. Absolute disgrace - As a Rodgers fan I was embarrassed to be reading an article about possible future managers yesterday, but now I've had enough. What ever happened to "believe"? I'm disgusted.

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  23. I think it's a very sensible team selection, very defensive and the outside chance of getting a point. The Champions League is a bonus this season, finishing top four is the most important to carry on the stability and steady progress. If the first 11 was on a high and a winning streak then it would be a surprise team selection but right now it's sensible and maybe it will give a few players the shove they need to ensure we get 3 points against Chelsea.

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  24. Nevergonnacrackthecode7:33 pm, November 04, 2014

    is this the most expensive lfc side ever?

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  25. The team that is out there is still Liverpool. I actually believe it has a better chemistry to it. movement pace and flair PLUS Toure is playing to talk at the back. I'm more hopeful than if the bench were playing to b be honest

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  26. It's like exchanging shirts at half time, BR did you give up?

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  27. He's thrown the towel in - that isn't the Liverpool way. He will now be under massive pressure to deliver against Chelsea on Saturday. I don't think he's realised how much pressure this decision will put him under

    I hope you're right mate

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  28. It goes to a man's character

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  29. Paul Scholes made a good point. If you really wanted to rest players, you could have done it against Newcastle and Hull. I think Rodgers is relying in some mystic element of surprise to bamboozle the Madrid team. Seeing the highlights os Madrid dismantling the Basel team we lost to, I am really worried.

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  30. Wrong if you do wrong if you don't.

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  31. I take you're point but we did prove at West Ham we cant play two strong sides in the same week with the same side. Its one of them :) but it's quite exciting because I honestly don't think BR's 'best team' is necessarily his 'best team'

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  32. I agree with you about the pressure BTW. Its a big call buts its about time he made one.

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  33. Well I get the pragmatism, but so many changes... Think you're right with the best team comment. Time for me to stop moaning and get behind the boys 😄

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  34. Is this the first time Skrtel is captaining us?

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  35. LETS DO THISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS! :)

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  36. It's the first time he is wearing the armband. I think 'captaining' has certain conditions attached to it :)

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  37. Fuming! What is he thinking? We showed way too much respect at home and are literally bowing down to them today. Socking.

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  38. I think its a gamble, but if this team can somehow keep RM at bay, then throw in the match winners, you never know.

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  39. at least with the midfield hes picked the back 4 will get some protection rather than have mr hollywood just strollling about in front of them

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  40. Not doing himself any favours to potential suitors in Spain

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  41. Borini is making them turn which is good. The energy looks good too

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  42. Sell all the subs in January!!!!

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  43. well fair play to the true red fans singing "brendan rogers" high up in the stands....not exactly singing his name here

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  44. It's all about chemistry not stats. Certain players kill our chemistry. I'm hoping we keep Skrtel away from the Christmas tree and everything will be coolio

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  45. and they call sako honest a god skirtal and lovren are utter garbage im just glad lovrens not playing

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  46. Borini working the line nicely

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  47. Lucas' passing looking crisp. hmmmmm

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  48. Mignolet caught a ball WOW

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  49. Toure was OUTSTANDING there. Great defending

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  50. We have created some good openings.. Coutinho playing would have helped us

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  51. I've written Coutinho off as a super sub

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  52. We are displaying more confidence than we have done all season because we have no billy big bollocks out on the pitch. Again OUTSTANDING BY TOURE

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  53. I have to say, Can has done really well so far

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  54. Darn. Benzema.


    Minus the defensive goofs, we've been good so far.


    Much, much, much better than at Newcastle.

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  55. ah bo***x we didnt deserve that

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  56. well done Borini

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  57. Corner flag was waiting.

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  58. this is officially the last nail on the coffin. LFC is pathetic at best this season........ Its like watching a 15 yo virgin being raped in the middle of a cheerful crown in a back alley.

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  59. Borini is everywhere! Here is a guy playing with passion.

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  60. even though we are getting beat we look more like a team , the alleged leadership of lovren and gerrard is non existent

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  61. Skrtel ball watching should have been on the cover

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  62. Toure is defending the center all by himself :) Lion

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  63. when sako is fit id like to see kolo and sako given a go in the middle .....much is said about how tough skirtal and lovren are but when ive never seen it they look like a pair of nervous school kids

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  64. Toure and another for me too

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  65. Ronaldo is desperate to break the record. Could work out well for us

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  66. Beating Madrid with any squad assembled by Brendan Rodgers is "Mission impossible" and unfortunately this message won't self destruct in 5 minutes. It will exist in social media for years and years and years to remind fans how far our great club has fallen. Many clubs dream of playing against the Madrid giants or other such clubs of that caliber, when we get to do so we the fans have to learn that our best players are going to be benched because the manager forgot to sign marquee talent in the summer time. instead he went the cheap way and signed a bunch of useless cunts who play like they belong in a Sunday league team instead of a Liverpool team that won the damn competition 5 times in the past.


    If you asked me I would rather prefer our Liverpool as a team with a small squad of highly talented individuals as opposed to a large squad of average nobodies which we currently have. New players need time to adjust to the English game on the Liverpool team while in Southampton (the team we raided in the summer), and West Ham United their new signings are finding the back of the net on a regular basis.


    Watching the return leg against Madrid which is going on now would be a waste of time I knew the outcome of the match once i saw Rodgers starting line up. I think I will get my comedy somewhere else today.

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  67. It's actually refreshing seeing different players starting. Markovic not doing much at the moment

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  68. warrior 1st half.

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  69. Sterling for Markovic

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  70. if lovren is worth 20mil then Toure is worth 40

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  71. Very good performance so far, hold them out for another 20 mins, and who knows.

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  72. I actually enjoyed the first half. Toure, Borini, Can and Lucas have been brilliant. Bring on Coutinho and Sterling and dare I say it, go for it.

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  73. take them all off and keep them for the chelski game, at least there is a bit of will and passion being shown

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  74. I have to admit I did too despite my pre match moaning. I agree with your subs. A few times we've been completely unmarked at the far post but not Ben able to play them in

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  75. I was Thinking exactly the same thing :)

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  76. If we can be as solid as Steve Mcmanamans hair we have a great chance. No wind can blow thy moused hair

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  77. exactly.....most of our players lack the passion

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  78. 45 minutes gone and not a shot on goal...

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  79. Not bad for 1st half, come on lad. Marcovik havent got pace, not worth 20m. Without our captain the game is alive, Overall isn't bad.

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  80. Does Scholes need the loo?

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  81. Only 1 goal conceded though. I thought I before the game it could have been five in the first half itself.

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  82. Jamie eat your words this team is doing better!!! We should've had coutinho instead of Allen as usual Jamie pessimistic fan not a optimistic

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  83. You have got to be kidding me

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  84. tonight is a prime example of stats v chemistry. Opta you can keep you're stats

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  85. Scholes spent 20 years refusing to talk to the press........and now we know why.

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  86. If sterling comes on he should play up top with Borini moving to the right in place of Markovic

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  87. markovic is absolute shite

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  88. The weight of the shirt is definitely stifling him...yes

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  89. Finally, some positive play from lazar

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  90. theres a 12th player on the pitch.. whered he come from

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  91. Just made a great run,

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  92. its Markovic. Welcome to the game son :)

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  93. oooooooooooooh close

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  94. Kolo is the man. If HE is dropped for saturday it's suicide

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  95. kolo toure has been brilliant so far

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  96. never a free kick

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  97. I think my mom loves me

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  98. the main man is on the pitch

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  99. Apart from Amoeba Arbeloa and Vamos Ramos Madrid have been pretty clean in their challenges-- Ski on the other hand

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  100. KOLO......... who else?

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  101. all day long

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  102. we wud hav been in top 3 or 4 with thjs lineup if we had played in the league

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  103. Big change from reserve team is it not..

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  104. Moreno switches off. Watch KOLO berate him! Love Kolo

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  105. I think Liverpool fans have thrown the towel, I love and support any Liverpool team, but plastic fans like only superstars and support the team only in the good and easy times. It is sad to see Liverpool fans to hate own players and manager, it´s not the Liverpool way all these comments that i read today on every site, it is the fans that do not believe in team and not the manager and the players.

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  106. Lucas off.......... CRAZY!

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  107. So their number 10 can ghost in unmarked. So we no longer press the ball. So we are tactically unaware in front of the defense.

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  108. If gerrard had to come on, should have been for Allen who still played well.

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  109. Did that free kick turn into a hallucinogenic and make Mignolet believe it was an atom bomb

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  110. He shouldnt have come on. Now we will find ourselves defending because SG doesnt know hoe to dictate the play in big games

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  111. I think you should look at the hundreds of times he has dictated big games.

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  112. like I said. Scores goals, gets assists but is tactically too weak to dictate the play consistently .... and I'll stand by that.

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  113. maybe they play on Saturday??? :) Hope so

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  114. Crazy does it all the time .. will cost us in future and before goal kicked out straight to RM

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  115. Sterling's hair- come on- MC Hammer

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  116. Where is Toure going hahahaha

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  117. Today maybe a turning point. If we have a squad use it. Not one player in our side deserves to be our out and out 1st choice on this years form. KOLO should play every week

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  118. And you have every right to do so :)

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  119. One thing is sure. These are not rubbish players. To got the bloody Bernebeu and hold your own is amazing.

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  120. One ther thing. We have fouled at the right times when in the past we would not.

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  121. They are edgy,

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  122. British players go to spain so they can wear an Alice band. Macca did it, Beckham did it, Bale is doing it....... even Jonathon Woodgate did it!

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  123. Migno is punch drunk

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  124. Hope this kickstarts things & nobody takes their place for granted!

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  125. Lol why do you say that?

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  126. Stopped em scoring 3 and denied Glam Boy too

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  127. Respectable performance and credit to BR for taking the chance .
    Good confidence boost before Saturday

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  128. If Carra were in the same situation as Kolo there would be a clamour for him to remain in the side. we'll see on Saturday

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  129. Just wish we had a decent striker to put ball in net ....... cld have had a draw easily

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  130. good game..................Kolo toure Motm. brilliant perfomance

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  131. Excellent performance under the circumstances, especially Moreno and Co at the back.

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  132. Ancellotti's eyebrow has its own passport

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  133. If I could up-score twice.........

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  134. Turning point? No chance. LFC still lost the game, and barely had any shots on target and/or created any chances. I don't see how that's something to laud.

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  135. The problem now is does Brendan have the guts to play this team against Chelsea. We shall see.

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  136. true liverpool suporters sang thier hearts out in madrid tonight, well done true liverpool fans....well done Kolo

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  137. Pessimistic Jamie again!!

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  138. Kolo has made some big blunders, giving away penno's, OG's and I wont even mention West Brom, one or 2 good games wont erase that.

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  139. It's not pessimism, it's realism. Since when is losing 1-0 a reason to celebrate? Standards have dropped so low now that fans celebrate when LFC lose.

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  140. The team BR wants to play is the one that relied so heavily on Luis Saurez. This side looks for answers in house.

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  141. Better than Newcastle game

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  142. Jaimie. I think context is needed here. We just played a RM side that is currently the best in the world with all players in great form and the less said about our form the better. To go to their lace and show fight is admirable and a huge confidence boost. Contrast the mood to the one when they came to Anfield. They were laughing the entire time but Carlos reaction now says it's own story.

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  143. Looks like the Rodgers critics will be quiet, no hammering, no disgrace,
    His selection was true and fully justified.

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  144. 'Fight' is the bare-minimum expected. The players don't deserve extra praise for doing what they're paid to do.

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  145. maybe 4 mistakes of the top of my head. When he has played on the consistently he's always looked excellent to me. He was put under way too much pressure previously because people saw him as JC's replacement. Lovren and Sktrel have quadrupled Kolo's career mistakes in two or three games this season. What about Skrtel? hasnt Skrtel made more mistakes yet continued to be picked? I sense a slight bias

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  146. Please let Scholes go to the toilet

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  147. Turning point in the sense that no one should be considered to be a first choice. I'm tired of the same old players turning out every week when we have a squad of 20+

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  148. It's argubaly not a turning point though as Gerrard, Sterling, Coutinho, Balotelli, Lovren etc will all (almost certainly) return to the starting line-up for the Chelsea game. Of course, I'm happy to be proven wrong.

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  149. quite the fidgeter

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  150. i agree with that. when i saw the starting line up today i was initially outraged. but then again no one who has been a regular so far has done anything good this season apart from some decent games here and there. so before the game started i was happy that at least we are trying something different to the usual dross even though it was a massive gamble.

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  151. We have been poor in almost every game this season, so you can understand fans excitement about tonight's game turn to disappointment and in some cases outrage. Ultimately we lost, but if we had a bit more of a threat up front (sterling not Ballotelli), we might have got something. The lads that played did well, but for me there was one or two more changes than there need have been.

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  152. In that respect Rodgers now 100% holds his LFC future in his own hands. If he keeps playing the underperformers he deserves the sack. It's pretty clear

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  153. What get's me about everyone moaning about Rodgers/the team is that they are still missing the point, we are missing a striker and no I don't mean Suarez... I mean Dan... but a much better display tonight from all of the 11 that started.. tempo a lot better, pressing and passing better.. Borini worked hard (and to be fair to him, he can't be match fit... hardly played since May), We are a much better outfit when we play 2 strikers, Just wish BR would realise this! But I am much happier with that display that watching paint dry V Newcastle.

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  154. Exactly. In recent times the players we've had on the pitch haven't shown that and that is a good reason why they didn't get picked today. The team today demonstrated the attitude needed even though it was still a non-threatening performance. Given how much of what Rodgers demands is about attitude I think it was an important point to make. Those first team players should hurt from not starting today and be motivated to match the effort that was shown by their replacements. It's a timely kick up the bum and I expect those senior players to respond with a hard couple of days of training to show the manager why they should get their spot back.

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  155. Not at all he took a chance and it paid off . Got to get a settled team and do it every game ...

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  156. Back 4 deserve another chance

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  157. This is all predicated on the notion that Rodgers dropped Gerrard et al to make a point. I doubt this. It's much more likely that he left those players out simply to rest them, not to to give them a kick up the backside. He admitted as much in his pre-game press conference.

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  158. What else would you expect him to say? That he's using this game as a psychological tool to deny some of his senior players the glory of a game against Madrid in order to make a point? If it was indeed his plan he's not going to openly admit it.


    Of course I'm just guessing but there is some logic in it, no? Rodgers brought the whole squad to Madrid, he spoke about doing this "for the team" and then proceeded to deny his senior players a fixture that they would have played, let's be honest, just so they could say they did. No Liverpool team was going to get a result out of this so the only thing the players would get out of it was a notch on their belt. It's a timely reminder to those senior players that this is not about them, not about what they personally want or what they can put in their career scrapbook. The team always comes first and if that's about resting them or reminding them that there are no free rides then it amounts to the same thing.

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  159. But it was an improvement on recent performances and that in itself is a step in the right direction

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  160. Gerrard should be nowhere near the team , lovern is a 6 foot 4 centre back that wimped out of a challenge against Newcastle which is a joke hope he never plays again , balotelli isn't doing to good ATM, coutinho is hit and miss, Johnson well enough said. So only really Henderson and sterling should be in the team so stop exaggerating jk

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  161. There is this opinion here that first-team players is a constant. This is a fals premise.

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  162. In my opinion, this is exactly the type of decision that should have been made 6 weeks ago. Not necessarily relative to today's game, but generally speaking, he cannot play Sterling and Gerrard every single game.


    Based on the way the team played against Real a few weeks ago, I have no problem with this realistic assessment that our best chance to win was to bring on our best players late and hope to steal a point.


    I was pleased that he finally dug into his bench for this "depth" that he supposedly bought in the summer.

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  163. I can't believe all the whining. These are exactly the players we should be starting in the PL plus RS with DS when he returns. Youth, speed and daring. We hung with Real with our youth. We lost to NUFC by the same score with our 'first team.' I hope today's match is the clue bird that finally lands on BR's shoulder. These kids ought to be the new 1st team so they can gel.

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  164. What about Kolo's mistake tonight that cost us the game, he was marking Mig, while not looking at Benzema, go have a look at it.

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  165. I've seen it. The striker pulls of the back and scores.

    Phase 1 manquillo gets drawn into no mans land and opens up the right flank.

    Phase 2 Toure knows Benzema is there because he is touch tight but tries to be pro active and cut out the cross.

    Phase 3 in an ideal world Moreno would have tucked round having seen that Manquilo was taken out of the game but jogs back and fails to sniff the danger..... yet again.

    Kolo's only fault was front foot defending. Sometimes they go for you sometimes they dont but no doubt he was our Captain out there tonight and our best out and out defender in the squad.

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  166. Against WBA the ball clearly takes a bobble of the chalk and bounces over his foot smh. Carra is probably our record OG goalscorer and was also terrible in Rafas last season and thereafter. He made a brief and surprising comeback for BR but he was dead and buried for years with only a few... me included on this site speaking out. what was your opinion on cara after we finished 2nd with Rafa?

    Kolo is one of the few title winners in our squad (twice I believe) including the invincibles and was a mainstay in Cities first title under Mancini.

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  167. Errors leading to goals 2012/13 Skrtel in there at no.4

    http://eplindex.com/24736/defensive-error-prone-players-premier-league-stats-comparison.html

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  168. Dude, you really take much too credence in what people say in public sometimes...

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  169. You are too cynical about what people say in public. Clearly, you think Rodgers is deliberately lying to the fans most of the time. When he speaks about the team in public, he is directly talking to the fans.

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  170. Exactly. He's telling fans what they WANT to hear. I'm not suggesting he always lies, but there are some instances where it's reasonable to think that he may be hiding something. I don't take what a manager says at a press conference as gospel.

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