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4 Nov 2014

Suicide? BR to make shock 'priority' change against Madrid, & may drop £57m duo

Liverpool face Real Madrid in the Champions League this evening, and although it's a massive game, Saturday's Premier League clash with Chelsea is (arguably) more important, and Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has hinted that he could rest players ahead of the game, including club captain Steven Gerrard.

When asked about tonight's game during his pre-match press conference, Rodgers told reporters:

"In Steven’s case, if he is playing on Saturday I have to look at what is the priority for him and us"

Guillem Balague also suggests that Gerrard may be dropped, along with three other senior players:

Clearly, Rodgers is thinking of 'resting' Gerrard for tonight's game, and ordinarily, I'd be in favour. However, in this instance, leaving Gerrard on the bench is a massive mistake:

* This is Real Madrid! You don't rest the team captain for an away game against the European Champions. Rest him for Basel, or Ludogorets, but not Madrid.

* Bar Gerrard, Liverpool's team has practically zero (significant) Champions League experience. Take Gerrard out of the equation, and it's basically lambs to the slaughter.

* The Reds are in the midst of a period of poor form, and another damaging defeat could have a negative impact on confidence, and self-belief. Liverpool need to go into the Chelsea game on the back of a good performance, not an embarrassing capitulation, and removing Gerrard makes the latter more likely.

* I seriously doubt Gerrard will be be happy about missing such a massive game. This season could be his last chance to play in the Champions League, and he may never get the chance to mix it with the likes of Ronaldo, Rodriguez etc again. Gerrard will want to play, and dumping him on the bench is a surefire way to alienate him.

No one at Anfield has more European experience than Gerrard, and that will be needed at the Bernabeu tonight. Of course, it possible the likes of Henderson et al will rise to the challenge without the captain, but based on performances so far this season - and the conspicuous lack of real leadership in all areas of the pitch - it's not a risk worth taking.

Even with Gerrard in the team, Liverpool are (sadly) at risk from suffering a real hammering; take Gerrard out, and that is almost certainly guaranteed.

To be honest, I'd rather see Rodgers 'rest' Gerrard for the Chelsea game. In the Premier League, the players can handle it, but the Champions League is a totally different story.

online surveys



  1. Play with any team, we are gonna lose. I don't mind us giving chance to fringe players.

  2. It will be a very brave decision, and I will support if, if he drops him. BR is boss and he needs to assert his authority, Gerrard should be judged like any other player. I love Gerrard like no other LFC player, but when was the last time we dominated a midfield? We need to fix that before our form can improve

  3. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:17 pm, November 04, 2014

    We are not going to go through
    so it makes sense to rest your best players as we can still achieve something in the league

    i think br is being smart here he knows its best to finish 4th then 3rd to avoid europa league

  4. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:17 pm, November 04, 2014

    last time we dominated a midfield was spurs vs liverpool last season


  5. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:18 pm, November 04, 2014

    emre can can improve our form

  6. Gerrard lack of energy now.. well i think he will be a good central defender.. why not trying him in the place of Loveren.. surely BR need to raise up he he don't want to lose his job..

  7. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:19 pm, November 04, 2014

    or does he?
    he signed a new contract if he gets sacked he could earn a lot
    he could be sacked while his stock is still high

  8. the unfortunate thing is that he might take compensation money.. he is not kenney dalgish..

  9. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:24 pm, November 04, 2014

    why shouldn't he managing is his job?

    btw kenney did take the money

  10. Enemyofeverydisbeliever4:25 pm, November 04, 2014

    Dropping gerrard would only be a good thing. Tell me what has gerrard offered this team in the last three years, except his pens? Actually nothing. Since torres left hes been a dead man walking like he left as well. He just doesnt turn up anymore, dont know whether is the managers fault or himself but hes basically finished, this will hurt the super fans of this club. Play or no gerrard we know we gonna get raped tonight so whats the difference, also chelsea coming up.. So yes rest gerrard, should I say rest or dont play him!

  11. No man.. he did'nt take compensation money while he was removed.. instead he said to invest the money in players..

  12. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:28 pm, November 04, 2014

    provide proof

    as far as i know that was a romour

  13. good shout... replace emre with lucas and we might be there.... how about move Lovren in to midfield and put sakho or Gerrard in defence?

  14. I would consider putting Lovren in midfield and Sakho back in defence

  15. From start to finish this artical is misguided. How is priorities the watch with Chelsea a shock? Gerrard is loking tired and is off the pace at the momoent. He looks like he needs a rest. Liverpool are in danager of falling off the pace for the top 4. The league has to be the priority. Finally, what is the point of "suicide" in the headline? It's over the top and unnecessary. Who is it that's suicidal? Rodgers? Gerrard? or is there a risk of mass suicide from the rest of the squad if Gerrard doesn't play? Like i said unnecessary.

  16. @Adam Griffin

    Below are the formations for the first half of the season. 4-2-3-1 was only used on 5 occasions. 2 of those matches we won, 2 were lost and 1 was drawn. Once I am done with the other half it will indicate that 4-2-3-1 was the formation least used last season.

    My sources are Anfield Index and EPL Index.

    LFC 1-0 Stoke (4-3-3) Win
    Scoreboard liverpool-vs-stoke-2013 Anfield Index

    Villa 0-1 LFC (4-2-3-1) Win
    Scoreboard aston-villa-vs-liverpool-2013 Anfield Index

    LFC 1-0 UTD (4-3-3) Win
    Scoreboard liverpool-vs-manchester-united-2013 Anfield

    Swansea 2-2 LFC (4-3-3) Draw
    Scoreboard swansea-vs-liverpool-2013 Anfield Index

    LFC 0-1 Southampton (4-2-3-1) Loss
    Scoreboard liverpool-vs-southampton-2013 Anfield Index

    Sunderland 1-3 LFC (3-4-1-2) Win
    Scoreboard sunderland-vs-liverpool-2013 Anfield Index

    LFC 3-1 Crystal palace (3-4-1-2) Win
    Scoreboard liverpool-vs-crystal-palace-2013 Anfield Index

    Newcastle 2-2 LFC (3-4-1-2) Draw
    Scoreboard newcastle-united-vs-liverpool-2013 Anfield

    LFC 4-1 WBA (3-4-1-2) Win
    Scoreboard liverpool-vs-west-brom-2013 Anfield Index

    Arsenal 2-0 LFC (3-5-2) Loss
    5929 arsenal-2-0-liverpool-detailed-review Anfield Index

    LFC 4-0 Fulham (4-4-2) Win
    Scoreboard liverpool-4-fulham-0-match-2013 Anfield Index

    EVE 3-3 LFC (4-2-3-1) Draw
    6483 everton-3-liverpool-3-match-review-stats Anfield

    Hull 3-1 LFC (4-2-3-1) Loss
    45434 hull-city-3-liverpool-1-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 4-1 West Ham (4-3-3) Win
    45908 liverpool-41-west-ham-postmatch-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    Spurs 0-5 LFC (4-3-3) Win
    46299 tottenham-hotspur-05-liverpool-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 3-1 Cardiff (4-3-3) Win
    46767 liverpool-3-cardiff-city-1-postmatch-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    City 2-1 LFC (4-3-3) Loss
    47090 manchester-city-2-liverpool-1-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    Chelsea 2-1 LFC (4-3-3) Loss
    47201 chelsea-2-liverpool-1-postmatch-tactical-analysis EPL

    LFC 2-0 Hull (4-2-3-1) Win
    47355 liverpool-2-0-hull-city-post-match-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

  17. Gerrard has been a great player but what exactly has he done to convince you he would make a good centre half? This seems to be a common thought with aging midfielders put then at the back. How many have been successful with that switch, at the top level, in the last 10 years? I'm guessing it's a sort list. Gerrard will never be a top centre half.

  18. Gerrard will just get embarrassed by younger faster more energetic players experience counts for nothing if you don't have the legs

  19. rodgers needs to be sacked. he spent £220m in 2 years and there is no excuses for wasting money. over his time he has made weird decisions to sign weird players and of them all only £12M was spent on a truly quality player in Daniel Sturridge. the rest were all garbage and there were far better players out there to get. right now Liverpool really need a goalscorer. he doesnt have to be outrageously world class, he just needs to be in the box to score the goals. Luiz Adriano from Shakhtar Donetsk is definately the answer. he gets goals, and got skills. if we took Douglas Costa or Texeria as well then that will be great but right now we need a player who makes forward runs to stick it in the back of the net.

    i'd love
    Andriy Yarmolenko - £17M
    Memphis Depay - £15M
    Luiz Adriano - £20M

    for january

    and then in summer
    Marco Reus - £25M
    Matt Hummels - £35M
    Ahmed Musa - £20M (sell markovic)

  20. i'd play like this
    -------------------Lucas--------------Emre Can

    subs on Sterling for Hendo, Lallana for Borini.


    --Manquillo----------Lucas-----------Emre Can-------Moreno

  21. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:03 pm, November 04, 2014

    hello twistadee

  22. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:06 pm, November 04, 2014

    musa and adriano are interesting options:

  23. -We are not going to go through-

    With only half of games played and with same number of points as our oponents- Basel and fricking Ludogoretz. You call yourself a Liverool fan? You disgrace...

  24. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:13 pm, November 04, 2014

    Who are you dictate how a liverpool fan should think and what they should believe?

  25. A Liverpool fan. And who the hell are you?

  26. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:15 pm, November 04, 2014

    stop stalking me

  27. face it. weve lost to Villa, City, Newcastle, West Ham and Basle already this season and have struggled to win EVERY other game bar the spurs win where we played really well. other than that, against Ludogorets we struggled, middlesborough we struggled, swansea we struggled, west brom we struggled, southampton we struggled, qpr we got the most luck in football history. what makes you think we got a chance against RM at Bernebeau? we problably couldnt even stop them with Suarez. Ronaldo is devastating. greatest footballer ever. the greatest performance level. LFC will get 3-0 today by law. expect Benzema, Ronaldo on the scoresheet.

  28. we are gonna lose anyways...why dont we experiment a bit with the midfield

  29. well considering his age, and the position he is actually playing does not suite him at all as he is ageing. . . there are option either to bench him or try him in as a central defender..

  30. if we bought Musa instead of Markovic and Adriano instead of Lambert we would not be in this position. i assure you. Musa was rapid at the World Cup. really liked the way he plays. he so young and quick i think he can be a big player

  31. Rest everyone to save lfc from any pounding! But seriously, make positive changes....

  32. That doesn't read -We are not going to go through-

  33. @Adam Griffin part 2

    Again 4-2-3-1 was non existent in the second half of last season. This season Rodgers has blindly continued with one up front and two holding midfielders and it has cost us points and very likely our season.

    We are clearly struggling because of Rodgers tactics and 4-2-3-1. His ignorance will cost him his job. The fact that he continues to stick Balotelli up on his own gives an indication that he is not willing to admit that the way he is setting the team up will fail time and time again WHICH IT HAS.

    Stoke 3-5 LFC (4-3-3) Win
    47822 stoke-city-35-liverpool-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 2-2 Villa (4-4-2) Draw
    48193 liverpool-22-aston-villa-post-match-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 4-0 Everton (4-3-3) Win
    EPL Index

    WBA 1-1 LFC (4-3-3) Draw
    48994 west-bromwich-albion-11-liverpool-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 5-1 Arsenal (4-3-3) Win
    49344 liverpool-51-arsenal-post-match-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 4-3 Swansea (4-3-3) Win
    50115 liverpool-4-swansea-3-post-match-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    Southampton 0-3 LFC (4-1-2-1-2) Win
    50405 southampton-0-liverpool-3-post-match-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    UTD 0-3 LFC (4-1-2-1-2) Win
    51105 manchester-united-0-liverpool-3-match-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    Cardiff 3-6 LFC (4-1-2-1-2) Win
    51474 cardiff-city-36-liverpool-postmatch-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL index

    LFC 2-1 Sunderland (4-1-2-1-2) Win
    8081 liverpool-2-1-sunderland-in-depth-tactical-analysis
    Anfield Index

    West Ham 1-2 LFC (4-3-3) Win
    52215 west-ham-united-12-liverpool-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 3-2 Man City (4-1-2-1-2) Win
    52464 liverpool-32-manchester-city-postmatch-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    Norwich 2-3 LFC (4-1-2-2-1) Win
    52780 norwich-city-2-3-liverpool-postmatch-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

    LFC 0-2 Chelsea (4-3-3) Loss
    53086 Liverpool-0-chelsea-2-postmatch-stats-tactical-analysis
    EPL Index

  34. Rest him and he might help us save face against Chelski at Anfield on Saturday ...... more chance of that . After all he has played against the best in his career anyway .
    Give youngsters a chance and taste of CL they are our future so BR keeps telling us . Just don't play Glenda ! Don't care about losing just want to see some spirit and give em a run for their money !

  35. If there is no Balotelli, Gerrard, Johnson or Sterling then I am happy to see the following team. Not having Johnson in the team is a relief.

    Manquillo Toure Lovren Moreno

  36. Like the look of that team.. I think this is a good game to se whether Balotelli actually hampers the unity of the team or not as the popular opinion is. I want to see actual pressing and speed in the play regardless of who plays. Just give it a go and see what happens.

  37. The team I have selected will only have one non Rodgers signing and we will not be playing with one up front.

    What is the bet that balotelli would have scored much more than he has if it was not for Rodgers and his current delusional state.

  38. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:22 pm, November 04, 2014

    he could be the new mane from southampton

    but we still have space for both him and markovic

    but rather then adriano i prefer jackson martinez

  39. This team actually has a lot of potential. A speedy defence with steel for protection in Can, pressing in Hendo and Lallana, trickery in Coutinho, movement in Borini and pace in Markovic. If we score 1 today and concede less than 4, I will be happy.

  40. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:26 pm, November 04, 2014

    teams out:

  41. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:26 pm, November 04, 2014

    bench: balotelli,sterling,coutinho,henderson,gerrard,johsnon,jones

  42. i do not think anyone is expecting us to win but I want to see us go down fighting!

  43. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:28 pm, November 04, 2014

    so is it like this:


  44. LFC: Mignolet, Manquillo, Toure, Skrtel (c), Moreno, Lucas, Can, Allen, Lallana, Markovic, Borini. Subs: Jones, Johnson, Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho, Sterling, Balotelli.

  45. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:31 pm, November 04, 2014

    really excited to see
    markovic,lallana,can,moreno and manquillo all play

    just wish lovren played

  46. So it seem like it will be a holding midfield of Lucas and Allen. Recipe for disaster.

  47. Lovren not even in the squad. No Hendo, Stevie, Balo, Coutinho or Sterling.. Man, time to see whether the Rodgers boys can deliver.

  48. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:34 pm, November 04, 2014

    real at full strength bar bale on the bench

  49. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:35 pm, November 04, 2014

    relas strongest vs liverpools weakest

    i see rodgers is doing he wants to not humiliate his main players

  50. More like this

    Manquillo Skrtel Toure Lovren


  51. Official starting 11 -
    Mignolet, Manquillo, Toure, Skrtel, Moreno, Lucas, Can, Allen, Lallana, Markovic, Borini

  52. I like that starting eleven. The midfield of Can and Lucas was exactly what I wanted Rodgers to do. The most solid defensively we have.

    We'll probably still get mutilated but at least we'll be able to mix it in the middle of the park. Hope Allen brings his A-game.

    Enjoy, Ghost Rider and all!

  53. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:45 pm, November 04, 2014


    There is two small weakness in this super team:
    *arbeloa and marcelo are poor defenders
    * they have no holding midfielder

    we have to exploit this

  54. As a DM, or? I don't see why not for a game as he might as well play there anyway - If Sakho can play well for France then I can't see why not for us, but thats probably down to the defensive coaching.

  55. They have no holding midfielder? Ha Ha.

    What is Modric? Wait a second, was he not awarded the best defensive midfielder for last season in La Liga?

    No holding midfielder. Ha ha.

  56. Mignolet
    Manquillo-Skrtel-Toure-Moreno( not Lovren)

    SO much for speed and pressing. Team is changed but formation still remains the same.

  57. Nevergonnacrackthecode6:50 pm, November 04, 2014

    if modric is a defensive midfielder so is joe allen

  58. Last year he made 34 Apps, scoring 13 and assisting in 15. I think that's worthy enough of a place in our squad, even if Liverpool are struggling to pick up where we left off. Yes he may be said to slow down the pace of our game now - I don't think he should be classed as a 'dead man walking'.

  59. Nope. Holding midfield of Lucas and Can. Much better. Allen will hopefully do like his Swansea days and play further forward. He's good for a through-ball and a one-two which Borini and Markovic will appreciate.

  60. yea as a dm. just a idea, but we need to shake things up

  61. Rodgers is going to want to retain possession and Lucas and Allen holding will be key to achieve this.

    Can is a powerful runner.

    We could also see

    Manquillo Skrtel Toure Lovren

  62. I disagree; I think he's just playing his players that are not necessarily in abject form.

  63. This, only I would love to see him give another chance for the Balo/Borini partnership. I don't see why he hasn't given it time to glue so we can actually score goals until Studge comes back. I mean, Balotelli wants a partner and Borini wants game time, and the fans wan't the diamond so I can't see why Rodgers is being so support.

  64. And you still willing to argue with facts?

    Obviously those who run La Liga made an arse out of themselves awarding best defensive midfielder of the La Liga 2013-2014 to Modric.

    Argue all you like.

  65. Agreed, something clearly isn't clicking - and if it doesn't change, people are going to be calling for Rodgers' head.

  66. for me Gerrard is part of the problem with this liverpool team. If they manage to pull off a positive result which is not beyond the realms of thought, then this could be the end of a era and a beginning of a new dawn.

  67. I think you've got to the right conclusion now. Gerrard turns 35 next year and will require more time on the bench to get the best out of him over a season. It's high time we started thinking about a time post Gerrard.

  68. It took us give years to get back into the Champions League and three games in weve already given up on it. This is something Sam Allardyce or Harry Redknapp would do. Small club thinking. Disgraceful for a club of our stature. Even when we were down, clubs like Real knew we'd put up a fight. More confirmation that Rodgers has to go. He's making a mockery of all we stand for as a club. But let's see where 200 million worth of strength in depth will get us.

  69. Jaimie. Why did you not allow my comment relating to the heading of this article and the fact it's a misguided view? I believe my views on your use of the word suicide were valid and may have started an interesting debate on the use of pointless inflammatory headlines on forums etc.

  70. Paying him off will still be cheaper than letting him waste 50 million on players every year. You only have to feel sorry for the poor bugger who comes in after him. That guy will be forced to work with Hodgson money again

  71. Good tackle by Lucas on Ronaldo!

  72. The aim of Liverpool FC, should not be to preserve Gerrard's career for ever. He is an attacking midfielder / central midfielder and should be played as such. If it means reduced minutes then so be it, if it is in the best interests of the team.

  73. If only instead of Allen we had coutinho I'm sure we would've made a few clear cut chances

  74. I thought we played really well tonight. We were unlucky to lose I thought. Well done lads they gave a good account of themselves considering the opposition

  75. Tell that to Pirlo

  76. Name me one instance Joe Allen has provided a through ball resulting in us scoring. I can't remember any. I actually think Joe Allen is under-rated by some section of our support, although he's perhaps over-rated by some (Logan) :-) but I can't think of too many through balls he plays. Thought he did quite well against Madrid tonight tho