4 Sep 2015

Play Him? 'Concerned' Legend insists Liverpool must unleash 'terrific' £6m attacker vs. Man-Utd

Four games into the new season, and Danny Ings is largely being ignored by Brendan Rodgers. Despite Liverpool's pitiful lack of goals, Ings has been granted just 30 minutes of pitch-time, and Liverpool legend John Aldridge has called for the £6m^ summer signing to start the Reds' next game against Manchester United.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Aldo revealed that he is 'concerned' the Rodgers is 'not playing to Christian Benteke's strengths'.

Aldo also argued that 'terrific' Ings is the right player to operate alongside the Belgian striker for next week's crunch clash at Old Trafford. He explained:

"[Ings] is the perfect man to play alongside Benteke against United. With Coutinho suspended, there's a space that needs filling, and Ings should be the one to come in the replace him. Rodgers could...put him up top along with Benteke, or even in behind".

This makes a lot of sense, and it's the obvious way to proceed, which is why it probably won't happen.

I have no doubt that, if fit, Rodgers will play Lallana ahead of Ings, and he'll probably persist with the failed strategy of playing Benteke up-front on his own.

Rodgers did this all last season with Balotelli, and Lambert, and he's too stubborn to change things now, especially with his overt favouritism towards underwhelming players like Lallana.

Ings is one option, but Joao Carloss Teixiera is another, and with Coutinho suspended, now is the perfect time to give the Portuguese attacker a well-earned chance in the first team.

It's even possible to fit both Ings and Teixeira in the same team:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren - Skrtel ------- Gomez
--------------- Lucas
------- Henderson - Milner
------------- Teixeira
------- Ings
-------------- Benteke

Granted, Rodgers will almost certainly select Firmino over Teixeira, but neither player is experienced in the Premier League, so it won't (IMO) be a huge risk to play Teixeira.

The problem comes again with the Henderson-Milner axis. Rodgers is seemingly hellbent on playing Milner in every single game, but if he was more flexible, the following team could be fielded:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren - Skrtel ------- Gomez
--------------- Lucas
------- Henderson - Teixeira
------------- Firmino
------- Ings
-------------- Benteke


This can still work is Henderson is still injured for the United game:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren - Skrtel ------- Gomez
--------------- Lucas
------- Milner ---- Teixeira
------------- Firmino
------- Ings
------------- Benteke

None of these line-ups solve one of this season's most glaring problems: a fatal lack of width. There's always the option of switching to 352 (which Rodgers did, to little effect, against West Ham), and in that scenario, I'd like to see the following team:

--------------- Mignolet
Gomez ---------- Skrtel ------- Lovren
---------- Lucas ---- Henderson
Clyne -------- Teixeira ------ Moreno
------- Firmino (or Ings)
------------- Benteke

If everyone is fit, though, Rodgers will probably play this team:

--------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Lovren - Skrtel ------- Gomez
------------ Can --- Milner
-------------- Henderson
----------- Lallana -- Firmino
---------------- Benteke

Distinctly uninspiring.

^probable compensation fee according to the Liverpool Echo

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Author: Jaimie K



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