13 Nov 2013

'I need to play': Unhappy €7m LFC star reveals Anfield frustration. Trouble ahead...?

Competition in Liverpool's squad is extremely fierce this season, and given the reduced number of games on offer, certain players are perennially on the sidelines, unable to get regular time on the pitch. Daniel Agger has already expressed his frustration with warming the bench, and now, Luis Alberto has hinted at his disappointment at constantly being ignored by Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

In an interview this week, Alberto - who cost Liverpool €7m over the summer - made it clear that he wants more time on the field. He told LFC.com:

"I would like to play more. I am waiting for chances, but the truth is, I need to play more. I have to wait for the manager to start having confidence in me".

I suspect Alberto is going to be waiting a long time for that to happen:

* When fit, Sturridge, Suarez and Coutinho are automatic picks, and I doubt that will change when the FA Cup rolls around.

* Liverpool's only realistic chance of silverware this season is the FA Cup, so Rodgers will probably select a very strong team for FA Cup ties (as opposed to using the competition to give squad players pitch-time)

* Rodgers also seems to prefer Victor Moses to Alberto, so he basically has four players ahead of him.

* Injuries probably won't help Alberto either. For example, Coutinho was recently out for 5 weeks, and he still didn't start a game.

* It's November, and Alberto has been granted just 80 minutes of game-time so far, which reveals everything we need to know about Rodgers' trust in the Spaniard.

Rodgers admitted over the summer that the likes of Alberto and Aspas were squad players, but I wonder if he actually explained that to the players themselves. Judging by the comments of both Aspas and Alberto, it doesn't seem to be the case.

To be fair, I don't see how Alberto could've expected anything else. Last season, he played for Barcelona B, and he has practically zero top-flight experience. He should expect to be on the bench, unlike, say, Mamadou Sakho, who is comparatively very experienced, and is arguably justified in thinking that he should be playing regularly.

Having said that, Rodgers should be doing more to keep his squad players happy. A prime example is the last two home games: 4-1 against West Brom and 4-0 against Fulham. In those two games, Alberto got TWO MINUTES of pitch time, which (IMO) is ineffective man-management. Liverpool absolutely dominated both matches, and Alberto could've been given 20-30 minutes in each game without compromising the results.

These are vital missed opportunities to give fringe players confidence, a fitness boost, and a development push, and it's concerning to me that Rodgers seemingly doesn't see this.

It seems likely that the Reds will sign another attacking midfielder during the January transfer window, which means Alberto's first-team chances are likely to be limited even more, and the same applies to Aspas, and Tiago Ilori.

I appreciate that LFC needs squad players, but the £22m outlay on Aspas, Alberto and Ilori is a significant wedge of cash, and it's wasted money if they never play. The club should've spent that money on one top-class player, and just promoted youngsters to fill out the squad.



  1. Every chance you get do you take a dig at Rodgers, the blokes doing a great job were playing great football winning games scoring lots of goals more so than we have done in a long time. If he feels he's isnt quite ready yet, then he probably isn't. Liverpool should be a club where you need quality throughout the squad. If the teams playing well you don't chop and change it, ok maybe if your 3 or 4 up then I agree with that. When things start to go wrong or someone gets comfy then mix it up. The lad will get his chance it's up to him to make a spot his own

  2. More than him, I really feel for tiago Ilori. Johnson,Flanagan,Kelly ahead of him and there were reports that we were targeting Montoya. When will this kid get to play. The fact that Rodgers fielded Flanagan in the vital Arsenal clash shows he rates Flanagan. In that case why sign another another young player? These are things only Rodgers can answer. He could have easily chosen Valencia and could have got regular playing time . Kids should think seriously about these aspects before they sign for big clubs.

  3. For the F.A cup, I think we should try to put on youngsters like any top team. its all about experience and confidence for the fringes and youngsters. My team:
    Kelly Toure Sakho cisokho
    Allen Alberto hendo
    Sterling Aspas Moses

    I think Alberto Aspas combination will be good

  4. I don't take 'digs' at Rodgers at al. Regular visitors will confirm that I am one of his biggest fans. I don't just look at things in one way, though. Rodgers is doing a great job, but there are still lots of issues arising that are worthy of discussion/analysis. That is the whole point of this site: a critical view of LFC. It's simplistic to just look at things in terms of 'for or against' something. it's perfectly possible to be 'for' something, but still take a critical look at it.

    For some reason, so many people - yourself included - just can't seem to grasp that.

  5. 'Get his chance eventually'. When and how? It's all well and good saying it, but please outline the reality of *how* Alberto is going to get a consistent chance in the team.

  6. Ilori is a center back competing with Toure, Skrtel, Aggar, Sakho.
    About the article. Point is Rodgers will miss squad confidence if for instance injuries occur. We already saw the straggle when Coutinho got injured, if you're and ambitious person and you see could have gotten better results from Swansea, Southapton, Newcastle, Arsenal you will definitely agree. It's not about us next to the other teams - It's about us.
    So you're right i have to agree (plus Rodgers should be asked questions, even if were doing good - we can do better. I don't feel i have to go deep to make this clear...), Alberto should get the minutes in games such as WB, Fulham - Very important for the team that he does in the future.

  7. Probably because Ilori is a Center Back and Flanagan is a full back....

  8. Oh My mistake. I thought he is a fullback

  9. Justsomestreetfootballer1:27 pm, November 13, 2013

    What do you suggest then? I agree with you but I still think like any top four team( unless Chelsi), we should have 3 top strikers. TheU21 is different from EPL, the only one who could cope with both is the one who has talent. I believe Alberto will come good though. But he has to get that confidence

  10. I dont know why Alberto was not chosen ahead of Moses as he was more likely to play well in his preferred position as to playing Moses out of position.
    That to me is bad man management hurting Moses confidence and not allowing the kid to prove himself.
    Not sure whether Rodgers will buy a player to compete with Coutinho in January as next season Suso is back.

  11. Next year, when we qualify for Europe(hopefully!).
    There will be a lot of games and after a year and pre season behind him, he can replace either Suarez or Coutinho for the cup games. And if he performs well then can even get ahead of Coutinho for certain games in the PL also.
    Look at Arsenal , they have Oxlade Chamberlain, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere , Gnabry, all youngsters and all of them get chances. I think we will need depth next year.

  12. Ya but Ilori in the equation as well. Against Fulham I really wanted him and Alberto to play, then i saw Ilori wasn't on the bench even and Alberto wasn't picked. Meaning we got Allen who plays probably so we can gather a few more dollars of eventually (i hope at-least that's why because it's hard to see him the future). Enrique i got why. Moses i believe played probably half to get him form which is needed and half because Rodgers kind of got to let him play in the circumstances (a part which i have a lot of trouble to get. I don't think this way ever).
    But that's the sense in it i suppose. Allen and Moses worth's more money and are older so they play and the young ones waits... Food for thought i guess.

  13. Justsomestreetfootballer1:37 pm, November 13, 2013

    I think the one that's missing from our bench is Suso. He could change games. But if we recall him, its not good for his development, but if not, our sub is left with 2 'technical players', Alberto and Allen, who are NOT a game changer IMO.

  14. On one hand we are talking about Alberto not happy with his playing time, plus Rodgers doesn't like to change his winning team. Imagine one of Costa or Sturridge not getting games!! Plus I think Aspas can be a good deputy when he comes in. And even Sterling or Ibe can play off the striker if need be.

  15. Justsomestreetfootballer1:43 pm, November 13, 2013

    Well, youre right actually, but as far as we seen, Aspas hasn't quite settled yet, the youngsters hasnt got any experience. In one side, I understand Rodgers want this mentality kept on going in the squad, but in other hand, the Quality and experience of the subs is near zero.So I think we need that extra quality to be more consistent as we cant rely on one pack of starting 11 every games.

  16. The money need not be wasted. These guys will be pressing for a chance to play and this is how I interpret Alberto's comments. It would be wrong if he wasn't looking to play more, you expect that from any ambitious player. This is kind of attitude that gets players working harder and pushing themselves in training, forcing everyone else in the squad to also lift their game. It's more than just having a guy who might take your place, it's about having to prove yourself against that guy in hard sessions and him keeping you on your toes because if he trains better than you you'll end up looking bad.

    If you take an overly simplistic point of view it might seem like having these guys talk negatively about their playing time is a problem, but it's just talk and it reflects their competitive nature. Having a player complain, say something is "hard", feel like he has to work hard to earn a spot or express frustration is not always something that needs to be worried about or solved. Competitive football at this level is supposed to hard, it's supposed to be immensely challenging. If these players were saying they felt on top of the world and everything was easy I'd be far more worried.

    I have no issue with guys like this struggling for game time for a few months or even the rest of this season. They have plenty of time to improve and earn their chance. A long term view might show it to be more of an issue and if we ultimately sell these players at a significant loss after them never establishing themselves in the team in any way then we might express legitimate concern. For now it's barely a few months into their Liverpool careers. Give them a chance to turn it around, they deserve that from both fans and manager.

  17. Moses himself claims he prefers the number 10 role, and yet when we've played him on the left he's looked very good, direct and effective. I don't think there is anything wrong with his confidence and Rodgers did a good thing by ensuring he got a chance to be a part of the team.

  18. Justsomestreetfootballer1:49 pm, November 13, 2013

    Man, Agree. Nuff Said.

  19. Dont care what he prefers he really looked rubbish in the 10 role and there is always a chance it would have dented his confidence.
    Rodgers makes the mistake sometimes of playing players out of position other than playing lesser players in their best positions.

  20. How was Ramsey last season? How was he 2 seasons ago? He's been with Arsenal since '08 and had been on 2 loan spells. He didn't exactly set the league alight till this season.

    I wouldn't rule out someone noticing "Look at Liverpool, they have Sterling, Suso, Joao Texeira!" a couple of years down the road.

  21. I fully agree with what has been written here!

    Even if Alberto does not make it at LFC, how much are we going to lose on him? 7 million for a young player of his talent is a drop in the ocean.

    Alberto is only 21 and still has many years ahead of him. I believe next season we will see much more involvement from Alberto and Ilori. This is their season to suss things out.

  22. The last game w Fulham, IMO he kept SAS and Cou on the field as long as possible so Cou could develop again with SAS. As for other games, I agree. I'll make a point though. Alberto was and has been picked over Aspas for many games now. He must have confidence knowing he is being picked above Aspas. What happened to Aspas? Injury or just not fitting in?? I had hope he was going to work out at least a bit part and inject something good into the squad. I suppose he could not adjust to the physical game. Seems the boys confidence was smashed after he was dropped or after LS returned. Anyone give me an update on Aspas..? Has he been playing in the reserves? Loan or to be sold in Jan?

  23. In Fulham game may be he desperately needed a clean sheet. It has been 8 games or something ,isn't it? So, Allen who is a"ball retention expert" -I Know it's weird- got the call. I think it's a good call in matches when we are defending a lead

  24. Ramsey looked a pretty good young player prior to that injury. Obviously wasn't as good as he is now but he looked a very good young prospect. in 09/10, he was a good young player that was getting some starts in the league and looked good, prior to getting injured midway through the season. Considering the no. of games he started in that season prior to the injury, he would have probably ended up on around 15 PL games started in that season if the injury didn't happen. Yes, he is doing brilliant now but he was looking good for a young player before that injury. Ramsey is a unusual example to use as he had that big injury which clearly did put harm his development for a season or two.

  25. Both Alberto and Agger have since confirmed that they are more than willing to work to justify a place. Both seem to be accepting of the situation, obviously Agger will be closer to the 1st team, but Alberto could hardly have expected to be on the field a few months after having joined, and during his first full season at the top level.
    I agree he could and should have had more minutes v Fulham though.
    It just seems that the quotes were out of context with the wider comments that each player made. Agger , for instance said he felt he belonged in the first team, followed by 'but it's up to the manager, I'll just work extra hard' Miss the 2nd bit out, and it makes it sound like he's less accepting of the situation than he is.
    Just a thought.

  26. Nice to see some competitive attitude from Alberto. But he is a 21 year old that has had barely any top flight league football to his name. Some 21 year olds just aren't ready yet and he is maybe one of those, which is hardly anything unusual. I think he was always going to be a long term purchase that wouldn't necessarily make an impact in the short term. Club in our position financially is bound to make a few low-money signings to boost the squad.

    I don't think the signing of those 3 players together put a spanner in the works for a one top class player. As Aspas and Luis Alberto were signings that I think were tied up early and before we were still in the frame for the likes of Henrikh, Willian and Diego Costa.

  27. On one side I see a management problem, but on the other side I see us in 2nd place. I honestly feel the overall mentality of the team in the way of form and competition has helped us. So its a good problem to have and they will have to be professional about it and earn their time. Seems to me that the players each get a run of games until their form drops a bit, then enters then next hungry man.

  28. I know international break very dull but why is Jaimie inventing beefs that don't exist? I read the interview in the Echo before this and Alberto seems to be quite level headed about the situation also mentioning that Coutinho and others have told him he needs to be patient and work hard to take his chance when he comes. But I suppose Click I am on hear talking about itso job done. Alberto is young and is clearly quite a technical player. I am sure football will still exist once this season is finished so what fuss Jaimie sees I am less concerned about. Despite wanting FA cup success I can see there being some players getting game time. Like it has been mentioned in other articles there is a lot of competition in the CB role so would Toure and Ilori be that weak a partnership? As for the attacking roles there could still be senior players playing whilst giving the likes of Alberto game time. He got some against Notts county as did Ibe and Sterling and people said that was a strong team. It depends who we get drawn against but like I said there Alberto is young and there will definitely be another season next year.

  29. While I agree that Alberto could have and maybe should have been given more game time in those two fixtures mentioned I think it is not actually looking at what was done or the games properly. In the West Brom game we were 3-0 up and they got the pen. Once that has gone in the manager might have felt a little bit more cautious. Think about it. Who comes off at say 3-0 or 3-1 for Alberto? Suarez? Henderson? Gerard? If they get a second then we are a little bit worried, without Suarez we are less likely to get another goal, Henderson we would have lacked legs in midfield, without Gerard we lack our captain and talisman. We got the fourth near 80 minutes and perhaps then it should have been Alberto but Allen is closer to first team and also needed minutes so even if someone had come on then it should have been Allen. As for the Fulham game I agree that Alberto should have gotten on ahead of Moses but I can understand why not. Moses isn't a Liverpool player. Who is going to be more unhappy a season long loan or a player who has not long turned 21 and is on a long term contract. Again I think that Enrique and Allen needed game time more so than Alberto in that game too. It's only a quarter of the season though and chances may still come.

  30. I hate to admit this, but watching the Fulham game left me with the feeling that Toure was missed the most. As far as sheer athleticism and passing ability. He seems to boss opposition off the ball better than others and is always there at the bottom or end of the parabola set play corner or cross. I would move Agger on and get the largest fee we can while he is still healthy and playing well. I am not sure why we bought Sahko too. Agger is a better pick than shako now. But we did buy a younger player in Sahko so we have invested. I sure hope Sahko improves his offensive contribution on corners. For such a strong player when defending headers, he seems lost when we have attacking set pieces. This is missing from his game. I wouldn't care if he was missing chances, what bothers me is I don't see him taking chances and attacking headers on our set pieces. Shame is I do feel Brendan feels compelled to play Sahko because he paid so--o much for him or more likely what he said in his salesman sit down with the player. I would trust Sahko to defend aerial set pieces better than Agger but Agger is a better passer of the ball than Sahko. Also Agger reads the game a bit better IMO than Sahko in the way of timing of challenges interceptions etc. Ultimately tho, I would move Agger on and grab some transfer fee for a DM player.

  31. I am a regular viewer of the site most days I don't always comment, and I do 'grasp' what your doing. It's just seems recently you have been fairly negative about how Rodgers has been handling his business, whether it be agger, sterling, Alberto, his 352 or team selection. But I do find it all interesting. He has been talking about improving the starting 11 in January where do you think he is looking to improve

  32. Injured till December.

  33. Alberto is an inexperienced kid with limited ability and physically frail. He should be thinking about breaking into the team in 2 years time, and be grateful for any playing time he gets between now and then.
    Fed up listening to these guys moaning about not getting into the first 11, do they ever consider they are not good enough, or there are better players/options than them. Aggers comments in particular really pissed me off recently.

  34. If we play a 3-5-2, Toure is the player on the bench.

    He's a reliable player if we need him in a pinch but the future resides in Agger, Sakho, and Skrtel.

  35. When did injury occur?

  36. never mind. I found on the interweb. thx

  37. If we are still in contention with Arsenal, we will be able to compete with them on the transfer market under three conditions:

    1. We have Champions League
    2. We offer more money
    3. We offer equal to or greater playing time

  38. What would Arsenal do with another midfielder? I suspect, someone is just desperate to engineer a demand for this player

  39. Perhaps he brought Sakho because he is also thinking long term and not just this season as many people here seem to be doing.

    I am glad that BR is thinking long term and not just taking a season at a time.

    Toure is not a long term signing, Agger has a terrible injury record and Skrtel has a bad habbit of losing form.

    For years we have always had a lack of depth and people complained, now we have that depth people are still complaining.

  40. have not seen enough to judge if he can displace what we have. want first team buys from hear on out

  41. Don't think we need him doesn't look anything special doesn't look any better than Alberto or suso and they struggled for game time he looks a similar build similar sort of player of similar quality. I think it'd be a waste

  42. After Dossena, Aquaman and Borini, I thought we had gone off Italians (I jest...I think)? ;)

    Born in Brazil but feels Italian going from his background of going there early and his desire to play for Italy.

  43. Yea its obvious what I ment. Consistency is the key to being a top player. Having one goal in 45 strikes in the league is shite (Townsend), Tottenham are already trying to make him the next big sale. His decision making in the England game was poor.

  44. The most likely scenario was that skrtel would leave and agger and sakho would be backed up by toure. Very sensible plan. however skrtel didnt leave and showed how professional and talented he is by how he has forced his way back into the team. Toure has turned out to be a monster so we are now discussing to many top defenders. I can definitely live with that, especially as its not me having to keep them all happy. Now we just need to have the same problem in midfield and attack and we will be discussing the thorny issue of were to put the trophies.

  45. agger is injury prone both are near 30 but skrtel is the fitter player but agger is class while he is fit but its time to cash in but we need a anchor man

  46. The wasted cash outlay simply reinforces that Rogers is poor most of the time in the transfer market. Unlike some, I am extremely critical of Hendo, Stevie and Lucas' form at the moment. Why not use Aspas and Alberto as competition? Moses is at best a Hull City quality player. Give me Lukaku, Demba Ba any day. with 22 mill if i were rogers I would have made an audacious bid for Juan Mata... he is clearly unhappy and surplus at chelsea. desparate for game time given the looming WC. and would give us better options in the midfield. we have also questioned time and again why some players seem to be undroppable no matter how shite they play. the gaffer does a very poor job at keeping the squad motivated when he rewards poor play IMO. no one (except Suarez) shud be immune from the chop including Steve... we see other top managers happy to drop first team players and demanding a response. Dec will be a key period for us, and we will see whether some of our lads have got the minerals

  47. I'm sure BR didnt count on being knocked out of cup competitions so early... these signings are paying that price, but he needed more depth to start the season... things aren't always black and white, perspective is needed..

  48. Sakho's been left out for one game! Get a grip, clearly to much thought has gone into the article.

    Skrtel was rumoured to go to Napoli prior to Coates' injury with the purchase of Sakho in mind (who we've been linked with for a while). This is a top young european defender who I'm sure will expect to spend a handful of games on the bench in the early days of his career.

    Besides with Kolo being 32 and Agger's history of injuries there will always be a good chance of either Skrtel or Sakho getting games.

    Have faith in BR I'm sure he will find a way to keep all four happy.

  49. It's you who hasn't thought it through, or even comprehended the point of the article.

    It doesn't matter what happened in the past, right NOW, Rodgers cannot keep Agger, Skrtel, Sakho and Toure happy, It is impossible. Two of those four are going to be frustrated all the time, and this is not good. it's not good saying Rodgers will 'find a way' to keep them happy. Please explain how. Venture an opinion. There are not enough games to keep them all happy. It's a mess, and if none of those four gets sold in January, expect to hear more Agger-esque non-complaining in the press.

  50. Even prior to being knocked out of the CC, LFC didn't need FIVE central defenders.

  51. I don't recall many people complaining in the past about lac of depth in central defence. The issue only really arose once Carra decided to retire, and then I'm sure most fans probably thought one top-class replacement would come in (and possibly a yougn defender to replace Coates). Instead, BR gets three central defenders in.

  52. There is not 'invented beef' - Alberto made his comments in an interview with the official site, before the Echo interview. It doesn't matter what else he says, he stated twice in the same sentence that he needs to play. Obviously, he's going to moderate what he says in public, and pay lip-service to the team-ethic etc, but inside, he is clearly frustrated with the lack of game time, and if that doesn't change, it will just fester, until he decides to leave. That may be fine for most, but it's more money down the pan, which (IMO) makes it essential that Rodgers keeps these fringe players happy (which he isn't doing right now)

  53. Don't get offended Jaimie, the comments section at the bottom of your article is for people to voice their opinions are they not? Im not in the slightest saying the articles incorrect just a bit impulsive.

    You've posted quotes from Agger mentioning its been difficult being out of the team (hasn't he been injured for a lengthy period?) and if the manager doesn't think he's good enough he could leave the club. Well I don't think there has been any mention of BR commenting that he doesn't think Agger is up to the task. He wouldn't have made him VC otherwise.

    A later suggestion in your post is that Sakho left PSG because he was 3rd/4th choice and now the same is happening at Liverpool.

    This comes back to my earlier comment (perhaps not as detailed as you would have liked) that he's only been left out for one game...

    Your response to my comment was it doesn't matter what happens in the past and to concentrate on the here and now. Well right NOW, Sakho was replaced by Agger for one game. To say either Sakho, Agger, Skrtel or Toure would get unhappy if they were left out of the team for a game or two doesn't suggest they'd become discontent and grounds for them to want to leave the club or the club wanting to sell them.

    There's a difference between being genuinely unhappy at a football team due to a lack of football and being disappointed. Yeah sure Sakho would have been disappointed to be replaced but to assume he will be unhappy with the decision and start comparing the situation to the one at Parisian club is a little much. If he's the sort of player pundits and fans around Europe think he is it should make him work harder for his place. BR is striving for competition within the squad in every position and competition breeds success.

    'Please explain how' as you put it. Well there's one obvious solution and that's playing all four. Whether its in the 3-5-2 system or the 4-4-2.

    Without going into too much detail, If BR decides to play 4 at the back Agger could play left back as can Sakho. I for one haven't been hugely impressed by Cissokho and Enrique runs hot and cold (in particular cold going back). With the likelihood of Johnson playing right back that leaves either Skrtel or Toure to fill the final centre half position and there is always the possibility of Toure playing at right back when Johnson is injured (which is especially likely with a fairly patchy injury history). And playing 3 at the back could see Sakho, Agger and Skrtel playing as the centre backs with Toure playing as the right wing back and Johnson on the left. So tactically it could work.

    In the short term its hugely beneficial that we have the sort of strength in depth that we have. We're back in action on the 23rd and over the five weeks up and until the end of the year we play 9 games. 3 in the space of 6 days at the beginning of December and also at the end. Players will get there game time that's for sure.

    Finally, Agger has always made his love for the club public and my opinion is even if he wasn't a nailed down starter but well thought of by the manager, club and fans, getting the club back into the Champions League or dare I say it brining the premier league trophy back to Anfield would be extremely important to him for this season at least anyway!

    I pose a question to you sir, would you even want a player at Liverpool if they were unhappy and requested to leave the club because they weren't starting every game especially if we were getting results and title contenders come January?

  54. I'm not offended in the slightest (!) You gave your view, I gave mine.

    I appreciate that Sakho has only replaced Agger for one game, but that's not the issue. The bigger picture is how does Rodgers keep four senior centre-backs happy over a whole season?

    If you look at this issue over a period or one or two weeks then yes, Sakho et al are not going to be genuinely unhappy about missing one game. However, extrapolated over a whole season, one or more of the club's defenders will inevitably become unhappy, especially those who are trying to get into a world cup squad.

    Before leaving PSG, Sakho stated several times publicly that he was unhappy with being 3rd choice centre-back, so it's reasonable to assume that if the same thing happens at LFC (over a prolonged period) he'll have similar feelings.

    I agree with you that all four can be played, but that is not the best solution for the team, and Rodgers probably knows that. Playing all 4 is a way to appease the players, and that's not a base upon which to build a successful team (IMO).

    History shows that one of the keys to a successful team is a settled back four, which means playing the central-defensive partnership as often as possible. Chopping and changing defensive partnerships every 2-3 games just to appease players is counter-productive in several ways, and it's a battle Rodgers can't win.

    In any event, the likelihood of Rodgers playing all 4 on a regular basis is slim-to-none, and that's the way it should be. Plus, why play Toure out of position as a right-wing back? How does that benefit the team when we have Johnson who is good in that role? Why move him to the left just to accommodate a square peg in a round hole?

    You and others keep going on about how it's good to have competition, but you seem to ignore the details of what that entails. It's good to have competition, but if it's unhealthy, it doesn't help anyone.

    In the last month, Agger has twice made veiled threats in the press. You and I may not like that, but it's a reality, and if you have several players doing that, it's bad for team morale.

    I appreciate where you're coming from, but in my view, LFC have a real problem here, and it's down to extremely poor transfer planning.

  55. I would bet Wenger wold make Rosicky available...he is the oldest of his mid-field blitzkriegers. Not interested inTomas but if Wilshere or Ramsey were available because of Jorginho's arrival that would be good. Still hoping for Mata though.

  56. aggers 1 injury away from retirement

  57. It all depends on what the likes of Alberto is displaying during training and in reserve games, and I presume under-21s. The key seems to b keeping such 'squad' players fit and hovering around the first team to be inserted in the event of any occurrence with the first choice eleven. Given we have no European commitments means we seem to have managed relatively well thus far by using a select few in form players. However this should no mean that we neglect other areas of the squad, and introducing fringe players into the first eleven, while risking disrupting the 'flow' of the settled squad could also afford some players the downtime some of them need. I'd rather rotate them a little rather than putting a placeholder in when the first choice either gets injured or loses form, because then any failure on the part of the placeholder to perform the role expected of him might possibly hurt his chances of being offered the responsibility again. Either way BR has a tricky balance to maintain; if it ain't broke why fix it?' or 'Why wait till it's broken?'

  58. so tell us jamie ,how does rogers keep these fringe players happy ? , football is a results business and that's the managers job to bring results , it up to the fringe players to prove their worth , and maybe rogers hasn't seen enough from them to risk these players as yet , i would rather trust in his logic of the game , than people that just write about it , there is 30 odd games of the season to go , he is only 21 , plenty of time ahead of him . if the kids has talent when he steps on the park , it will shine through to the point the manager will have no choice than play him, obviously rogers hasn't seen enough from him as yet , the kid should be grateful that he is at our club than still plying his trade in the barcelona b team , and lets face it he has more of a chance of furthering his career at liverpool than barcelona can you see him pushing iniesta , ,fabregas , xabi , to the bench , do not think so , nothing wrong in having 5 centre backs either , toure has been brought in to fill the void that carragher left and add some experience to the back line and the training ground and lori is one for the future , i think rogers is doing a great job considering the small squad he has , and yes he will make mistakes tell me a manager that hasn't ynwa

  59. I agree with Jake, you've been talking about Agger for a while now, and if you could speak Danish you'd know that the fraud of a journalist who wrote it up in English picked a few words from the what he said and made it look like he'd leave. I've commented here before. I'm all for critical analysis of everything in life, not just football, but use some common sense, be a little more realistic with it. Liverpool haven't been in the Champions League in a while, this is the part of the season they really need to build up the points and the confidence, they need to create a gap between them and everyone below them, It wasn't a waste of money, to buy 3 squad players, they might not be the best of players, but they'll be there if they need to be called on. We got a striker, midfielder and defender for less than the price of Diego Costa who wouldn't come to Liverpool anyway. "Strength in depth" I believe was a common term Rogers used throughout transfer windows, look at United, that squad has a load of players who wouldn't get near the Liverpool starting team, but they'll win leagues, because they have options, Liverpool didn't have those options before and they are nowhere near what Rogers wants to build yet either. Before they become an attractive proposition for the big players they need to get back to Champions League football, and I believe they are in a better position with 3,4 or 5 squad players, than one major signing, the squad was far too thin.

  60. Hes a young guy. Of course hes going to be "UNHAPPY" about not getting game time. But that shouldn't cover the fact that hes going to be PATIENT as well because he knows the team is playing well atm. Playing in Spain; without much experience; and switching to a more physical league and style of play; there is got to be a bedding in period. Coutinho's natural skill and end-product is giving Brendan Rodgers something to think about when he organizes the shape of the team.The thing with Alberto is he WILL get time, its only a matter of WHEN. It will take time and patience because right now the TEAM is doing really well. When it comes to a point where we will need to rest Coutinho or any other midfield player, Alberto could be an option. Trouble for the future. Nahhh.

  61. Completely agree that west broom and Fulham games should have enabled bench guys to get more time. Also agree an HK type guy instead of two or three 7M guys would have been way better. I Stillwater ant Kelly and Ibe to get time and if there are other opportunities to bring bench guys in, I hope BR does so.

  62. I think alberto deserves game time, and not even just in the FA cup, I think options should be used when presented and Alberto has skill, I think that's evident in the small amount of time we have seen him on the pitch, for instance in the Newcastle game when he came on, he increased our options and was feeding a lot of balls into the box, only problem that game is Newcastle were defending their draw and were defending so deep there was no visible space in the box at all, at least from my perspective.

    I see no reason as to not start him or put him on in the second half against teams like crystal palace, hull, fulham, sunderland, maybe even norwhich or west ham.

    Also I am continuously reading about how he's impressing for the u21's.

    I'm not arguing that he should start a lot of games, I just think it's sad for the player who had 7 million spent on him to maybe not even be on the bench.

    I also would like to see him play as everyone keeps saying Rodgers is great because he gives the young players those chances.

    From what I've read about him aswell he can be used pretty much anywhere in attacking midfield, in the centre or on the wings.

    It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few games and depending on how long Gerrard is out he might get his chance, I don't think it will be against Everton as that is a massively important game for us, they are strong at the moment and we are playing away, but maybe he might be fielded against hull.

    I'd like to see:


    Cissohko/enrique skrtel agger Johnson

    hendo/allen lucas

    Alberto/Moses Coutinho Saurez


  63. Totally agree Johnny, he looks like he has great technique but the Prem requires an equal portion of strength and steel.
    I would have liked him to have gotten maybe 15-20 mins vs Fulham although Brendan probably wanted Phil to get valuable match time now back from his injury. And let's be honest, although highly skilled, Phil has to still fully adapt to our league.
    ..as for Agger, I agree in the sense that his comments were out of line although certain media outlets will always highlight certain points when they are on a slow news day.
    I think it's just a case of fully trusting the manager as its all about the balance of making more correct decisions than wrongs and although pretty still inexperienced Brendan is, he is growing game by game with the team!
    I for one are quite optimistic and at this rate a CL place looks within our grasp injuries permitting ..On that note, lets see how the Mancs do without Carrick. Should be interesting haha!!

  64. He is a young player and will have to wait for his chance. If he doesn't like it he can leave. Against Fulham Coutinho also needed as much game time as possible to build his fitness back up.

  65. Rather we have those players than be short in that area. If the 3-5-2 is something that will be used from time to time, if one CB is injured that means 3 playing one on bench. Doesnt seem overkill to me. Espcially with Llori being a young player for the future.

  66. He is a football player not playing first team. That frustrates him. Good! Then he will try very hard to get in the team. At any one time there should be few players with this amount of frustration. Is the official website not public? Decides to leave? Like I football will continue after this season and when games are coming thick and fast I can see Alberto getting more time on the pitch. How Frustrated was the 28 year old Skirtel? Look at him now. A lad just turned 21 on a long term contract just signed is not getting off because he is not in the first team after a couple of months. Like I said your seeing a future problem that may never happen, or inventing a beef.

  67. Sakho will be ok give him time also it would be nice to see Aspas played in his preferred role.

  68. I really don't know if he would add to the team or not. i used to think that there wa sa lot of thought and analysis undertaken by clubs before they signed a player. However our transfer policy over the past few years still seems pretty hit and miss to me with players expected to play unfamiliar roles or to suddenly perform better than they have by the age of 26 or even just seemingly not that good in the first place.

  69. I'm sure over the December/Jan period he will get a chance to show what he can do from there it's up to him to make the impact.

  70. Joe Allen just pointed out how Skrtel was on the sidelines for a long time and then got back in the team, it certainly didn't spell the end of his career. Every player on the team should be able to look at it that way. There will be periods where you won't start for some or even most of a season, but if you're good enough you'll get a chance and suddenly be undroppable. I know players go on about getting a "run of games" but that doesn't always ring true to me when we're talking about the best football league in the world. Sure, it's obviously good if you can get a few games and time to build up your form, but there have also been players who can simply step up and take a starting spot after 2 months on the bench and it's like they never left. Yossi Benyoun was like that for us, even though it seemed sometimes Rafa just didn't like him at all. Every time he did get a chance he was the same quality player and he never needed a sequance of games to get up to his best level. At this level of football I think that's what you need to be able to do and truly class players will be able to do it. Sturridge was brilliant even at less than full fitness after a long layoff. Skrtel got one chance against United as was brilliant. Suarez can step off a plane after a 30 hour flight and play 90 minutes. I don't recall Stevie G ever struggling to step up to premiership level after an injury layoff. So it's certainly not impossible. If Alberto is to be of that kind of quality then considering he's got no injury worries I think he should be able to have an immediate impact, and in a couple of games he's shown exactly that.

  71. Christopher Labrosse4:13 pm, November 19, 2013

    I would rather sell sakho than skrtel/agger. and I rate Sakho as on the border lines of becoming world class.
    Skrtel is probably enjoying one of the best spell of his life and agger is simply a rock at the back.
    These two should play for liverpool fc as long as they are good enough and right now they are more than good enough.
    Competition is healthy plus they can always rotate and be introduced as subtitutes.