14 Jan 2016

Anfield Farce: Embarrassing snub is Klopp's most absurd, Rodgers-esque Liverpool decision. Insult for Teixeira?

Okay, so let's get this straight: Klopp signs Steven Caulker to ease the club's defensive injury crisis, but then decides to rush the recently-injured Sakho back into the team ahead. Then, with only 2 minutes left, Klopp brings one Caulker - a central defender - and plays him up-front alongside Christian Benteke. In the words of Joe Miller: 'Explain this to me like I'm a two year old, okay, 'cause there's an element of this that I just can't get through my head'.

Just like against Watford, Sakho struggled on his return from injury, and Liverpool ended up conceding three goals, which is exactly what happened at Watford.

Gosh, who could've foreseen that happening?

Worse than that, though, is the decision to play Caulker up-front. It's the kind of preposterous decision Brendan Rodgers would've made, and in my view, it's a massive insult to Joao Teixeira.

* What kind of message does it send to academy attackers when a central freakin' defender is preferred in an attacking role?

* Is Teixiera such a terrible player that he is incapable of handling 5 minutes of a Premier League game against Arsenal? Of course not.

* Lallana and Teixeira broadly operate in the same area of the pitch, so it should've been a like-for-like change.

* How many other top-flight managers take off an attacker and bring on a defender (to play in attack) when the team is chasing a goal? It's just mind-boggling ludicrous.

* Caulker arrived at the club yesterday. Teixeira is in his FOURTH year at Liverpool, and he's played with most of LFC's players already (either in games, or in training), yet he's still not deemed to be worthy enough.

This is not about Teixeira per se, it's about what Klopp's decision represents (i.e. a draconian, Allardycian regression into hoofball tactics), and I'd be arguing exactly the same point if it were Kent, Ojo, or some other attacking player who'd been snubbed.

Klopp's defenders will come up with all kinds of lame excuses for playing a central-defender up-front (!), but for me, there's no credible justification for this decision.

Teixeira should just leave Liverpool. He's wasting his career, and Klopp's decision tonight is tantamount to an embarrassingly public vote of no-confidence.

EDIT: Predictably, in a bid to spin the narrative that Klopp's decision to play a central defender up-front was somehow a genius decision. many fans are twisting the facts and arguing that Caulker somehow played a major part in the equalising goal.

This is an utterly false representation of reality, and just goes to show that fans will do anything to defend the indefensible, even if it means deliberately being untruthful about the events of a game.

From the watching the replay of the equalising goal *objectively*:

* Henderson specifically picks out Benteke, and sends an inch-perfect pass directly onto his head.

* Benteke heads the ball across the goal. At this point, Mertesacker is IN FRONT of Caulker, and doesn't even look at him (i.e. Mertesacker is not goal-side, and is not focused on Caulker).

* Mertesacker is fully concentrated on the flight of the ball, which sails over Firmino (the closest LFC player to Allen).

* Allen gets to the ball before his marker, and scores the goal. At the point of impact, Mertesacker is NOT focused on Caulker, and that's because there's another Arsenal player near the goal-line with his eye on Caulker.

* If anyone distracted Arsenal defenders, it's FIRMINO, who, as noted above, was right next to Allen in the box.

The narrative that Caulker 'created space' for Allen is just absolute nonsense, and has no basis in reality.

Author: Jaimie K


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