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Liverpool's Martin Skrtel should not complain, he should look in the mirror

Liverpool's Martin Skrtel has spoken out about his omission from the side in recent weeks.

Out of a possible 270 minutes of Premier League football in February, Martin Skrtel has played just 14.

He also missed Liverpool's home tie with Zenit in the Europa League last week, with Jamie Carragher keeping the place in the side he has regained in recent weeks.

Here's what Skrtel had to say yesterday: "In Manchester we lost 2-1 but I think that particularly in the second half we played very well. Moreover, a lot of sources gave me a good rating. But he [Rodgers] told me we had lost the organisation of play in the defensive line and that this would be the reason why I would not play in the following matches.

"He [Rodgers] selects the line-up and picks players who will be on the pitch. At the moment I’m not among the first 11. It makes me sad but the coach has decided like this and I have to respect it."

There has been mischievious speculation that Skrtel could even jump ship back to Russia with Zenit St Petersburg, with the Russia transfer window closing today. Forget that, it isn't going to happen, even the Slovakian has described the idea as 'useless', with selling such a good defender midway through the season with no chance to sign a replacement amounting to what would be sheer stupidity from Liverpool.

For us, the worst part of Skrtel's dip in form was the FA Cup shock loss to Oldham. There were several youngsters who did not show their potential that day, but Skrtel was one of the experienced heads supposed to steady such nerves, but instead looked like a League One player, and not a dominant one either.

In his interview, conducted with Czech news outlet Denik Sport, he came across as frustrated, which is right for any player not used to being dropped, but almost slightly resentful towards Rodgers.

He would do well to keep a lid on this and focus on winning his place back. Jamie Carragher is no long-term obstacle in his path back to the first team, for he is retiring at the season's end.

Skrtel is one of Liverpool's key men in defence, he has shown this in the past, playing especially well last season, and it's only natural for players to experience dips in form.

This is just a challenge being put before him by Brendan Rodgers, so it's vital to his character and long-term future that he can come through it with minimal fuss. Speaking out about it was a bit of an own goal, he needs to focus on impressing on the training pitch and taking his opportunity when it comes along.

That starts with accepting his below-par performances were to blame for his being dropped, and upping his game accordingly, which begins with staying professional.

Liverpool fans what do you think of Skrtel's benching?

image: © jbj

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