Today it was the turn of Liverpool, as Southampton came away from Anfield with a deserved 1-0 win courtesy of a Dejan Lovren goal in the second half.
But the Liverpool team looked peculiar in honesty from the start, as essentially Brendan Rodgers made the bizarre decision to line his team up with four centre-backs forming his backline.
Maybe he felt that Southampton play narrow, so this would utilise the threat sufficiently for his team to take advantage of Mauricio Pochettino’s men.
It did not work, in particular in the case of Mamadou Sakho.
The former Paris Saint-Germain defender has played at left-back on numerous occasions throughout his career, even doing so at times at international level for France.
So in reality there should not have been any issue with playing him in that position.
But in all honesty, the best moment of his game probably came when Jose Enrique came on for Daniel Agger, and he was allowed to switch into the centre of defence.
The trickery of Adam Lallana had Sakho all over the place, while Nathaniel Clyne bombing on from right-back also had him toiling. In terms of attacking options, Sakho offered little, if no offense from the position - which is what makes the decision to play him all the more bizarre.
Liverpool were undefeated before the game, and in top form, but went out with a team that looked ready not to lose, rather than go out and actually win … and Southampton punished that mind-set.
Sakho is a far better central defender than he is at left-back - which was surely proven today. Sure he can do a job there when it is quite literally a necessity, but if he is not the last option he is not good enough to offer both attacking and defensive quality from the full-back position.
Rodgers got his team wrong for this game, of that there is no doubt - and he will know that. If he doesn’t, than the Liverpool fans seem more than happy to let him know.
Here is some reaction to the performance by Sakho at left-back…
Enrique might not be best LB but he offers something going forward. Sakho and Toure tried but could tell it wasn't natural position. #LFC— Kevin Hughes (@nklilbot) September 21, 2013
Brendon needs to take the blame today. If sakho is a left back then I'm barrack Obama. #notatall— BOUNCE (@Bounce147) September 21, 2013
I don't understand why Liverpool went with four centre backs we pay 15 million for sakho & play him at left back madness— Gazjones (@redman2701) September 21, 2013
... But I'd like to think that was the last time sakho will be played at left back. #lfc— Kev (@klfc35) September 21, 2013
Makes the decision to play Sakho at left back a poor one. Only Spurs probably press more than Southampton, so bad time to do it.— Paul Boyham (@PaulBoyham) September 21, 2013
Hard luck liverpool,bad decision from rodgers to play sakho at left-back#LFC— Conor Donaghey (@conor_donaghey) September 21, 2013
If sakho showed in training he deserved a place at left back ahead of enrique we might as well call it a day #lfc— Ian Not Himself (@Kendrinho) September 21, 2013
I believe Sakho can play left back, no chance on that showing today. Aspas should be out the team for the forseeable future.— Gustavo Fring (@Vic_mackey83) September 21, 2013
Id be very surprised if I see Sakho playing at left back again #didntknowwhattodo— Luis Carruthers (@JimmyBernabeu) September 21, 2013
Don't know who told Sakho he could play left back. May be harsh but Agger could have done better for the goal.— Andy Duffy (@AndyDaSilvaDJ) September 21, 2013
Sakho is a beast at CENTER BACK but hes no left back #LFC— Matthew Hickman (@Matt__Hickman) September 21, 2013
Sakho at left back = Traore. At best.— Jack Rollinson (@JackRollinson88) September 21, 2013
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