From the word go it didn't really look as if it was clicking for Liverpool in their loss to Hull City.
Liverpool have rightly come in for some stinging criticism over the past 24 hours for their display at the KC Stadium in a 3-1 loss to Hull City.
It seems there were some fundamental flaws in the game plan. If nothing else this season, Hull City have shown that they can look after the ball well in the middle of the park – Tom Huddlestone sitting deeper in the middle of the park, combing well with both Koren and Brady.
They did this for much of their defeat against Manchester City and for spells against Tottenham Hotspur – where unfortunately for Steve Bruce’s they were coming away with credit for their performance despite defeat.
What Liverpool didn’t do enough yesterday was press the midfielders when they had possession – and as far as team selection went they tried to gung-ho a team that is comfortable on the ball with wide men in Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling – neither of whom were effective.
There was no real control of possession, the plan from looking at the team sheet seemed to be a case of trying to get at Hull with pace, finish the game early and put the cue on the rack after an hour and look ahead to Norwich on Wednesday evening.
It was naïve. It was a game that in fact needed players with the ability to control – in either the form of Joe Allen which in itself wouldn’t have been bad man management from Rodgers as it will have given a vote of confidence to the player after missing a glaring opportunity in the Merseyside derby last weekend.
Luis Alberto could have been another option in the middle, although he was introduced later on in the game but on the right hand side of the field – and even then you could see he was always looking to tuck inside.
The other big selection fault of Rodgers was coping with Yannick Sagbo. He highlighted on his post-match press conference that Liverpool have struggled with the more physical strikers hence the selection of Kolo Toure. Sagbo was given the Man of the Match award in the ground at the KC Stadium, and Romelu Lukaku and Christian Benteke have had similar joy against Liverpool under Rodgers.
Yet there is a defender who is renowned for dealing with battles in the air, and came with a reputation of being able to deal with the more powerful forwards in Mamadou Sakho, and cost around £17m. Though he has looked a little rusty in a Liverpool shirt that is to be expected to be the case in the infancy of a career at a new club.
Yesterday highlighted that maybe Rodgers needs to take a more horses for courses approach to alongside the factors of good form and keeping the players fresh.
image: © Vincent Teeuwen