When Daniel Sturridge was forced off yesterday for Liverpool, we got a glimpse of how Brendan Rodgers may deal with only half of SAS.
For 25 minutes of the match against Manchester City yesterday, we got a glimpse of Brendan Rodgers’ worst nightmare.
When Daniel Sturridge was withdrawn for Joe Allen carrying what looked like a niggling hamstring problem, Rodgers saw half of SAS taken out of the equation creating a problem he’ll have to deal with next season.
Allen’s introduction gave a brief insight as to what Rodgers may do next season when he’s presented with a similar problem.
Sturridge’s withdrawal caused Luis Suarez to push further forward, placing pressure on the midfield to get forward and support the Uruguayan striker.
Fortunately for the Reds, Philippe Coutinho thrived as Allen’s introduction allowed him to move into a central position, where he’s arguably more effective on the game.
Allen and Jordan Henderson are both very versatile players and more defensively minded than Coutinho, which allowed Rodgers the luxury if being able to let the Brazilian off the leash when he lost one of his main men.
Liverpool won’t always be able to play two up top next season, especially in the Champions League when Rodgers will have to use five men across the middle of his side to compete against teams which like to dominate possession.
That’s exactly what Manchester City did as they came back into the game yesterday, pulling back two goals after Liverpool had started quickly.
The problem for Rodgers is getting a replacement in for one part of SAS next season, if he doesn’t want to drop the approach he’s been using for most of this season, which has been good enough to put Liverpool in with a chance of winning the Premier League.
Rodgers’ worst nightmare was presented to him before his very eyes and he responded well, with Liverpool showing they have already got what it takes to cope with the loss of half their strike force, albeit even if it was only for 25 minutes.