Rodgers reveals what he learned when he first used 3-4-3 formation

Brendan Rogers Press Conference Smiling - 16/02/2014

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has explained what he noticed about one of his players when he first used the 3-4-3 formation.

Brendan Rodgers told the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast Show for talkSPORT that he first saw promise in the team’s 3-4-3 formation in the game away at Newcastle United.

Liverpool seem to have mastered the formation, as Premier League champions Manchester City struggled to cope with it at Anfield over the weekend.

“We tried it in the game at Newcastle and no one really seemed to pick up on it,” said Rodgers.

“The way I was trying to find out about it was actually in games – we lost the game but played quite well and I learned that Raheem Sterling didn’t suit one of the wide roles.”

Initially using the three at the back system, there was scepticism because of the pressure it placed Liverpool’s backline under.

However, it seems to suit Liverpool well at the moment because it allows their talented central midfielders to tuck inn centrally.

That allows the Reds to overcrowd the middle of the team, which makes winning the ball back easier, with wing-backs getting forward to provide width on either side.

Liverpool are also fortunate that they have been able to play versatile attacking players who can drift into wide areas, as Raheem Sterling was used as a makeshift central striker.

Credit has to go to Rodgers for finding a way to make his team different and sticking with it when things didn’t go according to plan.

The system was initially criticised because Rodgers had to experiment in the worst possible way; in the middle of important games, but it’s now well bedded in and paying dividends.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch