Just in case anyone is wondering my position on our CB situation, let me just say unashamedly that Sakho is first choice every day of the week and twice on game day.
Now there has been a lot of talk recently about the fact that Lovren has been handed on a platter more game time besides Skrtel during the preseason friendlies. When this first became an issue, I was wholeheartedly on the Sakho is being rested to prevent injury bandwagon and that had a lot to do with the fact that James Pearce one of the only real ITK’s out there stated “As it stands Martin Skrtel and Mamadou Sakho will be the first choice centre-back pairing.” No real ambiguity there, a matter of fact statement by an actual journalist that literally is tied to Liverpool FC hierarchy like a noose around the neck of a condemned man.
So to wake up this morning to the news that Rodgers has stated “It’s not something I’ve totally decided upon yet, I’ll sit down with the staff and we’ll look at it next week. The key is getting consistency in that area of the field. Your two centre-halves are critical. They are the tactical decision makers in the game. That balance is important for us this season. We had too many defensive changes last year and that’s not something that I like. Hopefully this season we’ll be more consistent as a back four.” kind of left me thinking that maybe I had deluded myself, maybe I had let the preseason optimism get to my head and that I am nothing but the condemned man hanging by a noose still thinking the Governor will step in to prevent my execution.
But the reality is this, we have not started our campaign yet, Rodgers may very well still come to the sane conclusion that Sakho is clearly the best CB at our club and I know that given the way our defence (doesn’t) works that is not the biggest compliment you can give any CB, but it is still a given that our defence is better when Sakho plays.
I can use statistics to prove that Lovren was one of the best CB’s in Europe last campaign, but anyone with eyes can tell you that those statistics do not tell even the opening sentence of a long story. Lovren is clearly a liability, he is clearly not a stable or commanding leader at the back, he is an anchor that drags the entire side down to the depths of the bottomless ocean whenever he is deployed, which is kind of ironic because being an anchor at the back is often seen as a positive trait for a CB to have.
Sakho looks awkward in possession, but he provides incisive passes straight into our attackers or midfielders and his passing completion rate is a beacon of hope for all Liverpool fans, he is commanding, he is a hard to beat in the air or on the ground, he is quick enough to recover when needed, but most importantly, he rarely makes the kind of mistakes that require him to try and recover, unlike Lovren, whose impression of a headless chicken really does give headless chickens a bad name.
There really is no decision to be made here, it is clear who starts, it is clear who deserves to be backed by the manager and given the fact that most Liverpool fans have only just come around to the fact that Rodgers will be sticking around for another season, after what was a stellar transfer window, it seems just plain dumb to bank your own future on Lovren.
Sometimes, it is better to concede you just blew £20 million on a useless squad player than to actually continue to try to justify your purchase. There is no redemption story here, there is only a dead man hanging from a noose, twitching his way to a pointless death, the only question is, who is actually hanging there, will it be Lovren or Rodgers. As Liverpool fans, there is one certainty that we can all bank on, If that man is Rodgers, it won’t be long before Lovren is hanging right there beside him, because there is no manager out there that will actually continue to back Lovren while he plays at Liverpool if Rodgers is left hanging.
I don’t know how I got here in truth, because I have been optimistic about our preseason, our transfer window, our prospects for the upcoming season and this was not meant to be a sadistic piece, but sadism and continuing to play Lovren just seem to go together.