Brendan Rodgers on Chelsea Loss: Post Match Interview and Rueing a Paper Thin Squad

All left to play for next year

Three matches in the span of eight days is trying for any squad, let alone one that’s as paper thin as the one Liverpool are currently stuck with. Although the Reds rolled over Cardiff City at home and gave an impressive account of themselves away at two of the toughest grounds in the Premier League, one’s left to wonder what could have been.

With Daniel Sturridge, Steven Gerrard and Jose Enrique on the treatment table to kick off the busy festive period, and with Jon Flanagan soon to follow, there wasn’t much wiggle room for Brendan Rodgers. All you could do is snicker as his contemporaries drew on deep squads for rotation and substitutes as the Northern Irishman was reduced to handing an unproven 19-year old his debut while chasing the game at Stamford Bridge. If you don’t laugh, you cry, but come January, the hope is Liverpool will buy rather than be left looking for the tissue again.

Video by SportMediaHQ

“It was difficult, there was no balancing – we had to play the same team bar one” conceded Rodgers following the Reds 2-1 reversal at Stamford Bridge. “I looked at Manchester City’s team yesterday and I think they changed seven players. Today, Chelsea were able to do that.” Although the Blues didn’t quite make the wholesale changes that City were afforded, each of the changes were arguably like-for-like with little loss in quality shifting them on from the bench to the starting eleven.

Rotation is one thing, but what’s even more staggering was the substitutes that Manuel Pellegrini was able to call on when Liverpool narrowly missed out on a share of the spoils at the Etihad. The Chilean pulled no less than £70mil worth of players off the bench — keep in mind that despite their immense wealth, City only get three subs like the rest of us peons. Rodgers, in contrast, was very much the Pauper to his counterparts Prince.

“But that’s where we’re at” he said. “The squad has been thin all year. We have been fortunate we’ve kept players fit. It’s just unlucky that we have played two of the best squads in the league back to back. That would always make it tough for us.” Thankfully, we were also able to make it tough for them.

We’ve dropped from first on Christmas Day to fifth come New Years day, but when you consider the quality of players we have on the treatment table and the way the squad has stood up to be counted, we’re doing better than expected. “That’s why I’ve got so much credit to give to the players, because especially at Manchester City, they were outstanding” enthused the Reds manager. “Today, they have given everything to the game.”

Unfortunately, that everything appears to have come with a price; Joe Allen had to be substituted on the hour mark and Mamadou Sakho pulled up with a hamstring problem as time ran out. Although he finished the match, Jordan Henderson will also need to be assessed ahead of Wednesday’s meeting with Hull City. Steven Gerrard, tipped to be fit for the first match of the year, can’t return soon enough.

With the winter transfer window opening the same day that Liverpool host the Tigers, reinforcements are expected — and will be needed if Liverpool are going to keep up the kind of form Rodgers is so proud of. “Over this year and in the first 19 games this season, we have shown that if we get players back and get some help in January with a few more players, we can be in the shake-up. That was the biggest thing” said the Northern Irishman.

It’s Champions League or bust folks; 19 more games and counting.


Steven McMillan

Can’t find up from down or tell black from white, but doesn't care cause it’s all Red to him. When he's not pissing and moaning about all things Liverpool, he’s chatting nonsense with his multiple personalities — or his “entourage” as he likes to call them.

3 thoughts on “Brendan Rodgers on Chelsea Loss: Post Match Interview and Rueing a Paper Thin Squad

  • December 30, 2013 at 7:08 am

    I am sorry but I find his whining about his thin squad an indictment on his own performance as manager, first he thinned out the squad (which was needed) and instead of strengthening he buys rejects and then loaned two useless players, now he stands there and complains about his squad.

    I also found his response to the shirt swop more than a bit rich, in his pre-match interviews he was singing Mourinho’s praises, I was stunned, dammit man!!!… this guy is the enemy, what message are you sending to your troops when you say things like that, I am surprised he didn’t swop shirts with Mourinho after the game.

    I am not a fan of Rodgers, I believe he is out of his depth and come January we will see more players that left “because they could not get a game at their previous club” Rodgers seems to believe that if he buys them they will suddenly become like Messi……dream on, more low impact players on the way thats for sure. I do not believe we will finish in the top four and Rodgers will be blaming everyone except himself…..wait and see (hopefully he proves me wrong)

  • December 30, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    There’s certainly a difference in opinion here, but I hope he proves you wrong as well.

  • December 30, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    I think his main mistake when it comes to squad was selling Jonjo. But as for the rest of what you are saying…. Seriously what do you expect? He does not have money to go out and buy 2 awesome 1st 11’s we are not Chelsea or Man City… He has to take risks with unproven players on the cheep.

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