Liverpool’s impressive start to the Premier League season has surprised everyone.
This time last year the Reds were in eleventh place with only three wins to their name. 12 months on, Liverpool have improved drastically.
Second in the table, eight points better off and two points from top spot is something that every Liverpool fan wants to see, so it’s no surprise that every red is full of optimism this season. However, will Brendan Rodgers’ change of formation potentially damage the rest of his side’s season?
Before the 2-0 away to defeat to Arsenal at the start of the month, Liverpool’s formation of 3-5-2 was working wonders. Victories over Manchester United, West Brom and Aston Villa were earned because of this tactical tweak. But the defeat to Arsenal highlighted how exposed Liverpool can be at the back when playing against certain opposition. This then lead to the Northern Irishman changing his formation to 4-3-3 when Fulham visited Anfield last week, and even though the Cottagers were exceptionally poor, the formation worked as Liverpool went on to win the game 4-0.
Before the end of 2013, Liverpool will face Everton, Hull, Norwich, West Ham, Tottenham, Cardiff, Manchester City and Chelsea; games which will show the squad’s strength as we are fast approaching the congested part of the season. And with these games being played over a period of five weeks, Brendan Rodgers has announced that he will be making huge changes to the team, once the festive season is upon us.
“I have said to the players that between now and January we have one game a week,” Rodgers said.
“The players are working very well and very hard on a daily basis but I need to give oxygen to some players, so they can see a light at the end of the tunnel. It is important that I use the players well.”
This comes after centre back Kolo Toure was replaced by Daniel Agger in the 4-0 drubbing over Fulham last weekend. This was the first time since 1st September that Toure had missed a league match for Liverpool, and his replacement Agger, was making his first appearance for the Reds since October.
However, the 40-year-old defended the move by stating it was just rotation.
“Kolo has been sensational since he has been in but Daniel Agger is a top player. I just need to balance the team out when I can,” he added.
I think many fans are jumping the gun to suggest that rotation and a change of formation will hamper an entire season. Brendan Rodgers is a clever manager who likes to experiment with the players he has got at his disposal, and if he were to drop points due to a change of formation from the previous game, he will do his best to rectify his mistake.
Liverpool are going to drop points this season regardless what formation they play, and with the fixture pile up soon upon us, this can be a chance for the fringe players at Liverpool to get their chance in the starting XI, to prove to Rodgers that they deserve to be in that Liverpool first team. Players such as Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas, Raheem Sterling, Jordan Ibe, Tiago Ilori, Aly Cissokho, Martin Kelly and Joe Allen are just some of the stars that the former Swansea and Reading manager will be experimenting with over the next few weeks.
Liverpool fans should be looking forward to a great season which lies ahead, because if they continue to play how they are, Champions League football is on the horizon.
Could Rodgers’ tinkering be Liverpool’s downfall this season?
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