Hull City 3-1 Liverpool – Rodgers Gets It Horribly Wrong

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

By Jonathan Carroll

With a hectic festive fixture list upcoming for Brendan Rodgers and his Liverpool squad, this was a must win game. Rodgers team selection was questionable from the start leaving the ever creative Brazilian Philippe Coutinho on the bench where he was kept company by Daniel Agger, Mamadou Sakho, Luis Alberto and Joe Allen. With Daniel Sturridge out for 6-8 weeks, Rodgers opted to leave Aspas in reserve and Allen who did miss a sitter against Everton but surely could only help a stuttering midfield pairing of Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard.

Liverpool dominated possession but could do little with it. Jordan Henderson failed to adequately support Luis Suarez as did Victor Moses and Raheem Sterling. Sterling has taken a huge nosedive both on and off the field. With so much promise last season the youngster has found distractions off it, and it shows. Both Moses and Sterling were invisible for large parts of Sundays game.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Moses cheaply lost possession down the Liverpool left before Jake Livermore took on the loose ball and took on the shot which took a wicked deflection off Martin Skrtel. Early on there was no bite, no closing down, no pressuring the opposition. Liverpool were flat. Hull were allowed to play and they duly had their way with a lackluster Liverpool.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Steven Gerrard restored parity with a clinical free kick into the bottom right hand corner. Apart from that rare highlight, Liverpool looked below average. Disjointed and careless in possession. David Meyler and another Martin Skrtel own goal gave Hull an unassailable lead. Not until the seventieth minute did Rodgers try and change things up against a Hull City team that recently lost to a ten man Crystal Palace team. Make no mistakes this was a disaster performance, fueled by the horrendous team selection and tactics set out by Rodgers. Why wasn’t Sakho and Agger paired together? Why does Rodgers persist with a midfield lacking any sort of dynamism whatsoever? At least Joe Allen will offer something different. Lucas and Gerrard were out played by David Meyler, Tom Huddlestone and Jake Livermore. Big names don’t win games. Performances do and Gerrard and Lucas haven’t performed as a pairing all season.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

The players are also to blame for showing up in a manner not befitting a Sunday league game. Liverpool’s place in the top four will come under severe pressure in the weeks ahead. With games against Norwich and West Ham at home, the reds then face Tottenham Hotspur, Man City and Chelsea away in the space of fourteen days. If Rodgers can get thirteen points from the next six games it would be a good return from a tough fixture list. Based on today’s result and previous so called “easy” games, Rodgers is prone to disastrous results against lower level teams. Even after fifteen minutes Rodgers should have seen that this selection was not up to task. It was about as obvious as Tom Huddlestone’s hair.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

With Liverpool laying in fourth so far this season, that is mostly a false representation of the progress at the club. The level of the top clubs is below par. Making the top four will be a huge accomplishment for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers. December’s results will go a long way to determine Liverpool’s staying power in the Champions League places.

Picture courtesy of liverpoolfc.com

Hull City

  • 01 McGregor
  • 27 Elmohamady
  • 11 Brady Booked (Boyd – 92′ )
  • 03 Figueroa
  • 04 Bruce
  • 06 Davies Booked
  • 14 Livermore
  • 07 Meyler
  • 20 Sagbo (Graham – 90′ )
  • 10 Koren (Rosenior – 66′ )
  • 08 Huddlestone

Substitutes

  • 02 Rosenior
  • 05 Chester
  • 09 Graham
  • 17 Boyd
  • 18 Nagy
  • 22 Harper
  • 23 Faye

Liverpool

  • 22 Mignolet
  • 02 Johnson
  • 38 Flanagan
  • 08 Gerrard
  • 04 Kolo Touré
  • 37 Skrtel
  • 31 Sterling (Coutinho – 66′ )
  • 21 Lucas
  • 07 Suárez
  • 14 Henderson
  • 12 Moses (Luis Alberto – 74′ )

Substitutes

  • 01 Jones
  • 05 Agger
  • 06 Luis Alberto
  • 09 Iago Aspas
  • 10 Coutinho
  • 17 Sakho
  • 24 Allen
Referee: Howard Webb
Attendance: 24,940
Follow Jonathan Carroll on twitter @jonner6
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About Jonathan Carroll

I’m a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Born and bred in Ireland I played Gaelic football and soccer while growing up and attended the prestigious Colaiste Ide in Dublin to prepare for a soccer scholarship to the USA. I played soccer at Thomas University in Georgia and was made team captain in my junior and senior years. I was honored to become an All-American in those same years. I graduated in 2007 and coached high school and collegiate level soccer programs incorporating year round strength and conditioning techniques with great success. I moved to Boston in 2011 and went on to work at Mike Boyle Strength and Conditioning. I am currently the head strength and conditioning coach for the Boston Wolfe Tones Gaelic football team. Qualifications: Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (NSCA) USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach FMS Certified United States Soccer Federation “D” License Football Association of Ireland Certified

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