LONDON, September 2- The amusing return of Brendanitis, a strain of foot and mouth disease where the ‘and’ becomes ‘in’. Let’s run through Rodgers’ midweek quotes about his side:
On defensive organisation – “We are doing extra sessions on every aspect of our defending in terms of in-game static and moving positions and our set-pieces. We are putting in an awful lot of work into that organisation, it is one of the things I picked up on from last season. If you look at how I have always worked the pressing element and defensive organisation is crucial to that.”
Cue the worst defensive performance in the Premier League this weekend. And that was a keenly-contested award.
On Lucas – “Lucas is our best defensive midfield player. So when we play with the three in there, we want to control our defensive work, he’s the best we have at the club for that”
On Saturday against West Ham, Lucas looked lost. He was overpowered and outplayed by West Ham’s midfield, looking leggy and below par.
On Joe Gomez – “We know we have an outstanding talent. He’s a centre-half, but we asked him if he had confidence to play on the left side. You’ve seen from the three games, he’s a wonderful athlete. He’s fast, he’s a good size, but he’s also got a good football brain. He’s a very, very good personality to play at this level, he’s very humble.”
And on Saturday we saw why Gomez is more confident centrally. West Ham clearly had a plan to show the youngster onto his weaker left foot, and it repeatedly caused him problems. Gomez was switched into central defence at half-time, but it would seem unlikely that he can hold his own in that position just yet. Has the left-back experiment ended for now?
On Dejan Lovren – “There was a lack of stability in the group and it was a case of reassuring him that he was still a top-quality player. He’s much more patient in his game now, he’s got the stability of playing. He’s in the team and he’s in because he had a good pre-season so he’s in good condition. He’s focused but he’s also a bit more relaxed in his position.”
If comedy is about timing, Rodgers wins the Perrier. Two days after Rodgers lavished praise on his central defender came the sort of error Liverpool supporters became all too familiar with last season.
A reminder to Rodgers: Three games doesn’t indicate a redemption. If you can’t trust a central defender not to make the most basic of errors, don’t select him. And just whose chips at Liveprool did Mamadou Sakho urinate on?
Brendan Rodgers now surely boasts the worse Midas impression of all time. In Greek mythology, everything the king touched turned to gold. Everything Rodgers says soon turns to s**t.
-Adopted from Football365.com Winners and Losers weekly column