Liverpool FC manager Brendan Rodgers
BRENDAN RODGERS was wrong to have a go at Liverpool’s youngsters after their FA Cup calamity at Oldham Athletic at the weekend.
Especially when Jamie Carragher was left twiddling his thumbs on the bench.
I thought Rodgers was harsh. It was a really tough game for the young players, not least as they won’t have played against anything quite like that before.
That is part and parcel of their football education. In modern day reserve football, you rarely have games that are physical. But at Oldham, you know you will have a physical match.
Instead I’d have pointed the finger at the centre-backs. It was a day where the physicality should have come from them, and if they couldn’t get to grips with Matt Smith then what chance did the rest of the team have?
Paul Dickov had it right when he was talking about his plight at Oldham. You either walk away or roll your sleeves up.
Some of the youngsters will be affected by Rodgers’s criticism, some will take inspiration from it.
But there were stages when Liverpool, other than the two centre-backs, seemed to be comprised by a team of little boys; there was only Ken Dodd missing at one point.
OK, you don’t get many players like Smith in the Premier League. Even Didier Drogba wasn’t that physical. So I can’t see Liverpool’s defence being a major issue; after all, at set-pieces they’ve normally been pretty good this season.