OpinionJohn Aldridge

Brendan Rodgers in need of some new ideas

John AldridgeBy John Aldridge
Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

LIVERPOOL manager Brendan Rodgers showed too much fear with the negative tactics he deployed at against Manchester United on Saturday night – and he will get plenty of criticism in the next few days as a result.

I’m not suggesting Liverpool should have gone at Manchester United with an all-out attacking plan as that might well have been a recipe for disaster.

Yet I would suggest that the United side that stood before Liverpool in the latest meeting of the two biggest clubs in English football were average – and that is being polite.

I cannot remember seeing a United v Liverpool game that had less quality on show than we saw in the opening 45 minutes last weekend.

Both teams were content to sit back and didn’t show much ambition, with United taking the initiative at half-time and reaping the rewards.

Rodgers is in a difficult position because he is under massive pressure to deliver this season and he was keen to avoid a defeat against United.

It was clear to me from the off that he would have been delighted to leave Manchester with a 0-0 draw, but that plan was undermined once they went a goal behind.

Liverpool showed the odd flash of inspiration when they let the second goal in and had to go for it, but it was too late by then.

Philippe Coutinho’s absence was a blow and that may well have affected the balance of the team, but to lose against United and show very little ambition until the game is almost up was hard to take.

Once again, Christian Benteke was isolated up front on his own and you wonder when Rodgers bought him if he isn’t going to play to his strengths.

Benteke will give any defender in the Premier League a tough afternoon and his late goal was something very, very special.

It confirmed once again that this guy is far more than a target man, but you need to give him the right service to get the best out of him.

Liverpool are not doing that at the moment and while the latter stages following Benteke’s incredible strike gave all of us who love the club a little bit of hope that the equaliser would come, I’m not sure we deserved it to be honest.

We didn’t get a shot on goal for the entire first half and once Anthony Martial scored his late goal to clinch the game, we all knew the outcome was decided. 

What a sickener. I am not going to put all the blame on the shoulders of the manager, but some might after this defeat.

You simply have to show a little more ambition if you are to get something out of high profile games like this and Liverpool didn’t do that at Old Trafford.

As a Liverpool fan, I can take a defeat on a day when the team has a real go and the luck goes against them.

To lose to Manchester United, of all teams, when you turn in a lame display like the one we saw yesterday, that is tough to take.

This defeat is stinging me, as I’m sure it is all Reds fans.