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Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail
, Thu 01/11/12 at 21:21
One thing Brendan Rodgers has done during his short time as Liverpool manager, which has impressed all Kopites, is giving young players the chance to impress at first team level. Talents like Raheem Sterling, Suso, Andre Wisdom and Jonjo Shelvey have all grasped the opportunity shown by their manager and have by no means let him down, some might say.
With this brave decision, big money expenses such as Jordan Henderson, Joe Cole, Stewart Downing and Jose Enrique have all been put to one side by the Irishman, although the latter has suffered from a series of injuries. Therefore, the Capital One Cup and Europa League is an audition stage for those players to prove to Rodgers that they should be wearing the royal red come Saturday afternoon.
Last nights game against the managersí previous club Swansea should have been a turning point for them. However, unfortunately that was not the case. Take Joe Cole for example, he arrived at Anfield during the summer of 2010 with big expectation when Roy Hodgson brought him in from Chelsea on an expensive free transfer. He is on a reported £90,000 a week which has not been justified. He was sent off on his debut and had a few stop-start injuries under Hodgsonís brief reign and was never really fancied by Kenny Dalglish, resulting in him spending the last campaign at Lille on a season-long loan deal.
He impressed at the French club and with Brendan Rodgers (a coach he worked with at Chelsea) being named the new man at the Anfield helm, it should have been the start of Coleís Liverpool career. However, that hasnít been the case. He picked up injuries against FC Gomel in the Europa League qualifying round and on the opening day of the season during the 3-0 defeat to West Brom. Therefore, last nights Capital One tie at Anfield should have been the night Cole finally showed the Anfield faithful what he was capable off, and prove the managerís trust in him is justified and not just a sentimental one.
He started the game well off the pace and was not creating any opportunities for Samed Yesil, the young German who was isolated for the majority of the first half. He was too slow and looked out of his depth. That moves me on too Stewart Downing, who really should be nearing the end of his frustrating Liverpool career.
Iíll admit, I was excited by the prospect of signing Downing and, during his final season at Aston Villa, there was no better winger in the country for me. However, since day one at Anfield, he has been a major disappointment.
Last night proved no different. He didnít look to create anything for himself or the team. He also doesnít seem to be bothered about his constant failure; if it was me and I was being kept out by a 17 year old, I would be embarrassed and would want to prove a point and show I am a £20million player. However Iím afraid we will never see it.
Jordan Henderson is another player who didnít turn up last night and failed to show Rodgers why he deserves to be part of his plans. People keep using Hendersonís age as an excuse and whilst he has time on his hands, I do not buy it. Not when Shelvey and Sterling are producing the goods in the Premier League, week in week out. Henderson seems nervous every time he receives the ball, his heads never up looking for a forward pass and he persists on playing a square ball all the time. Last night was no different from what I saw, whether he was out of position or not.
I feel as though the three players mentioned not only let their manager, team mates and supporters down last night, but most importantly themselves. There may be more auditions to come for Henderson and Downing in the remaining Europa League games but I would say it is more or less certain that Coleís Anfield career is over. Unless Downing and Henderson produce consistent performances when giving their chance before January, they will join Cole out the exit door which will then give the manager the chance to create his own squad, and then start to produce performances like Swansea did last night.
Thu 01/11/12 at 22:47
Downing & Cole need to get out of the club, but no doubt we're stuck with them now until their contracts expire. Henderson may have a role to play but he'll never justify the money spent on him.
Thu 01/11/12 at 23:00
Agree Billy, it will eb tough to get Cole off the wage bill however I think Downing will be easier to move on. Henderson may have time but he needs to improve fast for me and at the moment, I can't see it.
Fri 02/11/12 at 09:46
This whole topic rages me loads of expensive Shite signings.
Fri 02/11/12 at 10:05
I agree its frustrating to say the least. I think the owners will be looking at value for money now on- hence the Dempsey deal falling through.
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