Paul Parker

Rodgers needs to keep reining in his ego if Liverpool are to get top four

Paul Parker

View gallery


The manner in which Liverpool completely dismantled Everton last night shocked a lot of people, including myself, especially when you consider their last performance at home against Aston Villa was so poor.

The Villa performance all came down to team selection by Brendan Rodgers because once he brought on Lucas the pattern of that game changed.

Against Everton, Rodgers started with similar personal as he did against Villa but Liverpool moved one of their strikers out wide and didn't just presume they could get past Everton on talent alone.

Rodgers pushed down his ego for this match and he will need to keep doing this if Liverpool are to get the Champions League place they desire.

He has got to select his best team, his best players, but then also put them in a formation that works for them.

Rodgers has a tendency to want to meddle with things and it is on those occasions that Liverpool have found themselves in trouble.

The Villa game was a perfect example of this – he was making changes to the formation when there was really no need to do so.

Sometimes I just think he is trying too hard to everybody happy, but you have to pick a team to win matches, not to keep players happy.

Whether Liverpool have a strong enough squad to make the top four remains to be seen but I would still like them to make a move in the transfer market before the window closes.

Defensively in particular they need some help, they look all over the place at the back. Jose Enrique is injured but even when he was fit, it didn't seem that Rodgers fancied him, and you can't keep playing Aly Cissokho at left-back.

You are never sure what you are going to get from Martin Skrtel; Daniel Agger is always injured; and Glen Johnson's defending is often suspect at right-back - and even he isn't fit at the moment.

Rodgers seems to be doing a lot of talking regarding transfers but not much is coming in – is he trying to shift the blame elsewhere, to the CEO maybe? It doesn't bode well if the manager is moaning about signings and not taking any of the blame himself.

They did not come out of the Mohamed Salah situation looking too good - sometimes when a player becomes available you just have to pay the money and act fast.

I have been critical of Manchester United's transfer dealings for example but they made a strong move to get Juan Mata.

View gallery


The £37.1m fee might seem like a lot but this is not a player who lost his place in the Chelsea side because of lack of talent but rather a personality clash with the manager.

Sure they might have paid a little over the odds, but Mata is still a player who is good enough to get into most teams in the world and definitely any team in the Premier League.

With Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney both back now too, from an attacking perspective, United look set to kick on and challenge for a top-four place.

Creatively it will be interesting to see how it all fits together, especially away from home, as they still look weak defensively.

Finding where best to use Mata will be interesting. Can he play in the centre with Carrick? Would Carrick be quick enough moving the ball? Or is there room for Mata and Kagawa? Could United follow Chelsea's lead with Hazard and Oscar and have two creative playmakers in there with somebody like Carrick or even Fellaini behind them offering protection? It could provide Fellaini with a second coming if he has better players around him to work with.

These are all questions that David Moyes has to answer, and has to answer quickly, because United are still seeking a pattern of play that works for them this season.

Finally, most people are writing off Everton as Champions League contenders after last night's result, but I think it is too early to do that just yet.

Roberto Martinez was a little bit too flamboyant with his Everton team last night. They came full of confidence, playing attacking football, but he might have gone a little too far at Anfield which left them too open for a game like that.

However, he won't make that mistake again, and if we are saying that United are contenders for the top four then you have to say Everton still are too as they are above United in the table.

There are still a couple of days left in the transfer window too, something tells me we might see one big move that could influence things further and with Tottenham in the mix too, that final Champions League place is still very much up for grabs.

View comments (103)