I think you're confusing criticising you're own manager (or others) with making excuses for a loss. Most of the EPL managers field a 'weakened' (or should I say 'not regular choice') team at some stage during a season, if their squad allows. When we did it last season (and this) sometimes we won and sometimes we lost - we play in the Carling Cup with a second string team - but do you expect to lose? Does 'arry? I hopefully doubt it. If any manager purposely puts out a team he thinks will lose - then I really do give up.
Also, look at it from the other perspective - if we put out a 'second string' that won at say Old Trafford - you couldn't then crow about it any more than winning with a first choice selection. Football is a game that involves the club (you saw the effect of Comolli on the squad) - so to say '....that was our 'weakened' team...' is a nonsense as all those players (and this is the point of a squad) should be able to step into the first team.
The same as when Liverpool played Leeds - it just simply exposed Liverpool's complete lack of a decent squad.
The Game has changed - it's not how it was 10-20 years back - where your fisrt team and a few subs was it. Now the top teams have 25-30 players - and they expect to use them over the season (and they expect them to win when they play).
And to Fab - I wasn't having a go. To me it's a serious issue - if you're playing 60+ games a season - you can't just have 15 players. And if (in the case of Spurs and other teams) you have spent millions on building a squad to cope - ANY of those players should be able to step in and get results. So, As I said, I would never use the managers selection as the excuse for the loss - you should blame your manager for his poor selection or your squad for not being good enough.