What possessed Brendan Rodgers to go back to the system that didn’t work in the early parts of this season? Balotelli leading the line when he’s obviously a better second striker? Gerrard holding? The only reason why West Brom didn’t score was because they didn’t have anyone decent in attack.
There was a huge disconnect between Skrtel, Lovren, Gerrard and the rest of the team. And Balotelli wasn’t leading the line and making runs (which has been bloody obvious for months and months now), so there were no bodies rushing into the box either. Pulis organised West Brom well, and they packed the box. Crosses weren’t going to work, so we needed movement. But there was none. Zilch. Nada. Zero.
Other than brief moments of excitement, the game was as dull as anything I’ve ever seen. Can even turned into a midfielder cum right-back in the second half just to connect the back to the front. Henderson was anonymous other than one flick, and everyone was basically playing on their own. Ibe and Sterling ran pretty fruitlessly, and Johnson? Sigh. Coutinho was a bright spark, but he just couldn’t get balls through the wall of men. That, and there was no one to pass to. He even dropped deep in the early parts of the match simply because balls were not going to him.
I missed Sakho’s passing so much. It was always forward thinking, and he almost always picked the right option. Skrtel and Lovren, and dare I say, even Gerrard had an awful time just passing the ball between themselves. It took Can or Coutinho to come collect from them before attacks could be initiated. That can’t be the case when we have 75% possession and need everyone to contribute to the attack.
The subs barely made any sense to me either. Subbing Borini for Balotelli wasn’t going to do much good, even if Borini is more willing to make runs. Lallana for Ibe, who was getting into the game after swapping flanks with Sterling, was boggling. Why not take Gerrard off instead, since West Brom were barely attacking?
In the end, we were so bad West Brom even got into the game for a moment. This just brought back memories of that terrible start we made to this season, and it’s terribly reaffirming of the view that Rodgers doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing.
This season can’t end any sooner.