Was Brendan Rodgers right to rest players in midweek? We’ll see on Saturday
Brendan Rodgers’ decision to rest several key players for Liverpool’s midweek Champions League trip to face Real Madrid has come under a lot of scrutiny.
There’s two ways to look at it. Did he sacrifice any chance of winning that game by tinkering with his team selection and resting the likes of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Raheem Sterling?
Or was he really dropping players because he thought they were out-of-form?
It will be really interesting to see Brendan’s team sheet come Saturday lunchtime and whether he decides to bring in those players who were on the bench in Madrid.
We saw the Liverpool of old at times in the Bernabeu, with their movement, passing and togetherness coming to the fore to produce a decent performance.
They didn’t create that many chances but not many sides will create chances against this current Real Madrid side.
But in terms of giving a committed performance it would have pleased the manager.
Now though, it will be interesting to see how many changes Brendan makes for the Chelsea game. Will the players who performed well in the Bernabeu keep their places or were key players rested with Chelsea in mind?
Brendan has said his team selection had nothing to do with the visit of the league leaders but those questions will only be answered when the Liverpool team comes out at around 11.45am on Saturday morning.
But after that it will be the result that determines whether Rodgers’ decision was a correct one or not so we’ll have to wait and see before making the final judgement.
Mourinho is the master when it comes to guarding against complacency
Jose Mourinho is doing everything right to avoid against complacency amongst his Chelsea players and even the club’s fans.
Chelsea have had a tremendous start to the campaign but you can see signs of complacency just creeping into their play and that has to be a worry for him.
But Mourinho’s spotted this and he’s also recognised that now is the best time to raise his concerns.
With his side unbeaten and top of the table he has a window of opportunity to vent his frustrations at the supporters and the players as he is in a huge position of strength.
No-one is going to want to get rid of him just because he’s been a little outspoken.
Fans won’t like it but if it helps turn up the noise level at Stamford Bridge then it would’ve been worth it.
Players need an extra lift at times and that comes from the atmosphere. Sometimes the crowd are worth a goal to you and if they now really get behind the team then you have the manager to thank.
Mourinho has had to apologise, and rightly so, but he has made his point and don’t be surprised to see the atmosphere crank up a notch the next time the Blues step out at Stamford Bridge.
Things are finally looking up at Newcastle
Newcastle boss Alan Pardew was all too aware that his team’s results hadn’t been good enough prior to their recent upturn in fortunes.
Having looked back over the last calendar year – which drives a manager mad by the way – Alan would have realised that the fans were entitled to be unhappy but Mike Ashley stuck by his man and they are now reaping the benefits.
Pardew has now been through the worst of it, Ashley held his nerve and the club has come through their bad patch and can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
The supporters are never going to bow down to Pardew’s feet but they have now come through the worst of it and they can aim to finish as high up the table as they possibly can.
The only way is up for the Toon Army.
All odds and markets correct as of the date of publishing
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