Most people may have expected a whitewash when Liverpool played Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu, especially considering they played their B side, but in actual fact, the Reds managed to give Real Madrid a bit of a game and only lose by a goal to nil.
Now whilst that has been commended in some quarters, there are two major issues that have come to light.
Firstly, the fact that boss Brendan Rodgers was beyond wrong to bench five of his best players and allow his reserve side to take to the field – Chelsea game on the weekend or not – the players and the fans simply deserved better.
Much had been made of last season and how hard Liverpool worked to bring games like that back to the club – and it could well be the last chance that Steven Gerrard has to lead the club he loves out in a stadium like the one Real Madrid have, yet he was denied that.
Not to mention the fans who have paid a huge amount of money to buy a ticket and travel to Spain – to see a side they could have watched in the next round of the League Cup.
Real Madrid might be one of the best attacking teams in the world at the minute, but they are poor at the back at times – yet Liverpool did not even really try and attack them. Having Fabio Borini as your loan forward would not bring joy at Anfield against Burnley, so why Rodgers felt that it would at the Bernabeu is a mystery to all but himself.
You never quite know in football and shock results can happen – but not when the B side play and the likes of Raheem Sterling are on the bench.
The ‘we can’t win, so lets play the back up players’ attitude is not only one that Rodgers will have held, the players will have seen their manager’s team selection and assumed he felt them incapable of getting a result. Not exactly great man management there Brendan.
However, none of that really compares with the fact that some – not all, it must be said – of the fans were actually pleased at the result because ‘it could have been much worse.’
They still lost one nil and frankly, having such a mentality is out of place anywhere outside of north London.
Liverpool are a huge club who, as they like to tell us, have won the Champions League five times – but they will never win a sixth until they get rid of that attitude.
You have to expect to get a result or at the very least be disappointed in your side when they don’t. Manchester United now are far removed from the side they once were, but their fans would never travel away anywhere and be pleased at a one goal defeat. It is simply the mentality of a loser and it will transmit to the players.
There are of course some fans who are not only utterly disgusted with the side that Rodgers fielded but also the fact that the loss was expected, even hailed as a positive in some quarters. It is not. No one should be happy with a defeat, no matter who you are.
The danger of course begins when you become happy with a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid and a couple of weeks down the line, losing to the league leaders in England is considered alright. Then the Europa League is considered better than nothing. It is a slippery slope.
Eventually you become another Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool are too proud of a club and one who have won so much in the past that they cannot allow that to happen.
Rodgers had been thought to be the man for the job, the man to drive the team forward and make them winners again, both domestically and in Europe. However, after last night, it seems that might need to be reconsidered. The only thing Rodgers was missing come kick off was a white flag – and before that ever happens again, Liverpool should consider handing out a P45 instead.
Liverpool fans. Was the problem the team selection or do you need to change your mentality before you can win anything? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.
8 years ago
The team last night played better than the so called first team did at Anfield, manager picked the right team. Now maybe some of are so called star players will look at them selves and there performaces this season and realise your only as good as your last game, and the performance they put in agains Newcastle, I would of dropped them, they deserved it. Now against Chealse, they have the chance to prove they should of played against Madrid.
All the opposition supporters are making a big deal about this because they wanted to see Liverpool get smashed by Real, and they are just unhappy that it did not happen.