The Bournemouth result yesterday was far more disappointing than the trip to Anfield.
But for me the changes made were also disappointing.
At Liverpool we started with Fredericks at right back, Rice as the holding midfielder and Antonio on the right wing
That was the Managers choice and we went with it.
Either the players, the system didn’t work or Liverpool were just too good.
Rice was taken off at Half Time and further changes made in the second half.
Game over, a 4-0 loss but let’s move on to an on paper easier match against Bournemouth at Home.
I fully expected Rice and Fredericks to be played again but Antonio being dropped was no surprise.
All three were not only dropped from the starting team but also the squad without injuries being mentioned.
I understand that the Manager is also finding his feet as well, but I thought he would have more of an idea how he wanted to play and starting players.
After losing to Bournemouth we now go into a difficult away trip to Arsenal with even more questions about the starting line-up.
Does Rice and Fredericks get brought back?
Were they dropped from the squad to prove a point?
How will it affect their confidence?
Are others now dropped based on the Bournemouth performance/result and do they get dropped from the squad as well?
We need to get a settled side and quickly.
With the amount of new players we have, they need to find there partnerships around the pitch and constant changes will not help this.
They are plenty of partnerships within a team but the ones in defence are so important.
Right back and Right Centre back
Two Centre backs
Left back and Left Centre back.
Then their links with the Midfield, Right Back with Right Winger etc
If we go from match to match keep swapping, then we will not get a team performance but be hoping on individual attacking performances as we did last season.
If he was seen as the correct player at right back for the system, then why drop him immediately?
Yes, he had a poor game at Liverpool but surely playing at home against Bournemouth in a game where we would have far more possession would build confidence and his pace may have made a difference.
The Bournemouth game could have been used to bed in a new system and new players.
Instead we brought back Zabaleta and although he was ok, he is not an attacking right back anymore.
He doesn’t take players on and struggles to get decent crosses into the box.
I do see a role for him in the side but as a supportive right back in games where we are up against it and will have less possession.
Very similar argument. If he was seen as our no1 holding midfielder in front of Obiang or Sanchez then surely it would have made sense to play him again especially with the harder games in mind during our opening spell to the season.
I can see that at home we shouldn’t necessarily need a holding midfielder but why wouldn’t he be on the bench?
I have seen on social media, calls for further changes to the defence for the Arsenal game.
Rice to replace Balbuena.
Let’s remember, our defence was the joint worse in the Premier League last season, we can’t just go back to the same players as last season and expect things to get better.
We need to play what we think is our best back four and give them time to bed in and work at their partnerships.
For me, the defence should be as below.
GK – Fabianski
Has made some good saves even though he’s conceded 6.
I hoped that we would have bought a clear number 1 so I do expect there to be a changes at some points this season but he needs to be given a few games.
RB – Fredericks
We need pace a RB if we are going to attach down the flanks.
Zabaleta should be used in tougher games or brought on late on.
Centre Backs – Balbuena & Diop
Mainly because I do not think Ogbonna is as good as some people think he is.
He rarely takes the lead, as the main centre back making clearances, Balbuena has already started to get the better stats on this. And he was a main part of last season’s defence.
Diop I haven’t really seen but we must have paid the money we did for a reason?
LB – Cresswell
I know Masuaku looks like he gives the better attacking options that I have argued that Fredericks gives us on the right, but Cresswell can deliver far better crosses.
All this said, if the Manager believes Masuaku and Ogbonna are better starters then fair enough but try and keep a consistent back four plus goal keeper. At least for a few games.