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13th Sep 2015

Liverpool legends turn on Brendan Rodgers after disastrous defeat to Manchester United

They absolutely hammer him...

Gareth Makim

The tide seems to be turning against the Liverpool manager.

Brendan Rodgers survived last season’s end-of-term slump but if results at Anfield don’t improve it looks unlikely he will be given another reprieve.

The dismal performance against Manchester United gave more fuel to Reds fans not convinced by the Irishman’s suitability for the job. But now the hammering of his tactics by a pair of Liverpool heroes will surely fan the flames.

Jamie Carragher and Graeme Souness have both been highly critical of Rodgers’ system, particularly his commitment to a 4-3-3 formation that left striker Christian Benteke distanced from his team-mates far too often.

“There was not enough help for Benteke,” Carragher said. “I don’t understand what the point was in playing Danny Ings in that wide position. He didn’t give the support to Benteke.

“You think about how many strikers Liverpool have on the books and they have no wide players. They’ve only got Jordon Ibe. Firmino is not a wide player and Coutinho played there last week and he’s not a wide player.

“I don’t understand this obsession with playing 4-3-3. Brendan Rodgers came to the club wanting to play 4-3-3 and it didn’t work.

“The great season they had was with two strikers and how they got them into the team is down to the manager. They’ve got a lot of strikers, no wide players, and he continues to play 4-3-3.”

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The impending return of Daniel Sturridge will further cloud the picture, with the prospect of the England striker also being pushed out wide, and out of position, in Rodgers’ preferred formation –  something Souness says has to change.

“The first thing you have to do with players is make them feel comfortable in positions they’re playing in,” Souness said.

“Firmino doesn’t want to be out there. On the other side Ings doesn’t want to be there. Right away they’ve got an excuse: ‘This is not my position, I’m not used to it’.

“Ings spent most of that half running towards his own goal. He would class himself as a striker, he doesn’t want to be doing that. What Firmino is I’m not quite sure, we might see that as the season pans out.

“You’ve got square pegs in round holes and it just doesn’t work. You have to make people feel they are playing in positions they are happy to play in and Liverpool haven’t got that right now.