Rotation (like it or not it’s part of the game)
Whether you like it or not rotation is a big part of the modern game! Modern day players are protected by sport science, go back 20 years or so when sport science wasn’t as prominent in the game, players didn’t get as much protection from potential burn out. Jürgen Klopp is all about protecting his players, he listens to his back room staff. His players all have their own recovery programs and he has a back room analysis team behind the scenes who tell him who can play and how long they can last. Go back to Wednesday, Roberto Firmino had previously got an abrasion to his eye, Jürgen could have started him but he chose to listen to his backroom staff and left him on the bench. It worked out brilliant because he came on and scored the winning goal.
Andy Massey is the man behind the scenes, he joined Liverpool in July ’15 as part of Brendan Rodgers backroom staff. Massey is also the first team doctor. When Klopp took over the intensity of his philosophy caused a sudden rise in hamstring injuries, it took two years to get the squad up to speed on the intensity of Klopps game.
Massey was quoted saying “I always say that the manager is the most inportant person at the club and everyone else has to fit around his philosophy,”
“Jurgen’s philosophy is very much that we’ve got to run further, run faster, run quicker than every other team because if we can do that then the skill will take over. So we’ve got to put the players in a position where they can do that. When Jurgen first came into the club, we tried to put that in there but the boys weren’t up to that physical level yet to meet the demands.”
“At one stage, we had 13 hamstring injuries but now, with the benefit of two pre-seasons, we’re seeing the boys work so much harder and they look like they’re more protected.”
With so many games coming up in the coming weeks Klopp will be forced into rotating the team again. But that’s why we have a big squad and with so much talent in our ranks it will be good for our bench to get a run in the team. Fabinho and Shaqiri hopefully will get some valuable minutes on the pitch.
Last season Jürgen rotated his squad after the majority of our Champions League matches. He was criticised a few times during the season. The one that stands out most was the 1-1 draw with Everton. We’d just beaten Spartak Moscow 7 nill in the Champions League. Then we dropped two vital points against our neighbours Everton.
Surprisingly Phil Neville would come to his defence saying “With the way he plays, he has to rotate,”
“I actually agree with what he is doing. I think he did take a little bit of a risk on Sunday against Everton. They dominated the game, then Everton got the penalty and got the draw. In the three or four games before that when he rotated and they got good results and nobody said anything about it.”
“He has to make sure that in December and January his best players are fit and ready, because if they’re not and they suffer the injuries they had last January, particularly the way that he plays, they will again have a difficult January-February.”
Matthew Upson didn’t share the same sentiment as Neville, he said “I don’t like that amount of rotation.”
“If you look at teams that have won trophies and been successful, they have kept a steady backbone, formation and personnel. My best football was when I knew I wasn’t missing a game. I prepared myself that I was going to play every game, and produced my best form that way.”
I can’t see us making too many changes in todays game but you just can’t predict what Jürgen has in mind. After todays game it’s Chelsea up next in mid-week in the Caraboa Cup, so that’s the game for rotating in my opinion. I’d love see Jürgen Klopp play our strongest team as possible in the Premier League. He should prioritise it over the domestic cups!
The Champions League is different proposition altogether, ‘its in our DNA’ , Liverpool are built for Europe and you just can’t rest players in that competition. Brendan Rodgers once did it against Real Madrid and it just didn’t feel right. That whole European campaign wasn’t right! Jürgen knows how to play in Europe and we’re the team to beat in that competition.
‘If Klopp can rotate well this season then hopefully it will be a successful season with a trophy in our already prestigious trophy cabinet’