I’ll admit it, Rafa has me utterly baffled and exasperated. I really don’t know what to think or even expect after tonight’s Carling Cup line-up.
The starting XI: Itandje, Finnan, Carra, Arbeloa, Aurielo, Benayoun, Lucas, Sissoko, Leto, Torres, Crouch.
The bench: Martin, Gerrard, Riise, Hobbs, Putterill.
I have my issues with starting Arbeloa ahead of Hobbs, but that can be rationalized by saying the Spainard could use the practice in the center should we need him to deputize for Hyypia. Then again, when is Hobbs going to play? When emergency dictates he must be forced into action without any experience?
But that’s not what really bothers me. What bothers me is Fernando Torres’ inclusion in the starting line-up. Why the fuck is he fit to start in the fucking Mickey Mouse League Cup but not fit for a starting place in a proper competition like the Fucking Premier League, three days earlier, where we actually need him?!
What the fuck is Rafa thinking? Bullshit excuses about defensive tactics aside, why would you sit El Nino against Birmingham only to risk him in the least important competition when you can play any number of youngsters in his place? Why is three points in the league (the admitted ‘bread and butter’ of the club) less important than the earliest round of a trophy no Liverpool fan would ever take over the other three?
God help me if Torres doesn’t start at Wigan this weekend.
Play your strongest XI in the Premier League, Rafa. Let’s worry about resting the talent when we’re a few points clear after the New Year. Feel free to sacrifice the Carling Cup — we don’t care. Win the league. That’s Liverpool fans actually care about.
Because LiveFooty/SopCast was being competely uncooperative, I didn’t get to watch but a few minutes of the action. Instead, I was forced to suffer with an audio commentary. While I only trust my own eyes, it did sound as if Torres was dangerous for most of the game. A HAT TRICK? Shocking, right? Why would we possibly want that pedigree starting Premier League games, playing week in and week out? Please, by all means, sit him for the all-important league and save him for crap cup competitions.
(I can only hope we’re treating to some bullshit excuse about how Torres doesn’t need to start because he scored all his goals in the second half)
And then, after complaining about Gerrard not being ‘fresh’ because of England duty (You’re not changing the international game. Get over it), Rafa brings the captain on for the last 15 minutes? And he leaves Torres on for the full 90? Why not pull him after his second goal?
What. the. fuck?
I can no longer defend Rafa and his rotation policy. I understood the initial rationale behind it, but he’s taken it much too far. It’s almost as if he’s deliberately picking the team just to flex his muscle and demonstrate his stubbornness. It’s approaching madness.
*clapping hands together and showing a clean set of palms*
I want nothing to do with this anymore. I’m out.
Just get the god-damned results in the league, Rafa. Please.
I don’t even want to talk about what will happen if you don’t…
As for the 4-1 win that takes Liverpool to the 4th round of the Carling Cup, I’m sure you can read about it here. I need to go put my head down.