Based in London and writing for a global audience our aim is to produce EliteFootballTalk. Enjoy the site and feel welcome to join in our discussion on the beautiful game.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Stop rotating Rafa!

Despite what he says about the big players not playing well, the fact is that no one will play well if they don't get the chance to play consistently.
Benitez is fast becoming the ultimate tinkerman and Liverpool are paying the price. I cannot understand why Torres was left out against Portsmouth and Birmingham only to play 90 mins against Reading in the Carling Cup. These so called big players need to playing week in week out and it a myth that players cannot play 60 games per season. Last season we were all moaning at Benitez for consistently playing Gerrard on the right of midfield; he seems to have learned his lesson this season but now we're seeing everyone else moved about.

Liverpool have a great great chance of winning some silverware this season but only if Rafa stops rotating!


Blogger SKG said...

This is from the BBC's website:

"Rafael Benitez has not named an unchanged starting 11 for Liverpool since 31 October last year (v Bordeaux, CL) and has only done so once in 152 games"


10/05/2007 12:52 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

The more I hear about the rotation, the more convince I get to be that it is a core problem. Initially I was of the position it doesn't matter who plays, they all know each other well. But being a player, you could be disgruntled as to whether you are playing the next game or not.

I would wish for Rafa to play an unchanged side for at least five or six games to see any difference. But big names dont necessarily guarantee you goals. Utd had Rooney, Ronaldo and Scholes on Tuesday with Tevez, Giggs and Nani coming on later yet only one goal. Torres didnt feature in the Pompey and Brum games but did against Reading, Wigan and Marseille and failed to score. Many call for Torres to start more and three games in he hasnt hit the net.

Many campaigned for Gerrard to remain in the centre, now he does his form has dropped nonetheless. But since so many cry out for Rafa to not change the side as that would lead to better performances, I would implore he doesnt tinker with the side for the next few games to see any effects.


10/05/2007 9:04 pm

Blogger T said...

That is an amazing stat SKG.

Benitez argues that he has a deep squad and wants his big players to be fully fit at the end of the season. The counter-argument is that his big players dislike being left out and the team don't build an optimum playing rhythm together.

I can see merits in both arguments. At the moment Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premiership so it would be unfair to Benitez to say that it a policy that is not working.

But when you have Torres in top form on the bench and your team fails to score I can understand the frustration of Pool fans. Personally I think it was bizarre that Benitez left Torres out of two successive Premiership matches yet played him in the Carling Cup... the same competition he derided last season after Arsenal knocked them out. I don't see him playing Torres in the next Carling cup match - because surely he realises that it is baffling to save your star forward for the league cup rather than the Premiership.

10/06/2007 12:09 pm

Blogger Skippy said...

I think the recent results will be a wike up call for Rafa, in that it should make him realise that the squad is not so strong that he can just send any team out. He should pick 8 players week in week out for the league and make no more than 3 changes. At the moment he is making 5/6 changes on a regular basis, that can't be good for the team.

10/07/2007 9:50 pm

Anonymous Nturtle said...

Hi guys...for some reason...the comments pop-up hasn't been working for me for ages!!

Good to be back!

Mmm...rotation...well...I think it has it's merits...but Benitez certainly could do with some more wins with an unchanged side. There IS such a thing as a "super -sub" Rafa!!!! Even with good players, it's not the be all and end all to actually PLAY all of them!! Depth is the squad for injuries etc is useful, and rotation just seems to me at this stage that it might INJURE more players than keep them fit, maybe injured in terms of mentality that is!!! NOBODY is fresh and fighting for a spot!!! Strange...situation it is!!

Good luck might have a salvage things. But then again...perhaps it's not rotation that is the problem...but tactics and applying them to different opposition!

10/08/2007 2:48 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

I don't see anything wrong in playing Torres in the Carling Cup, the player is in his first season in England, the Carling Cup is adequate to use some first teamers or mostly reserves or new players to show their worth. But it has since been quiet about Torres when the calls were made for him to start every game. Thus far he has and has failed to score. Equally the call about Gerrard in the middle making Liverpool stronger, Gerrard has been off key since his injury. Players are not corroborating with each other cohesively enough right now and that's not down to any rotation, I think it is something more off the field. Only Rafa can delve down to what it is and erode it. Playing the same 8 players does not guarantee a win, moreover rotation should encourage a player to play well enough to not be considered for change for the following match.


10/08/2007 4:06 pm

Anonymous Striker said...

To rotate or not to rotate, that is the question.

There is one strong arguement to rotate & it has been proven by Milan & sports must all be looked at as a long term instrument.

The objetive is to not physically "kill of the players" as there are League games, Cup games, Champions games, Uefa games & International games all season..etc & etc. A hell of a lot of games!

It has been shown that Teams that utilize the rotating method will have fewer injuries of their key players & will be more "fresh" towards to end of the "crunch" part of the season.

Obviously, everyone is sensative to the short -term vsion & results, & its difficult to equilibrate the now with the future. But it is a worthy strategy & a worthy instrument in the coaches bag to consider.

10/08/2007 5:06 pm

Blogger T said...

Good points from all on this debate - simply going to show there is no easy answer on this rotation issue.

It'll be good to revisit this debate in April to see if Rafa has been proved right with the theory - as nicely explained by Striker - behind the rotation method.

Personally I don't think there is anything wrong with rotation if it is done minimally and with the least disruption to getting a good team rhythm and momentum. As SKG's stat shows- Benitez seems overly obsessed with rotation and unless his team finishes ahead of teams that operate a minimal rotation method he will get people legitimately doubting whether it is right.

Redsman, you suggest the players are not ticking off the field. Do you think this may be explained by the players not being entirely happy with the rotation method because they may get frustrated - individually and/or collectively - that irrespective of whether they are in form they will be benched for a player who is not at the same form level simply in the interests of rotation?

Good to have your comments Nturtle- always an engaging perspective. Not been aware myself of problems with the comments section - I'll keep an eye on this.

10/08/2007 9:15 pm

Blogger RedsMan said...

It is dependable on Rafa's assessment during, or after, training. If he assesses you are fit, sharp, hungry and progressive for your team perhaps those qualities are part of a whole that gets you selected. There could be, as they say, 'method in one's madness', if one wishes to refer to the rotation as such, nicely explained by Striker. Additionally, Liverpool have previously started below par only to rise to the top four slots, 3rd place twice in the past two seasons. This fact could prove the rotation allows for discrepancy in the early stages of the league campaign and then progresses as the season continues some time before or after Xmas.

The rotation was fine before when Liverpool were winning and no one felt to criticise it then so why is it OK before but no good now?? It's proven to be worthy in the past and it's up to the players who raise their game and their focus to show their potential much more. That is not down to rotation, that's down to passion and determination. Qualities which are more natural and can be nurtured rather inserted from training. We have yet to face the thre teams above us, we remain unbeaten and we are six points from the top spot currently. We are still in the title race and for Man Utd to have been in a worse situation and still win the title, it is possible. It is down to the players.


10/09/2007 10:17 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

GunnerPete says....Im glad RAFA is showing that he is very falible as a manager. It may be very costly at the end of this season in more ways than one.

He has spent an incredible amount of money with much success, and genuinely beleives that the team is as good as any.....sorry mate they are just above average from what ive seen.

Tyhe main reason IS the stupid rotation system he Raniery he rotates to early, before the players have bedded down into a team that knows each other.

The answer ( which I hope he never uses) is to play your very best team until Christmas, and then start to rest players crucial to the run in. This period of time actually gives all the squad time to show their worth, and considering the cost of them, they should all be ready to fill any gaps without hardly anyone noticing.

Fortunately for the rest of the league...RAFA will not learn in time to do this. Good lad!

10/11/2007 3:11 pm


Post a Comment

<< Home


Locations of visitors to this page