I’ve calmed down a bit now. Maybe it was the beers after the game. Maybe it’s the night to sleep on it.
Maybe it’s the thought of Jose Mourinho covered in milk after another limp display against a top side at Old Trafford.
I don’t know. But I’ve had a little time, to think it over and I’m better now.
I still think we are rotating too much. We seem to have gone from one extreme to another under Klopp. From only trusting 11/12 players and running them into the ground last season to five or six changes every game regardless of the strength of the opposition or importance of the game.
Merry Christmas, Everton ? pic.twitter.com/KXJ8oV8oO8
— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) December 10, 2017
With West Brom coming up on Wednesday night, yesterday felt the one to get as many of your best players on the pitch as possible.
I still think the substitutions were bizarre. To take off the Premier League’s top scorer in a Merseyside derby when only 1-0 up seems risky. To take off Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was probably having his best game for Liverpool and who’s work rate and delivery was terrific all day, was unfair.
To then leave on Solanke for 80 minutes, who has never scored for Liverpool and Mane for the full 90 minutes, who wasn’t having a good game at all, left many in the crowd scratching their heads.
In terms of what was happening on the pitch, the changes made little sense. In terms of saving people’s legs, it made little sense either.
Oxlade-Chamberlain has hardly been over worked this season and he looks like he can go on forever anyway. The way Liverpool finish games is very concerning indeed, and our substitutes have to be a factor in that.
Five times this season we have drawn games we have been leading on 70 minutes. We haven’t scored a single winning goal after 70 minutes this season. If rotation is all about keeping players fresh, why aren’t we, the biggest rotaters in the league by a mile, finishing games stronger?
Of course Liverpool should have been out of sight by 70 minutes anyway. Mane will be having nightmares about shooting instead of crossing at the end of the first half.
And if he isn’t I’m going to dress up as Mo Salah and run at him in the night shouting “PASS PASS”.
Joe Gomez should have capped a fine performance with a goal instead of heading onto the top of the net. But generally our attacking play seemed a bit slower and flatter than it has in recent weeks. We rarely carved Everton open.
So the game is drawn and Everton get to gloat. And boy does Sam Allardyce like to praise himself. I’m surprised at how many of the national journalists have joined in though. Like repeatedly kicking the ball as far away from your goal as possible is suddenly a revolutionary tactic.
I understand why the Everton fans were pleased. They turned up expecting the worst, and there is something very satisfying about getting something you don’t deserve at a rival. But the team massively got away with one. You play that game another 10 times and Liverpool win 9 of them.
Which is why I’m a bit calmer today. We should have made sure at 1-0 up, but we were unlucky too. We did mostly right things and there were some fine performances from emerging players.
Mane won’t play that badly again and hopefully Klopp won’t take Salah off again unless we are 3-0 up or his leg is hanging off. Most of our top four rivals dropped points too and we’re still unbeaten since we got battered at Spurs.
The rotation is frustrating now but the manager is thinking bigger picture than me. He may well be proven right over the next few weeks.
Will the heavy changes prove a masterstroke when others fall and stutter, or did he wrongly sacrifice momentum and confidence for fresh legs?
Time will tell. Whalloping West Brom on Wednesday will be a very good start indeed.