If you’re a Liverpool fan, you do not need me to tell you that league wise this has been a disappointing season. Yes the domestic cup runs have been immensely important to giving us some sunshine, but to me league success is all important. I want us to be coming to the end of the season challenging for something. Ideally that would be the title, but battling for 4th would be nice too. To see us languishing below teams like Newcastle and Everton especially is painful. That pain is made even more worrying when you bear in mind that this is allegedly a poor Everton side, and a Newcastle side that is money shy when it comes to spending money.
Even more frustrating is that we needed an injury time goal to stay within reach of Everton, and closer to 4th spot than relegation. An injury time goal against Blackburn, who are languishing in the relegation zone. Sure we were down to 10 minute, and yes a win is a win, but surely we should be better than this. We have to remember they also had a penalty saved, after Doni became the second Liverpool goalkeeper to receive a red card in 3 games.
One of the heroes of the game was Maxi Rodriguez. Having sat and watched a large part of the season, he was called upon to take on Blackburn. He rewarded that call with 2 goals. So with just 5 games started, and 2 sub appearances in the BPL, he now has as many goals as Dirk Kuyt and Charlie Adam, more than Jordan Henderson and Downing. They were also perfect examples of what we have been missing most of the season. Neither goal was anything spectacular, they were just a case of right place right time. Now I’m not about to get hysterically fanatic about the guy. He certainly has shown many times in the past how he can drift out of a game and be a forgotten figure, however, surely his statistics this season and last would warrant more than a handful of appearances over such a long season.
A few weeks back, as Liverpool slumped to another loss, Kenny used the excuse that the lads were tired, and that he had to play some guys that had played 3 times in 8 days. However, on that same day Maxi sat on the bench, having played 0 games in a number of days. Obviously we do not get to see everything that the managers and coaches do, but Maxi must be doing something horrendously wrong to have to sit on the bench and not play ahead of somebody who was apparently too knackered to go out and beat Wigan.
Going back to his goals over the last couple of seasons, you’ll also note that they tend to be similar goals. He’s just there at the right time. You have to question whether maybe, just maybe, playing him as one of the attacking three might not be the answer to our problems. I’m not saying that it has to happen every game, but he does give that different threat that makes defenders wary. Or maybe, just maybe, Maxi Rodriguez is the sort of player that can only play in the last 8 games of the season. I would just like to see him get more playing time, if just for the fact that our other “stars” can get a rest.