clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The world stops, and Benitez moves on

rotation policy

See that logo over there? That's some sort of symbol for rotation, which some popular thought held could have replaced the LFC crest on Rafa Benitez's left breast whenever he donned a Liverpool shirt.

Well, on a day when Liverpool Football Club engaged in some quite literal housecleaning of its problems, Benitez ate the same breakfast, wore the same socks, hit all the same traffic lights or did something identical to his match-day routine from Saturday because he didn't change his lineup for the Champions League tie with Bordeaux at all from the 11 he put on the pitch Saturday against Villa.

The result? A 3-nil win, the return of a rampaging Steven Gerrard and qualification for the knockout rounds of Europe's premier competition.

The question was posed here before of how many times Kuyt and Crouch have featured up front for Liverpool this season. Someone mentioned they both started against Galatasaray, but I don't think so (I'm a bit rushed right now to "hit the Google key" on that one). It seems to be an effective partnership, though.

Benitez seemed to favor Kuyt/Bellamy up front earlier this year, but I can't imagine him going back to that just yet. The last two matches have been too inspiring to a team badly needing a boost.

Besides, I'm more concerned with the symbolic "fuh-goo" gesture Benitez threw his critics yesterday, basically killing off the silly rotation policy arguments on the day his most vocal critic within the organization was forced to resign a 21-year post on the team's board. The Kop hailed his presence, the same 11 as Saturday rolled an admittedly weak Bordeaux side, and the captain broke his 2006-07 season duck while instigating attacks throughout the match.

Given the situation Liverpool finds itself in this year, little more could be asked of from the day. Now, take care of Reading, get through the necessary evil against Birmingham in the League Cup and prepare for Arsenal on the 12th.

(UPDATE: Well, soccernet.com says Crouch started against Galatasaray, so yeah, he's had some experience with Kuyt in a strike partnership. For what it's worth, Agger, Aurelio and Pennant started for Liverpool that day, so what Rafa showed yesterday has not been used before to rampaging success in Europe.)