Liverpool's home defeat to Southampton was characterised with much that anyone connected with the club would rather not see again soon. Without dwelling on such a result and performance, the 4-2-3-1 formation would take a sabbatical as Brendan Rodgers attempted to find ways to address the injuries in the fullback department. Four centre backs may not have been the answer but three just might. The decision was not too difficult with the array of solid personnel choices in the heart of defence, the flexibility of Jordan Henderson, a potentially telepathic striking partnership, and having to play a talented young centre back out of position.
This isn't Liverpool's first encounter with a back three as Rodgers used the formation at times last season. In the usual pre-game interviews, Rodgers surprisingly spoke at length on the formation and how his players can excel in a structure that provides a different challenge for Liverpool's opponents.
When we tried it last year, we looked at it in training and then played it in a couple of games. But you have to see it under pressure and have to see where you need to adapt things.
The players have carried it out really well in the last couple of games. It can be a system that works for us; but what doesn't change is our idea of the game, how we want to pass, how we want to be aggressive in our attack.
It gives us numbers going forward, which is important. It's another system that the players have shown we can play. With more play and more development, it's one that we can flip to quite easily.
It's wherever you can get superiority in the game. If I look at Daniel and Luis Suarez, they are both nine-and-a-halves. They are not straight up and down strikers, they like to move and get in between.
The game is evolving all the time; as a coach you are always looking at your players. The style never changes. I've always asked teams to control and dominate the ball, be aggressive in your defending, and press really aggressively and high up the pitch - but that can be in whatever system.
The performance away to Manchester United in the League Cup and the away victory against Sunderland in the Premier League has ensured that this formation could be a continued element in the Brendan Rodgers dossier for success. Kolo Toure, Martin Skrtel, and Mamadou Sakho have lined up from right to left as a back three in an interesting combination of styles. Simon Mignolet has been the standout defensive performer this season but if this formation continues, Rodgers may continue with the same back three for consistency as they've earned the right to start at this stage of the season.
Daniel Agger, Tiago Ilori, and Andre Wisdom can all fill in if needed. Daniel Agger's position in the side is the biggest question early in the campaign after Martin Skrtel has found favour once again with strong performances on his return to action. Agger's fitness ensured that he was absent from the matchday squad in the League Cup trip to Old Trafford but Rodgers surprised some fans with continuing with Skrtel last weekend. What it does reveal is while Rodgers can infuriate with his unwillingness to rotate at times, he can be quite fair to players who are excelling on the field. They'll continue to play unless form or injury tells him differently.