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Rodgers: "He's Learning the Demands of Being at a Big Club"

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Insisting there is no tension between Liverpool and Chelsea over Victor Moses, Brendan Rodgers is certain the on-loan winger can still show his quality.

Paul Thomas

Following his ignominious withdrawal at the half against League One side Oldham when he appeared Liverpool's least effective player, there were rumblings suggesting Chelsea were upset with loanee Victor Moses' limited role. Liverpool fans could only laugh, as after a promising start to life at Anfield, Moses has in recent months done nothing to suggest he deserves regular playing time.

The sad reality for both clubs and the player is that even with Liverpool's injury-plagued squad, Moses hasn't been good enough—in fact, if the squad weren't so thin, Moses might not even make the bench on current form. In light of that, Chelsea's reported annoyance was ludicrous. Brendan Rodgers, though, insists he has been in regular contact regarding Moses and, as far as he's aware, there is no problem.

"I was surprised to see that report considering I’ve had regular dialogue with Chelsea," said Rodgers at his pre-Stoke press conference, before further noting that he had talked to Chelsea technical coach Eddie Newton ahead of last Sunday's FA Cup tie against Oldham. "Eddie goes out and assesses their loan players and I saw him on Saturday before the game. We speak openly about his development.

"In fairness to Victor, he was taken off, but his reaction has been outstanding. We’ve spoken about demands and expectations at a big club like Liverpool. His talent hasn’t gone away. He’s very happy here, though of course every player wants to play more, but he’s learning the demands of being at a big cub. There’s no doubt over the course of his time here that he’ll show the quality that he has."

Since arriving at Liverpool, Moses has started six times in the league and come off the bench on seven occasions for a total of 13 appearances. He has also started twice in cup competitions. He has a goal and 11 shots to show for his 15 appearances in all competitions, and his habit of driving into dead ends with his head down has often looked a poor fit for a Liverpool side that wants to retain possession.

To be fair to Moses, that Rodgers switched to a 3-5-2 shortly after the player arrived in order to accommodate Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge didn't help. After looking at least capable in his earliest appearances, the switch to a formation that lacked wingers and forced Moses to take on a more central role was clearly asking him to do things he isn't capable of at this stage in his career and may never be.

However, since Sturridge's injury, Moses has once again been given chances on the wing—and looked consistently and painfully ineffective there. Perhaps most damning is that he now looks indifferent, as though he's given up on the season. Needing to impress either for his eventual return to Chelsea or some other future employer, as well as with the World Cup coming up in the summer, it's difficult to understand.

No matter Chelsea's views on the situation Moses finds himself, in the end it's simple. If he plays well—perhaps even if he simply plays like he cares—he'll get minutes. On current form, he both won't and shouldn't, and the only one to blame for that will be Victor Moses.