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Players Still Failing to Impress Rodgers in Training

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Brendan Rodgers has made no secret of the fact that you'll get minutes if you try hard in training, but it seems some players still haven't got the message based on his suggestion that some are operating at half capacity.

"Well, Colin, I think we've got some new names for those envelopes."
"Well, Colin, I think we've got some new names for those envelopes."
Ian Walton

Heading into the homestretch of the January transfer window, Liverpool's lack of business is edging closer to and closer to causing full on meltdown amongst fans. Speculation abounds as to why no deals have been struck, ranging from ownership not willing to invest to the scouting team having identified too few targets, but it's the alleged disagreement between Brendan Rodgers and the transfer committee over certain targets that is gaining traction as a possible explanation.

Rodgers isn't exactly known for having an unrestrained rotation policy even when all his players are available to him, but his reluctance to use the remaining members of his squad in lieu of his regular knocked-on starters during a very busy holiday campaign and an injury-ridden January led to the suggestion that Rodgers has a team full of players he just doesn't trust.

Rodgers himself chalks this up to lack of effort in training, which has been a recurring refrain from him all season. Impress him in training and you'll get your chance on the pitch come game day. It's a simple enough equation, and one that saw Victor Moses rejoin the starting line-up on Saturday against Bournemouth.

"I have seen improvements in his training," Rodgers said of Moses. "That is the big part of it for me: How he plays well on a daily basis. Because if the top players are training 9 or 10 out of 10 every day and you have players who are five or maybe six out of 10 every day, then they are not ready to train with them (the top players) never mind play games with them.

“So you have to get them up to the level — and I am not just talking Victor here — I’m talking any player. If you’re at a club like Liverpool and there are top players you have to be at that level every single day eight or nine out of 10 every day and once you do that you will be able to play with these guys.”

Despite having players like Luis Alberto and Iago Aspas available to him, Rodgers hasn't made any major overtures toward including them regularly in his match day plans. Whether it's poor effort in training — the aforementioned five and six scores from the Northern Ireland judge — or disinterest on Rodgers' part due to them being committee targets (if in fact they were), something is certainly keeping Rodgers from moving beyond using a very tiny core of dependable players.

Rodgers is dealing with a small squad to begin with and the club's injury crisis at present certainly isn't helping much. But if Liverpool succeed in securing European competition next season, Rodgers' lack of trust in his full squad could be problematic once the team begins competing two or three times a week regularly as the compete on multiple fronts.