Brendan Rodgers looks in vain for help beyond Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard

Anfield manager frustrated by inherited players who are not part of his plans

Elimination from the League Cup has meant there is one less front for Liverpool to fight on but their manager, Brendan Rodgers, has acknowledged he cannot keep relying on Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez.

In an ideal world, and with a far better squad than Rodgers possesses, Liverpool's captain and their only fit senior striker would not have played 45 minutes in a vain attempt to turn the tide against Swansea on Wednesday night. Nobody at Anfield was spouting the easy clichés that this was a competition they were well rid of. Liverpool are holders of the League Cup, a trophy they have won more than any other club.

Michael Laudrup, Rodgers' successor as Swansea manager, correctly identified it as the shortest, swiftest route to the glory that fuels football.

In the home dressing room, the Liverpool keeper Brad Jones, who was almost the only member of their starting line-up to enhance his reputation, said: "The feeling we got last season going to Wembley and lifting the trophy was fantastic. It was one we wanted to replicate." In the aftermath of a comprehensive 3-1 defeat, Rodgers described his squad as "small and thin", adding that the problems would take two transfer windows to rectify.

The squad is also expensive, riddled with injuries and full of players like Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson, who have little future at Anfield. A pair of midfielders who cost £39m have been pressed into service as full-backs in recent matches, which tells several stories.

"For this match, I looked at the young players and the fringe players and tried to give them the opportunity to get into the Premier League team," Rodgers said. "I gave the players the opportunity to come in and shine – and that is all you can do as a coach or a manager. I can't keep playing Steven Gerrard and using Luis Suarez as our only striker."

Rodgers was asked if he was not frustrated by a reliance on these two senior players in a way that would be unthinkable at Manchester United or Chelsea.

"But that is where the club is at," he said. "I would have loved to have given Gerrard and Suarez that rest because they have been played continuously and they are the catalysts for the team, but when you need them you need them.

"However, we just can't keep relying on one or two players. The ethos at Swansea, the club I have just left, is that there is no individual greater than the team. That is the ethos I want to move towards but it will take time."

Despite a beginning that in terms of raw results looks alarmingly similar to Roy Hodgson's at Anfield, the indications are that time is still on Rodgers' side.

If you exclude the detritus of the Europa League qualifiers, he has won five of his first 14 fixtures compared to Hodgson's four. Kenny Dalglish began last season with eight victories from 14.

However, Rodgers is still wrestling with Dalglish's legacy, the heavy spending on a swathe of British players whom his successor has swiftly decided are surplus to requirements.

Given the gross over-reliance on Suarez, it seems extraordinary that Rodgers has publicly ruled out recalling Andy Carroll from his loan at West Ham, despite a clause in the agreement that would enable him to do this in January.

The striker's return would at a stroke have given Liverpool a plan B and brought back a footballer whose performances in the last days of Dalglish's tenure were encouraging. However, the suspicion was always that Carroll's departure was a statement of intent by Rodgers – and these are the hardest to reverse.

Rodgers' reds rifts

The Liverpool manager has fallen out with a number of big names since arriving at Anfield:

Andy Carroll Rodgers had no hesitation in shipping £35m man out to West Ham.

Joe Cole Has been used very sparingly since return from Lille loan spell.

Stewart Downing Criticised efforts of the former Middlesbrough winger.

Jordan Henderson Yet to start a Premier League game this term and was used at right-back against Swansea.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Sport
Two christmas trees ,Moonbeam (2L), Moonchester (2R) and Santa Claus outside the Etihad Stadium
footballAll the action from today's games
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drink
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas