Date: 21st March 2015 at 12:03pm
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Brendan Rodgers’ switch to a 3-4-3 formation turned his and Liverpool’s fortunes around as his side were in much need of a boost after struggling to cope with Suarez’s departure and Sturridge lengthy spell on the sidelines.

His defence was leaking goals and they were also shy in front of goal with the gamble on signing Mario Balotelli proving to be a huge mistake.

His side’s 1-0 defeat against Paulo Sousa’s Basle in the Champions’ League doesn’t look so devastating for them after all, as it helped Rodgers to implement a new system – thus bringing a run of form that could well see them leapfrog rivals Manchester United into a top-four place.

Paulo Sousa was forced to change his formation in that game when his left back was forced off with injury within the first five minutes. He switched to a 3-4-3 system that helped his side beat Liverpool, and his side’s difficulty in playing against such a rarely-used formation got him thinking – for hours.

His use of four defenders just wasn’t working, they leaked too many and the system lacked defensive protection in midfield.

According to the Daily Mail, Brendan Rodgers locked himself in his office for hours – until 3am on one particular night as he went to work on implementing a similar system to Sousa’s which would bring a much more effective and solid balance to his side.

Three at the back didn’t bring instant success though, with defeats against Newcastle United and Manchester United – but that defeat at Old Trafford is their last, and the 3-4-3 has seen his Liverpool team not concede in the last 6.

Some of you might wonder why on earth are we talking about our former managers but there is a relevance here to our current boss – Garry Monk.

He too has changed his system in order to try and improve our attacking play – and it has so far brought mixed results. A change to a 4-3-3 diamond aims to give us greater presence through the middle in an attacking sense, but it does leave us vulnerable down the flanks against opposition that play with plenty of width – like Spurs.

Monk was very critical of Paulo Sousa as manager during his brief spell at the Liberty Stadium, but if Brendan Rodgers learnt a thing or two from the Portuguese – who has Champions’ League experience no less – then Monk certainly could too?

Sousa didn’t do as bad a job as some fans (and Monk) may want to portray. Unlike Martinez the season before, he didn’t have the likes of Jason Scotland or Jordi Gomez to provide them with goals – as they both followed the Spaniard to Wigan Athletic.

He improved the team defensively whilst making some poor attacking signings however – but he still somehow managed to deliver our best League finish in the Championship – with the likes of Craig Beattie, Gorka Pintado and Shefki Kuqi.

It’s hardly surprising then that Darren Pratley was top goalscorer that year with just 7 League goals. The team as a whole managed an incredibly low 40 goals, but still picked up 69 points – just 1 adrift of Blackpool who made up the final play-off place. The Swans also lost 11 games, only the top two sides lost less.

Seemingly Paulo Sousa learnt a few lessons from his spell in South Wales, and he has recently said that he wished he had seen the potential at the club – rather than believing there was more potential at Leicester City – where he was quickly sacked after a poor start to the season.

Garry Monk still has a lot to learn in game management and tactical awareness, as he continues to find it difficult to do this for a full 90-minute match.

Reactive rather than pro-active you could say, Monk won the tactical battle against Rodgers’ Liverpool on Monday night to begin with, but his side suffered in the second half after Brendan made some much needed changes.

Monk reacted far too late in the game, making a like for like change -Montero for Routledge that made no difference whatsoever. His Swansea side barely created a chance in that second period, and the manager will have to show a bit more today when his side travel to Aston Villa.

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