Paul Konchesky Acknowledges Failings, But Roy Hodgson Should Restore Fabio Aurelio to First Team


November 29, 2010

Paul Konchesky Acknowledges Failings, But Roy Hodgson Should Restore Fabio Aurelio to First Team Paul Konchesky said all the right things after allowing the game-winning goal to Aaron Lennon in injury time at White Hart Lane.

"I?ve got to up my game. Where I?ve played before has not been as high a standard as Liverpool, but this is a good pressure," he acknowledged.

?The fans want you to be in the top four because that?s where Liverpool belong.

"Straight after (Lennon?s winner) I knew that I?d have to hold my hands up, but we also had chances to win the game.

"That?s part of football and we?ve got to try to take the positives out of the game.

"I was gutted (with the winner); being the last minute as well it didn?t give us any time to get back into the game.

"But that?s life, we?ve got to put it behind us, and I?ve got to put it behind myself for the next game."

It's hard to hold hard feelings against a player so willing to admit what he has done and what he must do, but the question remains: Why was he even starting over Fabio Aurelio?

Tottenham's greatest attribute is the pace of their forward players, and yet Roy Hodgson started the slower Konchesky over a man with enough place to double as a left wing. The result was that Konchesky won one tackle all game and let Lennon past him for the win, and Aurelio, brought on at the wing position, showed more than enough pace and fitness to be a bright spot going forward during his time on the pitch.

Even if Aurelio was a fitness worry, he still could have started the match — and it's hard to believe that he was too unfit after his appearance last week at West Ham.

Regardless, the Tottenham match is in the past, but Hodgson would be wise to take heed of the events of Sunday. Konchesky may have been his man at Fulham, but he simply hasn't shown enough class for consistent first-team status at Anfield, while Aurelio has done so for years — including the 2008-09 season that saw the team finish in second position.

Liverpool looked to have solved many of their tactical and midfield problems on Sunday — the only missing link was their lack of pace in defense. Simply reinserting Aurelio into the lineup is nothing if not a simple, obvious solution.

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