With Liverpool's once promising season beginning to show some wobbliness, it's worth comparing Rafa Benitez' approach to squad rotation with Arsene Wenger's at Arsenal. Specifically it's worth comparing the fortunes of Fernando Torres and Robin Van Persie. Torres has shown glimpses of his ability, but Benitez insistence on benching the Spaniard after good performances has hindered him hitting full stride with any consistency.
But Wenger has taken the old fashioned approach to squad rotation: Dropping the players who are in poor form. Van Persie's early season efforts earned him a place on the bench for Arsenal's 5-0of Derby. But back in the team at the weekend and with a point to prove, Van Persie scored the only goal in Arsenal's 1-0 win over West Ham, before repeating the trick away to Steau Bucharest.
Meanwhile Liverpool came unstuck at home to a struggling Olympique Marseille team, losing 1-0 at Anfield with all the big names misfiring. Rafa knows plenty about football and usually seems spot on (if a little cautious) with his tactics. But his heavy squad rotation makes it impossible for players to play themselves into or out of the first team, so fails to provide the rocket in the arse that Wenger gave Van Persie not so long ago.
But at least Benitez still has his sense of humour. Asked whether there was anything positive to take from the 1-0 defeat to Marseille, Benitez paused. "Yes," he replied. "It is finished."