Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam has told BBC 5Live that Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge bottled penalties in Sunday’s Capital One Cup final defeat to Manchester City.
Neither captain Henderson or top striker Sturridge stepped up to the spot as the Reds lost the shootout 3-1 to Manuel Pellegrini’s men, after the scores were tied at 1-1 after 120 minutes.
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Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana all missed from 12 yards, and Adam was disappointed that the senior duo did not step up and take responsibility at Wembley.
“If I’m captain of the club I’m first up. If I’m supposedly England’s best striker I’m second up,” Adam told BBC 5Live on Wednesday.
“Jordan Henderson is a shy character, so maybe he doesn’t feel like he had to step up. But you’ve got to have the bottle to be able to stand up.”
Adam is a man of his word. He had the nerve to step up in Liverpool’s Capital One Cup final win over Cardiff City in 2012, but won’t need to be reminded how that turned out…
On that occasion, Liverpool were more accurate as a team and won the shootout, despite Adam’s truly terrible effort. The Scotsman was quickly moved on to current club Stoke City.
But the 30-year-old does have a point – Liverpool’s picks for the penalties were strange. Even James Milner, who takes them in Premier League matches, was not among the first four takers.
We do not know what we said in the pre-penalty huddle, but perhaps it is a sign of the fragile confidence among the Reds camp that their supposed leaders were not forthcoming in showing their mettle.
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