John Aldridge believes that Kolo Toure should have started in Liverpool's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Chelsea on Saturday.
The Ivory Coast international made just his fourth appearance of the season last week against Real Madrid in the Champions League and put in a top performance.
Many expected the former Arsenal man to reappear against the Premier League leaders, however, Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers opted to reintroduce Dejan Lovren in central defence, demoting Toure to the bench.
"Dejan Lovren hasn’t become a bad player overnight, but it’s clear he’s lost a bit of confidence and is not the same player he was"
The move from the Northern Irishman was heavily criticized by many Kopites, including Aldridge.
"Brendan is the manager and stands or falls by his decisions, but I have to say I was surprised that Kolo Toure was left out following his performance in Spain," the former Republic of Ireland striker wrote in the Liverpool Echo.
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"He was by far our best player in the Bernabeu and had a great game.
"He is playing with confidence and I would have asked him to continue on Saturday.
"If he is playing with confidence, that will spread to his defensive partners and the goalkeeper – and suddenly the defensive unit immediately starts to look more secure.
Aldridge added: "Dejan Lovren hasn’t become a bad player overnight, but it’s clear he’s lost a bit of confidence and is not the same player he was when he arrived at the club in the summer.
"He needs to regain that poise and a bit of swagger and it may help him if he’s taken out of the firing line for a spell.
Toure was superb in Liverpool's 1-0 defeat at the Santiago Bernabeu a week ago. He used his Champions League experience to full advantage and looked a natural leader in the Reds' defence.
The 33-year-old clocked in a Champions League record of six blocks in the game and kept the Los Blancos attack at bay for the most part by positioning himself well and putting his body on the line to keep out the forward line of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and James Rodriguez.
Lovren once again put another dismal display in at the weekend against the Blues. His performance was unbalanced - at times the Croat looked nervous on the ball, others he looked to be trying far too much to impress.
The 24-year-old arrived at Anfield in the summer for £20 million, however he is yet to justify that price-tag and continues to frustrate.
Now or never
Toure's game-time on Merseyside could soon come to an abrupt end.
He's made just four appearances in all competitions this season and even when impressing against Madrid, the former Manchester City man cannot get a game.
Mamadou Sakho has been injured for the last few months and is expected to make the Liverpool squad to face Crystal Palace on November 23.
He arrived on Merseyside last summer for £15 million and has been ahead of Toure in the pecking order for the most part.
When he returns, it could see Toure slip even further down the pecking order and at the end of the season centre-backs Sebastian Coates and Tiago Illori both arrive back at Anfield following their loans spells at Sunderland and Bordeaux which could spell the end of the Ivorian's time at the Reds.
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