Marco Silva has to be bold in his team selection at times and dropping Richarlison to the bench for the Merseyside Derby was evidence of that.
He also omitted rising star Ademola Lookman from the matchday squad entirely, and has now explained why to the Liverpool Echo.
Since moving to Goodison Park from Charlton in 2017, the England U21 international has shown he has the potential to succeed in Blue, but is never offered a consistent chance to prove it, no matter who has been in charge.
Under Sam Allardyce he was shipped out on loan to the Bundesliga and impressed with RB Leipzig, and yet the London-born ace has only been handed infrequent outings under Silva so far this season.
In the Premier League alone, the 21-year-old has only started an appalling three games this term – making the remainder of his 15 outings as a substitute to total 528 minutes on the pitch.
This level of game time will never be enough for Lookman to settle into the Portuguese’s side and unfortunately, the Silva’s comments to the Echo suggest he still wants to see more from the winger before he earns a prominent spot.
“Against Cardiff I had to leave James [McCarthy] out of the squad and Tom [Davies] to be in the stand, it’s always tough for me,” Silva claimed.
“In the last game I did the same with Lookman. Ok, it’s part of my job to take these decisions and they have to fight and be ready for everything.”
One positive can be taken from his claim, though, as Silva appears to be teasing an awareness of Lookman’s importance and did not rule out re-introducing the rising star when necessary.
The only thing with that would be how much a lack of regular game time affects the 21-year-old’s development and whether a failure to deliver when called upon would cast a shadow of doubt over his long-term future on Merseyside.