Liverpool Message Board
The thing that we really need to do, in my strong opinion is, get Allen in again. This next game, while not easy, because there's no such thing, at Hull is one where we should be able to play our best on both sides of the ball. And, if there is a game to tinker, which we boldly did in many phases in a derby, it's this one, and I don't consider that a major tinkering.
Lucas for me, offered almost nothing in that Everton match, and the only "sweeping" he even did successfully, was clearing some loose balls and chances out of our own penalty box, when his job is to prevent them from getting in there anyways.
I would go with the 4-3-3 here, to spread Hull out. I would have Allen as the point man in an upside down triangle, so Mignolet can distribute to him, and he can use what we are led to believe are his best skills, collecting, turning, distributing and vision in a very quick fashion. From there, he would have Stevie and Jordan in a close proximity, with one ready to burst forward, along with Coutinho drifting from left to inside, and our full backs bombing forward.
I don't expect Allen to be a warrior and smash people off the ball against anyone, but, in this set up, he's got the protection / outlets of our 2 best midfielders in front of him, and he can be aggressive in going in for challenges / nipping at the heels, and getting the ball away.
If you want to start buying into those rumors that we may be eyeing M'villa, who was in our supporters secion for the derby, great, because he's your traditional destroyer, as is this other young lad Amartey (the next Wanyama type), but for now, we have got to make use with what we've got. I think Suarez and Coutinho can work plenty hard enough on the outside as well, and if Glenda can keep fit to the standards of Glen, and Flanny plays like he did, a very quick / short passing game, with fluid movement, is our best way forward in 9/10 matches.
As for the Back 4.. Glen(da) Skrtel, Flanny (it seems) and next best LCB..
As all of us probably (maybe vehemently) agree.. this could be the most crucial and defining period of our entire season (to be followed by the next most crucial) going into the holidays and a tough/congested fixture list around Xmas and the new year.
So far this season, we've shown that we have improved upon so many areas from last year, and more importantly 2+ years, but we still need a lot of improvement, and it's good that BR has and continues to acknowledge that. I don't want to get into the Jan window talk here, or much, but if he happens to add his 2 players that have a similar affect as Sturridge and Coutinho, we could score 500 goals this year. The problem however, is we may concede 475, which bothers me because Mignolet is playing about as good as any keeper in the world, and we've got nearly 50M+ of top class International CB's who can even enter to top 5-10 conversation on their day.. we are just making silly mistakes back there..
Going fwd, assuming Daniel is fully fit to go, we need to play it exactly as we did vs. Everton and Fulham, with a front three of Coutinho - Sturridge - Suarez, mid of Gerrard-Henderson and Allen (debate point) and Skrtel and whomever at LCB, and whatever LB is available, even if it's Macca, though Jonno was actually very solid.
No time to be tinkering back with a 3 CB system, done with that. A battle between Sakho and Agger, and if needed, though I don't think so, Skrtel and Toure. When it comes to aerial duels and attacking the ball, it's Skrtel and Sakho, and if you actually take notice, Skrtel walks the ball out of the back quite often and comfortably, plus he's always a goal threat on set plays..
Now the question is, can we accept that maybe Lucas needs a "rest". I think Allen needs to play so we can see if his first 60" in the Derby and his Wales exploits were an aberration or he is what we need. I think Jordan is non replaceable because he can play 3-4 positions w/ ease and run for days.
With regards to Gerrard, I'm definitely not of the bandwagon variety, as after certai games, I've said that he should perhaps be sat on the bench, however, as you said, he is our best central midfielder, and even at 75% he has to be in a game like that. His long range distribution was amazing, and we scored 2 goals from his set pieces, so, take him out of the equation, and perhaps we lose 3-0 all together.
Lucas, I think has always been a good, hard working player, who really peaked just prior to his knee in the Carling Cup at Bridge, but he was never getting any better than that, and he's less effective now. Ironically, I did see something that said where Jordan plays next to Steven, we've had the best control and possession there of any combination.. I think Jordan has the actual tools and ability to excel back there, but for now, he's our Dirk Kuyt, or Jack of all Trades, only much faster, bigger and stronger..
I noted that you said Skrtel coped with Lukaku's pace badly, but despite me favoring Martin and thinking he is our best CB, how many don't struggle against Lukaku?? He's an absolute freak.. the guy is like 6'4 and as fast as Sturridge, and a majority of the time Skrtel was struggling to keep up, was us having been caught out, or from Daniel being nowhere in the picture. Perhaps your view of the Gerrard bandwagon is mine of Agger.. Yes, eloquent on the ball, and a cultured left boot, with a rocket, but any time there's a bad mark in the box, or a fantastic run in the box, he's trailing or late.. He's not very strong either.. I think we all just have that affection for him with the YNWA tats, etc., almost like we did with Xabi Alonso, only Xabi was better at his trade.
As for the changes in Moses coming on.. 2 things.. Allen looked winded and on a yellow, as was Lucas, AND I applauded it, because we had several opportunities to catch them on the counter, and not the pace / personnel on the pitch. I thought it was a bold/aggressive move & applaud it
I think there are probably a lot of people who think the draw was about the right result, I happen to think it was about 55/45 in our favor, and 2 points dropped, though it was absolutely thrilling, and you know in the past 3-4 years, we never find that 88th minute equalizer OR come close to making it 4-3.
I think (and I'm not dwelling on it) Mirallas was absolutely a horrendous red card, and playing down 2-1, with another man down, we might have really opened up a can on them, particularly if Allen knew the ball goes into the net and not next to it ffs! But, even with him on, and other bad challenges on his part, both sides had a plethora of chances.
I watched some highlights and ffwd of the match on replay, and counted Daniel Agger caught up field, or out of position on 6 occasions, 6!!!!! 2 of which led to goals, and only saved by brilliance of Mignolet, and some last ditch blocks or cover by Skrtel. On the set pieces, I dunno what genius decided to have Glenda on Lukaku once, and Flannagan on the other. He was my main concern today, I would have been fine with Sakho today, and I don't say that in hindsight.
Lucas is sooo slow, when is slightly caught out, can't recover, doesn't makes slide tackles, and gives away horrible fouls. Between he and Agger, I really felt left wanting. I do have to tip my hat to both teams overall for maybe the best Derby I can ever remember, and for us, Suarez, Mignolet, Coutinho, Jordan & Martin the best of the lot. Stevie on his set pieces/delivery.. Allen wasn't bad, winning some, nipping heels, with tidy passing but missing that sitter..!!!
Another note of interest, particularly since I'm critical of Lucas & defending overall, Yann M'villa, the highly rated France CDM, was sat in the away LFC fans section with friends, paid for by Liverpool Supporters Club. You can google or search twitter for photos. He's either there to watch his buddies Sakho/Cissokho or just enjoys our rowdy away fans while on Russian League Holiday
Well what's really shocking / surprising is that Borrell has also been let go.. You never hear / read a bad thing about him, and while I can't lie and say I follow his youth squad as much as I could or should, it does seem they are always playing entertaining football and quite successful.
He's also produced Suso, Sterling, Wisdom, Kelly, Coady (blossoming it seems) Robinson (who I think can become quite good) Flannagan (I don't rate) and Kacaniklic who is a top top talent at Fulham and was a great swap for Konchesky.
I suppose we have other players who aren't coming good, or fast enough in Morgan, Ngoo, etc etc.. I dunno and who knows if we'll ever really know the real reason, though I'd imagine BR will be quizzed on it at some point, if he hasn't been already..
Jeez Colyn.. you're making me nervous.. You've been pretty harsh on the team so far. I certainly have my cut and dry moments, and well known sarcasm, but I don't think we're as bad as you say. I think I can see ALOT (AND I MEAN ALOT) to improve on, and a ways to go, with many poor patches, but overall, I have to feel pretty good and applaud the bigger picture..
I think Rodgers was forced a hand or two, in reflection of some of the earlier games. I was beside myself sitting at Anfield, watching 4 CBs trying to play against Southampton, and was begging for Jordan to drop to rb, and Enrique in for lb, which was validated when Agger came off early w/ injury having started Sakho out wide. Southampton are no joke, but Rodgers got that one wrong..
Other games, we invited pressure on to us, others we shouldn't have used a 3 CB system, and I think he really left everyone wanting by not attempting to have Alberto take (or try) Coutinho's place and keep our shape as it was..
Back to Allen though.. if he can replicate anything from what he showed in that match, which I have to say was nothing short of sensational, then maybe we've really got a hidden gem we forgot, who played so well for team GB and early doors w/ us..
Embarrassed to say I hadn't read it or heard about it.. Maybe because I was too busy watching Gerrard come off injured in the 56th min vs. Germany or Daniel running his socks off for 90", in that meaningless, daft loss, days before our Derby.
Back to McParland, if he was sacked, it was most likely (by understanding of them) an FSG thing, and if I had to guess, which could be completely unrelated, due to something I saw but didn't may too much notice to, in us losing a youth player, around 15 years old to another club.. For some reason I want to say Barcelona, but I don't remember, and it could be completely unrelated..
Anyways, I do trust that they'll bring in someone good, as I don't think we can have any complaints about the staffing we've brought in the past 2 years. We're not title winners, but we're working sound/efficiently .
I share the similar concerns, and I get particularly upset/concerned when it involves friendlies. We almost always seem assured of losing someone, and in the past few years, prior to BR's arrival and whatever witch doctor he hired, it's been Gerrard and his groin. This time I'm expecting Danny to strain his never ending thigh injury, or Glenda to break a finger nail..
I watched the video compilation on youtube of Allen's MOM performance in his game again, and I was even more impressed the 2nd time, and no I don't care it was vs. Iceland or Finland, because he's about 5'6 regardless who he plays against, and when he's throwing himself into the tackle, winning balls, and pushing people over, twice his size, it's impressive nonetheless. Perhaps the best part of all of that, was along the lines of what you said, and what we need.. the minute he won a ball back, either in the defensive half, protecting, or higher up the pitch, he immediately re-distributed the ball to a teammate, either going forward, or back, just to retain good possession.
If he can come in, and do these sorts of things, and get the ball out quickly, either backwards to Gerrard to spray forward, or find some clever balls to Coutinho, it makes us even more dangerous, because at the end of the day Rodgers' system and approach, is quick passing and movement.
I still think we need 2 bodies in January, 1 out wide for sure, and then either a mid or versatile forward, but if Allen can come in and look like this, perhaps we get by with 1 super buy of the highest quality.. in a wide player..
I've had the opportunity to watch a couple of matches live over the past few days, for World Cup Qualifiers and International Friendlies, and while there's a whole other batch to be played tomorrow and the day after, I figured I'd comment on what I've seen.. Curious to anyone else's thoughts/comments on what they'd seen.
Victor Moses - Scored the winning goal in Nigeria's WC clinching victory, and today he was causing all kinds of chaos to the Italy defense, while playing at Craven Cottage, including a very sleek through ball, that led to a headed goal for a 2-1 lead. Goal and half assist (another player crossed it), not bad & we need this!
Kolo Toure - Played RB for Ivory Coast only because they have 2 brothers who play CB for the same European club, Trazbonspor perhaps? He held his own, and more or less helped them keep a clean sheet.
Daniel Agger - Captained Denmark to a 2-1 victory, in a friendly. I didn't see it, but as long as we know he didn't get hurt, then it was a successful match for him.
Martin Skrtel - Captained underdogs, Slovakia to a 2-0 away victory in Poland. Kept Robert Lewandowski in his pocket. Right now, he's on that sheet as fast as Suarez, Mignolet and Gerrard.
Joe Allen - Won MOM vs Finland, and I couldn't believe my eyes. Saw a compilation video & If I didn't know it was Joe Allen, I would have asked, who the hell is this guy? He was winning balls, and pushing players off the ball, while retaining possession, like he was in a Barcelona shirt.. He could end up a huge piece for us!
Sturridge - limps off the field today after 45 minutes with a thigh injury, and some news says he's ruled out, but they uncle Woy declares he's fit and will start vs. Germany, so I expect a torn thigh, missing 2-4 weeks, because he's made of glass and Roy seems to have little concern, while attempting a futile, meaningless effort in winning vs. the Germans..
Unfortunately we don't agree on Moses, as I think he could grow into quite a decent player. I always rated him at Wigan, and he had a super season under Rafa last year, obviously never going to get game time wide vs Hazard, Schurrle, Mata, Oscar, Ramires, de Bruyne etc., but Chelsea did spend about 8-9M on him, and they typically don't buy bad players, maybe just excessive fees. His first start at Liberty, he scored and caused Swans nightmares, and was our only good player beside Skrtel in that horrible home defeat to Soton.. But, to each his own, and yes we can upgrade, but at what cost?
I think Lucas is average these days, and since torn ACL is something we see here week in and out in NFL, a lot of players never come back the same, and he was good, not great, prior to it, and just not at that level now. I think eventually either Stevie, who can crush in the tackle, or Jordan could earn that spot, and we do need to see what Allen can do, whether lying deep, or advanced.
Alberto is really the one who needs game time for us, even if it's a little out wide, or dropping deeper, because he was fantastic for Barca B, and Sevilla really didn't want to lose him. I saw enough to think he has that "it" factor, whereas some of our players don't...
It's weird because I wanted us to focus strictly on league and top 4 this year without the headache of Europa, but at the same time, it is hindering us with many players - Sterling, Ibe, Alberto, Ilori, Kelly, Allen, Borini and some youth in Yesil, Texeira.. hope we can loan them out, and add 2-3 quality starters. Capel seems the hot name as far as RW coming in..
I agree with the 4-2-3-1 thought on the games where it will be more highly contested, or you could even say 4-3-1-2, with Couthino dropping deep to help in possession / as an outlet with Lucas shielding, and Gerrard-Jordan in front. Of course this limits the width, and really has to create caution of when Jordan and Stevie can burst forward, whereas the 4-2-3-1 keeps things tighter.
Let's not forget too, that BR is an offensive mind, while certainly showing us all that his tactics and thinking expands much further than many of us realized, so using Moses can help in games where offense is your best form of defense. If we can play that same style we did vs Fulham, and have 4 players up front causing that much havoc, it creates trouble for anyone, and the only team I see doing this week in and week out, is Southampton, because they've got nothing to lose, and it's working miracles for them.
I'd just like to add that I think we'll start to see Allen coming in more as Stevie is seeming to develop a niggling hip, and we need to keep him and Lucas fresh, and ALSO, I really, really think we need to get Alberto some 15-20-25 minute cameos, because while not Coutinho, he's the closest to him, and we're a different side all together with PC10 in there, and if Alberto can get up to speed and knowledge with the front players, he could end up being a very valuable piece to our puzzle.
I do have to say, while made of china glass, we're dramatically better overall in so many ways when Glen plays, vs when GLENDA is out.. we're devoid of anything on the right when he's gone and Kelly is on the mend.. 3 spots that need adding, rw/cf, a cm/cdm and all purpose player..
Like I'd guessed / hoped in the previous thread from what I saw in training photos, we came out with probably our best 11, and a nice flat competent back 4, with tremendous balance in the mid and final third. Again, I DO NOT GIVE A ISHT who we slaughter at home 4-0, because in many years past, we haven't done, and this is what top sides and champions do best. Look at this way, WBA won at Old Trafford, we destroyed them 4-1, and then they should have taken all 3 points the Bridge but were hard done by a rubbish pk call today. Fulham held Arsenal to a draw, and caused Spurs (I think) a lot of trouble.. no such trouble today.
Anyways, it was easily our best and most complete 90" minute performance, and even with us being a little off and not getting a clear breakthrough in the first 20", we kicked on, and got everything we deserved, plus should have gotten a couple more. The only thing I would have liked to have seen, was Alberto maybe getting himself 15-20 mins to fill in that 10 role, and work with Suarez, Lucas, Allen and Moses. BUT, I think Coutinho needed the full 90 for fitness..
Lastly, and most know I would say this, but Skrtel was absolutely brilliant, since his troubles last season, and being dropped earlier in favor of Kolo, he has been sensational and man on a mission. The bullet header was his trademark, we could always expect 3-4 of those over the season, and some don't see it the way I do, but he looks very good on the ball. For me, at the moment, our finest CB. Scary how despite the stories of us never wanting to sell, I fully believe he was off to Zenit or Napoli, and we're lucky that didn't happen.
Well done Red Men! Hopefully everyone stays sharp and healthy for the international break, and comes back ready for a proper derby vs our bitter friends!!
Now that we have Coutinho back, and are reverting back to a back 4 (so I'm predicting and presuming) I think we will see a much better flow to our game, hopefully to reach what we finished last season as.
We'll still likely have Gerrard and Lucas in the midfield, where for me, Lucas is becoming more the problem, but both in there simply on name, and Jordan will keep a place but out wide. I think, while he's not a winger, in the current set up, if Moses isn't starting, Coutinho will start wide left, which allows him to cut in and swap with Suarez, where I'd expect him to be lined up initially in the 10, with Jordan on the other side, and also dropping deep to get some possession.
Overall, that's our best 11, especially since Sterling can't nail a place down and is going out on loan, soon to be followed by Ibe, so if Moses isn't preferred, Coutinho can do well enough to keep a defender on his back foot. Last year's comparisons or presumptions he was Better than Oscar are obviously not correct, not yet anyways, but he, even on a bad day, gives the squad something extra for 55-60, and allows Suarez the freedom to roam a bit more, with the comfort of having Jordan running his socks off, and getting himself into the midfield, allowing Stevie to get forward a bit more... Key is, providing an outlet for Skrtel and Co., and not isolating Danny up top.. If all goes well, I think we could put on a nice show today..
To each his own, so everyone's entitled to their own view. For me, and while we probably all agree, Agger is best on the ball, he is very prone to mental errors / switching off, but gets a pass for his grace, and left boot. I also think that Skrtel plays out of the back quite well, and it goes unnoticed at times, and on set pieces, he almost always seems to be in the center of a loose ball scramble, and our most likely to head one in. I just saw yesterday, that statistically, Skrtel ranks 3rd in the entire league in challenges, duels and possession won, just behind Mulumbu of WBA, and MBiwa of Newcastle. On top form, at the moment, I think he's our best all around.
Kolo is slow, that's my problem, and Sakho just seems to struggle with decision making and speed of thought, which will improve, but no issues with his actual physical play.
Any way we put it, they are all top notch CBs, and any pairing of the 4, should be able to line up comfortably and play a very good flat back line. On any day, I'm choosing Skrtel and Agger, we saw how immense they were 2 years ago, where we finished 3rd in defense, but since, each has struggled for one thing or the other, and we can't seem to just keep a clean sheet now. Let's not forget Ilori who will be introduced at some point!
Or green if you will.. Normally you can't make heads or tails of the colors the players are wearing in training, however, in today's training pictures on LFC, every one of our normal, or preferred first 9 are in yellow, 10 including Agger (Migs gets the purple)..
What does this mean? Maybe nothing, but for me, I think that with us lacking quality in the middle, and Sakho not quite fully adapted, or as good on the ball, perhaps Agger will resume his spot at LCB. What I can't tell, or guess is if it means a flat back 4, but considering Stevie, Lucas, Henderson and Coutinho were also in yellow/green, along with Sturridge and Suarez, that means 2 men are out, and they appear Sakho and Toure, esp since Glenda is fit again, and also in yellow.
I'll be very happy to see a back flat 4, because while I've seen it work to devastating effect in Italy with Napoli and some other sides, and certainly a place and time for us, 4 at the back is our best way to set up the attacking outfield players, and give two solid CBs the chance to play it out of the back, where Toure certainly cannot, and Sakho not comfortably yet.. (Both wearing orange, with Moses, Alberto, Allen etc)
Hoping for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with Coutinho/Suarez/Henderson in the advanced CAM role.. Let's hope!
Not sure if you had been here during the week or seen, but I really advocated against it vs. Arsenal, because I was concerned that if Giroud was anything above average at best, which he was, the most damage he could do, was pull the back out of shape, and allow Arsenal's smaller, skilled players to cause damage.. See Cazorla, Ramsey and a few occasions to Rosicky.
What I noticed, which was very smart on Wenger's part, was that Giroud was not staying in a central position, but rather drifting towards our right hand side, to pull Skrtel away, who had him in his pocket, but this created some space in the middle, and as I'd seen on tv, and highlighted, gave Arsenal the exact freedom they wanted down that left hand side to exploit Cissokho, with no real out and out winger to track back and help.
I think 3 CBs certainly can be effective and work in several instances, but not against Arsenal, City or Chelsea, where the smaller, faster, technically gifted players can cause all the damage. Even Newcastle exposed it several times through Yohan Cabaye, with Ben Arfa as a false 9, and Gouffran wide..
Time to get Agger back in there, re-shape to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. And I have to say, while it pains me, we are awfully reliant as a team on Glenda.. Without him, we seem completely devoid down that side, and he's almost what I'd consider our MVP (not best player), maybe most valuable.
As long as I'm around and able, I will be checking these boards and commenting when time permits me, and when I have a comment to make. For those who might read this but then get lost or blocked again, the simple thing that I did, was add this page to the top bar of my favorites, so i can always just click on it. If for some reason that doesn't work, or they discontinue it, all it takes is a quick search on yahoo or goole of "yahoo eurosport message board Liverpool" and wala! Here you come..
As for the game, it was pretty tense, actually had the feel of a European game, and an actualy, genuine title deciding match, but overall Arsenal were the better team on the day. That said, I think both sides showed strength's and weaknesses. I think Liverpool learned alot about the existing squad, where we need to improve, and perhaps the need to get rid of our 3 CB system because for a team with high skill and clinical play, like Arsenal, they will find ways to exploit it. For Arsenal, I'm not ready to crown them winners by a longshot, as they still have a ways to go as well, but certainly a well done, and marker for this time and place.
Can Arsenal grind it out, taking on the rigors of 3 competitions, while coping with injuries for another 5-6 months, and can Liverpool step it up, and be more composed, not so tenative and less fluid in matches like this.. Both teams have their chance to reach their goal of top 4, and perhaps title, but alot will really determine that come December-January, along with whoever they each buy potentially in January..
I wish I could remember the stat or percentage, but I saw yesterday that a huge majority of Arsenal's attacks, open play and counter attacks come down the right side, which would make sense, considering Sagna is very attack minded, slack in defense, and then you have Ozil who prefers to come down that same side and cut inside, with Wilshere/Ramsey (Healthy Walcott) all going that side too, so that's where we need to exploit them.
We actually did this last year at Emirates with a great deal of success, having Suarez as a left sided attacker, however, in this instance I would agree that the 3 cb system will probably stay, and we'll see a lot of Henderson on that side to help Sissokho attack and defend, and where Sturridge likes to roam on his preferred left foot.
I think this could be done to greater effect with natural width in Moses, where he can take on Sagna, or keep him honest, or exploit whoever is "holding" in midfield, which presumably would be Arteta and Wilshere, and neither is a good defender.
Honestly, I see both sides of the coin with 3 CBs and a flat back 4, but I just feel like the flat back 4, would allow us that extra player in attack, whether it be Moses or Coutinho from the get go, without taking Jordan off. Keeping in 3 CBS may do just fine, and allow us other options, so I won't complain either way, I just want to see us play well, and play to win.
I get the sense that not much is going to change by BR's comments on how hard Agger is working and training to get his spot back. Nothing specifically says he will or he won't, and sometimes Rodgers is a bit cryptic, but when he says "he's working so hard, and when his time comes, he'll rejoin the group" I just make that assumption, though, it could just be cryptic and maybe he will.. That said, I'm not sure I love the 3 CB system here, but I'll give 2 cracks at it..
First, the other things.. Figures Torres plays out of his mind, and gets a 91st min winner, or we could have had a little breathing room in 2nd place ahead of the HUGE match w/ Arsenal. 2nd, US commentary said today's Chelski Citeh match featured a combined $1.3Billion dollars worth of players, just pathetic. 3rd, Southampton are not going away, they're going to be in the top 6 conversation all year. 4th, I think Spuds may just win every game 1-0 on Soldado pk's, their D is impressive. And 5th, Borini scored an absolute stunner for the Sunderland winner, which was great to see, because I've been upset he's on loan and 2 managers haven't used him at all, which I'm sure is not part of a loan agreement, while Altidore looks lost. Good for Fabio, we could always welcome him if he plays like that when he's on..
Ok, now on to yesterday and Arsenal. That was probably the finest we've played all season, by a long shot, if nothing else, while in this 3-4-1-2 formation. I felt that PK was very harsh, just a collision with Lucas in the box, so I felt as if we did keep a clean sheet despite the goal. Skrtel was everywhere, and Sakho looked his best so far, Toure good enough. I don't care that it was West Brom, whereas someone like Colin would have complained as if they don't count, yet West Brom just won at Old Trafford, and held Arsenal to a draw, ending their 9 match winning streak, and who also beat us twice last year, 3-0 and 2-0. We're finding ways to outclass the teams we struggle against with parking the bus.
As for next week, I really think we need to revert back to a normal back 4, because Giroud is good enough to cause some problems, and if his hold up/link up play is on, Ozil, Ramsey, Wilshere etc., will all find space and pick the 3 cb system apart. As for who starts, for me, Glen, Skrtel, Aly, and Agger. I'm not sure if Agger is on his way, but we could use his ball skills vs a technical side. 4 Cbs also lets Jordan stay & makes room for Coutinho..