Liverpool Message Board
Hey, we started out last year with so many changes, yet always lofty expectations, and a schedule like this out of the gates, so we always loved this better, until now..
I like to look one game at a time, but it's hard for any of us, including the players, though we all know, even at our lowest of low points in the past 4-5 years, we've always risen to these sides, home and away.
Plus, everyone around our area except Everton (they could win 7 in a row!), is playing each other now, tightly congested.
To be the best, you have to beat the best!
True, but I wish we had January's fixtures instead of the Christmas run that we do have. At least there shouldn't be any motivation issues!
Although many would be reluctant to say it, or acknowledge they saw it, albeit quietly done, Allen was arguably our best all around player in that match, not named Suarez.
I read the stats, and watched a video compilation of 4-5 minutes of just his play, and it was the Welshman who was a shining light at the Olympics for team GB, and more.
The loss, while we may benefit, and some calling for it, of Gerrard is going to be tough. He leads in assists and our 3rd leading scorer. He is better than Lucas at 33 on 1 leg, BUT, now we will be forced to use Allen, Jordan and Lucas all in the middle of the park where they belong, and can play an aggressive, high tempo, press, pass and move style, whereas he has been restricted to deep lying playmaker. He has adapted to it well, but it's not necessary in BR's ideal style.
This will also guarantee Sterling a run of games, Alberto ALOT more time, and put Aspas and Moses in hungry / passionate competition to show they belong in the squad, or at least quality impact minutes.
No Agger on Saturday either Jason. Perhaps he is listening!
Injuries are becoming a worry now but Allen has picked his game up a bit too.
I sure hope so Colyn.. The commentary I had, one of, if not my very favorite, Gary Weaver, said something to the affect of Lucas perhaps getting a blow for the day with a congested fixture list, and maybe (sadly for us) that could have been the reason. But even every now and again, a blind man can see a light...
If we can see it, the fans at the matches can see it, the players can see it, and all the coaches in training. And, it's quite simple, Rodgers said we were poor, our possession wasn't what he wants/wanted, too many give aways, and too slow in build up. So, the formula is, put in your 2 or 3 (in our case/system) best/quickest midfielders, who are best on the ball.
Allen, while not Bastian Schweinsteiger or Yaya Toure, was quietly impressive, won challenges, and moved the ball, even if they were sideways 10 yards, the ball was moving, in turn that allows Gerrard or Henderson to look to distribute or burst, and allow the rest of the build up play. Even moreso, we didn't give away so many needless fouls, and Lucas by facts / cards is our worst serial offender. I'd rather Stevie give a foul for crushing someone in a tackle, than a shirt tug by Lucas for getting turned.
My fear, though it could go either way, is that West Ham are a bigger, physical team, and Diame is super impressive for his size, so Lucas may well get back in. As for Agger, I'm tired of chop and change back there, but maybe Sakho gets the nod here, w/ Skrtel, so they can deal w/ Cole up top
the thing that impressed me most (apart from Suarez) was our possession stats. That's what I want to see week in week out. Sadly we don't but I wonder if Rodgers like you Jason has seen enough of Lucas to be a bit worried?
Agreed on the Norwich goal. Poor defending full stop. Agger was guilty of being on his heels and the guy got that little half yard in front of him. It's a bad habit he has. Great on the ball but gets stuck on his heels and becomes a bit slow to react.
So, Rodgers has been reading our messages Colyn, Paddy, and Loki.. shame the others are missing or in hibernation, as this is really quite an achievement!
I think we all vehemently agreed as I've been harping that it's time for Lucas to go, and Allen to get minutes to do something, and keep Jordan in the midfield, while playing with 2 wide players.
Yes it was Norwich, yes Suarez loves them and so do our players, but our midfield was much more tidy for the most part, you got a lot more possession / less giveaways, with Jordan and Allen grinding in there, and while Agger is a walking mistake, he's a better partner to our unquestioned best defender, Skrtel..
May have been a nice header, but once again, a set piece, and Agger losing his marker via falling down or a shirt pull or whatever. Would be nice to just keep a clean sheet one of these days.. I find it hard to believe that Mertesacker and Koscielny are more talented or stronger than Agger, but he just proves me wrong, and those who are enamored by him over the machine #37..
Anyways +4 goals made up, and still in the top 4, with some big collisions for others coming, and maybe we're finding a top gear, with Alberto having gotten minutes, and Allen settling! YNWA
Well done Jason you've called it right. Lucas has been dropped and I'm encouraged by the current stats showing us having 61% possession. That's the kind of thing I want to see.
Suarez seems to like Norwich
Biggest problem is, and obviously highlighted even moreso over the last 4 years, is lack of games. We've missed Europa on 2 of the past 4 seasons, and some say that's a blessing, I'm one of them, but the hypocrite in me, says they are extremely valuable games, especially the early group stages, where all the good teams get the most from their squad.
We haven't had good luck in the Carling Cup the past 2 years, though last year, the likes of Sterling etc were given a chance, and dropped the ball badly. This year we had to go through OT, so obviously we couldn't hand out chances, but if we'd won, we may be playing a Wigan or whomever is left, which would allow more PT for these guys. Hopefully the FA Cup will afford that.
And, overall, BR has been a bit erratic IMO, in when he sticks to his horses, and when he changes. No reason to play Kolo vs Hull, when Agger or Sakho would have been fine, and it pushed Skrtel to LCB, when he's been our best/his best at natural RCB. Allen would have been perfect for ball retention, but went with Sterling, who had good moments, but not many.
Aspas could have been given a runout, and Alberto much sooner, if not a start.
BR and the players have to get it right today, and then again vs WHU. No ifs and ors buts about it, because while I like to take it one game at a time, 3pts at a time, if we don't collect 6/6, we will be in a very bad place, going to Spurs, with City/Chels looming, while everyone in the top 4-6 with us, has very very favorable fixtures over the next 2 as well, so i don't see many points dropped. We need to win, and score goals, period!
Ok but at least we agree generally. I just feel there is something fundamentally wrong somewhere. We target and buy players with a pretty decent pedigree and they turn out to poor or not suited and it's frustrating.
Allen for example was a key player in a Swansea side that relied on movement and passing. We don't see it, although I do not blame him completely for that.
Aspas came as a player with some potentially and a technically astute player. Struggling.
Sterling is a most promising youngster. Fallen off the rails some what. Suso too and Pacheco now gone was the same.
I can keep going all they way back through Benitez's time and beyond. It's weird how we struggle to get value for money.
We're singing the same tune, I just happen to find dead wood a little harsh a description, but point taken.
As for Aspas, he had a torn groin/hernia, but he's back, though surely he didn't have enough time to work himself into the plans, or over Sterling / Moses.
I think Lucas is a squad player at best, Jordan should play there next to Stevie, because while he's not a wrecking ball, very few players will run past him, and certainly not through him. I think we're doing ourselves a great injustice by not playing/grooming him there. Afterall, Lucas came on board as "young attacking Brazilian of the year".
Borini couldn't have started with any worse luck, and I'm not his biggest fan, but to be stuck as a winger, breaking a foot and dislocating a shoulder in 6 months, isn't the ideal start, and the 3-4 goals he has scored for us and Sunderland were crackers. He needs to prove his worth there, because the thought was getting him game time behind S&S, and Aspas.
Overall for me, time to drop Lucas, Kolo, figure out 1 back 4, even if it means Agger or Sakho at LB, not Flannagan, and give Skrtel one partner he can gel with. Stevie/Jordan/Allen in the middle, then Suarez, Coutinho, Aspas up front. 11 best until January comes, then we dump who needs to go, and bring in who is available, and they are available...
My dead wood comment is related to the number of squad players that do not contribute, even when given a chance to. I'm beginning to put Lucas back into that category.
I don't know what it is but I cannot, for the life of me, understand why we buy so many players that turn out to be a waste of time. It's problem that goes back many years and it's still here now.
I don't like Moses, loan deal yes but I don't think he brings anything to the table. Aspas, where is he now? While Sakho and Cissokho don't look right at all but they need time. Allen as well, doesn't appear to be the player he was a Swansea. It seems we have to buy 4 duff players for every decent one.
Totally agree on Alberto and not just in hindsight.
Also agree with your ambition statement on transfers but, given we spent millions on squad players such as Alberto & Aspas, it's hard to not be critical when they aren't getting game time when players are injured. Also, where are Borini & Allen - about £25m not contributing. What was the point of buying them if not to play them in situations like we had on the weekend?
Also, the one big player we actually showed ambition for and landed (Sakho), seems to now be our 4th choice centre half without having done that much wrong on the field!
Very, very odd decision making.
Finally, whatever BR says about our squad not being strong enough there are two points ...
1) He/the transfer committee have had 3 windows and plenty of cash to improve that situation (it shouldn't be as bad as it is)
2) Our squad should certainly be good enough to see off a poor Hull side.
What irks me the most, is the lack of time given to Luis Alberto above all of them. Sevilla really did not want to sell him, but their hand was forced, and he was the standout for Barca B, along with Delofeu (tearing it up for Everton). He plays the 10 spot and wide in a 4-3-3, so if Coutinho is hurt, Allen isn't preferred, then play him. He can only get so good in training and indoor matches, vs. those who get real game time.
As for the overall transfers, I tend to be more liberal and fair to Rodgers because he showed outrageous ambition this past summer with desperately wanting Mkhitaryan, Willian, and Diego Costa (La Liga's leading scorer) and couldn't get any of the 3 due to funds and lack of CL. This is why we took Moses on the last day/hours of the window.
This January (and what we do up til then) is the most critical period in many a year. There are players out there, who have dropped out of the CL, and some not in any European contention whatsoever, and it's vital that we get the 2-3 of them, early, done and dusted.
If that's not the case, then Alberto, Aspas, Allen, should all be playing, and working their socks off to state their case, along with Sterling and Ibe. There should be very little rotation at the back, just look at Arsenal, a club notorious for being fragile and frail back there, with doubts over Koscielny's size/strength, and Mertesacker's pace and ability, yet they've started almost every game together, and I think have 2nd best Defense in the prem, with out a real class CDM.. Skrtel/Agger or Sakho, end of
Completely agree Jason. There is a good article from Jan Molby talking about the transfer business done by the club and suggesting we should compare it to that concluded by Everton.
PC & Sturridge are very bright stars but other than those two, transfers conducted since BR came to the club (may not be totally his fault) leave a lot to be desired.
I'm not really sure where the deadwood was in this one, unless we're just saying Sterling needs to go out on loan, and Flannagan is an abberation, which it seems (never rated him). I guess the issue there is, we've got Kelly, who can't get a game even against Hull, Cissokho, the same deal, and Flannagan a fish out of water at LB, so depth at both sides remains an issue, hence all the chatter about Montoya of Barcelona. And, the irony is, it seems we now overspent at CB, since even a player of Ilori should be in a match day squad, AND Coates is nearing fitness again, with Agger and Sakho warming the bench.
In a nutshell, this game was very reminiscent of the Southampton game, only Hull have far less talent and weapons, and pretty much invited us on all match, and dared us to come forward, even allowed us nearly 70% of the ball at times. We couldn't string 3 passes in a row, every pass out of the back from Lucas, Glenda, Flannagan, and many from Gerrard, were intercepted like academy football, and it left Sterling and Moses very isolated wide, with Suarez a reminiscent of disgusted figure like Torres used to, while Jordan ran his socks off, but never got in any threatening positions.
Moses made a terrific run, and had a sure goal superbly stopped, which would have been 2-1, but aside from that, until Coutinho and Alberto came on, you could just predict a loss, not even a draw. I suppose I'll say, I'm glad we got this shocker out of our system now, so we can man up at home vs Norwich, and the following fixtures, because that won't do!
i didn't see the game as I was completely off grid but it sounds awful. We still haven't been able to shake the dead wood out of the squad. There were / are too many that shouldn't be there and managed to hang on for whatever reason. It's not good.
Moses dear me. Chelsea don't off load players for no reason.
Lucas the same in my book. He's not suited to the PL. That's being polite
I'm absolutely disgusted after today. I honestly can't even say 1 single player had a good game, aside from Gerrard's free kick goal, and Jordan running for days.
Our fullback play/overlapping width, was absolutely non existent, shameful considering how good Glenda can be on her day. Passing by every single player, was despicable, turnover after turnover, and we probably show the worst "team defending" in the prem after our opening three 1-0 wins.. If it weren't for Skrtel making some last ditch / sliding deflections, me may have been crushed worse, and he had a #$%$ day / luck.
Suarez was so isolated, as Sterling and Moses were really held at bay, and Jordan should be playing deeper. Luis Alberto really needs to just get a start if Coutinho isn't fit, which he wasn't (pain injections to make bench), and on the road if you want to retain possession, pass and control, I can't see why he didn't give Allen another run out, with Jordan/Moses wide..
Lucas is becoming diabolical to me anymore.. Fouls, mistimed challenges, doesn't win aerials, no vision, and no pace once he's turned. If Aly Cissokho is so poor as an LB, then we may as well play Glen there, and have Flannagan or Kelly (is he alive?) play at right back. At least Glen can do a job, while we wait for January. Ultimately, we're still, with a deeper team, over reliant on Suarez/Coutinho and Gerrard.
To be beaten by Hull is totally out of order. Even bloody crystal palace beat them last week. If we don't get top 4 this year we are screwed for a long time in terms of money, attracting players etc. We have the month from Hell coming up, and we've already lost 3 games, 2 to opposition we should be destroying on a bad day. Not good enough!