Liverpool Message Board
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!
I haven't got a clue as to why we didn't get involved in looking at Wanyama, or even Diame or Yacob. My only guess is that BR was truly confident Lucas game would really elevate, and Allen would have been fully fit by now.
To comment backwards, while I think Gerrard can give us another 3-4 years at a very high level, just perhaps not routinely / consistently as he'd have to be managed, or may not want to play, there definitely seems to be a plan in his replacement, as we continuously are linked with central mids, however, most of today's aren't really in his unique mold, more the Christian Eriksen type, or the Paulino type. Very creative with little defensive capabilites, or box to box with an emphasis on defense, with no happy medium. We may never see another Gerrard (or lampard / scholes for you peeping goons), where it's the old fashiond jack of all trades.
My curiosoity, once BR feels he's fully aligned his squad with additional depth, mostly out wide and up front, is what can Henderson really do in one position. I say it alot, but with the right training/mentoring (Lucas did), he could be quite a central player, especially considering his natural ability, size, pace and work rate.
For now, I just feel like BR has got to drop Lucas, even if he feels reluctant, and can just say it's for some rest, because we need to see Allen, and perhaps Allen / Henderson can really do a nice job deeper, and give Stevie freedom at the front of a triangle to link wit Coutinho, or distribute wide left and right, making us that more dangerous.
Lucas just does not possess much in his locker, and he seems to have lost his best attributes, which were tireless work rate, and some athleticism .. He' just so limited now. This of course is my view, but the proof is routinely seen in his poorly timed fouls and where they occur..
Maybe we can get Coady in there, or just see what happens in January..
I take it from reading your post, it's a permanent move and not a loan?
While LFC were here in the states last summer, I had the opportunity to see him/them train for over a week, along with the 2 matches in Boston and Baltimore, and I was very unimpressed by him, of the youth players I saw.. Adorjan, who's on loan at FC Gronignen, looked the best of them all.
I think this speaks to all the changes going on at our academy. From some things I've been reading, seems we've been led to believe they're better than they really are. I guess it does make sense, since the very best over the past 3-4 years are Suso (on loan) Kelly (hurt, strangely out of the picture) Wisdom, Flannagan and Robinson, also on loan. Coady and Joao Texeira, who was purchased, seem/look the real deal, but aside from Suso, and Wisdom when CB places come available, that doesn't really excite too much..
Compared to Arsenal, Spurs (Townsend, Naughton, Caulker, Walker, Kane) and United, (don't think Chelsea or City know what an academy is), we're not neck and neck, despite the lavish praise of next best to Barca.. Or maybe we're just hiding gems, but even Sterling / Ibe / Kelly can't get a minute, even when needed!
I see that Adam Morgan is on his way to Yeovil. I like this lad and was disappointed he didn't get more opportunities at first team level. I hope he scores loads of goals and ends up in the top flight at some stage in the future.
Wanyama was a big miss in my opinion. Should have at least made an effort to sign him. Lucas, as far as I'm concerned had better up his game considerably or he can leave if the opportunity arises.
I agree on Allen. he needs game time and he also needs to up the anti. He made no friends missing that sitter. He was under a bit of scrutiny as it was / is and missing that will have done him no favours with the Kop or his own confidence levels. Simple fact is we need him, and more.
I certainly hope there's some kind of plan for a long term replacement for Gerrard? I do not want to be in a position where we are still reliant on the guy to the extent we are next season. I'm not saying he needs to be phased out, That depends on what he can offer but our midfield is already too weak (for where we want to be), it needs a bolster and we must think long term.
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..
For me the decision is easy in some respects
You play your best 11 available 11 week in week out. No reason not to as the game load isn't excessive.
Forward line of Sturridge and Suarez with Coutinhio in the hole.
Back for of Glenda, Skrtel, Agger and bets available left back. Toure should and will give Agger a run for his money. Sakho and Cissokho need to catch up.
Big question for me is the best balance in midfield. Gerrard plays as he's our best. Henderson next and then for it's a toss up between Lucas and Allen. But as you know this is the area that bugs me the most. Do they play as a three across the pitch or two and one or two and two with Gerrard and Coutinhio pushing on a bit.
It's tough and we look weak on the left.
Agree with 2 cb's and the battle for the starting berths between those you've talked about. I am unconvinced that we have a replacement for Lucas at the moment (we probably need to sort that soon). I don't think Allen can play that role.
Also, not sure that we can solve our midfield problem against the bigger sides whilst playing two up front. My pref for the big games where we are going to be pressed would be:-
PC SG LS
and the defence as you talked about.
I agree with a lot of that so I don't think our positions are very far away from each other.
The good news is that we seem to be good enough to beat the poorer teams in the division and that can take you a long way (assuming it continues).
The bad news is that, in spite of a good run, all the usual suspects are there or there abouts and we have to develop a way of taking points off them. Also, if we do make top 4, I think we're liable to be pulled apart in Europe next year.
We need to go again in the winter transfer market - over to John Henry & the mysterious transfer committee I guess!
True the move was aggressive and I like "the go for it " but it did surprise me none the less, especially at a time where I thought we would try and dominate possession.
Good point Lukaku, he ran the channels behind the full backs very well. and Everton put the ball there. That is one problem with pushing full backs on. They drag one central defender out and that means someone needs to fill the hole.
My opinion of Lucas from a few seasons ago has resurfaced. He's not at the level we want or need. He is slow, commits awfully soft and un-needed fouls and was booked for it again at the weekend. I lost count of how many clumsy challenges he made where the striker had his back to goal. he's also anonymous when we have the ball. That's just not good.
Agreed Agger falls into the band wagon bracket because he can play the ball on the floor with his feet etc. That's enough to win many over, me included usually but he's dropped a clanger or two as well.
It is harsh but the standard of football this season has dropped again, right across the league.
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 know I'm talking tough but as I said I see an opportunity and I want the club to grasp it. Not roll over in a whimper as we've done before. The problem is that you can often get shouted down for having an opinion against one of the darlings.
Fair point on Barry. I thought he was excellent until he moved to right back. Everton lost something in midfield at that point. While I can see why Rodgers pushed Moses we may have lost more in the middle and we did lose a goal as a result. Could have lost more as Lukaku steamed through once as did the other Everton chap who I have no chance of typing his name.
They are fair points and perhaps balance is a key here. I cant think of many if not any PL midfielders at the moment that are at a level that makes me look twice. Ramsey perhaps but I have a biased Welsh view and he is the type of player I like to watch. Toure when on pomp too I guess. I'm begging for a midfielder who will sit there in the middle and dictate games. Allow Gerrard to do what he does best and that is cause problems from unexpected areas. I like what Allen can do (apart from miss sitters) but he's not that player either.
Rodgers tactics demand a fast paced game with plenty of movement and passing. We don't do it. When I watch a game one of the first things I look for is how a team keeps hold of the ball and manages possession (with and without the ball). Everton did it better than us on Saturday and to me that isn't a good thing. Honestly we haven't done that all season either.
Tactics are interesting and yes flexibility is important. But to what extent is my concern. I don't we've got our Plan A sorted 100% yet but we've seen a number of different shapes already this season. I think that takes something away from the team. I think there's been plenty of evidence to make that point. I like the idea of having one system, "this is what we do, you counter it" Rather than trying to out think the opposition just out play them.
Wow, you're a tough guy to please.
Firstly, it's all opinion on here and yours is as likely to be correct as mine so keep going.
I'm not saying that Gerrard is the best centre mid in world footy or even the prem at the moment. I also think a negative opinion about him is fine - I too think he struggles with pace and can get overrun when paired with Lucas when we are being pressed. But I just think you need to be careful when you categorise someone as good as him as 'rubbish' or 'hopeless'. How many centre mids in the division would you have in front of him? If not all of them, does that mean you can be a rubbish or hopeless footballer and still make millions of pounds in wages in our league? If so, why can't I get a game :-). Gerrard is still a very, very good footballer even if he isn't as good at some stuff as he used to be and even if there are plenty around who are as good/better.
I think Henderson has shown a lot of improvement from last year and so am not prepared to write him off yet. He needs to go up a level again to cut it as a top four midfielder but I would say he has a good chance of doing that - his attitude is certainly right. On Lucas, I think any team looking to push full backs on need a defensive minded midfielder to sit. I rate him but he's not been the same since the injury and time is coming soon when we need to make a decision in that area. We missed a trick on Barry in my opinion who looked like a top bit of business the day Everton signed him. Would have been a great loan whilst we saw how Lucas recovered. I don't see how Allen gets into the team on a regular basis - he's not a defensive minded midfielder and won't get past PC at the top of the triangle.
I do agree that midfield is the area for investment - that and some coaching on defending crosses would improve us as a team (also a back up forward).
I don't have a problem with Rodgers being flexible, I think that will help us as a team in the long run.
Hi Paddy. I find the Gerrard band wagon is a little frustrating at times. Stating a negative opinion is seriously frowned upon. He is a legend no doubt but I honestly don't think he's all that of a player. Give him room and he'll rip anyone to shreds granted. West Brom most recently but when games are tight with a pressing midfield he's rubbish. I could write essays on what I don't like about him in those situations. I would also note that it's situation that becomes clearer in an England side who are in all honesty pretty poor.
Sorry for the harsh words but I'm saying it as I see it. He is however our best central midfielder at present. No doubt.
Lucas has never convinced me. Stats say otherwise but I just don't like what I see. Henderson is all effort and will be an ok player and a grafter but is he the quality we really want in there? Allen, again he will be a good player but needs that quality alongside him. That way he can relax a bit. But can we carry him?
Another point on the game. I thought it was a slightly bizarre decision to take a midfielder off, an area where we'd struggled all game to put Moses on. Unsurprisingly Everton got their goal as we were adjusting to it. Again Gerrard was out of position on more than one occasion allowing a free run for Everton on the back 4 and goal. Agger too I agree Jason.
It's a harsh reality that we need to seriously look at this area. Please note that neither Benites or Houllier played Gerrard in central midfield. As I've said elsewhere we have an opportunity this year, perhaps one that wont come round for a while again. It must be grasped. Even if we do manage a European spot for next season. This midfield will not cut the bacon at that level. We will be torn to shreds I'll tell you now.
As a final note Rodgers is becoming a little too ready to change systems for my liking. Stick to one system but feel free to move players in and out of that system to change the dynamic to the game and team. That's my preferenc
I agree with pretty much all of that except the extent of the language (I don't think you could fairly describe Gerrard as 'hopeless') :-).
We have struggled with two things consistently this season - high balls into the box (last season as well) and in midfield when pressed. It's difficult to be too critical of the management team but I don't understand how we have remained so bad with at least the former of those two - surely we now have the personnel and so it can only be down to coaching.
I'm still hoping that Lucas can get back to where he was before his injury but it's taking a long while. SG & Lucas together in centre mid isn't working against teams who press. Surely an area to invest in come the winter. In the meantime, I'd prefer to see a Henderson & Lucas in those types of games with SG playing either at the point of the triangle or wide right of a three behind one up top.
That said it was a fantastic game of footy. For me 3-3 was a fair result - Everton shaded the game and showed why they haven't lost at home in the league this year, but they should have been 2-1 and a man down.
The next three games now take on a huge significance. All winnable although it seldom works out that way. 7 points out of 9 should keep us in contention for the top four going into a tough Christmas period.
Got to agree with both of you - on the face of it, it seems a very odd decision. The reputation of the two involved, the timing, the number of young players getting first team game time - it doesn't add up.
I can only assume that something serious has happened behind the scenes which has led to them going. This is wild speculation, and I have no proof other than a hunch, but I wonder if something seriously untoward has been going on (e.g. bullying, perf enhancing drugs etc). Like I said, just wild speculation and probably very wide of the mark, but nothing seems to add up here.
Yes I should have mentioned Borrell too. There's obviously something they're not happy with.
I wonder if it's something to do with the attitude of some of the younger players. Sterling has a past, while Pacheco and Suso to name two have gone completely off the boil and are not showing anywhere near their promise.