Liverpool Message Board
Er....I have to disagree there. We've had the results but I've been far from impressed with our performances thus far. First half against Stoke and that's it. Every other game we have been hanging on for long periods. Possession stats say we don't have as much of the ball as the other team. The grit, determination and resolve is great but it will only get you so far.
Rodgers wants to play possession football and we don't do it. I've highlighted above why I don't think that's the case. I don't see anyone in the squad that can really turn it round either. Gerrard can't play a possession game from where he is currently playing. And I don't rate Lucas any higher either. It is that simple honestly. Allen believe it or not is the best fit style wise but there's issues that he and the team need to resolve for him to be fully effective.
From what we have available I understand the 3-5-2 but that doesn't excuse the very poor execution of playing out from your defensive line.
Do any of you lads post on other message boards you'd recommend? Unfortunately this board seems to be slowly dying, and I'm getting to the point where I rarely come to see if anyone has anything to say as most days there are fewer and fewer posts. It's really a shame, because until Yahoo decided to cut all links to access the boards, we had quite a diverse community here posting various points of views.
Most other boards I've looked at are either moderated and you end up with only Reds all agreeing with each other but little healthy debate, or open boards that quickly descend into trolls trying to wind everyone one up, and again healthy debate, or diverse opinion just goes out the window.
I'd love to get some of the old posters to come back here, but as that does not look likely to happening wonder if there are any better options out there?
Hobs I agree with almost all of that, although not sure I'd want to see the 3-5-2 every week if we had a fully fit squad. The starting 11 above is surely one that would give many teams a headache, however with all our defenders fully fit, I think both Johnson and Enrique are mobile enough to be able to join the attack but still cover their defensive duties. And, by dropping either Skrtel or Toure it allows us one more attacking player on the pitch. Perhaps deploying Moses along with Daniel and Luis in a 3 man front?
Colyn, I think the statement we don't have the players for it is qualified with the style you expect us to play. Based on results we in fact do have the players for the system, but its transformed us much more to a counter attacking side, rather than a possession based side.
But for me this change has less to do with the change in system, rather than the availability of players. The simple fact for me is that our best possession players just are not available. We could go back to 4 at the back, but the possession would still down without someone like Agger to play out of the back, or a PC to dictate the tempo from the center.
No objection to 3-5-2 either provided we have players for it and we certainly don't in the middle of the park at the moment. I know I'm harsh on Gerrard and Lucas but it's just the way i see it. Gerrard is a legend but he's no Xavi, Alonso, Keane or Scholes for that matter and for me Lucas just doesn't contribute enough when in possession.
But still the results are positive so I'll keep moaning and celebrating at the same time......................................
I agree, that explains the drop in possesion, territory but probably also looks the reason for us being more dangerous on the counter due to the onorthodox nature of our runners. If the left and right back in a back four are in their normal positions then you would assume they can pick up a pass deeper and under less pressure so more likely to keep the ball then when they are 15 yards furthur up the pitch. I wondered what was going on after us talking for so long about playing with an identity, a fixed style but if the results continue then I can't complain!
I think the change is heavily due to the options we have available. To have Agger, Kelly, Johnson, Cissokho, Allen and Coutinho missing would have destroyed us in the last few seasons. When you have centre halves playing so well I guess you just go with the logic, likewise, when you have those 2 strikers, you have to try and get them both in the dangerous positions. I see a future in the 3-5-2 though, with Allen and Agger returning this week, we may well see an increase in fluidity over the erratic Sakho and combative Lucas.
Can you imagine this starting eleven though:
Toure Skrtel Agger
Johnson Gerrard Lucas Enrique
That would take some beating!
OR, just get a bit creative / ambitious like the occasions where Chelsea, City, Arsenal, drop their most creative player much deeper next to a more defensive minded player, let him pick up the ball and play it straight out of the back..
I've seen Oscar do this both with Chelsea (not under the crying one) and Brazil, and effective no matter what, also Mata on a few occasions. We've probably all seen Silva do it for City, both under Mancini and Pellegrini, and the same for Ozil both at Madrid and Arsenal.
I'd prefer to have a fit, firing and on the mark Coutinho in the side, and comfortable in the #10 role, but on occasion, I think it could work, which is why I pointed out the fact we missed the boat with Eriksen, and why I personally feel Alberto needs to start getting quality minutes, either from the start, or signifcant off the bench. I won't say he's Coutinho, but he's Coutinho esque, in his skill set, passing, creativity, and he gets himself in scoring positions like a center forward. For Palace, I think Henderson and Gerrard will do fine, and that will allow for Aspas to make his claim for the wide right position and elevate his game, and/or Sterling, OR for Alberto to perhaps get a nod.
Henderson is quickly becoming our Dirk Kuyt, where he almost can't be left out, so that gives someone else a very good opportunity now, and then forces Jordan to elevate his game another notch when Lucas comes back in..
Ouch, fingers hurt, but just a few thoughts turn into a thousand words. Long story short, I want Jordan to have a go in deep mid, and I want to see Alberto!
Spot on Hobs. My observations exactly. One problem with 3 at the back is the wing backs or wide midfielders push higher, making the out ball harder. That puts pressure on Gerrard an Lucas to be available, which they aren't. if they get the ball they need another outlet and that remains a problem too.
Hi Colyn/Jason, I keep seeing people talking about a back 4 but in the last 2 games now, we have played a 3-5-2 with Toure-Skrtel-Sakho making up the back 3 and Henderson and Enrique playing as wingbacks. I certainly don't think we found ourselves pushed back against United but we were definitely soaking up some scary looking pressure at Sunderland. I am hoping Allen will be fit to replace the banned Lucas against Palace and agree his mobility might actually improve us, especially in a home game against, with all due respect, a weaker team.
The Gerrard/Lucas pairing doesnt look one to dominate games, they can be fluid at times but when under the cosh they go a bit direct, of course Gerrard spraying balls around looks fantastic and can get you a goal in an instant as it did against Sunderland. By the looks of things we might not need to talk about someone doing the Xabi role come January, the man himself is looking quite likely for a return, which would be awesome. Yes he is older but he was always slow in the first place, of course he has a good passing range but it is the quality of his short passing and constant availability for a pass that could take us a couple of steps forward.
I don't want to be wishing or waiting on January but there is certainly something missing in the centre. Look at us, finding problems when we are sat in 2nd place :)
I hope so. Good crowd on here when it's busy.
Good points but I disagree with you on Gerrard. Gerrard is in no way a Xabi or an Alonso and this is where my problem starts. Gerrard is an impact player he does things in a flash, a fleeting moment of brilliance that few can match. Either side of it it leaves me worried. He can go missing and get caught out of position. This puts pressure on his midfield partner to be the steady rock, always available, covering defensively and keeping possession ticking over. Perhaps they could chip in with a few assists too. Basically they dictate how we play. Lucas doesn't do that and never will.
For me a fit and firing Allen would be a better fit every day of the week but he needs help to find his feet and develop his game. Too many times last season I saw him begging for a passing option and it never materialized (note American spelling there ;o) hee hee) He'll then give a poor ball or lose it and we're in a heap of trouble after that.
it's such critical area and oh how I would love to see Alonso return. He would make a massive massive difference. firstly our possession stats would go through the roof, the poor play out of defensive would reduce and there would always be a spine or an outlet a player that could sit between the opposition penalty box and half way line and really pile on the pressure. That would stop teams from pressing us high too.
So, in summary we need to get Allen up to Alonso standard, find another Alonso or clone him.
Well hopefully enough noise/chatter from us regulars, and Hobs, Dave, Loki and others I'm forgetting will spark up the others to come from hidiing.
In regards to what you're saying, I think we're in agreement, as (though I wasn't here to prove it) I was always in Lucas corner from his darkets days, to where he is now, and I think he peaked just before his knee injury at Chelsea, and is the best Lucas we're likely to see. He's not very strong, and not particularly quick, with a long standing habit of getting turned/beaten in bad positions giving fouls in even worse. I think Jordan, if he were groomed to tackle more, and read more defensively, could actually supplant him on speed, strength, work rate and determination alone. That said, I think Jordan, if played there, will do fine, as Gerrard is as solid a tackler as any, especially for someone known for his surging runs and distance shots. I view Gerrard now, as a more athletic, more likely to crunch you version of Xabi..
As far as the quick link up play and distribution, that's why I think Rodgers bought Joe Allen from the get go because he's very quick, low center of gravity and very comfortable on the ball. He wasn't bought to be a monster, but rather a very skilled technnician, that someone like Jay Spearing could never be, while he has shown the ability to be very feisty and nip at the heels, it's just a matter of fitness, regaining form and getting himself into the side now.
For me, our biggest mistake was not going after Eriksen because he can play the 10, or drop deep, and we're only going to see more and more of how good he is for Spuds, and he's only 21. Hopefully come January, we'll see a defensive minded, role player come in, along with another wide and up front option.
Yes I've finally managed to get a steady route back on here again. Shame it's a lot quieter than previously.
The fact that Lucas is already suspended illustrates the problem perfectly. 5 Bookings in 6 games shows the pressure he is under and let's be honest he can be a bit clumsy at times when the heat is on. Sadly, in my opinion when the pressure comes on and you need someone to step forward Lucas tends to disappear. Shame.
I'm going to be critical again here, as I have in the past. For me Gerrard and Lucas will always struggle with the midfield style that Rodgers wants. Neither player are fleet footed enough to play the role perfectly for me. Most players would and having someone that is clearly comfortable in possession is enormously important. However, just as important is having an outlet. Rodgers picked up on that in his post match interview. So there's an issue to be addressed there and I'm glad that Rodgers is aware of it. That would make their life easier in the middle. Full backs are the key there.
Without this outlet etc. the ball keeps coming back and our back 4 drop deeper and deeper which only makes the problem worse as the gaps between the lines increases. Rodgers hasn't helped himself by playing "odd" selections at full back but it's also worth noting that opposition teams will push up on the flanks, blocking that outlet and knowing we'll struggle. It's happened every game so far this season. Not good. We need an outlet elsewhere and that should be one of the three behind the striker.
Long time mate, hope you've been well! I agree, which is why it was far from perfect, and if not for that Reina-esque fast break distribution by Mignolet for goal #3, who knows if we didn't concede a leveler.
While we'll see another winnable fixture on paper, my mantra is, there is no easy match whatsoever, especially for a Liverpool fan, so I think we can learn some new things this coming weekend about our back 6 vs Crystal Palace. Perhaps we'll have Kelly available to play RB, or Wisdom plays his way into the plans, and we play a flat back 4.
We've also lost Lucas to yellows, so we'll likely (you'd think) see Gerrard/Jordan sitting in the middle, which will allow Sterling/Aspas/Ibe to get a start out wide right, which would really create some balance, and speed/creativity throughout the entire front 3rd, and reduce the high pressing..
Happy with the results but the manner in which we're going about things makes me nervous. Too many times this season we've allowed the opposition to have too much of the game. So far we've got away with it but it wont last especially when everyone realises that if they play a very high line against us they can squeeze us back and we'll just sit there and try to soak it up.
There are things that need to be sorted in the back 6 (as I call them) that's the back 4 and the two sitting in front of them.
I wouldn't call that perfect, but this had made me nervous because we've had this awful habit, of playing down to our competition, and it would have been horrible to be the 1st win on Sunderland's CV this year..
We still have trouble with teams pressing us high when we want to play out of the back, but, with Kolo playing RCB and Sakho really getting baptised by fire, you'd imagine that will improve, and Skrtel marshalled everything in the middle like a general. Loved his foray forward before getting fouled.. looked like Messi
A bit loose in our passing at times, still need more creativity from the wide areas, but we made the keeper work, Brendan didn't have us sit back, and we showed adventure, purpose and intent going forward almost the entire 2nd half. What's more exciting is the prospect of when Coutinho comes back, Alberto gets more involved, and Aspas gets stronger.. And of course Glen or Kelly getting in at RB. Well Done. YNWA
Jason, I think we can always second guess a line up, and after the fact it obviously was not enough to get a result. However at some point I think we either have to take a manager at his word of why he selected certain players, or alternatively start questioning him. BR stated Jose was not ready for 90, and based on what he did on the pitch I see no reason to question that. The fact Kelly did not even get on the pitch and we ended the match with Jordan at RB would suggest he felt the lad just was not up to playing despite being put on the bench.
But for me, the discussion of who was in the back 4 is missing the point. The real issue for me was the lack of glue between the midfield and the forward line, and full backs while they can provide width and an extra threat going forward, they do not dictate play in the center which is where we were lacking. Maybe Alberto could have filled that void, I would also have considered Allen also, but either way its obvious Aspas did not do the job, and we sorely missed Courtinho, and for me that was the main difference that cost us the points.
On what I called an over reaction, it was not aimed at anyone in particular, either Loki or yourself, but more a general statement we should not take the first defeat to hard. Sooner or later we were going to lose a match (sorry it was when you were in town) just as all clubs so far bar Everton have done. In some ways I'm glad we now have that behind us. BR has talked a lot about a confident squad, which is great, but there can be a fine line between confidence and complacency, and getting humbled a little might have been a good thing.
But bottom line the difference between first and fifth is 2 points. Yes I'd prefer to still be in first place, but the league table is pointless right now. So long as we are in touch with 4th or better we're on track, and right now the difference is only goal difference, so we're still in a very good place imo.
While I might tend to agree with you that Enrique was god awful when he came on, he really seemed fine in the warmups, at least from what I could see (albeit not on the field, but a good view) AND, if he was going to play a CB with a left foot over there, why not Agger, who can move with the ball? And also, Agger was grabbing his rib cage constantly until he came off, so what was the point in starting him if he was only 65% fit? Skrtel and Toure could have been a fine duo, with Sakho left, and Kelly who was on the bench and played 90" minutes in the midweek ...
In a situation like this, where (I can't speak for Loki) I'm not blowing anything out of proportion, I'm simply calling a spade, a spade, as I saw it. It was exactly what it was. We could not get anything going wide, which is a shame because Moses was electric on the ball when he did get it, and the higher Soton pressed Sakho, the less Moses could see the ball, and while Aspas didn't have a good game, #10 isn't his position, and early on, he made 1-2 cleverl plays, one almost led to a goal, with him breaking down the right and cutting to his strong left foot. Instead mostly Jordan played wide, and Aspas was invisible after the they cut us off ..
Agger shouldn't have started, and IMO, Alberto should have. These for me, are not in hindsight, but what I wanted/would have done. Alberto to some seems lightweight and one for the future, but so many said the same about Coutinho, and while I'm not saying their the same player, he has the ilk of class, and it didn't do much good giving him 12-13" minutes to show it, when they were chickens running around with no heads. And, just like Coutinho who was also "too frail and lightweight", he could have really changed things as the link up / #10 player.. Sterling was also a pretty good shout, since Kolo can't and never would get forward.
We put out a lineup that gave too much respect to Southampton at Anfield, and they ate it up tactically, and physically
I think there maybe a little of an over reaction, although maybe understandable as our great start really got expectation up. However I think we need to think this one through a bit.
First off if we're to take BR as this word, Enrique was carrying an injury which made him a risk to start. Yes I understand if a player is good enough to be on the bench he should be good enough to start, but for me even when he came on he really did not show he would have done any better if he'd been on from the start. He gave away plenty of passes (just like the rest of the side) and just seemed a little off to me.
For me it really did come down, not to a lack of full backs, but a lack of link up from the back to the front. Credit to Southampton who pressed high up and limited the ability to play out of the back, but it was a pass to a creative midfielder to start the attack that was missing, not an outlet pass to a full back. So for me missing PC was a very big deal, but we still should have done better.
For me Gerrard needs to own up he had a poor day, as there should be no reason why he cannot play that creative role. Maybe he's not got the legs of his youth, but he's still got more technical ability than anyone else on the pitch. I do however agree Aspas was a passenger. Impressed early doors, but the last two matches have been aweful and he needs a spell in the reserves to buck his ideas up. He's a good player, was a hero at his club in Spain, but needs to get things together, otherwise step aside for someone else. I expect Suarez to play in the hole on Wednesday, but I'd also think about Allen as an option if Aspas does not buck up.
I figure with United in 2 days, it will be the same as it has been, but based on BR's very attack minded, tactically sound set up vs Soutampton at Anfield, this might be the best formation going forward in the league, starting with WINLESS Sunderland..
--------Mignolet - Jones------------
I call it the 2-3-4-2, designed to get optimal penetration and possession in your own half, specifically in your own final 3rd, and create as litle chances out wide as possible, while making sure neither side scores a goal aside from a mistake or a set piece.
Figure when we get Cissokho back, we can also recall Robinson, and maybe promot Sama, so we can take off one keeper, and take off Lucas, to just go with 10 defenders and finish out the season 0-0 every week. This would ensure Sturridge stays fit, and Suarez doesn't get into any trouble..
I'm not being sarcastic either.
Well, I'd like to thank Rafa.. em, I mean Brendan for ruining my first "league" visit to Anfield, where the atmosphere was incredible, and then incredibly deflated after about 15" mins of that nonsense. 4 CBs to start the match was trouble and it was plain to see. I can rationalize why he might have done it, thinking Southampton would play 3 big Strikers up front, however, rule of thumb, at least as I see it is, you play "your game" in your "home". Brendan totally outthought himself, and a change should have happened no later than 25"..
Agger was constantly grabbing his ribs, so he was clearly not fit, evident in getting pulled off in favor of Enrique, because Sakho wasn't comfortable in the final third, and Kolo while filling a need, couldn't get forward past a tree, so starting with Henderson wide, rather than Aspas, who can take a man on wide, completely nullified us, and we couldn't even get out of our half, which was maddening..
After finally making Jordan the right back, which should have happened far earlier, then he takes of Skrtel, who had a fine match, and can get forward / act as a CF in favor of keeping on Kolo and Sakho.. It was baffling, and it all starts with Buck because he chose it and employed it, and it played into Soton's hands like a piece of cake, while Mignolet looked like bambi on ice skates passing/dribbling all over the place.
Alberto, at the minimum, should have gotten 45", if not starting, because he's as close as we've got as a like for like with Coutinho, so giving him 13" to help unlock a parked bus while the others ran around mindless, was even worse, because he showed the dummys, the through balls, the backflicks, but there was 0.0 cohesion. Technically speaking, the whole team was awful aside from Moses, Lucas and Skrtel... the rest should have just stayed home for the day.. This needs sorted by Sunderland, let alone the cup at OT..