Liverpool Message Board
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 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.
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
I was absolutely terrified of this game, the last time we won there, Torres scored the winner and I decided to wear my long sleeve Torres that was collecting dust, and I stood, motionless, for one of the most brilliant, breathtaking and amazing performances I can ever remember!!
I'm over the moon and back again, like a kid on Christmas day, I just can't seeeeem to get ennnnough!!!!!
I'm curious as to where Mel (Rodgers is a mid table manager), Colin (Coutinho is a lightweight, Sturridge a flake, Allen a waste of money, Adam the business, Andy the best CF in England) are.. Where are you guys? Are you enjoying our tipi tappa, boring, sideways passing football?
5-00000 in our house of horrors, and a super, massive well well well done to Allen, Jordan, Flanny, Sterling, Coutinho, Sakho and all our #$%$ youth/buys and of course you know who.. Skrtel haha!
Let's carry on this form, dust off Cardiff, and keep Rockin and Rolling!!!!!!!!!!! Done with my rant, and actually going to use the bathroom finally..
Long way to go, but so proud to be an LFC fan today, more than ever!
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.
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.
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..
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!
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.
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..
Hi Jason, I agree with almost everything here. For me we looked fluid and in control for almost the entire match, never took the foot off the gas, and played as well if not better in the second half as we did in the first. I think some credit has to go to Henderson and Gerrard who really rotated that attacking midfield role and really knitted together the midfield and the front line. And, of course we were solid in the back, and like you think the only thing that spoiled the match was the penalty call which looked soft at best..
I'd agree with Colyn also that pulling Moses out of that advanced central role may have been the key move. However I really do rate the lad, but think his best role is really to be wide in an attacking 3 where his pace ability to take on a player and be direct is his best asset.
I'd also discount anyone saying its just WBA. Yes they are not a likely top 4 contender so we'll know more next week when we match up with Arsenal, but Brom are a solid top half team, who've had our number recently, and as you said have found a way to get results against the top clubs.
The only thing I'd question is the formation for next week. To be honest I'm not sure what is best, and have advocated we go back to a back 4 for a couple weeks and have been wrong. But looking at the threat from Arsenal, if we can keep their full backs occupied (and wing backs maybe the best way of doing that) I see everything coming through the center. They'll have Giroud up top on his own, who is a handful but I think Skrtel in the center can handle him, so the threat is the midfielders coming from deep, and either denying them the ball, or clogging things up I think maybe the best way to frustrate them. So long as we can then transition the ball through the midfield to the attackers I think we have a good chance of getting a result.
One final thought, good shout out on Borini. Not sure the lad would make it to our bench right now, but good to see him in action.
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..
Time to separate the men from the boys, and let's see some of the players who've done a lot of talking (or shall I say complaining) step up, now that their chances will come. I'd expect to see Alberto, who I've been screaming for, and slowly been adding in minutes of late, getting a real run, and I think we could see something special with him/Coutinho/Suarez.. Aspas, will now get a chance again being fit, and having been yapping, before he finds himself on loan to Valencia.
As for midfield, statistics, and last week (most of the season, this and last), show when Jordan plays a central figure, he becomes an engine, a master of nothing, but outstanding at many things. Lucas having been dropped (FINALLY) the last 2 matches, has seen our best midfield performances of the season, Allen was a bulldog, and a passing machine in his stead. Lucas will come back in, but have 1 very simple role, and who knows, maybe he doesn't, and Jordan/Allen sit at the back of the triangle, and Alberto heads it up, with Coutinho and Sterling wide.
Kelly, looked fit and hungry, and I wouldn't be stunned to see him start at RB with Glenda shifting left, because while Flanny has been solid, he offers very little going forward, and Cissokho, is obviously just collecting a paycheck. S A S - Skrtel and Sakho, were very physical and commanding vs WHU, and while Spuds on paper or per paycheck, look fast and pretty, have shown nothing but dour, daft footy, BUT have a very physical side, and it's screaming Vertoghen, Paulino, Dawson etc., nicking something from Corners, which is why I'd leave S A S together in favor of Agger.
BUT, regardless of Gerrard, we have everything else with Coutinho / Suarez /Sterling's form, to push AVB's defensive mind to the limit. He will start 3 CDM's, so we could very well, outskill them, which isn't something I've thought in years for this fixture.. At least, it's how I think BR and AVB are planning, respectively..
Ah ha got there in front of you for a change ;o)
That doesn't sound like enough to sack someone. We lose targets all the time. Most clubs do with say 2-3 clubs getting almost everyone. They being the two Spanish giants and Bayern. Everyone scraps for it.
To me it sounds like there's something not happening to plan or they want a change for some reason. That surprises me as I though Rodgers had aligned the youth system with first team affairs and McParland was happy with it.
It's a strange one.
With you there Colyn. we can play better, and the good thing from my point of view is the areas where we see issues, or need for improvement I think are positions where either I'd expect the current player to improve over the season, and or we have an even better players currently not in the side. For example, under the current system I felt Sterling was a bit over his head as the right wing back, however he's a player who's definitely still learning and can improve, plus we have Johnson still to come back who I think would thrive in that role. The same goes for the number 10 slot, where Moses imo will improve as he settles, but with PC to come back we don't have to wait for that improvement.
On the league your absolutely right. I along with most pundits would have put it as a fight between the Manchester clubs and Chelsea for the title, then us, Arsenal and Spurs for the 4th slot. But Chelsea just seem to have something missing, City seem to struggle on the road, and the Mancs, just look lost. Meanwhile Arsenal are flying, Spurs look solid, and we're right in the mix. I usually say it takes 10 games for the table to settle, but it may take even longer this term. But I still expect the natural order to start exerting itself, which is why we need to keep up the momentum. We all I'm sure are having a good laugh at the Mancs expense, but end of the day they are only 6 points off the pace, which is not a lot to make up in 30 odd games we have left n the season.
It really comes down to whether Johnson is fit enough to play or not, and by that I mean start and expected to last the full 90 rather than just making the bench (which I think is more likely). But we have to look at why we went with the 3 CB's and wing backs. It was because we did not have certain players available, and so unless Glen is 100% (or Kelly for that matter). The issue for me was not defensive, but rather the need for width, with neither Toure, or Sakho able to provide the width going forward when they were drafted into the full back roles. Johnson and Enrique however can provide width going forward and still provide adequate defensive cover in a back 4, but they both need to be fully fit to get that job done well.
On the line up, I actually really like it. Personally I think Johnson would thrive in a wing back role. I'm not one who is over critical of his defensive skills and think his defensive abilities are often overlooked, however there is no doubt the best side of his game is the attacking element, and as a wing back he'd really be dangerous. However I'd not put this in place until we were certain he was fully fit, as a wing back has to cover more ground that a full back who is only expected to join the attack on occasion, while a wing back is expected to be central to the attacking force.
Personally I'd stick with a back 3 (Toure, Skrtel, Agger) and leave Glen on the Bench for this one. I'd go with those 3 as I don't see Newcastle as a threat to overcome us with power, but more reliant on pace, and of course they have real flair in a couple players. So mobility, intelligence, and the ability to hold the ball to deny Newcastle possession would be my strategy. I'd leave Glen on the bench because I don't believe in rushing players back unless we absolutely have to, and since we're not doing too bad with the current system I think having an attack minded defender on the bench is enough insurance for me.
Yeah I keep trying to comment on this spot. There are good people here. I do wish it would pick up a bit though.
On Saturday the result was right. No complaints about that. Plenty on the way we were set up and played though.
Does anyone think that the three at the back system that we currently employ played into Arsenal's hands a bit?
To me it's a system that invites pressure and if there's one team in the PL that you shouldn't be allowing a free run in midfield is Arsenal. I'm not convinced it's right for us. I'm also not convinced that Agger shouldn't be playing.
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.
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