Liverpool Message Board
Hi Jason / Loki
I don't think there's anything new there. We all know the squad is thin and has been for many years. Even under Benitez it was thin in quality but bloated with overpaid non contributors. I was seriously hoping for 2-3 points out of these two games as I think we have that potential. It obviously wasn't to be and we need to work incredibly hard to rebuild confidence and momentum. It is good that many of the so called bigger sides still need to come to Anfield. That may yet prove crucial in the run in.
I agree on Johnson. He's just not at the races at the moment and in my opinion along with Lucas he's a waste of money and effort. Flannagan to his credit has shown what we've been missing as far as full backs are concerned. I've not forgotten Enrique either.
We seriously need the middle of the park sorting. That would put us in good stead in games like the last two. We would dominate possession better and give Coutinho that out ball we seriously need. That would also give the little boost to close out tight games. Such a small thing can make a huge difference in there and Lucas isn't it by several country miles.
As far as targets are concerned today I've seen Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu from Udinese banded about. Not a player I know a lot about to be honest.
I think it shows, much like some of the things you said, that we are also, as good as the very best based on style, substance and hard work, only short of quality in depth. We are absolutely a top 4 team, and I'm comfortable saying, if the squad grows with quality, every bit as good as 2,3,4 and pushing whoever is top.
We need 2 fullbacks, or 1 at the very least, because we seem to have a bunch who can't play either side, so let's hope all that noise over Montoya from Barca is leading to a January move. Next, imo, more than anything, 2 attacking forces, 1 wide and one through the middle. The noise is getting louder and louder, that we may well be signing Salah of FC Basel for a modest fee, and who seems to be a massive upgrade to anyone we've got, with experiences at the highest levels, and also Ivan Rakitic of Sevilla, who would be similar to Mkhitarayan that Rodgers desired.
I noticed another problem today, Coutinho tries to do too much and more, and sometimes gets nothing done. I could see it today more than ever because he was up against his mates, Oscar, Luiz, Willian, and is desparate to get in the Brazil squad, but he just tries to leave too much to do. He catches the ire of Suarez and Sterling more and more each week, with wayward shots, or over dribbling.
I think the addition of Salah or Rakitic, or both, would give us what we want in the middle by default, in Jordan. He's been ever impressive roaming forward, but at the same time, is perfectly capable of being a big, athletic, driving force in a deeper spot. We're all admirers of Diame, and he often lines up behind the striker for WHU, and while he's better (older too), I see similarities and more in Jordan. That said, I'd have Diame too. If we could add Montoya, Salah (or Tello), Rakitic, Diame, I'd be delighted.
Word, or rumor has it over here in some readings, that Rodgers could have a handsome amount, for the "right" players, noted above, along with Menez/Jorginho/Pastore/Cabeye etc etc..
It was said we will have a better idea of our title credentials after this week. Well now we know!
1) The squad is short on quality behind the first 11
2) Because no one is pushing Johnson, he's turned into Pepe Reina!
3) we are desperate for a beast who can control the middle
We have to address this next week - 3 players of suitable quality must be out there. Twice in a week we've let a winning position slip.
I'm pretty sure that couldn't have been the case because Cissokho was hanging out in the final 3rd all day long, and there were countless times where City split us apart on the counter, only to be saved by last ditch defending by Skrtel or whomever else, everyone but Glen. Even if he was told that, he didn't defend either, and he turned the ball over like it was his job. For a guy as truly talented as he is, he is serving as a complete utter waste of space right now, especially when you see how Flannagan has done as a left back, or even Jordan Henderson as make shift RB earlier..
I get what you're saying about the away wins, but, that's been an issue for us for nearly 5 years now, and ironically, Chelsea seems to be the only ground we've won at. However, I really do have to say, that everyone was fearful of horrible result at Spurs 3 weeks ago, and we absolutely ran them ragged off the pitch, and could have done 8-0..
After tomorrow, we will have played 7 out of the top 8 teams, away from home, and all of the top teams, including us, are doing 2 things consistently more than any year in recent memory.. Winning home games, and sweeping away the lower side of the table without mercy. We, Everton and Arsenal all have 1 loss at home, City and Chelsea have 0, then Spurs/Utd/Newcastle have dropped more. Of the top 5, that's 3 home losses from 40 home fixtures.. We will now face 7/8 at our joint in the new year... Someone's going to be on the wrong end of a right beating at Anfield..
There's no end gain in losing admirably, but we put City on the edge for 90", absolutely wrecked Spurs, and I expect a similar effort / performance at the Bridge. Back to the topic, if Glenda doesn't start putting in 1/4 the effort of 19 y/o Sterling, I hope we bring in Montoya and get shot of him..
I think he was told not to go beyond the halfway line until we went behind. My thoughts are that there is no way on Earth we are going to offer deals to either Moses or Cissokho. They are totally #$%$
There is a wider issue though. At the end of the day we have not got a positive result at a contenders place - it doesn't matter how we played, we still lost. Until we can start to consistently get results at four or five grounds - and beat them at our place, we will be also rans.
First off... City 6 Arsenal 3, City 4 United 1, City 6 Spuds 0, City 3 Everton 1, City 4 Newcastle 0, (just recently, City 4 BAYERN 2), City 2 Liverpool 1... I hate losing, especially feeling hard done like that, but I hold my head high knowing we went there for 3, and played like we deserved 3..
The average age of our lineup yesterday vs Champions elect, was 24 years old per player vs. City's average of like 24M per player, and we slugged it out like a 12 round title fight.
So, my problem wasn't the result (bad decisions aside), effort, Mignolets' error, or Kompany beating Skrtel for a goal, despite shirt tugging. My problem wasn't even with Lucas, who I've been all over lately, because he played fairly well.. WHERE THE HELL IS GLENDA JOHNSON?? Our 17M right back, and England #1 (no more due to Walker) wasn't at the stadium yesterday, and seems to appear less & less each week.
The highlight of his day, was a terrible yellow, for clipping the heels of a City player on what was sure to be an odd man rush, with him too lazy and careless to have tracked back. He put in 1 dangerous cross all day.
If it were up to me, Kelly or Flannagan at 60% would take his spot, and Cissokho retain left... He's a passenger on the bus.. Any other player noted above, who made a mistake, more than made up and carried their weight..
The set pieces and overall team defending, is driving me crazy. What's even more annoying, aside from lack of clean sheets, which is a pride thing, is that we're right up there with the rest in goals conceded, but not nearly as many come from open play, which just shows a lack of positional sense, discipline, and "want to"
I saw so many great balls (in a daft game) tonight in Chelski v Ars.enal, from both sides, and everyone of them was dealt with superbly, and immediately cleared from the box.
Like I said, a few great results could have gone bad early, and if City get one on us early, from set play, which is very real with their height, we will be in for a bad, bad day.
As far as the defensive setup, I would not change a thing at CB, SAS2, seem to be our best pairing, and the best suited for every style, particularly this one. As for fullbacks, Flanny has been great, both forward and defensively, but the fact City could throw Navas/Nasri/Silva at him, does scare me, though I had the same fear of Lennon/Walker.
Maybe it's the same 4-3-3 personnel again, but I might be inclined to think Kelly at RB and Glenda at LB, may be the best way to go. I wish there was a solution to Lucas, like Agger coming in at CDM, but that's probably a dream..
Many good words Jason. I agree on Glenda. I was surprised Rodgers took Flannagan off . I would have pulled Johnson off and put Kelly there rather than swap Johnson over. As soon as he made that change our left hand side went flat (and right side for that matter) and that brought Cardiff back into the game (also partly due to the Cardiff changes). Flannagan was excellent I thought. He does need help when defending though.
Lucas again disappeared when Cardiff started to press and that drives me nuts. He's the one player you really want to stand out when that happens but Henderson and Allen were far more visible at that time.
You're right our set piece defending is woeful and there's no logical reason for it apart from Skrtel I see no one really attack the ball. That needs to change. Sakho actually looks pretty decent to be fair. Very strong, no messing type. He deserves his place ahead of Agger.
Tough question Loki
What I will say is that Stevie's absence has brought the best out of Henderson. I thought he was our MoM on Saturday. Allen played well and Lucas went missing when Cardiff had their best spell in the second half. That's where the midfield problem is.
I think Sturridge should play, His substitute performance against Everton proved his value up front. He's a handful and he scores goals. I just don't think that should be sitting on the bench.
BUT you're right and I'me very happy with the way the team is playing without these two in the side. That's just as important. 2 massive games coming up. Get something out of those and we're in a very good place indeed.
Off topic but did you know that under Rodgers we're averaging over 2 goals a game. No other Liverpool manager has that average apart from one. Can you name him?
I agree with all that. If we didn't give away stupid free-kicks in dangerous areas the set piece thing wouldn't crop up. One major bugbear I have is Hendersons shooting. He always seems to hit them into the ground! Don't get me wrong i think he's playing well but.....
If we follow last seasons form after Christmas this season we migh actually be in the mix come may time. One thing is for sure, we will never have a better chance than this season.
At times, is nothing short of woeful, particularly on set pieces, shown time after time, match after match. Our Spuds demolition could have easily been something different at 1-1 had Chadli been a better header of the ball, and today's NON marking of Mutch, was the stuff relegation dreams are made of. City, will play for free kicks through Silva/Nasri/Navas, even if they get iffy, and they'll slaughter us..
I watched the replay over and over, and I can't even see anyone in the picture trailing him for the header, and it looked like a training ground exercise, or something you'd see in an NBA game, for those who may watch basketball and see pick plays.. He just ran around the mess free, and bang.
Aside from Skrtel, who wasn't his most eloquent today, actually a little over aggressive, but always reliable and last man standing, now Sakho, and Jordan, I never see our players laying out full stop to put in a deflection or block, whereas, we regularly take 30+ shots a game, and no matter who we play, they deflect/block maybe half of them. The individuals I would single out, and getting most annoyed with are Glenda, who is just miserable as a defender right now, and Lucas, who's too slow and doesn't have good positional sense. No matter what the debate is on Gerrard, he's always back in the mess, heading or clearing balls away, and with Allen a regular, Sterling/Coutinho the choices, we're a bit shorter.
Going to City, and I'm hoping this was BR's train of thought when removing Flanny, who was superb again, we'll see Kelly at RB, and Glenda shifted to left for that one. We lose nothing down the left, actually gain more, and Kelly offers height, physicality and good positional sense. If he's fit, that's our one change IMO, unless BR does some 3 CB nonsense, or something really out there like Agger in at CDM.
We have to stop conceding these fouls, and avoid them, and when we do, we have to FOCUS. It's purely mental. If we mark, Migs will produce in the sticks!
For me, I've always been love hate with Sturridge, both in Red and even an outsider with Chelsea. If he could embrace playing the wide right attacking role, and not be so selfish, with the work rate and creativity of our 19 year old wizard, our front 3 could be even more explosive.
As for Gerrard, our overall shape and team movement has been so much faster, and that's because Allen is in, showing exactly what he's all about and can do, but I still think Gerrard could/should replace Lucas.. The guy offers nothing.
To slightly disagree, our corners have been a bit woeful since he's been out, and he was tied with Ozil for assists in the league, so it's hard to see him not coming in, BUT he's gonna have to wait another 6 weeks at least, and I wouldn't anticipate Sturridge jumping back in for even longer.. This 4-3-3 is balling !!
I'd be more interested to see who we could / might bring in, that can possibly walk into the side in a wide area, and possibly deep mid. IE (For me) Tello and Diame.. That might push Lucas and Sterling out
This maybe as stupid a statement as you could get, but is it me or does the team look quicker and more balanced now? We have not really missed Stevies set piece deliveries/ cross-field passing and we certainly haven't missed Studge's goals. I think they both will have a bit of trouble getting back into the team (hopefully) in the same way Agger has.
The contract is for 5 years (give or take depending on the start-end date), and almost 220k per week, making him the highest paid player in LFC history and on par with the likes of Yaya and some others, so let it be known, FSG can bend when things make sense, and that doesn't mean Andy Carroll on 90K, or Joe Cole on 95k.
As far as release clause etc., the info I've come across, and I'm sure we'll never really know until the day comes, is suggested to be around 105M.. I can't put it in concrete writing, just some things I've come across..
Right now, while we're playing like #$%$ vs Cardiff, he's absolutely loving life, and his role as captain, so we haven't got that to worry about just yet, but if the day comes, let's see what Madrid, Madrid, and Madrid (did I mention Fail Madrid) are made of.. Can't really see PSG even rationalizing having Cavani, Suarez and Ibra..
Maybe Whinger will come in with a cheeky bid of 104,000,001 ?
I would even guess that there's a clause in there to prevent his sale to another PL club. That then leaves a few other clubs in my book - Monaco, PSG, Anzhi, Real, Bayern and Barca.
Its hard to believe that he was a golden boot winner before he came to us. Hopefully being dropped will buck his ideas up.....with Allen starting to look like the player he was before his injury, Lucas's place is really under threat.
I agree with that. Now there are only 5 or 6 clubs in the world who can afford him - and three of those are in this country. ITs good news all around. Lets hope we can seal a CL place this season because there will be an unequivocal clause in his contract this time. If there isnt he needs to sack his agent!
Just heard that he's agreed and signed a new deal. I haven't seen details yet but I believe he's the highest paid player at the club now.
This is good news. Firstly it may encourage him to stay or in the worst case it puts us in a strong position should clubs come calling. We can really demand top dollar now.
I'll admit I was one of those that didn't think he was up to much way back then. I've kind kept quiet because there's a lot of support that's grown for him and the stats suggest he's doing a good job. I don't actually like these kind of stats, I tend to follow my eyes and to be honest he's never really convinced me. I guess I've been spoiled by watching Whelan, McMahon, Molby etc. I also remember Souness and co.
To add more to my argument in a midfield 3 I think you need to have a bit more in your locker. Lucas plays as a spoiler type player, breaking up opposition attacks and then moves the ball on. Or filling in gaps. That's fine but when you have the ball you need to keep it. That means in a central three the deeper lying player really needs to be cute on the ball. He needs to make a team tick. There's no room to hide. Does Lucas do this? No, emphatically no. Add that to the weaknesses he has in defending then we have a problem. The fouls he was giving away against Everton were driving me nuts. His yellow card record speaks volumes to me.
To further this point I can live with a lack of pace provided they offer something else. Ability on the ball and subtle movement as an example. Lucas? no. How about passing ability and vision? No.
Basically he's one dimensional and struggling with that side too I reckon.
Napoli and the Italian game would suit him better I'm sure.
Agree with you wholeheartedly. I was a Lucas fan when he first came to us although he was vilified by the majority, I championed for him thinking he'll come good. Its unfortunate he had the injury he did but Rogers has to stop kidding himself and face the truth, Lucas is not the player of 3 years ago.