Liverpool Message Board
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..
Why would you leave a perfectly adequate specialist left back on the bench and then play a centre half who has only just joined? I have been a firm admirer of what Rodgers has done since he came, but today's line up cost us the points and was like a Benitez decision! The team looked unbalanced until Enrique came on and that was too late.
It smacks of 'sakho cost 18 mil so I have to play him to justify the outlay to the owners' - and that's a pile of horse dung!
Yes I know we missed Coutinho but playing a totally new back line was unnecessary. I would rather have 3 points today than beat United on Wed! 4th place is more important than trinkets this season!
Do we really have to put up with Aspas - he's the new Borini!???
Having watched the under 21's against Sunderland yesterday i'm hoping Brendan gives young Alberto a shot in the number 10 role with Coutinho out for a projected 6 weeks recovery time, I'm hoping Alberto is another one of those daimond in the sand jobs.
Pleased as punch Moses got a goal, can only serve him well and build his confidence up as a LFC player, not convinced on Aspas as he was truly out of his depth when brought on against the Swans, not writing him off thoe as im sure he will come good in time.
Heres hoping Kelly,Sterling, Ibe and Alberto are all involved against the saints be that as starting in the eleven or subed on at some point.
Looking very bright.
Actually don't think your that wide at all. I'd say in terms of technical ability, creativity and just natural ability Shelvey really does have something that is beyond Henderson and many other players of his age. But for me he's also highly unpredictable in both a good and bad way.
Watching him on Monday we saw the good and the bad, and reminded me of frustrations with the lad last season. There were times in the EL when he just lit things up, but then I remember an FA cup tie where he just seemed to be running around like a headless chicken.
The loan versus sale might be something we regret, but end of the day this maybe one of the hardest decisions a manager has to make. It would be nice to be able to keep all our younger players, at the club or on loan deals, but with a developing player at some point a decision has to be made to fish or cut bait, because every player has some value to the club, either as player now, a player in the future, or the transfer fee we can get for him, and the manager has the unenviable job of working out which is in the clubs best interest.
I tend to agree with you that Swansea had us more rattled than what we've faced so far. The fast wingers is one point, which I think really held our full backs getting forward which is our only real width in attack. Not having Glen also really hurt as Wisdom really is a centre back and not an attacking full back.
But on the other side of the ball I do have to give credit to Swansea, Bony and Mitchu were both very effective, and able to get the ball to stick when it arrived. Skrtel had a great game, and may have been the difference in terms of getting us the point, but he's much more in the mold of a Carra in that he saves the day with a last minute block or tackle rather than being proactive in preventing a chance from developing. I was impressed with Sakho, he's comfortable on the ball and a beast to get by, but there were a couple times he jumped in early which created space when the tackle did not come off.
So for me while I think Sakho will grow as he gets used to our system and his new teammates, like you I do hope Agger will be available for the weekend. But the bigger loss is going to PC, who it looks like will need surgery. For me that is going to be a big loss as he's been the engine of creativity either when cutting in from the left, or on Monday when he really dictated the play from the center. I'm sure we'll manage without him, and with Suarez coming back soon I think we're now going to see more of Sturridge and Suarez together, but it does annoy me that one simple deliberate foul to stop a breakaway could cost us a lot more than one missed chance. Thanks Williams!
It certainly keeps happening but we are picking up points for fun. I'm not convinced there was a tactic at Swansea, as D said, when PC got injured, the game just changed. The ball just wouldnt stick on the counter, there was a time late on when we had 5 players in front of the ball. I think it is just us coming into the season still, when we take a lead we focus on getting ourselves right defensively then try to play but it just isnt as fluid. I think Sturridge isnt fit and the focal point running out of energy makes a big difference. My feeling is that we are exerting a lot of energy early on. Again though, Swansea have very fast wingers, you dont really want Kolo and Skrtel playing high lines in the closing stages when they can be opened that easily with one ball over the top.
I am not trying to be clever, I am just thinking out loud! The difference between this and the other games is that Swansea werent just taking potshots from far out like United etc, they really had us rattled. Hopefully Agger or Toure will be fit enough to return to the starting eleven on Saturday.
Im probly wide of the mark here but will say that I think Shelvy is arguably more talented than Henderson, dont get me wrong Hendo has a fantastic engine and will most likely improve in time but pound for pound and trick for trick I saw somthing very special in Shelvy and think we will really regret letting him go and not giving the lad a chance by loaning him out, very much to Swanseas benefit.
Fair to say we went completely to pot in that second half, I dont really understand what happened but I feel we need a cast Iron hard nut enforcer who doesnt run out of puff or ideas in the final 45 in the guise of a Mascherano, Rossiter for under 21s looks good and the boy Luis Alberto looks set to have a very bright red future.
On JonJo I think its exactly because of his mistakes that we let him go. There is no denying he is a very talented if still raw young talent. But for me his biggest liability was always his decision making. Yes at 21 the footballing brain is not fully developed so he will likely improve that side of his game with experience, but as of right now he's still a potential liability that we currently cannot afford.
Now I also think a loan deal might have been an option, but to be honest the question has to be asked after a year of regular football would he have likely improved to become a regular member of our midfield? With Lucas, Gerrard and Coutinho really cementing their place as starters, it really came down to whether it was JonJo or Henderson who would stay to be the back up and utility player, versus leaving the club either on loan or for good. And, as of right now I think we have not just a hard worker, but a player that can be trusted in Jordan, while Shelvey is still a live wire just as likely to hurt his club as help it.
But as I said, if on loan, you have to ask who would you drop to make room for him when he returned, and while he had a great game (other than gifting us two goals of course) in a fixture you'd expect him to be more than up for, I'm not sure he's the next Steven Gerrard, which is what we need our young midfielders to aspire to be.
Some might call it dropping deep and inviting (danger) teams onto ourselves, but others might call it controlling the game and looking for the counter attack. Personally I find it a little nerve raking myself, as controlling the ball always seems the best defense, although against a side like Swansea you can't expect the ball all the time.
But for me the big turning point was when Phillippe went off injured. We lost our rhythm, and the glue that brought the front line into the game. The first half, especially the first 20-30 minutes (other than when JonJo got his goal) it was the Coutinho show, and it was absolutely sublime. When he went off, and with Gerrard now sitting deeper we just had little creation, and while I'd been impressed with Aspas to date, last night I have to say he was awful.
End of the day, while I'd like us to dominate throughout I think we have to recognize away from home, and against better teams, BR will look to manage the game, and yes grind out the result if that is what is called for. But sitting top of the table using that tactic I'm not sure we should complain too much. Is it better to complain after the fact that we played some great stuff but held on at the end of the result, rather than say we were the better team playing the better prettier football but got robbed of the points?
Speaking of Coutinho getting hurt, from what I saw it was the result of Ashly Williams leaving his knee out for the pint sized Brazilan to crash over on his shoulder injuring him for god knows how long now, it genuinly felt at times like a few Swansea players almost hold a grudge against Liverpool or Rogers or both, a couple of times specialy Williams almost went looking for trouble which colminated in the injuring of Coutinho. I seem to remember him also having a few unpleasent words in regards to Suarez a while back.
Williams has really gone down in my book and am glad we didnt buy him as he has showed signs of being quite a unpleasant individual.
Almost felt like Liverpool vs Shelvy at times, why on earth have we sold a kid with so much potential, strengthening Swansea, could we not have loaned him out a couple years ready to take or play the role Gerrard fills now??
He was an absolute beast against us and if it wasnt for his silly/ recless mistakes probly would have put us to the sword and taken all three points, he wont always be a liabilty and looks to me be a deadly in future.
So many more things to say about this match about the loss of posesion in the second half due in my eyes to a tired and week midfield after Coutinho went off. Sakho looks to be a truly awsome center back at some point soon but was a little bit reckless in his tackles but will only improve with time.
While sitting top of the table at the moment is fantastic, and nothing we envisioned after 4 matches, and a potential 5th winnable, we could have easily been sitting on 4/5 points, if not for the outstanding defending, particularly of Skrtel and Mignolet in net..
I was lucky enough to be at last night's match here in Swansea, (magnificent atmosphere), and I left feeling very lucky to have 1 point in the bag, must have covered my eyes 5-6 times in the last 15..
My only guess is that until Suarez is back, perhaps BR feels the bench lacks a little for us to extend ourselves offensively should Sturridge or Coutinho (who did) get hurt.. Not sure that makes much sense though
I can't ne'er stand why we do this so often after going ahead. We invite teams on and then isolate our attackers. We've got to stop this coz it will be our undoing in the long run.
In saying that it's early days and we will improve but we need to nip it in the bud ASAP.
I am not really sure what you are disagreeing with? All I said was that Arsenal have clearly improved their team without addressing the supposed weaknesses, that is exactly whats happened. I have to say though, the 'dominance' of Arsenal at Sunderland is very exagerated, they could have been home and dry by halftime was it not for woeful finishing from Walcott but Sunderland should have had the equaliser and if not Sagna should have been red carded for the last man foul on Altidore, then the game would have been different. Also, Sunderland have only won 1 match since Di Canio has been manager, they are bottom of the league and the poorest team so far.
"(at least till January!)"?
What planet are you from, Dave? :o)
I could have swore I've read several stories in the papers linking Suarez with a move away from Anfield already AFTER the window closed.
On Ozil's signing, please refer to my reply to Hoiotez's post above.
On what Arsenal needed?, only time will tell but 69% overall possession in Arsenal's favour isn't a bad stats to have especially at a tough ground like Stadium of Light. Most of the so-called balanced sides would be lucky to have that amount of possession against a decent Sunderland side this season. Wenger still knows what makes a trophy winning team despite all the acres of prints that have been written about him in the last 8 seasons . Personally, I'll defer to his judgement on what Arsenal need to start winning things again. Strangely, alot of people still forget that Arsenal were under financial constraints due to the stadium debts. Ozil and the attempts to sign Suarez this summer are the result of the austerity measured imposed in the last 8 seasons in order to give us a great chance of competing with the elite sides for great players in the long-run in the transfer market. As Gazidis rightly remarked earlier in the summer, Arsenal can now pay Rooney's wages to any player the manager is interested in signing. New dawn at the Emirates methinks...