Liverpool Message Board
Now that we have Coutinho back, and are reverting back to a back 4 (so I'm predicting and presuming) I think we will see a much better flow to our game, hopefully to reach what we finished last season as.
We'll still likely have Gerrard and Lucas in the midfield, where for me, Lucas is becoming more the problem, but both in there simply on name, and Jordan will keep a place but out wide. I think, while he's not a winger, in the current set up, if Moses isn't starting, Coutinho will start wide left, which allows him to cut in and swap with Suarez, where I'd expect him to be lined up initially in the 10, with Jordan on the other side, and also dropping deep to get some possession.
Overall, that's our best 11, especially since Sterling can't nail a place down and is going out on loan, soon to be followed by Ibe, so if Moses isn't preferred, Coutinho can do well enough to keep a defender on his back foot. Last year's comparisons or presumptions he was Better than Oscar are obviously not correct, not yet anyways, but he, even on a bad day, gives the squad something extra for 55-60, and allows Suarez the freedom to roam a bit more, with the comfort of having Jordan running his socks off, and getting himself into the midfield, allowing Stevie to get forward a bit more... Key is, providing an outlet for Skrtel and Co., and not isolating Danny up top.. If all goes well, I think we could put on a nice show today..
I'll keep banging on in the vain hope that Rodgers will find this forum and take note of what I'm saying ;o)
Defensively with everyone fit we're OK at the back. we need cover at full back yes but 2 out of Skrtel, Agger and Toure is a damn fine partnership at any level in the middle. Sahkho and Cissokho need to catch up.
I think any of those three are fine bringing the ball out provided they have an outlet which at the moment on numerous occasions they don't. I've been harping on about a midfield general for years now and I'm still waiting. It's even more apparent to me that we need one if we have serious CL ambitions. In that I mean qualifying for next years competition and being able to sustain qualification year on year. One fleeting visit is no good.
Sort the midfield Brendan even if it means dropping Gerrard for the greater good then fine. We are weak in that area and cannot control games because of it. Give the defenders someone to find with the ball, give the forwards someone to run off, get control of possession.
To each his own, so everyone's entitled to their own view. For me, and while we probably all agree, Agger is best on the ball, he is very prone to mental errors / switching off, but gets a pass for his grace, and left boot. I also think that Skrtel plays out of the back quite well, and it goes unnoticed at times, and on set pieces, he almost always seems to be in the center of a loose ball scramble, and our most likely to head one in. I just saw yesterday, that statistically, Skrtel ranks 3rd in the entire league in challenges, duels and possession won, just behind Mulumbu of WBA, and MBiwa of Newcastle. On top form, at the moment, I think he's our best all around.
Kolo is slow, that's my problem, and Sakho just seems to struggle with decision making and speed of thought, which will improve, but no issues with his actual physical play.
Any way we put it, they are all top notch CBs, and any pairing of the 4, should be able to line up comfortably and play a very good flat back line. On any day, I'm choosing Skrtel and Agger, we saw how immense they were 2 years ago, where we finished 3rd in defense, but since, each has struggled for one thing or the other, and we can't seem to just keep a clean sheet now. Let's not forget Ilori who will be introduced at some point!
I agree with most of that except you view that Toure/Sakho cannot play out from the back. I'm not sure they're any worse than Agger and would have them ahead of Skrtel.
For me a flat back four with Toure & one of Agger/Sakho. Harsh on Skrtel who has looked good in recent weeks but I reckon Toure has more about him.
I agree. The more I see the 3 central defenders the less I like it. It makes the team sit too deep and concede possession. Arsenal exposed this.
Time to get Coutinho, Sturridge and Suarez playing together with the option of bring Alberto into the mix.
Midfield still worries me and is the prime reason behind the majority of our poor play this season. A stronger midfield with the defenders and forwards we have available and we'd be flying I tell you. I believe it needs to be addressed this Christmas or we'll struggle. Firstly I don't think we'd make a CL spot without addressing that area. We certainly wouldn't last 5 minutes in the CL without sorting it. And lastly and probably most importantly we will lose players if we fail to get a CL spot. CL clubs will be looking and watching over Coutinho, Sturridge and obviously Suarez.
Or green if you will.. Normally you can't make heads or tails of the colors the players are wearing in training, however, in today's training pictures on LFC, every one of our normal, or preferred first 9 are in yellow, 10 including Agger (Migs gets the purple)..
What does this mean? Maybe nothing, but for me, I think that with us lacking quality in the middle, and Sakho not quite fully adapted, or as good on the ball, perhaps Agger will resume his spot at LCB. What I can't tell, or guess is if it means a flat back 4, but considering Stevie, Lucas, Henderson and Coutinho were also in yellow/green, along with Sturridge and Suarez, that means 2 men are out, and they appear Sakho and Toure, esp since Glenda is fit again, and also in yellow.
I'll be very happy to see a back flat 4, because while I've seen it work to devastating effect in Italy with Napoli and some other sides, and certainly a place and time for us, 4 at the back is our best way to set up the attacking outfield players, and give two solid CBs the chance to play it out of the back, where Toure certainly cannot, and Sakho not comfortably yet.. (Both wearing orange, with Moses, Alberto, Allen etc)
Hoping for a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 with Coutinho/Suarez/Henderson in the advanced CAM role.. Let's hope!
I still read this board often but haven't been moved to post much recently - will try harder in future.
I agree that the better team took the points and that our 3 cb's system got exposed. It makes Fulham a very important game now imo.
Which other forum you on Dave?
It does seem like yahoo wants to cut of the oxygen to these boards and let them die a slow death. However still drop in a couple times a week hoping it will pick up. I visit another forum pretty regularly which is very good, but as it's almost all reds I do miss the banter and differing point of views these boards used to have.
On the match, got to say the better team did take the points, and deservedly so. I don't think we played at our best, and missing Johnson was a huge blow, but even full strength and on form this was always going to be a tough fixture.
Seems to me Arsenal are firing on all cylinders right now, while others whom you'd expect to be challenging are still trying to find consistency. I like others still have my doubts whether Arsenal can stay the course, but think it comes down to whether your lot can maintain the current form throughout the season, which will be tough. A drop in form, or injury to key players could really be telling.
However I'm of the mind that falling out the league cup might have been the best thing for you. One it reduces the strain on the squad right now, second it tempers expectations, and third it really highlights the depth in squad issue, but in plenty of time for action to be taken. Replace Bendtner with some quality (little Mexican Manc might be available!), and get some decent cover for Falmini in the holding position and I think you've got a real shot.
The return fixture will be interesting, and I don't think we disgraced ourselves, so I'd expect a very close match when you come to Anfield. Just do us a favor and take care of business next weekend, so we can have one less serious contender for the top 4!
yes Jason I've seen some of what you've posted but some doesn't seem to appear which is a bit odd. I can see that you have put something up but it's not visible.
Anyway my concern is that this system leaves us playing too deep. Then as you say you get a mobile centre forward who will drag a defender out of position combined with an advanced full back and you basically have gaps. Firstly in front of the back three because they're too deep and then behind the full back and no cover as the defenders have been pulled out of shape. If there is a side that can exploit that, it is Arsenal. As you say certain teams will thrive on it. Newcastle certainly did.
You're right about Johnson. I think the decision to allow Wisdom to go on loan is proving to be a poor one as I though he deputised quite well last season. I also want to know about Kelly. He's been playing for the U21's for some time now. Johnson is also concern as he seems to miss more than a few games.
Anyway we need to pick ourselves up and see if we can improve dramatically. At the moment our league position is, in my opinion a false one. But with other teams spluttering a bit we need to try and take advantage of it.
Not sure if you had been here during the week or seen, but I really advocated against it vs. Arsenal, because I was concerned that if Giroud was anything above average at best, which he was, the most damage he could do, was pull the back out of shape, and allow Arsenal's smaller, skilled players to cause damage.. See Cazorla, Ramsey and a few occasions to Rosicky.
What I noticed, which was very smart on Wenger's part, was that Giroud was not staying in a central position, but rather drifting towards our right hand side, to pull Skrtel away, who had him in his pocket, but this created some space in the middle, and as I'd seen on tv, and highlighted, gave Arsenal the exact freedom they wanted down that left hand side to exploit Cissokho, with no real out and out winger to track back and help.
I think 3 CBs certainly can be effective and work in several instances, but not against Arsenal, City or Chelsea, where the smaller, faster, technically gifted players can cause all the damage. Even Newcastle exposed it several times through Yohan Cabaye, with Ben Arfa as a false 9, and Gouffran wide..
Time to get Agger back in there, re-shape to a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3. And I have to say, while it pains me, we are awfully reliant as a team on Glenda.. Without him, we seem completely devoid down that side, and he's almost what I'd consider our MVP (not best player), maybe most valuable.
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.
As long as I'm around and able, I will be checking these boards and commenting when time permits me, and when I have a comment to make. For those who might read this but then get lost or blocked again, the simple thing that I did, was add this page to the top bar of my favorites, so i can always just click on it. If for some reason that doesn't work, or they discontinue it, all it takes is a quick search on yahoo or goole of "yahoo eurosport message board Liverpool" and wala! Here you come..
As for the game, it was pretty tense, actually had the feel of a European game, and an actualy, genuine title deciding match, but overall Arsenal were the better team on the day. That said, I think both sides showed strength's and weaknesses. I think Liverpool learned alot about the existing squad, where we need to improve, and perhaps the need to get rid of our 3 CB system because for a team with high skill and clinical play, like Arsenal, they will find ways to exploit it. For Arsenal, I'm not ready to crown them winners by a longshot, as they still have a ways to go as well, but certainly a well done, and marker for this time and place.
Can Arsenal grind it out, taking on the rigors of 3 competitions, while coping with injuries for another 5-6 months, and can Liverpool step it up, and be more composed, not so tenative and less fluid in matches like this.. Both teams have their chance to reach their goal of top 4, and perhaps title, but alot will really determine that come December-January, along with whoever they each buy potentially in January..
Yahoo!'s decision to hide all links to these forum seems to be working perfectly as the forum now looks and feels like a GHOST town.
Anyway, just pop in to the forum to wish you guys commiserations on your defeat at the Emirates Stadium this evening, it was a great game by two great sides. Sadly for you lot, something has to give as you can't have two top sides at the top of the tree, lol. Good luck for the rest of the season folks but obviously NOT when we play Liverpool in the return fixture at Anfield later on in the season.
All the best, Gooneresque.
I wish I could remember the stat or percentage, but I saw yesterday that a huge majority of Arsenal's attacks, open play and counter attacks come down the right side, which would make sense, considering Sagna is very attack minded, slack in defense, and then you have Ozil who prefers to come down that same side and cut inside, with Wilshere/Ramsey (Healthy Walcott) all going that side too, so that's where we need to exploit them.
We actually did this last year at Emirates with a great deal of success, having Suarez as a left sided attacker, however, in this instance I would agree that the 3 cb system will probably stay, and we'll see a lot of Henderson on that side to help Sissokho attack and defend, and where Sturridge likes to roam on his preferred left foot.
I think this could be done to greater effect with natural width in Moses, where he can take on Sagna, or keep him honest, or exploit whoever is "holding" in midfield, which presumably would be Arteta and Wilshere, and neither is a good defender.
Honestly, I see both sides of the coin with 3 CBs and a flat back 4, but I just feel like the flat back 4, would allow us that extra player in attack, whether it be Moses or Coutinho from the get go, without taking Jordan off. Keeping in 3 CBS may do just fine, and allow us other options, so I won't complain either way, I just want to see us play well, and play to win.
I think that the 3 cb's is to accommodate our 2 boys up front and keep the midfield full of bodies. I could be wrong, but Arsenal have a lack of width due to injuries so I like the idea of wing backs for this game. The fact that Flamini is out may make Rodgers think that we only need one holder with Gerrard and Henderson pushed forward a bit. If needs be in the game, Stevie can drop to play alongside Lucas. The question is whether little Phil is gonna play, I doubt he will from the start but would come on later. It's time to be bold !
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.
Shamefully I missed the game. Cross fingers I can see it later. But discussing the game with my cousin last night in the pub he agreed that we played very well indeed and I welcome it.
By all accounts Gerrard was playing in a more advanced role? Moses didn't make the starting 11 which I think is right. So far he hasn't impressed me at all and that advanced midfield role is so crucial and you need someone with some ability in there. Vision, control, movement and just plain and simple ability on the ball.
For Arsenal I'm not overly concerned about Giroud it's the players behind him that bug me most. Ozil, Ramsey and Corzolla in particular. They need to be taken out of the game by holding possession better than we have done so far this season.
one other thing is that Arsenal are a little bit susceptible to being hit on the break if Flamini and Arteta aren't playing. Ozil will not track back
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..
Good points there Jason although your view of the game was more optimistic than mine. I thought we could have played until next season and not scored. We were that flat and lacked any ability to hold possession, press and probe. Even when Newcastle were down to 10. Before that we were completely outdone in midfield with Cabaye proving a real handful. Neither Gerrard or Henderson got near him or Arfa. When in possession we had no outlet.
Having given it yet more thought I'm not convinced by the 5 at the back. We become too static, unable to retain possession and very easy to play against.
Despite having the numbers we lack quality in midfield, we seriously need Coutinho back. We also need to get Alberto up to speed. Moses as far as I'm concerned can go back to Chelsea. Aspas also needs to pull his finger out and provide a worthwhile option. I'll also say the same for Allen. We need quality and movement in the middle and right now and we are seriously lacking there. To me it really stands out like a sore thumb. I include Gerrard in that criticism. Fine given time and space but really needs to get on his bike and offer himself more than he does. He's far too static or just somewhere unavailable. I'd also say that Lucas too. Fine just sitting there and being disruptive when not in possession but when we have it he needs to really keep thing sticking over. He needs to improve that to his game despite having a very high pass rate and pass success rate. It's all in the wrong areas.