Liverpool Message Board
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!
- Reply to Loki Dec 21, 2013 18:54
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.
I was known as 'Sterling' before guys. Wasn't as active as I wanted to be, however I loved the banter that went round with the likes of yourselves, armchair, steer, vuvu, colin et al.
To me Lucas now is more a peripheral entity. When attackers pass him there's no catching them. As long as they're just in front he's useful, although he gives away far too many free kicks in the danger areas.
Have to agree with Paddy. Replacing Lucas for Gerrard is a non starter for me. I see Gerrard in a more Alonso type role, but has to be more accurate in his passing ability. Can't teach an old dog tricks.... Or can you?
I think you know my stance, and ironically, while I wasn't here on the boards these 5-6 years ago, when Lucas was absolutely tortured by everyone, and dire, I actually told friends to support the lad, as I saw things in him, that I see in Jordan now, such as good pace, work rate, effort and the desire.
Aside from the work rate, and desire, I just don't see these things in him anymore, and I don't even think it's his fault all together, but such is life. Medically speaking, from what I do know, and seeing it so often in the NFL and American sports, tearing the ACL, can be career ending, even if you come back, and it was evident that when he came back 2 years ago, he wasn't right, and I feared he'd hurt something else, and he tore his thigh muscle.
I think these have had dramatic effects on him with regards to his legs, footwork and movement. If he was still able to regain those, and still quite young, 25/26, then we still have a very good (not great) player. But the things you eluded to, cannot be changed, such as vision, passing range, offensive skill, and for me, back to the medical/surgical part, he cannot elevate to win many headers or aerial duels, that I even noticed Sterling and Allen competing for.
In short (my medium), he's luck to get in some timely clearances, or sliding challenges, with a good knowledge of where to be, but that's it. I do know Rafa was suggesting he'd be interested in bringing him to Napoli (along with our whole team), and 1-2 other Brazilian/Italian clubs, but nobody of lofty stature, and at this point, because his pace isn't heavy, just flat out slow, with no good movement and the other limitations, makes him a 4th choice, or important squad player. On second look he was okay vs Spuds, but had Redknapp still been there with all that talent, we know the setup would have been different, and he would have been a target of their paciest /creative player(s).. It's sad, but truth really..
I thought we'd have the debate here as many a thread seems to settle into this area at the moment.
For me I'm not the biggest fan of Lucas, never have been either. Here are my reasons.
Firstly I find him one dimensional. He can disrupt opposition attacks provided the game isn't too intense. He may win the ball and give it short. After that I'm struggling. In those high intensity games I find he goes missing. When the pressure builds I find that attacking players just seem to breeze past him. He seems very heavy footed to me.
Also when we have the ball what does he bring to our game? Not a huge amount in my book. He doesn't seem to have a great passing range, again it looks heavy and he's a million miles from being the player we need. That is one that keeps possession ticking over , always available, the out ball for everyone and the ability to probe etc.
It's because of these limitations and this years poor form that I'm afraid to say that he has a lot of work to convince me otherwise of his overall usefulness. I would also say that good players tend to attract some transfer rumours but in all his time I cant remember a single snippet anywhere. That alone tells me that people look and think they can do better elsewhere.
Any thoughts anyone?
Hi Michael & Jason
I think we need to use Gerrard wisely. For matches where we need lots of energy (against busy midfields that press - e.g. Southampton), we should start with the three yesterday. Stevie can come on when such teams are tiring or even start wide right of the three behind Suarez.
I'm not convinced of replacing Lucas with Gerrard. The position he plays is specialist and, above all, you need someone who really wants to play it. As an example, once on the weekend we got caught out forward and Sakho had to cover at left back. Lucas automatically dropped in to center-half. It seems obvious but that's instinct - I'm not sure Gerrard has that.
Lucas hasn't been as good since his injury but I think he's more effective than we give him credit for. I thought Lucas did well on the weekend without having to try and do some of Stevie's running.
Hey Michael, welcome back (don't recognize the name ha)
I mean, with Glen(duh), he/she is either fantastic, or not, never anything completely consistent. When we got him from Pompey, he was a stunningly good talent, and that first year he scored goals and assists galore, which more than made up for avg. defending, but now you never know.
The irony of it all is, I, and presumably most, figured Lennon and Walker would tear down our left side vs Flanny/Coutinho, and they ended up looking foolish vs a 20 and 21 yo, while any chance created, for all our dominance, came against GlenDA, letting Chadli or whomever else, beat him to the byline and get in very dangerous crosses, all dealt with magnificently by Skrtel and Sakho (who by the way as the new SAS, is our best pairing). Glen also let Chadli waltz in for an absolutely free smashing header, that any striker or polished aerial player would have buried, and it would have been 1-1. He needs to up it a notch on both sides. If Kelly was/is 100% fit, I'd trade the occasional mazy run forward for his no nonsense defending.
As for Gerrard, when fully fit, he could be eased in, and then actually take over for Lucas, because to be honest, he can do anything Lucas, can or can't, in addition to his long range passing and set pieces. But I think we should be hardpressed to break up Jordan/Allen, and we all hoped it would look that way, with Coutinho/Alberto floating in front.
2-3 more players, maybe 2, one a serious wide/goal scoring threat like "Tello", and we can be frightening good. Coulda beat Spuds 8-0, and that's being kind..
Finally figured out how to get back on here!
Great performance all round. My only concern was with Glenda as Jason puts it, he seems to give the ball away far too often. Allen played his best game, Hendo is a machine... the man just can't stop running (take note Slur Alex).
I wouldn't go as far as saying Gerrard is surplus to requirements, however I believe we should use him less, now that we have younger players in the midfield that are vibrant and hold an abundance of energy.
The best game we've played by a distance.
Hey, I never really slated him too much, in fact, when we bought him, I was only a bit shocked/disappointed because I thought Sinclair was the best player at Swans and a perfect suit for us. BUT, I backed up on Allen saying, that I thought he was team GB's 2nd/3rd best player at the Olympics along with Sturridge and Bellamy.
We (us/media) get carried away with these "monster" types, because there are the likes of Yaya, who is a rare breed, and some others like him, but (not the same player) Mascherano was a midget, and completely wrecked the midfield, but offered literally nothing going forward. Again, not the same player, but it's easy to understand, when you're smaller like Allen, that you have to go in with leverage, and if you have a broken shoulder, as he apparently did all season, why he wouldn't be too confident or be able to throw his body in..
Told ya Allen would come good. You can see it in the way he plays with the ball at feet. Head up for starters and when he passes the ball it's on deck and has zip. Many players pass the ball with a bobble or it looks heavy.
Cross fingers he can continue to grow
Hey Colyn / Paddy,
You still can't wipe the smile off my face.. quite honestly, other than the 4-1 at OT, and the 5-0 v Madrid, albeit not quite the same level, though it was for me, I can't remember a better performance in a big game. Spuds was big, because if we'd lost, we'd be 5th!!!
Anyhow, on another sidenote, Alberto has quietly been getting in more, and got almost 25 mins yesterday in the 10 spot, and picked up 2 assists!! I think only 1 will register, but all the same, and our other S-a-S, Skrtel and Sakho looked as solid and assured as our CBs as long as I can remember..
With all the experience Flannagan, and Sterling are getting now, with Coutinho racking up quality performance, and now Allen showing his true value, we can only get better, especially come January and whatever we do.
For me, while our corners, and a few free kicks really suffered without Gerrard, it was a blessing in disguise because our midfield was fast, aggressive, dynamic, and when Gerrard comes back, he can take over for Lucas, who for me, just still wasn't at the races, and seems to be fading like an old player, sadly to say. He loves Liverpool, Liverpool loves him, but if not for a few lunging clearances, or the occasional sweep the ball out of bounds, he just really isn't up to it. Allen and Jordan made Sandro/Paulino look stupid.. And Gerrard can tackle, run, jump, and certainly pass a heck of a lot better than Lucas.
But, I don't want to be too critical, it was an absolute masterpiece, and the best under BR, who played all down as if it was a 1-0 scoreline.. Class!