PODCAST – A CRUSHING DEFEAT by The Anfield Wrap | Feb 3, 2014 | Podcast | 6 comments #TAWMAG6 Russell Brand features on one of the covers NEIL was joined by Johnny Milburn, Chris Maguire and Jay McKenna after a 1-1 draw with West Brom at The Hawthorns Get issue 6 of TAW’s monthly digital mag free from iTunes for iOS devices or from app.theanfieldwrap.com for everything else. DIRECT LINK TO PODCAST: A CRUSHING DEFEAT Podcast RSS feed iTunes 6 Comments Billo on 4 February 2014 at 2:06 am Remarkably, no comments regarding this brilliant podcast. Where do folks go to express their thoughts? I read the RAWK, but it is like sifting through mud to find a sixpence. Your concern for the situation at the derby turnstiles was admirable, I only hope this is another “learning curve” for our new age owners, some issues are of the utmost importance, and being from Bootle, most of my cousins, nieces, nephews and brothers are toffees. He aint heavy comes to mind. Being a resident of the USA for over thirty years, I realise our owners are still coming to terms with the Pandoras box they have opened in purchasing LFC. Hopefully, John Henry’s elequent speech about the similarities to Boston and Liverpool has will not turn out to be horseshit, and he will recognise that in more than a few departments his choice of staff are lacking to say the least. Thank you Neill for paying homage to PSH, the finest actor America has produced in who knows how long. Remind Jay of the Big Lib and have him sit through Hoffmans fifty odd movies. I know that is my intention over the next year. Also sorry to hear of Tony Hateley’s passing, remember every kid who scored with his head would shout”Tony Hateley” Oh, and sundays game? A blip, but the Seahawks ripped it up and Sunday turned out to be quite an eventful day. Reply Bobby McP on 6 February 2014 at 8:06 am If you want reasoned, intelligent debate and discussion on LFC, there’s only one place to go Billo: The Tomkins Times. Reply JonnyS on 7 February 2014 at 3:38 am As for the performance at WBA, you guys are usually spot on but I don’t think anyone really nailed it this time and missed Brod’s role in the whole thing. Rodgers has a championship manager mentality sometimes (as opposed to premiership) and he likes to get aggressive and SCORE ALL THE GOALS. He does it especially when he perceives the opposition as weak (Villa, WBA but also at other times). He does it by moving a midfielder forwards (Coutinho) and immediately conceding the midfield. That weakens us because Gerrard plus one other can’t hold the midfield, the full backs are low quality and Sterling is the only assistance and all of these people have their own jobs to do other than support the midfield pair that is left. It’s so short sighted but Brod wants fast attacks which is why he does it (except our passing is often very substandard and we’re poor if pressed so it doesn’t work well). WBA set up around their two holding players Yacob and Mulumbu, with 3 runners in front of that to advance / retreat as required. They advance / retreat as something of a unit, keeping a shape and make other teams’ life tough across the middle of the pitch as we have found more than once. By pushing Coutinho up front, we couldn’t match them in the middle of the park so our service to the front two suffered and lo and behold we only got one goal – and we nearly always concede. It’s not necessary. Coutinho can play as a CM and provide service quite well, especially with Sterling and Sturridge providing speed out wide, so long as we hold the midfield. WBA didn’t go overboard pushing a high line the way Everton naively did so we lost a key advantage and couldn’t control the park and couldn’t provide the service to the forwards. Arsenal won’t be so naive either. Brod is really costing us points with his “aggressive” tactics which start by conceding the midfield, thinking that we’ll “pass forwards at pace” to compensate for that. Infact it’s part of his idea that Gerrard plays as the deep man and hits amazing balls forwards at the stretched opponents. It’s fantasy frankly, not least because Gerrard is NOT that great a passer from deep. WBA, Villa, Soton, Arsenal – all games where we’ve lost points because we aggressively shift a midfielder forwards and concede control of the game. For me it’s remarkable that we would have had a solid chance of winning the title if Rodgers would just stop this aggressive absurdity in midfield and use control of the middle of the park as the foundation for the forward incredibleness that we uniquely possess. But the goals prove we could have done it if only we didn’t make ourselves vulnerable to dropping points – all stemming from giving up the midfield. Frustrates me to hell (Rodgers, not the podcast!). well, you’ve removed my post regarding self indulgent celebrities and drug abuse – that’s poor form to say the least. You may not like the opinion but YOU guys brought the topic up so you should be prepared for differing [non-offensive] opinions. Unimpressed. Reply Adam Smith on 7 February 2014 at 1:01 pm Although Rodgers has generally done a good job, it’s frustrating that every time we drop points and play badly is usually down to Rodgers getting his tactics wrong. If your going to play Gerrard in a deep role then you have to pack the midfield with five players otherwise we keep getting overrun. It’s good that he wants to play attacking football but we need to have more bodies in midfield in order to control games. I thought Rodgers’ philosophy is about controlling the ball and dominating posession yet he keeps setting the team out in a way which means we don’t dominate posession and play on the counter attack. I thought Liverpool played their best football of the season when Gerrard and Sturridge were out injured. The balance in midfield was better and we had the players in there suitable for dominating posession and controlling the game. When Gerrard plays in our midfield we don’t pass the ball as well and we don’t play that nice quick one touch football. Gerrard’s strength isn’t playing quick short passes in tight situations. As good as a player he is, how many times does Gerrard keep giving the ball away. I think Allen should be in the midfield with Henderson and Gerrard and he has to either sacrifice Coutinho or Sterling if he wants to play Suarez and Sturridge. Or some games he has to put Sturridge on the bench and play both Sterling and Coutinho. Or another option would be to put Gerrard on the bench and then you could play Sturridge, Sterling and Coutinho. He tries to play all his best players at once but sometimes this isn’t necessarily the best option if the balance of the team is wrong. As good as Ronaldo is, you wouldn’t have 11 Ronaldo’s on the pitch. Reply Billo on 7 February 2014 at 4:15 pm As confusing as they are, BR’s tactics seem to me, dictated by his early purchases. Early days, when Commolli and Kenny went nuts with the Torres cash, John Henry must have felt a little nonplussed when Brendan insisted ( rightly) that Adam, Carroll and after much labouring,Downing be offloaded. Brendan then brings in Allen, Borini and a host of players who are not even at the club presently to make an effect. This topic has been much discussed I know, Coutinho and Sturridge where fantastic additions, but a substantial amount of cash has been invested in players for “the future”. I am getting to be an old fart, but in the words of Paul Weller, I want to be a “modernist” but tomorrow needs to be a”Benitez” battle. Will Brendan have the balls to bench Stevie? If not,Wenger is going to target him. If Suarez drops deep, Allen, Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling hold midfield and Cissokho continues to improve, (I don’t think Kelly is a better full back) that is, just be an old style full back, then I can see us pulling this off. Gerrard would be a mighty intervention on sixty minutes, and I agree Brendans substitutions frustrate, but again, the money invested in Aspas and the like surely should have been spent on cover for Lucas. Adam Smith, you must agree it is all about economics. Going over old ground I know, but I cannot see us getting a better oppurtunity than this season to put the fitful past behind us. Two one to Lfc tomorrow, we deserve it. Reply JonnyS on 7 February 2014 at 8:55 pm Did he have to buy an Aspas in the case that Suarez left the club? Borini had been out so much with injury and at 22 was far from proven. At least Aspas had good form to go on in a decent league, although I can’t believe I would have ever recommended him just going on him being so lightweight at his age. That surely must have been obvious. Probably tempted by the price tag. Overall, it’s tough to buy top class young 1st team players for less than £10m – you can’t really do it. They get hoovered up by oil money and other countries with less stringent visa requirements – usually at even younger ages. Look at Chelski – some 30 youngsters on loan and another 10 they illegally own the rights to via Burnaby Investments in Jersey (peter kenyon). Vitesse Arnheim is their B club/team and they use NL, Portugal and other countries for their youth loans or to bring non-EU players in. Money is no object. I’m less concerned about iLori and Alberto, there’s logic in those for the future though we’ll see if Alberto has sufficient pressing characteristics for BRod. Borini and Assaidi will make back their value I’m sure, you can’t legislate for injury. So overall, we’ve done well because of SaS, but this transfer strategy will fail if we can’t bring in good enough players – as per the January Window, to beable to rotate effectively. The money we’re playing with just might not cut it, and this year it might even cost us that top 4 place and there is a strong argument that we should have altered the strategy in January due to our league position. 2nd half of the season is going to be a lot tougher than the 1st. However, my point remains. BRod’s tactics get very aggressive eg vs Villa and WBA where he pushes a midfielder up towards the strikers and concedes the centre of the park. Then we struggle and fail to get service to SaS and don’t get the goals we need. Villa hunkered down while WBA advanced and pushed. Both times we lost points which I don’t think would have happened if we had prioritised controlling/manning up the centre of the park which would have maintained the service to SaS. Those games if won would have us 4 pts off top place now, even allowing for the few brain farts of 2013. That’s a big miss. Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment * Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.