I’M furious. Bloody furious. Reasons:
1. The manager picked the wrong team.
2. The wrong team were set up in the wrong way.
3. The wrong team set up in the wrong way approached and started the game in the wrong manner.
4. The wrong team set up in the wrong way that also approached and started the game in the wrong manner then were poor. Very, very poor.
5. The wrong team, in the wrong shape, whose manner was poor. Whose performance was poor. Then lost the game. And in losing the game they ruined the piece I had in my head about identity. About support. I had loads in my head about this. But it needed Liverpool to beat Aston Villa. But Aston Villa beat Liverpool. Sorry to break the news.
Sorry to break the news. Sorry to have it broken around you. There are things we need to talk about. Coutinho appears to be able to join Wayne Rooney’s gang of really good players who don’t have a position any more. But unlike Rooney he doesn’t have 15 a season minimum in him. It’s a conundrum for the manager. The player has clearly all the ability you need. But presence is something different. Potency is something different. He’s a player you can nullify.
The goal is daft. Daft on toast. The ball is on the deck for a yonk in our area. And the goal is such a bulwark, such an encouragement. The goal was worth two for a Villa side that knew its business.
Manquillo and Moreno shouldn’t both end the game on the pitch. Four-two-three one shouldn’t be lines. Henderson and Gerrard both did ok but were too flat. Lallana looked better central, Balotelli couldn’t get going. Liverpool looked an attacker short despite having four of them on. The issue is that two of those four lack a goal record.
I’m a fan of rotation. It is a good thing. But this side doesn’t yet have the essence of it nailed. That’s fine because they are in process but simultaneously the season is here and now and is happening. Broad strokes aren’t where they can be yet. Today they were without all three of Liverpool’s most potent players from 2014. Two of them are forced – so don’t bring the third about voluntarily.
The pros are hard to find. The bloody cormorant didn’t get on the pitch (though I saw Ben Jono after the game and he came up with a great idea to replace Golden Goal. Let the cormorant on the pitch but have 40 possible people be inside it as a £1 sweep. Unmask at half time. Split the pot among the winners. Cilla Black, Craig Charles, Jimmy Tarbuck. Roll up roll up. Dr Dre, Chris De Burgh, John Gibbons. Roll up roll up. You pays your money you takes your choice) which suggests someone somewhere is listening. Good on them. Genuinely. The club deserves a nod. Anything else? Christ.
One of my favourite films is The Untouchables. The first scene of The Untouchables has Al Capone being interviewed while shaving and Al says: “You get further with a kind word and a gun than you do with just a kind word.” The point in the film is about the gun. But this Liverpool side needs the kind word. It needs the softer side. It needs to be a laugh, a Brendan Rodgers belly laugh at a piece of impudence that never quite comes off.
Liverpool had no laughs. They had no jokes. They had no fun. They had no brio. They had no swagger. They had fear. They had tons of fear. They need jokes not fear. They need to live in the moment not plan for the future. The only future that matters is three points. They don’t yet have any longer future in them. That sort of guile is a luxury still. This football team is at its best when it prioritises wit above wisdom. These lads enjoy brilliance. They are artists not technicians. Young men, not machines. Their time is always now.
Nothing is f***ed here. This was Liverpool’s poorest home performance for 12 months, since Southampton. Nothing is f***ed. Look what happened after that. But Liverpool need to not f*** themselves. Live in the moment and make me, you, one another, your manager smile. Lads, you are good. All of you, players, manager, backroom team. All of you are good now. The future will look after itself.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
Reminds me of one of those wanks. The one were its meant to be just rudimentary but ends up a bit if an effort and not really worth bothering with… I’m sure glasses knows what I mean.
Paisley always, always praised opposition before and after match regardless of result.
It’s called quality.
When’s someone gonna sit this lad down and tell him he needs to stop powering up shots like he’s stevie gs little brother
I get it keep shooting and he might push through his auwful shooting record. When he hit the post I couldn’t believe how well he struck it, oh wait deflection. He’s only ever had 1 impressive strike of the ball which was at man city and it was an instinctive unorthodox shot.
I know if he never shoots he’ll get defended like he can’t but he already is. Time for someone to sit him down honestly stop trying to be a hero.
P.s Gerrard can fk off with them Hollywood passes when there’s 11 men behind the ball. That game was a morale crusher if I ever saw one.
Fuck me, many of you guys are grumpy arses when we lose (and I thought I was bad). Coutinho gets a lot of power on those shots and considering the short back lift he takes on them the timing has to be perfect. Don’t reckon he would be taking them unless Brendan has seen him do it in training and was encouraging him to play himself into form. Besides, without the deflection I reckon that shot goes in, not to mention the great bit of skill to create the space for it in the first place.
It was the same last year we had pummelled someone and thought we could do the same. We showed no respect and picked the wrong team and were lucky to be only 2 down. 4231 works for Rafa’s crushing football, we fly with the kite and sparkle like a diamond, play Borini upfront with Ballotelli, have Sterling or Coutinho or markovich at the tip and then etc.
There is a time and a place to test things out, today was not that day, we were lucky against Saints and we battered Spurs so why select the system as against Saints. Two up front and one behind scares defences, especially with full backs running on. We were flat like Saints and not as lucky, we huffed and puffed but never looked like scoring. We created our own problems, hopefully we will learn but I thought that was the point of the Spurs game. That we had learned, clearly not!
Right: full backs who can’t tackle, that’s their first job! centre halves who don’t go for a stroll in our box. An OAP in midfield who forgot the move in pass and move, and a forward who wants a deck chair some sounds and a kip. You start a game with 4 players who are having their Anfield debut!!! Oh and you want to teach your best player a lesson by putting on the bench to stop him getting big headed.
John Gibbons in the red duck suit is a good idea and float him down the Mersey.
Thank you and good night.
Last year we ran out of puff, after City at home we were knackered. Brendon knows that’s why we didn’t win the league and as we have all noticed he learns from his mistakes. He is showing here that he is learning how to manage a season (something Wenger never gets enough praise for – though don’t take that as meaning I’m one of the happy with 4th gang I’m not, the league is there for the taking still, esp when someone finally works out chelsea have 5 defenders and one is John Terry who can’t play 60 games). We were poor today, it happens, but Allen was a big miss when teams sit deep like that, it’s his five yard passes rather than the 40 yarders that create space in those situations. Lambert needs to start and score, it’s the lack of actual goals on the pitch today that concerned me most.
Ran out of puff? What does that mean? Rodgers said (on not winning the league), I knew when Henderson got his red card that we couldn’t replace him.
The front four were very poor today, no one taking on his man, and we sometimes had two players occupying the same space. Lack of bravery on the ball was our downfall and the long ball tactic was deflating and seemed desperate. Felt like a step backwards today.
Spot on Neil. And Troutback. I posted something very similar in The Guardian. We don’t suit a 4-2-3-1. Gerrard can’t play in a 4-2-3-1 anymore. We looked like Hodgson’s England during the World Cup. No threat, no wit, no pace, no danger. All the football played in front of the Villa defence, just like City. Play the diamond Brendan for f”ck’s sake. We don’t want to play like Swansea.
The only slight positive that comes out of today is that the people who get on Allens back might actually see what he brings to the team,
Him and Hendo set the tempo and Jordan was one of the few who stood out this evening,
Fuckin ruins the weekend doesn’t it.
It does, and you’re right. Allen does a great job for us.
I don’t think anyone played well. The midfield continually gave the ball to Lovren, who then played a long ball, as there was so little movement up front. Sterling should have started & been taken off if we were in a winning position later in the game. Brendan looking to Tuesday I think. Bad day at the office, forget it & go again on Tuesday.
I went to one game last year… Southampton at home, I also went today, sorry lads it’s my fault.
We haven’t got Alonso and Mascherano in there so we should knock the controlling 4231 game on the head from now on because it didn’t look like garnering a result at City either.
The most worrying thing about the game (especially for a team like ours and how we’ve been attacking since about December) is that we never really looked like scoring. Flat, Sterling comes on and gives us a bit more of a spark for 5 minutes, back to flat again. The sky isn’t falling because for me we’ve seen much worse than that under Brendan, Kenny, Hodgson and Rafa. We stroked it round prettily enough albeit at a leisurely pace, but other than that it was a bit disconcerting.
Disappointed about Mighty Red after all the hype. Maybe they’re waiting for the night Real come to town.
Yet again we let Villa at Anfield look like David Villa.
No pace, no imagination, 10 passes to get over the bloody halfway line.
Where was Lallana asking for the ball? Where was Markovich saying ‘give it me and go’?
We needed them to both step up and instead they hid, scared of making a mistake.
As for Balotelli, I only saw him when he was subbed.
I really wish BR would stop playing Coutinho on the left and it seemed he forced Lallana into the lineup today, he had no presence out there in the 10 role. With sturridge injured, Sterling needs to play every minute we can afford him to w/o risking injury. Markovic should be an impact sub for now and two up top is a must for us until we really find some consistency in our attack. This lineup today was baffling to say the least and I swear our CBs had most of our possession today…so frustrating.
i don’t want to see us starting big games (and all PL games are big game) without Sterling and Sturridge again unless they’re both injured. We saw the result yesterday: no pace; no threat on the counter: toothless.
We cannot play 4-2-3-1. We need to stick to the 4-4-2 diamond, come right out of the gates an smash the opposition early in the game. If we need to tighten up with extra mid in the second half, fine. Let’s do the damage early.
Sterling has to play. We looked dead with out him.
All the possession doesn’t mean anything if we are just pinging balls side to side in our own half. Everything needs to go forward with pace and drive. We don’t need 20 minutes to build a goal.
3 years in a row lambert and villa done an easy job on us. You would have expected patience and guile yesterday . If Brendan doesn’t have the brass balls to know when our hero Steven gerrard might need to be subbed or not feature at all then we are in big trouble this year. That is one of about a dozen issues yesterday. All in all too much rotation and twice now we played 4231 at home and neither have worked. Pleased with lallana performance . Countinho like a poor mans David villa ..
Villa sat back after scoring, knowing that the game was won unless they did something stupid, or got really unlucky. It was an option they had, as was scoring another couple of goals if they had really wanted to go for it.
Today we saw the full horror-show of our side without Suarez, Sturridge and Sterling, in a situation where we are meant to take the game to the opposition.
It does ruin The weekend! 2 weeks of waiting for the premier league to start after a great away win, and this is what we get! I can accept losing to the Champions, but not to Villa!
Now I’m not starting any band wagon and it sounds like I’m in a minority but I truly wasn’t blown away with the Mario signing in the first place… Yesterday painfully proved me right (I hope I’m wrong and he blows me away soon)!
He wasn’t alone in his ineptitude though… The whole forward line looked toothless and devoid of ideas! In that formation, Sturridge wouldn’t of helped either so we can’t blame England and Co!
BR was tad arrogant to be leaving our brightest player of the season so far, on the bench! The squad of last season should be playing the majority of games, while we ingratiate the newer members slowly and against better-judged opposition.
We have a chance to get back on the metaphorical horse soon though with Good Champions league fixture on Tuesday night. So let’s put Saturday behind us Brendan and go back to the land of the tricky reds!
Neil gets most things right here. He knows his football, and he goes with his intuition about what he sees, which also happens to match my own in most cases.
1st signs of Brendan Rodgers trying to reinvent the wheel, take us away from our favorite diamond at which we are deadly whoever we play had appeared in preseason. He played that 4-2-3-1 thing in most games, and we looked as flat and uninventive going forward as we did yesterday, as well as at City and at home vs Saints.
We got away with it against Southampton, although with a feeling that they deserved more from that game.
City exploited it to the full. People say “we were good in the 1st half against City” – at what exactly? passing it around our own half while Sterling, Sturridge and Coutinho were totally taken out of the game? And no, that’s not because Coutinho was “out of form”.
Then we go to Spurs and demolish them with the deadly diamond. And think “yes, we’re back to what we are good at”… but it didn’t last long. Rodgers decided to throw in 3 new players and more so, play them in a formation which does not enhance, but impedes their best qualities. It neither makes us solid at the back, nor makes us dangerous in the front, while the midfield of Gerrard and Henderson where Henderson was basically playing a holding role, instead of being a motor, and Gerrard wandered around seeking a space to produce one of his “hollywood passes” that worked in about 2 times out of 6…
Villa set up differently at first, but were flexible enough to adapt to our daft passing yesterday. We kept knocking on the closed door. We didn’t press. We didn’t run. We kept circulating the ball around the central area.
And then Brendan Rodgers throws in Borini and Lambert “to change the game”. Really, Brendan? Also… talking about ‘limited budget’ after the game? How about Atletico Madrid who get depleted of their star players year after year, but still keep their identity and keep being a threat to the giants like Real Madrid and Barcelona? The key word here: Identity. We should keep being what we are. Not try to be one day this and another day something else. Teams should worry about standing a chance against us, not the other way round.
Spot on. That’s what was so refreshing about last season. We went out and attacked, after years of worrying about the opposition, we just went for it. More of the same please this season, Brendan.
Rodgers said before the game that the previous cock ups against Villa at home were his mistakes, he picked the wrong team and tactics. Then he goes and does it again! I’m only a supporter, admittedly for a good number of years, but when I saw the line up I was expecting the outcome. To throw on so many players for their Anfield debuts was ridiculous. To know that Villa would be defensive and double up on wide players yet ask young Markovic, a player who revels on space, who runs with the ball to perform with panache was plain wrong. Gerrard was not needed in this game and did nothing to suggest otherwise.
Yes, in setting himself up to look smart he made a fool of himself.
Let’s put things in perspective here. We’re all disappointed by the result (or more the manner of it). This was a new team though. New defence and a new attack. You can’t expect it to click straightaway. Some players need a few games to get used to the physicality of the Premiership (the full backs especially).
There was certainly a case for playing Sterling today but the lads 19. He played in 33 league games last season, went to the World Cup, came back played some league games then played 2 Internationals. We’re gonna have to get used to him being dropped. We’ll burn him out if we’re not careful.
Balotelli looked worrying but then when Sturridge has played that role he’s looked equally wank yet Sturridge is a brilliant footballer. I’ve got faith in Rodgers to work it out. Getting ahead of myself here but if the team finishes top 4 and gets out the CL group then I’ll be made up. Then we can kick on.
Despite all the hype last season, we were only playing once a week. Now the squad will have to rotate. Gerrard will be dropped. Sturridge will be dropped and Henderson will be dropped. We can’t kick off every time it happens. It’s not a continuation of last season it’s a new squad and a new start. I’m confident we’ve got the players and the manager to move forward as a club. I’m gutted too but more so because we can’t blame Mighty Red.
Nicely put. Means I’ve avoided the press and reports since the result came through. It doesn’t help either with Man U putting in a stonking performance this afternoon. The headlines will be Utd are back and ‘Pool are struggling without He Who Should Not Be Named.
Tuesday night can’t come quick enough.
I want to see a new section on the podcast, The Crazy Bob and Crimesy Show, The new Saint and Greavsie, just a thought, its gotta be better some of the opening q’s.
lets still blame mighty red. I heard Sterling was scared of Big Bird as a child and thats why he didn’t start..
I’m not as bad as him am I? Please say I’m not or I’ll be shocked and shamed enough to never comment on here again.
Villa are a decent side, in good form and got the ideal start to the game. We were on the other hand were missing our most dangerous player and had 5 new players on the pitch in attacking positions who showed some nice build up play but not the slick combinations required to break down what has been a bit of a bogey team for us at home.
Results like this were always going to happen this season as new players bed in. No need kicking off at the manager for not playing a diamond (Neil I expected better from you) when we didn’t have the right players for it because sturridge, Allen and can were out, he wanted to rest sterling (I can only imagine the angry comments on here if he played sterling three times this week and he picked up a soft tissue injury) and Henderson was carrying a knock. What’s more, I’m not sure the diamond would really work against teams that sit deep without Suarez crash his way through (definitely not without sturridge also).
As Neil said, the goal was massive for them mainly because it really rattled our confidence and particularly the mood in the crowd. I couldn’t believe it when I saw supposed fans leaving from right behind Brendan with 5-10 minutes of football left to be played when we were only a goal down and on the attack. Where was the singing, the roaring, the ynwa urging the team forward when they were looking flat? Every time the camera cuts to the crowd all I see are grumpy middle aged men who should do the honorable thing and pass their season tickets on one of the 20,000 on the waiting list who would really appreciate being there ffs.
Walk on with hope in your hearts – in Brendan we trust!
Check on all five points. The two deep midfielders setup has not worked, regardless of personnel. This team is dulled when attacking with one striker, no matter who that striker is. Plus there were too many new faces in the side at the same time. It is as if Villa were taken too lightly.