NEIL ATKINSON is joined by Rob Gutmann, Steve Graves and John Gibbons to get giddy over three points. Later Timo Tiernay from The Tea Street Band pops in. It’s everything you expect and hope for. Three actual points. Imagine them…
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Phil Babb….ooooh. Still makes grown men groan to this day.
O’Leary to Paisely: inspired.
Lallana for Coutinho’s the one change. He and Lambert should be playing together. Gerrard’s done nothing to merit a recall. Coutinho’s great from the bench when the game’s stretched, I reckon Can would be as well.
Maybe Can for Allen.
This is the problem. Gerrard gets rested despite Rodgers not actually having much choice and next minute Gerrard has to come out and deny there’s no rift between him and the manager. The contract talks are all over Twitter with the club having to say publicly that they’ve offered him a new contract. Makes you wonder where the power lies at the club. I’d play him against Sunderland out of the next 3 but I’ll bet it’ll be the opposite. I think he’ll start both the Tuesday games. I’ll be honest, if Joe Allen makes way for him and we don’t win then I can see myself losing it.
Couldn’t agree more with all of that Robin. My opinion has always been Gerrard/Carra weren’t a million miles behind Terry/Lampard/Cole when it comes to player power gone mad.
Another good show. The giddyness reminded me of Feb/March/April last season. John said something which worried me a bit – he doesn’t think Rodgers fancies Moreno. If this is the case I’m not sure what Rodgers is thinking. Is he not the perfectly stereotypical Rodgers full back? Out of all the summer signings surely he is the one you can most point to and say “yea, buying him is a good piece of business.”
Leicester are poor and going through a bad spell. No excuses not to take all 3 points. My team would be:
Manquillo Skrtel Toure Moreno
Really concerned about the amount of minutes Sterling is playing. The manager should have done a better job managing his game time. He’s 19 and just after a world cup. 120 minutes against Middlesbrough was shocking decision making. I’d only play him as he’ll get more space than at home to Sunderland, where I’d rest him for the whole game if possible.
Brendan will probably go with the same team he play vs Ludo:
Manquillo Skrtel Toure Johnson
I really hope he doesn’t go with that team. Playing Lambert and Lallana together’s a no-brainer isn’t it?
This is why I’ve never really warmed to Gerrard, as much as some other players, Robin. Maybe its a generational thing but I don’t remember this kind of thing ever happening with great players in the past. Players left for more money (Keegan, Souness, Rush), but I’ve never really minded that as long as they’re up front about it. But you always get the sense that the club has to accommodate Gerrard’s every whim, from playing in central midfield to playing every game, to the latest contract nonsense. Don’t know if it’s him, his agent or the media but I do remember his constant whining under Benitez, a manager who got the best football of his career out of him by recognising his limitations as a player (limitations that are all too evident now) and building a team around him. I also remember how he showed his gratitude to said manager.
For some reason, when things aren’t going exactly as he wants, stories appear in the press and social media: he’s the story rather than the club. As I say, it may be that he’s not responsible for these stories, either way it’s not healthy.
” As I say, it may be that he’s not responsible for these stories, either way it’s not healthy.”
Fuck me, you just slaughtered him and then end with “maybe it’s not him”.
Apart from what people have chosen to infer, can anyone point to a scintilla of evidence to support the notion that Gerrard behaves in the way some people are suggesting? Benitez has been gone for 5 years and I’m not aware of him ever accusing Gerrard of the stuff some of you are alleging, or at least hinting at. I’m not aware of any ex-team-mate who talks about Gerrard in this way, either. Maybe I’ve just missed this stuff? Or maybe it’s another case of people convincing themselves that things they imagine may have happened have actually happened?
It’s a perfectly reasonable post Brownie. Would you have preferred that I’d stated that all the stories are true?
Re Benitez, I’m not alluding to the off the record stories so much as the interviews he gave during Rafa’s time. Do you not remember the whining? ‘CM is my best position’ ‘The manager doesn’t give us enough praise’ etc etc.
This kind of stuff:
This kind of sums up my feeling about him as a player:
When you’ve been at a club since you were eight, working under 6 different first team managers and spending 14 years as a regular pick, it would be nigh on impossible for there not to be the odd story of a bust up here or a fall-out there. But there is nothing in the public domain to support the notion that Benitez or anyone else thinks he was a big-time Charlie. That doesn’t mean he was perfect and your point about his comments saying he preferred to play CM is a good call. He probably should have buttoned it. But if we could forgive Suarez the stuff he did…
The Drury article is an interesting one and I’ve heard those same criticisms before. Rory Smith said tonight: one of the Gerrard problems is that his best position is not where he thinks his best position is. I would say the evidence doesn’t point to one conclusion over another. Gerrard had great seasons when he didn’t play CM, but that doesn’t mean the team wouldn’t have played even better if he had played there. The trouble with counter-factuals is that, well, they’re counter-factual.
In any assessment of Gerrard’s career you can’t overstate the significance of the fact that, for a large proportion of it, he played for a pretty mediocre team. Between 2005 and 2009 I’d argue we could claim to be part of Europe’s elite. I think we were no.1 UEFA ranked team in 2009. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that these 4/5 years represent the best period in Gerrard’s career. In that period he was the best midfielder in the word, and Zidane agreed. Prior to 2004 and after 2009, you’ve still got a great player but a great player playing in Liverpool sides that, despite a cup here and there, were by no stretch amongst the best in Europe, and only occasionally threatening to be amongst the best in England. I think it’s a mark of Gerrard’s influence to note that Liverpool’s success as a club so closely mirrors his own performances.
If Gerrard had played for United, or even Chelsea or Arsenal (or Man City now for that matter), you’d be talking about one of Europe’s all-time great players, and certainly one of the most decorated. Fergie and Mourinho tried to buy him twice each.
On the position thing, Barnes was talking tonight about how he first encountered Gerrard when he was 15 or 16. He and everyone else at the club knew Gerrard was destined for greatness, but the question was in which position? Not because it was difficult to gauge what he was best at, but because he was so good at everything. Quote Barnes: “If Stevie had decided he wanted to be a defensive midfielder, he would have been as good as Makele. He was going to be world-class wherever he played. He could do everything and play everywhere.”
And that’s precisely what he did.
I’d agree with a lot your post Brownie. He’s a saint compared with Suarez, but Suarez wouldn’t be by reference point. Points of disagreement:
He was never the best midfielder in the world for the reasons outlined by Sacchi et al, he and Torres were, however, one of the best strike forces in the world for a brief period and Gerrard was one of the best players in world football for a couple of years.
Counterfactuals: Whilst I agree with your main thrust, the argument about Stevie and his position isn’t a counterfactual is it? He’s been given several runs in his favoured position but hasn’t really cut it.
John Barnes; and there’s the rub. He’s an incredibly gifted footballer but one who was poorly managed by an indulgent Houllier. My counterfactual would be as follows: how good do you think he could have been had he worked with a top manager from a young age? I think he could have been a world beater. The problem isn’t so much the mediocre players around him; he played with some very good players and always upped his game when paired with better players (Xabi, Torres), the problem was mediocre managers at the formative stage of his career.
“He’s been given several runs in his favoured position but hasn’t really cut it. ”
Blimey, I’d say that was a little harsh. It’s all relative :-)
If you’ve got a midfield axis of Alonso and Mascherano in their prime and a guy called Torres up front, I think my daughter could work out where to play a Steven Gerrard at the peak of his physical fitness. If my midfield is full of Biscans, Cheyrous, Diaos and even Murphys and Smicers, I reckon I’m putting Gerrard where I think he’s going to see most of the ball – CM.
Even though I agree it wasn’t his best position, I still say that Gerrard was playing CM when Liverpool were an inferior team. I don’t think his playing CM made Liverpool inferior – not when I look at what the alternatives were those seasons when he played that role. The better players we got and the better we became as a team, the less need there was to have Gerrard playing a role where you’d maximize his time on the ball; rather, you wanted to play him in a role where you maximized his impact on the opposition. So I’m not criticizing Benitez’s handling of Gerrard. I reckon he more or less got it spot on. But I still think some of the criticism of Gerrard’s CM performances ignore the wider context of the (lack of) team quality when he played there, and I think some of the narrative (not tracking runners, etc.) is overstated and a sort of retrospective self-justification. Gerrard did run too much by the time Benitez came in, but looking at the quality of the players around him at that time it’s just as well. Benitez is a fantastic manager and he improved the all-round quality of the squad and team to a point where you could get more out of Gerrard without him having to pop up in every position at some point during the 90. But the key was elevating the quality of those who played with Gerrard.
Putting it another way, it’s not so much that Houllier mishandled Gerrard, as that he failed to produce a squad and team good enough that meant Gerrard could be deployed in a way that would make him even more effective. I don’t think we’d have won any more 2000-2004 if Gerrard had been played Benitez style, because the alternatives in the middle of the park just weren’t good enough.
Alternatively, your daughter could have played the Gerrard role……think on that (I don’t really believe that, but its worth pondering now we’re in counterfactual territory).
I am a little harsh, or, perhaps, realistic. He’s been a fine player for us, but I’ve seen better. The real counterfactual is this: would Steven Gerrard have played in the great Liverpool sides? No. He isn’t disciplined or intelligent enough. Would a coaching team that consisted of Ronnie Moran, Joe Fagan and Bob Paisley changed the way he played so that he could benefit the whole team: I’d like to think so: a more controlled Gerrard alongside Souness would have been something to behold, but I guess we had that with Terry Mac.
All over the news again today. Poor, poor stuff. I don’t remember Ferguson having to deal with this kind of shitstorm when Scholes, Giggs, Neville et al were nearing the end of their respective careers. Smacks of small club behaviour: very sad.
He played CM for England too, remember? Lampard and Scholes weren’t bad players.
I’ll tell you what Brownie, it made Liverpool an inferior team in the first half at Istanbul!
(For the sake of balance, moving him further up the pitch and then to right back made us a superior team in the second half).
Actually, my daughter probably could. You should see her play (although she’s a centre-half; a cross between John Terry (the good bits) and Alan Hansen). I’ve done one of those dad things where you bet on your son/daughter one day representing England.
“would Steven Gerrard have played in the great Liverpool sides? No. ”
That’s some serious through the looking glass shit you’re pulling there, Paul.
England is a whole different kettle of fish. The players you list were indeed not bad players, but it’s instructive that none is considered to have consistently taken his club form to the international stage. When midfielders of the quality of Lampard, Scholes and Gerrard are all considered to have unperformed for England, I think it’s time you looked beyond the players for reasons why that might be the case.
And no-one tell me they weren’t as good as we thought. In their prime, they made mugs of Europe’s best for their club sides, and were coveted by every successful, foreign coach at every elite club in the continent.
What did for us in the first-half in Istanbul is the ref’s refusal to give a blatant penalty for Nesta’s foul and handball in his tangle with Baros when it was 1-0, which led directly to Milan’s breakaway for their second.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
You started with the counterfactuals I’m just taking ’em to their logical conclusion!
He wouldn’t have started as the player he became, too individual, too lax (tactically) not tough enough. Bob was very clear about the team and small c communism. I’d like to think, however, that he’d have become a different player under Bob’s guidance with all the bad stuff smoothed out and the good stuff enhanced. Bob didn’t really do explosive players, everybody had to work hard for 90 minutes. The question is, would he have become an improved Terry Mac or a Davey Fairclough? (No shame in either of course, I loved Davey, but you take my point).
It just seems to me that successive Liverpool managers have for one reason or another spent far too much answering questions about Steven Gerrard.
Apologies, I may not have made myself clear in my earlier comment. I was just going through the morning papers at work (Twitter) and a couple of things struck me.
It’s no one at the clubs fault Gerrard had to come out and deny a rift. My way of thinking was we all want Gerrard’s role to be evaluated but the minute anything changes, in this case – Gerrard can’t play 3 games in 7 so he gets rested then it’s makes the main sport headlines. I may be wrong but my guess would be someone in the media has wondered if that’s why he didn’t start, put 2 and 2 together and come up with 5 as they say. My issue with it all is, if there’s any truth in some peoples belief that Rodgers won’t drop him because of his status then it just cranks it up a bit more. Makes it harder for Rodgers even harder for Rodgers to drop him. Shouldn’t but does.
I’m convinced though someone at the club has told Gerrard to respond. I’m not on Instagram or whatever it was but I’m under the impression Gerrard doesn’t sing like a canary on there. He’s got more dignity. Then Rodgers comes out and denies it. Why bother? It’s the press talking shit isn’t it? It’s a nothing story.
Then I was reading about the club offering him a new contract. It just seems to have been conducted very much in public. All sides are to blame in that. Then today, someone in the press thinks – I wonder where Gerrard would go if he ever did leave Liverpool. Doubt he’d go to a rival, he’d probably go to the MLS like Lampard and bingo – Gerrards thinking of going to the MLS if Liverpool don’t offer him a new contract. Then the club rush out with an announcement of a new contract offer. We had the Glen Johnson story of a 50% wage cut. Johnson said yesterday he absolutely has not been offered a new deal, and I for one believe him. Is it the club or is just what the press do. I’m inclined to think that’s just how the press work. It starts off as a story on Metro and before you know it the more reputable ones are feeding off it. Unfortunately, the club seems to be entertaining these stories a bit. My comment certainly wasn’t aimed at being down on Gerrard. Recently, I’ve expressed my belief that I don’t think he’s the most effective in that role but that’s my only issue with him. I just feel, last year everything was going well and we didn’t have these public denials / statements. Mixed with the detective work we’ve all done to decide there’s a rift between Rodgers and the transfer committee (and I think there probably is) then I’m just a bit concerned about how some things are being handled.
It’s the usual. If we were winning, this stuff probably wouldn’t even get printed, and if it did it would be a dead story before the papers hit our doormats. But because we’re struggling, the guttersnipes in the MSM see a story and run with it. It’s nigh on impossible in those circumstances for the club to do the right thing: dignify it with a response and play a role in keeping the story live; keep schtumm and allow our silence to *speak volumes*?
If Rodgers has problems breaking tough news to top players, he’s at the wrong club. Personally, I doubt that’s the case. It’s easy to look back on the Suarez situation before the start of last season and think the position adopted by Rodgers was the obvious one, the safe one, but at the time that was a big risk for a still young and experienced manager. Making your start player train with the ressies? If he had the balls to take that decision, I don’t think he’d shirk omitting Gerrard if he thought that was the right thing to do.
Hard to know isn’t it? He’s dropped Carra, Reina and Agger which suggests he’s not afraid to make tough decisions, but, as we’ve witnessed today, you can’t drop Gerrard without it being a story.
Hard to know if it’s the media, pals in the media, agents, the club or the player. Someone recently drew a parallel with Gullit and Shearer at Newcastle and it feels like that, but that’s all there is to go on, a feeling.
I’d probably agree. He doesn’t seem like a man who’d bow down to any of the players. After all, we saw how tough he was with little Raheem, haha. Gerrard’s his captain, I don’t know how it’s supposed to work but I’d guess they’re supposed to be pretty close, or closer than the others. I’m just not comfortable about something but as you can probably tell from my rambling I’m not entirely sure what it is. It seems like something a little more than just the press. I don’t know. Don’t actually care. Just got a habit of writing my thoughts on here.
On the Monday Night Club on R5L, they talked about this. Apparently, the story goes that there was a bit of a disagreement about the Real Madrid selection and Gerrard wasn’t happy about being omitted. I should hope not. So long as he went about it the right way – had a quiet word with the manager, etc. – there’s no issue there. Barnes was on the program tonight and he mentioned that he had fallouts with every manager he played under and usually about not being selected. This issue isn’t whether you’re unhappy/get the hump, but if you’re man enough and professional enough to just get on with it once the anger subsides.
Gerrard has worked under 6 managers now. If he was a problem child, I think we’d have more to go on than we do.
Oh right. Explains a few things. I didn’t really want to speculate too much on a whim but although it’s a dangerous attitude to have I do often think there’s no smoke without fire.
Nicely unhysterical show. Balanced analysis and O’Leary was uncanny.
The point about how a goal transforms 5 and 6 out of 10 into 7 and 8 was well made. Saturday’s game was basically a re-run of Hull. We played marginally better overall, although we actually created one fewer chance and conceded one more than the Hull game. If we hadn’t won, there wouldn’t have been many press reports talking about how we’d been robbed.
As a team picked to do a job, it did it well (first half was dire, but second much better). It is undoubtedly our most solid set-up, but therein lies the problem going forward. I’d be concerned if this is the team we’re picking for must win home games against teams of Stoke’s calibre in future months. To my mind (longer term), this is an away team against any top-half side (or a team you pick to stop the rot, which is why it was selected on Saturday). In working out who will/should start against Leicester, I think you look at the Basel match and work back from there.
I wouldn’t be surprised to see the same team against Leicester, with Lallana maybe in for Coutinho. It obviously partly depends on how Saturday’s picks recover. Assuming we get the result at Leicester, I think Rodgers should and will be more adventurous with his next home selection against Sunderland. We will no longer be in the business of trying to stay solid for an hour, and there should be no rot to stop by then. After relatively little football, he may decide Lucas probably doesn’t need his 4th game in 11 days and leave him or Allen out, with Gerrard coming in. I think he’ll try to give Sterling a rest before the Basel match, so expect Lallana and Coutinho to feature, too. For Basel, he’ll play Gerrard again (unless there’s a catastrophe at home to Sunderland), because in shit-or-bust European nights at Anfield, that’s what you do: you play Gerrard. If we’ve taken 6 points from Leicester and Sunderland, confidence will be flowing and we should try to win that game in the first half hour. The crowd will pretty much demand that, anyway, and I think that sort of approach gives us our best chance of victory.
When you’re losing and you make changes game to game, the players left out feel like they are taking the blame for poor team performances regardless of how they’ve performed as individuals. The players coming in feel incredible pressure to perform, knowing they are likely to be one average game away from being benched. When you are winning, those changes in and out feel like how you’d expect when you’re part of a squad that is still competing on 4 fronts. No big deal.
The key is Leicester: win there and things can start to look up in a very big way, very quickly.
BTW, Eubank Jr is the hottest young prospect in British boxing. He started slowly against Saunders but by the end Saunders was hanging on for grim death. Eubank lost on a split decision and at 25 is better than his father was at that age. The fight probably came 12/18mths too soon for him, but he’ll have learned a ton. If you’ve got a spare twenty quid, get down to PaddyPower and put it on Eubank being a future world champion. It will be the easiest money you ever make.
Look mate, I hope you understand my intention here. I don’t subscribe to an idea that I’ll disagree with every point put on here regardless of content or who wrote it. One of my favourite sayings in life is believe nothing, question everything. So, I only question this for debate purposes but there’s 2 points I differ on from the above.
You talk about future months and problems going forward. There is no future. Haha, that may have come across a bit negative. What I mean is, we only have to think of the next fortnight. Against Stoke, we had to do things that helped us get the win. Sakho will be back in a game or two so he’ll then enter the frame. Sturridge will be back at the end of this month / early next month, that’ll change the dynamics again. So, we only have to get the team right for the next 3 first and foremost. That may mean playing Gerrard for one or Lucas / Allen for two or Sakho for two and Toure / Lovren for one or vice versa. The point is mate, you know some of us wanted Lovren dropped and Gerrard rested. We thought based on current performance Lucas and Toure would be better. It happened, it worked or we got away with it at least. No ones saying this a permanent fixture, just a case of using the right members of our squad at the right time. No future, just putting our best foot forward for the next game taking into account form and fitness. We’re still in 4 competitions. We have to put faith in the whole squad.
Just briefly, you mention about players feeing responsible for defeats if dropped and new players coming in feeling nervous. There’s also the other side to that. Some players are desperate for their chance. Some know it’s their one chance to shine. Toure and Lucas didn’t really strike me as nervous. I thought they freshened things up a bit. Lambert maybe felt a bit nervous coming in a few games ago but he dealt with it and his desire brought him rewards. They all came into a losing team. As i said earlier, we’re a squad and we have to do what’s best for the next game(s). If players can’t get over that idea then they don’t deserve any sympathy.
I think we’re violently agreeing. I didn’t disagree with the selection Saturday and people are confusing me with someone else if they thought I believed Gerrard should play every game. My issues re the Gerrard discussion were:
1 – He was being scapegoated for the team’s under-performance.
2 – He was being written off (by some) as having no contribution he could make – not in the Stoke game, but ever.
3 – The potential of the alternatives was being over-hyped when Gerrard played, and inflated when they played.
Oh, and for some, this tipped over into Gerrard being labelled an egomaniac/coward/imbecile/take your pick, on the basis of people knowing diddly-squat about what’s been happening behind the scenes. A fine way to treat a bloke who’s been at the club since he was 8, I think.
I also agree with pragmatic approach whilst we look to rebuild confidence. So an undoubtedly more solid (for which read ‘conservative’) selection on Saturday made perfect sense. My point about this not being a template for the future has to seen in the context of comments by others who *were* suggesting it could be a blueprint for an assault on the top 4. So for example, I would argue that if we get 3 points at Leicester, we should be a bit more progressive with our selection at home to Sunderland on Saturday, on the basis that there has to come a point when we’re looking to do more than be solid when we’re at home against teams that will likely finish in the bottom 6, and after two wins on the bounce (hopefully) the confidence should be flowing again.
“We’re still in 4 competitions. We have to put faith in the whole squad.”
Couldn’t agree more.
On your last paragraph, maybe I didn’t make myself clear earlier. I didn’t mean to imply that we shouldn’t have changed certain things when we started to hit the skids. I just meant that rotation when you’re losing shouldn’t be automatic and doesn’t always pay dividends and, for every example where it did, there are examples of managers playing through the bad spells keeping faith with what they believe are the best players available and coming out the other end. Equally, just because you start to play well, that shouldn’t preclude the possibility of any changes in subsequent games. See your point above about still being in 4 competitions. In what we hope will be a 60 game season, a meritocracy doesn’t mean you’re automatically selected for next game if you played well in your last.
These are the calls managers get paid to make. As I said, I thought the selection on Saturday was more or less what I’d have gone with before the game, and getting Lovren out of the spotlight for a bit is defo a good call, as is not asking your 34-year old captain to play every minute of every game.
Yeah, fair points. In a perfect world I’d play the same 11 week in week out. I’m so confused by it all at the minute though, I don’t even know half of their names let alone who’s our best 11.
Anyway, we need a new subject here. I’m thinking we could all start remembering Sakho as the greatest defender ever and call for Rodgers head on the grounds of diminished responsibility, if he doesn’t start playing him. I’ll give it a few weeks. The soap opera’s gonna be crying out for a new story line soon.
Haha, ‘aint that the truth.
Lovren for PFA Player of the Year.
good discussion guys.
I’m not convinced that BR knows his best team which is why he hit the reset button for Stoke.
It’s never a great game at Anfield against Stoke, they come to be cautious and difficult as past results reflect. Lots of 1-0 and 0-0 scorelines and buckets of frustration. It’s a stupid record we’ve got of not having lost to them at Anfield (as in absurdly long). Be prepared for the physical etc etc. so the line up made some sense. We were better than them but they could have got a draw still. Few chances but a couple of very good ones. A draw would have not been atypical however.
It is of BRs making though this situation. When things weren’t working he didn’t change out the parts that weren’t, at least until they spelled it out on Sky and suddenly bang, he rings the changes. What’s that about? We’re nearly a third into the season before we get significant changes? What stopped him doing it before that especially with 3 games/week and constant problems?
Reminds me of AVB early last season, Spurs were losing goals at the end of games and Neville pointed out on MNF that they drop too deep trying to defend and see the game out and end up conceding. Next game, AVB is playing a high defensive line! And he keeps doing it regardless game after game after that and we end up ripping them to shreds as did others and he loses his job.
It’s like these managers just aren’t too smart or are too scared to ring the changes until the media allow them to. It’s weird. The world cup squad was the same. The media said blood some youngsters and lo and behold Woy bought some newbies into the squad. When they flunked at the WC they couldn’t blame him cos they had suggested it. They had little to criticise (and commercially they needed to back Roy too).
It’s like he waited until the press demanded it and then he did it – even if he intended to do it all along – so that he couldn’t then be criticised if / when it didn’t work. Don’t make the changes until you’ve covered your ass, looks like to me.
But I think if BR had made changes earlier he would have worked out what was working and what wasn’t.
The big problem is not having a proper mobile striker. The club/committee need shooting given its record for the last 2 summers per the striker position. Aspas, Lambert, Balotelli – really? Are you kidding me? Did anyone at the club / committee watch how BR played the game up front last season? That’s killed us and left the midfield confused as to how things are supposed to work.
But on from that, Gerrard was coming under a lot of pressure defensively while BR was sending the full backs up willy nilly, and still denying to himself that a defensive midfield shield was required and SG wasn’t suitable. Then Sterling got played constantly even though he clearly needed time out, and Balotelli needed to not be played as a lone forward. Still does.
Not fixing those problems when they happened has led to a LOT of dropped points, us to not knowing what our best team is and BR’s created that situation. I am simply astounded how poorly he’s managed rotation in the 7 games in 21 day thing we’ve been through. And it’s very much on BR.
He’ll never be a very good manager until he builds a strong resilient midfield, which will make the back line more stable too. Then he can work on the link up forwards and making the lone striker thing work. It’s what makes me doubt his suitability for Liverpool.
Agreed. Good post.
I don’t think it’s particularly about making the midfield stronger (although I’m now going to say we need to make the midfield stronger) I think it’s more about making the spine stronger. I know it’s becoming a new buzzword but it’s absolutely right. With a strong spine then you can have your Coutinho’s, Lallana’s, wing backs, wingers or whoever. The middle of the pitch needs to be stronger as we’ve all discussed over the last month or so.
Brownie………are you Chris Eubank Snr? Who said his son was the most dangerous young man in boxing and had the talent of Sugar Ray Leonard?
His son fought 18 bums, the worst they could possibly have found, and the first time he came up against someone with a modicum of talent he lost. Billy Joe is actually very average for someone with world title aspirations. He has hardly moved on from his amateur days, point scoring, scrappy and no power at all. And he was still too much for CEJ. I had a proper bet on Saunders at 5/4. Couldn’t believe he wasn’t favourite. That’s what hype does I suppose.
Eurbank Jnr might, just might, get a world title shot in his career due to 160lbs being quite weak now (apart from the obvious two) and his name – a champion will want an easy pay day & “Eubank Jnr” might garner some interest, especially after beating another few bums. But he’ll never hold one of the major organisations titles.
Froch and Groves have both sparred with Eubank Jr and said they couldn’t believe his power. If you follow boxing – and it sounds like you do – you’ll know the these stories about Eubank Jr have been doing the rounds for a good while now, and not just because his dad is his dad (the Sugar Ray stuff).
And fighting buns is what any good manager will ensure you do as young pro with potential. The point is, he could have continued to fight bums for another year or two gaining more experience, but he fought Saunders instead (and with a faster start beats him comfortably). I agree Saunders is never going to se the world alight, but he’s much more experienced than Eubank (more than 50 amateur fights I think and an Olympian) and been in with better opponents.
Eubank will win a major world title by the time he’s 28.
fighting buns? WTF?
This show reminds me of why I love this podcast! It gets me through my data entry job for my university!
It is so much more fun when Liverpool win.
I like the way the lads were gonna pretend we won even if they didn’t!
Bojan and Song eh? What’s wrong with our scouts/transfer committee? Both would have improved the squad, both are relatively young and versatile and Song knows how to play a perfect long ball to a fleet-footed left-sided striker. Add Song’s Premiership and CL experience, availability and low transfer fee and you’re looking at moneyball signings par excellence aren’t you? There’s nothing retrospective about this post btw, I was making the same argument in the summer. Low risk, low cost signings.
Song I agree. Bojan would have been a punt and a bit of a clone for what we have (or hope we’ve got) already.
I’ve been banging the Wanyama drum since I saw him a few times at Celtic. He’s gone from strength to strength at Southampton and he’s still only 23.
Song’s got more to his game though, hasn’t he?
Right now, I’d say you’re right.
Wanyama may be a decent player, but I’m pissed off about Song because Barca were/are desperate to be shot of him and he was available on loan or for sale at around 8m. I suspect his value will go up following his stint at West Ham. City are allegedly interested now and may offer around 15m. I suspect we could have tied that deal up easily as part of the Suarez deal if we’d chosen to do so.
But if we had Song now, wouldn’t he be playing instead of Lucas?
No. He’d be playing instead of Lucas and Stevie!
On a mores serious note, yes. No-one’s arguing that Lucas is the long-term solution are they? Unless he puts an astonishing run of games together I think we’d all want an upgrade either in January or the summer. For me: Cabaye or Song.
Wanyama isn’t good on the ball at all. He looks good at Soton because they play a very simple system and noone tries any difficult passes. His work rate is invaluable to them.
Word was that Soton overpaid when they bought him for £12m and the wisdom was mark everyone else, let him have the ball and he’ll lose possession pretty quickly. Don’t think he’s suited to us, we want players good on the ball.
I certainly wouldn’t buy him now at what will be a very inflated price. Song is infinitely better. Clyne and Schneiderlin are the talents at Soton.
Song, I think there wasn’t a buy option which I believe is why us and Arsenal passed on him. We’re done with loans that don’t have buyout options it seems to me.
He might still be a target next summer though. Though wages might have been an issue in all of this given our current strategy.
Bojan has been around a couple of Italian clubs and failed miserably. His talent is undeniable but he just hasn’t found anywhere where it’s worked for him. Cheap maybe but all the evidence pointed to failure on multiple fronts and he was invisible for a lot of that game.
We just needed a mobile striker. We tried young (Borini), experienced (Aspas), mercurial (balotelli) but for the love of god can’t we just get a decent mobile forward who knows where the back of the net is? I would have taken Shane Long as a 3rd choice a couple of seasons ago – even when he kicked our butts while at WBA.
Berahino was apparently on £800/wk before he signed his contract last year. we should have gone in for him then. We really have had a our priorities wrong while we had 2 great forwards.
Song was available as an outright sale for around 8m, if memory serves. Agree with the rest, Bojan had performed poorly but Stoke still took the gamble. I’d have thought he ticked all the moneyball/sabremetrics boxes.
do you think we just balked at the wages then? Or perhaps just ran out of cash or would only go for him if we got an offer for Lucas?
Thing is, I agree he’s an invaluable player – possibly the most important beyond goal scorers but Brendan just hasn’t been inclined to buy a DM type player. Can is the closest he’s got and even then he wants him charging up the field! So what gives?
Here we go again. Another chance to attack a Liverpool hate figure because of a non-malicious tweet that could, if you want it to be, be construed as racist. I can just see it. But his mother is Jewish, but in Italy it’s not frowned upon to stereotype people the same way it is in England, but he’s not very bright – he didn’t realise it was racist. If there’s no intent then how can it be racist. Then the press get involved and highlight how he’s a role model and should know better. Then the FA get involved and ban him for longer than warranted to show they’re serious about racism. Then those people that think Britain has gone downhill because of ‘all them immigrants’ wade in with how disgusting the tweet was. Then the opposition fans become the moral bastions of society whilst singing about eating rats and dogs and god knows what other songs. Then we all put our super Mario t-shirts on. Then blah, blah, blah.
I’ve got issues. I have these feelings that we’re all human, that we all have the same basic needs, that there’s only good and bad in the world, that everyone I meet is actually really nice. But then on the other hand I can’t stand people. I just see them as a pathetic bunch of morons. I see Britain and its institutions as a complete joke. I can’t stand the hypocrisy of society.
Yep. Another non-news Mario story. He may not be the brightest tool in the box: is that news?
I hear you. He retweeted something he shouldn’t have. The cartoon does draw on racist stereotypes, but the intention is clearly humourous. The two most egregious examples of racial stereotyping are the insinuation that inside every black man is a basketball player trying to break out, and that Jews are money grabbers. Without those two references he probably gets a pass on the retweet. Being a black man with a Jewish mother should underscore the point that his actions weren’t racially motivated in anyway, but that’s unlikely to cut him much slack with the FA, I reckon.
But this is the Balotelli baggage, right? Hands up if you’re surprised.
There’s plenty of anti-Semitism around if people wanna make a stand against it. Mario Balotelli isn’t anti semitic. He is, however, an easy target for people to express their moral outrage. Again, I feel like I wanna go to war on his behalf because of the hypocrisy of it all. You know what will happen if I do though, I’ll swear he’s misunderstood then 2 months down the line he’ll probably beat up a dwarf in a night club or something equally reprehensible. I’m staying out of it.
Besides, he hasn’t scored enough goals to justify defending him :)
“beat up a dwarf in nightclub”
I just inhaled coffee reading that. Cheers.
Whatever the rights and wrongs, the irony of seeing some fusty, white, middle-aged farts pontificating on matters of race-hate before doling out their justice to the black son of a Jew who faces real hate on a daily basis, won’t be lost on me.
Spot on Brownie. And Robin: the dwarf-beating reference made me laugh too. Problem is I’m in a library.
Hilarious pod guys. Well done, very entertaining.
The thing that concerned me was did BR just chuck away what ever it was he’s been trying to do in these last 20 games we’ve played this season [that we’ve been losing mostly!].
Against Citeh we were a decent 451 shape and I thought we’d see more of that but extending more support to the one striker up top. But then it all went wrong losing Sturridge.
In the second half, did we throw caution to the wind and put a lot of bodies forward and leave ourselves exposed? I’m concerned that this “progress” will be at the expense of goals conceded again not withstanding the fact that we have been conceding anyhow.
A bit concerning as better teams may well hurt us. Stoke didn’t have too many chances but those they did were good ones and really they should have scored.