LET’S have a catch up. I’ve been banging on about being good in both boxes. Been banging on about how you can be great for 70 yards but what happens in front of goal defines results. Today, first half especially, Liverpool were second best, were dreadful, for the 70 yards. But they were good in both areas at key moments and Burnley lacked the quality you need. They lacked the cutting edge and that’s why Liverpool won.
It is convenient when the football buys into the thesis. Far too convenient. But it’s great when Liverpool win. When Liverpool win we all win, as a wise man would tell you.
From back to front then, that first half was like Burnley attack versus Liverpool defence, but Liverpool’s defence just stood firm. Sakho and Skrtel especially impressed across the 90. They won their battles and those battles are the key ones to win. Toure’s first half didn’t seem that problematic from where I was. Around us in the ground were lads discussing who would get the hook for Can. No one said Toure. However Can did well at centre half and Liverpool looked better second half or perhaps Burnley just played worse second half.
Felt like the game mostly passed Lucas and Gerrard by. Markovic poor, exposed. The front three all good in patches though Coutinho stood out.
Best thing that happened during the game was Sterling’s finish. The second best was Coutinho’s ball. That’s the difference and it is the key moment. Football is often a lot of waiting and then the moment. There it was. You only need your good players to be good for 30 seconds sometimes. Thirty seconds is all it takes. The third best was Lucas’s yellow. What a yellow it was. There wasn’t enough of that from Liverpool for me, yet there was desire. Liverpool found a way to do the business. Key moments.
Henderson’s got the hardest job in football currently. Little help, in or out of possession. Mad goal-kicks to battle 30/70s in the air for. Completely daft goal-kicks over and again. They make little sense.
Very little about Liverpool this season makes a great deal of sense. What’s clear is that these lads will fight for everything and that the manager will do or change anything. This is something you can build on, however ugly it has to be. I’ve been irritated this season by discussion of these players as though they are disinterested, of this manager as though he is too stubborn. If anything both have been guilty of caring too much and changing too much. Today though Liverpool battled through a mucky away against a side putting their balls on the line and like it or not they got the three points.
Last week I was banging on about process, this week output? Not quite. Always about to be a hypocrite, but not quite. We need to improve against Swansea quickly. Get the process back. Create create create. But now? Feels great. Great drive on the way in. Great boozer beforehand. Great result. Great boozer after – I got a pudding! Great drive back?
Snow? Loads of snow? Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.
Happy Christmas. Three points.
3 points indeed but what a scratchy performance. For someone who likes all out attacking play and wants us “to just buy goals” that must have been hellish to watch.
We never looked comfortable in defence, our transition was mainly poor and apart from the goal we were sterile up front.
However, 3 points, Merry Christmas…..indeed.
Another shocking performance but we’ll take 3 points all day. What today did was put to rest the myth that we’ve stumbled upon some magical formula: we have not. It’s ok to play poorly every now and then and it’s great when you play poorly and steal a win, the great sides did that loads. The great sides never had 2 keepers like Mignolet and Jones though. We must have the worst combined 1 and 2 in the Premier League. Good to see all that analysis of his weaknesses paid off today. The only thing that would give me succour were if Rodgers were to come out and praise Sakho’s performance. He was our best defender once again (Skrtl was diabolical in the first half, Neil), yet I can’t recall Brendan praising him since he came to the club. Can was very good today given he’s a midfielder, do we know why Kolo was subbed? Does the new philosophy state that the passing defender must always play on the right? Peculiar substitution, given Kolo was playing well whereas Gerrard and Lucas were not.
Happy festive season everyone, and thanks to everyone at TAW!
Sakho was great, it is plenty worrying when the manager doesn’t rate him (a French starting centre back) yet sees Lovren as the answer. Sakho has to start every game when fit, he isn’t perfect but no one will be in this system, but he is better than everyone else we have
I like it when we don’t play well and win. Better than playing great and drawing or losing. It shows the team is trying. It shows they’re growing a pair. It also helps confidence levels. If we can win when we perform like this………
Sounds like we got away with one today though. Didn’t see the game but elsewhere they don’t share Neil’s assessment of Skrtel. But we kept a clean one so he can’t have done that bad. Hope the Marko experiment’s put on the back burner for now. You can only get away playing a young player in a key position for so long. Teams find ways of exploiting a lad who can’t defend soon enough.
I’m really hoping to hear about a keeper signing any day soon. Preferably one who does the basics right and knows the league. Ruddy’s not the worst shout in that sense.
You’re easily pleased. A pudding managing our club and a pudding after the game – bliss eh Neil?
I thought that was a diabolical display – the worst since Palace [and look what they’ve done since they turned us over] and we got away with a real smash and grab today.
Can has got to start from now on – in place of Lucas. Sakho deserves a prolonged run and I concur with others re Skrtl today. His cushioned sideways header in our box in the 2nd half should have been buried by them.
Markovic was exposed badly and, as said above, better teams will exploit his non existent defending big time. Either play him as an attacking winger or not at all. Was getting really frustrated with Sterling’s first touch and control then he takes that goal very well. Gerrard, despite the advancing years, is still the only one capable of delivering a decent ball consistently.
I sincerely hope that the ‘transfer committee’ have a keeper lined up pronto because that mistake to allow the ball to run out for a corner was a sacking offense. Houllier got rid of Westerveld immediately after a howler at Bolton, bringing in 2 keepers, Dudek and Kirkland. Failure to act similarly and buy similar reinforcements would be beyond negligence on Rodgers part.
We have turned into a very average side who seem to be pinning our hopes on the quick return of an injury prone striker.
Still, we won and at least the shite lost today and the boos ringing round Goodison provided some festive warmth.
We were very poor, and extremely fortunate to come away with 3 points that we scarcely deserved. Gerrard offered nothing in that CM pairing against a workman like midfield opposition that pressed them into lots of mistakes. Stevie was better in this role against the gooners only because they largely let him play. BR simply needs to stop with playing Stevie in this role. This team has too many weaknesses in both ends of the pitch to allow for the “luxury” of Stevie playing for 90 minutes. And it’s not even a luxury, per say. It is a decision that comes with consequences against many teams–excepting those who are content to concede the ball and let us play freely in midfield.
Pay a daft amount of money to get Petr Cech on 1/1/15.
Keep Can with Skrtel and Sakho, let the experiment continue. It’s mad, and Rodgers is at his best doing mad things. Get Moreno back, let Marko roam the right.
Give Gerrard a breather, let Hendo play centrally with Lucas cleaning up.
Lallana, Sterling, and Balotelli. With Sterling positioned as a proper strike partner, maybe he can do something besides pop it off from the middle distance.
Hang tight for Sturridge, pay a daft amount for Lacazette (or some other pacy, mobile fellow from the continent) in the meantime.
Abundant Champions League money/prestige in summer market would more than cover whatever we don’t recoup from the Borini and Jones sales. Not to mention the strain it would put on the team we bump out of the CL.
Burnley battered us. Missed chances. Out fought us. Out thought us. High pressed us into having the ball along the backline (the boredom zone, where 71% of our possession for 2014/15 comes from) forever before lumping it 40 yards to lose possession.
We won because we had a collection of vastly superior individuals on the park who cost a lot more money to buy and pay than the opposition had at their disposal. And I stress the word individuals. They were much more a team. Much more a cohesive unit. Much more understanding of what their manager wants. Much more believing in his vision for achieving success.
Once again this season, during the first half I felt myself cringing. I was embarrassed to have paid money to watch such tripe. I felt pity for Sterling. Pity for Coutinho. They didn’t play well but they are a level above just about everyone else at the club in the current set up. If I was them I’d be on my way ASAP.
Imagine busting your balls game in game out to look up and see Ricky fucking Lampost Lambert standing offside again. Imagine looking back and seeing the shambles at the back. Imagine looking to your captain as he dishes out another bollocking to someone for another mistake he made. Imagine looking to the dugout to see a cheap imitation of David Brent.
As I said after Arsenal, the marginal upturn in performance has come in spite of Rodgers, not because of him. Sooner or later, he’ll get what he deserves. Unfortunately that’ll mean us, as fans, watching the club draw and lose consistently from now til May unless a miracle appears out of nowhere. Ochoa, you say? Ha, I reply.
£120m spent in the summer.
In December, in 9th place, with a minus goal difference, 25 points from 18 games, 7 points and 19 goals off 4th.
Markovic, an attacking midfielder, playing left wing back.
Henderson, a box to box centre midfielder, playing right wing back.
Gerrard, looking at least double his 34 years, playing every fucking minute of every fucking game.
Sakho, French International, only playing because the manager’s man, Lovren, is injured.
Bad Jones, who couldnt save his homework on a usb pen, playing in goal. Simon Mignolet, a grown man who struggles to kick a football 60 yards, playing in goal.
Playing 3-5-2 so that Lovren will have 2 mates to cover his fuck ups.
Playing 3-5-2 so Gerrard will have 2 mates to cover his fuck ups.
Being completely outplayed by then bottom of the league QPR.
Being completely outplayed by then second bottom of the league Crystal Palace.
Being completely outplayed by then bottom of the league Leicester, even with a man advantage.
Being completely outplayed by then third bottom of the league Burnley.
Always being told by the clueless guesser in charge that no matter the result, we deserved to win. If we do ok in the middle third at Old Trafford but lose 3-0, he’s happy with the performance. If we get embarrassed in the middle third at Turf Moor, he’s happy with the performance.
Solely because of the money for next years UCL, this was the biggest season at Anfield in decades. It was slightly fucked in the summer. It’s been majorly fucked since then by 95% of the decisions Rodgers has made. Now, it can’t be unfucked (barring the aforementioned miracle).
Now I wonder whether I ever get to see Liverpool Football Club win the Premier League in my lifetime. Still, it’s only football, eh?
Rodgers doesn’t know what he’s doing, and he’s way out of his depth when it comes to handling players. I can’t see FSG keeping him beyond this season. The question is: who is likely to replace him? No proven manager will want to work under FSG’s moneyball bollocks.
Take out the negatives and you’ve just written his cv. I am absolutely astonished that he still has supporters. Halfway through the season and he still hasn’t got a plan. As I’ve said ad nauseam (and I’m just as sick of saying it) he is absolutely clueless. As a spiteful man myself I believe he is guilty of non-selecting out of spite, whether against a player or against a player’s advocate. Reina or someone vaguely competent in goal could have won us the title last season and solved most of our problems this season, if only because the defence could have some confidence in him. But Rodgers penchant for scapegoating would deter any keeper from signing. And now it’s the ground staff that are making Anfield a good away bet.
This is not a BAD squad, certainly not a mid-table squad. But it’s self- confidence has been leached by a Conference-level manager – and mid-table Confetence at that.
Seriously, what is the fucking point of supporting a team – any team – if when they win all you can do is bitch and moan, reflecting a nauseating sense of self-entitlement? (Note, I did not say that winning means we can ignore the faults and should avoid all analysis; that would be tantamount to sticking our heads in the sand.) But if you can’t extract some enjoyment from victory – even one as imperfect as this – then team sport probably isn’t for you.
Brownie, your optimism is admirable.
However,to quote the great S.Kelly :
”If we see good football, we’ll say so. If we see bad football, we’ll say so. If we see more bad than good, we’re not going to stop because it’s repetitious.
When a manager comes out with horseshit like “Brad Jones has done very well” you’re duty-bound to block your nostrils from such ordure and ask the man responsible to stop spreading muck.”.
This is LFC and we have a manager who is out of his depth.
Then you have to at least include the context within which the team is playing badly. You can’t just say, “Oh, well, we spent X amount of pounds and are somehow sitting at 9th place with a negative goal differential.” I think anyone would admit that with Sturridge up top and Sterling helping Coutinho and Lallana in the creating role (with all three taking shots and trying to get open as well) would have been far more dangerous.
Do I think Rodgers is perfect? No, of course not. For instance, I’d much rather see us save Stevie G’s legs so he can play as a proper no. 8, albeit for less games (alternately, keep him as an impact substitute). I’d rather see Hendo play as the box-to-box midfielder and be given a chance to properly transition to the captainship he’s been awarded. I’d also rather see Moreno played as the left wing back in games like Friday’s. All that having been said, I think it’s amazing that, so soon after our dreams were realized, supporters are sincerely saying things like we’re winning *in spite* of Rodgers.
With respect, Pierre, I’m glad you qualified yourself. While you have every right to still be happy if Liverpool win, we’ll at least know where you stood when it comes time for Rodgers’ contract to be renegotiated.
OK, so the 3-4-3 was fun for a bit, but I think that’s enough now.
Toure is a great CB to have to bomb in when your other CB’s are underperforming, but he never sticks it out well in a run of games.
Markovic isn’t a LWB and Hendo isn’t a RWB – they’ve done alright, but again, no point pushing your luck when players are covering in the wrong place. Moreno could do the LWB job quite happily I think, but we’ve not got anyone to get up and down the right flank. So adjust the system before we’re shoehorning in too many players to a mad system that needs performances all over.
And any match you start Gerrard and Lucas together is leaving yourself up to fate. Toss a coin – heads they’ll dovetail together as if they’re mentally linked, tails they’ll be easily outrun and dragged around midfield.
Finding it all a bit tiring now! Everyone won today. It was critical that we won and we did. Surely, that’s something to be pleased about. Burnley have been on a good run at home. It’s not a foregone conclusion. I feel much happier today than I did after the Arsenal match. My philosophy is if you win then you look for the positives. It’s that simple.
A thought popped into my head whilst watching the match, although in the thought I was in Rodger’s head. This isn’t working, it’s making me look a knob, how can I get Simon back in goal without looking even more stupid. I know!! Brad, I’ve been good to you can you do me a favour. Then get Skrtel to take the goal kick so everyone will know. When you come off, shake your head a lot like you’re gutted. Don’t bother getting anyone to look at it in the medical room just go and sit on the bench and continue to shake your head a lot.
Remember last season when we all praising Dr Steve Peters. Jesus, we’re so desperate for any angle of success we’ll believe anything that’s fed to us. He’s clearly done nothing for anyone this season. What was Mignolet doing when he let the ball run out. Beyond comprehension. Actually, I thought he did ok today. He punched / came for 3. The first was an appalling punch but the second was quite an important one and the third he actually caught. Made a good save too. So, apart from those bizarre lapses I thought he looked less timid (though he looked in shock after his howler). Maybe the break has done him so good.
Regarding Skrtel, as I made a point about him last week I don’t particularly want to do him down again, after all, I want him to do well but I felt today was a perfect example of the point I was trying to make last week. He played really well especially second half but then he did make 2 bad mistakes that against better opposition could have changed the game. When I was teaching kids from the age of 7 I’d tell them to stand up. If you jump 2 yards passed your man then you’re out the game. It’s so basic. He had a good game though. I don’t think Coutinho was necessarily brilliant today but he certainly looks our most likely to create that little spark. Disappointed in Markovic. I was impressed with some of his play, in that I saw tiny flashes again of how he can be good for us. Got a bit cocky today on the back of some good performances and forgot to do the basics. A bit flash for me.
The last few days I’ve given a lot of thought to some of Neil’s views. Been discussing them and I’m coming round to the idea. I’m referring to just score loads of goals and if you concede less than you score then that’s ok and because we can’t compete with some of the others we can’t take the recognised route to success because we can’t be as good as them. Well, after watching Chelsea this morning I couldn’t agree more. They’re becoming like a machine. So impressive. What’s worse is the team spirit. They pressed in packs all game, especially in the middle, and when a player got subbed the whole bench and back room staff high fived them but like they meant it. It’s probably been evident for a while but I only noticed it all today. We’re nowhere near them in a conventional sense. My feeling is, even if you’re going for goals which I think we should do, you still have to have that decent spine. It’s not enough to buy goals when we’ve got that spine. Ok, we’re agreeing for a different way to them but Chelsea’s is so solid.
One thing Neil, I hope you’re not gonna try and change the narrative of the season so far. I don’t want to bring anything up as an example because I feel it’s in the past now but there have been a couple of examples that could be classed as stubbornness that hindsight has probably backed up. I feel it was a justified shout from anyone who did. Eventually things changed though and he has to take credit for that if it works out but lets not pretend everything’s been fine and dandy all season, please!
Just finally, it struck me watching MOTD how many previous targets of ours seem to be doing well. Problem is, we’re linked to everyone so it means nothing but Sanchez, Bertrand, Erikson, Sigurdsson and Alderweireld all looking decent. Swansea’s gonna be tough. We’ll need to step it up but I’m sure we will.
That Rodgers is stubborn is beyond debate. The 3-4-3 was designed to fit Lovren and Gerrard into the team. Enough said.
Trial and error is not the way to manage a team in the EPL, let alone the CL. And yanking Jones for no good reason apart from his playing as he always plays and replacing him with a player who was dropped ‘indefinitely’ for playing as he always plays and who proceeds to play as he always plays – if not even worse – is the worst kind if man management I have ever seen. Public humiliation is not a great motivator.
A win is a win?? Perhaps.
And faeces doesn’t stink if you’re a dog.
Played great against Arsenal, finishing aside, lucky to get a point. Woeful today for the most part but an absolutely VITAL 3 Pts. Result over performance any day lads. Enjoy it , it’s Christmas.
I freely admit I cant read games the way TAW boys can, or some of the people commending here. I don’t pick up formations too well either as players appear all over the pitch. So for me to notice that we are constantly being bullied off the ball in midfield (30%) , give the ball to an opposition player (30%) or go backwards (30%) means we’re really easy to play against.
Teams like Aston Villa, West Ham, Burnley, Sunderland, Swansea (Category C teams for want of a better word) know to play a high tempo, pressing midfield and crowd us out.
We need to change tactics against these Cat C teams, go long ball, cut out the midfield, stop all this playing the ball out from the back nonsense, imagine Balotteli and Lambert both up front heading on those long balls.
Watching Man Utd, a City and Chelsea (Cat A) today, they seem to have loads of time and space, loads of men piling into the box, options. This is because teams facing them drop back, deep to protect their box.
Look at John Terry’s goal yesterday, or Giroud against us an example, look how many of their players are in the box.
Football is fairly simple, put the ball into their goal, if you’ve no genius who can do this on his own, then you need a team getting the ball into a crowded box by any means possible. Bypass midfield for 4 months, see teams change tactics against us
Formations are not immediately apparent, you are correct. Additionally, the official website of the Barclays Premier League doesn’t do the casual/newer watcher any favors by routinely misplacing players on the graphics that show the teams. They might get the formation right, but it doesn’t help when, e.g., Coutinho is shown as the striker.
Where your solution to handling “Cat C” teams is concerned, I disagree. I think trying for long passes is the last thing we should be trying for. It didn’t work well for us against Burnley or any other team with a modicum of situational awareness. Stevie’s long-range bombs work precisely because they’re not constantly attempted.
What we need is an increase in confidence and mobility. Too often our passing game is static: the player passing is static, and the intended recipient is static as well. This gives the opposition tons of time to crowd the recipient before the ball arrives and to disrupt the player attempting the pass, as well. What we’ve seen as a result of that is unreasonably high turnover ratios and passes sent right back to their origin or the back line. We need our players to try to move into space better, both to make themselves available for passes and to make *others* available as well. This simply isn’t happening.
If we start being more confident and dynamic in our movement, it will become much harder for any team to press high or with, multiple players. You’ll see a shift to more zonal marking, and this in turn will give us additional, easier looks at taking a shot.
Mmm, I’ve been watching Liverpool since my first game, Tommy Smith’s testimonial. I was in Rome and The Heysel Stadium, I’ve remember the Kop when men openly pissed on the terrace at half time, I remember not watching matches in the centre of the Kop because staying healthy was more important.
We spent the whole game moving up and down the terrace and ducking under the barrier when the crush really piled on.
I’ve seen them come and go. (I’m establishing my credentials here).
We did play ANY long ball against Burnley, and you can’t grow confident without winning, we need to batter a few teams 3:0, 3:1 4:0 to grow confident.
We’re not good enough to play like Barcelona, Cat C teams crowd us in midfield and just pick the ball of us, we need to play over the top of them, Cat A teams play their own game, so we can have more space, like Arsenal, ManU and Chelsea, then we need plan B or is that plan A …. Another plan anyhow
‘DIDN’t play any long ball’…duh, bit pissed tonight
I do not see how recognising that Brendan Rodgers is completely unsuited to manage Liverpool is somehow being disloyal to the club. It us perfectly possible to be an absolutely steadfast supporter whilst being unhappy at the way it being run. Players don’t buy themselves, neither do they pick themselves. I don’t remember calls for Roy Hodgson to be given three years to sort things out (and would never have advocated it anyway), but he was brought in when we were on our frigging knees, and so desperately unhappy that we were pathetically grateful when Joe Cole lowered his standards and joined us. Kenny Dalglish dragged us out of the depths of despair and restored our self-respect, won SOME silver, and in a season without Suarez, Gerrard and Lucas for long periods and in which we hit the woodwork thirty-odd times, bequeathed a buoyant and optimistic squad to Rodgers, who had inherited a Swansea squad in much the same condition. Last season was thrilling but very little of it was Rodgers doing.
After finishing second and conceding relegation-level goals, the bleeding obvious was totally ignored – if indeed it was even recognised – and now we are joyous at beating a cellar-dweller 1-0, console ourselves with a 0-3 loss to Manu by saying ‘we could have won if only…’, and now EVERY team in the EPL fancies itself against us, even at Anfield.
I would support Liverpool football club even if we sank to Leeds or Forest fate; but I can’t support Brendan Rodgers. He’s a cartoon manager but he’s only funny to
Absolutely spot on – and you are obviously a Red that has seen it all.
Suarez carried the side last year
[Btw, I probably stood next to you in the pen in the early 70’s].
Man Utd was rock bottom for me and I suspect I won’t feel as bad about the footy as I did after that game all season. For anyone fuming it’s worth remembering being shite, winning and being funny is better than just being shite. Mignolet coming on for Brad Jones then hitting his first kick into touch was hilarious. If you couldn’t laugh at that first half then you’d have ended up crying and who wants to spend their Boxing Day openly weeping over football. Anyway, hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas.
I remember when I was a kid and we lost 11-0 away to
Birmingham (division 2 days). I wanted to die!!! But I fronted up
In the boys pen the next week, the jeers of my Blue and Manu supporting mates still ringing in my ears. Brendan would have said ‘I thought we were outstanding.’
Let’s be serious about buying players for a moment. Brendan Rodgers has spent close to a quarter of a billion dollars since he inveigled himself into LFC. Despite his oblique suggestions that players who haven’t worked out were ‘not my players, I didn’t want them!’, the truth is that he boasted that had the last say, and so he can’t pass the buck, in truth.
FSG are business men, into us for a nice dividend after tidying up and restoring equilibrium. Would any of you advocating patience and understanding honestly put your savings into Rodgers hands and say ” I forgive you for selling my house and wasting my money on gambling, but you say you know what went wrong so I’ll give you my bank book next month…” ? Well? Would you?? Do you think FSG will?