NEIL ATKINSON was joined by Gareth Roberts, Paul Johnson and Andy Heaton after a momentum killing 0-0 draw against Guy Poyet’s Sunderland.
What didn’t Liverpool do to break down The Wearsiders and can they get a result midweek against Basel to progress into the next round of The Champions League?
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Weird editing and sound issues lads, starting 10/11 minutes in. First time I’ve ever noticed it. Normally its 100%.
Paul was spot on about the Leicester performance. When they went down to 10 it was our worst 20 minute spell of whats turning into a farce of a season. We just couldn’t keep the ball or stop them from creating. The worst team in the league. Down to 10 men. We were even more shambolic than normal. Embarrassing.
Gareth is spot on about the manager and Lucas. The selection of the Brazilian is symbolic of Rodgers’ complete loss of faith in himself, which has ironically led in an upturn in results. Neil is correct when he says our fragility comes from Rodgers. The second worst thing is football is when the players don’t believe in the methods of the boss. That’s happened. The worst thing in football is when the boss doesnt believe in the methods of the boss. That’s happened too.
Im not really sure how we beat Basel at home. It is bananas we are odds on. The more I’ve looked at Basel, the more I realise they are poor. So so poor. And I have zero faith we’ll get the job done, especially knowing the team Rodgers is going to pick. Suppose there’s two ways we try to win.
1. Do what we haven’t done this season and fly at teams and try to overwhelm them in the first 10-15mins, getting the crowd up further. Get a goal. Different ball game. Then Basel hopefully shit themselves.
2. Do what we’re doing for 75 minutes, i.e. making sure nothing happens. Be the most boring team in football history. Then launch a siege, preferably at the Kop end for the final 10-15 minutes. Then rely on Basel shitting themselves.
I’d love to have a go at 1, but if either are to transpire, 2 is much more likely.
PS: Now that I think about possible qualification, it’s dawned on me we face humiliation if we get a Munich or a Barca. PSG and Atletico would just “routine” us. We could beat Leverkusen. Then maybe a Porto or something. Fuck, we end up in a semi final. Just had a check on the price for us to win it. 70/1. Expected 200/1. We’re 350/1 to win the league. Expected 1000/1. It’s December. Urgh.
It is December Chris, and you want to try living in Finland. Got up to walk the dog this morning: pitch black. At 8 a.m. Grey gloaming was about as good it as it got today.
Good show, though nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. Especially not on the radio/internet.
Not sure 4-6-0 is the way to go when you need a win and stretching the pitch is nothing new. It’s the way the Dutch played and the way Cruyff had Barcelona playing. I foresee a slight problem: we’re not that good.
We were poor on Saturday, utterly clueless in the attacking third. Again. But we were solid. Most people argue that good teams build from the back so we need to show some patience. Kolo and Lucas played well again and we seem to be developing some defensive/structural nous. The next two games should prove telling on that front.
We need to talk about Phil: he’s playing like a complete fuckwit at the moment: how can you go 180 minutes without realising Rickie Lambert isn’t Daniel Sturridge? Play to his strengths or don’t play at all! I’d give Lallana or Sterling a run in the free role until Sturridge is back, Phil just ain’t getting it. I hope he proves me wrong, but it looks like he has no end product at the moment. Play Henderson or Borini as runners, wide right and pray that Coutinho comes good again when we have more movement ahead of him.
I don’t like some of the narratives either. We all know there are plenty of fans who’ve always thought Rodgers is a charlatan but it doesn’t help right now. What is a worry, however, is both his peculiar decision making and, more disturbingly his apparent inability to shape events. Last season he was solving problems within games and in between games. This season fans are diagnosing problems and solutions before the manager! (This may sound absurd, but we are all calling for Lucas and Kolo weeks ago). The last thing we need is a reactive manager.
Finland cold? Try fuckin Barnsley on a Sunday afternoon. You don’t know the meaning of the word.
Well it gets to -40 here Robin. Barnsley, you say? Luxury.
Jesus! That’s cold so a fair point. Mentioning Barnsley and luxury in the same sentence isn’t though. Believe me, when our coach broke down on a dark, wet and windy Barnsley roundabout I’d rather have been parachuted into northern Finland in just my undies than sit there for an hour.
AHem…its 23 degrees here in Qatar though I have to get up at 4am to walk the dog before work (thats 1am UK time folks!! ) :)
Unit of measurement makes a difference. 23F is freezing, 23C is nice.
Chris, just to clarify, you mention farce, shambolic, embarrassing, complete loss of faith, fragility, zero faith, most boring team in football history, we face humiliation, are you saying you’re not confident about tomorrow?
Ha! Can’t believe we’re odds on. We still might do it because, as I’ve said, Basel are average at best. But I doubt it as beating average teams has been beyond us since April.
Haha, that’s the spirit mate!
I think there were two important points raised in this podcast.
I’ve been saying for a while that it seems a deliberate plan to get to half time without conceding and in some ways I agree with it. I honestly don’t think we’ve got the confidence to go 1-0 down and win at the minute. It may be more down to the fact that we can’t score than confidence but whatever. Ok, Leicester goes against that but as a fan I certainly didn’t have the confidence we’d come back and win that one. I think Leicester is one of the only games we could have conceded and won.
It goes back to the Hull game on the back of conceding two against QPR. For me, this isn’t a case of making the narrative fit, I think that’s the plan. If that is the plan then I completely agree with the point Steve Graves made to whoever. We could of, should of beaten Hull, Mario should of scored near the end. Then at Newcastle nothing happened for an hour but in the final 30 mins we could have just as easily won as them winning. Stoke could have gone either way in the second half but I think we shaded it more than the game stats suggest and Saturday we never looked like conceding but couldn’t score. So, we couldn’t carry on conceding 2’s and 3’s and win games at the minute. We had to go back to basics and tighten up the back. As the above games showed doing that will mean losing a few, winning a few and drawing a few but hopefully as we’re better than the Hulls, Newcastles, Stokes, Leicesters and Sunderlands of this world then we’ll win more than we’ll lose and get a few draws. I’ve been happy with that strategy if it is one. I’m not thinking about the future, just the next game. We know why we can’t just go out and win. We’ve said it all season – at any level of football you can’t win without strikers. It doesn’t make for happy viewing but I’m happy to see us at least try to avoid defeat with the hope that we then nick a winner.
So, I agree with Steve Graves point and accept that’s gonna be the case. Just to contradict myself it brings me onto the second important point raised. We clearly ran out of time against Hull and Sunderland (and almost against Stoke). I thought the point about flying out of the blocks for 15 minutes was a good one. Maybe we should be trying the strategy in reverse. Go 1-0 up and then keep it tight. Obviously, we risk conceding if we’re going to throw men forward but It’s something I’d like to see us try. Like I say, we’re better than most opposition and at Anfield we’ll win more than we’ll lose. If we go 1 down at least we have time to rectify it. We didn’t have time against Newcastle. So just to summarise those points. Yeah, keep it tight even if it means games like Saturday’s but maybe think about winning it first then keep it tight.
I thought there was a case to swap Lucas for Allen after around 65 mins on Saturday. Lucas has done well and tightened us up but I’m a big fan of Joe Allen. I think he can play that anchor role but offer something to get us moving forward. I’m convinced he’s under rated by Liverpool fans. He’s one of those players that’s very effective but not necessarily noticeably so.
P.s, just a point about Friday’s podcast. I was thinking, when do I want to see performances improve as well as getting the win. I reached the conclusion I just want the points in December. Then in January / February there’s cup games as well as important league games and I’ll just take the win. March and April could be huge for us in the run in so I’d happily just take the points. The reality is and the conclusion reached was I’m writing this season off almost. I just want top 4 and get out the CL group. I don’t care about the circumstances just that we achieve those goals. We’ll be in a better place next season.
P.p.s, For all those that will moan about Saturday, spare a thought for me. I watched two 0-0’s this weekend. Admittedly, the second one away at Barnsley in the FA Cup was more of a celebration than Saturday but believe me it was cold over there and not much to cheer. Looking forward to the draw tonight at 7pm. Liverpool v Chester/ Barnsley would be nice.
All about the top 4 for me. Obviously want us to win tomorrow, but its meaningless if we don’t make the top 4. Agree with the rest of your post though.
I’m embarrassed to say this but we need the money bearing in mind it’s unlikely we’ll be in it next year. More so, I think we need the momentum of a win to see us into the new year. That’s the most important factor. I said a few weeks ago, once the dominoes start falling then there’s nothing to cling to even. The group has been poor for us but surely we should expect ourselves to beat Basel. If we don’t then the screw tightens for everyone, Rodgers, the players and the fans. So, I agree top 4 is more of a priority but where we’re at now means qualifying for the knock out stages of the CL is intrinsically linked to getting top 4. We need the momentum now or that gap will certainly get irreparably bigger.
If we don’t make the CL next year then we will set ourselves back 5/10 years. I’m not exaggerating!
City and Chelsea are pretty much nailed on for top 4. Utd, even though still performing poorly, are finding a degree of consistency and suddenly find themselves in 3rd and who’s gonna bet against Arsenal once again finishing top 4. These teams will just pull the ladder up from beneath them and I doubt any other team will break into the top 4 for some time considering the massive increase in money starting the 2015/16 season.
Undoubtedly Utd will spend again in Jan to ensure finishing top 4 while Arsenal splashed out on Sanchez in the summer who’s winning them games on his own. They are only 2 points above us. Where would we be if we had pushed the boat out for Sanchez instead??
If we hold out any hope we have in top 4 then we need to spend in Jan and target 3/4th ahead of Arsenal. Gotta agree with the guys on the podcast who mentioned it’s at either end of the pitch that we really struggle. A new keeper and striker and we could suddenly look very different. My personal choice would be Cech and Luis Adriano, both available for around the £7mil mark if reports are to be believed.
Cech is a leader and a winner. Exactly what we need in our defence. He has top class ability and the confidence of experience to back it up. At 32 we could easily get another 4 seasons out of him. The man can win points for us on his own.
Luis Adriano is the top scorer in the CL. His contract is up in the summer and at 27 he too should have at least 4 more seasons in him. Over the last 5 seasons his strike rate is better than 1 in 2.
Would these 2 players be able to help us finish top 4? I believe so and for less than £15mil.
However my concern is our transfer strategy. Would it allow us to buy 2 players who would want decent wages but with little resale value? Herein lies the problem.
If they help us to a top 4 finish, which in turn means staying in the top 4 for several more yrs in all liklihood, then they will repay our investment ten fold but will FSG look at it that way?
Will we instead go out and spend £7mil each on 4 different 19/20yr olds who may or may not come good in 2017, by which stage we’ll have been out of the CL for several years meaning the bigger clubs will swoop in and cherry pick any player that actually comes good???
I don’t think there’s a policy of not buying ‘older’ players. We pursued Dempsey and we bought Lambert. I’d guess the price and wages have to be right though. If we could get Cech then that would be a good call. He’s not what he was but he’s certainly good enough still.
I agree it’d set us back and it’s vital we get top 4. I can’t see where this 5/10 year figure comes from though. Arsenal will still be up for the taking next season. They’ll have to replace Wenger soon or they’ll drive him out. Then they’ll get a shock. We’ll have the potential to get top 4 next season whatever the outcome of this season.
Robin, if we don’t make CL this year we won’t make it for a few more years at least. Unless of course FSG change their transfer strategy. Mark my words.
No chance of top 4 mate …. at all, no straws left in that bale – ship has sailed and all of that.
We are [email protected] – Rodgers has seen to that. Where we are at the moment is where we’ll finish, 9th at best.
Rodgers has reduced us to the laughing stock of the league. All this chat about strengthening in January is a complete joke. If FSG had ANY sense whatsoever, they would not let him spend another penny on more tat. Rodgers is a disgrace to football management, he can’t spot a player to save his life – all his buys, and I mean all of them are shockingly bad, or ok if you are Sunderland or West Brom.
No, we’re back in the dark ages until Rodgers is given the boot. We won’t beat Basle, I’m actually putting money on a defeat with a free Skybet. If we can’t beat Sunderland, or even score, at home then you know we’re in trouble. Rodgers said that the team were “excellent” – do we really need a deluded fool at the helm of this once great Club?
Talking of the Spanish Inquisition……
There’s another narrative I don’t like. Today’s Echo talked about Saturday’s game being a glimpse into a post-Gerrard future. Not good. This isn’t a go at the skipper (though I’ve been guilty of that in the past), but at the reporters. We’re in a post-Suarez future, we had a glimpse of a post-Gerrard future last season and it looked ok. It’s Suarez and Sturridge we’re really missing. We don’t need to be putting all that pressure on the skipper again, he’s too old to take that role on again and frankly has had enough of that kind of shite throughout his career: other players need to step up and take responsibility,
Is anyone else bemused by the manager’s refusal to play Can either from the start or the bench btw? I know I am. He looked a powerhouse against Spurs and Chelsea.
Not any more. I’m just bemused.
It is mad how shit most of our competitors are doing. No idea how Everton are managing to be beneath us. Arsenal have had Sanchez playing as well as everyone imagined back in the summer and they’re still very Arsenal. Utd have bought superstars for big money but haven’t racked up the points considering how easy their start looked before the season started. Spurs are Spurs. Which leads me to us…
It’s not pretty viewing at the minute and it’s night and day compared to the best of last season obviously but Rodgers is looking to just dog it out before getting back to his ideal second half of the season with Sturridge back, Gerrard deep, Moreno coming back into the fold dead high up the pitch, etc. Basically Spurs away.
Andy’s spot on with the Lucas/Lambert thing. If Rodgers was seeing the current direct setup as anything more than a last resort, stop gap to avoid a crisis he’d have signed a defensive midfielder at some point and spent on Boney/kept Carroll. I’m really glad Brendan’s compromising just now because I still want him as manager come 2015/16 and it’s that clear cut for me. Neil sort of addressed this with the “this is his actual job, not fanatsy football” shout but if he says to them ‘Right lads, you’re awful just now but go out and do 433 Barca stuff from when I first came in and expectations were much lower, regardless’ and we get turned over in the Stoke, Leicester and Sunderland games, Mike Marsh is caretaker for the Basel game. Was annoyed with him over Borini though. Not having another forward to bring on off the bench in a game like that is basically negligent. It’s weird; you’d think he’d at least want to give him one last go because along with Allen, he’s probably the only player you can point to and say ‘he was definitely a Rodgers’ signing’.
Next couple of weeks feel so huge it’s scaring me a little bit. Bournemouth more for Rodgers because if we can get through that I fancy him to go for it just to win a trophy. For me, Basel, United and Arsenal are massive in terms of how Liverpool are perceived for the next few of years. Go out of the Champions League at the group stage after 5 years away and then let our top 4 rivals look as though they’re getting away from us then last season’s brilliance has gone to waste and we are just a flash in the pan to the players that we’d look to sign to kick us on next summer. If we’re only ever in the market for potential and journeymen in this self-fulfilling prophecy of not looking to pay the top players top wages, competing at the elite level for any sustainable amount of time will be highly unlikely and the only reason why I’m not saying impossible is because of how unlikely last season seemed a year ago.
Reckon Rodgers is only in a job because Arsenal, Everton and Spurs have been so abysmal.
Utd have been shite too, they’ve been shite tonight again, but even though they’ve been shite, they’re 5 or 7 points and a load of goals better than us. Because we’ve been extra super-shite.
Wish I hadn’t watched United tonight; feel physically sick at how spawny they were. Southampton were so much the better team it defied belief until Koeman started subbing decent players off and leaving the weak links on. Forster was very Mignolet for the winner too. I’m trying to think of a team that have played as abysmally as they did tonight and still won. Us when we fluked it at QPR possibly but even we at least had Coutinho coming on looking decent which is one more player playing well than United had tonight. And apparently that’s their fifth win on the bounce somehow, which flew right under my radar. They are gonna finish like 3rd as well, aren’t they? Oh God…
A late and very admirable Australian player once says that one if the beauties of football is that it is the unfairest of games. You can score in the first minute and defend for 89 and win. Nowt wrong with that. We can’t, 5
I feel Rodgers has until CL failure and the top pack pulls away until he’s fired. He may actually prefer the fat wad of fuck-off cash to working for the club. It’s not as if management failure affect job prospects in the game. If Basel lose tonight, I would expect Rodgers to at least see the season out, but a failure will cost him his job. Either in January or the end of the season, depending on whether FSG want to hit reset now or later.
Great stuff as always my babies.
yes, BR panicked instead of just replacing gerrard with lucas to see if that back 4 would be better he changed everything and chucked out all the newbies. not smart.
But now he’s fixed the back and playing gerrard in a better way (not perfect), he needs to address movement up front – what is missing for us that allows midfielders to follow in.
That’s the fix needed and just playing Lambert is not going to do it – so we can’t score. And adding Gerrard means 2 old sets of legs. If you’re not playing Borini cos you want him to go in January, so you can spend his money elsewhere (clearly a FSG condition) then your alternative is Markovic but UP TOP AS A FORWARD. LIKE HE DID FOR PARTISAN BELGRADE FOR 3 SEASONS!!!
BR just doesn’t see these things, he sees markovic as another Sterling but he needs to address the problem of no movement. Bet Lambert doesn’t get another goal. you can’t count the stuff in the first few games, lots of players get that from the change and newness but it usually doesn’t continue unless they’re top players.
So BR’s chucking away the season, first by not sorting out the DM thing when we needed it done costing us a ton of points and now by not addressing the movement up front.
The interesting question about the summer is if Borini had gone, did we have another target that we didn’t go for in the end?
The problem with that, mate, is that very few people in the world know the answer so it’s just conjecture.
0-0 at home to Sunderland. Where are we? Nothing tells you more than the fact that this was the last game on Match Of The Day, deemed the least entertaining of three 0-0 draws. Fuck me it’s grim. We’re in the tunnel let’s hope that light isn’t an oncoming train.
The way things are going they’ll be replacing the ‘Golden Goal’ with ‘Time of the first shot – if any’
Sorry, need to say this. Liverpool may not have played like ‘Liverpool’, but Sunderland certainly didn’t play like ‘Sunderland’ either, like the ‘Sunderland’ that is apparantly the most embarassing team in the whole world not to score against. They played better, a whole lot better than that ‘Sunderland’.
Completely baffled by the Borini exclusion. We have 1 other fit striker and Borini is most defo a Rodgers buy so no “committee issues” with this one. The 1 other fit striker has played 5 x 90min matches in the last 2 weeks with probably another one tonight. It’s simply bizarre and its situations like this I don’t trust Rodgers to spend any more money.
I assumed Borini was cropped? When you have no forwards other than Lambert, you’d think he’d at least make the bench in case Lambert gets injured. It also makes you wonder why Rodgers doesn’t drag in someone from the U21s. Is there really nothing available outside his first team squad?
perfect example of Rodgers disgraceful ineptitude in the transfer market the way he has/is treating Borrini. He splashed out £11m for him and refuses to give him a chance, and he’s all bitter and twisted because Borrini (quite rightly) refused to join Sunderland.
Why did you buy him in the first palce Rodgers you useless clown. I’m sick of this guy and his pontificating like he is the new Shankly. He talks sh!te and is being found out. The only silver lining is that if we lose tonight then he’s out the door, with a boot up the backside.
Bring back Rafa!!!!
Really can’t see a win here. Even a lunchtime beer or two didn’t change my sombre mood. Gerrard up top, and to do a good ol’ Stevie dive for a pen will do.
Not with this fucking lineup. Dejan Lovren and Borini not even on the bench. Jesus. Time to start praying…..
We’re only 6 points off 4th though lads, so its ok. We’re definitely going to play better. Its just a bad start.
Isn’t that what you’re supposed to say?
No? That was a few weeks ago?
Rodgers can fuck off. He’s been badly exposed.
But let’s hear what those defending him have to say. Probably something about the sending off and a great last 15 minutes, completely ignoring what a fucking shambles we were for the previous 75 minutes, for the previous 5 group games, for the previous 4 months. Don’t even think Leeds went from so good to so bad so quickly.
Up you come Brownie lad, tell me why Im still so wrong.
Putting the Madrid games aside, I don’t think you can defend 5 points from the 12 available against Ludogorets and Basel. As Gerrard alluded to we didn’t go out just because of tonight. I’d argue we went out when we got beat after a soft set piece out in Switzerland. They aren’t very good but had movement in the final third and knew how to create a chance. Not sure our performances even deserve the Europa place over Ludogorets to be honest.
Not the reason why we went out and I’m not using it as an excuse for Rodgers but I’ll just get it out the way: the ref was shocking and mostly (Lovren should have went for a second yellow as well which he bottled) in their favour. Gave us nothing till the free kick. The red’s whatever but Sterling getting fouled constantly without cards coming out for their players was like Mason last week.
I’m still a fan of Rodgers because last season’s football was *that* good but he’s had two ‘nearly’ big European nights now: One was Zenit when his subs killed us off and tonight with the dismal starting line up and first 45. Picking a side to keep it tight when we were the ones who needed the win and having to waste a sub putting the full back on who’s better at attacking at half time was the kind of eccentric behaviour Benitez used to be slaughtered for as ‘cracking up’. That first half is the most limited and arguably more importantly most limiting Lambert has looked to this team. Thought he was good against Stoke but watching him tonight was painful. I just felt bad for the fella. Gerrard was looking his age whenever he had to chase the ball and we were over reliant on Sterling yet again.
Sunday might be the first United/Liverpool game were both teams are fucking shit since… When? Pre-Shankly and Busby? It’s going to be an awful game but they’ve got a Van Persie who’s just about in form again and he only needs the one sniff at goal. Might fuck Christmas off and go into hibernation.
Clueless shite tonight.
That is all.
I never try and guess the team for matches. It’s just something I’ve never done. This afternoon though my lad asked what I thought the team would be and after thinking about it I said, surprisingly, after all the stick I’ve given them, I’d start Johnson and Enrique for this match. When the team was announced I thought ‘fuckin hell, I must be good at this, I’m on the same level as Rodgers’. It wasn’t long before I realised it was more of a case of we’re both fuckin clueless. The whole team selection was baffling. As they’d been so horrendous I was watching Allen and Lucas closely in the first half and even if we were attacking they both went back to their positions. This was a game we had to win. It was at Anfield. We’re a team who finds it hard to score. Basel aren’t that good. Well, we built a rod for our own backs. Ok, I got the idea from the TAW podcast but I wanted to see Markovic start for Lambert. He was clearly fucked on Saturday. I knew he’d do nothing tonight. We looked better with Markovic for the short spell he was on.
I want to make a point about the goal. I blame Mignolet if I’m honest. Twice in two minutes he put the defence under pressure rolling it out to them. The second led to a hurried clearance and a goal when it came back. He just panics whenever he’s got the ball whether at his feet or in his hands. He did ok tonight with his punch and his save but his lack of confidence is infectious. From where we were in May and what we had I just can’t believe we need to strengthen about 5 positions in the first 11 and will probably need a new manager. I don’t want change before the end of the season if at all but my belief in Rodgers waned drastically after the Newcastle game and it’s getting to the point where I’m more bemused than angry. I get like that when my fire is out. When I feel the only thing to play for is pride. I still want Rodgers to succeed and I still put our failures down to having no strikers but that aside there’s absolutely nothing to cling to. It’s heart breaking to see what we’ve become. There are obvious questions to ask.
Like many of you I expected the worst tonight – but I knew it was game over as soon as I saw that team selection.
1. Same old plodding uncreative midfield trio that has done nothing all year.
2. Choosing the terrible Enrique over the young player we bought for these games.
3. Lovren for Toure – knew goal was coming.
4. One up top after it hasn’t worked all season – for a must win game???
5. No striking options on the bench
6. Only one creative player on the pitch – and he has no confidence left.
7. Coutinho and Lallana sacrificed for the very ordinary Allen and Henderson..
8. All the pressure on Gerrard – where else are the goals gonna come from in that lineup???
9. Absolutely no wild card – no surprise – no innovation from the manager
10. Lambert – even more static than Balotelli