THE New Year’s Day game is the end of a gauntlet. A gauntlet for everyone. Players, coaches and supporters. Christ the supporters. What a testing Christmas period it has been. Boxing Day away, an enormous Monday against Swansea and now this. There are other tests. Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve. Our pre-match boozer choice of Pogues had four girls in who hadn’t gone home. They looked immaculate and sang a medley of hits while United toiled against the weather in the most Stoke of all Stoke conditions. New Year’s Day. The end of a gauntlet every time.
Got to be honest, I rotated myself out last night. Full of cold. Needed to focus on this challenge.
First half Leicester hit the post early. They had a big flurry then we got a penalty and Gerrard scored. I have no idea if it was or not. I was 100 yards away. There looked like there was a plan to get Henderson in but it couldn’t come to fruition. Leicester might have been man marking Lallana. They might have been doing it badly. Some lads ran around more wearing red and blue. Sakho’s distribution was mostly good.
The gauntlet. Liverpool should have ended the game as a contest to make it 2-0 with another penalty. Gerrard stepped up again. So certain these days. Nothing fluent but the gauntlet finds itself run before the half-time whistle. I spend half time contemplating the league table and pondering what Leicester do now. Push out and you could get battered, sit in and take the defeat? They have the win they need from the period. It should be over as a contest. Liverpool haven’t played well but this is game three.
Other despatches from the first half? Leicester sing the majority of their songs in Cockney too. Crackers this. Everyone sounds like Danny Baker. They had one good one on the blue side and white side which sounded like a Leicester accent. Bar that? God in heaven.
George played Uptown Funk at half time. Immediately making him the game’s best performer.
Leicester had a flurry after the break, more of one than I expected, Henderson played a divine ball to Sterling, Lallana got a knock and Fab Borini got 35 minutes to impress. Still 2-0.
Liverpool just needed to play well for five minutes you felt but instead Sakho gave it away cheaply and Liverpool never really recovered — Nugent arrowed in a blinder and suddenly all the work was undone. The gauntlet unrun. Liverpool looked rocked. Then Leicester drilled in a second and we had a horror show on our hands.
It was a horror show. Liverpool’s second-half performance was a disgrace. The complete lack of game management and absence of presence. A disgrace.
I rarely adhere to white line theory. The idea that the manager sends them out over the white line and there isn’t much he can do. But Liverpool’s 11 on the pitch really were the architects of their own downfall. They showed, against Arsenal, against Swansea, they could manage a game. It is a side full of senior pros. Here though they failed miserably for the second half. As complacent as I was, no doubt. Is the Borini change right? Not in hindsight, not at the time either. One more man in midfield to calm it wouldn’t have killed anyone either. And then Borini blocked three chances and missed his own. Beyond that? Fouled people. Fundamentally everything comes down to the manager, everything is his responsibility. That’s the job. But these are senior professionals given a two-goal start at home and 45 minutes to see it out against bottom of the league.
Grumble over a team selection all you like, having got to the 2-0 without playing well these professionals, these internationals, should have been seeing it out with the ball at their feet. They should take the game away from Leicester, not collapse into chaos.
Liverpool have their chances to make it 3-2. Leicester have their pressure. Liverpool don’t wilt; they do everything but wilt but they don’t compound their collapse. Grasp at that straw.
It needs pointing out that it looked a game too far for Lucas. Gerrard’s last 10 minutes are dreadful and the 80 that precede it aren’t good. Moreno’s all over the place. Toure looked knackered. Only Coutinho looked bright. Leicester scrapped their guts out. Organised and hardworking. But not actually good, though not actually abject. Unlike Liverpool.
There have been mad results all the way through this Christmas period. That is the gauntlet. That is what it does. But that doesn’t make the unacceptable acceptable.
This 45 minutes was unacceptable. A terrible second-half performance. A terrible league, looking at the results, looking at the table. Nothing is fucked, still. Somehow.
More than Liverpool deserve.
Is anyone going to defend the skipper now?
I cannot believe that Brendan Rodgers rewarded Jordan Henderson for his best game of the season in the team’s best performance of the season by shunting him out wide to accommodate the ponderous under-performing skipper. This isn’t rotation, it’s blatant favouritism. Rodgers’ cravenness is pitiful to behold.
I’m fucking fuming, I really thought we’d turned a corner on Monday and am convinced that had he selected the same team (with Kolo for Skrtl) we’d have earned another three points today and moved up the able. Instead the midfield, after it’s experiment with dynamism sans skipper was ponderous once again. Gerrard’s selection has such a knock on effect, Lucas doesn’t get the chance to pass vertically as the skipper spends the match either demanding the ball or moaning at this team mates because he’s so fucking slow now, we’re defensively weakened, can’t press and have no energy. To top it off he stays on the pitch for 90 mins as first Lallana then Lucas are subbed at the altar of the enduring genius of Steven fucking Gerrard. I’m starting to hate Brendan Rodgers for this, we are witnessing the very public decline of a once great player for what? Politics? If we’re not careful Gerrard will become the Alastair Cook of football.
It’s so fucking frustrating how much of a blind spot Gerrard is for Rodgers.
We know from many games him and Lucas don’t work. In order to get Gerrard on the pitch we had to move Hendo out of his favoured position and drop Manquillo……that can’t be right!!!
He shouldn’t have started this match, possibly on later as a sub and then should have started the FA cup match.
Look at Lampard today…..brought on fresh for last 20 and scores the winner.
If he wants to manage a big club he needs to make the big decisions!!!
It’s not about Gerrard (poor though he was). It’s about picking both Lucas and Gerrard. Lucas was clearly due a rest today. When he took Lucas off the obvious choice was to move Henderson in there but he put Can there. He’s off his head.
I’d love to hear an explanation because I have these weird thoughts that he deliberately doesn’t do what would be common sense. It’s almost like, this is what the pundits and fans think so I’ll do it differently.
It is about Gerrard, Robin. Lucas plays well alongside Gerrard, Henderson plays well alongside Lucas. Neither of them plays well alongside Gerrard. Spot the common denominator.
It’s not about individuals though. Play them together with Henderson wide and we won’t create anything. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if one of them has an ok game. It’s not the point. This is Rodgers fault, not Gerrards. Ok, tiredness probably played a part. No team took 9 points over Christmas. It’s just that thing of why we couldn’t just keep it as it was but with Gerrard in for Lucas if that’s what he wanted to do. It just makes it so frustrating when he reverts back to them two and we play like that. Doesn’t help himself.
It’s Rodgers fault for picking him and positioning him. It’s Gerrards fault for being anonymous in midfield and it’s not the first time this season. As I already said we have to compromise other players and their positions to get Gerrard in the team….that’s not right and at 34 pushing 35 we shouldnt be compromising the team and 3 points for sentiment.
What was the thinking behind playing Gerrard centrally today? It wasn’t to give Hendo or Lucas a rest, both played. It wasn’t tactical because we know there are problems with a midfield 2 of Gerrard and Lucas. Manquillo wasn’t injured. It’s starting to look like Rodgers is playing Gerrard because he feels he has to. He couldn’t leave him out again after Swansea even though it was our best performance in a LONG time. If Rodgers can’t make the big decisions then he shouldn’t be at a big club. This isn’t a call for Rodgers to go by the way!
Agreed. It’s Rodgers’ fault, but there is a common denominator. But I don’t even care about what went before, I care about his changing a winning side to accommodate a player who according to any matrix you’d care to consider doesn’t merit a starting place in CM this season.
I wouldn’t have been bothered which one of Lucas and Gerrard played today. I just thought the Swansea game had confirmed how we play well.
You’re right though. It almost feels like Gerrard has one over on Rodgers.
Have suspected this for a while. Presumably canny old Stevie rigged the house with full colour HD CCTV prior to BR’s moving in.
Hour upon hour of leather-chaffing, ball-gagging misery, and Piers Morgan on speed dial.
Agreed, Robin. I think Gerrard-Hendo in the middle with Manquillo on the right wing again would have worked just as well as Lucas-Hendo on Monday.
Leicester rarely looked dangerous in the way that really stresses us out today. That is to say, it’s not as if either of the tandems above would have faired worse than the other (in my humble opinion).
I meant to say Lucas plays well alongside Henderson, Henderson plays well alongside Lucas. They complement each other. Neither plays well alongside Gerrard.
I don’t think you need to worry too much. About 3 weeks ago Dale Tempest was on the radio giving the odds on certain bets. Gerrard to any MLS club after the summer window was 8/1. It’s now 1/3. Speculation but if there’s one thing I’ve learned about bookies it’s they’re not daft.
Like in the Sunderland home game?
For every game you can point to where Hendo-Lucas in the middle has worked well, I can point to one where it hasn’t. Which is not a commentary on either player in particular, because all our midfielders have been subpar this season…which is why a fixation on one in particular is absurd.
When it is ever NOT about Gerrard for you Paul?
Yeah, the problem for us today was the bloke who scored two. And before anyone mentions they were penalties, I’d like someone to name any other player out there today whom you’d have backed to finish twice from 12 yards, because I sure as fuck can’t think of one.
One of the real tragedies of the current team is that Gerrard is our best finisher. No-one else – not Lallana, not Coutinho, not Henderson, not even Sterling given the number of chances he needs to score one (although he’s exempted given everything else he gives the team) – has stepped up to fill the Sturridge void.
We lost today because the team were incapable of closing out a game against the worst team in the league. Whatever issues there are with the Lucas-Gerrard combination – and I agree it’s far from perfect – they’ve usually centred around the fact that there isn’t enough dynamism or pace to keep the ball moving quickly from back to front in a way that will open up teams who’ve come to Anfield for a point. But none of that applies when you’re 2-0 up. Gerrard and Lucas in the middle when you’re 2-0 up against the worst team in the league is perfectly okay, or at least ought to be.
So here’s a thought: look again at the two goals we conceded – Sakho giving the ball away, Can turning his back, etc., etc., and then come back to tell me that the reason we drew is because Rodgers picked Gerrard.
Jesus Brownie. Why don’t you look at everyone else’s posts. Then go to The Guardian match report and look at the posts there. Everyone can see it but you and Brendan Rodgers. D’you think Monday was a mirage? I asked you whether you’d pick Gerrard today and why. You said you would. Well you were granted your wish and this was the outcome.
Next time try taking a deep breath. Your shooting the messenger.
You don’t pick players on the off chance we’ll get a penalty or a free kick. This isn’t fucking rugby.
And you don’t have to tell me he’s our best finisher. I’ve posted that time and time again. But you need to be in the box to finish.
What about the ridiculous free kick he gave away at the end? In exactly the same position as the one he conceded against Arsenal. He is defensively clueless. He just chases after the ball after its gone. I’m going to ask you this question one last time Brownie: what does the current Steven Gerrard, not the legend, bring to this team in CM?
Have you forgotten we were 2-0 up? Whatever you think of the penalty decisions, someone had to score them and Gerrard did. With no Lambert or Balo on the pitch, who are you backing to have scored either, let alone both?
If either Lucas or Gerrard hadn’t started, bringing either of them on in the second half to help close out the game from that winning position would have been a logical move. Point is, having been 2-0 up against the worst team in the league, finishing with both Gerrard and Lucas on the pitch wouldn’t have raised anyone’s eyebrows. So why does no one want to even discuss how we gave away two goals? Which one of the goals was Gerrard responsible for? I’m dying to know.
While you’re at it, please explain why it’s axiomatically the case that Henderson is incapable of more than a 6 out of 10 game from RWB? We were at home against the worst team in league. RWB ought not to be too shitty a position from which to exert at least some influence.
Gerrard was poor today despite scoring twice, so there’s no blindspot from me. But so was every ever fucker, and unlike you I’m asking – expecting – all the other buggers to take responsibility for their performances. You , on the other hand, are content to lay it all at Gerrard’s door because the other 9 outfield players are incapable of coping with positional changes of any description. Makes you wonder how they’d have fared un Benitez, eh?
And yes, I can remember the Swansea game, but you appear to have wiped Sunderland and Stoke at home – no Gerrard and Henderson starting from the middle – from your memory bank. Fine performances both of those were, eh?
This is the crux for me and I’ve been saying it all season; I’ve seen no *consistent* level of performance from any of Liverpool’s midfielders this season that makes any of them undroppable let alone a ‘must start’ from their favoured position. Does that include Gerrard? Yes. Does that include Henderson/Allen/Lucas/Can/Moreno/etc? Abso-fucking-lutely.
See? I can say it. Can you?
Er…because he’s not wing-back?
Can I say what Brownie?
Lucas has been consistent. He tired in the last 20 against Arsenal and Burnley but I’d argue he’s been consistent since he returned to the side. Gerrard’s been consistent. Consistently subpar. Henderson’s been in and out, not helped by Brendan’s constant tinkering, but he’s never less than a 6 out of 10 and Sunderland and Stoke are irrelevant: different formations, different strikers. The likes of Coutinho and Lallana have improved since Sterling moved up top.
Having said that, I had no problem with the 1-0’s and 0-0’s as I posted at the time. They were miserable but it was important to build a more solid foundation to move on from. I may be over-stating my case, but has Gerrard had a good game this season? I thought he was quite good against the Arse but I’d struggle to think of any others.
I’d agree and have posted elsewhere that we’ve carried a lot of passengers this season. The reason I was so elated following the Swansea game was that it was the first game in recent memory in which there were no obvious passengers.
You still haven’t answered the question Brownie? Will you ever? What does he bring to the team in CM? I can see what he might bring as an impact sub, a libero (in the Europa League) or as an attacking player. But what does he bring to CM?
Bullshit, Paul, I’ve answered that question a ton of times, just like when you asked whether I’d change the team for Leicester and why I gave you several paragraphs that included the point that the Leicester game would be less open and more attritional than Swansea who always let you play, so having Gerrard in the team for the crucial final pass (or even a set-piece) was a change I’d make or at least consider because we weren’t going to be involved in a game of basketball where counter-attack followed counter-attack per the second half against Swansea.
FWIW, I was surprised when Lucas was selected today but – and this is a point I’ve yet to see you address – the fact is we went 2-0 up. Against the team bottom of the league. At that point, having Lucas and Gerrard on the pitch at the same time doesn’t look too bad a shout. We shouldn’t need to score any more to win from that point and closing the game out with that 11 should be a doozy.
Why don’t you want to scrutinize our play that led to Leicester scoring their goals? Is it because there’s no Lovren to blame, or no obvious way to pin either of them on Gerrard? Why does Sakho get a pass for his sloppiness before the first because he made a couple of tackles earlier in the game? Isn’t that what a defender is supposed to do? Why is no one mentioning Can turning his back like a pussy for the second?
Still, what about that free-kick SG gave away that led to nothing in particular? What a shocker that was?
Are you blind? I signalled quite clearly that Sakho was at fault for the first goal. It was one of my first post-match posts. I still don’t see how you’ve answered the question btw.
If you resort to boasting about a player managing to score two penalties in a game as a reference to why that player should be selected I reckon you’ve lost the argument automatically.
The ridiculous thing with Brownie is he jumps all over people criticizing Rodgers and all of the manager’s fuck ups, but in defending the near 35 year old Gerrard he lists the dozens of other problems with the team…….which would lead anyone with two brain cells to rub together to see that Rodgers and/or Gerrard might not be doing a good job and so criticism of one or the other must be valid.
There’s a difference between saying “X is not playing great” and pinning the responsibility for an underperforming team on one player, not to mention invoking evidence-free gossip about egos and undue influence to buttress the points. There’s a difference between highlighting mistakes/failings of a manager and tearing him to pieces comment after comment and reposting and reposting something John fucking Madejski said years ago as validation.
I don’t come onto these boards the moment the final whistle blows on a poor result and post pre-emptive defences of Steven Gerrard and Rodgers. I respond to what I see, which is no particular order is invariably a comment from Paul that attributes majority blame to Gerrard (not just for his performance, but for the performance of every other underperforming player) and a comment from Chris demanding that everyone prostrate themselves at his feet for being “right” even before a final judgment can be made.
Hope that clears things up.
Well you wouldn’t have seen a post from me blaming Gerrard after the Swansea or Arsenal games. I respond to each game individually, not preemptively. A lot of Rodgers’ decision making has been poor this season, the majority of posters appear to agree on that, particularly when compared with last season.
The Lucas Gerrard pairing in CM has, more often than not, be problematic. Any team with the fitness and commitment to press us high in the middle can bog us down. Given the lack of an out and out striker of quality, and an oft dodgy goalkeeper (to be fair, SM was fine today) we can’t afford to have an immobile and ineffective CM pairing.
It was a puzzling change to a midfield that seemed to have a very nice balance against the swans.
I’ve given you the explanation, but unless you support Rodgers you are not a true fan. We have a quite good squad which is poorly handled.
Amen to that. I still want him to succeed but these are testing times. He doesn’t help himself does he?
It’s not favouritism, it’s ineptitude. How many 2-0 leads do we need to
lose before someone looks at the manager and says WTF? His wonderful 80 page book that got him the job is like Joseph Smith’s golden plates that no one ever saw: even the most transparent charlatan attracts barnacles that can’t be dislodged. He’s not even an amiable fool, he’s just a fool.
You have a point. The team has never been structurally sound under Brendan’s watch, nonetheless I’d like him to succeed.
This was a great game for Sakho spotters btw. We saw the best and the worst. A couple of great last ditch tackles, some great passing and a couple of howlers. The first Leicester goal comes from his sloppy pass. He was still our best defender, mind.
This is the sum of your analysis of why we conceded two goals. You used as many keystrokes mentioning a free-kick conceded by Gerrard that led to nothing as you have to the ‘sloppy’ pas that led directly to one of the two goals that caused us to drop two points.
I don’t mean to fixate on this, but I just don’t think it’s fair what you’re doing to single out Gerrard when so much else is wrong.
Good in both boxes. That’s been the mantra. Be good in both boxes. Well, we don’t have a striker or anything approaching one and our defence is the second worst in the top 12. You can dress it up any way you like and bemoan Henderson having to start a game 10 yards wider than you would prefer all day long, but neither of those things has a whole lot to do with who is starting in CM.
I’ve just singled out Sakho, or did you miss that?
The difference is he contributed a lot more in open play. You did notice the last ditch tackles I take it?
I agree about the lack of a striker and our poor defence. That’s why we have to play our best players in the best formation to maximise our potential until we can sign a new striker and keeper. The defence has improved since Lovren’s injury and the move to a back three, wouldn’t you agree? Can, Kolo and Sakho are our best defenders. Given that one’s a converted midfielder, another’s coming towards the end of his career and third has been treated appallingly by the manager that’s a poor indictment of his transfer record. You know my views on Sakho: he has a rick in him but can you see a defender with more potential at the club or one that meets Brendan’s oft stated criteria (front foot, winning battles etc)?
“The defence has improved since Lovren’s injury and the move to a back three, wouldn’t you agree?”
Barely, if at all. We’ve conceded 6 goals in the last 4 and-a-half games since Lovren went off injured against Bournemouth at half-time, and 3 of those games were at home. I think there’s a degree of illusion attached to this notion that we’ve improved defensively, albeit I prefer the back 3 for now.
Just watch the games Brownie. See how many first balls we’re winning. See how we’re conceding less from set-pieces. Watch how the defenders are bringing the ball out and remember 3 of those goals were conceded by Brad Jones. We’re far from the finished article and will remain so until we get a new keeper, but I think you’ll find most people are happier with our defence with Sakho, Toure and Can than without.
I think most people are because certain narratives gather more currency than others. John Barnes never had a decent game for England, you know?
I’m pointing out that the numbers say we’re conceding just under 1.5 goals a game since Lovren got injured. That’s well over 50 goal conceded in a 38 game season. That isn’t going to win you many trophies. Pointing out that Jones was in goal for some of those games is just ridiculous when you consider what Lovren had behind him during his stay in the team.
Like I said, I prefer the back three for now, but the improvement – if any – is marginal.
Not the John Barnes chestnut again Brownie. Haven’t you anymore in your locker. I’m a historian and English Literature postgrad, I know all about the power of narratives and yes, they do gain currency until all that’s left is the narrative with all meaning is emptied out. All I know Brownie is that I watch footy and we’ve improved. We’ve improved because I don’t get jitters every time a ball comes into the area, we’ve improved because we’ve stopped conceding from set-pieces. We’ve improved because the players, Sakho excepted, at times, look comfortable on the ball. We’ve improved because players have been taking responsibility. It’s not all about goals conceded, but those kept out too. I accept there’s a narrative as far as Sakho’s concerned but he’s shown time and time again that he’s the most likely. The narrative exists because a number of supporters could see his potential and, more cogently, had seen how good he was for France, a team who know how to defend as a team.
It’s maybe not all about goals conceded, but in any discussion about what direction we’re moving in defensively I hope you’d agree it’s a fairly important indicator?
These discussions do my head in because it always winds up with me attempting to get to you see that there are other faults – more glaring faults – than that SG is playing CM, but to do that I’ve got to cite examples and, in doing so, it looks like I’m trying to rag on other players or otherwise make a point that I don’t want to make e.g. that Sakho is not a good defender.
One of the reasons I’m glad I support Liverpool is that as fans we don’t tend to scapegoat individual players and crucify them in a way supporters of many other clubs do. We’re usually pretty fair. This is my major problem with your Gerrard fixation: it’s not that I think he’s been great this season – far from it – but from where I’m sitting there are half-a-dozen more pressing problems than whether SG or Henderson or anyone else gets a CM spot. So when we throw a game away after leading 2-0 against the bottom team, I’m surprised to see that player copping most of the flack is the one who scored twice.
It just strikes me as – what’s the word? – unfair.
Brownie, it’s very simple. My criticism is aimed at the manager for selecting the player, not the player.
I wanted to start the New Year feeling positive. Any win today and everything would be rosy and upbeat. Truth is I’m too livid to be positive. It’s unfathomable beyond words how Rodgers can possibly think Lucas and Gerrard together works. It just makes us so static. It’s so blatantly obvious that Henderson makes us tick when he’s in the middle. Our tempo rises. What’s going on? Are we all mental and Rodgers can see something we’re not seeing? Probably some half truth in that. Swansea showed us the light. We’ve just gone back to the dark side. Why? Fucking frustrated. I almost want to say it’s absolutely pathetic. I thought he’d drop Lucas today. The first half was equally shit and I didn’t feel comfortable at 2-0. Same old same old. Wank way to start the year.
Come on, Neil, face the Stevie elephant.
Don’t even mind which way you want to argue, but let’s not pretend we can’t see it. It’s an elephant, and needs discussion.
You can say he is only one player of eleven. But I don’t think that covers it.
The fundamental point is that a player’s effect on a team cannot solely be judged on how well he passed the ball, his positioning, and whether his legs are gone or not gone. This is especially true for Steven, given his unprecedented stature within this club.
To my eyes, when Stevie plays, the other players take less responsibility, are less innovative, less enthusiastic, and fundamentally less effective.
I think Liverpool has a big Gerrard problem, and it isn’t just about his fading abilities as a footballer.
Would love a proper root and branch examination in the podcast, and thanks, as always, for a phenomenally good operation.
If that’s true, it’s a fucking indictment of those other players. If SG has to bear responsibility for the fact that other players go into their shells when he starts, then you might as well start blaming him when it rains as well.
Who cares if its an indictment or not? The manager needs to be thinking of the team, not one player. If he can’t see there’s a problem then there’s no hope.
Ha, so even if it’s an indictment of the other players it’s still Gerrard’s fault? FFS. I suggest if we really have players at the club who take less responsibility when a particular player is selected then we should maybe think about kicking their shirking arses out of the club. Just a thought.
A thought you can hold now, Brownie. Nice that you blame all the other players, y’know the youngsters who have only been at the club 5 minutes. Anyhow, the proof will be in the pudding.
Nice try, Paul. I’m responding to a specific comment that other players are failing to take responsibility for their games when a certain other player is picked. If you think that’s a problem that can be solved simply by not picking the other player rather than addressing the reasons why certain other players don’t/can’t take responsibility for their own performances, then I believe that’s a mistake.
To read this stuff you could be forgiven for thinking that Henderson is asked to play in goal when Gerrard plays, or that Coutinho is made the physio. Look at any of the top sides and you’ll see there are tweaks made all over the park and players asked to perform slightly different roles game to game. How many games did Benitez once go before picking an unchanged side? How many different positions did Kuyt play, or Carragher for that matter? Look at Can yesterday in a back three.
As I’m bored of repeating, there’s a difference between holding Gerrard accountable for his performances and scapegoating him for everybody else’s, including players who are not all that “young” or that “new”.
Let’s see how the season progresses, eh Brownie. Sometimes a colleague can stifle others without necessarily meaning to; this happens in all walks of life, I’m sure you’ve experienced it yourself.
But I’m not blaming him.
I’m saying that whatever you think of his current football, I sense problems with squad dynamics brought about by his presence.
It’s hard to think of examples…
Look at the instance where he blazes over from a very tricky position in the 93rd min, with four others in the box. Nobody bollocks him, nobody says a word, just heads looking at the ground in frustration/embarrassment. That’s a worrying reaction.
It’s bizarre isn’t it. Steven Gerrard doesn’t fit the criteria Rodgers claims to look for in a midfielder. I can’t think of a more antithetical midfielder. He doesn’t control the game (too impatient), he doesn’t press, he doesn’t have great energy anymore (not his fault, just age and injuries), he hasn’t the patience for ‘death by passing’ and he’s no longer explosive. Something’s not right.
Mate, you’re missing the point. It’s not been criticism of Stevie but of BR for selecting him and putting him in a role for which he’s completely unsuited that throws much of the team’s balance off kilter. The introduction of a single aging player, one we ALL recognize and love as a legend, is having an effect on the entire shape and impetus of the side, there’s simply no denying this anymore. Our back line, which has been fragile enough already, finds itself even more under the cosh because Stevie hasn’t the legs to provide adequate cover and he’s not tracking runners. This pulls everyone else out of shape, forces our natural attacking players like Lallana, Coutinho, and Sterling to drop further back, and kills our impetus to move forward. That ISN’T Stevie’s fault, it’s time’s fault, and BR would do well to simply accept that reality, use Gerrard as an impact sub from here on out, and let our younger and newer first-team players have their time to shine.
Gerrard reminds me of the bloke in the office who’s been there for donkeys, much loved and nice to have around.
Though when you look at what he actually does with his day, he’s sat on Amazon or YouTube all day waiting for the next tea round.
Thanks Stevie for all the memories, but you should of called it a day last season.
Appalling second half, but let’s be honest the first wasn’t great. Said to me mate pre-game I don’t see how Lucas and Gerrard work. Nothing happened to change that. No dynamism and far too lateral. Honestly, can’t see what Steven brings to the role. Two touches first half, two goals!
Complacency, yes spot on. Unforgivable really. Anyone else taking a draw when they score the equaliser?
Really only Hendo played to his level, but credit to Migs who did everything expected of him, kicking excepted naturally. Sterling and Cout badly need to sit out the Wimbledon game.
But, 7 from 9 over the holiday period. Just about acceptable and probably more than we’d have expected after Sunderland, so let’s see what the new year brings.
All the best to all.
When Rodgers is looking to fill his free time in the summer he can call up his landlord and ask if he wants a game of golf. No team should be reliant on a 34 year old and yes Stevie has carried us for years but we shouldn’t be carrying him. The team is much more fluid without him. Full stop. Rodgers says in the pre match press conference that SG goes straight back in. Why? Rodgers has told his opposite number his team and the set up 24 hours in advance. Pathetic. Did we miss him last game, did we play flat and fail to make any chances? Looking at the other results today fourth is unlikely and it’s all self inflicted. FSG showed Kenny the door — does BR think he’s untouchable?
Did he really do that (the presser)? No words…..it might look like a tan but if you observe closely you’ll notice it’s just his nose that’s brown.
All the potency and urgency that defined the Swansea win just evaporated with Hendos removal from his central role. Gerrard and Lucas just seemed disconnected from the front 3. Leicester did a good job tucking in and cutting down on through ball opportunities and Moreno and Henderson weren’t effective enough to exploit the space afforded them out wide. Frustrating , the constant chopping and changing has drained us of any consistency.
That’s not Cockney Neil. What you are hearing is the sad song of mass multiculturalism. Very few people speak like Willie Thorne,or Gary Lineker, in Leicester, anymore.
Nobody says ‘Leicestuh’ now. It’s ‘Leicestaaaaaaaah’.
Liverpool is largely unaffected by mass-immigration, at least in the modern era. That’s why the city has been able to keep it’s identity and culture.
Neil, if you ever heard the Kop sing like those Leicester fans, you could be forgiven for joining UKIP and never inviting another self-satisfied Labour MP onto the show again!
The game just confirmed exactly where we stand at the beginning of 2015.
Wow. That’s a mardy and inappropriate post. I’ve met plenty of mardarses from Leicester and they still have an accent.
Paul, I am sure that the Finnish accent has not changed a great deal either, in recent years. The demographics of Leicester are widely-available online. I’ve lived in Merseyside for over a decade and Leicester for 7 years. I like both cities.
Neil just made a point about hearing what he thought was Cockney from the Leicester fans. It wasn’t Cockney and that is another accent that has already virtually disappeared.
The London accent is now a mixture of many things, including Australian which means that Londoners now have the annoying habit of raising the last syllable of every sentence by an octave and sounding unsure about absolutely everything.
My my that’s a wierd post. How does multi-culturism equate with some East Midlanders sounding a bit like they come from the south east of England? And how come this phenomenon hasn’t spread to other areas with “mass immigration”?
They don’t sound like they come from the South East of England and (with the possible exception of Bradford) I don’t think there is another major urban area that has experienced the same level of immigration as Leicester, which means it is hard to find many places to compare Leicester with.
What I am saying is that new accents are springing up and that Neil was mistaken to have believed he heard the Leicester fans singing in ‘Cockney’. I don’t think they have a word for the current Leicester accent. It would be kind of pointless, as the accent is still on the move.
Still can’t understand why you brought immigration (and politics) into a football discussion. Unless you have an agenda? Doubt you’ll get much support for that sort of shite on here.
Accents change over time, always have, always will. So does culture and identity, thank god. If they were static we’d probably be dunking women in the local pond for making an Earl Grey tea. Embrace it or become bitter.
The Liverpool accent doesn’t seem to have changed a great deal, since I was there in the 1980s and early 1990s.
I hope it doesn’t change. Some whiskies, you just don’t mess with!
Well, if you’d been there in the 1850’s you may have thought you were in Wigan. A few years later it became Scouse sounding. That’s how it goes. It evolves as it’s people do. I do a lot of work in London schools and I’m amazed how much the accents of London born kids has changed over the past 15 years. There’s a few things we can assume though here 1) accents aren’t stagnant and 2) They don’t all change simultaneously over the world, a nation or region unless the demographics are the same.
I don’t really see the point in using Gerrard from the bench, either. In the stands today sat better former players, whose careers were ended without sentiment from the club. The club used to have a winning mentality, from the boardroom to the dressing room. Now we are just a soft touch. There is no good reason for him to still be part of the playing staff.
We just very rarely seem to put in a bad performance, when Gerrard isn’t playing. I honestly think that we would have won the league last season, if he hadn’t played a part (regardless of the mistake versus Chelsea). I don’t think that either Gerrard or Rodgers contributed anything much at all. It was all about our attacking players.
I doubt Suarez or Sturridge paid much attention to what Rodgers was saying. They just wentout andplayed their natural games.
A few red faces after giving it the big one after beating Swansea, telling us all how they always supported Rodgers and how the muppets criticizing him were talking shit the whole time. After one good performance, completely forgetting how disgustingly bad we were at Burnley. And now look.
Henderson back at RWB. Gerrard back in the team. Borini on ahead of Markovic. Team sitting back on a 2-0 lead at home to the worst side in the country. Shambolic mentality. Im tired of talking about the manager’s decisions.
We couldnt score in open play against Leicester City. At home. We only opened the scoring because the ref gifted us a penalty. We’ve had many gifts this season. Multiple own goals at QPR. Defensive howlers at Ludogorets. Massive deflected goals. Last minute winners. Imagine we’re we’d be without all these, most of which were totally undeserved.
We have yet to win 3 times in a row. Last time was April 2015. Its fucking January 2015.
As I said after Swansea, today was big for building momentum. Just do today what we did then. 4th was still a big ask, but then Utd West Ham and Arsenal all drop points at once today without playing each other. Maybe a little run of wins and one good signing and we’re back in the hunt? No.
Whats worrying is Leicester were better than us for long, long periods. The least they deserved was a point. Whats more worrying is that Sakho was our second best player behind Coutinho. He makes a cunt of Rodgers everytime he plays, showing how disgraceful the buying and continual selection of Lovren has been month on month. He does make the odd mistake but his ungainly nature makes it look like he makes far more than he actually does. Every stat confirms this.
Speaking of disgraceful, and not for the first time, the lack of leadership is beyond frightening. From the touchline, from Gerrard. We’re rudderless. As Neil says, Lucas looked tired. But the state of Gerrard. The state of him. Its gone from sad to see to bemusing back to sad to see. Stats show he wasn’t top 5 in terms of ground covered (surprise surprise) or top 5 in terms of possession. Which is supposedly what he’s there for. So what does he do? Hit penalties well and thats it? I’d rather a 70% fit Lucas than a 100% fit Gerrard *from the start.* Once again, his selection throws the rest of the team out of shape and balance. No shape + no balance = no performance = generally no result. But Ive said everything I can about using Steven from the bench. No more.
8th. 7 points and 18 goals (so 8 points effectively then) off 4th. In a shit league where all bar the top 2 range from slightly good to the “how the fuck are these in the premier league.” Burnley, QPR, Leicester, Crystal Palace are atrocious.
Moyes had 9 points and 11 more goals than us at this stage last season and we were taking the piss out of him and Utd like nothing normal. But some of the same people who were doing that are still supporting Rodgers and his decisions, as was seen on here just a few days ago. Its surreal.
Away at Palace was the day I knew Rodgers has no future here. It’ll take others a bit longer. 5 months of the same mistakes still isnt evidence enough. De Boer then? That’ll do.
Get a grip Chris. I could have written your comment for you before you posted it and got it spot on. It’s almost like you take pleasure in this. I’ve no idea what Rodgers thinking was today but your vendetta against him has become an obsession. It’s not about Liverpool for you any more. More your ego.
It appears our opinions are very similar but you’re telling me to get a grip? Strange. I could also have wrote your opinion for you and got it spot on. Should we stop commenting if its the same thing over and over? Maybe. You do it too though, perhaps though without the visceral hatred of whats happening at the club. So just a heads up.
And you’re now doing what others who disagree with me on Rodgers are doing. The same thing thats said to Jim Boardman after most games on twitter. “You have an agenda” “You rather watch Liverpool lose and be right than see them win and be wrong”
I’ll tell you what. You have no fucking idea what I’d “rather” unless I state it explicitly, because it is very difficult to get a grasp of someone over an anonyous internet forum. Unless of course you believe you are something other than human.
So let me state for the tenth time, explicitly, that Id rather Rodgers keep doing what he’s doing and win and make me look like I have no idea about LFC and football, than see him doing what he’s doing and fucking things up and PROVING ME RIGHT MONTH AFTER MONTH. Which is what he has been doing in case you haven’t noticed.
You were slow to jump on the bandwagon about Rodgers inexplicable decisions (look at your posts in October) and now you’re slabbering at me for being consistent in my thoughts?
As I said, strange.
I was going to explain what I meant but I think by putting ‘proving me right month after month in capitals’ I may not need to now.
From my own perspective, I was pleased with his appointment. Being Liverpool was neither here nor there for me. I was disappointed with some decisions in the early half of last season but by the end of it I was ecstatic and thought he’d be here for years. This season I put all our problems down to the striker situation. Rodgers has tried things and it’s fair to say hasn’t tried other things that seemed sensible. A couple of months ago, I lost patience with Rodgers because it felt to me he’d lost the fight. I’ve seen it so often when a manager looks broken, sounds desperate and appears lost. It’s hard to turn the tide around. I speculated I thought this was the case. I also said, I don’t care whether he goes or stays. It lasted less than fortnight though. It was clear to me that I was being a dick. Managers get things wrong. If a few mistakes are punished with the sack then we’d never progress. I wear my heart on my sleeve with Liverpool so I go up and down. I accept that and don’t want to change it. Prior to today’s game though I thought we were in a position where we’d only lost 1 in 10 and had started to find form and a philosophy. Rodgers HAD come out the other side. That endears me to him more. Today, I’m disappointed with him. Like I say, I’m reactive to the match. I often say things I later regret but the overall point of putting that is to say, I don’t lie in wait to make the same point over and over when I can make the context fit. Mine’s based on emotion. Not my ego. I’m happy to be proven wrong. I often am. Can you say the same thing? In fact, all the comments on here the last few weeks could all have been predicted in advance after any given scenario. It feels like a competition. I was right about xyz.
P.s I respect Jim Boardman’s views. I think he’s absolutely brilliant on the podcast but I’d also say whether he realises or not he does have a bit of an agenda. Trying to pre-empt the accusation of an agenda by bringing up yourself doesn’t mean the accusers are wrong. It’s easy to spot because every issue at the club comes back to the same issue. Pre match tweets lay traps for those same issues. Maybe ‘an obsession’ is equally accurate. We saw last season how a lot of people were made to eat their words with Rodgers. They didn’t eat their words though. They just stored them away waiting for the next realistic chance to bring them out. See I was right 3 years ago.
Good, honest post Robin. I like your posts because they’re so clearly not agenda driven. I don’t have an agenda either, despite what others may think. I just want what’s best for the club. I was elated after Monday, really felt like we’d turned a corner, but worried that Brendan wouldn’t be able to resist recidivism. I just can’t understand why you’d change a good thing.
I’ve explained before so I’ll do it in as little time as possible.
I was ok with his appointment. Being Liverpool made me cringe but I’d overlook any personality defects as long as he got us winning. I was not one of the fans who knew they would never warm to him. He had an underrated first year. Most of his success was off the pitch. Getting rid of wasters and trimming the wage bill.
Second year was difficult to assess, in that we won lots of games but did so with him completely going against his philosophy and not knowing just how much was down to a freak of nature in Suarez. Id never seen a top manager do it and be successful before. I still haven’t. I was agnostic on whether this was a positive. Now we have evidence its a negative. Now we have evidence last season was mostly Suarez.
Evidence. That’s what I base things on. Facts. Figures. Stats. But we were winning. His personality and his bullshit before and after games was bearable. Talking as if someday all his quotes would adorn walls at Anfield and Melwood could be overlooked. Speaking like a life coach come psychologist & greatest human ever was glossed over.
Not in his third year. His mistakes are too numerous to list. But bringing wasters to the club and playing politics with team selection, ignoring what they’re doing to results and being a coward when it comes to Gerrard is chief among them. Now the manure that emerges from his mouth more often than not becomes another serious issue.
Evidence showed Hodgson was a shit manager at a big club. I wanted him sacked in November. Most of us did, no? Was that an agenda? Were we wrong to turn against him? Were we wrong to sack him? Why didn’t we give him more time instead of the agenda driven chants of “Dalglish” and “Hodgson for England”?
Is using evidence to come to a conclusion an agenda? If so, why is having an agenda wrong? My agenda is always what’s best for LFC. I don’t believe Rodgers can bring long term success to LFC. I don’t believe he has the first fucking clue on how to coach a defence.
Evidence suggests Im right on both counts. Evidence. Evidence also suggests LFC would be in better hands with a de Boer or a Simeone or a Rafa or a Klopp in charge. Evidence. So I think it best to sack him in the summer.
For months Ive wanted him to go to something like he did at home to Swansea. Mignolet not Jones. Sakho not Lovren. Toure. Manquillo not Johnson. No Gerrard. No Lambert. No Balotelli. No lumbering front man slowing us down. Hendo in centre mid and not RWB. Markovic, a central attacker, not at LWB. Lucas as DM. My posts are there for all to see. I can provide links if you want. Im not alone. *Im not claiming to be some amazing football genius!* There have been many who agree with me. And what happened? We won and played well!
But the sad thing is Rodgers only done it as he had no other option. He would have played Jones, Johnson and Lovren but for injury. Gerrard is still in his first choice 11 and only an eye on todays game and resting him for Wimbledon made him bench him for Swansea.
Then, having seen all this, what did Rodgers do today? You say you lost faith in him and didnt care whether he stayed or went. But then for some reason came to the conclusion you were being a dick. After what evidence? Some average and poor performances and some draws and wins against rank opposition? Was that it? But then he fucked up today and now you’re disappointed with him? So lets get this straight.
Tell me if I’m wrong. This is what has happened with you:
1 He makes mistakes, you lose faith in him.
2 He makes the same mistakes but we beat Bournemouth reserves and Swansea at home and you think you were a dick for not trusting him.
3 Then he makes the same mistakes again and now you’re disappointed in him but tell those much more consistent than yourself – which you clearly admit to above – to get a grip? Wow.
This is what has happened with me. Again, tell me if Im wrong:
1 I criticise Rodgers for making same mistakes over and over
2 Today he makes same mistakes he’s made before
3 I criticise him again for making same mistakes again
4 You tell me to get a grip for being right and continuing to criticise Rodgers for making same mistakes
It’s just so, so, so fucking strange. And after today of all days. After that performance from Rodgers today. I get that you may be bored by me writing the same things. Ive acknowledged this after the Burnley game. But nothing changes and the idea is to talk about Liverpool. That generally includes performance and managerial decisions. Its not my fault Rodgers keeps making the same fuck ups month on month.
I also get that you want me to be wrong. I get you want us to win. I get you (still) hope Rodgers is the man to make us a success. But evidence suggests otherwise.
Agenda? No. Evidence.
I think that’s the point mate – you’re consistent. Everything becomes a negative such as good wins against Bournemouth and Swansea and on reflection, Burnley. We may not have played well against Burnley but we beat a team that have become difficult to beat. Bournemouth was promising and Swansea should have given you some real hope. It didn’t though did it? And therein lies my point. In a nutshell, judge on the actual facts and not how you interpret them, unless you’re prepared to look with an open mind.
Lots of truth about Sakho, Rodgers does love to play favorites.
Not only does Gerrard force others out of position and out of the team. He doesn’t play the same game as everyone else. Monday i remember few long balls except for Can in the first few minutes which came off nicely and the routine Migs to RB.
Gerrard played a bunch of pointless balls to our least likely player to beat anyone on the dribble. What is the point of isolating Henderson wide? Helps no one and undermines the rest of the team.
Gutted about today. Proper. Not only about the team selection (as was every single person I overheard discussing it) but also about the in-game formation changes. I counted three definite changes in which nearly every player (bar the goalie) switched positions in some form or another…
Neil, your article captured how I feel. Dejected. Numb. Depressed.
To everyone else: I found myself watching the Tottenham-Chelsea game after ours ended. At the 68th minute, I saw five – FIVE – Spurs players converge on Chelsea’s penalty area. When was Sterling given that kind of support prior to the 80th minute, when we went into emergency mode?
Listen, I don’t give a damn if Stevie is ON CRUTCHES and is partnered in the middle with a guy they picked up off the street. There is ZERO excuse for the fact that we rarely had even one or two players – IF THAT – supporting Raheem up front.
I’m sorry, but we ignore this fundamental issue to our peril. Focusing instead on how someone may or may not have been caught ball watching, or whether some other player may or may not have closed down on the opposition to prevent a goal… It’s missing the forest for the trees.
Spot on there Phoebus, a glaring lack of movement in the opposition half , nobody getting beyond the ball carrier and even when we worked it wide I never counted more than two in the box.
But you’re not picking up on how Stevie throws the whole shape of the team out. On Monday we had Moreno, Henderson, Sturridge, Coutinho, Sterling, hell even Manquillo flooding the box. He’s like a vampire: he sucks the energy out of the team. People bang on about his range of passing and it’s true, on a good day and if the game is being played at 100 miles an hour. But most of the time he strolls around the pitch playing slow square balls or long diagonals over the wing-back into touch. He used to play fizzing vertical passes but we hardly ever see that from him anymore. I wonder whether that’s because he hasn’t the legs to run on for the one-two so just doesn’t conceive of the pass anymore.
Paul, I really don’t want this to sound harsh, but I’m completely gutted today.
I don’t care WHERE Hendo plays. I don’t care WHO plays to his left. The fact that Sterling had all of Coutinho to count on for support in the overwhelming majority of our attacks – on the break or not – prior to us going to emergency mode is a FOUL.
Do I think Hendo playing at RWB is a good idea? Of course not. Do I think Stevie and Lucas playing together in the midfield is a good idea? Of course not. Do I think Brendan is infallible? OF COURSE NOT.
But this is getting ridiculous! WE DON’T HAVE A STRIKER. FULL STOP. Before we start ranting about team selections, player positioning, etc., this HAS to be addressed. We are playing a front three who are all essentially attacking midfielders (Raheem is also a winger). Every man wearing a red shirt knows this! They know the mathematics of this situation: Coutinho, Lallana, and Sterling are simply NOT going to be as accurate, efficient, powerful, or skillful as Daniel with their shot. This means that, until we HAVE a starting-quality striker, attacking HAS to be a team effort.
So when I see three players crowding around Leicester’s penalty area (forget them actually being IN IT) maybe a couple of times in the first 70-something minutes, I absolutely lose patience with the “Blame it on Stevie” crowd.
Yeah, I got it. He’s old. He’s not as good, he’s not as fast. Guess what, guys? He’s not yanking the other players back with a leash! Even with all this purported inefficiency, we had at least four scoring opportunities aside from Lallana’s miss and the penalties and those had pathetic levels of support. I’m fucking tired of seeing Raheem or Philippe dancing around the edge of the penalty area WAITING for someone to decide they might be bothered to try to assist. I’m tired of either of them being ganged on by two or more defenders because no one feels like drawing coverage by presenting another threat. For all our defensive issues or personnel issues, we could very well have put in a third or fourth goal if we’d played more like a TEAM in the final third.
Unacceptable, and proof that these shoddy displays go way beyond player selection and positioning.
Sorry about the rant!
That’s not a rant; it makes perfect sense.
The idea that Henderson will be “isolated” because he’s not in CM – when we’re at home against the worst team in the league – is utter horseshit. The idea that every time he fails to put a mark on game it can be blamed on Gerrard because Henderson is not in his favoured position, is also horseshit.
The idea that the captain is to blame for us not picking up 3pts from a 2-0 position that owed itself to Gerrard’s almost unique ability in this team to be able to strike a ball cleanly from 12 yards, is beyond horseshit.
Not Sturridge, obviously. He’s good, but not that good.
Dya think that maybe one or both midfielders should be supporting Raheem?…….kinda like Hendo does when played centrally!!
Llalana and Coutinho dropping deep to pick up the ball from the mids was more a factor in Sterlings isolation. Not an indictment of them obviously.
Sorry, I don’t buy that.
That, and what Brooklyn Kev offers, below, would be valid if Coutinho and Sterling weren’t able to get the ball to the penalty area to begin with. Would they have been able to get it there more with a more dynamic midfield tandem? Absolutely, no doubt! That’s not my issue, though.
What I’m talking about is that, once they DID get it there, Coutinho and Sterling didn’t have adequate support. What, does Hendo become allergic to moving closer to the penalty area if he plays as a RWB? Of course not! Hell, at one point, he advanced on goal from the LEFT side of the penalty area!
Sterling and Coutinho got the ball to the penalty area on the dribble, not with interchanging passes or progressive play from the deeper mids
Agreed. My point is that, once there, they rarely had anyone else to support them.
Forget Lucas and Stevie; like I said, pretend they truly are geriatric and/or incompetent shadows of their former selves. What were Hendo, Lallana, and Moreno doing instead of running up the field to support for most of the game?
Can this be pinned on Rodgers as well? Sure. Probably. We’re talking about fundamentals and game philosophy, which are within his ability to influence with a whistle and some hand-waving. I just think it’s a much bigger issue than positional experiments failing.
Players make runs into the box when they think there’s a chance they’ll get the ball. Given that Stevie spends most of the game demanding the ball before passing either square or diagonally before screaming at his team mates whatever they do, would you take that gamble? Why do you think so many players flooded the box on Monday? Because they thought they’d get the ball, that’s why. What’s more, they did. It’s not rocket science. We do need a striker, though. that’s true.
Paul, I’m not talking about running to the box for a Stevie ball. I’m talking about those players not running to support Coutinho or Sterling when they already have the ball and are advancing to the penalty area, or even when they are already in it.
It’s inexcusable, and it has ZERO to do with Stevie.
I counted at least twice in the second half where SG had the ball at his feet, looked up, gesticulated to the statues in front of him and played it back to Lucas in the centre circle before giving out a mouthful.
They even referenced it on the telly and everything, so I’m not just imagining it.
At least one of those was Borini who hardly plays and had nowhere to run to. He was about 10 yards from the corner flag.
I thought we did alright first half. Nothing outstanding but never looked like throwing the game away. Second half, both the manager and the players decided they couldn’t be arsed with all this winning-run nonsense, and decided to go on a 45 minute mental sabbatical. How was imaginary Peru lads? Have a good time? Can’t wait to see your instagram pics. If we had scraped the win I probably wouldn’t have complained, but having witnessed just how bad that second half was, and having thrown away 2 points, I have to say that was diabolical game management from top to bottom. Get it sorted, it’s beyond a fucking joke now.
Curious: Who is taking penalties in Gerrard’s absence? Balo could, but hope his presence is minimal barring a drastic reversal once Sturridge is back. Would Sturridge take it? Flubbed his line last season when given chance for a hat trick.
At least the Reds did what we asked them for New Year’s Eve. They made us dream.
Not the most ambitious dreams, mind. But I was rubbing my hands together as our rival dropped points and all my chickens were counted with us up 2-0. We could have been right there in the mix. Instead, we’re still mired in the shit. Hopefully, a good signing or two can have us dreaming again.
But Gerrard is done. Welcome to NYC.
We’ve heard that too, now. Stevie G is done.
Let’s have ONE moment of lucid objectivity, shall we?
Is Stevie getting on, age-wise? Yeah. Is he as fast or as durable as he once was? No.
But here’s a quick reminder: Frank Lampard, who is two years older than Gerrard, has been played sparingly and wisely. He hasn’t played more than 60 minutes in a single one of his League appearances. In fact, he’s played an average of only 25 minutes per appearance. He has 5 goals and 2 assists. His goal-scoring efforts saved City 8 points.
Given this sterling example, can we please cease with the absolutely false choice that Stevie has to go to New York City? It’s not as if him playing 90 minutes of almost every game is the only alternative to that.
That’s true. I blame the manager, not the player. In truth, a once great player is being hung out to dry by a cowardly manager. I do think Lampard’s a bit smarter though. Heresy in these parts, I know.
Always been more prolific, that’s for sure
He played 90% of his career for teams that didn’t need to be carried on his shoulders, for one thing.
Agree with that Brownie.
Gerrard has been grossly mismanaged by Rodgers. Over played and more often than not in positions that expose his weaknesses and don’t accentuate his strengths. He’d be so much more effective as an situational sub . Hardly a revelation I know, it’s been mentioned on here a multitude of times.
Lampard has a lot more between the ears than Gerrard. Gerrard’s game relies much more on his physicality.
For me, Gerrard should have been sold at around 30 and to another big Premier League club that would have made the mistake of giving him a 5-6 year contract and then building a team around him.
I think most people who advocate using Gerrard the way Lampard has been used these last 2 seasons so why doesn’t the manager make the decision???
Can’t be the fans as the vast majority of us believe he shouldn’t be starting as many games nor playing 90mins.
So who’s holding this decision back??
One rather glaring difference is that Man City have Toure, Silva, Nasri, etc.. I don’t think Gerrard would get more than 25 mins a game if he were at City. But he’s not. He’s at LFC where the competition for a midfield sport is a little less challenging.
I think we would if Brendan Rodgers was the manager!
On the team selection: what sane manager would have changed the balance of Monday’s midfield unless they were rotating/resting players? You can’t make the case for rotation because Henderson was shunted to wing-back, a position that requires even more energy than CM. So who was rested? Manquillo? Or did he stumble upon Monday’s team when he rotated the skipper?
It has everything to do with Stevie. Don’t you see how the tempo of the game changes? That’s why Brendan moved him in the first place. Because he acknowledged that Stevie’s long balls don’t suit our formation anymore. Problem is, Stevie isn’t listening. This guy sums it up very well for me:
Poor stuff from Rodgers today, and everyone can see why.
Comparing this game to the Swansea performance, its noticeable that Gerrard’s presence doesn’t just bring a lack of mobility and defensive ropiness, even his possesional playing style doesn’t really fit anymore – the front 3 don’t need raking long balls fired in at them off the ground/ big switches. Don’t think there’s another player in our team (certainly the front 6) who looks to pass the ball into the air with such regularity. Everyone else suits to feet.
Lucas is obviously a better deep midfielder off the ball, but these days his passing style suits better- against Swansea, he played lots of short-ish balls to feet, on the ground, which Lallana, Coutinho etc received happily on the half turn. He’s not necessarily a better passer than SG, but he passes better, in this side.
So Gerrard’s presence costs us in three ways today- no manquillo, who was good against Swansea, Henderson less effective out wide, and Lucas rendered less effective as gerrard hogs possession. Together, they are a pairing that lack pace and mobility, and bring out the worst in each other.
Its over the top to say Gerrard is finished/should no longer play etc. but, really, he desperately needs to be managed better than is happening right now.
The timing of Lallana’s injury and cautionary withdrawl was unfortunate, and the introduction of Borini was perverse: a guy Rodgers has pretty much frozen out for so long is now first option off the bench? He was rubbish. While Markovic was left til late, and even Balotelli has been better in his last few games than Borini.
Lack of conviction to all of Rodgers’ decisions today.
Fair play to leicester – Pearson’s introduction of Nugent was eventually rewarded (their first goal was lovely ) and he employed his aging midfield maestro much more sensibly – brining in Cambiasso late.
Reasons to be cheerful part 3.
BR said we weren’t going to do a Spurs with the Suarez fee but unfortunately we did exactly that .
But look at the way Spurs demolished Chelsea today . See Terry’s smacked-arse face when the fourth Spurs goal went in. Look at Eriksen, Kane and Chadli.
Point is, we need to play the young players, the new signings, get them used to the Prem. Go all out to win the Europa in order to qualify for next year’s Champs League becauuse sadly we aren’t good enough to make the top four this season. There has been too much change for that -like there was at Spurs last season.
We have excellent young players and we need to build the future around them
Oh, and S***** G****** on the bench as a Lampard -at -City style impact attacking midfielder , if his ego allows it
Happy New Year.
Looks like the Gerrard predicament will be solved quite soon with him going to LA Galaxy in the summer!
So with him and Lucas likely to go means we will need 2/3 new midfielders to come in and hit the ground running next season.
Gerrard’s off then come summer. Won’t pretend Im not happy and relieved which is sad. A genuinely great player at his peak – oft overused phrase these days.
Maybe now Rodgers won’t play him as often? And if this is the case, it means that those who have criticised him for being yellow will be proven correct. If not, then we’ve been wrong and will happily hold our hands up.
I know what will happen though. Less minutes for Gerrard on pitch in second half of season = better performances from LFC. Lets see.
I’m glad he’s going but wish it hadn’t come to this. With better management he’d have gone out at the top of his game and I wouldn’t think that his leaving was for the good of the club.
I’d like to know what you’re basing that on? Three league games Gerrard hasn’t started this season are:
Sunderland at home
Stoke at home
Swansea at home
I count one good half of football – a really good half – but one good half.
I hope we win our next 18 games regardless of whether Gerrard plays another minute, but the idea there’s any weight of evidence to suggest we’re going to be that much better without him is pure fantasy.
It’s the most obvious form of scapegoating I’ve seen for a good while.
I don’t know if your post was addressed to me or Chris. I’m basing it on y’know, watching footy. The guys on the show have eventually come around to it, you haven’t. Fair enough.