PODCAST: BLUE MONDAY by The Anfield Wrap | Mar 23, 2015 | Podcast | 27 comments NEIL ATKINSON was joined by Rob Gutmann, John Gibbons and Adam Smith on a miserable, hungover Monday morning after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Manchester United. Direct Link – PODCAST: BLUE MONDAY Podcast RSS feed. Get the TAW podcast on iTunes. 27 Comments Alan on 23 March 2015 at 4:46 pm Losing at home to Man Utd, Chelsea, Arsenal is par for the course under Rodgers. His woeful European record? 1 win in 6 Merseyside derbies? He’ll be a very lucky boy to still have a job if we finish below Spurs or Southampton. Reply TheAnfieldWrap on 23 March 2015 at 4:51 pm Even though we beat United home and away last season? Reply Alan on 23 March 2015 at 6:11 pm Yeah, with football genius David Moyes in charge. Everyone was beating them at Old Trafford with that clown in charge. Reply neu75 on 23 March 2015 at 7:34 pm We drew with Arsenal at home this season. Beat them 5-1 last. Get your facts right. Reply paul on 24 March 2015 at 9:19 am Chelsea are the best/strongest side in the country, with a successful manager that’s won silverware in four countries. Had they a proper striker last season, they’d have romped the league. The Mancs have been at the top end of the table all season, they may not be as good as a Fergie side, but they’re there on merit. We battered Arsenal last season. Can’t argue with Rodgers’ Euro record, it really is awful so far. Reply JonnyS on 24 March 2015 at 4:58 pm yep, he has one league cup run to the semis. We’ve struggled through this FA cup run against Championship opposition (and lower). Rodgers looks out of his depth in cup games where every game is a big game. It comes from not being a defensively sound manager and doesn’t value a strong midfield. That’s a bit of a warning bell really, is it a lack of experience or lack of class? Reply skydog on 23 March 2015 at 5:21 pm Always darkest before the dawn. This is a real chance for BR and the team to move out of Gerrard’s shadow and establish a new identity and way forward. Gutted by Gerrard and not the narrative I wanted for him, but life goes on. Reply scran on 23 March 2015 at 6:16 pm yous boys are a bit niave blackburn showed everyone the blueprint for playing against our system . The disapointing thing was BR couldnt see it and didnt change it just like Basle game swansea game keeps waiting till half time. if a team squeezes that high its not rocket science move sterling up front with Studger knock it over ther top and get them turned , then we can press them footballs a simple game boys as long as you understand it . Reply Chris Mc on 23 March 2015 at 6:18 pm Only listened to first half of it but the conversation regarding our poor performances since going to one game a week was bizarre. Ever thought the players might be tired? Rodgers spent £120m so he had depth to his squad and had options to rotate in order to counter us being out on our feet come May as was the case last year. And whats he done? Has he rotated? No. He doesnt know how. He doesnt trust it, himself or his players. He is all about momentum as a coach. Here’s a stat. Raheem Sterling has already played 1,171 more minutes this season than he did in the whole of last season. And that includes a week in the Caribbean. Think about that. We’re only in the middle of March, have a fifth of the season left and many of our players have done over 1000 more minutes than last season. As was correctly said in the pod, Rodgers has form for changing things after a loss. Yes, he does. But what sort of top manager is so reactionary? Good managers see things earlier and change things. And Im not having the argument “well if he changed a winning team/formation and we got beat everyone goes mad.” So fucking what? The manager needs to be above that. He needs to have more confidence and trust in himself and the decisions he makes. Remember Rafa? “Fuck you lot, I know more about football, if I decide to take Torres off its because it will be for the long term benefit of the team.” Remember Moyes’ excuse last year for keeping Van Persie on when half fit and losing at home to West Brom. “If Id brought him off the crowd would be wondering what I was doing!” How we all laughed and took the piss! Of the above two who is Rodgers more like? Yea, exactly. Our lads are tired. Energy levels have been significantly less this season. Last season, particularly at home, we went with a high press for 20 minute spells. Murdered teams like Arsenal, Everton and City early. This season its been non existant. Rodgers has not managed this area of squad management, energy levels and pressing well, either tactically or logistically over the course of the season, never mind all the other areas he’s cocked up. Surely even his most loyal and ardent fans will admit to this? Reply josek on 23 March 2015 at 6:39 pm Good old Rafa, the stick to beat all managers with. Aren’t faraway fields very green. Reply Alan on 23 March 2015 at 7:32 pm Rafa was far from perfect mate. But in six years he lost once at home to Utd. Rodgers has lost twice to them in only three years at Anfield. He’s lost 5 games out of 7 to them not including the preseason game Van Gaal also beat him in. Reply paul on 24 March 2015 at 9:22 am Rafa spend about a quarter of a billion pounds on players, and lured them in with massive wages, which we’re only just getting over now. He didn’t entice them in with CL glory, it was the fucking massive salary on the table. Reply JonnyS on 24 March 2015 at 4:53 pm true, but he was rebuilding the entire squad and selling to buy on the way. one over £15m purchase each year (except the arrival year), 2 if he could sell to raise money; plus various bargain basement buys to pad out the squad. When you’re constrained by money that is how you have to do it and you use wages cos there wasn’t the investment capital available. Our net spend was less than Stoke ffs. And remember his last 2 summers were zero net spend (might have been -$5m in 2008). 7 of his team went to Barca/Madrid/Chelsea and the big boys also wanted Agger, Skrtel (citeh) and initially Reina. Now compare that with Rodgers who is seduced by “system” teams ie Swansea and Southampton. Teams that work a plug and play system with journeymen players. Rodgers thinks it’s the players when it’s the system that makes them look good where they have limited responsibilities. Lallana is unlikely to ever be a top 4 player, Lovren was clearly poor at the World cup and before he came to Soton. Yet Rodgers doesn’t get it. He CANNOT pick players. Never mind the trophies, when is an English or British manager going to match Rafa’s record: – reduced our goals conceded by a quarter in his first season. – 2 CL finals, a semi and a couple of quarters. – 2 league finishes over 80 pts. – incredibly modest net spend. – made Gerrard realize his potential, working out in the first season that he’s not a central midfielder. – identified the problem with the academy and eventually got the power to rebuild it. – a team that sends 7 players to Barca/RM/Chelsea and the big boys wanted Agger and Reina too (even Skrtel). When is another manager going to match that kind of record? It’s astonishing. Even now, he’s been screaming for Napoli to buy him some defenders and a DM and they’re just not doing it. It’s the thing that is missing from that team but they won’t listen to him and so won’t rise above 3rd. Chris Mc on 23 March 2015 at 7:33 pm So from that entire post, which included a vital statistic, an observation on our lack of pressing, a brief comparison to last season, an analysis on Rodgers’ lack of rotation which goes against the stratedgy of the summer spending spree, and a criticism on his reactionary nature, you decide to pick the tiny bit about Rafa? Nothing to say about the rest because its all correct & you know Rodgers is short of what we need him to be? Aye, thought so. Reply Vignesh on 24 March 2015 at 11:24 am The vital statistic you quote, like much of your conlusions, is misinformed. Sterling played only half a season last year. Was barely bit part in the first half of the season. This year he has been a regular for the full season for the time. So I would most definitely expect him to have played much more than last year, rotation or not. That statistic is most definitely not vital. You presumptuously state that certain points in your arguments are not heeded with a reply because people cannot counter them. You must consider the fact, however painful, that it might be because many of your arguments are largely baloney. Reply The Lady In The Van on 23 March 2015 at 6:58 pm I find it incredible that people think that now is an apt time to criticise the manager. We have no idea how this game would have turned out if we had finished with ten men. We’ve just been on a lengthy unbeaten run and it’s come to an end following a suicidal 48 second display from our captain. We can judge the manager at the end of the season. Reply Chris Mc on 23 March 2015 at 7:53 pm Only looking at results instead of performances and against whom the results where gained (not losing at home to Leicester in our mythical “amazing” run of 13 league games undefeated is hardly much to be excited by) against? I mean, which of the 13 should we have lost? City at home? Not the way they’ve been playing. Off the ball they are atrocious. And we still created little. Who else? Palace? Burnley? Lambert’s Villa? Come on. The fixtures were hardly a nightmare and most of the performances were little more than ok. How many 90 minutes performances has there been? How many chances created? I said at the time relying on worldies (vs City) and flukes (vs Swansea) and keeping errors (vs Spurs) won’t cut it. And it hasnt. Not terribly forward thinking to go “13 unbeaten – happy days.” We had to go 13 unbeaten just to get into 5th place and even a chance of top 4. So what does that tell you about the manager’s Autumn? Wasnt the time to analyse him then. Apparently not the time to analyse him now. Its like the nonsense cliche of “at this stage of the season only results matter!” “Its not about the performances now, its about the points!” Ever noticed that is said at the start in August, at the international break at Halloween, at Christmas, at Easter and in the end in May. So when is the time for performances? It looks like Man City at home is going to be our best performance in an entire season. Think about that and tell me the manager is doing a good job. Reply Mark on 24 March 2015 at 12:09 am It’s sad chris because you sound like a bitter fool. One out of two is probs ok but two out of two I just pity you. Rodgers is one of the finest young managers in the world. Will he make mistakes? Of course. Like young footballers do. Is there the indication of supreme potential there? Last season shows that. You have had to wait 13 matches and a defeat to a good team that by the way happened under Rafa multiple times to be able to speak (13 games that by the way irrespective of the quality of the opposition includes a record breaking away run going back to shankleys day – and there have been easier runs in that period. A plethora of them). You must be delighted. Hopefully we have to wait another 13 games before you raise your head again. But rest assured you probably will. Also define a “reactive” manager. You can set your team up in two ways. 1) this is how we play, this is what we do, you worry about us more than we worry about you 2) studying the opposition and setting up to nullify that first. Neither is right or wrong they are different approaches. The former gets a team on an 11 game winning streak/allows them to dispatch weaker sides to give them a greater chance to win the league the latter typically reduces a teams chances of winning the league as it is hard to rack up the routine wins but increases their chances of knocking out bigger teams in say European competition. Neither is right or wrong but the second style, adapting to nullify the competition is reactive to their likely set up. The former could be considered proactive. In any case. Reactive or not. Rodgers in game management is beyond dispute. As is his ability to develop and learn. If you aren’t patient enough for the journey and aren’t satisfied enough with the quality of the football along the way suggest you pack it in right now or go and join the chelsea supports club. Reply The Lady In The Van on 23 March 2015 at 8:38 pm Alright Chris Mc, tell us who we can get in to replace him that is going to give us more success? We have a young manager that gets us playing attractive football and he has already come closer to a title than any manager since Dalglish in his first spell as boss. Do you think we could attract Mourinho/Guardiola/Ancelotti, or are you thinking of sending your own CV in to FSG? Reply Chris Mc on 24 March 2015 at 1:32 am Fancy attacking and countering my critique of Rodgers and stating why you disagree, rather than pathetically arguing ad hominem? PS: in what fucking world has Rodgers got us playing attractive football in the last 11 months? We’ve scored 44 goals in 30 league games for fuck sake. 44! We create next to nothing on a regulare basis. We had one shot on target at home vs Smalling, Jones, Blind and Valencia. Attractive it is not. Reply Vignesh on 25 March 2015 at 2:20 am Way to contradict yourself Chris. You talk about evaluating performances and not results. But the argument you make is based on goals scored, which is clearly a proxy for results and not performances. If you really wan to look at performances and use some numbs to prove your point, look at total shot ratio, Shots on target ratio and PDO for context. You’ll notice that Liverpool have been in the top 4 clubs in England on the first two metrics for the season and the top 2 during this run of ours. Also you will find that our results during this stretch were not luck driven. Our PDO hovers close to 1000 all through. So yeah, our performances have been very good in this period, even though your “analysis” says otherwise. Seriously lad, at least make cogent arguments. PS: I’m assuming you are versed with the statistical measures I quoted, if not take the time to at least understand them. It’ll help your outlook and definitely stop you making baseless conclusions. I’m assuming Reply Michael Brock on 24 March 2015 at 3:29 am Some will blame Stevie because of his sending off some will ask why he did what he did I o it was a couple of factor’s one of them being that we we’re toothless in midfield and had no one with the experience he has Stevie should have started not in my life time will Joe Allen or hendo be the player Stevie still is Our downfall in the game should be put down to BR he took away Coughs danger by putting sterling at right wing back the of them have an understanding, to try and the result at Stevie’s sending off means you mist the better performance by 10 men and the move for sterling from right with g back Reply The Lady In The Van on 24 March 2015 at 9:36 am Chris Mc. We pass the ball and go past men more than at any time I can remember since the late-1980s. We were an appalling team to watch under both Houllier and Benitez, most of the time. BR lost his top striker, got lumbered with a replacement that he didn’t want and was never going to fit. Then his other main striker got injured and is still trying to rediscover some form. It’s not unreasonable to ask who you think we could get in to replace Rodgers. Reply maude on 24 March 2015 at 12:16 pm What about his ‘philosophy ‘? Eh? ‘Death by football ‘ ?! He talks a great game. And a lot of dumb fuckers on here lap it up. ‘Ooh we came second’. And? The bloke is a naive buffoon. And by FSG’S own standards : no top 4 out the door! He’s embarrassing in Europe. And stole Basals formation. His replacement? Rafa. Gauranteed Champs League finals / semis. Reply The Lady In The Van on 25 March 2015 at 9:17 am We came 2nd to a team that wasn’t even a factor when Benitez was in charge. People massively underestimate how bad the huge financial investment in City has been for our club. Reply JonnyS on 24 March 2015 at 5:15 pm love your work guys. the shows are a bit overlapping or come across that way, we’ll see if that sorts itself out and they each get their own identity. Good luck with it. re Utd, Rodgers set up wrong ala Swansea game. And with Utd nullifying spurs in the midfield the day before, what further heads up did Rodgers need to see what was going to happen????? His box midfield – he’s in love with it because we beat Citeh (and Swansea at Xmas) and stubbornly refuses to see its limitation. he puts 2 midfielders behind the half way line and 2 in front of it, but when the opposition just has 2 lines of players they outnumber you in both zones. That’s what Utd did so we were just chasing shadows. After 20mins he changed to a more diamond formation which stopped us being outnumbered and pushed them back to their half over the half way line, but we were already a goal down – he had told Allen and the others to get forwards which left Herrera all on his own to make that pass out to Mata. Swansea would have achieved the same if they had more quality. But Rodgers sees this as defensive so he doesn’t like to do it, he wants two in front of Hendo and Allen he thinks that’s aggressive but it just concedes midfield and he’s NEVER understood having a strong midfield or the balance a proper DM brings. It’s seriously championship level mentality. He just thinks “intenstiy (TM)” from Allen and Hendo will be enough yet every time we bring in a DM role the others can push forwards and we are sooooo much more balanced. As for Mata, LVG exploited the back 3 by stretching it, Mata played Moreno constantly so when he was marked, Mata moved inside so moreno never knew whether to go with him or hold position and his world class finishing showed through (he’s better than Rooney). Moreno isn’t learning to defend properly and hold position because Rodgers wants his FBs to be wingers. So he continues to be a Lovren sized liability at full back. Rodgers’ defensive deficiencies once again. And Neil is right about clear chances – despite having a jab at the press about defensive solidity, we don’t create clear chances. That’s the problem he should be focused on, not his new defensive record, and not using Sterling properly is the problem. We’re too deep, we’re a team of midfielders and don’t get high up the pitch enough. Sterling would help that forcing the opposition back which would allow the wing backs to get forwards, then Coutinho (and Henderson) can do his passing thing with outlets and players creating havoc with the defenders. Rodgers has to shape up quickly. His limitations/mistakes scream mediocrity at an unbelievable volume. LVG still isn’t all that it seems but we made them look good. Just moving to a diamond we got the midfield back. Reply des on 25 March 2015 at 8:17 am WHY IS STERLING A WING BACK? DO BARCELONA PLAY THEIR MOST DANGEROUS PLAYER MESSI AS A FULL BACK??? Reply Submit a Comment Cancel replyYour email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *Comment Name * Email * Website Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.