NEIL ATKINSON, Mike Nevin, Andy Heaton and Rob Gutmann reflect upon possibly the most routine win of the season against Burnley before turning their attention to an FA Cup quarter-final against Blackburn Rovers.
Stephen Langstaff – Sirens
New single from the ex LFC school boy which will be released on 23rd March.
He is touring the UK over the next couple of months including Birmingham this Saturday night and a single release party at Leaf on March 28th.
For full tour dates and links to all his social media go to
Thomas McConnell – Crocodile
Another new single from a talented young Liverpool singer we have played before. You can buy the single digitally and on CD and get links to all his social media at
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Spain 4-3 Yugoslavia, Euro 2000…
Italy 3-2 Brazil, Spain 1982 or Brazil 1-1 France, Mexico 1986.
france 3 portugal 2 euro 84
Good shout. Was that the game when Platini put in a perfect cross with the outside of his right foot?
Excellent show this. The dynamics of it seemed to work well. Normally I judge on content but I got a feeling listening to this there was a good balance in the room which is ironic in a way because that’s my overriding feeling about the team at the minute. Is Rob the sanest, most reasoned man that’s ever lived? I listened to this on the radio, whilst taking the Friday, more scenic route through the Cheshire countryside which, as mentioned before, takes an hour so I can hear the whole show. It’s become a really pleasant way to start the weekend. It’s funny but whereas I used to despise order and routine, little rituals like this now bring a strange comfort. Ageing is a funny thing. If planned correctly TAW player could end evening commuting on the motorway for me. Anyway, back to Rob, when I got in I was buzzing because the show had reminded me of how good we are so I decided to listen to episode 1 of TAW. I think it was episode 1 anyway. It said it was but Neil made a curious remark to Andy that he ‘mentioned it on last week’s podcast’. With the benefit of hindsight it was a fascinating listen. I remember at the time I thought he made calm and calculated points but hindsight backs them up too. Hearing Jim on there was interesting too. It was like listening to a different person. Made me realise his issues are over his love of Dalglish. I felt it helped me understand his current views a bit better.
One of the amazing things about the dynamics of the team is, putting the back 3 and keeper aside, if anyone has to sit out whether through injury or rotation then the next best in the pecking order can step in, regardless of who is out. So, if it’s Sturridge that’s out it’s not like the olden days where you’d look at the options and think Lambert, Borini or Mario. It could well be Lucas who comes in to replace Sturridge. We can easily accommodate that change because of the versatility of the team. The new buzz I’m on over the dynamics of the team is a result of the Henderson and Allen partnership. I think Lallana helps it too. Lovren deserves some credit but I’m looking forward to seeing Sakho back. Him and Can playing out from the back with Henderson and Allen picking it up and feeding the tricky ones will be like watching the cogs of a machine in action. It’d be ridiculous to disrupt that balance. It’s unbelievable how quick things are changing. Last month Lucas became our best player of the last 8 years, Mario became our best impact player off the bench since David Fairclough. Ibe the most exciting talent since Sterling and Markovic showed promise. Add to that the old guard like Enrique, Johnson and Gerrard and yet none of them can get near the team. The way the team is going I only think Ibe and Markovic have a future out of those. Flanagan is another who fits the profile to stay. I’d like to say the others don’t fit Rodgers mould but I believe it’s more an FSG model. Forget moisturisers and coffee. In the same way Liverpool’s identity in the days of 2009/2010 was shaped by SOS not H&G in 2014/ 2015 it’s shaped by the style of football we play not the corporate side.
I’m with Mike. My feeling at the minute is that Can may be better staying there for the foreseeable future. Like I say, it’s all about balance.
Tom Heaton’s a good keeper but then I’d expect nothing less from a lad from my school. I’ve never met him but some of my younger mates played in the school team with him.
The summer will be interesting. We have a squad now. Keeper aside, we just need to spend our budget on one top player who would definitely be a starter. Saw on Twitter today that we need to tie Henderson down. We don’t. We can do it when the time is right because he’s going nowhere. He’s Liverpool through and through. I like that assurance in our players. Hate it when I’m nervous that our best players may leave if an offer comes in. Same about the Rodgers link to City, it didn’t even register except for a wry smile. I think this is part of the mindset FSG spoke about. Young and hungry.
Regarding the points on rotation, I don’t feel too troubled by it if I’m honest. As Andy alluded to, I think Rodgers is managing them well in training. We got a glimpse of this with the Sturridge fiasco earlier in the season. We saw it on Sunday too. They were supposed to be knackered against City but were the opposite. Then there was the fear the hangover was delayed until Wednesday – it wasn’t .
Again, my view is similar to Mikes. I thought we were truly excellent for an hour. On about 75 minutes the crowd behind me started getting restless shouting ‘come on Liverpool, get at them’. It’s stupid really. A couple of minutes earlier Burnley had a corner. Imagine if they scored. We’d then have 15 minutes of hell. Simply not worth the risk. Professionalism. We may have kept our foot on the pedal and got an injury that cost us points in the run in.
Anyway, excellent show, excellent team and I, for one, appreciated hearing credit being given where it’s due. It’s been a difficult few weeks for me seeing the team do so well but still hearing people question some of our brilliant players. I think we’re all on the same page now. I love it when we’re brilliant and the fans are united.
Great show this week.
The panel touched on something this week without naming it. We may be at the start of a remarkable journey. Brendan Rodgers is developing a team of total footballers. It’s a bold claim, but look at the evidence: players are frequently changing positions within games. And Sterling, Ibe, Markovic, Can, Joe Allen, Coutinho and Henderson can all play in any number of positions; Christ, even Martin Skrtl has become a footballer! Watch carefully and you’ll see the team switch from 3-4-3 to 5-4-1 to 3-4-2-1 to 4-4-1-1 as games require. It’s very, very impressive indeed and, one assumes, the fruition of all the manager’s work on the training ground. Now imagine next season, without the politics of managing a fading icon and a focus only on the present and the future. Looks good, doesn’t it?
The future’s bright, the future’s red.
Just need to start the season well. I wonder why we’re so much better in the second half of the season. Strange and intriguing. What do you reckon Paul? Circumstances and coincidence over the 3 seasons or something deeper? We’ll win the league soon though regardless.
According to those ‘ITK’ (I’m certainly not one of them), the owners have been posing the same question. There’s a feeling that he begins each season determined to impose his Swansea philosophy on the team only to react when results go against him. I’ve no idea whether there’s any truth in this allegation, but that’s the rumour. There’s clearly a conditioning element too.
Wow. That’s interesting mate. Just hope these ITk’s you mention aren’t Chris Mc and Kevin Barry. I think he’ll get it right at the start of next season. In his first season he had a tough opening program which got us off on the wrong foot. Last season wasn’t too bad. Hull away was a low point but all in all we were up there by December. I still think the problems of this season were easy to see although he solved it with the same personnel. I can’t wait for next season. Just hope Coutinho keeps his place in the Brazil team. Could be crucial to his future with us.
That’s where I am, each season he has an idea of how he wants the team to play, it doesn’t work and he has to chuck it all away and be more pragmatic, quicker tempo and more direct.
It causes us no end of trouble and add in his poor eye for a player and then having to persevere with them and it explains a lot of our problems.
Well there should be no excuse next season. He’ll have bedded players in and the new system feels in many ways like a compromise between last season’s high-octane counter-attacking and Swansea-style possession. The major difference, and one that could explain the start to this season, is that last season’s style wasn’t sustainable, it was too dependent on Suarez. This season’s style is, so there should be no need for a tactical overhaul over the close season. Milner’s said to have agreed terms, he’s another who can play in any number of positions and should add depth and experience to a young squad.
I don’t think Sturridge has worked out how to be the lone striker yet.
The one thought I have amongst this excellent footy is that neither Citeh or Burnley went for our midfield the way some teams have.
Southampton controlled us well and could have had 2 penalties in 5 mins. Our midfield isn’t the finished product yet.
And it could well look worse once Stevie is back in it.
But we still won, didn’t we? And we keep finding ways to win. You may be right about Sturridge, that’s certainly Chris Bascombe’s view, but he’ll learn, he was moving the ball more quickly against Burnley. He won’t bring Gerrard back will he? The midfield should be any two of Lucas, Allen and Henderson with Sakho slotting straight back in next week. Theres’s only one thing missing from the formation that I can see, the wing-backs need to learn when to tuck in to make a midfield 3 during pressure points. Can has been stepping up, which helps, but we need a little more pro-activity from the wide fellas.It will come with time.
Not to bothered about the goal difference, we’ll smash United 4-0 and it’s gone.
The point made about both teams easing off at 2-0 is similar to what Madrid to us at 0-3 back in the dark days.
It seems to happen between 2 teams when there’s maybe a bit of sympathy from one manager to another. Cardiff at home last season springs to mind. Malky Makay, who worked with Rodgers previously, was on the verge of getting sacked, we went 3-0 up, eased of it ended 3-1. Other times last season there was none of this easing off particularly against other top sides. That’s why I think if we could well blow that goal difference away in no time.
Oh aye, and the Henderson/Sturridge goal: it has been worked on in training. At least three goals have come from that cross this season, Borini, Sturridge at Palace, now this.