FOOTBALL supporters can be fickle, and I certainly am at times. At any football club around the world there are moments when you really admire a player, and then there are moments you basically despise them, look no further than Dejan Lovren for the latter, writes LACHLAN BALLINGALL.
The game itself is emotional, so it is no surprise many supporters are like that. One minute you feel that the football gods are with you, then the next you feel as if they may be against you, or maybe that’s just what it’s like to support Liverpool.
If there’s one player that has the ability to test the emotions of every Liverpool supporter, then it’s Alberto Moreno.
Let’s be honest, his career under Jürgen Klopp at Anfield looked dead and buried at the end of last season. The opening day of the 2016-17 Premier League season against Arsenal felt like the final nail in the coffin. His challenge that gave The Gunners a penalty coupled with his horrendous positioning for Theo Walcott’s goal, lead many, including me, to thinking it was the end.
What made it worse for the Spaniard was the fact he was coming off the back of an atrocious Europa League final against his former club Sevilla the season before that, so patience was thin within the supporter base and seemingly the club’s management.
The inevitable finally happened over the remainder of last season. James Milner, who despite being versatile has never really been a left back, was given the duties for the season. Someone who was a central midfielder by trade regularly being picked ahead of a natural left back, it seemed destined to be the end for Moreno. Two starts despite being fit for all 38 league games last season told the story.
After Liverpool brought in promising left back Andy Robertson from Hull City this summer, all the background noise suggested that the club were just waiting for the right suitors to move Moreno on, but then the miraculous happened.
The pacey full back looked a different player in every single minute he played throughout pre season, including his most notable performance at the Allianz Arena against Bayern Munich. No one wanted to say anything too soon, as most Reds knew he still had plenty to prove — as he still does.
With Sevilla at Anfield for the first group game of Liverpool’s Champions League campaign on Wednesday night, Moreno had been on a decent run throughout the Premier League games he had played so far this season without being outstanding.
As the game kicked off any nerves coming from supporters regarding Moreno vanished quickly. He was getting up and down the left flank with real confidence and had the beating of Sevilla’s right back for most of the game.
In attack, he was linking up with the front three well. The way he played the one-touch football with Jordan Henderson outside the box was picturesque, and then to put the ball on a plate for Roberto Firmino to score gave a glimpse of what he adds going forward when at his best.
Defensively, he wasn’t too bad either. There will always be room for improvement when it comes to defending, as that has always been the area of his game under most scrutiny, but he has looked better in the games he has played thus far.
That’s not to say Moreno is all of a sudden a world beater, but he’s proven to be one of the brighter sparks of a defensive unit that have flattered to deceive so far this season.
He may not have won everybody over yet, but if he continues on this upward trajectory there is no reason he can’t still be at the club for years to come.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
Like The Anfield Wrap on Facebook
Great start but by the end of the game the same old Moreno had returned lucky to stay on the pitch. No good having a LB that is good going forward but can’t defend consistently in a back 4 on a whole that struggles to defend as a unit.
If moreno continue to improve at left back why not give him chance
It will be a long time before Moreno is given any credit by some Liverpool fans. There is a faction of the fan base that is rather unforgiving, and in some cases blind to improvement. Once a player is labeled “not good enough” by this group, whether warranted or not, it is very difficult for the player to sway opinion. A few of the Players currently in that class include Moreno, Klavan, Karius, and of course Dejan Lovren. To a slightly lesser extent Jordan Henderson unless these players are absolutely spectacular in a game their performance will be rated as Shiite by these fans. So yes, Moreno played well on Wednesday. Did these fans give him any credit? No. Did they applaud his efforts supporting the attack? No. Did they base their opinion of Moreno entirely on the few occasions he was caught to far forward? Absolutely. These fans are fast becoming a problem not just for the players they target but for fellow supporters as well. Who wants to sit through a game at Anfield next to a “supporter” screaming obscenities at certain Liverpool players every time they touch the ball? How exactly does this behavior help create a winning atmosphere? You would have to ask them because I haven’t the slightest. I appreciate your positive piece on Alberto but I doubt that everyone will feel the same way. Thanks anyway.
Top post mate. It seems there is one of these people near you wherever you’re sitting in the ground. I honestly believe that people think they’re showing their footballing intelligence by slagging players off. That’s the pundit culture of the modern day fan, unfortunately.
Football fans are fickle with full backs. Even when Carra played there in early 2000s, the criticism was that he couldn’t attack. Buy Ziege and he got criticised he couldn’t defend. Buy Riise, same issue. Finnan/Arberloa were too defensive – get in Glen Johnson, who couldn’t defend.
Think fans want someone who can attack like Roberto Carlos but defend like Maldini, when in reality no such player exists – bar the very very elite FBs but even then they are few and far between.
Not a defensive bone in his body. Looks nice going forward though.
I believe that was exact opposite of the criticism levelled at Clyne last year. So what we’re actually after is a full back who defends like Clyne and attacks like Moreno. Whilst we’re on a roll, I’m also looking for the perfect woman, and Santa.
Clyne consistently gives 7 outta 10 performances.
He’s a right back. A defender. Quite good at it.
None of this can be said of Moreno.
There is no comparison.
Moreno is a defender that pretty much can’t defend.
That’s a bit of a problem…..for a defender.
Then play Clyne at Left Back or Right Back, while playing Moreno in front of him, as Left or Right Winger.
Then we will see less complaints about these two players’ deficiencies, when one compliments the other player’s ability.
Repeat this with the opposite side of the pitch with another set of matching players.
Can’t understand these modern defensive tactics. When I used to play, I played CB. We weren’t designated the left or right side of centre but my playing partner used to mark the forward and I sat off. Now, when the forward moved along the box my partner would follow (and mark) him no matter where he went and I would fill the gap..simples. Nowadays its all about zones, bloody zones I don’t see any markings on the pitch so where are these zones? Perfectly exemplified on Saturday when we lose the ball in the middle of the park and 1 pass puts Aguero, who by the way is standing in between the 2 CBs in their ‘zones’, away to score. Now in my day my partner would have been standing behind him, now not saying he wouldn’t have scored but he would not have had the freedom he had. That’s the biggest problem I see with our players, sometimes they are too eager to close opposition players down. How many times do we see 2/3 players running at the same man, who can then lay it off because there are players free, if you’re next to a player who lays the ball off don’t follow the ball stay with your man, again simples!! It seems to me that these simple defensive tactics are missing from todays game but then again I played in a different era and the game today is much better with tactically genius managers???
He’s not convinced me at all. He just doesn’t have a football brain. Should have scored the other night and could have been sent off which pretty much sums him up as a player. Also Lovren seems to be all over the place with Moreno beside him. I will get behind the lad when he’s playing but would like to give Robertson a run.
Poor for both goals, hes a defender not a forward. Sooner the better this train wreck of an experiment is over
He really has improved from last year. As a non fan I will hold my hands up to that. Yet I’m still as nervous as hell when he is chasing back to defend.
Let’s get one thing clear, a member of the back four defends first. At full back (apologies for the outdated terminology) it’s a bonus if the player can also get down the line and provide a good final ball. Down the years Liverpool full backs have been defenders first and auxiliary wingers second. Don’t give me the current mantra that they’re wing backs. Before that term was invented Chris Lawler was the highest scoring full back from open play and Phil Neal was a constant menace to opposing defences but they were defenders first. The sad truth is that Moreno is technically deficient in that he doesn’t know how to tackle or attend to his primary duty of closing down the opponents right wing channel. He has no timing in making aggressive headers – how many times does he hurtle into a header for the ball to come off the side/back of his head? If the technique is not there then uncontrolled enthusiasm will do. Given this scenario, why did Klopp buy Andrew Robertson only to consign him to oblivion. He is a tried and tested full back who has a sweet left foot compared to Moreno’s hit and hope crosses (notwithstanding the ball to Firmino against Seville).
Tbh morenos a god in my eyes. He plays like he gives a shit and defends like hes terrified. Football should be entertaining and this lad entertains. He may not be great for all those who thinks league position and winning a little cup are some measure of a good football team but they’re just glory supporters anyway. If you dont watch the game to be entertained then whats it for aye? Little albie is entertaining. Him, mane, salah, woodburn, trent, studge, roberto firmino… pure entertainment. We aint winning shit this year so just be entertained!
Defence as bad as the early nineties under Souness
If moreno continue to improve at left back why not give him chance?
“Dismal” defence with record clean sheets – I am afraid to mention it.
Moreno is a leftback. A defender. His job, fundamentally, is to stop them scoring and to stop crosses coming in from his sided. He doesn’t do that. In fact he’s pretty poor at that.
Yes he’s had a few decent games going forward but his job as a defender is to defend. These momentary blips of good attacking forays masks his massive defensive deficiencies which contribute to our inability to keep a clean sheet. The reason why we draw games we should win. The reason why we lose Europa League finals.
This is his 4th season with us as a leftback. I can’t believe I’m typing that.
Hi Michael, Moreno, for me, remains a player playing in the wrong position. He is not a left back.
You can try him there, but he simply isn’t a left back.
I think he is better up front, and might actually take the pressure off of defending, as he doesn’t seem to understand what comes natural to some players, but Moreno continually gets slagged off for it.
I do understand Moreno needs to take and execute instructions, and so far he has tried, but those lunges, etc, and his positioning for me beckons to be either eject him permanently from the squad or play him in the position that he doesn’t become a liability to the team.
That’s my two cents/pence.
So Moreno returns to form. One of the worst defenders in LFC’s history. Almost single-handedly lost us the uefa cup final. Dozens of monumental game changing screwups since he’s been with us. Consistently out of position. Looks like a rabbit in headlights when he is in position. And, true to form, proves he has zero defensive ability with his disgraceful second half display against Seville last night. When will people realise that the man can’t defend. Just look at almost all of his predecessors in this position and it’s so obvious how badly he compares. He should never have played again after his upteenth screwup against Seville in the Uefa final. The fact that he’s there at all is astounding. Literally unsurmountable in incompetence. The idiot of LFC defence. And that’s saying something.
Lovren seems to be all over the place with Moreno beside him. I will get behind the lad when he’s playing but would like to give Robertson a run.
Not a defensive bone in his body. Looks nice going forward though.