Post derby despair for the Reds off the back of a 1-1 defeat against an Everton side so negative it would make Moyes blush.
Joining Neil Atkinson for this week’s big show to trawl through a frustrating evening under a snow lit Anfield are Andy Heaton, Gareth Roberts, Paul Senior and Rob Gutmann.
Has the sucker punch penalty decision coloured a display that was broadly fine, or where Liverpool to blame for allowing the Blues to claim the most undeserved point.
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Direct – Free Podcast: Derby Day Despair For Sucker Punched Reds
Despair – ‘the complete loss or absence of hope’. For a match we drew.
What word are you going to use to describe our collective state of mind if we concede a last minute winner against Porto? Or if United thrash us at Old Trafford?
No coincidence that Klopp benched 2 Brazilians on a freezing cold day and that Mane was also so poor. We are a warm weather side whose good form is likely to book-end the campaign. The same is true of Chelsea, who are stuttering despite excellent looking fixtures right now and even City are falling away a bit. Latin players are becoming less effective, as they generally do at this time of the year. The next couple of months will be where Northern European players (who are generally technically inferior) start to shine. It’s not an issue of bravery, you are just at an obvious advantage if you have grown up playing through cold winters. I would expect the likes of Everton, Burnley, Spurs and others to do pretty well until March.
Nice theory Peter.
However what do you think about Chelsea’s results like in the cold(er) months from their last title winning season?
Nov 2016 – Mar 2017
56 points from 22 games.
They also won quite a few I think, before and after the above months, if you want to count the less frigid temperatures.
That’s true about Chelsea but there was still a drop-off around this time last year from them. The difference was they kept grinding out a result (Difficult 1-0 wins against West Brom, Sunderland and Palace, in mid-December. Earlier in the campaign, they had beaten United, Everton and City by big margins and looked untouchable). To be fair, they also regrouped and started to win games more comfortably before the Winter was out, but it wasn’t until the Spring before they looked in top form again. Chelsea’s squad of last season was considerably better than ours is now, particularly in terms of depth. We’ll come good again, but the next couple of months are likely to be very tough and big contributions from Lallana, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sturridge, Robertson and Wijnaldum are going to be vital.
I find the discussion about the penalty call fascinating. And confusing, frustrating, infuriating. Does anyone remember the time when we used to despise cheating? I guess that was back when you could, with a straight face, postulate the argument that diving was something only foreigners did. Now that there is no longer any denying that everyone cheats in equal measure, we have started talking about it in a completely different way.
The forward has “a right to go down” at the slightest hint of contact. The defender is at fault for giving the forward “the excuse” to go down. And giving the referee “a decision to make”, as if that is not his job in the first place. People are making up all these excuses for the cheating player, all the while conceding that there was no foul, it was no penalty. But “you have to give credit to the forward” for successfully deceiving the referee. What is going on here? Am I the only one who thinks this sounds ridiculous?
Neil says that the fundamental issue is that the referee, at least in this particular case, needs to be better at his job. I disagree. Yes, the referees have a job to do. But the fundamental issue, in my opinion, is how we have embraced cheating, diving, simulation, rigging the game in favor of attacking players. VAR is not going to make a difference either – just listen to ‘Clatsy’ and the pundits convincing themselves that Calvert-Lewin was the victim of a reckless, naive push in the back from Lovren. It’s embarrassing, but it is what football has become. It is what we’ve made it become. I don’t know why any child growing up would want to be a defender any more.. It is a thankless task, and it’s only going to get worse.
Have to say Rob Gutmann was the only one speaking any sense today in terms of Klopp’s rotation. There is no guarantee that we would have won if the attacking four were all playing from the start and this nonsense about Klopp not understanding the importance of the derby to the fans is just barmy. Klopp won his first three derbies. Not sure many managers have done that. The need to blame someone or something for every dropped point is becoming a bit tiresome. I was very disappointed that we didn’t win that game but Klopp picked a team he thought could win it and they should have. He has a lot more information to hand than we have and that has to be taken into consideration.
Totally. Rob was on the ball. I think that there are a number of ways of looking at this though. There are always reasons, points of view, for questioning the manager’s decisions. When put together with the bitterist of sauces i.e the result, the added spice of that pathetic penalty decision, in the bowl of living amidst evertonians, then it’s a pretty horrible thing to swallow.
In the bigger contexts this is gonna happen every now and again and we are going along quite nicely thank you Mr Klopp.
Couldn’t agree more about the midfield. I’m neither his biggest fan or a hater, but it looks increasingly like teams are quite happy to drop off when Henderson’s on the ball. That’s a bad look for a deep-lying midfield playmaker (for that’s his role in the team at present).
I thought Everton changed tactics at half time to put Rooney on Henderson because he was dictating the play which is at odds with your thought that teams are quite happy for him to have the ball. Maybe that’s just Everton – do you have any other sides in mind?
If a keeper takes a goal kick and the centre half gives the forward a little nudge they get given all through the game. CL’s shirt lifted above his short line from Lovren’s hand pushing him. I’ve not heard anyone outside of Liverpool fans even disputing that’s a pen. Daft to bring the ref wanting attention into this. It’s simply naive defending.
Phil Neville thought it wasn’t a pen. Not saying that’s definitive – just that he’s an example of a non-Liverpool fan thinking it was very soft.
Ok, first 1 I’ve heard about though I’m sure there’s more with a soft pen like that. When I played centre half, the level was Sunday league but there was one instance I couldn’t deal with which was a striker coming across me. You still get good, experienced strikers at that level. They make no attempt to play the ball, it’s all about shielding you. It’s a nightmare scenario. There’s 2 dangers. 1) Your feet get tangled and he goes down and 2) You use your strength to muscle him which can lead to it appearing you’ve bundled him over. I think you have to concede a situation like that by raising your arms level with your head to show there’s no foul and attempt to step back staying goal side to avoid feet tangling. If he comes back with you you can nip round the side of him and win it but more importantly, he puts himself in the position of being the guilty party. Putting both hands on his back and shoving, even slightly, is asking for trouble. It looks deceptive in the eyes of the ref, exactly like when you give them a little shove when you go up for a header. I think it was naive and invites a decision. Lovren should know better in that situation under those circumstances. CL would have had his back to goal with Lovren goal side. No danger.
Interesting view and similar to the one that my mate said to me (he, like you, thought it was a pen).
I could get on board with it being naive from Lovren but it seems from the slow-mo,at least from one of the angles, as if the striker initiates the contact (and fair play to him for that). If that is the case, then it’s very difficult to put too much blame onto the defender. Yes, he could run towards the ball with his hands in the air but we see defenders get criticised for doing similar e.g. when running towards an attacker with their hands behind their back to avoid a handball.
For me it looks incredibly soft (even more so when viewed in real time which is what the ref sees). Little more than a coming together which you see countless times during a match with no decision made. Certainly a lot less of a pen than the one given against Henderson v Brighton and, as you’ve been a defender too, we both know that a lot more will go on in the box on every set piece without getting pinged.
The bottom line is that Liverpool didn’t lose 2 points on that incident alone – a failure to take one of three great chances to get a second goal is what ultimately costs us the win.
People go on about all the angles but the one the ref saw clearly shows Lovren with his hands on his back. Like I said, you see the shirt rise where he applies the pressure. From the angle everyone talks about it not being a pen you see Lovren’s higher hand palm him off. Lastly, the fall wasn’t consistent with a dive. His legs went and his top half of his body went forward. Clear shove in my eyes. The fact he played for it and made the most of it is only good play. I’ve defended Lovren all season and was about to say both him and Klavan had had a good game up until that point. You’re right though. It wasn’t the sole reason it cost us. Oh well, West Brom on Wednesday. We go again.
I’m not fully convinced Solanke playing was down to rotation.
What game plan would you expect Palace to have at Anfield? What would you expect Newcastle to adopt v Liverpool? Burnley at Anfield? Huddersfield at Anfield? Everton at Anfield? In some ways you could argue Chelsea coming to Anfield. With hindsight we know they had a similar game plan to the former with more intent to catch us on the break.
So, if you look at the games Sturridge has started this season it’s Palace, Burnley, Huddersfield, Newcastle and Chelsea and he would have started yesterday too before Solanke. We all know how we still struggle a little against this low block. Even Maribor and Huddersfield we had to bide our time. Brighton took 30 minutes and was broken by the Can goal from the corner. I suppose what I’m getting at is Klopp knows he has to rotate. Is it coincidence he plays a more conventional striker for the very defensive teams? Firmino is generally the one he rests for Sturridge, obviously. Maybe it’s just the way it falls when Firmino /Mane needs a rest. I don’t think so.
On those games Sturridge has started, Palace was looking grim. Sturridge went off on 60 at 0-0. Burnley we drew 1-1. Newcastle 1-1, Huddersfield and finally Chelsea 1-1. Now Solanke comes in for Everton and it’s 1-1. If we’re gonna rotate Firmino, Salah and Mane (which we clearly have to) then we badly need 1 more forward and to give us more options probably a number 9. Solanke isn’t ready. Sturridge may have had his day now. West Brom will be interesting. If Sturridge was fit he’d play.
I think xG would be a much better stat to evaluate this game rather than shots on target. It was 2.0-0.1. Shots on target won’t take into account some excellent chances we had.
The argument that Harry Kane wouldn’t be taken off if Tottenham are 1-0 up in the derby is interesting given that he recently spent a few games crawling around the pitch looking absolutely gassed. They’ve dropped a lot of pts due to fatigue. You could reasonably argue that Chelsea & Arsenal have as well.
I think the rotation critique is off target, but the sub critique rings true. To me this was a matter of not being ruthless enough in both boxes, as Sean always points out. We’ve seen that time & time again with the supposed best 11. If we are going to rotate & gain the benefits of doing that, we need to accept that we can’t do it by half measures. We have the 2nd best form in the league over the past 6 games. Glad you recognized Gomez’s brilliant development. Hope to see Lallana soon. And I have to say I’ve turned around on the penalty. It probably was.
Klopp’s rotation was not the problem.
Mane had a few chances and so did Salah and only 1 was scored.
Was great to see Solanke have a game, but the sub I think came too late.
Also why Ings? He’s coming back from injury, and what is he supposed to do with so little time given his absence from first team, in a Derby match?
Who else was not performing before their goal was scored, that was preventing us from scoring more?
As for the penalty, soft or not itooked like one when there was no need for one. Everton were crap until then and we had four Reds including Lovren and our keeper already there. From all angles of the replay whatever his name was, wasn’t going directly on goal but more towards away from the Migs’ right side of goal.
Basic defending, under pressure from a good pass from Rooney was needed, where you usher the attacker away from goal and try to keep him there. Like I said if it was Suarez even the best of the best defenders would’ve had a tough time with this.
Due to Klopp’s approach the defenders play a high line so it should be second nature to expect these kinds of passes and runs, especially when Lovren has shown he has certain weaknesses.
For me Lovren made contact with the player but it was a soft penalty call. The timing and positioning of it probably just solidified the ref’s decision.
With VAR installed I think the Ref will still see the contact and resulting theatrics, but my guess is he would award the penalty due to contact made if he only based it on that. For me I would ask to see if the player was through on goal or not. For me he wasn’t.
Lastly we still had 17 minutes to win the game. The legendary Reds and manager of yesteryears found a way to win most of the time.
However we (including the manager) are more accustomed to analysis of excuses these days.