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Incompetence or negligence?
Liverpool 2017/18 – Played: 8 W: 4 D: 3 L: 1 GF: 17 GA: 14 GD: + 3
Manchester City 2017/18 – Played: 6 W: 5 D: 1 L: 0 GF: 20 GA: 2 GD: + 18
Pep Guardiola, at the end of last season, identified City’s defence as a weakness and promptly went out and solved the problem by replacing Messrs. Clichy, Zabaleta and Sagna with Mendy, Walker and Silva.
Jurgen Klopp, at the end of last season, identified Liverpool’s defence as a weakness and promptly spent the entire summer chasing Virgil Van Dijk. And No One Else.
Saturday – Liverpool: 35 shots, 9 on target, 1 goal.
Burnley: 5 shots, 4 on target, 1 goal.
To explain Liverpool’s latest defensive brainfart, at Anfield, against perennial relegation candidates Burnley:
“Could Trent have won the first headed challenge? Yes,” he explained.
“Then the block on Joel, it’s difficult to do better because the defender cannot do it exactly the same because then it’s a foul.
“I’m not sure if it was already in the box but for sure around the box. He did it in 500 other situations really well.
“Raggy was there to protect the situation but the ball bounced in the wrong direction, it’s difficult to judge.
“Robbo knows he could have seen Arfield earlier. That’s how it is. He goes in between; it was a bouncing ball.
“They are quicker and they are more used to these situations, they do it more often. That’s what they are working for.
“He hit the ball perfect, it was not even that he needed a few touches. It was a good goal, absolutely, but we could have defended it much better.”
Incompetence or negligence, take your pick. Liverpool are going nowhere and will achieve nothing as long as this kind of logic is tolerated. As a great philosopher once said, “it’s deja vu all over again.”
Can’t blame Lovren now…
So the defensive system failed and cost us another 2 points.
I don’t claim to be a football expert but can’t you people see that the issue with the team now is we have not perfected the defensive shape? It’s not down to a single individual.
No doubt Lovren made a mistake on Wednesday, and if we attribute blame, Klavan yesterday. But hell if your full backs are bombing forward all the time leaving space behind which you have to cover, and all the midfielders are generally ‘attacking’ minded in nature, you are bound to be making mistakes, and I am saying this from experience, from playing Sunday super amateur football, where all the fullbacks think they are Alves and all the midfielders think they are Pogba. It’s effectively a 2-6-2 formation.
And also to all those who have been saying we should have signed this center half that center half, yeah we should have signed your mum as well. What is this? Football Manager ? How many of you have actually seen these players play? F I have read people saying we should have signed that Davidson Sanchez guy Spurs signed. I play a lot of FM and I have not even heard of him before. Am sure the scouting team plays more Football Manager than us.
Point is, I have waited 20 odds years for us to win the league, I will happily wait a couple more for Klopp to get it right. It’s been a long while since I am genuinely excited about a Liverpool team as the one in progress now.
Ian, KL (if it’s #kloppout then #whoin)
More Liverpool thoughts
Just writing with a few frustrated thoughts on Liverpool’s predictable yet irritating draw with Burnley..
First, the lineup. I actually think Klopp picked a good lineup. Firmino in previous games looked frustrated on left wing, but with Coutinho playing behind him on the same side, he interchanged quite well and got himself in some nice positions centre and left. Robertson also produced a sober, calm counterpart to Moreno’s hair-pulling, livewire perfomance at left back. Coutinho was rusty and so many times opted for the throughball to no one or the shot into Row Z when a simple pass was open. expect that he’ll get better as he gets more games.
Can, my favourite player and personal MOTM (no bias in decision), also looked much better than Henderson as holding, with his gorgeous assist for Salah, blending a mix of sitting between the 2 centre backs and driving forward with the ball. Unfortunately, he still has the turning circle of an aircraft carrier and he is sometimes clumsy with his touch and challenges. Henderson, i feel, offers neither that same drive going forward or tackling, nor tactical awareness. im not sure of the exact statistics, but it does feel like Can completes more of his passes.
Anyways, just like in the midweek CL game, we created plenty of chances, but wasted them so wastefully? (running out of words fo frustrating). Yes, our defensive cock-ups are what gives the opposition goals and pegs us back, but there were so many chances, both now and midweek, that if we had converted, would have brought us comfortable wins i feel. Of course there were more in the more open Sevilla match, but for example, Salah and Sturridge both found themselves in the top left of the box at least thrice, perfect position for a chipped pass, lay-off, or curler, but only offered tame shots straight at keeper. another is solanke hitting the crossbar from point-blank. I imagine, that with more ruthlessness in these chances and half-chances, we might get something akin to Brendan Rodgers’ 13-14 season, where we shipped goals by the bucket but scored by the (something far bigger than a bucket) plus a few ‘scrappy’ points along the way.
Also, I read the article about Klopp and Wenger’s stubborness, and i have to say, i absolutely agree. Klopp’s 2 changes both came around the 80 minute mark, too late for two players new to LFC, (Solanke and the Ox) to really get into the game- despite their efforts and Solanke’s missed chance-. Not only does Klopp wait too long to make game-changing subs, he rarely changes his formation. When the subs were made, I thoought he would go 4-4-2 with Solanke and Sturridge up front, so we’d have two strikers right at Burnley to try and force the issue. instead, he shoved the target-man Solanke left wing and the Ox into Right centre mid. Granted, he was apparently promised more opportunities in centre, but surely the game at this point called for his power and crosses down the wings for Solanke or Sturridge.
Suddenly changing from 1 to 2 central strikers can really unsettle and confuse a defence. Surely we needed that? Burnley’s centrebacks barely broke a sweat in the second half. And it’s not as if Klopp has never used this formation. In his first season, i seem to remember him using almost exclusively a 4-4-1-1. WOuld it be that hard to try something new? one mark of a good team is tactical flexibility. Tottenham, for example, can play a 3-4-3 or switch to 4-2-3-1. City likewise, with a 3-5-2 or 4-3-3. But we’ve grown so used to this sort of repeated inflexibility. It’s like a partner who keeps on promising to turn over a new leaf and change, and you keep getting your hopes up despite knowing he/she’s a leopard who wont change their spots, and then get upset when they commit the same mistake.
With much sighing and regret,
Klopp’s biggest weakness
Jurgen Klopp is quite simply quite terrible at in game management. While I disagree with popular opinion that he is not the most tacticaly aware, his in game management leaves a lot to be desired for. Jurgen Klopp is quite simply quite terrible at in game management. While I disagree with popular opinion that he is not the most tacticaly aware, his in game management leaves a lot to be desired for. From minute 60, when plan A was not working, hr should have supported sturridge with solanke and maybe even got Moreno to support the attack. 14 minutes for AOC and Solanke to make a difference is ridiculous.
Oh and the defense probably needs working on.
Sort it out Jurgen..Sid, LFC
Disappointed Spurs conclusion
1. If Sissoko is the answer, the question must be ‘who is our shittest signing ever’.
2. Swansea defended well and got what they came for.
3. I miss White Hart Lane. A lot.
4. Why didn’t Ben Davies play? If he was injured he shouldn’t have made the bench. Seeing trippier on the left 2nd half was a complete mystery.
5. Not sure why we played 3 at the back all game when Tammy Abraham is up front on his own and is as bad as that.
6. No urgency or desire apart from 20 minutes or so was the worst thing.
7. We all noticed Mike Dean.
Dave, Winchester Spurs
You had this one coming
I’m guessing that wasn’t “only Swansea”?
It was only Swansea.
dele alli was terrible. I’d have taken off alli and left Son on.
0-0 v 0-0
Many non-football fans use the 0-0 as the stick with which to beat the game. If you were to use Wests Ham and Brom as the example it would be very difficult to make a case for the beautiful game. It’s a good thing that it’s not like baseball where draws are not allowed – they’d still be playing. File that one under “time I’ll never get back”.
If Tottenham v. Swansea is the example, I believe that the case can be made. No goals, but you could see the strategy and game plan and Swansea executed almost to perfection (ignore Mike Dean because that’s a whole other kettle of fish). Goal attempts, saves, blocks, the bar. File that one under “entertaining game.”
Richardygk (don’t mock me for who I support), WHUFC, TFC, Kingston, Ontario
Early days, last season started well too etc etc, but bloody hell!
This is pretty much what City had in mind when they hired Pep isn’t it?
That was phenomenal.
Who does that.. All against opponents that aren’t named crystal palace.. I’m really scared… The trio of De Bruyne and the 2 Silvas are truly majestic in their strides.. I’m just a concerned red Manchester fan ..already looking forward to the Derby.. This league could be won goal difference.. It’s no longer toi early to predict
Can we all just appreciate Sergio Aguero.
125 premier league goals in 186 games a record only bettered by shearer.
He scores all sorts of goals, poachers goals, headers, 25 yarders…..left foot right foot ….. yet he seems to go by without any real recognition.
He doesn’t get lauded like a Rooney or Zola or Bergkamp or Henry, all superb players might I add
Is it because he doesn’t haggle for a transfer (pay rise) or get pictured falling out of nightclubs or get caught having a threesome or shagging a granny…
Don’t get it to be honest. One of the best centre forwards to ever play in the premier league, maybe we will appreciate him once he leaves..
Southampton’s new partnership
Oriel Romeu and Mario Lemina were both instrumental in Southampton’s 1-0 victory away to Crystal Palace yesterday.
The talented duo’s excellent performance in central midfield gave the Saints the platform they needed to dominate the game for large parts. In the first-half especially the pair bossed proceedings in the centre of the park, barely allowing experienced Premier League pair Yohan Cabaye and James MacArthur any time to settle on the ball. When in possession the Saints duo passed accurately and efficiently, with Lemina in particular spreading the ball wide beautifully on several occasions.
Romeu is building on a accomplished first-season on the South Coast. He was magnificent last term; providing first-class tactical awareness, solid ball-winning skills and tidy distribution from his holding-midfield role.
Lemina put in a imposing man of the match performance at Selhurst Park. The Gabon international oozed class at times showing all the pace, power and technique required to thrive in the Premier League. Saints boss Mauricio Pelligrino will no doubt also be just as happy that his £15 million summer signing showed plenty of appetite for the defensive side of the game; he won possession more times than any other player on the pitch and on several occasions he made crucial clearances from inside his own box.
Both players obviously come with some serious pedigree; Romeu is a graduate of Barcelona’s famous La Masia academy and Lemina has just arrived after winning two Serie A titles with Juventus.
If both players stay fit and continue to build on their already impressive partnership, it’s hard to think of a better centre-midfield outside of the top-six. Saints Director of Football Les Reed, again deserves massive credit for putting together such a classy duo for a combined fee of just £20 million – a pittance in todays inflated transfer market.
As always for Southampton however, both players ability will hardly go unnoticed, and they may soon find themselves locked in a battle to keep the pair out of the clutches of bigger clubs.
Did anyone else see read that Redknapp had been sacked after 8 games and then immediately check the championship table to see if they had 2 points?
Lewis, Busby Way
More love for MNF
Currently watching Soccer Saturday and it has given me a whole new level of respect and appreciation for Monday Night Football.
The 2 shows are miles apart in terms of analysis, education and the sheer amount of work applied by both Neville and Carragher.
In comparison, Soccer Saturday is like watching scenes from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Troy McClure ( You might remember me from such Mailboxes as….. )