And we don’t think that’s a compliment. An increasing number of Liverpool fans have had enough of Brendan Rodgers…
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A Case For The United Defence
A quick point if I may about United and the perceived lack of attacking ambition that we are seeing at the moment; maybe, just maybe, LVG is trying to sort everything out from the back to the front.
Having had to suffer the Keystone Cops style defending under Agent Moyes firstly and then the first six or seven months of LVG’s reign I am personally quite happy that I no longer have to change my underwear every time the opposition receive the ball in United’s half. Of course I would love to see United play with more attacking verve but the defence had to be sorted out which, at the moment at least, LVG appears to have done so quite successfully. Couple that with the additions to the midfield that United have been crying out for for far too long and the side is beginning to look pretty solid.
Now with solid foundations hopefully the attacking side of United will start to come to the fore and we play like the United of old, counter-attacking at pace with wingers bombing forward and getting behind defences.
Everybody has expected United to carry on from where Fergie left off (which we have to an extent because we were pretty pants under Fergie towards the end) but the team has needed major surgery and it will take time for all of the new players to bed themselves in and learn the LVG “philosophy”.
So, more patience is definitely required but I am optimistic that LVG does in fact know what he’s doing and hasn’t been spending too much of his free time in the coffee shops of Amsterdam…
Fellaini ‘Doing A Rooney’
Fellaini, on Saturday’s evidence, quite clearly isn’t a striker to lead the line for a championship winning/challenging team.
What worries me, is that I really couldn’t differentiate between his performance and Rooney’s previous performances this season, Brugge excluded.
Anthony Feeney (The longer our captain fantastic is out, the better for the team as far as I’m concerned.)
Rodgers: The IE Of Football
There is a fantastic picture on the interweb of popular search engines Firefox and Google Chrome wrestling for supremacy while internet explore is in the background with a bottle of paste. I can’t help but feel this picture perfectly sums up the top four race. United and Arsenal battling while Rodgers is in the back eating glue.
There was a period in the first half of the game on Saturday when I turned to my friend and said “this doesn’t even feel like I’m watching Liverpool vs United”. In my 12 years of watching I have never said that about this particular fixture. If a Liverpool manager can’t get his team up for United what game can he get them up for?
With some of the managerial talent currently watching football at home Rodgers position is untenable. He clearly has no plan or philosophy. It doesn’t matter which players are currently out of the team because, as a fan, I don’t trust him to play those players in their correct position even if they were available for selection.
Even if performances improve it is difficult to see him getting Liverpool over the line. Sacking Rodgers at this point in the season would not be knee-jerk as this situation has being going on now for 18 months.
Thanks for all you’ve done Brendan but it’s time to step aside.
Brian (I want fight and grit not character) LFC
…I literally can’t fathom how Brendan Rogers still has supporters. These first few matches of the season are all the proof you need to see how sh*t we are with him at the helm. Three goals. Three fucking goals. One of those was supposed to be offside too.
The fact that we were able to create the other two fantastic goals out of nowhere (Coutinho vs Stoke, Benteke vs United) shows that our players are indeed good enough, which then means that our biggest problem is our coach’s tactics. All this money spent on recruits and all the problems are still there. None of these players believe they play for a top club and it shows.
The lack of desire, ambition and inspiration from Brendan coming into this match makes me sick.
Mr. Henry, please get this clown out of my club.
Johnny (Playing Firmino and Ings on the wings instead of a 4-4-2 diamond is tactical suicide), Malaga
…I think I’m close to being done, you know. I really want Brendan to succeed but he’s making it really difficult to defend him or even argue that he should continue.
I read a mail last week about how a loss on Saturday could mean his job is forfeit and I laughed at the notion that a loss at one of the hardest aways could have a bearing on a manager’s position. But, Jesus wept, the way we lost. Utd are dreadful and a competent attacking unit could’ve taken them apart but we seemed either reluctant to attack or incapable of doing so.
When the first went in I thought “we’re about to get a tonking” because when this team ships one it inevitably ships a couple more for good measure. This has been a problem for pretty much all of Brendan’s time and I was fine with it when it was done to make us a more attacking unit but when you’re trying to be solid and nick a goal but still concede three, there’s a problem there.
I felt after the first three games that we were about something. Building towards something. That results came first and then we would work on fluency and fluidity but now we’re not even getting results. Brendan needs to sort this out & I feel he may be too deeply entrenched to see what’s going wrong, which is extremely disappointing to see.
Kris, LFC, Manchester
Is Klopp Really All That?
In fairness to Jurgen Klopp, he has played a blinder. By virtue of taking a year or so out he has allowed his stock to grow in the minds of fans, and presumably owners, especially since he has all but said he will be going to an English club.
His availability is putting pressure on at least four of last season’s top-six managers (Rodgers, Mourinho, LVG, Wenger).
Has a manager ever essentially had his pick of the top clubs (plus Liverpool) in a country like this before? I’ve never seen fans of four different clubs all say the same thing: “Time for X to go, and bring in Klopp.”
But why? Out of the four, only Rodgers has a worse trophy haul or win ratio across their careers. In their first 13 seasons as managers (where Klopp is now) LVG and Mourinho had won league titles and FA Cups in three and four countries respectively plus a UEFA Cup each and one and two Champions Leagues respectively.
I started this e-mail off wondering had we ever seen a situation where four clubs were racing each other to be the first one to sack/retire their manager, but as it went on I started question why are people falling over themselves for Klopp? Is he really that good? Or have we been taken in by the footballing hipsters? A team of his have been top goalscorers in the Bundesliga once, same for best defence. Does his reputation outweigh his ability at this stage (a lá Rodgers or Martinez)?
What does the rest of the Mailbox think?
It Worked For Liverpool At Arsenal…
Liverpool were pretty abject on Saturday and Rodgers needs to find a way of playing better and winning (as he has achieved in the past it should be noted). Maybe it’s because of the inconsistency with his stated approach (I’m deliberately avoiding the P word), but criticism of Rodgers’ tactics seems a little unfair given that they were nearly identical to those adopted against Arsenal, a performance which drew a certain amount of praise – cede the majority of possession away from home to a superior team, hope to score on the break or by winning possession high up the pitch. The difference at Old Trafford was that United did not give the ball away in deep areas the way Arsenal did – by playing Schweinsteiger and Carrick so deep that risk was negated – this is to Van Gaal’s credit, but may also be the reason 60+% of first-half possession yielded no shots on target. Of course, in the absence of Coutinho, the likelihood of Liverpool creating much on the break appeared limited anyway.
At half-time, I was thinking Rodgers had a good chance of coming away with two creditable points from two trips to last season’s top four, while looking forward to two home games against relegation candidates and the return of three key players of the 2013/14 team, Coutinho, Henderson and Sturridge. As it was, Ashley Young’s ability to ‘draw’ a foul (as 16 Conclusions generously put it) and Liverpool’s schoolboy defending of the free-kick quickly put paid to that, along with poor finishing at 1-0 and more schoolboy (almost literally) naivety from Gomez.
Personally I hope the return of Sturridge will force a return to two up front with Coutinho behind (for the first time since the 3-0 win away to Spurs over a year ago I think?) and the realisation that if you can’t defend (or won’t pick your best defenders) then you might as well try to score a few.
Hi Z! Fantastic email there lad, glad to see Liverpool fans are maintaining their sterling (whey) reputation as the most level-headed and humble fans in the world. Just a couple of indiscretions I would like to address however:
- ‘spreads like wildfire after a loss to a rival innit?’ – Great start…Can we keep ‘innit’ and other Ali G textisms out of the Mailbox? I feel like it’s the only safe place for pre-Twitter generation football fans. It’s sacred; let’s keep it that way, yeah?
- ‘the only sensible option’ – Gerrard not available, neither have any experience, a number of experienced and successful coaches are out of work looking for a new gig. Not only is this not sensible, it’s not an option.
- ‘his lack of philosophy’ – Actually I think it’s his commitment to his ‘philosophy’ that is the issue here. 4-3-3 anyone?
- ‘he is unable to distinguish the football from his chosen philosophy’ – Aha, so his lack of philosophy and his chosen philosophy are now competing for space in Brendan’s head… Is he suffering from cognitive dissonance or are you? Or both?
- ‘We all know how Can was treated.’ – Won’t someone think of the children?!
- ‘We need to let them know we are fed up of wasted money on risky talent. I’m glad I don’t live in the city to go be disappointed with my money being wasted’ – It’s not ‘your money’; the gates and local merchandise sales account for very little of the club’s turnover. People in Asia should be more angry than people in Liverpool by that logic. The club doesn’t care either way. Please do let me know how they handle your discontent though.
- ‘Now. Let’s discuss the big elephant in the room’ – Has there ever been a ‘little’ elephant in the room?
- ‘Where does Brendan get off on giving him vice captaincy?’ – Have a little Google of ‘getting off on’. I think wherever Brendan does this should be kept between him and his wife quite frankly.
- ‘After Skrtel has continually put his body on the line for the club, we give the leadership role to Milner, a City reject?!?’ – Skrtel has been on the wane for over a year and is seemingly on borrowed time; not an ideal candidate. Already addressed this week but here goes again: City wanted to keep Milner, he left to get games. Not a classic example of a ‘reject’.
- ‘Rodgers blatant English favoritism’ – From a Northern Irishman. Not convinced.
- ‘was probably a catalyst to Suarez’s departure’ – Suarez wanted to play for the greatest side in club football history, to win trophies and live in a beautiful, culturally rich city. Despite the consensus amongst its fans, Liverpool is not that city. Also, f**ktons of money. But yeah, it’s Brendan’s fault he left. Nice one Brendog.
- ‘are turning the club into a scouting team for bigger sides like Barcelona and City’ – Every club that is not Real or Barca is a scouting team for Real and Barca. Liverpool are [certainly] no exception to this.
- ‘Why else would we let a reject like Milner come in and think he’s Gerrard’ – Again, not a ‘reject’ and who said he ‘thinks he’s Gerrard’? Maybe he knows he’s a very useful footballer and is happy with that?
- ‘I’ve never felt like Liverpool couldn’t compete with United until I saw the last game’ – Clearly the last 25 years have passed you by.
‘I also blame all the fans for not agreeing with my paranoid foresight’ – Paranoid?! Don’t be so hard on yourself!
Wubblepig (Walk on), Twickenham
…Z says ‘Everyone laughed at me when I recommended Gerrard/Carra manage the team but now it’s seeming like the only sensible option’.
Well, we’re still laughing.
Here are some more sensible options:
Alan Partridge (like for like, but would be an improvement).
The Marketing Director of ISIS
Gio Compario from the Go Compare ads
A Scooby Doo/Shaggy managerial dream team
I could go on but I think you get the point. Gerrard/Carragher would be hilarious, mainly for the fact that they would probably have themselves as the first names on the team sheet.
Milner No City Reject
Seen it mentioned a few times by Liverpool fans that Milner is a City reject.
Let me clarify that we desperately wanted him to stay and we offered a significant salary raise in an effort to get him to sign a new contract. Pellegrini spoke repeatedly to the media about how much he wanted Milner to continue with City.
As it was, he said no and we lost our most versatile midfielder capable of playing on the wing, the middle of the park and even as an emergency full-back or up front (in a False 9).
Given my love for the hardest-working midfielder in the (football) business I’m going to have to point the finger of blame at Brendan Rodgers and LFC for any perceived drop in quality.
Sparky A Loser?
Can I add Leslie Mark Hughes to this weekend’s losers?
2015/16 was meant to mark the full emergence of Stoke as the Barca-lite butterfly. If their form thus far is anything to go by, the fans might soon be yearning for a return to the rock-hard, butt-ugly caterpillar days.
Obviously Stoke lined up without Affelay, Johnson and Adam, but in Diouf, Arnautovic, Joselu and Shaqiri, there was enough attacking talent to justify at least some intent. There was a point, around 30 minutes, when the ball broke to Shaqiri near the edge of the centre circle with Arsenal over-committed to the attack and an acre of space to exploit. Rather than doing that, Shaqiri crept forward as if the extent of his remit was to run the clock down and allow his teammates to re-establish their shape.
It was indicative of a performance without ambition, but the key difference between Saturday’s display and those of years gone by was the weakness of the Potters’ resistance, with Jack Butland a very notable exception. The loss of Ryan Shawcross will have contributed to that but it begs the question of quite why Steven N’Zonzi was allowed to leave for a paltry £7m.
Perhaps he didn’t fit into the new system – though Sevilla obviously considered him good enough for theirs – but if you’re going to sell one of your best players because you want to change the way you play, at least have the balls to actually play that way.
Awful, Awful Strikers
So far this season:
Diego Costa – one goal from 437 minutes of Premier League football
Sergio Aguero – one goal (a penalty) from 304 minutes of Premier League football
Olivier Giroud – two goals from 289 minutes of Premier League football
Clearly it’s churlish to make any assumptions from this stat as the season has only just started, but since everyone is doing it anyway and writing off Giroud due to a poor start after an excellent season (his goals per game and goals-per-minute stats last season were pretty damn good) then Sergio Aguero must be one of the worst players on the planet.
Adonis (You can use stats to prove anything) Stevenson, AFC
Borey, Borey Daniel
This is not weekend football related, but last week I discovered the ‘Football Fives’ podcast that features our very own Daniel Storey. He full justifies his pet name. Daniel Borey. (His voice, not content. It’s actually a great addition to my weekly football intake!)
It Never F***ing Raines…
Ok, I give up, what exactly was the swear word that Neil Raines used this morning. R**tcl**t? Google says it’s a type of coding, but I don’t think that was what Neil was going for. Please enlighten me, I have wasted too long trying to work it out you Th**wm*squ*rts
Chris ITFC, Liverpool