I have to say it, I'm getting worried. Since the City game on 31st December, we've played Sunderland, Plymouth, Southampton, United, Plymouth, Swansea, Southampton, Chelsea and Hull. All of them have used the same basic tactic against us, which is to sit back in two compressed banks of four and defend, defend, defend, and then hit on the counter when they get a chance. You'd think nine games playing against the same style should be enough to find a way to break that style down, but we're still struggling, and worse, we're still approaching the game in the same way. I don't want to criticize any of our players too much because these same players got us to our best start in 2-3 decades, so saying that they need to be shipped out now is sort of foolish. Half or more of the problem IMO is purely tactical. For the manager and coaching staff, the alarm bells should have started going off against Plymouth itself. Despite being such a lower league side, they created some really genuine chances against us for both the legs. Chances that, I remember thinking at that time, any league side could have probably put away. But then I thought things would definitely get better defensively if our first team was playing, no way we'd be countered that easily. Turns out I was wrong. Every single one of these games we've committed players forwards, and paid the price when opposition broke. By now, I'm sure we have a really diverse video collection on various ways in which teams can mount a counter on us. The bad thing is, our defensive frailty has been directly due to our plan going forward, and our plan going forward has absolutely not worked either! Its a bloody double whammy, is what it is. How the heck are we supposed to deal with it then? Well thats for our manager and his staff to decide, and I hope they're spending every single minute of their working time to find a strategy that can break this double bus park, but in the mean time, I guess we can just speculate on what might work. I think there are two ways to go about it. The first one is a slight change to what we've been doing. I remember when watching Champions League matches, quite often Barcelona used to come up against teams who absolutely sat back and did nothing but sit back. Most notably like Chelsea. Organized banks of four, or sometimes even more, leaving Barca to just shuffle the ball from side to side to try and stretch their defence. What they used to do at such time was get players on the wing to cross from really high up the pitch from behind the defence, almost from the byline. Remember Barca has no tall players up forward, and its not like they're masters of headers, so the crosses generally used to be low and whipped in with pace from the byline. An organised defence generally clears 80-90% of such crosses, but sometimes either the cross is perfect or the defence mucks up causing hell lot of trouble. It is difficult though, and you have to be persistent. Instead of crossing, players even have the option of continuing to dribble on the byline into the penalty area and then try and make something from there. I believe we had such moment in the Hull game with Milner, but couldn't make it count. We can also just cross in the normal way, which is what we've been trying I think, and try to get headers in, but they're also quite difficult, and we're neither that good at crossing nor at heading. I believe Can playing has a lot to do with this, so that he can get forward in the box and try and head one in, but Wijnaldum has shown that he's also capable of scoring good headers too, so I'm guessing its something Klopp is seeing in training. Anyway, if we're going down this route then its crucial for us I think to get the first goal. If we don't, and if, with 70-80% possession, we are still the first to go a goal down then that is killer IMO. The other team will then just shut up shop and might not even bother too much trying to counter at every opportunity. The second way I think is to say "screw possession football". Let the opposition have the ball. Sit back. Be passive and organized. We've shown against City that if we stay organized, and defend, we can be one of the best defensive teams. We can press and just play them on the break in pure counter attacking sense. I think this one is a lot more doable as we used to play like this before. Remember Klopp's interviews where he'd try to convince journalists that we're not just a counter attacking team, but a possession based team. Well right now possession is doing squat for us unless we learn to use it, so I say we go back to counter attack. Let the teams have the ball, let them come in our half, press, then break. Next game is Tottenham. I wonder if Pochettino will bother playing open football against us when he's seen parking the bus works so well. Come on Jurgen find some solutions dammit!