Let's talk tactics

Discussion in 'The Albert - LFC Talk' started by TheSweetSilverSong, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. Libero

    Libero Well-Known Member

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    It's all well having your go to formation, the 433 seems to work well against the top 6.

    But we should be flexible enough to be able to play 2 formations at a high-level - so maybe not redefine his blueprint as such, but add to it / modify it. We really only seem to know how to play one way.
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  2. James H

    James H "I dunno, I just work here"

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    I honestly don't think formation is the issue, most teams we are losing against play two banks of four, highly organised. Swapping three for one with three behind or two up or any other variation is going to have minimal effect, this is one of those times where hyper importance is placed on tactics but it is not the major issue. There was chances there for Liverpool to score yesterday, and i don't mean the shots or chances that we actually did create, but at times especially in the second half there was an out ball on the left wing, a quick cross field pass could have stretched the defense, but we never took it. Instead we played a safe pass back to the center halves or sideways. I do not think the basic tactics have let us down but that our conviction has, be that Klopp or the players.

    From the players i think that if the pass looks slightly difficult we will inevitably take the safer but slower option, the build up has deteriorated to slow, monotonous and predictable passes, even when Origi was brought on to add presence in the box I think one cross was put in that he could have challenged for and possibly even won. Other than that its sideways across the front of the opposition or inevitably a forced throughball that was never on or we get the ball to feet in the box with no real possibility to get a shot away with the end result of a pass back out of the box with an accompanying long shot or sideways pass or a bad touch by the player in the box because he is under pressure. One way to force a defense to step up a bit is long shots early in the game, crack off a few good long shots and players are going to think "I need to step up to this or one of them might go in" when that player steps up it has created the first gap, which will have to be filled if we get a man into it, this creates a domino effect of space. Even if the shot goes off target it forces possession onto the other team, they will push up for the goal kick and then there may be more chances for us to counter attack. This may not work either but i am only spit-balling.

    From Klopp, I honestly do believe at this stage that he is showing too much faith and loyalty to the players, I know we couldn't change the team after the spurs result, but now after this, I personally and this is only my opinion, would like to see players dropped, I don't care if we have to use the young players, there is too much comfort in that team, most players know they are going to be playing, bar Gini/can, the rest of the team when fit will be the same, and while chelsea have done this to great effect it seems to bring about complacency in our current players. Also a difference i would point out is that with chelsea they have players on the bench pushing the first team players for a place, it keeps them honest and they have to play well to avoid riding the pine pony. Maybe it won't be done this week with Arsenal coming up but if results continue this way I want to see players dropped and sent a message, if the young players come in and loose games what difference does it make to now anyway?
  3. cardiffpete

    cardiffpete TIA Reserve Team

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    Some very good points here. We do take the safer option too often in some forward passing stuff, but we are at other times almost beyond reckless as well -so it's a bit of both here. Again and your 2nd point and some good box penetration often ending in a very sub-standard continuation, that's also very fair too.

    I'd also agree on point 3 and just not enough real competition from within the squad, which is also really very small atm. About 8 players will play no matter what and I especially dislike mega new contracts being now awarded basically on mid-season stuff. Not that we should not tie-down our top performers to long-term deals, far from it, but it just seems all so very premature here. Just do this type of business in the summer please.

    Nobody knows if we will finish Top 4 or else even maybe possibly eventually languish in about 7th yet again (which is now very real) after our recent and very spectacular drop-off. To be now awarding mega-deal after mega-deal seems so very premature stuff here. A very good point on Chelsea's bench as well, although they don't play so much, but still Fabregas waits almost an entire season and then he instantly bosses the 1st (or 2nd/3rd) chance that he does have, with an instant MOTM display. Not so much Batshuayi of course ...but he's also keeping the senior players honest too.
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  4. Kanonkop

    Kanonkop Well-Known Member

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    Agreed that its not the 4-3-3 that is to blame here. It is the negative and ineffective possession we have and that our opponents let us have in these types fo games and we have seen it all season long starting with Burnley. Just enact a different plan from the get go. Sit back as well. let them get frustrated in front of their home crowd and start to come out to attack and therefore open up. Guaranteed this will happen 9 times out of 10 for any team and the tenth time we have a boring 0-0 draw which is still better than getting hammered on the counter by the other team scoring with 100% of their very few shots on target. At that point when they open up, then we go direct, vertical, with intent and use our pace and guile and hammer them. Beat them at their own game. Give them 70% of the possession for a change. Who cares! We simply don't have the right types and calibre of players to win with our Plan A each and every time so why keep trying it. That's getting perilously close to the proverbial definition of insanity...
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  5. Scott Jones

    Scott Jones Well-Known Member

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    I think Klopp was initially confident that he would be able to mould the players we had to his preferred playing style,and this for me is a massive problem as too many have reached a point where it's obvious they can't do this,it should be a wake up call for Klopp that he needs to buy players who match his thinking and style rather than wait for who we have to do that,his insistence on relying on his belief that he can mould players to suit looks a bit silly on the pitch and is not working.
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  6. Iluvatar

    Iluvatar Eru

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    He does also need to dismantle a team of midgets assembled by the Barca obsessed Bodgers.

    Mou is a shitcunt, but what he builds is also a team of tall, strong and athletic players... Who can play as well. You need it in the UK, where most defenses consist of 4 North End Bouncers.
  7. Nevoo34

    Nevoo34 Sleeping with the enemy

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    Football is such a fucking simple game!

    Now I know this is hardly rocket science, but the addition of a technically-talented, extremely fit, tenacious, AND mentally indomitable player would make such a huge difference.

    We have systemic issues, certainly, and also the continual square pegs in round holes thing to fix (Milner has done very well considering, but is not one of the league's top fullbacks; Lucas, as well as sorely lacking pace now, does not possess years of experience playing as a centre half at a high level, etc.), but one glaring problem for me is the absence of someone who truly steps up to the plate when the chips are down.

    Coutinho is normally the one in these situations who gets a goal back for us, but he's hardly some intensely competitive figure driving everyone on. Nor is the captain, who for all he does bring to the side (and we most definitely miss that stuff when it's gone) tends to be pretty cautious in possession, which can be a good protection against wasteful rashness, but is hardly inspiring.

    When we sort out our best shape and have a good fit for every position, we'll still have times when we will collapse pathetically if we don't have some real steel in there. It's a common thing in these kinds of games for our players to look defeated; there's always a hint of embarrassment, that vibe of an extinguished spark - they do keep plugging away, but with heads low, none of them seem fired up. It comes across as lax, but it's more a mentality thing; they're completely different players when thoroughly inspired (Phil, Emre, Jordan especially), but just can't seem to summon that indefatigable, indomitable will themselves. I suppose Lovren is most visibly, outwardly that sort of strong character, but he is by no means a gifted defender, and has his own shit to concentrate on at the back, earnestly striving to minimise the errors that inevitably occur under pressure when the 'keeper and back line aren't confident and in sync, and lack recovery pace. Matip brings the ball out well, but is a very calm, laidback personality - very handy, and normally very welcome, but not the passionate driving force that raises everyone's game a notch (and he also seems to've caught the silly avoidable error bug off his defensive colleagues of late). Wij has a similarly cool, soothing-rather-than-igniting temperament. Milner, Henderson, Sturridge... none of the more experienced heads have that thing about them. I really do miss feeling proper pumped up watching one or a couple of our players going "fuck this" and pushing against the tide with all their might, straining to will us forward. Most defeats these days tend to be quite flat affairs from our perspective, where we never really were in it (as in looking like turning it around, not simply toothlessly dominating possession against some shite or other).

    It is admittedly bit of a cliche now to simply say we don't have any leaders, and I don't think just plopping any old vocal leader type in there would be the cure-all many might expect, but it is defo a thing. I think Mane and occasionally a focused Coutinho are the closest things we have to an inspiring, rallying force of nature in our side. You fucking need that if you're gona stay strong through difficult passages, make it to the finish line.

    The likes of Firmino and Lallana are not ultra-consistent performers, but are real creative assets when on their game. The reluctance to throw a wad at one huge signing is understandable - if they miss a lot of matches through injury/suspension, it becomes seen as a disaster to have not chosen to spread the risk more sensibly - but a reasonably consistent, inspiring, highly influential technical footballer with balls of iron and the requisite courage to keep driving us forward could give this team the right kick up the arse when they need it, when it seems Klopp can't do it from the dugout. Mentally, this is currently nowhere near a side in Klopp's image.
  8. TheSweetSilverSong

    TheSweetSilverSong Well-Known Member

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    I think the tactics are not the major problem at this moment, not before we have the required depth to judge them. Basically in the games where we lost we didn't actually apply the tactics properly (where was the relentless pressing vs Leicester, for example), or were missing key players for which we had no cover of the same quality. Also, I think we are in desperate need of a proper striker. The flexible striker-less attack may have worked for a couple of months, but not having a proper player to rely on for finishing can only work for that long.

    So yes, depth and player selection is the main issue for me. Besides a proper striker, we also need a more dangerous midfield that includes a real leader, and a lot of boost in our defence.

    Klopp only had one summer to bring in players, and I expect a lot to happen this summer. It does take time.

    Defence: We'll need a proper left back, and a new commanding Centre Back to finally address the Sakho sacking and the Lovren issue - one CB that will partner Matip as a mainstay, giving us the cover of Lovren and Gomez. Clyne and TAA would be on the right fullback slot, and New Left Back and Milner on the left (Milner would also be there as a jack of all trades to cover any position that may need cover, offering quality attributes).

    Midfield: Slotting Coutinho in CM would solve many problems.
    Firstly, it would free up a place in attack for a proper striker without benching any of our 3 current attacking players, all of which are quality in my opinion. Coutinho is not scoring enough goals to warrant a front 3 player, plus he has played great in CM in the past, where his passing angles are wider and has more options, plus he can press there alongside Lallana or a new CM leader. It would also give our midfield depth, as by bringing just 1 CM leader (who maybe replaces Can?), and replacing Lucas with a specialised DM, it would mean that we'd have Henderson, Coutinho, New CM leader, Lallana, Wijnaldum, New DM, and if not sold, Can, plus of course the ever-versatile Milner, so enough depth in Midfield really, also adaptable depending on who we play instead of just providing enough cover.

    Attack: Now here I think that moving Firmino to the flank results in many solutions.
    Firstly, Firmino didn't have the goals to warrant a striker role. Still, he's very much the Klopp type of player, and a quality player that will keep improving. He has already performed well in the flank, and Klopp can help him settle there. On the left, he can pair with Coutinho to press and steal, like we'd seen them do in the past where Firmino was playing in the flank.
    Mane is now a mainstay in our right flank, of course. And yes, I agree that we need one more of the kind. Mainly to provide depth: Whenever Mane is unavailable, we can't have the same quality of thread, and that's not an option. We need one more of the kind, to have this kind of thread even without Mane. Which will give the option to either have it in both flanks (replacing Firmino if he's not performing, or if we face a parked bus so stubborn that we need the natural width on both sides), or to rotate between the many competitions (League, 2 cups, Europe) with Mane.
    But more than anything, we need a starting XI quality striker that will bring the goals. There's a few games vs very defensive teams, where we only really get a couple of proper chances - never mind the stats, most than those shots on target were not proper chances and would never go in to begin with. I'm talking proper chances. And that's where we need to score and have a natural scorer to finish them. Torres-of-old like, or Suarez-like. Or 2013-14 Sturridge like.
    I for one wish to have Sturridge as a striker option too, but certainly to have another top striker to rely on (see injuries), which would give us: New Striker, Sturridge, Origi. But if Klopp sells Sturridge, then we'd need two new strikers.
    I hope it's the first scenario, because I don't think we can find two strikers that will both fit in and succeed, and because I still believe in Sturridge. For me it's a confidence thing - when you see your manager didn't give you the chances when you were clearly the better option (especially when Mane was missing), surely it affects your psychology. Anyway, that's another subject.

    So by handling the summer well, and bringing 2 defenders (CB & LB), 2 midfielders (CM, DM), and 2 attackers (a striker and a winger), along with the tweaking in positions (Coutinho moved in CM, Firmino moved to flank), I think we'll have the proper starting XI balance and the adequate depth that we desperately need and that really is costing us the points lately. Just hope that the 6 players are spot on, at least half of them (Striker, LB and CM), with none being a fail.

    Then, if we still don't get results, I will lay it mostly on the tactics. But things are still too dysfunctional right now to focus on tactics as being the main problem. The being-dysfunctional (in terms of team selection) factor in itself causes tactical problems. That's my take. Whenever it wasn't, we were (are) just fine. But we just can't be happy with having it occasionally solved. We need a solution that will see it solved throughout the season. Hence, summer window being massive.
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  9. Anfield rd Dreamer

    Anfield rd Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Agree to an extent in that Klopp has a stubborn refusal to sign players unless they are the perfect fit.

    He mostly seems to believe it's better to work with what you've got or academy kids than sign an imperfect player to "do a job"! Klavan and Manninger seem to, arguably, be the only two.

    I think he needs to be more pragmatic at times. He may not have been able to bring in a perfect CB and holding midfielder for instance but he had starting players to work with that were "good enough"! He could have brought in players who were better in fit and/or quality than Lucas and Stewart.

    Likewise there was absolutely no reason that Quincy Promes couldn't have arrived in early January. He may not have been the perfect player but if he can't develop he just provides cover for a season or two before moving on.

    We have the resources he doesn't need to tie one hand behind his own back. It's a good philosophy to have, within reason. Taking it to the extreme is not a good idea though in my book.
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  10. Eintrachtfan

    Eintrachtfan The convinced one

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    Beside our defensive frailties is playing Coutinho on the left wing of a front three our disadvantage imo.
    I would field him in midfield, where he switches in anyway. Then we have no natural left winger on the pitch. Breaking down hoofing-the-ball-teams requires pacey natural wingers. So I would field players like Origi or Woodburn on the left wing. I think Woodburn wasn't that bad at Leicester.
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  11. Artrain

    Artrain Well-Known Member

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    Cardiff, you mentioned once in another thread I think that gegenpressing is a bit about intentionally giving the ball away in certain areas, and then pressing the opposition to win it back and launch a counter while the opposition is somewhat out of defensive shape (correct me if I got your meaning wrong). Do you think this is where we are lacking against teams that sit back? That we're hogging possession without utilizing it effectively?
  12. cardiffpete

    cardiffpete TIA Reserve Team

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    We used the whole idea of gegenpress (which is almost akin to very often almost deliberately giving the ball away, only to then get it back with interest) superbly against Spurs. Then lowly Leicester used the exact same tactics against us on Monday night. If in doubt, then just hoof the ball up-the-pitch and then 100% compete on the break-down stuff from the resulting up-and-unders. That's how and why we were a real menace to Spurs and it is also exactly why Leicester (turning-the-tables) were such a menace to us too. Just bypass the entire CM block stuff in a very crude and primitive way.

    These long punts upfield just break the defensive CM stuff (and they 100% beat any ideas of any high-press stuff too, from our own side), and they allow many players to then just drift forward to really compete and challenge for the break-down stuff. It's also a very safe way of doing some high-press stuff yourself too. You can see and also judge very fast if the punt upfield is a good ball (or not), if yes then you go with the ball and then very actively challenge for 2nd balls and press and harry the oppo , if not and then you just stay in your initial shape.

    I do think that any hogging ball is very wrong as any kind of good attacking template. Most modern day goals are scored (from open-play anyway) in a scenario that sees about 4 touches (or less) and a move that lasts maybe less than 8 seconds. About 8 years ago and people were just in awe of Barca and wow they scored a goal after 30~40 passes. These days almost all open-play goals are scored from maybe 4~5 passes, at maximum. Just the sheer and very unsettling surprise element here.

    Many times it's just quick turnovers that lead to a very fast goal scored. In our early season stuff, we benefited hugely here. Lately our direct opponents have just turned the tables here. It was our great strength, but lately it has just transformed into our own Achilles heel stuff too. LFC no better than any other side (after all) in just protecting this basic transition angle. We and Klopp (and even very often BR too) very often exploited this exact unprepared angle from our various opponents, so we can't now complain if we are now falling victims to the very same exploitation angle ourselves. Especially if we also do really promote the various other teams to actively seek out this angle against us.

    If we just allow this scenario to happen too often, then so many teams will just replicate this stuff here against us ...until it demonstrably just does not work any more. Then they will be forced to try something different, you'd think. Just like Klopp ...and how many games exactly now, since the very beginnings of our bad stuff (maybe since late October). We boss so much (slow) possession, but to what effect actually? Not really much. Slow play is a very poor way to score. It is a good way to kill a game, once already ahead, but it's a very bad way to score your goals from. Also start slow and it's very hard to then up-the-speed mid-game.
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  13. pass_and_move

    pass_and_move TIA New Signing

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    How about a spine of some sorts and a bit of Rafa's formation variation. He had a different set up for every team. We have 4-3-3, end of.
  14. lfc.eddie

    lfc.eddie "┬┐Plata... O Plomo?" Valued Member

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    Not true, Rafa's very strict with his formation, the 4-2-3-1 is mainly the way he sets his team up to play. What's different for him is the aggression, the positioning on the pitch with and without the ball, exploiting weaknesses of opponent by targeting their weakest link in defence. Take Torres vs Vidic for example, he knows Vidic isn't the quickest and not very good on the ball. He had Torres trolling the fucker and tries to knick the ball off Vidic. The rest of the team stays compact and deeper, so that Ronaldo and co don't have space to run behind the defence. Don't allow them to put a cross into the box and let them play in front of our back 6, 4 defenders and 2 midfielders. Wingers will be helping out the fullbacks to double team their wingers and Gerrard playing free role. As soon as we win possession, find an outlet up field quickly to pressure their fullbacks and midfielders to not venture too far up field. This is how he beats United that season. When playing weaker opponent, push defenders higher, keep the ball and stay compact so that we narrow own the playing areas. Try to break them down with movement by Torres and Gerrard dragging their midfield and centre half away. Use width.

    That 08/09 season is the closest we will see of having the most ideal team for Rafa to achieve what he did with Valencia. But he never has variation of formation, in fact many great coaches don't have many variation of formation. From Arigo Sacchi to Ancelotti, from Cruyff to Guardiola, they almost always field the same formation for as long as they could. The difference between certain coaches is they exploit weaknesses of their opponent, while others just keep using their most trusted style and strength to break teams down.

    We failed in the past couple of months because of our strike force. Loss of form is very apparent in our players, with Coutinho finding his feet and Can not being up for it. It also doesn't help when our players keep having injuries after injuries. Klopp has yet to start the same centre half for more than two months, and has not been able to consistently field his best and preferred 11 for more than a month. We will either see Henderson or Lallana or Coutinho or Mane missing, at times more than one of them through injury or international duties. When we had our preferred centre half and Henderson being the anchor, we've limited opponent's chances of creating a shot or opening. When we have our best 11, we were steamrolling everyone in the league.

    It is not formation variation. To train players in a variety of formation all at one go will not help them, it will make it harder for players to adapt. The way the modern game is being played, one slip in positioning and you get punished. As we have seen under Rodgers, having different formations in each game will not win you anything other than a stop gap measure. We used 4 or 6 different formations in the last game against Stoke and they thumped us 6-1, so much for variation.

    What we need is to ask that new doctor what the fuck is going on with our players, find that sports psychologist back (that fella we had in 13/14 season), find out the best way to preserve our players without killing them in training and lastly - get a better goal keeping coach. These are what I think may help change the fat of the team. I don't advocate change of formation.
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  15. Flobs

    Flobs FADA

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    Am I correct in thinking that against Everton our fullbacks (Clyne and Milner) played more a supporting midfield role than the usual attacking fullback role?

    It did seem a lot more balanced with Mane, Wijnaldum and Can heading wide when needed. Our midfield benefited as did our attack. We tended to keep better shape and more importantly better depth rather than have a line of 5 or 6 players on the opposition defensive line. Also it meant our better attacking players were attacking whilst also keeping midfield dominance.

    Also our back 4 played much narrower (is this the influence of Lovren?).
    Mane came back to help Clyne and our midfield helped out Milner. This meant we looked solid in defense and also that Lucas had an easier job (not being capable of covering the ground Henderson does).

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