Our defensive problems.

Discussion in 'The Albert - LFC Talk' started by costared, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. costared

    costared TIA Reserve Team

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    There is no doubt we need to improve our defending. Particularly at corners and free kicks. I am of the opinion that we need another top class CB but I am not convinced that is our only problem.
    Some of the errors I noted last season were so basic I just have to wonder how good our coaching staff is at coaching how to defend. I accept that with our attacking style gaps may open up in defence in general play but at dead ball situations we have time to get organised, we just do not do it.
    Failure to track runners and failure to attack the ball seem to be the biggest problems in my opinion.
    So maybe a rethink of how to defend by our current coaching staff or a new specialist defensive minded coach would help us.
    Opinions please.
     
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  2. Ʒan

    Ʒan Well-Known Member

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    I think our set piece defending is a self-fulfilling prophecy really. We, as fans, keep asking 'why does this keep happening over and over and over again. We can all see the problem!" And that's just it. Our players see the problem. They know the problem . They react to it with more nervousness because they know their history. The very reason it keeps happening is because it keeps being highlighted (for opposition, from the groans of fans, from the knowledge of a poor number of clean sheets etc) which encourages nervousness.

    I remember one or two seasons back where we started the season by pretty much conceding from a second chance opportunity from a corner kick every match. Ball whipped into box, we tentatively clear it the first time, but only to one of their players and their players take advantage of the fact the defence isnt in a set position. We keep being nervous, the opposition is told pre-game 'make them nervous in the box and you'll score' and it comes true.

    So that's how we started the season that year for about the first 6-7 games, then we went on a run where Migs was in line for some clean sheet record we were going so well defensively. Same season, but we managed to sort shit out.

    So, in short, confidence fixes all. Ideally we would have brought some more defenders in with Matip so there would be less chance he would be afflicted by the LFC set piece confidence disease, so that the disease would not have a suitable host to pass onto the next new defender, but alas, it didn't happen. It may take a number of generations to remove but we will eventually get there provided we keep buying quality like Matip, who seems to have a stronger resistance to the disease than most.
     
  3. lfc.eddie

    lfc.eddie "¿Plata... O Plomo?" Valued Member

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    @costared, I think it is more than just coaching alone. If we look at how our players reacted to corners, we usually have one or two in and around the 6 yard box dozed off. Players I saw, the likes of Lovren, Clyne and even Origi failed to suss out the danger-man around them. Our players mostly ball watching or thinking too far ahead while defending. Before the ball even arrived, at times they already think of how to launch a counter, rather than win this damn tackle or battle first. It's lapsed of concentration, errors repeated and overzealous while defending set piece.
     
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  4. SirBillShankly

    SirBillShankly Joe and Holly's dad

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    Don't think we have massive problems in open play, it seems to be set pieces where we are more vulnerable .I think our lack of height is an issue.Think Matip, with his height, should be more dominant and could do with being more aggressive.
     
  5. costared

    costared TIA Reserve Team

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    ·An3-- I agree with the confidence point . There is no doubt the confidence factor is very important in all aspects of the game.

    Eddie-- Maybe what we need is a Carragher like CB who will boss the others and make sure they do their jobs.

    At corners in particular I always preached " be first", if you are first to the ball there is little the opposition can do about it. Even if you do not get a good clearance at least you have stopped them from achieving what they wanted.

    You could say the same about free kicks to a degree but obviously the players not in the wall have to be awake to the runners. These days of course there are quite a lot of players so good at free kicks there is little anyone can do to stop them.
     
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  6. Zoran

    Zoran Fighting like beavers.

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    Of course we have to improve, we'll probably get 2 new defenders this summer, one to start and another one to hopefully at least rotate with Milner and take some pressure off him. Players who can defend better when exposed to counter attacks as Kopp's taken more of a protagonist approach last season. Hopefully someone we can build into a starting options in the next year or two. Maybe in some positions we won't get a finished product like Mendy (practically no chances of signing someone like him), but then get a better option than Moreno, someone who Klopp can work with and improve.

    I really like Matip, but certainly not getting carried away, I'm not even close to call or predict him hitting heights like a Hyypia. First target is to be more of an Agger type and hopefully have less injuries than him. Looks good (especially on a free), want to see more of him in tough defensive situations/reactions, hopefully can improve with a better partner than Lovren alongside him.

    Clyne is someone who doesn't bother me as much, our full back areas is something we struggled with a lot in past years, it was good to get a very stable defender (wouldn't say he's excellent or that any part of his game is top level, probably his sheer physicality/no injuries, pace and defending well 1v1 are his main 3 strengths). For a side at the level we are now, he's not an issue. We'll see how Trent's development goes, if he remains to compete in this position or elsewhere. I know he's promising, but for me he's not ready to threaten Clyne's starting spot. To be viewed as the second RB option (we'll see if our LB signing is an immediate success, maybe Milner could backup for Clyne as well) will be a success next season if he can earn it and perform.

    Mignolet won another season with us. Improved yes, not massively, but still a bit more than I expected to be honest. Especially this second part of the season he was consistently doing his job.
     
  7. Billy Biskix

    Billy Biskix TIA Youth Team Valued Member

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    Our set-piece defending is still poor and that's training ground stuff and coaching. Benteke's second goal for Palace against us was a classic example of just how disorganised and slow to react we are. There was a slight improvement in the last few games mainly because Mignolet suddenly became much braver at coming off this line and claiming the ball. Need to see much more of that next season.

    First half of the season I thought our defending from open play was good. We didn't give many chances away, mainly because we dominated possession and carried so much threat teams were reluctant to attack in any numbers. It was a whole team approach to defending. Everyone with equal responsibility for winning the ball back whenever we lost it and it worked well.

    As the injuries stacked up we carried less threat, pushed the full backs up even higher to compensate and left more gaps. It became easier to get in behind us with a single pass. Vardy's first against us in the 3-1 defeat at Leicester is a good example of that. Henderson's injury was also significant for us defensively. Very underrated part of his game and the amount of mopping up and shielding he did was a big loss.

    I wasn't convinced by the run of clean sheets at the end of the season. Fair bit of luck involved and we were playing against teams whose season was over. 42 goals against just not good enough. Can't believe Klopp is happy about it either. Better defenders always help but I think it is more about getting the balance of the team right, as it was in the first half of last season, getting Mignolet to continue to take the pressure of his defenders by claiming the ball whenever possible and relentless drilling of the players in set piece situations.
     
  8. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    I think it is also important to really understand those 42 goals. Our weakness on set pieces translates into 5 more allowed than Chelsea, ManU, and Spurs, 6 more than Arsenal. That isn't blow-it-up and start again catastrophic, particularly on a year over year basis. Last season we were tied for 3rd worst, this season it was midtable. Take out the ones in January, and we would be close to the top of the league table for set piece defence - and I think that is where your comment about injuries is dead on. Just a little bit better depth might have made a significant difference in several categories.
     
  9. Commando

    Commando Active Member

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    Why do we retreat into our area at free kicks. Not only US but most other teams. What happened to the tactic of stepping out and playing the attackers offside?
    BTW us wasn't supposed to be in bold, but for some reason I can't change it.:?:
     
  10. geebo

    geebo Bekloppt ! (German for loopy)

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    I dont believe we have defending problems.
    1) We let in 44 goals and had the 5th best defence. Whilst that isnt the best its a long way off the worst, and only needs a tweek to make it better.
    2) Our attacking style with only one DM leaves us open at the back, especially when the full backs go up. Defensive mistakes in this tactical style tend to have worse consequences than in a say, Spurs style. However, Klopp feels that this Attack/ defence balance benefits us the most and gets the most points.

    3) When you are good in defence.... as we are, the goals you let in tend to be from set pieces. This isnt a fault in our system, rather a sign that its good !!!

    4) last year tied 3rd worse... Well there you have it, rather than question the defensive coaches (which I find rather silly and over reacting to a problem that just isnt there), maybe accept that the coaches have done a good job making the defence tighter. And accept that next year they will probably make it even better.

    5) set pieces and long balls... Klopp has often said that to play against teams with strikers like Benteke is very very hard. There is no shame in him scoring. We are not the only team he has done that to.

    6) injuries and January- Klopp openly says that if we didnt have the injuries in January we would have been up with Spurs and chelsea challenging for 1st place. Klopp doesnt say things like that for effect or because he is a loud mouth tc, he is confident in his ability. Injuries and Jan also effected our defending....

    7) Ian rush was the best defender - a famous quote from the 80s. But Mane put in a hell of a lot of work in defending back, and I lot count of the times he robbed the ball back. In fact, if he wasnt a world class striker he would make a good Dm ! Once he was gone in Janury we suffered... defending starts from the front !

    is this thread post season over analysis, of a not to big "problem"?
     
  11. rupzzz

    rupzzz TIA Regular

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    I'm with @geebo - the "problems" are not really that big an issue.

    The form at the end of the season shows how good we were in terms of defensive stability - 5 clean sheets from 6 games.

    What we could do with is some bolstering of the squad, which in my opinion, requires a CB (ideally a No.1 that can play 38 games a season), and a LB.
     
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  12. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    I think we need an option at LB, and I'd like to see an upgrade at CB. But I am firmly of the belief that our defensive problems begin in midfield. Henderson being out as long as he was was a huge loss, and I don't think of him being a spectacular defensive presence.
     
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  13. costared

    costared TIA Reserve Team

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    Defending in general was not bad considering the injuries to key defenders but as has been pointed out, we conceded a significant number of goals at free kicks and corners compared to other top teams. Bentekes goal from the corner v Palace was a classic example of a poorly organised defence. As I said it is possible that all we need is a player to take control and make sure others are aware of their jobs. A player like VVD might be able to do that .
    I do not think it is "post season over analysing" as people were commenting on these points week after week during the season This problem is clearly the most significant one we had last season and I am sure JK and co will be aware of this and do something about it.
     
  14. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    What makes the corners conceded statistic more troubling than the total set piece goals figure shows is the fact that LFC actually conceded very few corners - 2nd lowest in the league after City. So the performance is much worse on a percentage basis than the absolute numbers.
     
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  15. Semmy

    Semmy walk on...walk...on...

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    What if we bid £17-20 mil to Barca and brought Masch back to Anfield for a few years? Having someone of his calibre shielding the back 4 would be part of the solution?
     
  16. ILLOK

    ILLOK In the Danger Zone.

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    He's almost 33. And if he's still with the same missus, I bet she'll give him a load of grief again.

    I'd happily take Romeu or (preferably) Ndidi if that's the type of player we were looking for.
     
  17. Semmy

    Semmy walk on...walk...on...

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    We could use the experience in the squad. He still performs defensively at a level above anyone currently in the squad, and he has publicly said he would return to LFC or England (Feb 2016 quote).

    Makes £130/wk at Barca, can play DM or CB. He is a squad player at Barca now behind Pique and Umtiti. So why not try to pick him up to provide some experience and leadership in the squad at a price far below what is being thrown around these days
     
  18. NYRhockey

    NYRhockey Well-Known Member

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  19. lfc.eddie

    lfc.eddie "¿Plata... O Plomo?" Valued Member

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    Two players I rate lower than what we have in our central defence pairing and you want to take on a player that is being displaced by those two? Come on. Time to move on from Mascherano, those days are over mate.
     
  20. Semmy

    Semmy walk on...walk...on...

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    Yeah, I think he could do just as well in the deep midfield role as Lahm/Xabi did for Bayern. And what better player to teach the likes of Çan how to play in that role except maybe Xabi himself (he ain't getting off his bike anytime soon tho, good on him)
     
  21. Anfield rd Dreamer

    Anfield rd Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    I think your final point on depth nails it for me.

    1; Lovren and Matip didn't have a bad record together, they were also better at dealing with set pieces and crosses than their cover. A player of around the same ability and of decent height/physicality (such as the one we might have signed) joining these two to make up our CB choices for 90% of our league minutes we will see some dramatic improvement in my eyes.

    2; Having better cover at fullback (Alexander-Arnold being a season more developed and whoever we bring in at LB to, hopefully be an improvement on Moreno) will allow a little rotation for Clyne and Milner. This allows more energy in these zones.

    3; Always having the mobility and athleticism (coupled with ball distribution skills to keep opposition on their toes) of Henderson or Can in that number 6 role. Due to lack of numbers elsewhere on the pitch we didn't take full advantage of how good these looked in this role and how many issues it caused the opposition. Don't mean to make it sound like an anti Lucas point, on an individual level he did very well, but the chemistry of the team set up was out of whack.

    4; When we lost pace in our attack we stopped hemming the opposition in. Whenever Mane played, fit and in form, we were quite simply sensational. If we do bring Salah in and he and/or Mane play most if not all of our league games next year we'll see a dramatic change.

    I think if those 4 are checked off we will be dramatically better next season defensively without losing our offensive ability. People will still moan at the percentage of set piece goals and goals from errors though even though the final figure will be good.
     
  22. Claymenza

    Claymenza Well-Known Member

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    The problem is not the problem. It's the attitude towards the problem.
    I remember a couple years back during the world cup, 25% of all goals scored were from set pieces including penalties.
    These are tactics that level the playing field. Stoke for instance, scored 38% of their goals from set pieces once.

    Let's estimate 15% of the goals we score are from set pieces direct or assisted. This means other teams are also susceptible to this weakness. If andy carroll rises up to head the ball past mignolet, i'm not too disappointed because no one is entitled to win every set piece.

    That's why I think missing out on VVD is a blessing in disguise. He's a very good centreback, but we shouldn't buy a player just because he's error proof. His strength is he's strong one on one, can play the ball, and excellent in the air but so is C Ronaldo. There are top class opposition strikers coming next season that will cause him to make mistakes, so relying on error-proof talent is not a realistic tactic.

    Someone mentioned carragher being a great influence to our defense, which I agree. He wasn't the quickest or most skilled. He had the understanding with the other defenders around him that if he goes out for a full blooded tackle that backfires, sami/skrtel/agger will be on standby to collect the loose ball. This also applied to the full backs.

    We need to work on the attitude.
    Right now if we make a mistake in defense, everybody panics instead of jumping on rebounds. It would be nice if Klopp had a contingency tactic for as many potential gap the defender cannot cover. It may take more than a full pre-season for this, but I for one would prefer a full time full back to get this started. This is a universal trait that also applies in offense when we rely so much on pretty football that we can't mop up the simple rebounds.

    It's a dream to have a star defenders like Van Dyjk that makes no mistakes, but it's more realistic to have a system of players who know how to cover for each other when the inevitable happens. Find the missing Left back we're looking for (after salah), decide whether lacazette is worth buying over keeping sturridge and have a full preseason.

    Outgoing players will be a secondary task, I feel a coherent pre-season is worth more than signing 7 players when we need just 2-3 in the first team.
     
  23. redbj

    redbj hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road

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    alternatively, that little run of games against a few teams on vacation might skew the stats in our favour too much.

    I know what I see, and as far as a level of comfort and security given to the players further up the park....we have a way to go.

    its not helped by marauding fullbacks, but its certainly there for all to see....a level of uncertainty causing instability.

    what generally happens in these instances is that the perception trails the stats by a fair way...but its the perception (to the players, not fans) that really makes the difference, gives them the freedom to play urther forward...itll take a few years of good defence before we claim ourselves as solid at the back.

    think of Mignolet as a perfect case study....a very solid end to the season, but at this stage, for the most of us, his next error is waiting to happen, at some point of that not happening, it transfers from
    'that was bound to happen' to
    'that's a bit of an anomily'
    no one really knows at what that point is, but once you get there, that's when you know you have a solid keeper(defence).

    in a way, its similar to the bunk stats wheeled out about Rodgers record vs Klopps....some similarities abound....but it stops at the stats....anyone with a set of eyes in their head can see the difference between what Klopp is building to what Rodgers...assembled....
     
  24. Anfield rd Dreamer

    Anfield rd Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Has anybody actually got the tables of best to worst teams at scoring from set pieces and at depending them? I'm not bothered one bit what our percentage is. A team that only concedes 30 goals a season is good defensively even if 24 of them are from set piece situations, the 80% would be meaningless!
     
  25. Dave-D

    Dave-D Well-Known Member

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    IMG_8123.PNG

    I know ive put it in the VVD thread but I believe the aerial duels won is probably one of biggest reasons Klopp wants him
     
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  26. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    This is a good resource for getting that quickly. Look at Situational Statistics

    https://www.whoscored.com/Regions/2...amStatistics/England-Premier-League-2016-2017
     
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  27. Anfield rd Dreamer

    Anfield rd Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    So combined defensive performance for set pieces and penalties combined we conceded 15. The teams that defended those situations better are;

    9 goals; Chelsea and Spurs.
    11 goals; United, City and West Brom.
    13 goals; Bournemouth.

    Considering the issues with depth and poor form in January I'm not sure those numbers are as shockingly bad as people assume. Arsenal for instance concede less than from set pieces but probably because they stopped those goals by fouling and giving away more penalties instead so actually conceded more combined than we did.
     
  28. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    I made a similar point above, although I would be cautious about throwing penalties into the same bucket as set pieces. However, what is troubling is the percentage on which we conceded - we gave away fewer set pieces than most, less than Spurs and equal to Chelsea on fouls, fewer than both on corners, yet conceded more goals.

    However, at the end of the day, prevent five goals over the course of the season, and we have the best set piece defence in the league
     
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  29. Anfield rd Dreamer

    Anfield rd Dreamer Well-Known Member

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    Not insurmountable at all. We were much better when we had Matip and Lovren together in games. Add another top CB (hopefully) that is at least on the same level as those two and there should be a natural improvement. At the moment our back up options aren't as good as our first choices and we need to improve our choice at CB.
     
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  30. Arminius

    Arminius FSG PR plant Moderator

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    That, and depth at left back. Milner had a superb season, but in the last quarter or so you could see he had lost a step. That translates into crosses and fouls.
     
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