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Friendly: LFC 0-1 Celtic

Jugger

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shachart said:
andy was never a 35m man, and i think he would have been the first to admit it. he is worth 16M ( because that is what west ham paid ), and for that money we should have kept him, and maybe offload Borini instead. fact is we can't even buy a replacement for Andy, so why sell the one you've got.

be honest, suarez and sturridge are first 2 option in attack. who whould you rather be a 3rd option- andy, aspas or borini ?
I'm agreeing with you, Carroll especially in the last 3 months for us was unplayable at times, just look what he did to Chelsea those 2 games (league and final). I can't ever see Aspas or Borini impacting a game as much as he did.

Fair enough BR didn't consider him suitable but the lad has goals in him and is more suited to the BPL than Aspas or Borini. I'm still annoyed he didn't get a season to prove himself, especially before Jan when we were crying out for a striker to help Suarez. Suarez, Sturridge and Carroll could have been devastating...

Still, its no coincidence Suarez had his best season yet without the big man but if he leaves Carroll would have been ideal for at least back up.
 


slufsar

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If we're ever gonna get the duo of Gerrard and Lucas to work we need them to play deeper. They really dont work in a more tiki taka-ish system.

I would've given so much to have Xabi and Mascherano back right now
 

Dublin_Kopite

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jerusalemred said:
you said most, well thats not true.
Does that look like the preseason results for a team that will go onto win the league by 11 points?

MUFC 2012 Preseason Results
AmaZulu A W 1–0
Ajax Cape Town D 1–1
Shanghai Shenhua W 1–0
Vålerenga D 0–0
Barcelona D 0–0
Hannover 96 W 4–3

Goes to show that preseason friendlies is at best a fitness and PR exercise.
 

1dragon

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OhYaBeauty said:
Thoughts on our final preseason friendly vs Celtic:
>
Great post once again OYB!

Just a couple of comments on top of it:

1. Agger-Toure looks like to be the preferred combination going into the start of the season. Pretty disappointed that Rodgers has not given Skrtel or Coates a fighting chance to compete for the spots.

2. We looked far too narrow with the formation in the first half. Coutinho looked to cut in on every opportunity, likewise with Downing (except on a few occasions). We clearly improved after the half as Coutinho moved central and the two wide-men were more involved on the flanks. Allen up till now still does not convince me that he can play make as well as Gerrard and Coutinho, so on merit, he should be on the bench.

3. Our players lack movement up front and this frustrates our midfield three of Allen, Lucas and Gerrard. I noticed that in the first half, our front three were not fluid enough. Given the (in)ability of our midfield three to dribble through the midfield, we were largely restricted to try to force it through the middle through Coutinho and this made it easy for Celtic to defend against. Maybe, with a more mobile forward three, Allen may thrive better as he looks to sneak into space.
 



morana

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Havent posted here in a while. Great to see all the scousers over but unfortunately the result went against us. It was really obvious yesterday that we have strengtened the squad but not the first team. Coutinho, sturridge, ibe and were pluses but downing, allen, enrique didnt turn up. The tackling from downing and enrique was shocking.

Thought lucas done well in helping out wisdom when the ball was being fired up to their big man and he seemed to cop on as the game went on.

Last game I attended was West Ham at Anfield and the question was were we better than that game? I think we were but have we improved enough I dont think so.
 

grooveshark

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Dublin_Kopite said:
Does that look like the preseason results for a team that will go onto win the league by 11 points?

MUFC 2012 Preseason Results
AmaZulu A W 1–0
Ajax Cape Town D 1–1
Shanghai Shenhua W 1–0
Vålerenga D 0–0
Barcelona D 0–0
Hannover 96 W 4–3

Goes to show that preseason friendlies is at best a fitness and PR exercise.
only that United rarely ever played their first team together for a tonne of that pre season.

BR has by and large played the first team this pre season, the team hasnt really met a giant of the game, and what was the first team minus Agger and Suarez fell to a Celtic youth team.

Pre season is about players getting fit, playing games and generating chemistry while both the team and the manager tweak setups, find out what is wrong with the team, and what needs changing before the season starts.

If you came in and asked me what i have learnt from this season, I would tell you absolutely nothing. The team hasnt played a tough attacking team, neither has it played a stellar defensive team, or a team that has both those attributes.

I have watched United play, and they lack an identity. They are trying to play a more expansive game as opposed to sitting deep and hitting on the counter and with their lack of pace at the back and lack of a good DM they are conceding more than they would like.

Moyes has to either buy the players needed to smoothen the transition, or go back to the Fergie way, either way, he has learnt a lot this pre season.

I have seen City play, and heard Pellegrini say his biggest concern is that they have conceded way too many. But they played Milan, Arsenal and Bayern, all good teams in their own regard. He has a great attack, but he now knows that he has to figure out the right balance.

Mourinho knows after the Real defeat that his team isnt currently good enough to challenge the big guns, they have beaten some respectable teams, but as he said, they will learn from their defeat to Real.

Arsenal? They know they need depth. Went behind to Napoli and really pushed with some starters coming on to draw, lost to Galatasaray when they made a good number of changes. They know they have a good base, but need to add depth which is something Wenger intimated after they beat City.

Spurs? Didnt have a good number of players when they played Monaco, but they didnt really create a lot when they played yesterday either..........they need to figure that out. They will also be concerned with just how thin they are at the back.

What has BR really learnt? I dont honestly know. Each team faced was a team that should be beaten, and most were rather comfortably. The one team that was physical, disciplined and tactically sound was a reserve team that went on to win.

Quality is still an issue, and we are reminded rather soberly that a Coutinho injury is almost all it would take to rob the team of final third cutting edge.
 

EdWood

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The one defensive lapse aside, I think that yesterday's result illustrated the short comings in the squad. If Coutinho is having an off day, or is marked out of a game, or worst case, simply not playing, who else do we have that can create something?

Also, without Sturridge (he'll miss a fair few games with his injury niggles this season) and Suarez (who knows what's going to happen?), who can we rely on to chip in with 20 goals?
 

SoueysTash

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shachart said:
andy was never a 35m man, and i think he would have been the first to admit it. he is worth 16M ( because that is what west ham paid ), and for that money we should have kept him, and maybe offload Borini instead. fact is we can't even buy a replacement for Andy, so why sell the one you've got.

be honest, suarez and sturridge are first 2 option in attack. who whould you rather be a 3rd option- andy, aspas or borini ?
Borini...

Carroll is rooted to the spot, can't run between the lines and really struggles with anything other than standing near the front and hitting it/heading it
 

jerusalemred

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Dublin_Kopite said:
Does that look like the preseason results for a team that will go onto win the league by 11 points?

MUFC 2012 Preseason Results
AmaZulu A W 1–0
Ajax Cape Town D 1–1
Shanghai Shenhua W 1–0
Vålerenga D 0–0
Barcelona D 0–0
Hannover 96 W 4–3

Goes to show that preseason friendlies is at best a fitness and PR exercise.
you don't get it do you. you need to put the timing and each particular match into context.

This is the final match before the season truly kicks off. Its the acid test if you will.

the manager have a last chance to see the full extent of his squad fitness, mindset and tactical ability of new players. As most of the senior players have returned.

Prior matches, yes we need to warm out and what knot. So to not register any clear improvements comparatively to last seasons run, what is it to be positive about. you do realise we need to get 3 points next week and win the fucking league if you can.

I am surprised to find fans like yourself taking such a generalised pre-season cliches.

Its not only the players need to have a winning mentality. the fans have to be too.

Winners are never satisfied and always have a critical mind. Not to be confused with moaning.

DO you know uncle bob used to conduct special pre-season "friendlies" to find out who, in his all star team to get rid off, before the season starts too? Games that actually decides careers of players is nothing to be scoffed at, and definitely far from your PR or fitness exercise casual mindset. The only thing I can see from "fans" like yourself is trying to manage expectations on behalf of the management. Who knows. why all this effort to retort and nothing to add or even any comments on negative points.

And please dont compare man utd crap to us. gollum has always been a loser.

For anyone reading this. here's a nugget. Shankly HATED loosing. That includes 5 a side training.

If you got no money to buy fancy star players, you need a manager who won't give no quarter to any notion that its ok to lose.

See gerrard late frustrated tackle at the end of the celtic game?

Thats the mentality of a winner. We need more of that.
 



rab

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jerusalemred said:
you said most, well thats not true. so I dont need to buy into your false notion that pre-season aren't accurate.

This is a real concern not so much on effort which even downing was really showing effort, but this is the reality of playing against a celtic youth reserves and clearly not having enough attacking quality to even convert a goal.

Brendan shouldnt be let off too as he was sub par and contributed to the lacklustre formation and personnel. His subs on hendo on the left wing showed either how bad or thin our squad is that we have no other players to convert crosses or penetration. His several corner kicks are so attrocious. he kept whipping it into the keeper area thinking he can score there, twice I've counted. And most of the players were waiting on the far end. What kind of set piece training are we having here. I am truly worried about rodgers coaching ability and discipline from players to execute it.

He should stop wasting time on suarez apologies and start the stoke match preparation in ernest or else another 6th position come end season I am sure we all know how ruthless henry is.
So we'll expect United to get rolled over regularly by weaker opposition or Arsenal to finish above Man City if pre-season games are an accurate reflection of a teams season to come. As I said it's pre-season get a grip, we've still got the same number of points as everyone else in the league.

First pre-season game we haven't scored in. Suarez was left out, Sturridge got his first 45 minutes of pre-season and still looked dnagerous so there's more to come from him. Henderson came on for Allen and went to the left to allow Coutinho to play in the middle. Who would you have brought on instead? Ibe who came on for Downing not long after or Sterling who spent the night in jail a couple eveings before? We know we're in the market for an attacking player to play centrally or wide so Henderson appearing on the left won't happen with any regularity. On his corners yes they aren't great, tell me someone who takes a better one in our side though? People whinge if you paly it short and whinge if you put it in the box. Despite your belief that we're terrible at corners and that Rodgers lacks the coaching ability to instruct the players we scored at about the average rate last season.

All this just points to you whinging about one performance rather than the actual reality of things as a whole. If you were our manager you might be inclined to burn your bridges with Suarez. Rodgers however could be in the position come 3rd September where he has a world class forward at the club still. If that is the case I think we'd all rather he spend some time trying to get Suarez to be part of the team again than casting him adrift. He might just be able to add some of that cutting edge you're whinging we don't have enough of.
 

Mascot88

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jerusalemred said:
See gerrard late frustrated tackle at the end of the celtic game?
Thats the mentality of a winner. We need more of that.
You mean the one that allowed Celtic the opportunity to regroup, have a breather and knock a minute off the clock? We need more of that? Fuck me...
 

OhYaBeauty

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costared said:
EXCELLENT piece OYB.

Don't agree totally with Lucas rating though.Apart from giving away a lot of free kicks ( he often does it deliberately so his lack of pace is not exposed) his positioning /discipline defensively is not great. A classic was yesterday.Glen was jockeying their winger,Lucas was marking a guy just outside the ".D". Lucas then rushed into a position beside Glenn so the winger simply passed to the guy that had been left unmarked who got in a decent strike on target.
As you say Downing has done better lately but he will still get lost against the better teams, always has done, even at Villa.
I to am concerned that we may be sliding back to a 2011/12 situation as Rogers does not seem to see the problems. We have needed a new CB, LB and DM since last season and with the Suarez situation up in the air we also need a new forward. Other clubs have found players to fit these roles and often at sensible prices.
There is still time to get it right ( Sissokho looks likely to sign) but the longer it goes on the less likely the chance of doing so.
Thanks.

I don't remember the incident in question with Lucas and Glen, although I will admit that he does at times go for a tackle when he should sit back and get in position for an interception. Joe Allen is actually great at reading play for interceptions and though I'm not suggesting we use him as a defensive midfielder, he clearly is different to Lucas who tries to tackle players while they're in possession. I'd also agree that he at times tackles for fouls to stop play so his lack of pace isn't exposed (like his two tackles on Matthews in the second half). This isn't really much of an issue if it stops a dangerous counterattack and is done early enough to keep the resultant free-kick out of dangerous areas. Carra did the same a few times last year. Lucas was okay yesterday.

I really don't think the danger of slipping back into a 2011/2012 scenario where we don't finish and can't win games that we should is all that related to the lack of new signings so much as it is to Suarez' absence. If you're used to using a sledgehammer to break down a wall and you use your sledgehammer, it understandably takes longer to figure out how to use your other tools to get the job done. There's not another sledgehammer on the market, but it might not hurt to bring in other players to keep our overall quality up. Personally, I don't like Cissokho as a Liverpool purchase, nor am I a huge fan of Sakho (unfortunately, simply because he's left footed) coming in as he'd not be first choice. Both of those are for discussion elsewhere.

What I wish we'd done is address central defense with force early this window, and maybe tried harder to get that one attacking player who can change everything. I've been unimpressed that Papadopoulos (who I rate very highly and would love to see in a Liverpool shirt) has been our only legitimate target in central defense despite the glaring need there, and I also wish we'd have identified another top class player to bring in once the Mkhitaryan deal failed. Central defense is tougher to find top class players in but Howedes could have moved as well as Papa, and there are other players available that our scouting team should have been able to recognize. In attack, we failed to bring in that one player who Rodgers really wanted for our system, but there's plenty of similarities between him and a player like Erik Lamela. Had that failed, there's still Muniain, Griezman, Shaqiri, and Luis Muriel.

1dragon said:
Great post once again OYB!

Just a couple of comments on top of it:

1. Agger-Toure looks like to be the preferred combination going into the start of the season. Pretty disappointed that Rodgers has not given Skrtel or Coates a fighting chance to compete for the spots.

2. We looked far too narrow with the formation in the first half. Coutinho looked to cut in on every opportunity, likewise with Downing (except on a few occasions). We clearly improved after the half as Coutinho moved central and the two wide-men were more involved on the flanks. Allen up till now still does not convince me that he can play make as well as Gerrard and Coutinho, so on merit, he should be on the bench.

3. Our players lack movement up front and this frustrates our midfield three of Allen, Lucas and Gerrard. I noticed that in the first half, our front three were not fluid enough. Given the (in)ability of our midfield three to dribble through the midfield, we were largely restricted to try to force it through the middle through Coutinho and this made it easy for Celtic to defend against. Maybe, with a more mobile forward three, Allen may thrive better as he looks to sneak into space.
Personally for me its not a huge issue that he's not given Coates or Skrtel their chance as I was delighted to see Wisdom played frequently in central defense. They're clearly not in favor so I would like to see them sold or loaned but it doesn't much bother me that he's not playing them. Could be an attitude issue as well, as I'm not sure how well Skrtel has responded to his drop in status since December and I've always had this idea that Coates is a lazy trainer (don't ask for evidence, its a gut instinct) despite having all the potential in the world.

It is interesting that our width increased upon switching from Coutinho and Downing wide ahead of Allen to Henderson and Downing wide in line with Coutinho. I really like Henderson wide left (never thought I'd say this in Kenny's season) where he can use his pace, strength and stamina to help out the midfield when out of possession but also get forward and interchange with Coutinho when in possession. He's a really tidy player out there, and though he isn't a huge threat himself, his presence there makes Coutinho deadly through the center. As for the first half combo, it just left too much space between our striker and midfield and that led to Coutinho cutting inside more often than he already would. And we all know how great an option Enrique is to stretch the play when Coutinho moves in :rolleyes:

Conversely, maybe with a trickier attacking midfielder, our front three's movement will be rewarded more. I'll agree that Aspas and Downing don't have the best movement, but I don't think Allen is the best at those neat split-second through balls. Coutinho sees the run coming miles ahead and can quicken his stride to slip it through as we've seen millions of times. I don't think the problem was movement (although it was better when Sturridge came on), but that Allen as a number ten in a 2-1 midfield just doesn't work, despite him being the ideal advanced 1-2 midfielder. Sorry, Nik.
 

Mascot88

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I'm dreading this place when we actually lose a competitive game.
 

gingerbread

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Mascot88 said:
I'm dreading this place when we actually lose a competitive game.
It's more on the team failing to meet the (false) expectation rather than the meaning of the result.


But since that bar was lowered after this match, a draw against Stoke won't be so bad now
 



RichLFC

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Mascot88 said:
I'm dreading this place when we actually lose a competitive game.
Te problem I had with this game was a lot of the flaws are very, very familiar. A real déjà Vu affair

And not a lot has been done to fix them. Slightly deeper squad and maybe a slightly calmer and aerially better old pro CB and keeper but not a lot more

All Celtic had to do was shackle Coutinho and they didnt have to worry too much about anyone else until Sturridge was there. Downing is a blunt instrument and it worries me he started this game. He should have been sold by now

Added to that their side was a u20 mix for the most part. Not the side that competed so well in the CL last year. Yet we still struggled to break them down when they went defensive. Add the space cadet nature of both our fullbacks and the lightweight nature of the team generally and it is pretty obvious not enough has been done to fix these problems at this moment in time

Like I said, it felt a very 'familiar' sort of defeat in many ways. Cant score within say 20 or 30 minutes of conceding then the game tends to drift for a while, have a brief blunt flurry in the last 20 and that's yer lot. Saw that a lot the last few seasons. Feast or famine characterized last year to some extent, we score, we could bag a hatful, or get fuck all. Need to combine the former with a bit more in the middle. So I really hope to god the rumors we have cancelled the downing sale are false, we need at least one more semi reliable goalscorer of decent calibre. I don't buy that they won't come here, if you have a network you can line up 4 or 5 players and in any case, I refuse to believe we are incapable of upgrading on Stewart downing. If we can't somethings not right for sure. Plenty of time to plan for this, there are no excuses
 

Mascot88

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I actually thought Downing had a decent game - and that's the problem, isn't it? Starts looking like we might get shut and suddenly he develops the ability to beat a man and get a cross in. That's why I fucking hate seen him in the red shirt - he'll only pull his finger out when it's absolutely necessary.

Still, I think we're a bit further on than we were last year. The squad is better - but it's obvious that we're struggling to persuade the nailed on starters to give us a chance. We're going to have to grit our teeth and try and ride this out.

I'll put my expectations on the record now. If we can nudge ourselves a bit closer to the CL - maybe around the 68 point mark, and get into the Europa, I'll consider it another season of progress. That gives us a bit of a platform for selling LFC as a club that's on it's way back. At the minute we look like a club that's drifting, which I don't think is true, but it makes it hard to attract the quality.
 

RedSeven

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Mascot88 said:
I actually thought Downing had a decent game - and that's the problem, isn't it? Starts looking like we might get shut and suddenly he develops the ability to beat a man and get a cross in. That's why I fucking hate seen him in the red shirt - he'll only pull his finger out when it's absolutely necessary.

Still, I think we're a bit further on than we were last year. The squad is better - but it's obvious that we're struggling to persuade the nailed on starters to give us a chance. We're going to have to grit our teeth and try and ride this out.

I'll put my expectations on the record now. If we can nudge ourselves a bit closer to the CL - maybe around the 68 point mark, and get into the Europa, I'll consider it another season of progress. That gives us a bit of a platform for selling LFC as a club that's on it's way back. At the minute we look like a club that's drifting, which I don't think is true, but it makes it hard to attract the quality.
If Suarez stays and plays as he can,i would say the squad is marginally better than last season,not enough to give us much improvement over how we performed in the 2nd half of the season though.Arsenal are there to be caught but i think spurs will jump ahead of them leaving ourselves and the gooners to fight it out for 5th.
Given how we performed the back end of last season i think 68 points is achievable but that figure would probably still only get 6th.
 

Mascot88

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RedSeven said:
Given how we performed the back end of last season i think 68 points is achievable but that figure would probably still only get 6th.
Usually, give or take a couple of points, fourth place is around the seventy point mark.
 



T.C.B

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Mascot88 said:
I'm dreading this place when we actually lose a competitive game.
Its never great when we loose any game Mascot. I'm not so much pissed at loosing a friendly as I am at seeing the obvious problems from last season still evident in the team.
Granted we should have enough in the locker to beat a Celtic B team but they got a sloppy goal and then parked the bus. We had enough of the ball and enough chances to win easily.
What pisses me of is that we still.....

Look dodgy under set pieces.

Can be out muscled by a big centre forward.

Looked one dimensional at offensive corners which were basically crosses to find Toure.

Lack pace and power in the middle of the park, Lucas-Allen-Gerrard are easy to get behind on the counter and don't have the pace to get back. Runners in behind them will cause us havoc this year.

Without Suarez and Sturridge (in the 1st half) it is hard to see where the goals will come from.

Loose a friendly, no biggie. Still haven't solved the obvious deficiencies from last season.....that worries me.
 

nowthen

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TCB I dont think that Celtic parked the bus,
We just broke so slowly that they had time to get players back behind the ball. The pace and tempo of our passing and play was not good.
It was a lot of possesion without creating that many clearcut chances. With the exception of 5- 10 mins after we conceeded the goal and 5-10 mins after half time the tempo of our play was slow.

If Brendan Rogers has decided that he has blanked both skrtle and coates then he needs to get a centre half in quickly.
I thought wisdom was poor. He committed himself for the first goal when he shouldn't have. In the second half he had a poor touch on the edge of our box which gifted celtic a chance they should have done better from. The big lad balde off celtic gave him a tough time. he looked good though.
He looked nervous on the ball. Wasnt great with the ball at his feet and some of his passes on the edge of our box were not great either.
He is only young and looks a really good prospect but he is not ready now.
If either agger or toure are injured then skrtle should be the replacement.
Enrique was very poor too.
If you take coutinho and sturridge out of the team on saturday there is very little creativity.
 

charleslee89

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i think for next season, we should be happy if we can still stay in top 10....from how it looks like, the top 5 are already out of our reach even before the season starts...i wouldn't be surprised to see that henry may just walk away from the club given that the return of net assets has been quite dismally poor and will not be improving in the near future...i wouldn't be surprised to see BR getting the boot in early jan 2014 if we can't even smell top 5 by christmas...

i sure hope whatever i predicted would not come true...
 

T.C.B

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nowthen said:
TCB I dont think that Celtic parked the bus,
We just broke so slowly that they had time to get players back behind the ball. The pace and tempo of our passing and play was not good.
It was a lot of possesion without creating that many clearcut chances. With the exception of 5- 10 mins after we conceeded the goal and 5-10 mins after half time the tempo of our play was slow.

If Brendan Rogers has decided that he has blanked both skrtle and coates then he needs to get a centre half in quickly.
I thought wisdom was poor. He committed himself for the first goal when he shouldn't have. In the second half he had a poor touch on the edge of our box which gifted celtic a chance they should have done better from. The big lad balde off celtic gave him a tough time. he looked good though.
He looked nervous on the ball. Wasnt great with the ball at his feet and some of his passes on the edge of our box were not great either.
He is only young and looks a really good prospect but he is not ready now.
If either agger or toure are injured then skrtle should be the replacement.
Enrique was very poor too.
If you take coutinho and sturridge out of the team on saturday there is very little creativity.
I agree with more or less all of this except that Celtic pretty much shut up shop after the goal. They did try to counter attack at times.
I wouldn't criticise Wisdom too much because he is young and will have learned a lot form that game.
We have Wisdom, Kelly, Robinson and Flanagan who are all young defenders who can come into the full side over the next two or three seasons. Lucky to have them I believe.
As for Skrtel and Coates......who knows what is going on there between them and the Manager. He obviously does not rate either as far as I can see.
Don't mean to sound overly negative about a friendly result but the performance didn't fill me with great hope for the coming season to be brutally honest.
 

nowthen

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I suppose I would define what west ham did to us last year as park the bus. Celtic did try to counter attack but we when we got the ball back by the time we got back into the final third it was so slow they had all their defenders back in position.

I was saying that wisdom does look a good prospect but he should be used this season to give him experience, especially in the centre half position. Last season he got some good experience playing at right back. No doubt he will have got great experience from the game but i feel we should have a more experienced centre half as backup if either agger or toure are injured.
I probably gave him a bit of a bashing but I just wouldnt be confident if either centre half got injured and he had to play 10-15 games in a row at cb. I think he will be a good player alright but we really need at least one centr back as cover who could step in straight away in the case of injury. Definitely need this as it looks like BR has completely blanked Skrtle. Just dont think wisdom is there yet, especially in the cb position.

When I saw the first 11 i just thought to myself how many of the top 4 teams would that 11 beat. Not many, if any. You would presume that the 11 must be pretty close to his starting 11 against stoke. What did the 11 starters from the celtic game offer? was there much pace in the side? Not really. (only when sturridge and Ibe came on)
Was there much creativity? apart from coutinho no.
Was there any physicallity? absolutely none what so ever
Was really dissapointed coming out of the ground. Hope we are better next saturday
You are right TCB we are lucky to have the bit of youth coming through. Sterling and Ibe have been really good in the pre season while wisdom was excellent in the pre season with the exception of saturday. That has been the major plus of the pre season. We have some really good young players on the books
 



Row 33

New Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2013
Messages
16
Rodgers has got in few players and shifted a few. Overall we are probably a little stronger, but not enough to worry any top half team and certainly not a top 5 outfit. Given that FSG have spent virtually no money, that's not surprising. If Suarez can be arsed to play and Rodgers does manage toget in a few better than OK signings then we might secure a top 6 spot, not the top four that FSG expect. However Rodgers has to get his team playing with more urgency. His pass it around until we lose it mentality is never going to succeed in a league where pace is essential. It's sad watching a top pla5 like Coutinho trying his best to move play on only to have his efforts stymied by slower thinking colleges.