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Friendly: Valerenga 1-4 Liverpool

therealkeano1

TIA Reserve Team
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Mar 17, 2010
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The second string showed they want in tonight. Allen and Henderson plus aspas looked quality. Borini did well and if he was a half a second more pacier he'd be one of the top forwards in the league. Gerrard and Lucas werent at it. Only pre season so its a decent run out. Lets hope Celtic give us a better game.
 


MarkMcC

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Quite enjoyed that. Despite conceding our first preseason goal the defence had little to do. Nice link up from midfield and forwards. Loved Coutinho vision and deserved goal at the end. Solid 7/10 throughout the team.

Good enjoyable game throughout who h happily distracted me from Suarez debacle if even for couple hours
 

OhYaBeauty

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Messages
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Thoughts on our second to last preseason friendly against Norwegian side VÃ¥lerenga IF:

(Gonzalez) VÃ¥lerenga 1-4 Liverpool (Luis Alberto, Aspas, Kelly, Sterling)

Tactical Notes

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Left: Our starting formation, a 4-3-3 featuring mostly squad and fringe players. Right: Our second half formation, a 4-2-3-1 featuring starters with a few random players thrown in.

Very little of note on the tactical side of the game today. We started in a 4-3-3 as everyone expected, (although I did see some members suggest in the Pre-match that Downing would be a left back--fat chance). Inverted wingers once again, although like most other preseason friendlies, it wasn't really indicative of much since some of the players on the pitch clearly won't be featuring much come the Premier League season.

Defensively, we suffered as a result of a complete lack of experience in the first half. Wisdom and Coates are both good central defenders with bright futures, but without a vocal and experienced leader in central defense they were always going to have difficulties. Add to that they were flanked by makeshift fullbacks Spearing and Flanagan and had little defensive leadership support from central midfield and their captain, and it is easy to see why they were able to score off a corner. Nothing to be concerned about here, as its highly unlikely we'll ever have to field a team without any two of Toure, Agger, Mignolet, Enrique, Johnson, Lucas, and Gerrard. We'll certainly have more defensive organization come the start of our league games.

In the second half we reverted to our 2-1 midfield that worked out to be more of a 4-2-3-1 than a 4-3-3. I don't see any way around this being our preferred formation this season, as we need to fit Gerrard and Coutinho into the team in their most effective roles and this is certainly the best way to do it.

Fringe Player Performance

Stewart Downing played a blinder of a first half, actually. He started off by taking on his man, beating him for pace, then putting in a good cross, and then continued with a couple of good shots, decent runs into the box (one he should have scored on as he side-footed into the keeper's face) and a good assist on Aspas' goal. Its this sort of performance that I suspect we bought him for, and unfortunately its this sort of performance that I fear he'll be kept for. Every once in a while he puts in a decent showing and it seems like he might be decent here. I for one still hope we get rid.

Jon Flanagan played pretty well, especially when you consider that left back is unnatural to him as a right footed player. Still, he offered a decent amount in attack and was relatively solid in defense. My only problem with his play is that he seemed to be marking the exact zone that the corner was scored from.

Coates and Spearing both had pretty anonymous performances; they weren't overly troubled in defense and didn't offer too much in attack. I'm pretty certain Spearing will be gone by September although I think Coates won't. It seems to me that he should be for his sake, as we're wasting a pretty good talent by not playing him. Add Brad Jones to that list of players that didn't do much. He let in a goal that was pretty well taken but other than that he didn't really have anything to do.

Assaidi did his usual thing on his run-out; he ran at defenders, put in some crosses, and looked decent in linkup play. No end product as usual, but Downing doesn't have any of that either and he still plays...

Jordon Ibe wasn't as bright as we've seen in preseason but he still played well. He certainly lacks a bit of the tricks of Sterling but makes up for it in physicality, as we saw him beat his man with strength to the byline and put in a good cross. He also created a fair few shooting opportunities for himself.

The Squad Players (or as we liked to call them today, the "First XI")

Joe Allen was very good once more. I mentioned it after last week's testimonial, he's got more pace than I used to think he had and he's got a very special talent for being in the right place at the right time, both when Liverpool are in possession and when they're not. Out of possession, he reads passes before they're made and is there to tackle on the first touch of the receiving player. It is fun to watch. In possession, he's always ready for a pass and showed a willingness to get forward, which was refreshing. His little turn on the left side of the penalty area was fun to watch as well. I still wouldn't pick him ahead of Henderson for our team, but that's more down to my personal preference in player strengths rather than their respective performances.

Jordan Henderson had a decent game. I think he was a bit overwhelmed by the responsibility of being Captain. Two notable negatives were his insistence on taking the early direct free kick and his poor marking on VÃ¥lerenga's goal. He took the free kick off of Luis Alberto, who earned it and is a far more reliable option at direct free kicks as we've seen in his youtube videos. Henderson really shouldn't have done that, and I think it might have been down to the pressure of wearing the armband; he thought he was expected to produce. As for his losing his player on the corner, I think this should have been mitigated a bit by the player running directly into a spot that should have been zonal marked by Jon Flanagan. Should he have lost the player? No. Was he the only one to blame? Also no.

Iago Aspas played well again. I've never thought his individual performances were really that impressive but if he keeps up that sort of performance and gets a goal for it I'll be well pleased. His movement was very good today and he put a lot of shots on target. He was unlucky not to score more, especially on the chance where he was put through to the right of goal by Downing and tried to slide it through on his right. It was a well taken shot that he was unlucky to see saved by a goalkeeper who was in "Anfield Away Keeper 2011/2012 form". I do wonder how his performances will change if/when he's shifted to the right.

Luis Alberto really wasn't all that impressive for me. He still looks very good in possession but again offered little in terms of passing in the final third. He did win a few free kicks and his goal was extraordinarily well taken, but aside from that, his play wasn't all that impressive for me.

Andre Wisdom was a man-child in defense once again. I'm really optimistic for this kid this season. He reminds me a bit of a favorite player of mine who now plays for PSG. And that's all I'll say here.

Raheem Sterling showed quite a bit on and off the ball. He's just so quick that he opens things up and you can tell when he's on the ball he's taken on a more cerebral side to his game when going forward/ Rather than simply running forward with it or squaring it back to midfield (his two options last season) he looks comfortable playing it forward neatly a la Coutinho. Case in point his through ball to Borini on 74 minutes. His goal was well taken.

Martin Kelly was lucky to score, but credit where its due, he took up a good position. Looked solid in defense as well, but I would really hope that once he gains match fitness and confidence Brendan gives him a look at central defense rather than just playing him on the flanks for another season. At some point he either needs to switch to central defense or become a full-time right back; you can't become very good at anything if you play as a utility player for too long.

Fabio Borini played pretty well. I figure there will be a few people who will say that he should have scored several times but he really shouldn't have. His first chance fell to him off of a defender's bobble and he never had time to control it. To get a shot off with his back to goal was actually impressive. His second from that wide angle can hardly be classed as a chance and he should really be commended for keeping a scoring opportunity alive there. Had there been any attacking support he could have squared it back to the center of the box for a goal. His third off the Sterling through ball didn't give him hardly any time on the ball. It was only through outstanding movement (and a bit of speed) that he got to it before the keeper. Half chance at best. His fourth he might have scored on, but was unlucky to hit the crossbar instead.

The Second Half Starters

Perhaps a bit backwards to convention, the starters came on in the second half. The starters who weren't injured included Kolo Toure, Jose Enrique, Coutinho, Steven Gerrard, Lucas, and Simon Mignolet.

The defensive starters showed their worth, with Mignolet having a few nice saves and Kolo Toure looking a real threat in the opposition's box from set pieces. His flick onto Kelly for the goal showed what a presence he can be from set pieces, and I'm looking forward to seeing him play for us in the league. Jose Enrique for me showed why we need another left back. His cross to Borini turned into a shot it was so bad. We need someone who can offer something in the final third for when we play against teams that park the bus, and he's not that player.

Gerrard and Lucas really didn't show us much more than we're used to seeing from them. They're both assured in possession, good in defense, and have good distribution. It was a bit disappointing to see Gerrard's effort fizz right over the bar, but I was happy to see him in that sort of position.

Coutinho as always showed his worth, putting several good balls forward, nutmegging defenders, and shooting on target. His ball to Assaidi for a one two ended up finding Sterling for our fourth goal, which goes to show how even when stuff doesn’t come off exactly as he wants it, it’s still very good for us.

Issues still not solved in Preseason

We've seen several times that Aspas has been effective as a central striker in preseason. That being said, he'll likely not be first choice in that position come the league season, with Sturridge being preferred for the central role due to his stature, record last season, and Aspas' apparent versatility out wide. So it would have seemed to me that we'd have given Aspas several games out wide in preseason so that he could adjust. Perhaps its down to the possibility of him starting the season as our central striker due to Suarez' ban and Sturridge's injury, but we really have no idea at this point how well he'll function as a right winger.

The year old debate rages on: Who should be first choice, Henderson or Allen? Both have put in good shifts in preseason and each offers something different. Henderson, a physical presence and perhaps more goals, Allen, better linkup and tackling. Who starts come the season will likely be decided by the opposition, although I guess we can expect Allen to be preferred a bit by Rodgers.

Transfer dealings have left a bit to be desired thus far, as we're still lacking a central defender and a backup left fullback, as well as one more attacking player, especially if Suarez leaves. We still don't know what our first choice defensive pairing will be since we don't know if we'll get a starter in (Papadopoulos) or if Toure will start. We don't have a backup left back, as Flanagan should leave on loan and we already sent Robinson away. And we need a starter for either the right or left wing positions, especially if Suarez leaves.

Issues solved so far in Preseason

The formation certainly seems set for this season; after an early experiment with using Gerrard in a 1-2 midfield Rodgers has once again decided that our best team features Coutinho in central attacking midfield ahead of a Gerrard+Lucas pairing. It remains to be seen who will flank Coutinho on either side although it would seem Sturridge will certainly play ahead of him.

We've solved our backup central defense conundrum; with Skrtel seemingly on the outs and Coates not favored by Rodgers we needed a third choice defender. Step up Andre Wisdom, the young fullback with power who looks ready for the job. I'm excited to see him grow under Kolo Toure's guidance.
 

tesh

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Thought we played well in general. Pretty much everyone have a good game. On the negative side, because I need to look there and it is in my nature to question, we were not really tested. The opposition was weak and please don't start with the you can only beat what is in front of you. I acknowledge we put them away rather well. I'm looking forward to the Celtic game as I think that might give a better read out of where we are at.

would just like to add that I'm not sure how we are going to set up (1st team and tatics) for next year - formation wise I mean.
 

gingerbread

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Not many of our players have played all 90 minutes probably since May, so hopefully they already built up their strength for coming Stoke game

Need a bit more composure finish for Borini and Aspa (and maybe Allen too). These three have made some really good running. A bit more clinical to deal with 1-on-1 situation, would separate them from the old Torres to the current one.

I don't know, have Coutinho sitting in AM would definitely help to break through a deep-laying team. But to pressure off the ball, we may need Allen or Hendo's energy. And those run into the box as well
 



norwegian wood

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Good runout. Could easily have been seven or eight that, but the VÃ¥lerenga keeper was brilliant. He's an exciting one, by the way; reckon he could end up at a bigger league in a couple of years.

Really good first half; Alberto, Ibe and Allen played particularly well. Aspas and Downing were also positive.

Second half was a bit half-arsed, but still enough to control the game relatively comfortable. Enrique was rock solid. Borini deserved a goal.
 

jerusalemred

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great first half from the youngters. hungry zippy passes. good attacks in short diagonal passes. players seemed to know where they are suposed to play and very impressed with aspas. creative and have that extra killer instinct infront of goal. but most importantly he is not selfish and knows when to pass to a team mate in a better position. and thats why i never liked suarez bcos he is a fucking selfish player to the poiint of detrimental to team winning - if suarez plays bad, then team loses. if he scores, the team wins.

fuck suarez and aspas is a better answer. however, i worry for the lack of first team midfield creativity and pace. we should not rely on coutinho for all the creatvie play. If we aspire to be top four we need a top right winger or another top striker by now to replace suarez.

overall a good play. and we seemed more ready this season than for a long time ive seen us pre-season wise. barring any major injuries, this is a good momentum to start against stoke.
 

jerusalemred

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brightonpete said:
Another good workout but not much of a competitive game. some pretty good insight from owen and gary mac in the after game chat.
yeah now talking about agger to barca...fucking had it with FSG not holding on to our top players. be it media rumors or selling the project. we need to know what is going on. surely we should be getting at least one big player in to placate our top players.

unless this is a deliberate FSG tactic to stay quiet so that they let sell our big players and profit from us with ready made excuse, again! oh, no the window has closed we had no time...etc. we hate you torres/demsey/suarez for this sabotage...
 

SirBillShankly

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Fantastic effort OYB, much appreciated.

I know we shouldn't read too much into pre-season but i can't help feeling really optimistic despite the Suarez nonsense. We seem to be carrying on where we finished at the back end of last season.

Add Costa and Papa and we are gonna be flying this season. Can see Allen proving his doubters wrong now he's injury-free.Well done lads.Let's keep it up!
 

OhYaBeauty

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SirBillShankly said:
Fantastic effort OYB, much appreciated.

I know we shouldn't read too much into pre-season but i can't help feeling really optimistic despite the Suarez nonsense. We seem to be carrying on where we finished at the back end of last season.

Add Costa and Papa and we are gonna be flying this season. Can see Allen proving his doubters wrong now he's injury-free.Well done lads.Let's keep it up!
Thanks!

Personally I'm feeling a bit pessimistic at the moment. Perhaps I'm reading too much into the performances rather than the results. Perhaps the Suarez cloud hangs heavily over me. But as our team stands I don't see us in the top four. We need Papadopoulos for that in my opinion as well as an attacker if Suarez leaves and I'm not super optimistic at the moment that we'll get Costa and/or Papa.

We still need additions, although I guess results have been quite encouraging even if I'm still a bit anxious to see us really stick to a system.
 



ras

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Oct 25, 2012
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AnfieldCat said:
In by Cavani!!
Yeah, since when did Kelly grow up to be a good-looking Cavani? Best surprise of today. Next best - the goal by Luis Alberto.
 

EdWood

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Borini needs a goal to get his confidence going; the only problem is that he rarely looks like getting one. This tour's been a bit of a disaster for him all round, because the new guy Aspas has hit the ground running, and he'll be featuring in games ahead of Fabio no doubt. He needs a run of games to get some sort of momentum going but I can't see him getting it barring injuries to others.

If and when a Suarez replacement arrives :rolleyes: , he'll then be a backup forward to a backup. It's not looking good for yet another Italian at LFC.
 

Mascot88

Yours for £1m. Need to make room for Dean Saunders
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jerusalemred said:
yeah now talking about agger to barca...fucking had it with FSG not holding on to our top players. be it media rumors or selling the project. we need to know what is going on. surely we should be getting at least one big player in to placate our top players.
unless this is a deliberate FSG tactic to stay quiet so that they let sell our big players and profit from us with ready made excuse, again! oh, no the window has closed we had no time...etc. we hate you torres/demsey/suarez for this sabotage...
I've had it with posters slagging off the club for stuff they haven't actually done. It's pathetic.

Have Liverpool sold Agger? Have they sold Suarez for that matter? Get a fucking grip.
 

lightdrizzle

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Was impressed with Alberto tonight, thought he would be a little lightweight, but had a good gamel tonight and took his goal well.
 

SoueysTash

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Mascot88 said:
I've had it with posters slagging off the club for stuff they haven't actually done. It's pathetic.

Have Liverpool sold Agger? Have they sold Suarez for that matter? Get a fucking grip.
One of the more deluded rants he's made...

This notion that an entity would buy a football club to deliberately run it into the ground by selling off the best players, doesn't really make any sense even to the worlds dumbest business men.
 



tesh

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SoueysTash said:
One of the more deluded rants he's made...

This notion that an entity would buy a football club to deliberately run it into the ground by selling off the best players, doesn't really make any sense even to the worlds dumbest business men.
Except for our previous owners, the un-famous G and H!

Disclaimer, I am a supporter FSG. A saner breed of owner.

p.s. they are not however immune from making a mistake, it happens.
 

SoueysTash

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tesh said:
Except for our previous owners, the un-famous G and H!
Not to get into this in the wrong thread but...they took out loads of debt to buy the club and tried to do what the Glaziers did with Manure...a gamble that didn't pay off for G&H but appears to have worked/be working for Manure...they didn't mean for that to happen but the economy went to shit...not that I'm defending those two clowns but they were the circumstances. People don't buy expensive businesses and run them into the ground deliberately
 

tesh

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SoueysTash said:
Not to get into this in the wrong thread but...they took out loads of debt to buy the club and tried to do what the Glaziers did with Manure...a gamble that didn't pay off for G&H but appears to have worked/be working for Manure...they didn't mean for that to happen but the economy went to shit...not that I'm defending those two clowns but they were the circumstances. People don't buy expensive businesses and run them into the ground deliberately
No but they do make mistakes with expensive businesses, be starting off with the wrong/poor business plan (G&H) or making bad decisions thereafter.
 

norwegian Suarez

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Good runout yesterday.
But I have to say sorry on the behalf of us norwegian fans.
The stadion had alot of empty seats. We use to turn Ullevall red. Yesterday we did not. WHY?

I think the main reason was the ticket prices, they costed from £50 - 80!
Then many think like I did - why not use a bit more and attend the real thing - Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool are still very strong in Norway, our supporter club has almost 40 000 members, and we love our club.

But VÃ¥lerenga and thoose who arranged this one tried to benefit of our great support and that costed them alot of empty seats.
If they had priced the tickets £30-40 I am sure the stadium had been filled up as it has used to when Liverpool visit Norway.

What is the outcome of this? We norwegians can thank our self - Liverpool FC may think twice to come here again. they have visited other countries and filled stadiums with capasity of 85 and 95K and here in Norway they cant fill Ullevall with under 30K..

So on the behalf of norwegian supporters - Sorry Liverpool FC. Hope you come back soon.
Golden past Red future
YNWA
 



AnfieldCat

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I was wondering why the stadium looked a tad empty but with tickets at that shocking price I can fully understand it, ridiculous!
 

norwegian Suarez

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They cutted the prices the last week, but then it was too late I think.
the fixture list for Premier League had been out and norwegians had taken theire choice.

Ullevaal or Anfield
or both...

yes the prices for an friendly was ridiculous - a lot of us norwegians use to trawell to Liverpool, and are a bit spoiled that we have that opportunity.
 

slufsar

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norwegian Suarez said:
Good runout yesterday.
But I have to say sorry on the behalf of us norwegian fans.
The stadion had alot of empty seats. We use to turn Ullevall red. Yesterday we did not. WHY?

I think the main reason was the ticket prices, they costed from £50 - 80!
Then many think like I did - why not use a bit more and attend the real thing - Liverpool at Anfield.
Liverpool are still very strong in Norway, our supporter club has almost 40 000 members, and we love our club.

But VÃ¥lerenga and thoose who arranged this one tried to benefit of our great support and that costed them alot of empty seats.
If they had priced the tickets £30-40 I am sure the stadium had been filled up as it has used to when Liverpool visit Norway.

What is the outcome of this? We norwegians can thank our self - Liverpool FC may think twice to come here again. they have visited other countries and filled stadiums with capasity of 85 and 95K and here in Norway they cant fill Ullevall with under 30K..

So on the behalf of norwegian supporters - Sorry Liverpool FC. Hope you come back soon.
Golden past Red future
YNWA
That's exactly my thinking too. Plus it crashed with Norway's best music festival, Øyafestivalen. I much prefer watching bands for an entire day, then watching a pointless friendly, when the price for the ticket to the game was similar to the price of a day-pass at the festival.

Tame Impala, Blur, Mount Kimbie > Stewart Downing
 

Lucas

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OhYaBeauty said:
Love your tactical analyses, really informative and offer a great insight, keep up the good work mate!
 

nowthen

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First half performance was impressive. Created plenty of chances. Movement was excellent in midfield and upfront. Game should have been out of sight at half time. 4 or 5 -1 wouldnt have been unfair reflection on the game.

Second half was not so impressive. very lack lustre. Sloppy, not a great tempo to the passing. The second string were really up for it first half. Wasnt the same movement or intensity in the second half

Feel sorry for borini, he so badly needs a goal. Was so unlucky tonight. The one from the tight angle he so nearly scored was created by his refusal to give up.Thought he had scored with the one he hit the bar with but his movement and work rate was really good. Just needs that bit of luck to get him going. One of the few to impress 2nd half.
 



slufsar

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16.400 was the attendance if people didnt know.

Dont really see why the club would want to come here anymore.