Post Match: Huddersfield v Liverpool (EPL 20/10/2018 5.30pm)

Man of the Match

  • Alisson

    Votes: 4 3.1%
  • Gomez

    Votes: 46 35.9%
  • Lovren

    Votes: 3 2.3%
  • Van Dijk

    Votes: 15 11.7%
  • Robertson

    Votes: 6 4.7%
  • Milner [off 77’]

    Votes: 1 0.8%
  • Henderson [off 46’]

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Lallana [off 70’]

    Votes: 2 1.6%
  • Shaqiri

    Votes: 30 23.4%
  • Salah [GOAL 23’]

    Votes: 13 10.2%
  • Sturridge

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Wijnaldum [on 46’]

    Votes: 8 6.3%
  • Fabinho [on 70’]

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Milner [on 77’]

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    128

Billy Biskix

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One of the significant differences between where we were in March versus now is that we are struggling with those pressing opportunities. In one sense, that is fairly normal as a team comes together, although with the number of remaining personnel I would have expected it to be more quick. Firmino's uneven start to the season is probably a significant reason for that, he seems to be the one who makes the initial read most of the time.

Against Huddersfield, there were several points where it looked like the idea was to try it, and it just did not start evenly. Huddersfield aren't superbly talented, but they are well-drilled with the ball, and it did not take much for them to simply pass out of the press if there was no long ball available, and we very quickly reverted to the more traditional line-style defence.

I suspect one of the reasons Fabinho is not getting starts is that he in particular seems to be really second-guessing himself about his defensive responsibilities. His effort is there, you just see him take a few steps toward one player, then realize he needs to switch.
We have to consider the personnel against Huddersfield. Sturridge, bless him, is never going to press. I don't expect it of him. I'm just pleased to see him upright. Shaqiri played well in this game but defensively he is not the strongest. Salah is the weakest of the fab 3 when it comes to the defensive side of the game. Lallana really needs to be central to make the most of his energy and this was also his first game for yonks.

It really reminded me of the first half of the Southampton game which was pretty even despite the scoreline and worried JK enough for him to take off Shaqiri and replace him with Milner, just to get that control back. It's a trade off between playing the same players game after game who know the system and can do the dirty work well and putting a team out that leaves us a bit more open but can probably do a job when we play the cannon fodder.

On Firmino, yes it all starts with him. Hands down the most important player in the squad when it comes to making us tick. He's not on it right now but it's fine margins and very early in the season still. Doesn't help with all these international breaks as we're a real 'rhythm' team and just not able to get into any sort of flow at the moment.
 

tesh

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Thought that Salah played well. Lallana was off the pace and the rest of the team largely out of sync. That we won is great. Still waiting for the season to kick off. I reckon if we are within 3-6 point off the leaders by January then we are in with a shout. That we are not firing on all cylinders gives me hope that we might do so at some point - hence if we are within 3-6 points in January, then u never know...
 
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It's not hard to see what the problem up front for is just two simple things. Decision making and weight of a pass. We are continually getting into good positions but unlike last season the wrong pass or the weight of the pass is to weak or to heavy. For me Mo and Firmino are the biggest culprits. They don't just become poor players over night and with a bit more time in training and a bit of patience they will come through this poor spell.
I put most of the blame on Firmino. He's fallen into a comfort zone. He is no longer the player that I saw in the second half of last season that you could build a team around. He needs to break out of his shell again and if that means dropping Salah then Klopp should do just that.
 

Caradoc

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I put most of the blame on Firmino. He's fallen into a comfort zone. He is no longer the player that I saw in the second half of last season that you could build a team around. He needs to break out of his shell again and if that means dropping Salah then Klopp should do just that.

I think that Firmino hasn’t just been identified as our key man by us. He seems to have less time on the ball and currently only has an outlet left and right. Last season he had Ox bursting forward from midfield, a real physical presence, pacy and very direct. And as the season wore on Ox became more of a goal threat in his own right. Add in that Bobby is also out of sorts himself and its no wonder he’s not as effective as he was during the second half of last season.
 
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I think that Firmino hasn’t just been identified as our key man by us. He seems to have less time on the ball and currently only has an outlet left and right. Last season he had Ox bursting forward from midfield, a real physical presence, pacy and very direct. And as the season wore on Ox became more of a goal threat in his own right. Add in that Bobby is also out of sorts himself and its no wonder he’s not as effective as he was during the second half of last season.
Oh come on he ignores Mané and just tries to pass to Salah. If he manages to turn to pass to Salah he gives a useless weak pass to feet. He's just asking for trouble at the moment. We need that dynamic, agressive Firmino we got after Coutinho left. Last season was saved when Coutinho left as it bought the best out of Firmino. I want that Firmino back, please, please, please. :-)
 

i_still_miss_fowler

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VvD has made a number of mistakes. He made two obvious ones against Huddersfield. He’s human. So is Lovren. If Lovren had made those same mistakes there would have been howls of derision on here.

As ILLOK points out Lovren has played well for a sustained period. He was the best defender on the pitch in both of the ECL matches against Man City last season. And as Limiescouse points out Lovren has been singled out for criticism purely because it is him.
The problem with Lovren is not that he does not play well. He does for the majority of a game. Its that every game he is prone to a brain fart moment. Similar to Moreno.

Those brain farts if your lucky comes to nothing, if your not it leads to a goal. Either way they erode confidence and can turn a game. Whilst you are right every player makes mistakes, its rare that VvD mistake that is borne from doing something stupid.

Gomez whilst still learning looks a class above Lovren, in terms of reading of the game, calmness and distribution. As such I would strongly advocate Clyne as full back and keeping Gomez centrally.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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The problem with Lovren is not that he does not play well. He does for the majority of a game. Its that every game he is prone to a brain fart moment. Similar to Moreno.

Those brain farts if your lucky comes to nothing, if your not it leads to a goal. Either way they erode confidence and can turn a game. Whilst you are right every player makes mistakes, its rare that VvD mistake that is borne from doing something stupid.

Gomez whilst still learning looks a class above Lovren, in terms of reading of the game, calmness and distribution. As such I would strongly advocate Clyne as full back and keeping Gomez centrally.
With Huddersfield I wondered whether the selection of Gomez over Trent was an indication Klopp wanted to inject more height into the team for that one, to better defend set-pieces (and also attack from them). If that was the issue, Clyne wouldn't have helped. But Gomez (6'2), Lovren (6'3) and VVD (6'4) is a pretty imposing defence aerially.
 

ILLOK

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With Huddersfield I wondered whether the selection of Gomez over Trent was an indication Klopp wanted to inject more height into the team for that one, to better defend set-pieces (and also attack from them). If that was the issue, Clyne wouldn't have helped. But Gomez (6'2), Lovren (6'3) and VVD (6'4) is a pretty imposing defence aerially.
It's imposing full stop.

Clyne wins less than 30% of his headers, that's asking for trouble against almost any side. There's a reason we used to concede so many headers with Moreno and Clyne at full back...
 

i_still_miss_fowler

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Its a possible explanation, but does not really explain why we went for it the game prior against Manchester City. They have only scored 2 goals from headers this season.
 

ILLOK

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Its a possible explanation, but does not really explain why we went for it the game prior against Manchester City. They have only scored 2 goals from headers this season.
The simple explanation is Lovren and Gomez are better defenders than Clyne and Gomez is much better with the ball at his feet too.

Clyne was a decent player for a side looking to break into the top 6 but he's outlived his usefulness here, we need better footballers now.
 

Limiescouse

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An form Clyne is still good enough for what we're trying to achieve, but he's also had 12 months out with the sort of injury he might never be the same after.
 

i_still_miss_fowler

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The simple explanation is Lovren and Gomez are better defenders than Clyne and Gomez is much better with the ball at his feet too.

Clyne was a decent player for a side looking to break into the top 6 but he's outlived his usefulness here, we need better footballers now.
My perspective is that Lovren is about on a par with Clyne. That not really a compliment to Clyne, more a criticism. Along with Moreno, and Mignolet none of them are really good enough.

Everyone has been raving about VvD being world class, I believe Gomez has been performing at an equally high standard. Perhaps a little early to be saying this but my perspective is Gomez is becoming a world class player. Together with VvD they look the best partnership in the league with a natural instinctive relationship covering one another.

For me I would rather play someone who is looking world class in his natural position, and in a good partnership, than move Gomez to full back where is performs well but not to his potential.
 

FGred

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I forgot to add, I have given my MOTM to Shaquiri because I thought he was our most dangerous player on the pitch and he gave a great assist to Salah and he was so calm under pressure, his passing was precise and neat and his first touches were controlled and seemed quicker than Salah and had an all round excellent performance. I seriously think that he is not there to sit on the bench, he wants to be a regular starter and he is going to get better and better. I believe he deserves far more credit than he is given.
Funny enough quite a few newspapers gave him motm
 

Noo Noo

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Are we riding our luck? Seriously? And if we are don’t most sides do this during the course of a season?

I was watching stuff like this back in the ‘70s. I think some of us need to get our heads around the concept that the other side is there to stop us from winning. They have their own agenda ....... in Huddersfield’s case every single point is precious but for a completely different reason ....... to avoid relegation. This is a very competitive league.

Firstly we have to give Huddersfield credit, they played well. That said, they won’t have a better opportunity to take points off a Top Six side and they failed. Oliver pretty much gave them free licence to take out anything wearing a red shirt without the threat of cards. That does go a long way towards evening out the playing field between sides of differing ability levels.

Klopp has assembled a quality squad but he’s only just arrived at a position where he has been able to start integrating the full squad into our fixture list because of the ridiculous playing schedule that we started the season with. That also initially causes disruption to the the flow of our play.

Add in the fact that we are clearly off colour anyway, that our forwards have struggled to get their individual and collective mojos together, and that our midfield has been constantly disrupted by injuries - Keita, Henderson and Milner - then there are mitigating factors.

I accept that we are not playing as well as we, and no doubt Klopp, would like us to be playing. But we’re winning matches that would have resulted in dropped points as recently as last season. It hasn’t all kicked into place yet but the EPL Table doesn’t lie. If you think that we continue to have issues in our play and then come away with the points and then finally look at the EPL Table then you should get a better perspective.

I can’t guarantee that we won’t drop points ....... it is after all normal even for top teams to drop points from time to time. With each game we win the pressure gets greater not less especially when you are up against the likes of Man City and have Chelsea and Spurs breathing down your neck. But we’re right there in the mix despite all the concerns expressed on here on a daily basis. That has to mean something good is going on here right now.
i think we have been riding our luck, luck that will turn at some point. At that point we will need to play better than we have been doing.

Even against Huddersfield we had a penalty shout that could have gone the other way, an offside call that went our way and they hit the post. Another day they could have had 2 goals. The margins are that fine and we cant rely on calls going our way all season. We will have to earn our points by putting teams away properly at some point.

Just a further point that fuels my concern. City are the finished article. They are a very complete side. We are not at that level which makes our current position an incredible one. But if we really want to take on City we need to be better than we currently are. I believe the ability lies within the squad we just need to bring it out again. Its a fine balance
 

FGred

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There's not much point playing a high press against the 90% of teams who just launch it over your head. We've used the high press sparingly for quite a long time now, reserving it for teams who play out from the back or using it at specific times in games, usually just after we've scored and when teams are vulnerable. That's why we had a lot of spells where we'd score goals in batches. Takes a lot out of the players though so you need to make those spells count.

I really don't think we need to change tactics. In fact I'd argue that it's the current tactics that are getting us points even though we're not playing well. The only game where I've felt we've been tactically deficient was Napoli because Ancelotti presented JK with a problem and he did nothing about it. Just hoped we could scrape through.

Much of the time last season and this we've relied on the speed and accuracy of our counter-attacking and that is just not happening at the moment. This game was a good case in point. Huddersfield were spent with 15 to go and that was the time to put them to the sword but for whatever reason Firmino, Salah, Sturridge and Shaqiri either chose the wrong option or couldn't find the target. The difference between a routine victory and a nervy win. To me this is less about tactics and more about individuals being slightly off their game.
From what i have read in the news and from klopps post match interviews it is about tactics, he is trying to get them to be more versatile and to gegenpress at appropriate moments but all they ended up doing is being confused as to what he wanted them to do. They were shouted at if not pressing and they were shouted at if they were not covering the spaces when defending? Shitty played like that only against us but on Saturday they were pouring their forwards onto burley’s Defense and they seem to use the same tactics against the weaker teams but against ball playing teams they were more cagey including wolves
 

Billy Biskix

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From what i have read in the news and from klopps post match interviews it is about tactics, he is trying to get them to be more versatile and to gegenpress at appropriate moments but all they ended up doing is being confused as to what he wanted them to do. They were shouted at if not pressing and they were shouted at if they were not covering the spaces when defending? Shitty played like that only against us but on Saturday they were pouring their forwards onto burley’s Defense and they seem to use the same tactics against the weaker teams but against ball playing teams they were more cagey including wolves
I don't think the players are confused. We have been well organised and drilled this season. Complete contrast to the start of last season when we were a bit of a shambles. All over the place. It's just a different way of playing which is helping us defensively but not offensively. We also have a few key players who just aren't playing very well. I really think that is the fundamental problem.

City have an insane number of quality attacking and creative options so they can afford to pour forward against the likes of Burnley. Let's be honest their squad is far deeper than ours. Probably the best there has ever been in the PL. So we have our work cut out. But City are also human. Played off the park by Lyon in the CL so we just have to hope that they have some similar off days in the PL soon. It's going to be really hard to keep pace with them but at least we have given ourselves a chance this season. This time last season even top 4 was starting to look like a bit of a struggle.
 

Spitfire

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We are still winning without looking convincing. We will at some point hit our stride and when we do things will seem much better.

Few thoughts:

Gomez is now ahead of Lovren for me - when I saw the line up I expected us to go to 3 at the back at some point........didn;t really happen - but righ tnow our best back 4 doesn't have Lovren in it
We are rotating - it seems more than we did last season. This I hope means come the new year we will be lot fresher when things get down to the pointy end of the season.
We are a long way of peaking - so after playing 3 of the top four teams, and without playing at our best we are still unbeaten and keeping pace with city. 2 wins over belgrade and continued results in the league and come xmas we will probably all be feeling pretty good about ourselves.......
 

RedLar

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Whilst I appreciate winning whilst playing badly is fantastic.. Id love us to properly stuff someone soon, and play some nice football. We look so so tired, misplacing the easiest of passes. Can we go back to smashing teams and playing breathtaking football please? Enough of this!!

The amount of times we conceded outwide to let them cross for that 7 foot fucking giant was terrible.

Lucky to get out of dodge... Onwards though, best start to a premiership season.. Joint top.. Madnass really as we are still in neutral.

Without Van Dijk we’d be mid-table imo.. Fucking colossus.
I don't mean to piss on all the praise dribbled over VVD on here, and elsewhere, but he fucking shanked a clearance in the 85th minute with his left foot, it went straight through him to Lovren who then tried to ballerina a clearance with his heels. The ensuing chance was shinned over the bar from 7 yards out. All ifs ands and massive butts aside, but it was an escape, that would have blemished our 3 points.

We might have sung a different tune is all I am saying. A couple of VVD's other clearances were also mistimed. Colossus at times yes, but has his moments too. He's largely been let off the hook when he has fucked up. Pen V City another time. If Lovren does that, then he gets the customary skin peeled off him, with a rusty blade.

Having said all that shyte, I just hope Klopp has Gomez and VVD penciled in for his starting CB pairing, as Gomez has been the main man with VVD IMHO. I worry Klopp likes Lovren though.......
 

Iluvatar

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I don't mean to piss on all the praise dribbled over VVD on here, and elsewhere, but he fucking shanked a clearance in the 85th minute with his left foot, it went straight through him to Lovren who then tried to ballerina a clearance with his heels. The ensuing chance was shinned over the bar from 7 yards out. All ifs ands and massive butts aside, but it was an escape, that would have blemished our 3 points.

We might have sung a different tune is all I am saying. A couple of VVD's other clearances were also mistimed. Colossus at times yes, but has his moments too. He's largely been let off the hook when he has fucked up. Pen V City another time. If Lovren does that, then he gets the customary skin peeled off him, with a rusty blade.

Having said all that shyte, I just hope Klopp has Gomez and VVD penciled in for his starting CB pairing, as Gomez has been the main man with VVD IMHO. I worry Klopp likes Lovren though.......
He did make 1 error, but if you look at it in context.. He like a lot of the squad has played (with injury) since the start of the season and through internationals.. Everyone else is showing huge signs of fatigue yet he stands alone as this single rock at the back holding it all together, everyone else is making multiple errors, yet he continues to keep his head and calm (99% of the time) and organises that backline like the bad ass mother fucker he is.

I've always said great players make luck work for them.. Bad ones are just bad.

I agree Gomez and VVD is our best pairing, they seem to fit eachother perfectly and both bring out the best in the other.
 

Chung

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He isnt saying VVD needs to be called out or criticised mercilessly. He is saying that a mistake Lovren is being criticised for was actually VVD's.

The point he and a few others have made is that pre-existing perceptions are guiding many of these criticisms not a fair evaluation of the actual situations. Something you actually demonstrate here. Lovren is criticized for "mistakes" that we were not punished for, yet your position on VVD is to only think it worth of criticism had Mahrez scored.
VvD has made a number of mistakes. He made two obvious ones against Huddersfield. He’s human. So is Lovren. If Lovren had made those same mistakes there would have been howls of derision on here.

As ILLOK points out Lovren has played well for a sustained period. He was the best defender on the pitch in both of the ECL matches against Man City last season. And as Limiescouse points out Lovren has been singled out for criticism purely because it is him.
Both fair points and yes 'hands up' I'm probably guilty of associating minor errors to his previous erroneous ways, but, you're always assured a brain fart with him playing at least that's the perception and I guess perceptions are hard to change, in my case anyway :-)

We'll see how he goes for the rest of the season, there's still a long way to go, I won't go all Smicer on him just yet!
 

Mascot88

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He did make 1 error, but if you look at it in context.. He like a lot of the squad has played (with injury) since the start of the season and through internationals.. Everyone else is showing huge signs of fatigue yet he stands alone as this single rock at the back holding it all together, everyone else is making multiple errors, yet he continues to keep his head and calm (99% of the time) and organises that backline like the bad ass mother fucker he is.

I've always said great players make luck work for them.. Bad ones are just bad.

I agree Gomez and VVD is our best pairing, they seem to fit eachother perfectly and both bring out the best in the other.
All players make mistakes, but the difference between Van Dijk and Lovren is that Virgil will shake it off and put it behind him within seconds, whereas Dejan will then use it as the Catalyst for making three or four more.
 

Commando

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He did make 1 error, but if you look at it in context.. He like a lot of the squad has played (with injury) since the start of the season and through internationals.. Everyone else is showing huge signs of fatigue yet he stands alone as this single rock at the back holding it all together, everyone else is making multiple errors, yet he continues to keep his head and calm (99% of the time) and organises that backline like the bad ass mother fucker he is.

I've always said great players make luck work for them.. Bad ones are just bad.

I agree Gomez and VVD is our best pairing, they seem to fit eachother perfectly and both bring out the best in the other.
I think it is a bit harsh to say everyone and multiple. I can't recall any performances that you could apply that description to Robbo, Becker and Gini. I'd go as far as to say that it doesn't really apply to Lovren either. If it's fatigue and multiple errors that we're looking at, I'd say our front three are more guilty than our defence. I'm not having a go at our front three BTW. I suppose it's the age old story. Playing as a forward if you miss ten chances and score one then it's the goal that's remembered. Whereas you can defend like a Trojan all game, but you make one error that leads to a goal and you're pilloried on that one mistake.
 



Iluvatar

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I think it is a bit harsh to say everyone and multiple. I can't recall any performances that you could apply that description to Robbo, Becker and Gini. I'd go as far as to say that it doesn't really apply to Lovren either. If it's fatigue and multiple errors that we're looking at, I'd say our front three are more guilty than our defence. I'm not having a go at our front three BTW. I suppose it's the age old story. Playing as a forward if you miss ten chances and score one then it's the goal that's remembered. Whereas you can defend like a Trojan all game, but you make one error that leads to a goal and you're pilloried on that one mistake.
When I say errors it's probably harsher than I mean.. My point was players are missplacing passes, timing runs poorly, making the right decision but executing it too slowly so it is a turn over etc. That is all down to fatigue. So yes I do include players like Robbo in that group, similar Mane/Salah/Firmino are as you suggest some of the worse culprits.

The original point was VVD also looks fatigued and is playing with injured/broken ribs yet is limiting his mistakes/errors to minimal levels, which is pretty unreal, especially considering he is still organising our backline so keeping mentally on point also. He is a truly elite level player.
 

RedLar

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I think it is a bit harsh to say everyone and multiple. I can't recall any performances that you could apply that description to Robbo, Becker and Gini. I'd go as far as to say that it doesn't really apply to Lovren either. If it's fatigue and multiple errors that we're looking at, I'd say our front three are more guilty than our defence. I'm not having a go at our front three BTW. I suppose it's the age old story. Playing as a forward if you miss ten chances and score one then it's the goal that's remembered. Whereas you can defend like a Trojan all game, but you make one error that leads to a goal and you're pilloried on that one mistake.
Front three have arguably given up 10-15 decent goal scoring chances in our first 10 matches. A missed sitter that costs you a goal scored is always deemed less important than one which concedes a goal at the other end. Doesn't seem fair, but that's the way it is.
 

Chung

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And just to even things up, did you see that misplaced pass in the last game by VVD out to Robertson, ended up a throw in for Cardiff which we could have been punished for, if they were half decent!
Sort it out Virgil!! lol