POST MATCH: Liverpool 1-0 Reading

Gears

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I thought allen was a bit quiet today, perhaps because gerrard looked a bit more lively and got to the ball more. Nevetheless, I still don't think we need a third midfielder in a game like reading where the opposition looks weak in the middle.

I'm worried that Lucas won't come back as the same player, since it will be tough to beat gerrard/shelvey/sahin for a starting spot.
 

No Men in the Box Redux

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Edit: Incidentally, I'm more concerned about getting Lucas back in shape properly this time than I am about finding a striker. Youth strikers we can make work, but the mountain of evidence is growing that our team is less functional without a player like Lucas. I'm less worried about the goalscoring problems than I am about how long it is taking our midfield to start running games consistently-- and that doesn't just mean from game-to-game; that's from one 20 minute period to the next. If we start killing teams properly in midfield, our problems up top are alleviated somewhat.
The finishing problems and the control of midfield problems feed on to each other though. If we Luis just finished one of his handful of glaring chances today and we were 2 up, then it would have been a completely different game. I don't disagree with you that these two problems exist but I think our lack of consistent control of the midfield can be attributed to the fact that Allen, Sahin and Gerrard seems to be missing some of their early season fitness and often fade in and out of the game. Allen, in particular, seems to not be able to run his engine in the same way he did in the early games. I seem to recall him catching the flu and being ruled out for the Wales game last week only to end up playing anyways? That might have something to do with it. I do think Hendo can help in this respect as his engine and simple accurate passing are two of his strongest attributes.

Another point to consider is that our team failed to press cohesively together as a unit today. Playing during the week for the stupid international games definitely had something to do with it. When you play a 4-3-3 possession and passing game with offensive fullbacks and you don't press well as a team, your midfield will struggle to impose themselves and you will give away a lot of chances like we did today. A true DM will bring some order back in to the team and clean up some of these messes but it wouldn't solve the root of this problem. We can't press effectively if our players are fatigued or suffering from a lack of fitness. And pressing is like half of what makes a possession game effective.

So in conclusion, I disagree with you a little bit because I still think that for home games against weaker teams, it isn't always necessary to play a true DM, but today we looked really vulnerable because we weren't able to find that 2nd goal and because our team weren't able to press effectively as a unit most likely because of fatigue. Had we scored more than one goal or pressed more effectively, the midfield might have been able to dominate the game a bit more and be less panicked in possession.
 

OhYaBeauty

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I think its especially necessary to play a DM against weaker teams. Weaker teams will only look to hit us on the counter, as Reading did today. They're not going to pass calmly through the middle, they'll play long quick passes to hit on the break. Stopping such movements is Lucas' forte. His positioning breaks up those moves before they ever happen, and sometimes you don't even realize it. His positioning denies the move a chance to start, and it makes us much more solid defensively, to the point where you don't even realize there was ever any danger.

Counterattacking opposition almost makes Lucas more necessary
 

supereddman98

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3 points boys well done, don't care about anything else right now, correct the errors next game match for now enjoy the victory.
 

norwegian wood

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Very good first half, but the second was too sloppy and open. Didn't control it as well as we should, but I think it had to do with nerves. We missed so many good chances, and it probably affected the players. Some really poor decision making and lack of composure in the final third, Suarez in particular.

You can see us trying to set up our power play outside Reading's penalty area to control the game and choke them, but we're not quite there yet in terms of patience and timing.

Anyway, we got the three points. Happy days!
 

liveforthereds

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Ah yes a well over due win, 28 shots on goal with 13 on Target yet we only score 1. At least we kept a clean sheet.
 

Wathik_LFC

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Good game my MOTM was Jones. Was composed, made good saves.

Our defense is scary tho, we are missing Lucas hardcore.. If we played a top team they would've carved us open.

I think Raheem can develop into a great striker someday.
 

No Men in the Box Redux

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I think its especially necessary to play a DM against weaker teams. Weaker teams will only look to hit us on the counter, as Reading did today. They're not going to pass calmly through the middle, they'll play long quick passes to hit on the break. Stopping such movements is Lucas' forte. His positioning breaks up those moves before they ever happen, and sometimes you don't even realize it. His positioning denies the move a chance to start, and it makes us much more solid defensively, to the point where you don't even realize there was ever any danger.

Counterattacking opposition almost makes Lucas more necessary
You could also say the same about strong opponents also...

In tight cup games, for example, where both teams want to be more conservative initially until it gets to the 2nd half or until the scoreline opens up then its pretty much all about counterattacking. The point I am trying to make is that, in the modern game, counterattacking is the norm. That is why most teams play 4-2-3-1.

Possession and pressing football is meant to be a system against that. If pressing is done right and cohesively as a team, I don't believe a true DM is necessary against weaker teams. The system is first and foremost about dominating the ball and recovering it as soon as possible whenever it is lost. A DM, by nature, stays within a very limited space and doesn't win back the ball from the top of the field, for example. Instead, a DM's main role in the system is to clean up and cover for defenders or midfielders that go forward. If we need to consistently rely on a DM to win the ball back, we aren't executing high pressing effectively.

Noted, I still believe a DM is an essential part of the system and the squad but I dispute that simply because Lucas is missing, we didn't dominate the midfield today. Recall that we did just fine dominating the midfield (but not scoring and winning games) earlier in the season against Sunderland, City, United and Stoke. Possession and pressing football as a whole, is meant to nullify or make counterattacking football less likely to happen. I believe you're overstating the DM role too much and not looking holistically enough at the problem which I believe to be in the team's execution of the tactic of high pressing. This is a problem at the wider execution level of the system and not simply at the personnel level.

This means two things. On the downside, it means that we still have a lot of work to do to learn and execute the system as a whole effectively. But then again, we always knew that this would be true. On the upside, it means that as a whole, the system is less focused on individuals than the entire team's execution of its tactics. So even if Lucas is out injured, we won't miss him that much if other players in the team are also drilled in pressing together as a unit. It is a bit of a throwback to 'Total football' where every player on the field is essentially drilled to play in the same way and know how to cover for each other in all areas. It removes the need for 'specialist' players like a specialist DM for example. In a 4-2-3-1, however, the emphasis is much more on having specialist players doing specific roles. I'm not saying we're playing total football under Rodgers but I just wanted to draw a distinction that our system now is more about team execution where everyone is expected to be able to press and to pass and less about individual specialists who solely defend or solely attack or solely score. Ah, I'm not articulating this very well but I hope the point is sort of there at least.
 

shlohmoh

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Well done to The Blessed Brendan who must have felt it was squeaky bum time as he settled down to smell the coffee.
 

OhYaBeauty

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You could also say the same about strong opponents also...

In tight cup games, for example, where both teams want to be more conservative initially until it gets to the 2nd half or until the scoreline opens up then its pretty much all about counterattacking. The point I am trying to make is that, in the modern game, counterattacking is the norm. That is why most teams play 4-2-3-1.

Possession and pressing football is meant to be a system against that. If pressing is done right and cohesively as a team, I don't believe a true DM is necessary against weaker teams. The system is first and foremost about dominating the ball and recovering it as soon as possible whenever it is lost. A DM, by nature, stays within a very limited space and doesn't win back the ball from the top of the field, for example. Instead, a DM's main role in the system is to clean up and cover for defenders or midfielders that go forward. If we need to consistently rely on a DM to win the ball back, we aren't executing high pressing effectively.

Noted, I still believe a DM is an essential part of the system and the squad but I dispute that simply because Lucas is missing, we didn't dominate the midfield today. Recall that we did just fine dominating the midfield (but not scoring and winning games) earlier in the season against Sunderland, City, United and Stoke.
Perhaps using the term weaker teams was incorrect. I suppose I meant counterattacking teams. United, Stoke, Sunderland and Newcastle are great examples of teams that love to soak up pressure and then break quickly. Lucas is great at soaking up the counterattack there.

Against your Wigans, Man Citys and Swanseas (teams that build from the back) a player of Lucas' ability isn't quite as necessary. A hardworking duo or trio like Allen-Sahin-Gerrard can do the trick, because they all have defensive ability and can break up attacks (by the way, how good is Sahin's tackling on the ground?).

A bit off topic here, perhaps the midfield dynamic thread fits more
 

Doggie

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Thought Stevie G was awesome today - put in some delicious passes and worked tirelessly to the final whistle. Was guilty as the rest of them with the missed chances however.

Excellent performance from Jones, no wonder Pepe looked worried.

Sterling was wonderful, but I thought some of his decision making was too slow where he has been much snappier in the past. Very pleased for him getting his debut goal though lol
 

kingoftown

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Our build up play was excellent, particularly in the first half. We lack a true spear at the head of our attack, someone to make runs and poach ugly goals. Luis is unbelievable at creating his own chances, but he always wants the ball at his feet and that will obviously rob the attack of its point, leaving us to shoot from outside the 18. That said, a 3 points sorely needed.

p.s. is our team incapable of a sidefoot finish into the bottom corner?
 

DEVGRU

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Nice to finally have a wee bit of luck on our side for a change....I will take this 1-0 win thank you very much..and hope the goal will give Sterling the confidence to cut into the box and to have more shots on goal.

We were good in the first half...probably tired by mid second half..and really still can't solve our goal scoring problems...7 shots on target...only 1 counted.

Brad Jones was solid...but we could learn to keep possession of the ball when winning 1-0 instead of giving a lifeline to our opponents.
 

Superior Complex

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At the end of the day, its all about time, experience and the system the manager believes in.

Now that Sterling has found his scoring boots, it could lead on to great things. Suso's through balls, lobs etc.. Are superb.

It looks like the youngsters coming through are capable of replacing Gerrard. I think that our midfield is full of talent.

Imagine Lucas back, and we are able to buy a quality striker ! It's a difficult situation on who to drop. I think our defence is great, the tweaks have effected Skrtel and Agger, but game by game they are getting much better in my eyes.

With someone who can score goals, we are not really behind the pack. We shall see.
 

DEVGRU

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It looks like the youngsters coming through are capable of replacing Gerrard.
WOW WOW WOW..hold your horses there young gun.

Let's not go there shall we. We most certainly don't need to be putting unneccessary pressure on the youngsters by comparing them to Gerrard.
 

Mascot88

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Will take the win, but a few things were very obvious.

Tiredness really set in after about 55 minutes. Tiredness was the main reason we lost control of the game in the last 30mins, and the way we lost possession repeatedly in that spell is the sign of a team running out of steam. Suarez in particular should not have played the full 90. He looked frustrated, and most worryingly picked up a knock which is another sign of a player not quite firing on all cylinders. I would still have started Yesil, or at most taken off Sarez on 45mins. If we can't beat Reading without Luis we might as well give up and go home.

We're still feeling the pressure to create a chance every time we have the ball. A lot of a ball was turned over needlessly as we looked for killer balls in situations where it was more likely it would break down.

It must be very frustrating for Rodgers, as the players wouldn't have been so knackered in the closing stages if we'd just put our foot on the ball a bit more at let Reading do the chasing. For the first time this season I shouted "just bring the sodding ball down" as the defence continually headed percentage balls back to Reading for another attack.

And the finishing. The fucking finishing. We know what the problem is here. Say no more.
 

DEVGRU

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If we can't beat Reading without Luis we might as well give up and go home.
It's been like that for at least 2 seasons...we were punished time and time again last season..and were lucky to get away with it against Cardiff in the cup final....our finishing and general attacking play has been very poor for a while now....and then, there is the stupidity that went along with someone's idea of a sick joke not to sign a back up striker before the close of the transfer window.

We keep shooting ourselves in the foot. Oh wait...make that both feet.

I think its especially necessary to play a DM against weaker teams. Weaker teams will only look to hit us on the counter, as Reading did today. They're not going to pass calmly through the middle, they'll play long quick passes to hit on the break. Stopping such movements is Lucas' forte. His positioning breaks up those moves before they ever happen, and sometimes you don't even realize it. His positioning denies the move a chance to start, and it makes us much more solid defensively, to the point where you don't even realize there was ever any danger.

Counterattacking opposition almost makes Lucas more necessary
Doesn't make logical sense playing a DM against lesser teams.

It's like asking lancaster bombers from the RAF to fly low below german radar on night sorties when they don't need to.
 

hugo the horrible

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3 points at home at last, not pretty but we'll take them.

Pleased for Sterling scoring his first PL goal, but apart from that wasteful as usual in front of goal.
Another example to those in charge of money why this club needs a quality striker and has done since Judas left.(and b4 that while he was doing fuck all).
Pleased for Jones, he stepped up well.

W e have a way to go yet, 1-0 against Reading at home, while always nice to win, is surely not our expected level.
 

mattyhurst

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The only concern I have is one expressed by a few others is that we don't stick one of the young strikers on the bench, though Suso has only come through to be a starter because of his performances in Europe and the League Cup, I hope Morgan and Yesil get the chance on Thursday.

Other than that using the phrase "our defence would be torn apart against a better team" doesn't hold sway because the players mindset wouldn't be focused on Reading it would be focused on this top team however we gifted two goals against City, one against United and one against arsenal. The only time our defence has actually been carved open was against Udinese.

I'm happy with 1-0 its a clean sheet, it's a goal for Sterling and its 3 points at home after an International break it could have gone all wrong again today, it didn't so focus on the positives.
 

WrinkledMind

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Happy with the win but concerned with the second half performance.
The central Midfield went missing allowing Reading to consistently break in.If it was even a half decent side instead of Reading, then they would have probably scored a couple of goals.
Suso went invisible in the second half and Wisdom wasn't that authoritative.Shows that you shouldn't put a lot of workload on the youngsters.Hopefully Enrique coming back and looking fit, we will have him and Glen starting.

Glen must be applauded for putting such fine performances even when he is not playing in his natural position.
Sahin looked good and could have had a couple of goals if Suarez had fed him a couple of times.

Which brings me to Suarez.Its becoming frustrating to watch his finishing.There is a such a frightening amount of talent in that lad.And he looks world class.But his finishing is utterly abysmal.I hope BR is working with him on that.Or maybe....just maybe someone asks Rushie's opinion on him or make the two have a conversation.
 

HeighwaytoHull

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Arsenal are losing to the team we dismantled with ease. Nothing's set in stone in this league and we're on our way up.
 

WrinkledMind

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Arsenal are losing to the team we dismantled with ease. Nothing's set in stone in this league and we're on our way up.
One word Holt.
they looked a better side when he came on against us and scored 2 goals.Personally I think he is very underrated.
 
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Gears

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One word Holt.
they looked a better side when he came on against us and scored 2 goals.Personally I think he is very underrated.
He's a bit older isn't it? Not saying we should go after him but he's better than Carroll.
 

WrinkledMind

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Never said we should go after him.Don't rate him that highly either. :tongue:
I think he deserves to play for a mid-table club instead of a relegation fighting team.
 



Gears

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Never said we should go after him.Don't rate him that highly either. :tongue:
I think he deserves to play for a mid-table club instead of a relegation fighting team.
Fernando Llorente is the type of patient poacher who has the touch to play on top of suarez. He's out of contract soon, and if I were rodgers....only bring him in if he has a guarantee Carroll will leave with a proper fee.

There's no chance Rodgers will play 4-4-2 with suarez as the second striker because he's not the type to pass it back and play it safe.
 

jimskopi

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Granted Luis is wasteful but lets not lose sight that the top goalscorer in the Premier League has 6 goals, Luis has 5, yes could be more but pretty impressive as many of them he is having to create himself.
 

SoueysTash

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If we had a first class finisher we'd be in the hunt for top 4. The amount of chances we're creating, good chances not half chances, it is the best for a long time.
 

WrinkledMind

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Still believe the answer is Borini.its a shame he got injured.But I hope BR plays him more central when he comes back.He looks like a proper poacher.