CJ_LFC said:I'd start Raheem against Spurs. Raheem has more pace than Coutinho and Spurs are awfully slow.
I think Coutinho has become a case of Juan Mata part2. Player with brilliant skill (esp. those inch-perfect thru passes), but a little weak and slow to move back or press when defending.slufsar said:I think the issue we had in the last 30 minutes were that Sunderland pushed on with more players in attack, while we had two strikers on the pitch who hardly ever did any defending. In addition, Coutinho started to get really lazy around that same period. It was a fairly obvious issue. We cant be playing like that against Spurs. We'll need more defensive contribution from our strikers then
He is good when we face lower-placed league who rather sit back, parking the bus behind the ball when defending, coz he is brilliant passer and may find cut open their defense with brilliant pass. Sterling pace is useless against these teams.
However, when we face stronger team who also have strong ball possession and we need to press them hard, fielding Coutinho feels like our midfield is rather open and we cannot close the gap quickly. Sterling pace and determination will help in closing opposition in this scenario (and instead of diamond, i think 4-3-3 would work better, as we packed center midfield with 3 and the forward to close the flank and when we counter we have 3 very pacy forward to attack them on the break).
Similarly, SG has recently been a revelation in his new role, where ppl said he has taken pirloesque role in the team and BR suddenly has no room for Lucas who prior is one of the first name on the sheet. I think this is only because of his status as club legend and captain, his amazing quarterback passing skill and deadball shooting accuracy. Other than that, Lucas seems to me still a better pure DM player. His reading of the flow of the game to break opposition play when they are on the counter or covering our wingbacks is still unrivaled, even by gerrard. He is also quicker than Gerrard in defending.
However, when we face team of lower position who defends behind the ball, it is like we have one player idle not used that much which function can be covered by Gerrard (who is probably like 85-90% of him in pure DM position), whereas fielding Gerrard is like having Lucas who can pass, take freekick and penalty, and also massive captain presence.
On the other hand, if we face stronger team, yes our attacking midfield is much stronger, but on fast counter/break against player like Hazard, Podolsky, etc, Gerrard may not have enough pace and pure DM skill and reading (he still helps attacking from time to time) to be stationed in the DM position. This he covered by late tackle from time to time (thus the yellow accumulation), but sometime lead to conceding. If we want Lucas, then we usually sacrifice Allen so SG can fill that position, thus having less young drive/determination in one of the midfield.
I just hope BR see this and rotate them effectively depending on who we face, becoz I feel that BR seems to have the tendency stay with his latest tweak when it worked previously despite who the next opposition team and later when it didnt work, tweak again use it again regardless of the opposition until it didnt work again (remember the switch from 4-4-2, later to 4-2-3-1, later to 3-4-1-2, later to 4-3-3, and now the 4-4-2 diamond).