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Post-Match: Liverpool 4-3 Swansea

koptician

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Quagmire81 said:
Knowing Agger, he was most likely unhappy with himself.

I found the sub a bit strange, I didn't get the impression he got a knock and couldn't continue, and I didn't think he was as poor as lots are making him out to be, besides it wasen't him that commited that pen.
Remember how badly Drogba used to manhandle him?
 

Anfield Iron

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Guessing that the rest of the 13 pages boil down to "scintillating attack, shambolic defending." Yes, we must sort that out, and I agree with Eddie's point that Johnson's reentry unsettled things. Still, 3 points.

I'm for signing Hyypia from Leverkusen.

YNWA.
 

anglian_red

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Dr_J said:
Well we can sit here and say, what if we didn't concede in random games but so can Chelsea, Arsenal and City.

By the way, at the KC and against Southampton, we played very cagey matches and lost 1-0 both times. Not exactly the open and free flowing football that has been getting us results in the past couple of weeks.
They're not particularly random games to pick out. A game in August has just as much impact on your final standings as a game in May and I purposely picked out three games where we scored more than once. That should be enough to beat these teams but we let in very soft goals. Most of them were set pieces or failures to clear set pieces, in fairness the team seems to have improved on that in the last couple of months but much work to be done.

I forgot the Aston Villa game, that's another one right there. A game we should've won but Brendan picked the wrong time to attempt his new attacking formation. Win that game as well as the others I mentioned and we're so far clear of Chelsea it's almost all over.

Btw we actually lost 3-1 at the KC.
 

basil1492

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One thing nobody seems to have mentioned that was on MOTD2, the banner coming across saying we have scored more first half goals than any other team in PL history. That's an amazing feat considering there is still 11 games to go. Also having 2 players in the top 4 of goals per minute is excellent as well. It has to make you wonder though how much BR and his tactics are the reason for this.

I honestly believe that DS at Chelsea, even playing regularly would be lucky to have hit double figures at this point. Our way of playing gives our forward line so many chances, and not just 50/50 ones either, more often than not our attackers are through on goal. This is the main reason our forward line look so great, Sterling included in that. Unfortunately this way of play is also to blame for the amount of goals conceded and making our defenders look worse than they are. It evens out well in the end though so no complaints.

The above also seems to have the same effect on the midfield. Our attacking mids look great, how defending mids bad because apart from the occasional game the attacking mids are told to stay forward often leaving our back 5 and 1 DM to handle everyone that comes at them. This is just as true for Lucas as Stevie btw, i honestly think if we had the worlds best DM they would have problems managing to defend the defense against the onslaught. As much as i love seeing us play like this though every so often i think Cou needs to be dropped and Allen to replace him to steady our midfield, the Southampton game where they'll press us high is a perfect example of this.
 

T.C.B

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Urban Achiever said:
No it isn't stretching it at all... and no it doesn't overrate them. I'm deliberately not saying that they're the best... but to suggest they're not sub top players is expecting completely unrealistic players in that category. Agger, Sakho and Skrtel would all 100% be in the competition for a starting spot in any of the top 6 clubs in the EPL. They would all be in the mix as well in all other major leagues. There is not a single club in the world where especially Agger and Sakho would not be in the squad and get a fair share of games.... I could be wrong of course but theoretically I just don't see where they wouldn't be able to put in a shift.

Have you watched Bayerns CBs closely? They make just as many (and probably more) fucks ups than ours.... but just get away with it because they have absolute world class midfielders and the worlds best keeper behind them.... + of course fullbacks of a completely different calibre than us. Dante FX is a great footballer, but throw him into our defence and trust me he would have made no difference yesterday. A player like him often makes mistakes and is yet almost always named as one of the worlds best CBs.... he would not outshine Agger at LFC.

If Barcas defenders have no awarenes of defensive play how can they compete at the top level of world football and win the ChL again and again.... come on, man .... commenst like that are just so far fetched that it's beyond any reason. Again I'm not saying our CBs are the best in the world.... but if people won't recogninse that they're actually very, very good, I don't see any satisfaction just around the corner. Who on earth are people seriously expecting us to go out and buy if we cannot make our central defence work with players of that calibre??

I mean... we can probably all agree that Thiago Silva, Kompany and Ramos would be good players at LFC.... but why even begin this insane discussion when it's never ever gonna happen... and the players we already have are very, very good. To me it's like saying we should sell Coutinho and Sterling for being lousy finishers because we definately would be better with Costa and Xabi...... Yeah we probably would, but it's never gonna happen + the players we have are very good for our level + we can't afford upgrades on that level of talent anyway.....

As I said in my post I'm not saying that our CBs are the best or flawless... but they're at least sub top in the world and I would like to hear who people really think we could bring in as upgrades on them..... realistically.... who is it people think we could go out and buy, who could... in our defensive set-up... do a better job? Would people seriously (unless they're Arsenal fans) suggest that we sell two of our very, very good and experienced players to finance bringin in two new CBs + of course the obvious fullback issues and the forward and midfield transfers that has to come through this summer as well.....?

The players are just not as bad as they're made out to be... and made to look by the set-up. The problems stem from the midfield, fullbacks (which the Johnson performance yesterday showed), goalkeeping and other areas just as much. The CBs are not perfect or free of guilt... but they're nowhere near as bad as people claim.
You have made some good points in your recent posts mate. I have been banging on about our defense and in particular lack of a top quality, mobile, ball winning midfielder all season. Defending must be done as a team...remember Rushie covering every blade of grass when the opposition had the ball? Not saying that S and S have to do the same but they have to play some part in the defensive work as a whole.
Our problems stem from a lack of pace and mobility in midfield which leaves the heart of the defense exposed by runners from deep. Couple that with a real lack of quality in the fullback areas and we are in trouble regardless of who plays in the middle.
Johnson is not himself, maybe injured, maybe not arsed, maybe knows he is leaving or at least not getting another fat contract but either way he is a total liability in the side. Flanno is a kid, he is game and maybe will come good but he is still very raw at this level. Enrique injured longterm but still seen by many as being a bit dodgy defensively (he is the best ball watcher we have) and Cissokho is a short term loan signing just finding his way. (ironically our best defender lately I had thought).
In short the full back situation on both sides is way below any sort of decent levels.

As for the Keeper you made a brilliant point about him earlier. He is a top class shot stopper but lacks a commanding presence in the box. How difficult can it be for a big man to come out and punch or catch a ball given how well protected Keepers are by Refs these days. He can rattle the cross bar standing on the line facing a peno, why not come out and rattle the odd centre forward?

As for the Centre halves it seems we concede goals regardless who plays so its not solely down to a them but the team as a whole.
Skrtel is game but prone to individual errors, Agger is easily bullied by a big centre forward and for me is nowhere near the World Class that some would have you believe. (just IMO)
Toure is a stop gap who was to bring a bit of experience to the side and has been a decent signing I believe. He has made a couple of unforced errors but is still one of our better free signings (that wouldn't be difficult though).
Sakho is seen as coming back to be our saviour but I for one wouldn't bank on that. He has looked a bit ropey at times to me although he has quality on the ball and seems to be a decent defender.
As for Kelly, Wisdom, and Ilori who can guess where they fit in long term?

A top class defensive midfield player added in the summer with at least one full back would be a good start at rectifying the problems. I can see Johnson and Agger being summer casualties along with Cissokho not being kept. That should indicate where incoming players will fit in.
 

Joe90

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Last year the scum won half their games with shoddy comebacks, and were hailed for their mentality and ability to win when playing badly. We do the same this year but we're crap.

Go figure.
 

koptician

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Quagmire81 said:
Come on mate Didier in his prime could bully any CB in the world.
True but Carra used to put up a good fight. Dagger just got run over.
Anfield Iron said:
Guessing that the rest of the 13 pages boil down to "scintillating attack, shambolic defending." Yes, we must sort that out, and I agree with Eddie's point that Johnson's reentry unsettled things. Still, 3 points.

I'm for signing Hyypia from Leverkusen.

YNWA.
Er, not as coach I hope, at least not yet. Some of Leverkusen's defending makes our defence looks like Mourinho's original Chelsea
 

anglian_red

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koptician said:
True but Carra used to put up a good fight. Dagger just got run over.
The only centre back I ever saw handle Drogba in his prime was Lucio, who was generally amazing anyway.

Agger's reputation for nightmares against Drogba really goes back to one game, the Champions League semi in 2007 where Drogba steamrollered him in the first leg for the Joe Cole goal. Worth keeping in mind Agger was only 22 at the time and did score the vital goal in the return game.

Sami Hyypia couldn't handle Drogba either, I remember Sami being all over the place when Chelsea won 4-1 at Anfield, but if memory serves we later discovered Hyypia was ill and had thrown up before the game which probably didn't help.

Carra had his problems with Drogba too, even when Carra got Drogba where he wanted him, he still scored. Such as that spectacular turn-half-volley in 06-07.
 

shachart

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The entire philosophy in BRs system is hanging on one crucial element , pressure.
forwards press oppossing defenders, midfield pressing high, forcing the opposite team to punt the ball, easy for the defence to handle. this was executed to perfection against Everton and Arsenal. against Swansea, there was no real pressure, not from Coutinho or Hendo, nor did they sit back. what happend is Swansea had a lot of space in the middle to move the ball, over run SG and catch Agger and Skrtel hanging.

Johnson and Flanagan also got to over exited and wanted to support the front line, and left huge gaps behind.
I think this game was more a disciplenary breakdown of the entire team in regard to defence, than personal errors and performance of Agger and Skrtel ( not to say they should take to much pride with their performance ).
 

koptician

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anglian_red said:
The only centre back I ever saw handle Drogba in his prime was Lucio, who was generally amazing anyway.

Agger's reputation for nightmares against Drogba really goes back to one game, the Champions League semi in 2007 where Drogba steamrollered him in the first leg for the Joe Cole goal. Worth keeping in mind Agger was only 22 at the time and did score the vital goal in the return game.

Sami Hyypia couldn't handle Drogba either, I remember Sami being all over the place when Chelsea won 4-1 at Anfield, but if memory serves we later discovered Hyypia was ill and had thrown up before the game which probably didn't help.

Carra had his problems with Drogba too, even when Carra got Drogba where he wanted him, he still scored. Such as that spectacular turn-half-volley in 06-07.
Loved his celebration after that goal. And what a shot it was!
 

1988greatestteam

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I think Agger wasn't himself he was feeling a bit ill, and wasn't shouting or goading as he normally does. Skirtel i thought was a model to get the hook though, he was having a real mare, Johnson was incredibly rusty and you could vision him making a mad mistake. Jesus that stupid lash across the box that wacked of Skirtel and luckily fell into the keepers hands, that was mad..Mignolet was very tentative almost glued to his line all of which was making the back four feel nervous. Flanagan was poor early in the 2nd half but was superb in the last 15 mins when swansea threatened on the right. Allen closed down the left side and had a decent game when he came on. It all worked out in the end which was a relief. Can we be more solid without loosing our buccaneering attacking brilliance? 11 to go the heat is well on.
 

1988greatestteam

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basil1492 said:
One thing nobody seems to have mentioned that was on MOTD2, the banner coming across saying we have scored more first half goals than any other team in PL history. That's an amazing feat considering there is still 11 games to go. Also having 2 players in the top 4 of goals per minute is excellent as well. It has to make you wonder though how much BR and his tactics are the reason for this.

I honestly believe that DS at Chelsea, even playing regularly would be lucky to have hit double figures at this point. Our way of playing gives our forward line so many chances, and not just 50/50 ones either, more often than not our attackers are through on goal. This is the main reason our forward line look so great, Sterling included in that. Unfortunately this way of play is also to blame for the amount of goals conceded and making our defenders look worse than they are. It evens out well in the end though so no complaints.

The above also seems to have the same effect on the midfield. Our attacking mids look great, how defending mids bad because apart from the occasional game the attacking mids are told to stay forward often leaving our back 5 and 1 DM to handle everyone that comes at them. This is just as true for Lucas as Stevie btw, i honestly think if we had the worlds best DM they would have problems managing to defend the defense against the onslaught. As much as i love seeing us play like this though every so often i think Cou needs to be dropped and Allen to replace him to steady our midfield, the Southampton game where they'll press us high is a perfect example of this.
agreed it certainly evens out over the season...but I really think its a case of us having a go for a change rather than being gung ho or following a particular line of tactics. We are not being half hearted or caught between 2 stools as in the "Hodgson Years"...we must not betray the value we have built up till now, to suddenly become tentative and more defensive or guarded... like dropping real skillful tricky players like Coutinho or Stirling who have given us a real edge in games for solid players like Allen. We can get goals from the latter which surely is the object of the exercise. Lets stick to our principles, it has really worked (70 goals, 56 points) and I think Brendan will continue despite the shaky back four.
 

Doggie

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Just watched the highlights again.

During the match I was holding my head in my hands with some of the poor defensive/midfield work - ultimately however their goals were really lucky, or classy. Shelvey's was a stunner, the deflection was cruel and the pen was really soft.
 

mattyhurst

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Doggie said:
Just watched the highlights again.

During the match I was holding my head in my hands with some of the poor defensive/midfield work - ultimately however their goals were really lucky, or classy. Shelvey's was a stunner, the deflection was cruel and the pen was really soft.
This is it, you can blame people for not closing down Shelvey but in the end nearly 2/3rds of them will be dealt with eithier by going over or being saved, that Shelvey shot was a stunner you couldn't place it better.

The second is actually going wide before the deflection so I can see the goals panel taking that off Bony, also without it Mignolet has a much better chance of saving it even if it was on target, he maybe should have shown more command and come for it but hell.

The final was a soft penalty, shut them out for 5-10 mins after Henderson's goal like we do at the end and like so many this season we probably enter the break comfortably ahead.

It is a lot of individual mistakes and they are taking that mentality on to the pitch, I think 3 of the 4 CB's at the back are shot of confidence, hopefully Sakho when he returns will be less so, it's a job as much for Stephen Peters as it is for Rodgers and the coaching staff.

That is how I see it anyhow, these are not bad players certaintly not as bad as we have seen in the last 3 weeks.
 

Semmy

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What bothered me the most about that game was the space around Gerrard and the players that filled it. Swansea pressed harder than we did ourselves, and when you are "aimlessly" pressing without every player doing their part, it sure causes problems.

SG picked up a bad habit last game of ball chasing, ball was simply passed around him making him completely ineffectual in the press.

Would much prefer to see BR institute a hard press once the ball enters the middle 1/3 of the pitch. Let them pass the ball across the back 4, trying to press that high is a waste of time and energy. Psychologically, it gives them confidence of ball passing while runs your own players down being on the wrong side of a game of keep-away.

Once the opposition enters your space, that is when you close down on the press and force the ball to retreat back to their CB's and FB's. Wait until the the ball is too deep into your half and you'll be in trouble, but that compression of the playing area on the pitch makes your press have to cover less ground and easier to cover the angles.

Having Henderson drop in beside SG on a deeper press will allow for better protection of the back 4 as well. With Hendo playing high in the 1-2 CM, it exposes too much space on either side of SG for the opposition to play into.

Take a look at City or Chelsea playing in their defensive 1/3...especially in that game they played early in Feb at Etihad where Chelsea snuck an away win. Can clearly see the two lines of 4 players dropping deep with two DM's guarding the CB and tracking the player's runs. Doesn't need to be copied, but helps to pay attention to what your opponents are doing.

just my 0.02...
 

naturalskill

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Some excellent insights so far in this thread but it looks pretty obvious to me that since studge came back and Brendan has decided to squeeze 2 No9s into the team we have surrendered midfield dominance in favour of attacking potency. This basically leaves our defence far more vulnerable and susceptible to making errors. It's a high risk strategy and so far we have managed to gain ground but personally, I would be far more confident if I could see us demonstrate an ability to close down games as well. Hopefully this will come with time. Let's keep going hell for leather but let's also try a little harder to tighten things up when we need to.
 

Semmy

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To be honest, with Raheem's play as of late I'd favor him as at RWB, Put Aly or Flanno in at LB...

Mignolet​
Skrtel - Agger​
Sterling - Aly/Flanno​
Gerrard​
Hendo - Allen​
Coutinho​
Suarez - Sturridge​
That's what I'd like to see, anyways. 4 - 3 - 1 - 2

Give you seven defenders under pressure + Cout/SaS as back-track marking

Allows for midfield transition, Sterling has proven capable of coming back to play defense

The only shortcoming of this setup is lack of available subs for CM's. Alberto/Texeira???
 

gingerbread

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Just noticed that Swansea haven't conceded 4 goals or more since the last time we trashed them 5-0 in Anfield

Our attack really made any defence look shit (our defence.. especially)
 

RJK

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i_still_miss_fowler said:
Surprised by that stance given it was Skrtel at fault for two of the goals with fouls. Didnt really see much wrong with Agger's performance
Thank you! Quite frankly I was shocked when it was him being subbed. Skrtl has been a penalty(s) waiting to happen all season. Play Toure ahead of Agger??? Didthese people not see the absolute howlers he made directly giving away goals. Even when he came on he looked jittery. Our defence was badly put together last year & most were pleading for defensive coaching. Nothing much seems to have changed in that department. Back on you & your coaching team for mine Brendan
 

RJK

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Urban Achiever said:
Listen, this CB debate is entering a state of madness.... people are just throwing around favourites and wishful dreams of either signing new super players to come in and save the entire defense or Kelly suddenly emerging as a new Thiago Silva.
We obviously have defensive challenges and our defensive players do make mistakes.... but if it's not the one it's the other and changing backline every game is not gonna do much of a difference.

Here is how I see it:

We have 4 very, very good CBs in Sakho, Agger, Skrterl and Kolo. They are all in the sub-top of world football (maybe Agger and Sakho even the top)... and are all established and highly experienced players. Wishing for an upgrade on players like that is complete and utter nonsense. People coming on here and wanting us to sign new players because these "don't work" or saying we are in desperate need of at least TWO new CBs have lost it or needs to go and support Chelsea or PSG or some other club who buys players like toys.

If you cannot make it work with players like Sakho, Agger and Skrtel.... we'll it sure as hell is a deeper lying problem.

I'm not saying they're flawless or that they are the absolutely best in the world, but they are top players and clearly good enough to defend against fuckin Swansea and Fulham. The problem is that the midfield offers no support which leaves them in no mans land having to either drop back and defend the box or go out of position and follow players up into the midfield. Yesterday Henderson and Coutinho were basically caught too far up the pitch for the entire game until Joe Allen came on.... You try being a defender in a system like that.

Secondly, many of our CB mistakes comes from Mignolet not coming out of his goal line....... Skrtel and Agger again and again have to defend his 6 yard box!! On crosses!! That is impossible to defend against and anyone who has played as a CB knows how hard, dangerous and shaky that shit is. Mignolet is not just poor at that.... he is scandalous!
He is the reason that Skrtel has to scissor kick the ball out of the 6 yard every other game.

The third point I want to make is that Glen Johnson is just not a good enough defender to be used in such a direct and forward line up. He gets caught out of his defensive position again and again in a game like yesterday... again, leaving the CBs insecure about whether to cover for him or stay in the middle.

How on earth do people expect our two CBs to cover for Gerrard, hendo and Cou in the middle.....
keep Bony tied down...
Defend the entire box + the 6 yard for Mignolet...
and drop out to back up or cover Johnsons side?

It's absolutely bonkers by people to go on about how poor they are and how much better we'll be when Kelly and Wisdom and Illori grows up. Or saying we need to go out and buy new top CBs.... Agger has been hunted by Barcelona for the last 4 windows...... they were in for him 2 months ago and yet people think it's him that's bad. Jesus.
International captains... Sakho even captain at PSG... and people say we badly need two new upgrades..... you couldn't make it up. How about the keeper takes care of the 6 yard, the midfielders defend the defense and the fullbacks are defenders not wingers....? then we can maybe evaluate how our no-good CBs actually perform.

The way Rodgers is doing it these days is expecting the CBs to keep all forwards tied down while digging into the midfield and breaking the waves, while they also cover the 6 yard..... Weird that he felt a need to change it, as the setup with Kolo/Agger and Cissokho has been keeping far better sides away from chances.
There's no clappy emocon or I would've given your post several. Measured post.
 

Claymenza

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Well said. On paper our centre backs are decent and the mistakes are magnified partly because their task has got much more difficult now than before.

I think it's true that mignolet does not command the six yard box which makes the defenders more nervy. Being asked to split wide to allow gerrard to distribute from deep helps offensively. However defensively it breaks up the unit if we lose the ball. I think there was a bit of truth in rodger's hope to turn gerrard to a centre back.

The last reason we've been shaky is also the rumors of Napoli poaching agger and skrtel from us. I wish rafa would take lucas instead and be done with it.

About the fullbacks, I think Flanagan is the one who plays more like a unit than the others. Carragher would have loved him. Glen Johnson is decent one on one but I don't think he has that pace about him anymore.