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POST MATCH THREAD: NORWICH 2-5 LIVERPOOL

RJK

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I'm going to be relatively critical about our performance, so if you're not prepared for that please don't read this post. I will, of course, point out the obvious and say that I am absolutely delighted with the 3 points and the fairly dominant win. But I intend to keep that firmly in perspective, and these are the thoughts I had during the game:

Firstly, we are still not controlling the game. While this may be tolerable against Norwich (barely), it absolutely will not be against better teams. Our midfield tries to move the ball too quickly forward at times instead of controlling the tempo and setting the tone of the game to our terms. Also, lacking a proper ball-winner like Lucas means that our defense needs to provide additional cover to the back 4 by not allowing other teams to have the ball in midfield. Our pressing is good, but once teams get past the first wave of pressure they can often bring the ball right through us at the defense; I think we really need to focus on keeping the ball far better. Poor pass selection and errors in the midfield by trying to force the play will come back and hurt us. We play a high defensive line with attacking fullbacks and we owe it to them to make their jobs easier. It is no coincidence that we looked more solid once Henderson came on.

Secondly, we need our wide players to come into the middle when Suárez drops deep into the hole. On the back of today's performance, Rodgers may be justified with continuing to play Suárez there, but that means the wide forwards need to step up. Sterling and Suso lacked presence centrally, and once Assaidi came on he filled that gap. I expect Assaidi to take Sterling's spot in the PL XI now that he's fit. He + Suárez will be exciting to watch.

Thirdly, individual errors are still costing us. A lot of sloppy passing and unacceptable mistakes. Reina made a couple of enormous saves and then drops the ball for their first. Skrtel is only as consistent as his partner. We are too quick to go back to the keeper which puts pressure on the defense. We lost a lot of possession by our midfield/defense forcing Reina to kick long. This ties in with my first point: control the ball further up the field. Rodgers needs to drill into the players that there is no slackness allowed until the final whistle. Allen knows this already and stays mentally switched on all game.

I'm hoping that this win allows us to turn a corner mentally, but let's not get carried away. Norwich is astoundingly poor and we took advantage of that today. The next games against Stoke and Reading are going to be difficult and I'd like some things improved on in those games leading to the derby.

Edit: Praise in order for Suárez (he only scores worldies!), Wisdom, Suso, Sahin, and Johnson.
Keeping the ball better? Nearly 70% possession wasn't enough for you ?
 


mappen1977

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No way was possession 50/50 mate. If you think we did not control the game you are either really hard to please or just plain daft.
 

BrianLfc10

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That data has to be off. We were controlling the ball for minutes and minutes on end in the second half! There was periods in the closing 15 minutes where we spent at least 5 collective minutes passing between defender and keeper!
 



Hope in your heart

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[sup][bbc.][/sup]
This is wrong. Opta stats say 37% - 67% possession (from the official site)
Shots 16 - 16
On target 4 - 6

Anyway, bar the possession, it seems to have been a match with many chances on both sides. Looking at these stats, I can now understand why some people are bemoaning our defensive behaviour.

On the other hand, our shot accuracy was excellent, something we haven't seen since quite some time...
 

ChicagoRed

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Sahin is on a whole different level to Sigurdsson. Sigurdsson is a decent AM who has a bit of potential. Sahin is a talented CM who can play as a DM, CM, and AM, has loads of potential and an amazing first touch and more importantly has a smart footballing brain. I can see Sigurdsson shaping up to be a Mikel Arteta quality player, but Sahin can be a Xabi, maybe better.
Ya, and on top of that Sahin won Bundesliga player of the year and plays for Madrid which Sigurdsson will never have the class for. Comparing them are apples to oranges.
 

Le_hunt

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a rout was due, happy that they did not fail to deliver it.

one thing annoys me at the highest point however: our defence.

our back 4 was, whatever we went through last year, our main strengh. we didn't sell Dagger. neither did Skittles leave. but we are a fucking shambles now. peroid. there's not a single league game in which we have got a clean sheet yet, let alone a single competitive game at all since that play-off game away at Hearts...Pepe makes blunder after blunder and Skrtel seems way too sloppy for my liking. and for his usual standards.

and as we're at it, my main concern: what the hell has happened to Enrique ? he was solid as a rock at the beginnig of last season, but seems to have fallen from grace as if it was some Konchesky's second coming now. he did not even make the bench today, and unless I'm mistaken he's not injured (or does he keep it close to the chest ? c'mon, there's nothing to it even on his twatter page) this just consolidates the thought that there is a serious left-back syndrome since Riise departed 4 years ago, and this must be fixed. given how good Jose used to be, this is VERY concerning. that Wisdom kid looks solid there's no denying that, but he's still a kid, and much like Sterling there is a risk that we might be burning him out if Jose doesn't make it back into the first team at some point.

apart from that, bring on next (league) game, I have the feeling that Udinese will tear our defence apart once again, whoever we will play. will it be a matter of how many goals we will be able to score to cover up the cracks, as opposed of how many chances from them will we keep at bay ?
 

BrianLfc10

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Ya, and on top of that Sahin won Bundesliga player of the year and plays for Madrid which Sigurdsson will never have the class for. Comparing them are apples to oranges.
This is why I said I'm so glad we didn't get Siggurdson and we managed to land this talent instead. Imagine we had Gylfi in the team and this guy was off at Arsenal doing his stuff there?
 

basil1492

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It's amazing how much difference one win can make, not just to confidence but also to the look of the table. Yesterday i saw us in the relegation zone, today when i look it's near midtable and only 6 points from 5th and only 1 of the real top 4 to play in the next 15 games. I'm cheered up real easy of late.

Didn't realise there was a deflection on the shot that bounced off Reina and agree that he made some good saves before hand. Feeling a bit gutted because a lot of the goals conceded this season have been avoidable and i mistakenly put Agger, Skrtel and Reina in my dream team :) If we keep progressing the way we are then i think keeping Suarez will be easy but have to ask if we get a striker as we all want in the January window who do we drop? I'd hate to put Sterling or Suso back into the youth setup or reserves again, that will slow them down as fast as a serious injury. It would also cut down the chances of others such as Assaidi and Pacheco. Don't get me wrong, i love having options, just that our youth has stepped up so well i don't want to spoil things for them.
 



ChicagoRed

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This is why I said I'm so glad we didn't get Siggurdson and we managed to land this talent instead. Imagine we had Gylfi in the team and this guy was off at Arsenal doing his stuff there?
Siggurdson would just block or be in the way or Shelvey more than Sahin if both were brought in. With Shelvey and even Suso depending where exactly Rodgers plays him, there was never a need for Siggurdson.
 

craigbellamy

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Haven't seen the game yet, but the first thing i saw about the game wasn't the hat-trick etc, it was Reina's fumble.

How many years has Pepe saved our skin, how many times has he pulled off a world class save. This is a man who should of been the no 1 choice for spain were it not for a pretty poster boy in spain. He has been one of the most loyal and passionate team players we've ever had. He has put up with the likes of Roy's mate telling how to do his job and still hasn't f*ck off to spain.

He is going through a rough patch, his first rough patch ever and people want him dropped. F*ck off, all of you There are opinions and then there is blind stupidity.

will be back after watching the game on the beeb.
 

mappen1977

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To be fair Mr golf club his form has been off into last season too. I understand your points though, and im sure Pepe knows this more then anyone. He will get better, he has too otherwise the rules of competition demand pressure be placed on him. I think he will get back to his best but how he gets their I dont know, competition, training, or just form? Really appreciate Pepe me.
 

basil1492

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Have to agree with the others on here, that was the most 1 sided 50/50 possession game i've ever seen. As for them having the same amount of shots, more on target than us, well, i just can't see that either. The buildup to one of the goals alone had about 30 passes in it and a little after that i was listening to the crowd shouting for every pass we made (remember them laughingly booing when we misplaced it :)
 

Prolix

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The problem I have is not the quantity of possession, necessarily, it is the quality of possession as determined by its position on the pitch; frankly, I'd like to see us controlling the game more through the midfield instead of passing it around our defenders until Reina has no choice but to boot it long. We lost a lot of possession today to moments like that, and a better team than Norwich would certainly have punished us for our sloppiness.

We've gotten much better at winning the ball back, but we're still not as crisp and dominate as I envision us becoming. The team just needs to be a bit more patient at times; it's fine when we smell blood against Norwich, but our back line needs protecting while it settles into the new approach. The more we control the ball the less chance the opposition team has to make that quantity of shots against us.

Against better teams than Norwich we've been struggling to have 60%+ possession consistently. Like it or not, but even with Opta's 67% possession stat, there were huge parts of that second half where they kept coming at us. It is our job to impose our style on the game and stop that from happening.

I'm still very happy with our performance, lads. lol
 



Celtic Dragon

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Just seen the highlights on MotD. We played some absolutely beautiful, almost (almost) Barcelona like football at times.

Sublime stuff. And we're going to shock a few teams this year if we continue to play like that.
 

trygve76

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Against better teams than Norwich we've been struggling to have 60%+ possession consistently. Like it or not, but even with Opta's 67% possession stat, there were huge parts of that second half where they kept coming at us. It is our job to impose our style on the game and stop that from happening.
Can't make any sense of what you mean to be honest. 67 % possession is Barca numbers. You will never have 100 % possession, and obviously the opposition will create also. This was an away game, we scored five times and passed the hell out of them. At this stage you really can't ask for much more than that - and I expect us to improve a lot throughout this season.
 

Prolix

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At this stage you really can't ask for much more than that - and I expect us to improve a lot throughout this season.
That's precisely my point. To build on today and keep the shop more tightly shut in subsequent games.
 



TheKaiser

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You know what you are, you know what you are. Luis Suarez, best player on the pitch by far!

Not really going to dissect an enjoyable and much-needed win. Luis fantastic with his annual hat trick at Norwich. Sahin really coming into his own here. The way in which he wins and then holds onto the ball is breathtaking. We handed them possession for the last 20 minutes, but for the rest we mostly controlled it. We probably should be doing better in that regard, but we're clearly still driven by two very impetuous players in Gerrard and Suarez when we get the ball. Sahin and Allen (and eventually Lucas) need to be the ones to take responsibility for holding onto the ball and not playing it forward to players who have only one mode. Sterling showed today that he can be patient which was good to see, we just need that kind of patience from more experienced players.

The kind of defensive skittishness we're seeing every game now has been around since Rafa's last year. I think it's mostly caused by a sort of panic in Skrtel, one that is mirrored by Carragher when he's on the pitch. Coates may be set to kind of push Skrtel a bit because, aside from his tendency to step too high to close down the ball, he's a much calmer defender. Tactically though, a lot of that panic comes from players running directly at the defense without a shield. I think it's happening now because as good as Allen is on the ball and instinctively intercepting, he doesn't have the same sort of presence or marking ability that Lucas does. So without the ball, he leaves a bit of a hole. He and Sahin can again ameliorate the effects of Lucas's absence as Sozio points out by holding on the ball better and being a bit more patient with build up play. I think it's just a matter of time though. We've got another month and a bit before Lucas comes back, and while we have mostly beatable opposition during that time, we'll still need to be a bit more astute than we were today. Stoke and Everton can certainly hurt us if we aren't.

Regardless of the weaknesses though, I think while this wasn't exactly the turning point (I think the Sunderland performance was) this was the realization of the work and learning of the last 3 months. We should push on now and show our true form. Great to see Luis on top of the goal scoring charts. World class strike rate right now, and it was close to 1 in 2 even before this match. If he starts getting some of the calls, he'll be a very dangerous player. It was very encouraging that even when he had the ball out wide he didn't try to do too much today. He took his goals when they were there, and mostly passed it when they weren't.
 

Arminius

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So happy Suarez was able to stick it to the pitiful Norwich fans today. Hope they get relegated.
NOOOO!

I desperately want them to stay up, it is brilliant to be able to circle an away date on the calendar and pencil in a Suarez hat-trick.
 

BrianLfc10

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has[/i] been making have been such school boy mistakes it's puzzling.

You can only give a goalkeeper so much time. Regardless if he's had good seasons almost every season since he moved here, you simply can't have a goalkeeper on bad form for a prolonged period of time.
 

Nismo9

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[quote name='craig bellamy's golf club' timestamp='1348952958' post='7585']
Haven't seen the game yet, but the first thing i saw about the game wasn't the hat-trick etc, it was Reina's fumble.

How many years has Pepe saved our skin, how many times has he pulled off a world class save. This is a man who should of been the no 1 choice for spain were it not for a pretty poster boy in spain. He has been one of the most loyal and passionate team players we've ever had. He has put up with the likes of Roy's mate telling how to do his job and still hasn't f*ck off to spain.

He is going through a rough patch, his first rough patch ever and people want him dropped.
[/quote]

You can't really go against it though, the harsh truth is he's making a lot of mistakes and has been for a longer stretch of time than can be overlooked.
 



NZred

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Anyone else think Henderson looks a completely different player this year?

In the time he has played, he has looked confident on the ball. Sound with his passing and generally more attacking minded.

Have to say, In Sahin, Allen, Lucas, Shelvey and Henderson we have a central midfield to last us the better part of a decade and a half..
 

craigbellamy

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This Pepe situation is down to the defenders having a nightmare through injuries, so he cannot be sure of delegating orders, knowing when to come out for the ball or stay back. It is a unique position in football due to lack of competition for his place.
If he fumbles and costs us a goal, there is a chain of events that has led up to that which, 9 times out of ten, is a defensive error. How many times in a game is it really down to oppositions moment of magic? But when a forward misses an open goal that could win us the game, there are more excuses. He's been playing an international, he's come back from injury, he's in the wrong position etc.

He'll come good, but don't fall into the media trap of focusing on a fumble, thus detracting from a good win.

I'm now going to watch the game, the wife has gone to bed at last.

Sorry edit is to acknowledge Nismo9 and BrianLfc10 posts. Cheers!!
 

TheKaiser

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Anyone else think Henderson looks a completely different player this year?

In the time he has played, he has looked confident on the ball. Sound with his passing and generally more attacking minded.

Have to say, In Sahin, Allen, Lucas, Shelvey and Henderson we have a central midfield to last us the better part of a decade and a half..
I think it has everything to do with the pressure being off. Usually that would be a bad sign for an older player, but Jordan isn't playing out of position in a struggling team with tons of pressure on it. He's able to show what he can do without the team absolutely depending on him performing in a position that doesn't suit him. Another year and more maturity and experience undoubtedly helps as well.
 

tooloom

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Can't understand why we wore that fcuking horrible strip today. No colour clash, just a bit more cynical marketing as I see it.
We are Liverpool. We are RED.
YNWA
 

craigbellamy

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Seeing the highlights means i can't comment on individuals as such but, there are three things to point out.

1. The two saves that pepe made, one near post, one wrong footed, were class. Just trust in his ability.

2. I said it once and i'll say it again. Play Suarez in the middle and he will score. Don't turn him into another Kuyt.

3. The FA have to sort out defenders immediately going to the ref after hacking down Suarez. It's so wrong.

Goodnight all.......