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Thailand Vs Liverpool (28th July 2013)

Anthony

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Sep 15, 2012
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I only saw the 2nd half. But 4 games into our preseason and I must say we look really solid................compare this to last season

4 games, 4 wins, 4 clean sheet
Mingolet looks the part
Toure looking good
Aspas looks a decent buy
Coutinho certainly looks worldclass to me
Add Sturridge and keep Suarez and I we certainly have the squad to challenge.

Will we? Only time will tell
 


SoueysTash

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The thing I've appreciated the most is our ability to get the results whilst not playing well. I know it's pre-season and it doesn't count but it's good to see
 

Superior Complex

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Not getting out of second gear in all these pre-season games and winning comfortably is good news. See how it goes eh.
 



OhYaBeauty

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[SIZE=10.5pt]Thoughts on our fourth preseason friendly against Red Everton Football Club:[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Disclaimer: these thoughts and opinions were gathered after only watching about half of the match due to the television crew's insistence on switching to instant replays, unnecessarily stupid camera angles, shots of both teams' benches, and [/SIZE]this shit instead of actually showing the damn match.

[SIZE=13.5pt]Tactical Notes[/SIZE]

[SIZE=16pt]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=14pt] [/SIZE]
[SIZE=10.5pt]Plenty to talk about between the attack, midfield, and defense in this one. First, the midfield started off in a 1-2 formation, which was remarkable because it featured Gerrard as well. We've been accustomed to seeing a 2-1 whenever the Captain takes the field, but it was not the case today. Gerrard and Allen started ahead of Lucas, with both occasionally dropping deeper. That sort of setup is designed to allow our team greater control through the midfield. That wasn't necessarily the case; we often ceded possession to the home side and didn't control the tempo of the game, which we really should be doing against a side of this level. Its still early days, but I expect more. The benefit to this sort of midfield setup (in addition to more control of the tempo through midfield) is that it frequently allows Gerrard to get further forward to support attacks and score goals, like his second half dink to put us up three. A brilliant little dink off of an Aspas pullback, it reminded me of his first in the hat trick he scored against Everton over a year ago.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]The forward line was a bit lightweight for the first hour. I haven't been particularly impressed by Aspas, as I think his first touch often lets pressure off of the opposition, but he did okay operating in a right forward role today. Unfortunately, he offers little in the buildup, but if that's tempered by a goal I'll warm to him. His goal was well taken on a brilliant little half-turn, but his play outside of the penalty box was little to write home about. Borini wasn't bad but just didn't do anything well enough to make an impact on the game. He had no conspicuously poor touches but he never got in the right positions or had the right first touch to get a scoring opportunity. Coutinho, as always, was brilliant. His goal was a bit Messi and his assist to Aspas a bit Iniesta. Delightful to watch. My only concern is that he'll frequently play as a left winger in the coming season. Wingers naturally drift in and out of games, and I'd really prefer if we kept his class involved at all times. He's got so much talent that we need to get him more touches; he'll make a good impact from the wings but he'd do so much more behind the striker.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]The defense didn't play all that well. While I wouldn't go as far as to call them poor, they certainly didn't deal with the Thai side's attack all that well. They had plenty of attacking freedom down the right side that was supposed to be patrolled by Johnson and Agger and Toure didn't seem to click quite as well as they have in recent friendlies. I think playing the man-child in defense would certainly have resulted in a much more assured base to move forward upon; his play on Wednesday was brilliant and it really made the rest of the team better. Mignolet had a good game despite [and indeed because of] his defense's ineptitude. The Thais were able to get plenty of shots off, and Mignolet dealt with them well.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13.5pt]Suarez Watch 2013[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Luis came on with a half hour to go and still didn't play with quite the verve we're used to with him. It could be because it's preseason and he really won't be playing for a while anyways, but it is unlike him not to be all over the pitch. His dink over the defense for Henderson to chase (and be pullled back on) was brilliant but his free kick was uncharacteristically poor.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]I'm still observing my self-imposed ban from the 'Suarez is off' thread but I'd add that I don't think he's necessarily certain to leave. Ultimately, there wasn't much to be picked up from his body language today.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=13.5pt]Notable Performances[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]The plaudits will all go to Coutinho, Aspas, and Gerrard as they're the goal scorers, but Mignolet and Ibe also deserve credit. Mignolet played an impressive full shift, keeping out numerous long-range (yet accurate) strikes toward his goal and dealing with crosses well. Ibe had some brilliant linkup play and kept hold of the ball well. His pullback into the box to Gerrard likely should have yielded a goal. He's looked good so far this preseason in a role on the right side that I wouldn't have earmarked as his best.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Allen had a quietly good night, linking defense and attack well and showing good close control in the box. He lacks any sort of killer instinct, but he is good for keeping the ball and getting it to someone who can score in the box.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]Seemingly lost in the hustle and bustle was the fact that Coutinho and Toure both started despite having missed out in Melbourne due to injury. This shows our medical team was being very careful with prized assets during preseason (in not playing them in Melbourne) and will hopefully keep key players fit through the season. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=13.5pt]End of the Tour[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]This match marks the end of a decent preseason tour. Two of the three matches (Indonesia, Thailand) were played under pretty extreme conditions that forced the players to perform outside of their comfort zone. None of the matches really showed much in terms of our quality as we only played against poor opposition, but tactical trends were evident, and certain players had performances that might foreshadow their seasons.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Players whose stock rose on the tour include Wisdom, Ibe, Allen, Alberto, Toure, Mignolet, and Robinson. Players with little change in their stock included Coutinho (we already know he's brilliant), Agger, Skrtel, Gerrard (known quantity), Lucas, Henderson, Suarez, Aspas (I'm still not sure on this guy), Sterling, Jones, Assaidi, Coates, and Flanagan. Players who declined a bit in my opinion include Johnson, Enrique, Kelly (not because he was poor, he's simply not as ready to come back from his injury as we first thought), Borini (I expected more from him after a very good U21 Euro tournament), and Downing (he was even poor against [/SIZE]these teams).

[SIZE=13.5pt]What is our best XI as our team currently stands?[/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]Following the tour, I thought it'd be interesting to venture a guess towards our best current XI, ignoring all prospective departures and arrivals (no matter how likely). I have a feeling that we'll start in the 2-1 midfield that gave us success in the back half of last season before transitioning to a 1-2 as the season progresses. Thus our best current XI is likely to look like the picture at left while as the season progresses it will probably transition towards something like what you see on the right.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=14pt]
[/SIZE]
[SIZE=9pt]Left: our best side as it currently stands, showing our continued dependence on the 2-1 midfield. Right: our likely best XI come January; as Rodgers puts his mark on the squad I believe we'll shift to a 1-2 midfield which will add a central midfielder and move Coutinho out to the left. By then man-child will have shown his worth in central defense. [/SIZE]

[SIZE=10.5pt]I do think that Henderson and Allen are pretty much interchangeable in that side and I'm still not sure about the central defense. Perhaps Skrtel is better than Toure, but that's likely irrelevant as Rodgers clearly prefers the Ivorian. Depth off the bench comes in the form of Alberto, Aspas, Borini, and Ibe.[/SIZE]

[SIZE=11pt]I also realize that this seems a bit backwards; that it seems that, if anything, Coutinho will start on the left and progress to the center as the season wears on. I think he's best used centrally, but he can still be brilliant from the wings and if Rodgers' technical shift to a 1-2 gives us more control of games through the use of another central midfielder, I'm fine with Coutinho sliding out to the left wing. He can still be a massive threat there, its just not where I'd play him. I also said that this is what I think our best side is, not what Rodgers does. I think Rodgers wants to use him as a left winger. [/SIZE]
 

t34m43

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Superior Complex said:
Not getting out of second gear in all these pre-season games and winning comfortably is good news. See how it goes eh.
We have to get out of second gear though? The opposition is piss poor and no need to go full pelt and injury yourself before the first kick in anger. The next few games will give us a better idea of where we are.

Aspas has caught my eye. Scored a few goals so far interested to see how he does against better opposition.
 

Brock34

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leopoldfrank said:
Yeah, tbh, this was a big opportunity for Borini today and, whilst I want to see him do well, he does seem to have a considerable lack of tricks to beat that last defender or two and doesn't offer much from deeper. Although I do fully expect him to work his ass off to improve and perhaps he can offer the team something in the future. For now I'll be praying Sturridge is fit to start the season and, if he isn't, I'll be hoping Aspas starts ahead of Borini. Still, I like the hard workers and hope he succeeds in the future.

Edit: Having said all that, the last 2 friendlies he has played have been WITHOUT anyone in the hole behind him or up front with him in attack. It is possible that one of either of these changes to tactics could help him as perhaps he has been too isolated.
Well said. I too have reservations about Borini, but love his attitude and work ethic. Reminds me a bit of how I felt about Kuyt. Kuyt ultimately chipped in lots of critical goals. I'm hoping for the same for Borini.

What I like is that I think he will be ok accepting his role as 3rd or 4th striker and still working hard and pushing the others, not dragging anyone down.
 
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OhYaBeauty said:
Good analysis yet again. However, I think I would include Aspas in our best squad at the moment. Come next season though I would certainly hope we can add another quality attacking player to the first XI as there definitely seems to be one spot up for grabs. Also wouldn't mind seeing us bring in another quality CB to partner Agger along with a backup LB (which is looking like Aly Cissokho according to reports). Provided Suarez doesn't leave (which is a big if at the moment) I think filling all those positions would make for a good transfer window.
 

OhYaBeauty

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liverpool_singh said:
Good analysis yet again. However, I think I would include Aspas in our best squad at the moment. Come next season though I would certainly hope we can add another quality attacking player to the first XI as there definitely seems to be one spot up for grabs. Also wouldn't mind seeing us bring in another quality CB to partner Agger along with a backup LB (which is looking like Aly Cissokho according to reports). Provided Suarez doesn't leave (which is a big if at the moment) I think filling all those positions would make for a good transfer window.
Thanks. I certainly wouldn't include Aspas in our best squad yet. He's shown very good ability to score and assist against the teams we've played in friendlies so far, which would seem to be all that matters. It's not, though. At this level, scoring is relatively easy so you can't expect the same returns from him in a PL match. For this reason, I went with Sterling, who has far, far better link-up play and can change a match due to pace and trickery. Aspas may bring in more goals, but Sterling will likely create more and help us keep the ball and keep pressure on the opposition far longer, which will lead to mistakes. I'm not convinced on Aspas' hold-up or link-up play as I think his first touch often goes backwards, allowing the opposition's defense to regroup.

Additionally, I'd like a new central defender as I don't think Toure's good enough to start for us, I know Wisdom isn't quite ready (though I do think he'd perform well and have a breakout season if given such responsibility) and Skrtel seems to be in a weird situation where even if he plays decently, the manager still has no trust in playing him this season. In that case, we might as well get what money we can for him from Rafa. It's a win-win; we get money to spend on a new defender, Martin gets a new chance somewhere he can start regularly, and Rafa gets a good central defender whom he's worked with before. I still hope we bag Papadopoulos.

My concerns over us getting Aly Cissokho have been voiced elsewhere; I think that's a poor decision.
 



t34m43

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The problem I have with the midfield you say we are going to progress towards OhYaBeauty is that Gerrard, Allen and Lucas has a distinct lack of goal threat. If you are playing a midfield like that you will need your front 3 to be getting you 15-20 each or you will find what we have has been our problem for years, lesser teams will grind a result out against you. I do not have figures but I am sure the teams above us will get at least 10 goals a season from their central midfield whereas the the central midfield you have proposed I would say could be relied on to get maybe 5, Allen and Lucas have shown little to say they are goal scorers (or that they will chip in) and Gerrard now gets the majority of his goals from pens. I think we need a Coutinho in there to add a few goals from the midfield, in future evolution I see a 1-2 with Lucas, Henderson (Allen has it all to prove imo) and Coutinho.
 

1dragon

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OhYabeauty, keep these post match analysis going on until the end of the season! It certainly makes for good reading, especially if one has missed out some parts of the match.

I concur pretty much with what you said, except I feel Borini has not done himself any favours in this tour. Aspas, Ibe, Sterling have all shown that they offer something different to what the starters (Sturridge, Coutinho, Suarez) can offer. Aspas with his predatory instinct and ambidexterity, Ibe and Sterling with their pace and ability to beat defenders. Thus far, Borini has shown little and I do not see him getting game time ahead of Aspas if this continues. Rumour has it that Mattia Destro has been left out of Roma's squad. Maybe an exchange would be good.

I am still undecided on what is our best CB combination. Agger is a certainty to start when fit, but each of his partners offer different qualities. Toure is experienced and knows when to get stuck in and force the opponent to cede possession. Skrtel is, on paper, much more aerially imposing and can be a real beast on his day. However, his concentration levels let him down at times. Wisdom offers pace and strength in abundance, but maybe inexperienced when dealing with willy old forwards (see Shawn Maloney for instance). Coates is blessed with natural talent and physique, but just cannot get any game time.

Lets hope Rodgers selects his team based on merit rather than on favouritism.

Edit: One more thing: Allen's performances seems to be out-shined by Alberto, which is not a very good sign either. Alberto seems to offer much more in terms of the overall package too.
 

RichLFC

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Have been told LFCTV have been informed of the atrocious standard of the feed providing the match coverage and will pass the feedback on to channel 3. So expect to see the director down the dole office tomorrow morning. so rest assured, punishment will likely be meted out

I love the smell of accountability in the morning. Smells like victory....;-)
 



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SoueysTash said:
Odd considering he's been playing well, must have picked up a knock I guess?
Most likely. That's why Coutinho didn't feature against Melbourne. Good to see us taking precautions in pre-season.

Also just watched the training session video and he was taking part in that. Scored a neat goal too!
 

mattyhurst

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Aspas has impressed me so far, so has Toure and you all have to realise that we have Coutinho for hopefully a full injury with the return of Sturridge it is looking positive.

Will in that heat allow slopiness be interested to see how we play in Gerrard's match next week.
 

lfc.eddie

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mattyhurst said:
Aspas has impressed me so far, so has Toure and you all have to realise that we have Coutinho for hopefully a full injury with the return of Sturridge it is looking positive.

Will in that heat allow slopiness be interested to see how we play in Gerrard's match next week.
That part, what does it mean?

Wasted 1/4 of the game looking at Suarez who didn't really do much. He did however run around finding space which is somewhat encouraging. But overall I was hoping to see the real Suarez in real life, well I am happy to get to see the team plays either way.

Aspas pose more threat than Borini and should be because the former is more experience. We are mighty narrow in the first half with all 3 forwards crowding the middle part, and nothing really came off. I don't see Borini being a threat as his understanding with the team is still lack. We can't use his injury as an excuse because he seems as new as Aspas in the game.

Coutinho is controlling the whole game, but we need another one or two of him to get ourselves going. He is good, but not finish article yet. If you see how big of an impact Suarez make coming on, you know Coutinho has a lot to improve still. Work hard though, which is a good thing to see.


Next game is going to be the real test to see how ready we are, against Olympiakos. Looking forward to that one more.
 

OhYaBeauty

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1dragon said:
OhYabeauty, keep these post match analysis going on until the end of the season! It certainly makes for good reading, especially if one has missed out some parts of the match.

I concur pretty much with what you said, except I feel Borini has not done himself any favours in this tour.

Edit: One more thing: Allen's performances seems to be out-shined by Alberto, which is not a very good sign either. Alberto seems to offer much more in terms of the overall package too.
Thanks. Not sure if they'll keep coming but I'll do 'em for a while longer.

Regarding Borini, I actually wrote above that I think his stock declined a bit on the tour because I thought he'd be better. He was very good in the U21 Euros for Italy and I thought he'd keep that going, especially if he got a run as a central striker (which he did). I still think he's underrated by Liverpool fans but time will tell if he ever makes a step up.

I do think that Luis Alberto offers more in an attacking sense than Joe Allen. He's a sexier sort of player, and will contribute more goals and assists but Allen is a better player in my book. He links up play so much better and keeps the ball very well. Alberto may surpass him, but I think Allen plays for now until Luis Alberto proves he's better.
 



Mascot88

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The first touch from Aspas to set himself up was superb - think he's going to be a very handy player for us.
 

jayrrardno8

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Is it just me or is the full squad really a tight knit team.
Wither its scoring or being subbed all high fives down the bench pats on the back , hugs right round the full squad.
 



Spitfire

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jayrrardno8 said:
Is it just me or is the full squad really a tight knit team.
Wither its scoring or being subbed all high fives down the bench pats on the back , hugs right round the full squad.
Yeah it does seem there is a good vibe building - interestingly Gerrard who perhaps previously has seemed harsher with players - really seems to be buying in and bringing things together - the way he immediately acknowledged Aspas's pass for his goal was good to see - and the fact he ahs already gone on record backing the new signings is great.
 

SoueysTash

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jayrrardno8 said:
Is it just me or is the full squad really a tight knit team.
Wither its scoring or being subbed all high fives down the bench pats on the back , hugs right round the full squad.
Stevie mentioned in his end of tour interview that the squad togetherness was excellent and that the tour had improved it.
 

Chewbazza

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I'm increasingly flitting between cautious optimism and grounded pessimism. And it's mostly down to Suarez.

On the one hand we're unbeaten with no goals conceded, a squad full of youthful quality and promise, all the new signings bedding in and producing.

On the other, we've not added the 2 or 3 extra players that we needed to add the squad that ended the last campaign, we're losing pace on the teams above us while the ones below seem to be catching up.

Then I think if we keep Suarez and there's time enough to get a couple of new signings and we might be alright....

Then I think Suarez will go and we won't sign anyone and FSG don't seem to want us to become great again...

Then we have 90 odd thousand people singing You'll Never Walk alone and everything will be okay again....


I know it's all my own fault, but I'm really putting myself through the ringer this summer.
 

Spitfire

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Chewbazza said:
I'm increasingly flitting between cautious optimism and grounded pessimism. And it's mostly down to Suarez.

On the one hand we're unbeaten with no goals conceded, a squad full of youthful quality and promise, all the new signings bedding in and producing.

On the other, we've not taken added the 2 or 3 extra players that we needed to add the squad that ended the last campaign, we're losing pace on the teams above us while the ones below seem to be catching up.

Then I think if we keep Suarez and there's time enough to get a couple of new signings and we might be alright....

Then I think Suarez will go and we won't sign anyone and FSG don't seem to want us to become great again...

Then we have 90 odd thousand people singing You'll Never Walk alone and everything will be okay again....


I know it's all my own fault, but I'm really putting myself through the ringer this summer.
hehe this all seems pretty natural.

Its funny regardless of whether Suarez stays or not - for the first time in a number of years the team seems settled - the way they carried on when he was suspended, the way the new players have come in and all seem to have great attitudes and a willingness to get on with it. There finally seems to be a change in the culture of the team, and I think its for the good.

I don't get that sense like previously that a disaster is just around the corner and we can't cope. I think we will play some good footy this year and to be honest I'm looking forward to it.
 

SirBillShankly

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We are looking good. Aspas, Ibe and of course Coutinho all looking good.We are going to compete this coming season I feel.

I think that white strip is class, one of our best away kits in a long time.Warming to the third kit aswell.