The attack - what's the answer?

KCollins

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#6
To give a serious response on this.

I think we have too many going forward. If you look at games where we have loads of shots most of them are half chances. It often occurs after a series of short pointless passes and then someone decides to take a shot from distance.

Teams park the bus against us as we have so many camped in their half. It becomes very congested hence all the short pointless passes.

The less men your pour forward the less the opposition sit back and camp in their own half. So if we had two sitting midfielders and two full backs that didn't play like wingers we would be much more solid defensively with six men back, the opposition would come out behind their parked bus, which would result in us having more space for the most devastating frontline in the league, Mane, Salah, Firmino and Coutinho, to do the damage. They are direct and thrive in space, the way we play doesn't afford them such space...except against top teams when we do sit back more hence our record against them is so good. We can press when the opposition come into our half, then kill them with the attacking players we have. That Mane goal against Arsenal...we are probably the only team in the league capable of doing that.

All in all the balance is wrong. It's too top heavy in attack, congested, becomes ponderous, harder to carve open a good chance, and at the same time with so many forward we are exposed in defence and gift the opposition easy chances. It's why we often have the statistic: 70% possession, 30 shots....opposition 6 shots....result 1-1. By overloading in attack we make it harder for ourselves to score goals and easier for the opposition to score. It's happened time and time and time again under Klopp.
 

Gone Kloppo

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#8
I think up forward we are lacking leadership and communication. Not to mention Mané and Salah are nowhere near clinical enough. We have scored only 1 goal in our last 3 FA-related football games. We need to bin the front 3. Heck, based purely on the Leicester result where we didn't score at all I'd say bin them all. Firmino is just far too slow. If he spent as much time working on his speed as he does getting tattoos and bleaching his teeth maybe he wouldn't be so shit. If you needed any further evidence that he needs to go, I once saw a photo of him on a segway. That's reason enough to show him the door .

Talking about speed: Why isn't Klopp working on Firmino's speed in training? The manager surely has to take the bulk of the responsibility for Firmino being so slow. Does Klopp even do anything in training? Or does he just smile and hug the players? I think we'd be scoring 3 or 4 goals every game if he actually trained the players how to be clinical and how to be faster.

I think our lack of scoring in the last 1 game is an indication that Klopp got the summer transfer window wrong. It was as clear as day to every true supporter that we needed to replace the front 3 to provide instant stability to the forward half, yet Klopp decided it wasn't necessary. I mean wtf? The guy has lost the plot! I just can't believe we didn't replace those 3 duds when we had the chance. The guy is so stubborn and we aren't going to win anything until he goes.









[build it and they will come]
 

Gone Kloppo

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#9
I think we have too many going forward. If you look at games where we have loads of shots most of them are half chances. It often occurs after a series of short pointless passes and then someone decides to take a shot from distance.
During this run of low confidence I think its kind of been the opposite. OK, we may be crowding up too much in the forward half, but often our problem has been the lack of runners into the box, particularly on crosses. And it makes sense because often the movement is the first thing to go when you are low on confidence. Just my observation.
 

Imgoingred

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#10
To give a serious response on this.

I think we have too many going forward. If you look at games where we have loads of shots most of them are half chances. It often occurs after a series of short pointless passes and then someone decides to take a shot from distance.
It really shouldn't be an issue though. Man City have historically never had an issue with parked bus teams and they've always played with at least 5 forwards/attacking mids.

I also think you're entirely underestimating the stubborness of a Tony Pulis, Allardyce or Dyche team. They will very happily play a 5-4-1 for 90 minutes, sitting their entire team in and around the 18 yard box in hopes of 0-0 if we're only willing to risk 4 or 5 going forward. Whether we defend deeper or not, no space will be afforded.

What you're advocating is the definition of counter-attack - Defend deeper and wait for space to open up. It's what they're doing to us. It's pretty anti-football. It could work, but if it doesn't, imagine the flack JK will get, considering the "attacking" talent at his disposal.
 

YeGra

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#13
To be honest, all the top teams will come across the park the bus tactic - it's the underdog tactic. The difference with us is we have this tendency to cock up at the back. Look at Burnley. They had one shot on target for majority of the game which resulted in a goal. Let's say we didn't fuck up there and we were just better. We win that game 1-0. 1-0 against a defensively solid side who also won away at Chelsea and drew at Spurs is not too shabby. It's a grind out result which people always say "sign of a title champions". Instead it's a shitty 1-1 draw. Yes, we focussed on the defensive side, but people also commented on our wastefulness in front of goal.

People also said the same for Sevilla and we scored 2 on our "debut" European night for a while against a respectable La Liga side. Yet a 2-0 win would have been great and a 2-1 would have been pretty fucking good as well. Yet 2-2 it's a disaster and the attacking players should have done more. City do it as well to some extent and they've got much more quality than us attacking wise. They got a few 1-1 draws at home last season I recall despite dominating.

Even when teams win 5-0 people often say it could have been 10! But it's never 10 is it? The point is attacking players will often waste chances but you don't notice so long as you win and that means not conceding.

But we do concede. And teams know it. Sean Dyche said something like "everybody tells you" didn't he? It states at you in the face and creates a cycle of depression for us because it encourages opposing managers and players to park the bus knowing they'll get their chances are the other end. And our attacking players will feel under pressure to compensate for our defensive deficiencies. That can be quite inhibiting, I imagine.

P.S. I'm aware this might be a half joke thread but I promise if anyone tries to open a "The Manager - What's the solution" thread, will feel the full wrath of the ignore function on this forum.
 

KCollins

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#14
During this run of low confidence I think its kind of been the opposite. OK, we may be crowding up too much in the forward half, but often our problem has been the lack of runners into the box, particularly on crosses. And it makes sense because often the movement is the first thing to go when you are low on confidence. Just my observation.
Just to be clear, I'm not saying don't have runners into the box. When we are attacking I totally support people making runs into the box...that's not what we are doing though. We are camped in their half...it's static play with passing across the opposing teams box...then a Can will take a pot shot from distance. By having more players back, by making teams come out from behind their bus (they can't just sit back if we don't have most of our team camped in their half) this gives us more space when we do win the ball, and then make the runs into the box.

It really shouldn't be an issue though. Man City have historically never had an issue with parked bus teams and they've always played with at least 5 forwards/attacking mids.

I also think you're entirely underestimating the stubborness of a Tony Pulis, Allardyce or Dyche team. They will very happily play a 5-4-1 for 90 minutes, sitting their entire team in and around the 18 yard box in hopes of 0-0 if we're only willing to risk 4 or 5 going forward. Whether we defend deeper or not, no space will be afforded.

What you're advocating is the definition of counter-attack - Defend deeper and wait for space to open up. It's what they're doing to us. It's pretty anti-football. It could work, but if it doesn't, imagine the flack JK will get, considering the "attacking" talent at his disposal.
Man City have a much more balanced central midfield though. They don't over commit like we do. They are nowhere near as cavalier. A Keita and a natural sitting DM would be a massive improvement for us.

Not saying we become a counter attacking team (perhaps I gave that impression), just don't have so many camped in the opposing half. It's overkill. We are undoubtedly unbalanced. It's just a minor tweak that would make a huge difference. Too often it's happened that we haven't anyone in midfield sitting protecting the defence to either block a shot or cut out a pass. They are all caught upfield (see the Leicester second goal for most recent example).

We played our best football this season against Arsenal (yes they were shocking), but when we play at pace we look deadly. We didn't have bodies camped in their half then (just as we don't against all the other top sides) and this affords us more space to work in to play the scintillating football we are capable of.

Regards the like of Dyche and Pulis I wouldn't put it past them to just sit regardless. TV companies would pull the plug if their garbage was the norm. Us being more balanced than we are would still give us a better chance against any team though.
 

MikeOscar

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#15
Just to be clear, I'm not saying don't have runners into the box. When we are attacking I totally support people making runs into the box...that's not what we are doing though. We are camped in their half...it's static play with passing across the opposing teams box...then a Can will take a pot shot from distance. By having more players back, by making teams come out from behind their bus (they can't just sit back if we don't have most of our team camped in their half) this gives us more space when we do win the ball, and then make the runs into the box.


Man City have a much more balanced central midfield though. They don't over commit like we do. They are nowhere near as cavalier. A Keita and a natural sitting DM would be a massive improvement for us.

Not saying we become a counter attacking team (perhaps I gave that impression), just don't have so many camped in the opposing half. It's overkill. We are undoubtedly unbalanced. It's just a minor tweak that would make a huge difference. Too often it's happened that we haven't anyone in midfield sitting protecting the defence to either block a shot or cut out a pass. They are all caught upfield (see the Leicester second goal for most recent example).

We played our best football this season against Arsenal (yes they were shocking), but when we play at pace we look deadly. We didn't have bodies camped in their half then (just as we don't against all the other top sides) and this affords us more space to work in to play the scintillating football we are capable of.

Regards the like of Dyche and Pulis I wouldn't put it past them to just sit regardless. TV companies would pull the plug if their garbage was the norm. Us being more balanced than we are would still give us a better chance against any team though.
I think you have a fair point, but I'd say it's the not amount of players we have camped around their box, but rather the type of player. To unlock a packed defence which is sitting deep, important skills are tight ball control in small spaces, the ability to beat a man from standstill, the vision, be good at making fast link-up play with a teammate and the ability to execute a difficult through ball. Of all our players, I'd say only Coutinho and Lallana, possibly Firmino, are particularly suited to this type of football. Salah and Mane, as fantastic as they are, are at their best when they have space to run into. The rest of our midfield misses every skill I just described. Their primary function seems to be to win the ball instantly the moment we lose it, which in fairness to them they usually do well.

For what it's worth, I believe the strategy behind us camping on the opponent's half, penning them into their own box, is to both mentally as well as physically fatigue them to the point they start making stupid errors. I think this is a sound strategy but it's currently held back immensely by the execution. Every single time we take another hopeless potshot (and we're taking many), you give the opposition at minimum a full minute to recover, often longer. It's utterly counter productive and incredibly frustrating to watch, since every shot is almost literally shooting ourselves in our own foot. As with much surrounded Liverpool right now, I'd say the strategy seems sound, but the executing lacking. 'Do this thing you're doing, but do it a lot better'.
 

Hope in your heart

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#16
To give a serious response on this.

I think we have too many going forward. If you look at games where we have loads of shots most of them are half chances. It often occurs after a series of short pointless passes and then someone decides to take a shot from distance.

Teams park the bus against us as we have so many camped in their half. It becomes very congested hence all the short pointless passes.

The less men your pour forward the less the opposition sit back and camp in their own half. So if we had two sitting midfielders and two full backs that didn't play like wingers we would be much more solid defensively with six men back, the opposition would come out behind their parked bus, which would result in us having more space for the most devastating frontline in the league, Mane, Salah, Firmino and Coutinho, to do the damage. They are direct and thrive in space, the way we play doesn't afford them such space...except against top teams when we do sit back more hence our record against them is so good. We can press when the opposition come into our half, then kill them with the attacking players we have. That Mane goal against Arsenal...we are probably the only team in the league capable of doing that.

All in all the balance is wrong. It's too top heavy in attack, congested, becomes ponderous, harder to carve open a good chance, and at the same time with so many forward we are exposed in defence and gift the opposition easy chances. It's why we often have the statistic: 70% possession, 30 shots....opposition 6 shots....result 1-1. By overloading in attack we make it harder for ourselves to score goals and easier for the opposition to score. It's happened time and time and time again under Klopp.
That's a good point. Last season already, when we struggled to break down the park-the-bus team, I found myself thinking that the team should be a slightly bit more patient, waiting for the opposition to move up a little bit before hitting the through ball towards our forwards. That lack of patience can be seen again this season. The situation is better with Salah, Firmino and Mané all together at the same time, because it offers more focal points for the quick through balls. But they need some space to move into, and that's what they often lack.

For what it's worth, I don't think that it is an instruction from Klopp to hit the ball forward as quickly as our lads currently do. It's rather that the players haven't found the sense for the right moment yet, and they tend to make things more difficult for themselves as it ought to be. Seeing Henderson for example pinging the ball forward at the first opportunity means often that the ball will be lost too early, with the forward under too much pressure from the defenders. One or two more sideway passes would maybe see people criticising him for slowing down the game, but you need this at times, for the reason you outlined in your post. Then, when the opposition moves a few yards up, hit that through ball.

Xabi Alonso was the master in controlling the pace of the game, I still miss him very much. Having his vision in our current side would create absolute havoc with the attacking line we have. Our lads in midfield need to take a leaf or two from him. If Coutinho is indeed groomed into a central midfielder this season as it seems, then he certainly has the potential to play that role imo.
 

seanyw

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#17
Someone pls give Salah extra sessions of training on his shooting. Yes he's scored a good number of goals for us already but he should have scored a lot more... he's missing too many chances.

Stop moving Firmino to wide role. I'd rather to have him benched or play as an attacking midfielder if he's not starting as the #9. He's not effective at all playing as wingers...
 

Jase

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#18
To give a serious response on this.

I think we have too many going forward. If you look at games where we have loads of shots most of them are half chances. It often occurs after a series of short pointless passes and then someone decides to take a shot from distance.

Teams park the bus against us as we have so many camped in their half. It becomes very congested hence all the short pointless passes.

The less men your pour forward the less the opposition sit back and camp in their own half. So if we had two sitting midfielders and two full backs that didn't play like wingers we would be much more solid defensively with six men back, the opposition would come out behind their parked bus, which would result in us having more space for the most devastating frontline in the league, Mane, Salah, Firmino and Coutinho, to do the damage. They are direct and thrive in space, the way we play doesn't afford them such space...except against top teams when we do sit back more hence our record against them is so good. We can press when the opposition come into our half, then kill them with the attacking players we have. That Mane goal against Arsenal...we are probably the only team in the league capable of doing that.

All in all the balance is wrong. It's too top heavy in attack, congested, becomes ponderous, harder to carve open a good chance, and at the same time with so many forward we are exposed in defence and gift the opposition easy chances. It's why we often have the statistic: 70% possession, 30 shots....opposition 6 shots....result 1-1. By overloading in attack we make it harder for ourselves to score goals and easier for the opposition to score. It's happened time and time and time again under Klopp.
Spot on.

When the attacking move starts a bit deeper and involves less players, it looks much more dangerous because of the amount of space and the average quality of the players involved.

A fit and in-form Coutinho/Lallana would be the only player outside the front 3 atm i'd trust to consistently support the attack, and that would largely be with passing or late runs from deep.

Too many chefs spoil the broth.
 

Jase

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#21
All competitive matches so far.

Liverpool

Total Attempts: 176
On Target: 67 (38%)

Goals: 17
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 25%
Goals per Att: 10%


Opposition

Total Attempts: 76
On Target: 24 (32%)

Goals: 13
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 54%
Goals per Att: 17%

We have well over double the number of shots of our opponents so far this season and approaching 3 times the number on target, and yet hardly any more goals.

I'd argue this is too often due to the attack slowing down and becoming a sideways pass fest until someone takes a speculative long shot. The shot may be on target which won't hurt our "shots on target" stat, but is ultimately easy to block, or for the keeper to deal with.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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#23
All competitive matches so far.

Liverpool

Total Attempts: 176
On Target: 67 (38%)

Goals: 17
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 25%
Goals per Att: 10%


Opposition

Total Attempts: 76
On Target: 24 (32%)

Goals: 13
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 54%
Goals per Att: 17%

We have well over double the number of shots of our opponents so far this season and approaching 3 times the number on target, and yet hardly any more goals.

I'd argue this is too often due to the attack slowing down and becoming a sideways pass fest until someone takes a speculative long shot. The shot may be on target which won't hurt our "shots on target" stat, but is ultimately easy to block, or for the keeper to deal with.
Also shows just how many cheap goals we give up as well.
 

Gone Kloppo

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#26
All competitive matches so far.

Liverpool

Total Attempts: 176
On Target: 67 (38%)

Goals: 17
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 25%
Goals per Att: 10%


Opposition

Total Attempts: 76
On Target: 24 (32%)

Goals: 13
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 54%
Goals per Att: 17%

We have well over double the number of shots of our opponents so far this season and approaching 3 times the number on target, and yet hardly any more goals.

I'd argue this is too often due to the attack slowing down and becoming a sideways pass fest until someone takes a speculative long shot. The shot may be on target which won't hurt our "shots on target" stat, but is ultimately easy to block, or for the keeper to deal with.
It might be kind of pointless given we've only played 5 games, but what are those same stats ignoring our last 2 games where we've been properly impotent and wasteful (Mané says hi! :wave:) ?

I'd dare say it the stats would look far different and I'd predict that by the end of the season those two games will merely be outliers, though still very important in the discussion about our offensive problems in the here and now!
 

Jase

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#28
It might be kind of pointless given we've only played 5 games, but what are those same stats ignoring our last 2 games where we've been properly impotent and wasteful (Mané says hi! :wave:) ?

I'd dare say it the stats would look far different and I'd predict that by the end of the season those two games will merely be outliers, though still very important in the discussion about our offensive problems in the here and now!
Good point. Ultimately we're dealing with a small sample set here anyway but seeing as you requested it.

All competitive matches so far... minus the last two games with Mane suspended

Liverpool

Total Attempts: 176 -> 120
On Target: 67 (38%) -> 55 (46%)

Goals: 17 -> 16
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 25% -> 29%
Goals per Att: 10% -> 13%


Opposition

Total Attempts: 76 -> 63
On Target: 24 (32%) -> 15 (38%)

Goals: 13 -> 10
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 54% -> 67%
Goals per Att: 17% -> 16%

What is worrying is that if we take Mane (or Salah or Bobby) out of it, it isn't so all conquering that it can reliably carry our defence.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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#30
Good point. Ultimately we're dealing with a small sample set here anyway but seeing as you requested it.

All competitive matches so far... minus the last two games with Mane suspended

Liverpool

Total Attempts: 176 -> 120
On Target: 67 (38%) -> 55 (46%)

Goals: 17 -> 16
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 25% -> 29%
Goals per Att: 10% -> 13%


Opposition

Total Attempts: 76 -> 63
On Target: 24 (32%) -> 15 (38%)

Goals: 13 -> 10
Conversion:
Goals per SOT: 54% -> 67%
Goals per Att: 17% -> 16%

What is worrying is that if we take Mane (or Salah or Bobby) out of it, it isn't so all conquering that it can reliably carry our defence.
What these stats tell me is that Mane is the problem with our defence. Sell! lol