The Defence

How many goals will we concede?

  • 50+ (Rodgersesque)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 41-50 (too high to be champions)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • 31-40 (About par for top four)

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • 21-30 (Solid return)

    Votes: 20 66.7%
  • 11-20 (current record; 15)

    Votes: 4 13.3%
  • 1-10 (Mourinho’s wet dream)

    Votes: 1 3.3%
  • Concede? What’s that then?

    Votes: 4 13.3%

  • Total voters
    30

Danny_

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We can't defend set-pieces. We have the same problems as last year and we have not really reinforced it over the summer. Lets just assume that we won't be able to buy anyone top class before the transfer window ends. For me, there are two choices. 1. We play Gomez at CB with Matip and hope he develops into a top class defender. 2. I hate to say it but maybe, the only option at this point is to bury the hatchet with Sakho. He may have an attitude problem but him and Matip would be our best partnership at CB.

At LB, the only solution is Milner. Moreno is atrocious. His tackling is weak, his positioning is weak, he no longer seems to offer much even going forwards and he is prone to giving away stupid penalties. He is not good in the air. All round, he is just !$##@ crap. People can say what they want but when match day comes around, they have to face reality. He has had his time and now his time is up, At CB, the best you can say about Lovren is that he is average and at RB, we had a kid playing today against Watford.

I don't think we will even challenge this season if this situation is not addressed. We have 16 days left to do something in the transfer window. If we can't, then we have to swallow our pride and let Sakho have a second chance.
 

richieh10

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The answer would be to change the spelling to defenCe
 

richieh10

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You're right about LB tho.

It can only be Milner.

What we should do is maybe sign that decent young Scottish left back Andy Robertson from Hull.
 

richieh10

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You're spot on about CB though.

If only Van Dijk at Southampton would put in a transfer request
 

AussieLad

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The thing is, we seem to be having this same conversation every season, and have done so since Rafa got sacked, except for the season we had Kenny and Steve Clarke. when the defence was pretty solid, but we couldn't score for love nor money that season.

So it begs the question, is it the personnel, the system or is it the fact that modern day defenders are not actually as good as they were 10-15 years ago?
 

Semmy

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Folks, you can't have your butter on both sodes of the bread.

We have a young, fast but diminutive group of players in our squad. Great on the ball, blah blah blah. But some skillsets detract from others, and especially when you play a system with attacking FB like we do, it hurts us in our own box very much on size and stature. We pay the price for the attacking prowess that we have, in our ability to defend. Really not different than 13/14 I think...unless we decide to play a DM and buy some XL-sized lads who won't get bulldozed like Matip did on Sat
 

[email protected]

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What did Migs do wrong
Kicked poorly, didnt really command his area culminating in a nothing situation that suddenly had him and Lovren colliding and almost spilling the ball then poor positioning on the third goal that saw an unlucky, but avoidable, richochet onto the bar off him. Other than that he was perfect. :indifferent:

*oh and forgot the roll out to get a countet started that flummoxed everybody, including the Watford players luckily
 

sterlcoutidge

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Oct 30, 2014
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I think a lot of the problem at watford stemmed from the midfield. How many times did watford just go through them like they weren't there. They didn't control the match at all. None of them had the bravery to take the ball and run/pass forward. Just a lot of backwards passing. This led to us being hemmed into our box for large portions of the game.

I think we're desperate for a gundogan/keita type midfielder who can grab the game by the bollocks. Lallana usually does a decent job at that but he's out.
 

SirBillShankly

Joe and Holly's Dad.
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We should start with signing better players, added to better tactics.Add to that the defence needs better protection.

Surely there must be a better left back in the Bundesliga than Moreno who is obtainable? An alternative to Van Dijk who would improve us? I really don't think Sakho is the answer. Our defenders are too nice I think.

Maybe we should go with 3 CB's? .......Gomez.......Matip........Lovren

Maybe we should drop the zonal marking idea and put more responsibilty on our players to pick up the opposition's attackers? We could and should go man-to-man when defending set pieces. Matip needs to start being a lot more aggressive, he's too chilled out and nice for my liking.

Watford's first goal was horrible to watch and its worrying, however their other 2 goals should have been ruled out, they were offside.Kloppo really should have sorted this weakness by now ,people will start questioning him and his team soon if it continues.
 

JustHitMyHead

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I think a lot of the problem at watford stemmed from the midfield. How many times did watford just go through them like they weren't there. They didn't control the match at all. None of them had the bravery to take the ball and run/pass forward. Just a lot of backwards passing. This led to us being hemmed into our box for large portions of the game.

I think we're desperate for a gundogan/keita type midfielder who can grab the game by the bollocks. Lallana usually does a decent job at that but he's out.
Agreed... I think a lot of problems stem from the midfield. There was way too much pressure put on our defenders with the way Watford were allowed to just cruise through.

How much really did Can, Wijnaldum and Henderson contribute to our attacking play??? Practically none in my books. On the defensive end, rather than help they contributed to the problem. Can's back pass caused us issues and Wijnaldum slipped up for the third goal. In my books, they were as culpable or even more so than any of our defenders.

The set piece defending almost always goes the same way... our CBs are tussling with the front most guy and a runner slips behind him for the ball or header. No one picks up the runner so our opponents always have a man advantage in a scramble.

I'm going to say it right now - a better CB will only help Band-Aid the solution a bit. Until someone picks up the loose runner our set piece defending is going to be shit.
 
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T.C.B

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Hands up if at the end of last season you thought Moreno and Lovren would be 1st choice yesterday?
Poor recruitment has, and continues to plague this club. This was the summer it would change and mega cash would be spent on top class additions. Hasn't happened bar Salah. (Solanke is a player I really like but he's more like an opportunist cheap signing albeit a very good one)
We were crying out for a top class left back and we get a cheap option from Hull who doesn't even make the bench yesterday.
The spin was that Moreno and Milner are our new left back and midfield signings. Ha....who really believes that crock?
In reserve to the two dinks at centre half is Klavan. Another cheapo back up option for bottom half (at best) sides yet here he is our third choice centre half. Brian Kerr is well respected on this side of the pond and I distinctly remember him laughing his head off when co-commentating on an early LFC game last season at the sight of Klavan playing for Liverpool. He was astounded that we would take a player of such low quality to Anfield. In fact he said he had targeted him as a weakness when Ireland played Estonia at International level.
Last year Lucas was the go to man when we needed an emergency centre half. Laughable really.
Mignolet wasn't good enough 3 years ago. For sure he has the odd purple patch and is capable of truly world class saves but how consistent is he over a full season, or 2 seasons? Why did we buy Karius? Oh wait another cheapo signing that might come good.............Miglite if you want. But he'll be great in 5 years they say. Wonderful. By then Mane, Salah and Firmino will have joined Phil out in Spain but we'll have a wonderful Keeper.
Lovren was way over priced when we bought him. In today's inflated market he still wouldn't fetch the 20M we paid for him. He has the concentration of Frog Spawn.
Matip.........another freebie. Has flattered to deceive really. Looks great on the ball against sides who give him tons of time and space but might break a nail in a physical challenge.
TAA is a kid so he gets a pass. Milner...another free signing who couldn't cut it in the middle of the park so Klopp converts him to a left back. In fairness he has done ok but runs out of steam and we've still conceded buckets of goals with him in there. He's better than Moreno.
Clyne is about the only dedicated defender we've spent money on who has more or less done the job. He's decent at the back but rubbish in the final third.
So there you have it..... a ragtag bag of free's and misfits who wouldn't get near any of the other top sides. How could we expect a defence containing them, a Kid, and a guy who should have been shipped back to Spain to be solid.

How do you solve the problem? Buy better players and coach a better system. Zonal sucks.
A band-aid? These fuckers are Band-aids and sticking more on top won't cure the infection underneath.
 
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melbournered

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I'm going to say it right now - a better CB will only help Band-Aid the solution a bit. Until someone picks up the loose runner our set piece defending is going to be shit.
Agree about the zonal defensive tactics. But what about a CB who is commanding, has a footballing brain, is able to organize the defence, provide leadership etc etc etc.
 

melbournered

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Messages
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Hands up if at the end of last season you thought Moreno and Lovren would be 1st choice yesterday?
Poor recruitment has, and continues to plague this club. This was the summer it would change and mega cash would be spent on top class additions. Hasn't happened bar Salah. (Solanke is a player I really like but he's more like an opportunist cheap signing albeit a very good one)
We were crying out for a top class left back and we get a cheap option from Hull who doesn't even make the bench yesterday.
The spin was that Moreno and Milner are our new left back and midfield signings. Ha....who really believes that crock?
In reserve to the two dinks at centre half is Klavan. Another cheapo back up option for bottom half (at best) sides yet here he is our third choice centre half. Brian Kerr is well respected on this side of the pond and I distinctly remember him laughing his head off when co-commentating on an early LFC game last season at the sight of Klavan playing for Liverpool. He was astounded that we would take a player of such low quality to Anfield. In fact he said he had targeted him as a weakness when Ireland played Estonia at International level.
Last year Lucas was the go to man when we needed an emergency centre half. Laughable really.
Mignolet wasn't good enough 3 years ago. For sure he has the odd purple patch and is capable of truly world class saves but how consistent is he over a full season, or 2 seasons? Why did we buy Karius? Oh wait another cheapo signing that might come good.............Miglite if you want. But he'll be great in 5 years they say. Wonderful. By then Mane, Salah and Firmino will have joined Phil out in Spain but we'll have a wonderful Keeper.
Lovren was way over priced when we bought him. In today's inflated market he still wouldn't fetch the 20M we paid for him. He has the concentration of Frog Spawn.
Matip.........another freebie. Has flattered to deceive really. Looks great on the ball against sides who give him tons of time and space but might break a nail in a physical challenge.
TAA is a kid so he gets a pass. Milner...another free signing who couldn't cut it in the middle of the park so Klopp converts him to a left back. In fairness he has done ok but runs out of steam and we've still conceded buckets of goals with him in there. He's better than Moreno.
Clyne is about the only dedicated defender we've spent money on who has more or less done the job. He's decent at the back but rubbish in the final third.
So there you have it..... a ragtag bag of free's and misfits who wouldn't get near any of the other top sides. How could we expect a defence containing them, a Kid, and a guy who should have been shipped back to Spain to be solid.

How do you solve the problem? Buy better players and coach a better system. Zonal sucks.
A band-aid? These fuckers are Band-aids and sticking more on top won't cure the infection underneath.
Sad to say but everything you say is true. And just to reinforce the point about Mane Firmino getting disillusioned about playing for us, we should not ignore the very pointed reference Mane made in the post match interview about our cheap leaking of goals. He knows how crap our defence is. He'll fuck off soon if we don't get our act together. And Firmino as well.
 

Hope in your heart

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I can't agree with @T.C.B. 's account on our defence. On the back of a draw which feels like a defeat because a of a late goal, it's easy to look at all the negative aspects as he did, but I for one don't see the situation as bleak. Let's take that list again:

Right full-back position:
Main man: Clyne, a highly reliable player with 7/10 performances almost all season. Tough as nails, rarely injured (bar right now, hopefully he comes back quickly!), not too good going forward but his main job is to defend.
Back-up: TAA, one of the most promising prospects in the game right now, fantastic pace and attacking guile. Prone to errors at this level, as he's just discovering life in the PL, but he'll rapidly improve.
Second back-up: Flanagan, very underrated imo, one who is first and foremost a defender. Tough as nails as well and 120% committed to his boyhood club.

Left full-back position:
Main man: Milner, a guy who has seen and won it all, a genuine teamworker, one who will give his all every single fucking time. He was great last season as a left back and will likely continue to do so, although he'll not be able to play every game.
First back-up: Robertson, who hasn't yet fully landed. As expected, Klopp waits to see him getting used to the team before giving him game-time, which is fully understandable. He showed a lot of promise in the pre-season games. He might have been a relatively 'cheap' buy from Hull (still 10 millions mind...), but he looks promising.
Second back-up: Moreno. Maybe a weak link there, although if Klopp says that he has improved, then I'll take his word for it. He's the one who sees him on the pitch every day, not us.

Center-back positions:
Main man: Matip. Yes he came on a free, but I don't get the negativity setting in around him. He's invaluable on high balls, always stays calm, has leadership skills, is great on the ball and can score goals. He's definitely one to build around, without a doubt. Only problem is his tendency to get injured, hopefully that will stop this season, fingers crossed.
His partner: Lovren. Here we have a problem indeed. Aligned alongside Matip, he has been much better than before with Skrtel for instance. He has improved, and I'll give him that. But he has serial problems: gets injured quite often (what is it with all these center-backs who get injured all the time?), and is absolutely unable to lead the defensive line when Matip is out. He's not a leader and will never be. Add to this his tendency to lose his head on some occasions, and his recurrent lack of concentration, and he's a weak spot, right at the heart of our defence.
First back-up: Klavan. Agree that he isn't good enough to be first back-up. Hopefully Gomez will take his place sooner than later by improving his game.
Second back-up: Gomez, a bright prospect who has shown a lot of promise, but who has a long way ahead of him yet before being good enough to start for us.
Then we have Sakho of course, the ideal complementary player to Matip, and potentially the best partner he could dream of... But I'll let that topic aside for now.

So, if VVD could be brought in, the only real weak spot would be addressed. Lovren would then be our third back-up, providing good depth in emergency cases, and Klavan and Gomez would fight it out for the second back-up place.

Then, there is the goalie situation. Migs has improved no end since Rodgers' times with us. It would be unfair not to acknowledge this. I can understand why Klopp continues to trust him, especially on the back of a great end to the last season, when he was impeccable and showed that he had managed to erase most recurrent problems he had before. Karius is a decent back-up.
 

costared

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First problem was that we were not mentally prepared, probably due to the shock news from Coutinho on Friday. The timing from him was disgusting.
Have to agree midfield was a problem . For me Gini is the weakness. When one of three plays as badly as he did the other two have a big job on their hands. At the back Moreno seems to have improved but he is still poor defensively and I think Milner would have tightened us up considerably . Milners experience may have also helped with organising things at dead ball situations.
Whilst our coaches have made LFC an attractive attacking side the defending of dead ball siuations is abysmal. I think it is time we hired a proper defensive coach, maybe only temporarily, to get across to the players how to defend in the EPL. ( Maybe Carra could do it)
Obviously we do need new signings. VVD an Keita would have been ideal but I feel the attitude of "them or nobody" is wrong. There must be others out there that could improve our situation.
I know most of what I have said has been said before ( sometimes by myself) but the fact that nothing has changed is disappointing. Having said that I have every hope that Klopp will have seen the problems and hopefully he will finally do something about them. At the end of the day I am sure we will have an interesting and entertaining season.
 

Fullmetal

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I just want to point out something. Granted Moreno was at fault for the 2nd goal however he was amongst a few of the players that massively improved in the 2nd half.

In regards to our defensive issues, I think that the players attitude were not right, lackadaisical even.
 

tamir_m

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Poor recruitment and lack of investment.
FSG or Klopp's...I dont care whos fault is it.. we need a new defense
You just cant win the league with Matip or Lovren, if Klopp doesn't understand this then Im worried
And if he does ? Then that means that the owners arent backing him up... and in that case we should all be worried
 

SirBillShankly

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Agree about the zonal defensive tactics. But what about a CB who is commanding, has a footballing brain, is able to organize the defence, provide leadership etc etc etc.
He is coming, be patient brother, his name is Van Dijk, Virgil Van Dijk.
 

charleslee89

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As one poster has said, the problem stems in the failure of the midfield to win the game for us. Milner in midfield is weak physically, Gini in midfield can't even keep the ball, Lallana is injured, Henderson was never the midfield general that Gerrard was, Coutinho wants to join Barcelona, Emre Can is prone to brain farts defensively.

That being said, we never properly replaced Masherano when he left us 7 years ago, thinking Lucas was just as good which came only in spells.

Now, we aim for Naby Keita only who is certain to only join us after his contract expires. Fuck me, isn't there any stop gap we can get for now?
 

Craigy_Boy_92

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1 or 2 signings won't fix this. VVD and Keita would slightly improve things but not 100% fix the problem. I agree with everything said above so i won't bother re posting it all.

FSG and Klopp have got to see the problem here and if they don't it is really really worrying. Klopp should bite the bullet and give Sakho another chance too.
 

lfc.8

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Clyne and Matip are decent but besides them not so much. van Dijk would be good if it happens but we need improvements right across the team not just in defence.
 



El Dorado

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I don't think collective defending was the issue yesterday. Individually, the back four had a decent enough match. Problem was Watford wanted the ball more through the middle. They consistently reacted faster than our players and got to balls first in the middle of the park. That improved a bit in the second half.

Then there is set-piece defending, which is a specialty in defending. We've been woeful at it through two managers. Gini's headers was a real howler. Any League One player stops that ball. The first corner was Firmino's slow reaction. We simply have to fix that, and I'm sure Klopp will take measures.

In some respects, the side seemed to lack energy. One poster mentioned the Coutinho saga, and I do think such a thing can play a role. Our play got worse in 2015 through the Sterling saga.

Hopefully, it's a one-off, but it is discouraging to see Man U easily pick up a quality strong midfielder like Matic.
 
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Flobs

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We just need a hard bastard or three. All those wet wimps out there are a fucking disgrace.
Before the Watford game I wondered if Flannagan would play and now ask why he didn't. Our full backs were very conservative going forward and having Salah right and Mané left didn't work that well because our fullbacks weren't doubling them enough. So why not use players that are more aggressive (but perhaps less of a threat going forward)?
 

Lowton_Red

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We just need a hard bastard or three. All those wet wimps out there are a fucking disgrace.
Before the Watford game I wondered if Flannagan would play and now ask why he didn't. Our full backs were very conservative going forward and having Salah right and Mané left didn't work that well because our fullbacks weren't doubling them enough. So why not use players that are more aggressive (but perhaps less of a threat going forward)?
What wouldn't we give for the Anfield Iron.
 

T.C.B

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Maybe I came over too strong in my initial post but just to be clear on a few points. I really rate TAA highly. So highly in fact that he could take the position from Clyne very shortly.
I agree with HIYH's opinion on Clyne in that he is solid rather than spectacular. 6 or 7 out of ten most games for sure. His contribution in the final third is really lacking and I would ask the question that in his time here has our goals against stats improved any?
Matip initially looked like a very shrewd piece of business but if he is the main man how about he gets some organising done? Like I said he looks very Hansenesque at times when he has space to come out and pass, he reads the game well from deep too but where is his leadership and drive? He gets bullied in physical contests and is very prone to injury. How can we build a defense around him looking at it coldly?
Kalvan.....I stand by what I said. I'm sure he's a nice guy who admitted he was shocked when he got a call from Jurgen.
He struck gold with a move like this so late in his career. Good luck to him.
Gomez......seemed to have real potential before injury but ready for a game now? very doubtful.
Sakho.......no point in discussing it because Klopp wants him gone and wont play him. Can will go into CB before Sakho gets a game.
While I think the addition of VVD would improve things for sure its a big IF we can get him. Then to be blunt he's only a start. IMO Klopp should have bought 2 centre halves this summer. That and a decent DM in front would make a big difference I believe.
Again I don't mean to sound overly negative but Klopp is doomed to failure unless he can reduce to amount of goals we concede. Had Rodgers done it we would have won the title.
 

SirBillShankly

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I reckon Alexander-Arnold would do a good job sat in front of our "defence" better than that shambles we witnessed yesterday. The lad has bags of energy,quality and I would like him in the side. He's what we need in the side. Milner in midfield is not progress is it?