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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: 2 9.1%
  • 21-30 (Solid return)

    Votes: 13 59.1%
  • 11-20 (current record; 15)

    Votes: 5 22.7%
  • 1-10 (Mourinho’s wet dream)

    Votes: 1 4.5%
  • Concede? What’s that then?

    Votes: 1 4.5%

  • Total voters
    22

Mascot88

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This was posted on the Liverpool subreddit -

@[B]BookieInsidrs[/B]
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Aerial duel success in the Premier League
Joel Matip 73.17%
John Stones 67.86%
Chris Smalling 67.07%
Shane Duffy 66.08%
Fabinho 65.96%
Jonny Evans 64.58%
Wes Morgan 64.42%
Terrence Kongolo 64.38%
Declan Rice 63.41%
Virgil Van Dijk 62.72%
Harry Maguire 62.24%
I don’t recall seeing Van Dijk lose one.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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Just a small correction, Finnan wasn't at Liverpool anymore in 08/09. Those stats are probably from 07/08.
Also, are the goals and appearances columns swapped around? I'm sure I would have remembered Carra scoring 55 times in 0 appearances! :think:
 

Claymenza

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Also, are the goals and appearances columns swapped around? I'm sure I would have remembered Carra scoring 55 times in 0 appearances! :think:
Clearly there was a formatting mismatch when I copied this from wiki to the forums. Common sense would dictate it's 0 goals in 55 appearances.
 

Mascot88

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Another clean sheet. While we’ve worried about the attacking performances, it’s gone quietly unnoticed that we haven’t conceded a goal for four games, over 360mins of football. This equals our longest run of the season, but also includes games against United and Bayern.

Edit: apologies - it is our longest run without conceding. I was looking at October, but mistakenly included the Napoli away game as a clean sheet, which it was. For them. :rolleyes:
 
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Mascot88

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We currently have conceded 15 goals, so barring the unlikelihood of going the next ten without letting a goal in, we won’t be equalling the best defensive record in the top flight.

But I’d hope the aim is still no more than 20 goals. That would be brilliant, and no less than Alisson and Van Dijk deserve.
 

lfc.eddie

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Van Dijk may have been the talk of the season in our defence but these two had been spotted to be one of the best pairing in the league, operating opposite side of each other.

 

Flobs

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I thought I would revive this thread as cluttering post matches with this would be imo tedious.
After 2 competative matches, community shield vs Man C 1-1 and EPL vs Norwich 4-1, it appears there is a little problem with our defencive line, TAA, Gomez, VVD and Robertson.
Against City it was Sané who used the space between TAA and Gomez from generally diagonal balls. Sané also caused TAA problems which were sorted when Sané went off after injuring himself.
Against Norwich it was their center forward coming off Gomez' shoulder from more vertical balls. This also happened off VVD's shoulder but in a slightly different fashion as in general our defencive line was that little bit higher up which makes the offside trap easier, also Gomez covered superbly for VVD on these ocassions. (we'll get back to that).
TAA is taking some flack in other threads as is Gomez, though his long time out appears to be mitagating his involvement. I, however, wish to go into more depth as it appears serial, particularly Norwich in the 1st half who did this repeatedly when the opportunity arrose.
So my analysis.
Generally it's when our defence has set the line just around the limit of the box and each time i notice that VVD takes his position then Gomez followed by TAA move a little wider. This seems wrong to me our midfield when defending becomes nice and compact yet the defencive line spreads across the pitch, this leaves holes also imo Gomez steps up a little high leaving space behind him. When the ball comes in both Gomez and TAA look flat footed.
The way they align they are completely Zonal and no-one is there picking up the 'danger' man to block his run. Really some times you just have to go Man on Man to hinder those dangerous runs off the shoulder. So the question here is who should be maning up here? or filling in the space, it can not be Salah he stays up the pitch, Firmino could but he's more effective running around doing his stuff, the midfield are tight and going a good job perhaps Henderson could drop off however as the midfield are tight why not keep the defencive line tighter which would put TAA on the danger. Any ball really wide to a Sané shouldn't be an immediate danger and TAA would just have to close it down, which he does when it's vertical and is effective at it.
When the ball comes in our defence look really slow to react, particularly when it's behind Gomez and TAA however there's a comparison on our left when the ocassional ball does in behind VVD and Robertson. I'm going to leave aside robertson for the moment and concentrate on VVD and Gomez. When the ball goes in behind VVD it's generally Gomez who comes across to block it with VVD obviously beaten making himself useful in blocking off the cut back ball. So why doesn't VVD cover this for Gomez? Who has switched off? Who's the dope? Why does this happen more to our right side than left side?
The last question can to an extent be answered by an earlier observation What Salah and Firmino do or don't do as the case may be. Origi and Mané are 'expected' to help out on our left and do so by doing so they help out covering that important space, That isn't the case on the right as Firmino is helping keep the spaces tight in our midfield.
Reading of the play comes to mind that's where Robertson makes a difference he often sees a danger and reacts before it happens which tends to disrupt the offside line. Then in the situations we are talking about I think there's a question over whether a zonal offside system is pertinent. There's no space left for a goalkeeper to rush out and block the move. The danger players sitting on shoulders have a free path onto goal.
I think there's a lot to discuss here. We got good with Matip last year he's very different to Gomez in that he backs off and covers by instinct, Gomez is what I describe as your ultimate stopper he likes being on the front foot and is agressive. I'm not advocating anything about personnel though more an adjustment of tactics.
So what do you folks think?
 
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PeachesEnRegalia

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Can't disagree with any of that. It's more prevalent on the right side because as you say, Robbo is a lot more instinctual than TAA, and VVD is usually on hand to snuff out danger on the left. On the right, Gomez is definitely more aggressive than Matip, and TAA just seems to get caught flat-footed and out of position a lot. TAA loves to bomb forward and fancies himself more of a winger than a FB, I reckon. He can and should improve his defensive game, but teams are going to try to exploit his side a lot more this season than last. Teams with pacey wingers who like to dink balls over the top will be trouble for us - Palace, City, Arse to name a few.

I think these issues will gradually improve and we'll adjust, but I will say that yesterday, I noticed Gini not tracking back and covering very effectively, and the same with Fabinho at times. They stayed compact and packed the middle, but it left the right side woefully vulnerable. Teams will try that on us all year - overload the left side to draw everyone over, then switch play to the open man on the right.
 
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Mascot88

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I’ve reset the poll for the new season.
 

lfc.eddie

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So what do you folks think?
I won't be taking the City charity match under consideration, but for yesterday match I do feel Gomez and his defensive partners need a bit more time to get used to each other. It also has a lot to do with teams knowing Trent's limitation and weakness, an easy target because he tends to stay quite far up the pitch and he lacks the pace to run back. He also lack the experience to read and drop back to have a few yards ahead of his marker. But I am pretty sure it's been highlighted to him by the coaching staff, and pretty certain he will rectify it.

The two centres. Last season everyone was singing praises and in awe with Van Dijk, but forgetting his partners' contribution. It's easy to focus on the big man and forgot who plays along side him. There are quite a number of occasions where Gomez and then Matip bailed him out because he is such a front footed defender. He is also very confident with his pace, knows he will win a foot race, and he knows his aerial strength too. Problem starts when his partner don't pickout the player at his blind side. Make a diagonal run behind him and if his partners are all ball watching, then it is down to Alisson to stop it.

There are some holes, holes that can be fixed. Wait and see how we get on next match, if we concede again, and about the same style of play, then I think Klopp might need to rethinks his setup. To keep going with his fullbacks as his attacking outlet, or make the back solid and use his midfield to create openings.
 

Flobs

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Can't disagree with any of that. It's more prevalent on the right side because as you say, Robbo is a lot more instinctual than TAA, and VVD is usually on hand to snuff out danger on the left. On the right, Gomez is definitely more aggressive than Matip, and TAA just seems to get caught flat-footed and out of position a lot. TAA loves to bomb forward and fancies himself more of a winger than a FB, I reckon. He can and should improve his defensive game, but teams are going to try to exploit his side a lot more this season than last. Teams with pacey wingers who like to dink balls over the top will be trouble for us - Palace, City, Arse to name a few.

I think these issues will gradually improve and we'll adjust, but I will say that yesterday, I noticed Gini not tracking back and covering very effectively, and the same with Fabinho at times. They stayed compact and packed the middle, but it left the right side woefully vulnerable. Teams will try that on us all year - overload the left side to draw everyone over, then switch play to the open man on the right.
Looking back at last season VVD - Gomez appeared to hit it off straight away. VVD - Matip needed a bit of time but ened up very effective.
With Gomez just getting back into competitive matches and VVD still having being under the influence of having Matip as partner I pretty sure it's just teething problems that will hopefully be eliminated fairly sharpish. It will improve that's for sure as under Klopp we always see improvement eventually.
 

Flobs

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I won't be taking the City charity match under consideration, but for yesterday match I do feel Gomez and his defensive partners need a bit more time to get used to each other. It also has a lot to do with teams knowing Trent's limitation and weakness, an easy target because he tends to stay quite far up the pitch and he lacks the pace to run back. He also lack the experience to read and drop back to have a few yards ahead of his marker. But I am pretty sure it's been highlighted to him by the coaching staff, and pretty certain he will rectify it.

The two centres. Last season everyone was singing praises and in awe with Van Dijk, but forgetting his partners' contribution. It's easy to focus on the big man and forgot who plays along side him. There are quite a number of occasions where Gomez and then Matip bailed him out because he is such a front footed defender. He is also very confident with his pace, knows he will win a foot race, and he knows his aerial strength too. Problem starts when his partner don't pickout the player at his blind side. Make a diagonal run behind him and if his partners are all ball watching, then it is down to Alisson to stop it.

There are some holes, holes that can be fixed. Wait and see how we get on next match, if we concede again, and about the same style of play, then I think Klopp might need to rethinks his setup. To keep going with his fullbacks as his attacking outlet, or make the back solid and use his midfield to create openings.
Yes if VVD misses a header we struggle.
I hope Klopp doesn't make big changes like he did 2 seasons ago. That ruined us for a while. I think it's just tweeks needed above all keeping Gomez and VVD tighter so that the attacker is on TAA's shoulder and not Gomez'. This would leave Gomez able to cover both left and right.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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City will probably be the most attacking team this season so really not fussed if we concede a goal a game against them. It'll show we have one of the meanest defences as City will score more than that against nearly everyone else if not everybody. A team may hold on for a clean sheet in one fixture but likely ship 2 or 3 in the return fixture. Norwich shouldn't be underestimated. Outside the top 6 teams I think they will be one of the most attacking sides and put at least one past most teams and (all due respect to Adrian who seems a real good second keeper) I think if Alisson hadn't gone off injured they wouldn't have scored that goal. I'll wait till we concede multiple goals against teams with less attacking capacity before getting worried.
 

Flobs

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City will probably be the most attacking team this season so really not fussed if we concede a goal a game against them. It'll show we have one of the meanest defences as City will score more than that against nearly everyone else if not everybody. A team may hold on for a clean sheet in one fixture but likely ship 2 or 3 in the return fixture. Norwich shouldn't be underestimated. Outside the top 6 teams I think they will be one of the most attacking sides and put at least one past most teams and (all due respect to Adrian who seems a real good second keeper) I think if Alisson hadn't gone off injured they wouldn't have scored that goal. I'll wait till we concede multiple goals against teams with less attacking capacity before getting worried.
Sure and one mustn't forget that it was Champions league champions Vs Championship Champions. One should expect goals.
That aside haven't you anything to say about what is being discussed. It's easy to say there's nothing to worry about. I could go all day saying that. The point is some have noticed a problem and so as to stem some criticism of the players I was sort of hoping to divert these fears and plac it on other aspects more easily improved. Let's face it our back line are formidable players and characters in their own right. So it's about them playing as a team.
What are your thoughts about what has been discussed so far? :-)
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Sure and one mustn't forget that it was Champions league champions Vs Championship Champions. One should expect goals.
That aside haven't you anything to say about what is being discussed. It's easy to say there's nothing to worry about. I could go all day saying that. The point is some have noticed a problem and so as to stem some criticism of the players I was sort of hoping to divert these fears and plac it on other aspects more easily improved. Let's face it our back line are formidable players and characters in their own right. So it's about them playing as a team.
What are your thoughts about what has been discussed so far?
My thoughts on what it boils down to if my two pence worth helps at all;

1st VvD and Gomez haven't worked together much over the last 6 months so we are bound to see some teething issues. Same with Gomez and Trent.

2nd We play a high line along with a lot of our offence coming from our fullbacks. You simply can't play that way and not leave spaces. This is one of the reasons Klopp has assembled one of the fastest back 4s I've ever seen or heard of. We will leave space because of our playing style but our players have, by design, the pace to deal with that (especially as the danger is as high up the pitch as possible).

3rd Due to rustiness and playing style we will sometimes see the most attacking teams get some joy against us. If, even with all that, we can keep these sides to 1 goal and (hopefully) take advantage of their attacking to score plenty against them like v Norwich I'm sure we will be ok defensively.

4th Most teams will still struggle to get any joy against us despite the seeming vulnerability and space. We play just too damn quick and Alisson is there for a reason and hes fucking ace.
 

Flobs

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My thoughts on what it boils down to if my two pence worth helps at all;

1st VvD and Gomez haven't worked together much over the last 6 months so we are bound to see some teething issues. Same with Gomez and Trent.

2nd We play a high line along with a lot of our offence coming from our fullbacks. You simply can't play that way and not leave spaces. This is one of the reasons Klopp has assembled one of the fastest back 4s I've ever seen or heard of. We will leave space because of our playing style but our players have, by design, the pace to deal with that (especially as the danger is as high up the pitch as possible).

3rd Due to rustiness and playing style we will sometimes see the most attacking teams get some joy against us. If, even with all that, we can keep these sides to 1 goal and (hopefully) take advantage of their attacking to score plenty against them like v Norwich I'm sure we will be ok defensively.

4th Most teams will still struggle to get any joy against us despite the seeming vulnerability and space. We play just too damn quick and Alisson is there for a reason and hes fucking ace.
When we are in high energy pressing mode teams just don't get an inch out of us. Unfortunately you just can not play at that tempo tha whole match. It's when we 'back off' a bit that a few teething problems become apparent. I agree with all you said. FWIW :-)
 

Prolix

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A missive that has 8x as many words as we have truly competitive minutes played this season seems... premature.
 

nikz200

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Chelsea, Southampton and Arsenal. It will be interesting to see how our defence lines up now that we don't have Alisson in between the sticks. In the Norwich game our defence was a little comfortable because of the lead our offence got in the first half but once Alisson went down there was a clear paradigm shift in nerves. I do think we will rotate CBs between Gomez and Matip during the next 3 games.
 

costared

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When a full back is caought forward and a CB has to cover you would expect a DM to fill in for the full back . This is not happenng with Fab at the moment. I am a bit concerned with hi seeming lack of mobility at the moment and with the fact that Gini goes missing at times leaving us a bit light in MF.
 



Iluvatar

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I think it just comes down to the players being a bit too blinkered. Robbo is constantly looking around and keeping his eye on players. Trent doesn’t seem to do this that well, it’s ok that he goes forward but he needs to signal or let Fabinho/Gomez know they need to cover.

At 20 I’m sure its just a learning thing, being effective in both defence and attack as a fullback is what separates the good (Wan Bissaka) and the elite (Trent). It also takes twice the concentration.

Gomez dropping in and being a bit rusty isn’t helping also, I’d imagine if Trent was on Van Dijks side he’d look at hell of a lot better defensively.

It will come I think, my guess is we focused on fitness in the tiny pre-season we got v’s shape and defensive drills. Luckily our attack have just slotted right into their groove which is amazing.
 

Zinedine Biscan

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I think it just comes down to the players being a bit too blinkered. Robbo is constantly looking around and keeping his eye on players. Trent doesn’t seem to do this that well, it’s ok that he goes forward but he needs to signal or let Fabinho/Gomez know they need to cover.

At 20 I’m sure its just a learning thing, being effective in both defence and attack as a fullback is what separates the good (Wan Bissaka) and the elite (Trent). It also takes twice the concentration.

Gomez dropping in and being a bit rusty isn’t helping also, I’d imagine if Trent was on Van Dijks side he’d look at hell of a lot better defensively.

It will come I think, my guess is we focused on fitness in the tiny pre-season we got v’s shape and defensive drills. Luckily our attack have just slotted right into their groove which is amazing.
Worth noting that Robbo is five years older than Trent. As you say I'm sure it's something he will continue to develop with experience.

If he does continue to be targeted by opponents this season could be the making of him, but fans may need to be a bit patient with him as he learns. Even this early in his career, each time questions have been asked of him he's quickly stepped up to answer them, no reason to think that won't continue to be the case.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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When a full back is caought forward and a CB has to cover you would expect a DM to fill in for the full back . This is not happenng with Fab at the moment. I am a bit concerned with hi seeming lack of mobility at the moment and with the fact that Gini goes missing at times leaving us a bit light in MF.
Fabinho is credited with 8 tackles in that game and the team with only 21 according to whoscored. His average position is also exactly where it should be only just slightly ahead of the two CBs and directly between them with only the keeper and CBs average position further back than him. I think Fabinho did fine. Against Norwich we played an attacking team that left themselves so open we strolled to a 4 nil lead and should have punished them further. Despite their kamikaze attacking style, our own rustiness and our world class keeper going off injured to be replaced by a guy who had been at the club a matter of days (communication with the defence will not be there yet, how could it) we still limited them to 1 goal from 5 attempts on target, some of which were quite naff. I'd be happy for every side to go at us like that and try to expose these "weaknesses"! Pkaying like that I doubt many teams score more than 1, 2 at the most and most teams in our league wont be as fast paced with their attacks as Norwich and might not score at all. But I guarantee if every team attacks us that much this season we will score shit loads! It would practically hand us the league with a near 100% win record if they do. If we have to accept 38 conceded goals for that to happen then so be it.
 

costared

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Fabinho is credited with 8 tackles in that game and the team with only 21 according to whoscored. His average position is also exactly where it should be only just slightly ahead of the two CBs and directly between them with only the keeper and CBs average position further back than him. I think Fabinho did fine. Against Norwich we played an attacking team that left themselves so open we strolled to a 4 nil lead and should have punished them further. Despite their kamikaze attacking style, our own rustiness and our world class keeper going off injured to be replaced by a guy who had been at the club a matter of days (communication with the defence will not be there yet, how could it) we still limited them to 1 goal from 5 attempts on target, some of which were quite naff. I'd be happy for every side to go at us like that and try to expose these "weaknesses"! Pkaying like that I doubt many teams score more than 1, 2 at the most and most teams in our league wont be as fast paced with their attacks as Norwich and might not score at all. But I guarantee if every team attacks us that much this season we will score shit loads! It would practically hand us the league with a near 100% win record if they do. If we have to accept 38 conceded goals for that to happen then so be it.
Thanks for the reply. I never checked the stats, rarely do. I prefer to trust my own eyes and insticts. For me we had a lot of gaps where I would expect a DM to be. I think he is slow to recover at the moment. Thought he was great last season but has not looked so good so far this time around.
 

lfc.eddie

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Thanks for the reply. I never checked the stats, rarely do. I prefer to trust my own eyes and insticts. For me we had a lot of gaps where I would expect a DM to be. I think he is slow to recover at the moment. Thought he was great last season but has not looked so good so far this time around.
The problem here is defensive midfielder role in our team. We played such high line and pressed such high up the pitch the defensive midfielders had become the first line of defence instead of a cover. Unlike Rafa's days with Mascherano primarily sits at the back of Alonso and in front of the back four, he will run from side to side to cover gaps whenever the likes of Arbeloa and Riise/Aurellio were over lapping to join the attack. He had been blocking passes from Norwich players and intercepting them quite a fair bit when they were trying to get out of their own half.