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The TIA Off the Ball Debate

MarkMcC

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Seems to have all the attributes necessary for th EPL but think I kinda echo Tipp's query regarding game intelligence. I havn't seen much of Vitesse recently and wonder if the style play they use would be comparable to the emerging team ethic of our own?

Drogba to me in frame, personality and gameplay is the Big Man - the entire team's play is aimed and directed through him. Harks back to our own issues with Owen and Torres - a striker who dominates the rest of the team via the style of play required to get best out of them. Does Bony reflect this or would he more comparable to Ba - physically powerful but able to incorporate this in to a team based, fluid passing style?
 

cardiffpete

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Drogba to me in frame, personality and gameplay is the Big Man - the entire team's play is aimed and directed through him. Harks back to our own issues with Owen and Torres - a striker who dominates the rest of the team via the style of play required to get best out of them. Does Bony reflect this or would he more comparable to Ba - physically powerful but able to incorporate this in to a team based, fluid passing style?
Gervinho was actually a very poor comparison i.e. a failed attempt to give a minimum base level. They are not alike at all though. Neither would he be comparable to Ba. Probably Drogba is the best comparison ...for his strength up-top and being a massive handful for defenders. Vitesse fan's nickname for Bony is 'Daddy Cool' . Latching onto the hype, the club have been playing the Boney M song in all their home games this season. He's just been phenomenal so far this season, already kicking-on from last season's very good level and taking his game to yet another level. Just scoring for fun at the moment - bullet headers, intricate one-two's, dummies, powering past defenders, outrageous back-heels etc. Scoring every which way. Hit two last weekend and then missed 2 chances for a second consequtive hat-trick. General consensus in Holland is that he would very easily slot into any one of the major leagues and perform very well. Pound-for-pound, he's probably the most muscled striker out there currently, and he allies it with great technique too. Most see him going to a sub-top team though in a strong League as his next step, a team where he would play most games ...and then afterwards kicking on for the European Top in a year or 2~3, if all goes well. Fingers crossed, that our scouts are maybe monitoring him.

Bony himself says that Drogba is the type of player he tries to learn from most. They talk a lot when with the Ivory Coast, as he wants to learn from Drogba's vast experience. He has no actual preference for which club he goes to in the January window, just that it must be a serious step-up ...and he will leave in January. CSKA, Napoli, EPL are being touted as destinations. He says if a good club comes in for him, he'll be gone His ultimate goal is to play for one of the European top clubs (and as soon as possible) ...stressing that it's not a dream of his - but more of a plan/mission. And goals are the means to get him there. He can score via headers, long-range shots, from clever one-two's, by powering past a man, by pouncing on loose balls and/or in the 6-yard box. He has a very high conversion rate as well. He can also see space and he can create space too. His link-up play is already of a high quality too. Hard not to go overboard in praise, but he is continually raising the bar for himself and continuing to deliver. I would expect him to end up at a very high level club very soon.

Speaking tactically, Vitesse play 4-3-3 (defensive-version), as does BR. Same system, although Vitesse do look to soak-up pressure and counter-attack far more than ever looking to dominate possession. He is already very capable of playing the Drogba role of target-man - by holding it up either with his chest or feet while fending off defenders by pure upper-body strength. He can also roll a CB (or even two) to get goal-side as well using the same power, which is another Drogba trademark. If Jonathan Reis plays up top for Vitesse, he can slot into RW as well with ease and still have goal threat, or even play second striker if they go 4-4-1-1 (rarely).

The only negative is that he has tended to go missing in quite a few games (and can even be laconic at times when on the ball, thus loosing it a bit too easily, if he's not properly focused or sharp enough), games where Vitesse stuggle to reach him and he maybe doesn't try as hard as he might. But sometimes, in those very same games when you don't see him for 80 minutes, he'll then pop up with a winner late-on. He's also a bit unorthodox with his touches at times, even a bit Suarez-like, where he tries something and then it somehow works out, though maybe not as intended.

If he's available for €10m (or even up towards €16m) ...and he will be available, I really wouldn't mind a punt on him. Whoever lands him will have a pretty complete striker on their hands, I'd feel. It's a very rare commodity that a striker who is all about power, strength, putting himself about and thus being a real handful ...is combined with a player who also possesses a velvet touch, very good technically with the ball at his feet (and very good in the air as well), and also converts a high percentage of his chances. Usually these are separate skill-sets. He still has some way to go yet, but I'd expect Bony to easily make the transition to a very good club (in a much bigger league) very soon. The upside seems to be enormous too, as just 23 y.o. Could all just fizzle out (of course), but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if he goes on to become the latest African superstar. If you listen to him talk he seems very determined to succeed, yet without any hint of arrogance. I think his mentality of striving to be the very best he can be (in his career) might appeal to BR too.

Just the usual wish-list aka "Who would you buy?" suggestion on my part though. We may (or may not) be interested when January comes around. Vitesse's owners also have very close ties with Abramovich and Chelsea, so probably fairly unlikely to land Bony. Do hope we get a proper striker (any striker) in January though.
 

1988greatestteam

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Who let Bony go when we had him here should be shot with balls of there own shite, although to be fair to be fair he has improved dramactically...lets go get him and a few more strikers please..
 

Broomy

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Preview Match Panel
Liverpool v Anzhi - Europa League
Thursday 25th October​


Preview Panel Special - Off the Ball with Nikola13

Liverpool continue their Europa League campaign with an Anfield clash against Anzhi on Thursday. The Reds will look to bounce back to winning ways after they lost in the competition last time out at home to Udinese. ThisIsAnfield forum Member Nikola13 previews our Europa League match at Anfield...

Nikola13 said:
Pre-match thoughts
Liverpool have suffered a thoroughly undeserved defeat in their last Europa League match, so Rodgers will not need additional motivation to get their quest for knock-out round qualification back on track. However, it is no secret that domestic league performance is his priority, especially with arguably the biggest game in Liverpool's calender scheduled this weekend - Merseyside Derby.

With a few injuries, the recent ones being Pepe Reina's and especially Fabio Borini's, leaving already thin strikeforce woefully short on numbers until January at least, Rodgers will once again have to look to club's youth players. The actual teamsheet is anyone's guess but I expect Liverpool to line up like this:

Jones
Flanagan - Coates - Carragher - Enrique
Henderson
Shelvey - Pacheco
Downing - Yesil - Assaidi​

I wouldn't be surprised to actually see Wisdom, Robinson, Sahin or Suarez starting but with Everton game looming large, Rodgers will have to carefully manage his already depleted resources.

As for the opposition, Anzhi and Russian clubs in general are something of an unknown quantity for Liverpool and it will be interesting to see how both teams adapt to each other's game.

Anzhi have two former Premier League players in their ranks - Christopher Samba, whom I can't remember having a bad game against Liverpool, and Yuri Zhirkov, former Chelsea defender. Another player who Liverpool will have to keep an eye on is talented Ivorian forward Lacina Traore, previously linked with Arsenal and Liverpool themselves.


Opposition player to watch
Undoubtedly, this should be Samuel Eto'o, highest paid footballer in the world who was once snubbed by Rafa Benitez in favour of buying Fernando Torres. Eto'o is currently doing what he does best - scoring goals, namely thirteen strikes in seventeen appearances this season. Liverpool fans will hope that their defence will be able to keep Eto'o at bay like it happened more than five years ago in double header against Barcelona.


Prediction
With Liverpool's priorities and injury problems, this game could really go either way but if Liverpool repeat their first half performance against Udinese, Anzhi will find themselves with an uphill task. I would say that it all depends on the first goal with Liverpool these days and if they are able to grab an early one, it should set a good tone for them for the rest of the game. However, with both of Anzhi's centre forwards on form, one would expect this to be a game of goals. I'm going for 3:2 win for Liverpool.
 

Broomy

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Everton 2-2 Liverpool : 5 things we Learned
Premier League - Sunday 28th October


Monday - Off the Ball with Zoky

Luis Suarez took centre stage as Liverpool and Everton shared the points after a pulsating 90 minutes in the 219th Merseyside derby. TIA forum member Zoky takes a quick look at 5 things we learned from the game at Goodison Park yesterday....

Zoky said:
1. Rodgers' calm and bold approach to the derby
We opened the match well, but Brendan put Suso on the left and Raheem on the right. We knew how these derbies usually start, that Everton would try and put a lot of pressure from the start, play direct, which can sometimes be dangerous while the players are still cold to catch them on the break if the players are calm and know what to do - with Suso and Sterling on those sides where they can run forward the 'protect' themselvey better if you like when in possession, we found those little spaces from early on and our combinations were good from the start.

Maybe if they were kept on the opposite sides to their foots, we would've seen them tucking towards the middle to much where it was all congested, but our idea was to clearly continue putting the ball down on the floor and play, make them chase it and calm the early pressure, ideally maybe trying to sneak a goal early on.


2. Sahin and where exactly does Rodgers see him?
Truth is, Nuri's still finding his feet and the league is still maybe a bit too quick for him, not physical because it's more about him needing to get rid of the ball sooner than he does. But all these rotations, playing very deep against Anzhi and then playing him at the top of the midfield 3 in a game like this, was it really ever going to work? Dangerous enough for the opponent?

It's not like he was in such great form for us needing him on the pitch, whenever he played in those three positions, but we had other options as well so it was not forced by one way or another. We knew Everton would play Fellaini behind the striker but a midfield duo of Neville and Osman - we could have been more dangerous in that area if we picked something different to Nuri.

We all know he's a very talented player and that he will improve with time in the coming weeks/months, and Lucas' injury obviously changes things, but with some midfield players being linked lately, is the club already starting to look what's in the market in case this thing with Sahin doesn't work out?


3. Wisdom and the cost (at times like today) of having inexperienced players
It happened with Flanagan and will happen often with young players and their start in senior football. People get carried away too easily and think these players have 10 derbies under their belts. Andre isn't even a right back to start with, and Everton's main threat has been coming down his side so far this season, even without Pienaar they still have a in-form player in Mirallas, who is more direct than Pienaar which was always going to be a task for Andre. This was the first game where we had the opponent pressing us, they are well aware who Wisdom is of course, and then his game gets found out (they know how to press him, those kind of details) and struggles as he did today.

We're not lucky to have so much people out injured at the moment at full back areas. But these performances happen, you hear people saying "he's good on the ball, he could become a more attacking full back with time when he learns things, etc.". He could, of course, but at the moment games like this can and will happen - it's what happens when you don't have great depth, but it's also a learing curve and this performance by Andre isn't saying he's not a very good talent but people need to be careful with their expectations over these players who haven't played 20 games in senior football.

Same goes for Sterling who didn't have such a bad game, but failed to react at the first goal, was lucky not to get sent off (I'd never give it, but judging by the criteria from the ref that also changed throughout the game, Raheem was lucky) and also missed a great chance.


4. Substitutions and formation change, throwing our cards out too early or good decision?
Everton ended the first half on a high and we needed that half time whistle to get together again, put up a fresh plan, give a few words to some individuals, a bit of confidence and try and win the game because in all honesty, they didn't create that much clear cut chances, we lost the 2 goal advantage but you always felt that, with Suarez playing maybe one of the top 3 performances since he's been at the club and if we give him the right support and service, we can win the game and it's a long 45 minutes ahead of us - more than enough time.

Sahin coming off for Shelvey was a good decision it has and I can't complain about that, but Coates coming in (Suso wasn't bad actually), changing the system and all that what came was too early I think. I said Rodgers was bold with his approach to start the derby, but I feel he panicked at half-time and was thinking too quickly about doing everything he could to at least secure a point when the reality was that Everton wasn't all that quality on the day and we could still hurt them.

We went 4-4-2, trying to defend better on the sides, add more threat in defending in the air in Coates, push Jose up as he showed a few tricky moments when in possession, and push Sterling up as some sort of a second striker, let him go off some defensive responsibility not to risk a second yellow. We did well to shut the shop more in the second half, but we had Raheem and Shelvey leading our counter attacks a few times - he either missed a pass or shot (that brilliant pass).

With Enrique sticking out wide too much and helping Agger, Suarez was left with no real service. The first time we really crossed the halfway line as a team was in the 81st minute, and then we kept Everton in their own half for the rest 10 minutes or so. They panicked and realized a point would also be good, but it just proves that maybe we could have been more patient with our moves, I'm sure if we waited 10 minutes into the second half with only 1 sub and not changing anything (in the end it turned out that Mirallas was taken off during half time and stuff like that, Rodgers could have waited to see how the game was going to pan out in the second half), we would've had things to offer later on and have more time and a higher chance of winning the game.


5. Final word
In the end they robbed with that decision. Suarez had maybe the second best performance since he's been at the club. Taking everything into account, having 7 players who played a large part on Thursday (of course, we can talk about the decision to play Johnson on Thursday, knowing his struggle with niggles after playing a few 90 minute games in a row, or even starting Sahin in a game like this), our injuries, lack of depth & quality, this was a game with almost a same number of positives and negatives.

Everton have proved that they're still an average team and all this hype (I still say that we should not have gone for Jelavic, even though I'm surprised how well he's done so far) will soon hit reality, I expect us to finish above them. You saw it in their tactics today, they missed a few players but their general play stayed the same. Concentrate on the positives from this, it's a great lesson for the kids and make the most of it for the coming games.
 

Broomy

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Tuesday's Scouts #2 - Dries Mertens


Tuesday's Scouts - Off the Ball with Macedonian Red

Brendan Rodgers recently revealed he is hopeful of adding to his squad when the transfer window re-opens and has confirmed the club's scouting team are in the process of monitoring potential targets. New head of scouting and recruitment Dave Fallows, who joined the Reds from Manchester City last month, is drawing up a list of possible targets but Rodgers insists he will have the final say on who is signed.

Every Tuesday, I will be asking the TIA Scouting Team to pick one player who would be be an ideal scouting candidate for the Liverpool team this January Transfer window....

This week, TIA Forum Member Macedonian Red takes a look at a Belgian footballer currently playing for Dutch Eredivisie club PSV Eindhoven, for whom he is a prolific goalscorer, and for Belgium.

Macedonian Red said:
If I had to pick one realistic target that I would pursue in January, it would probably be Dries Martens from PSV ...

Dries Mertens
Date of birth : 6 May 1987 (age 25)
Place of birth : Belgium
Current club : PSV Eindhoven​

I know that most LFC fans expect that Rodgers would pursue a striker in January, but I think that he actually likes Suarez as his main striking option ... Since we have already spent 10+ million on a backup striker this summer, the only logical step would be to find a quality (yet affordable) wide goalscoring forward for Rodgers' system in order to boost our attacking options and our efficiency ...

Dries Martens ticks all the boxes ... At the age of 25, he is ready for a move to a bigger club, in a bigger league ... For all of you who haven't seen him play, he is a right-footed wide forward who usually plays on the left for PSV and the Belgian national team ... He has an above average pace, a well developed technique, an ability to beat the defenders on the dribble, and a pretty accurate shot from outside the box ...

Most importantly, his goalscoring record at PSV is very impressive for a wide forward ... Since his move from Utrecht in the summer of 2011 (at a price of €8.5 million), he has scored 32 goals and has recorded 33 assists in only 63 appearances for PSV ...

Since he is under contract with PSV until the summer of 2016, he probably won't come cheap, but he would still be available for a reasonable price (probably in the €15 million range), and at reasonable wages ... His age and the absence of any significant injury over the course of his career are making him a pretty safe bet ...

I could go on writing about him, but I think that the obligatory YouTube clip will be more appropriate ...



Tuesday Scouts

Tuesday's Scouts #1 (22/10/2012) - Wilfried Bony
Tuesday's Scouts #2 (30/10/2012) - Dries Mertins
 

Hope in your heart

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That's an excellent shout from mac red. I wasn't aware of this player, as I don't follow Dutch football, but he seems a terrific prospect indeed. 32 goals in 63 appearances is about the goal/games ratio Kuyt had before coming to LFC, but 33 assists added to this is staggering indeed!... :shock:

Excellent scouting report, exactly as the one on Bony. I'm still keeping tabs on Doumbia, who would be my preferred striking reinforcement come January, but those two players are brillant finds by cardiffpete and mac red!
 

MarkMcC

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This is fast becoming my favourite thread - another good spot Mac
 

Zinedine Biscan

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Didn't somebody (thinking it was Nikola, Zoky or Miklo) say a few days ago that Mertens is a bit of a head-case? It would be good to hear a bit more about that side of him.
 

Zoran

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It was Miklo I think, he knows obviously a lot about Mertens as he played for Utrecht.
 

Broomy

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Liverpool 1-3 Swansea City : 5 things we Learned
League Cup Fourth Round
Wednesday, 31st October 2012


Thursday - Off the Ball with cardiffpete

Following a bitter disappointing Anfield night for Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers where we were dumped out of the League Cup at the fourth round stage after Swansea comprehensively beat the Reds 3-1 at Anfield on Wednesday night. TIA forum member cardiffpete takes a quick look at 5 things we learned from the game at Anfield yesterday....

cardiffpete said:
1) Joe Cole should never (and I do mean never) wear an LFC shirt again.
Don't care if he has a contract until June 2014, don't care if he earns 6m a year, don't care if we need to shop-window him for a possible January move. Just get rid i.e. buy him out if needed or just give him a free. Massive mistake from BR to play him tonight against a nigh-on full-strength Swansea. Almost unforgivable stuff. Play Pacheco, play Suso …heck play Sahin. The latter 2 only had 45 minutes against Everton at the weekend. Sahin is a million miles better ...and yet he wasn't even on the bench.


2) We got out-Rodgered by Swansea.
Both teams lined up 4-3-3 on the night, in a clash of who would better implement it. Swansea triumphed on the night and by a long way, almost with embarrassing ease. Swansea played some really beautiful stuff especially when put under serious pressure. They exhibited some very neat passing triangles throughout and generally passed the ball exceptionally well, displaying quick flowing and at times almost nonchalant passing ...and there were many periods where they just seemed to toy with us.

Swansea were actually a joy to watch in those phases, stringing 5~10 passes together with consummate ease. You just knew they wouldn't give the ball away cheaply - and they were very quick and incisive in counter-attack to boot. We did try our best (at various times) to pressure them but couldn't ever really get near them, let alone pressurize them into mistakes. Just take Dwight Tiendalli (LB) - a player who was an abject failure and a player who was totally out of his depth at FC Twente in Holland ...and yet we somehow made him look like a world-beater in possession football. We really should have blown Tiendalli away. In all reality, he's a very sub-standard LB, yet we never got at him and we never tested him. On the other hand, we very much struggled to match Swansea's free-flowing style.

We mostly looked hurried and generally uncomfortable when on the ball. Swansea did not give that impression. Other teams have already exposed Swansea cruelly. We just couldn't. We maybe have the better players (on paper) and to be fair this wasn't our first-choice Starting XI ...but they were by far the better team on the night. We can't even rely on the excuse that they've already played together for ages - as Michu (MOTM -and what a player!), Pablo, Tiendalli, Chico, de Guzman etc are all very recent arrivals.


3) Carra still has a role to play.
He made a good half-dozen last gasp blocks (on Pablo, Michu, Michu again, Dyer etc) ...although ultimately to no avail. Yet without him, we might have been literally torn apart on the night. Some immense blocking ...and he was in no way to blame that we played with both full-backs very high up and were thus very vulnerable to their counters, including a 3-versus-zero counter and goal. Also worthy of a note, although it's maybe another point entirely: Our entire Starting XI versus Swansea had amassed a mind-boggling 21 career goals for LFC, with Carra actually being our joint top-scorer on the pitch ....with 5 career goals. Go figure!


4) Suarez and Gerrard are being seriously over-used.
No getting around this. Suarez is our only recognized striker and Gerrard is our talisman skipper. Lose either one of them for the league campaign ahead ...and we will be truly fubar'd. Yet once again they needed to be risked. Suarez will very soon pick up his 5[sup]th[/sup] yellow and a ban (with no replacement on hand) and if we continue to over-use Gerrard it will surely backfire on us badly. Both are just irreplaceable.


5) Lucas is absolutely vital for us.
Rodgers said after the game that Allen basically played alone in our midfield all night. A tad harsh maybe, as Gerrard was half-decent second-half and he did give us some much-needed impetus. The rest were almost embarrassingly poor though. Even Allen was probably (for me) borderline good on the night, although he was still head-and-shoulders above anyone else, which is extremely worrying in-and-of-itself. BR's general point stands.

Our midfield – whether it be controlling the game, shielding the back four, initiating attacks or supporting attacks is nothing short of abysmal currently. Lucas (whenever he's back) should take it to a different level ...though maybe that's just me hoping-against-hope that a player who's been out for almost a full year can almost instantly galvanize us. He surely will though. Lucas should (hopefully) provide the instant difference between a struggling single-point-a-game team versus an onwards-and-upwards 2 points-a-game team.
 

Billy Biskix

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A brutally honest assessment. Too many people with their head in the sand about the current state of our squad. I thought Swansea were fantastic last night. Composed, very easy on the eye (much like last season) but with a real cutting edge too. They played us off the park. Michu looks like being one of the buys of the season (and for £2 million........).
 

Hope in your heart

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Agree with Billy here. It's a good assessment of where we currently stand.

We have gone massively backwards since last season this time. Hopefully it's a matter of two steps backwards before taking three steps forward. We can always hope... (sighs in despair...)
 

costared

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It is very frustrating to see players like Michu who were so cheap doing so well when we failed the striker we so badly need.
Have to agree that Cole should never have played,I will never be able to understand his inclusion. I really felt sorry for young Yesil being stranded on his own against decent quality experienced defenders.
I hope people are not going to be disappointed when Lucas gets back.A lot of people seem to think he will solve all of our defensive problems, we shall see.
 

indianscouser

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To play a certain system we need player who implement them. I always considered us a strong counter attacking team, deadly on the break. Apart from suarez gerrard, there is absolutely no goal scoring threat. Well said, suarez and gerrard are over used, and it will back fire us.I just wonder, if BR realises what a grave mistake he made by loaning carroll.
 

The Elusive 19th

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We cann't expect kids to play against men. We also cann't expect joe cole to play a decent match. Downing is still downing.

Not only we need 2 quality starting 11 players - a striker and right forward to the team, we do need another right forward player some one who will play from the bench in league and play as starter in cup games - an Assaidi type buy, a defensive midfield to add to the team, a left back(depends).

Great thread Broomy and really great contributions by every one here in this thread.

Can any one start a Loan watch thread which we had last time around? I am not having enough data on the loaned players to start it myself :)
 

Prolix

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The reassuring thing is that Swansea are, in a sense, a vision of our future. The thing that continually impresses me about them is their team cohesion and understanding. That's critically important in a passing system, and it will take time to develop here. Our 'B' squad is enormously weak, so I don't think we should read too much into this result.

What concerns me is that for two matches in a row, Rodgers was forced to make two substitutions at halftime to try and change the game. This means his team selections twice in a row have been flat-out wrong. A case can be made for the derby, but playing Joe Cole and Downing in this match instead of the likes of Suso, Pacheco, etc. was an enormously poor bit of judgement. The reassuring thing is that we will almost definitely not see Joe Cole play for us again.

Lucas should be back by the end of the month, and I hope Henderson gets a chance as the DM until then. Allen quite simply isn't cutting it in midfield on his own. Allen/Henderson is more dynamic, physical, and fluid than Allen/Shelvey. Gerrard needs to become one of the forwards to allow our midfield to be filled with the more tactical players, even if he has been playing better.
 

fowlerakagod

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Just slightly off topic but does anyone know where I could access a match day programme for the ipad? cheers
 

jayrrardno8

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How many times are these multi million pound players going to get game time when they just arnt interested (Downing , Cole)
I was in Believing that BR was going to be tough on these sorts of players there are young guys Pacheco , suso , Sahin , that have far more desire.
 

Dr Boris Gobshite

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Have to say that I really think BR dropped the ball a bit. Shelvey is a good albeit somewhat limited midfielder who operates very well as a third CM but can go missing as part of a midfield two. Partnering Shelvey and Allen with Joe Cole was never really a good idea and it shouldn't have come as a surprise that the midfield fell apart. To be honest I felt Shelvey should have started instead of Sahin at the weekend and that Sahin should have played this match whilst Henderson should have also been used in the midfield. A midfield of Allen, Henderson and Shelvey/Sahin would probably have been much better for us.
 

legalalien

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Have to say that I really think BR dropped the ball a bit. Shelvey is a good albeit somewhat limited midfielder who operates very well as a third CM but can go missing as part of a midfield two. Partnering Shelvey and Allen with Joe Cole was never really a good idea and it shouldn't have come as a surprise that the midfield fell apart. To be honest I felt Shelvey should have started instead of Sahin at the weekend and that Sahin should have played this match whilst Henderson should have also been used in the midfield. A midfield of Allen, Henderson and Shelvey/Sahin would probably have been much better for us.
Plus, as sozioo said above, Gerrard out of midfield. Preferably on the right of the front three and Sterling on the left, where he can compete more with Assaidi for a starting position as he seems to have gone off the boil a bit lately. Too many games at a young age?
 

Dr Boris Gobshite

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Plus, as sozioo said above, Gerrard out of midfield. Preferably on the right of the front three and Sterling on the left, where he can compete more with Assaidi for a starting position as he seems to have gone off the boil a bit lately. Too many games at a young age?
I was talking more about just the Swansea game with Gerrard being rested. Our central midfield is quite strong but we have players with notable strengths and weaknesses and certain combinations that work and some that don't. Joe Cole in a central role is a combination that doesn't work no matter who is around him, I assume he was deployed there in part to give Yesil more support but it didn't work and never has for Cole. I don't buy into this idea of him never playing for us again because I think he can be useful in a wide role but we need to put to bed the idea that he can play in a central role. He can't.

I don't really think Gerrard in a wide role is something we need to look at just yet. Possibly a fit Lucas might change that but then a fit Lucas alongside Allen would give Gerrard plenty of attacking license. If Sahin or Shelvey really hit a hot streak then it could be interesting to try an attacking quartet of Suarez, Gerrard, Shelvey/Sahin and Suso/Sterling.
 

1988greatestteam

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5 things? i think it could be a lot more...

We are a club in transition...
We have few truly world class players...
We have a few good premier league class players...
We have many average players..
Anfield is not the fortress it was..

They are the bleedin obvious ones unfortunately...there could be a sack full more by 6 o clock Sunday or not, but the picture is not very rosey really.

But my first point is "transition" this is the main thing we all must learn. We are going to have dodgy results from time to time but we cant throw our dummys at the ma.....At the very least there is a plan and we have a direction, justs needs a lot of tweeking and patience, yes that word "patience"
 

Broomy

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Liverpool 1 - 1 Newcastle: 5 things we Learned
Premier League - Sunday 4th November


Sunday - Off the Ball with lfc.eddie

Once again, it was Luis Suarez who took centre stage as Liverpool earned a point for a dominant Liverpool against 10-man Newcastle at Anfield. TIA forum member lfc.eddie takes a quick look at 5 things we learned from the game at Anfield today....

lfc.eddie said:
1. Overuse of Allen
I think he has a lot in him at such young age. His maturity is above a lot of our players today and his work rate is second to none. But Allen is only human, and Rodgers is overusing and trusting him way too much. Over the past 2 games he has not been himself and he has been misplacing passes. While I don’t think many could take that spot up, I would try and give Henderson a start in some of those cup games, rather than keep using Allen. He wasn’t himself in this game.


2. No adventurous players
I do not know why and what is wrong with our players, but we do not seem to like to attack teams with numbers. We don’t pile up in the box when we are attacking. We tend to stay back, drop outside the 18 yard box. Nobody makes a run into the box. This could be confidence issue, as we have been caught from a few counter attacks which cost us games. In second half, we started to push forward in numbers with more bodies in the box and it shows. We had a lot more shots on goal, and actually scored one.


3. Style of play
Rodgers kept saying about playing those passing game and possession football. That style of play is nothing new to the team. All but one of our previous managers emphasised on possession football. Style of play is not really a problem. The problem is application of it, when the players are on the pitch. Lacking of movement made us look rather stale in the first half. We had a lot of movement in the first 10 minutes and soon faded away.

Without intelligent players with interchanging of movement, we become predictable. Teams started to close us down a lot quicker and that has caught Allen off guard lately. This is my concern when it comes to Rodgers. He may have the style and tactic drilled into the players, but he may not have encountered teams that come to us, setup for a draw and stifle us. Nobody does that to Swansea, and clearly Newcastle was doing that to us in the entire game. Soak up the pressure and launch a counter. Every team will do that when they play Liverpool FC.

Incidentally, the goal did not come from a calculated move. Did not come from a 25 passes and tear Newcastle’s defence to pieces before slotting the ball into the net. It comes from a long ball, a direct long pass from a left back to Suarez. The pass caught Newcastle off guard and that magic touch and skills of Suarez did the rest.


4. Inexperience is showing
Apart from confidence, inexperience from the likes of Suso and Sterling is quite glaring when playing against teams like Newcastle, teams that soaked up our pressure and wait to see what we would do and react. These types of teams tend to test the intelligence and experience of our players. There are times when Suso should look up and lay the ball to Suarez or Sahin, he opted to take another touch and then took a shot in a crowded box. There are times where Sterling should just move into the box after laying the ball off to Suarez or Enrique. Instead he stood still after his pass. Same goes for Suso on ball watching and Sterling on over dribbling.


5. Conclusion
While we are trying to get used to that “tiki-taka” or “Rodgers’ pass and move”, he needs to realise we need to mix it up. When a team like Liverpool is not getting results, confidence level dropped faster than the likes of Swansea. Pressure is much higher and doubt will sink in deeper. When that happens, no matter what style of play you try to “educate” or preach, it would not go into the players’ head. And that is where things fall apart.

We are now over relying on Suarez. ISMF stated in the Post Match thread that only 2 goals we scored this whole season where Suarez was not involved in assist or scoring it himself. That itself should worry not only Rodgers, but the other players. I hope Rodgers is as anal over details as Rafa. That would be the only way to teach the youngsters what to do, if they do not have a senior player to learn from.
 

i_still_miss_fowler

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Just to clarify that STAT, it didnt include own goals. If you include own goals, there are 3 he did not contribute. Gerrard vs United, Skrtel vs City and the final Norwich goal were Barnett scored OG (from Gerrards shot).

Newcastle - Scored
Everton - Scored + deflected suarez shot for Baines OG
Reading - Assist
Stoke - No goals
Norwich - Scored 3 + Assist (+ Barnett OG)
United - (Gerrard)
Sunderland - Scored
Arsenal - No goals
City - Scored (+ Skrtel)
WBA - No goals
 

DEVGRU

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1. This is a season of transition. 90% of supporters understand this. 10% think its the end of the world and we suck as bad as when Roy was in charge. Different situation. Different manager. Different background. And different set of players. Stop looking back in anger and try to be positive for god's sakes. Give the boys a chance won't you!
2. We actually have a very good side but a thin squad that is lacking quality in numbers
3. We don't have a 5/10 yard box goal poacher who can put away half chances
4. We can over run teams for 45 minutes and not win a match consistently
5. Give credit to the youngsters because they have continued to produce and to play consistently well for their age and will continue to grow and develop as players because they are getting premier league experince and exposure.
 

indianscouser

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1. This is a season of transition. 90% of supporters understand this. 10% think its the end of the world and we suck as bad as when Roy was in charge. Different situation. Different manager. Different background. And different set of players. Stop looking back in anger and try to be positive for god's sakes. Give the boys a chance won't you!
2. We actually have a very good side but a thin squad that is lacking quality in numbers
3. We don't have a 5/10 yard box goal poacher who can put away half chances
4. We can over run teams for 45 minutes and not win a match consistently
5. Give credit to the youngsters because they have continued to produce and to play consistently well for their age and will continue to grow and develop as players because they are getting premier league experince and exposure.
Nailed it.
But i beg to ask one question?
will the management stick with him? Apparently FSG seem to change managers like clothes. If they do, then we are back to square 1 i.e. no mans land. And i am of the opinion that BR learns from his mistakes. Probably he doesnt have much option now, but he is a top guy. Just get behind him.
 

redbj

hurry up, July 1st, let's get the show on the road
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The reassuring thing is that Swansea are, in a sense, a vision of our future.
nope.

if thats what we are trying to emulate then i give up.

and im not taking you out of context either, the words 'swansea' and 'liverpools vision' is ridiculous, we can debate all decade long, but in this very working mans game of action not words;

just dont aim to be swansea.

just dont do it LFC.

we won the european cup 7 years ago with a squad not a million miles away from ours right now, sometimes you cant sell your dreams ona future that might never happen.

demand results from the club today.
 

LFC-Orlando

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Plus, Swansea is the "master" of us and we are trying to clone ourselves to become like our master.

Hence why we lost the other day (law of Physics is that a clone can't beat its master).

:)

In all seriousness though, and since our manager's post Capital One interview said that the "better team won", I am concerned about this metaphor "like Swansea, I want to be like Swansea" mania.

I certainly hope supporters stand up and not allow anyone try to clone us to be like Swansea. I think our owners thought, well if BR was able to get a low cost team to perform so well, imagine what he'll do with a heavy weight like LFC.

What do our owners know anyway?