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Who would you buy?

Red over the water

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May 13, 2018
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2,654
We might sign a good, creative/attacking midfielder. If we do, great!

I think we have two of them who do their best work through the middle taking it to the opposition, and we didn't see anything of one of them this past season (Ox) and barely anything (Keita) of the other.

My best guess is Klopp will see what's what next season integrating the two of them more fully into his side.
 

JibJab

Mo Mane Mo' Problems
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Hendo is a much better 8 than he was when he was slotted into the 6. Our worst performances in the midfield this year came with the Milner-Hendo-Wijnaldum axis. But Fabinho taking over the 6 made a big difference from my point of view.

I still think we could use a true #10, but I have hope that Ox will add a level of dynamism to our midfield that was lacking a points this season.
 

Kenny Dalglish LFC Legend

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Hendo was used a 6 by Klopp because he actually had the most football IQ and discipline to do what Klopp wanted in that role. Was it ideal? No. Did Klopp think it ideal? No cos he bought Fabinho. Did Henderson think he was the greatest No. 6 in history? No. He did the job to a high standard but as soon as he knew there was someone better? Banging on the manager's door to let him play his bestt position. So let's not rewrite history eh?
 

Kenny Dalglish LFC Legend

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It's funny this convo... a bit surreal even. I remember when I originally signed up here, telling people he wasnt right for the midfield. No-one would have it then. Was pretty much thrown out... wasn't an option for discussion. Fast forward a couple of years and that opinion was universal.

Now, i believe anyway, people have got better-round syndrome....

Sometimes in a boxing match, you'll find that if a fighter is being outclassed for a long period, he'll get the benefit of the scoring in a round where he does better than he did before.

It's not necessarily a round he won, and if that round was judged objectively, or say it came at the beginning of the fight, he might still have lost the round... albeit by a closer margin.

Its the contrast between what went prior which gives a flattering glow to what came next. You can see the influence it has when see the commentators scorecards after a good round. Even if, really, he probably didn't win.

Henderson came in for so much stick in that deeper role, that it's difficult for the stark contrast in his current role not to have an influential effect on people's opinion.

When you combine this with the type of player he is, such a hard worker, so emotional, and obviously fiercely committed to the team, it's hard for it not to incur an emotional response which incorporates all the prior criticism that he endured , and use it to validate over the top praise of him.

The objective and admittedly unpopular truth is that, while the positional change has freed him from being constantly exposed to his biggest weaknesses, and allowed him to express his main strengths, there are still some limitations which mean that he isn't an adequate replacement for other positions in the midfield.

Those limitations are still there. They haven't gone away.

My point from the beginning is simply that Liverpool can't rely on Henderson or Milner to do the job of players who have attributes that they simply don't have, and which are fundamental to a top class midfield.

They have attributes which can complement those, no doubt. But the key areas where they are weakest, are those exact areas which will impact us if are any point we are missing them.

Make no mistake, whatever your feelings are on these two players, they're not proper replacement if someone like keita, fabinho or ox is out injured. Where keitas ability to turn and face play, or transition from defence to attack might mitigate to some degree fabinho being out, or Chamberlain s ability to break lines and transition through midfield to attack might mitigate keitas absence, neither Henderson or Milner can provide those two things specifically and our midfield becomes static and heavily reliant on the fullbacks to provide creativity.

We need someone who is, in order to unlock rotation options for that central and creative midfield position. It's critical to next season.

I'm sure you'll see klopp feels the same way in this transfer window.
The dictionary begs to differ: analogy, a comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.
Unless the stuff you wrote at the beginning was just a space filler. Then you're right it wasn't an analogy it was a waste of everybody's time.
 

jackh1092

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May 20, 2018
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I don't think midfield is a "problem area" per se, but i do think in a team of our level, it is a place that could be added too.

Someone mentioned about marginal gains for the cost, and Klopp would rather improve that via the training pitch. Personally i think Klopp has this squad maxed potentially right now, or very close to it. Yes Ox, Keita and last year's signings will have another year under their belts but i do think we are a well oiled machine.

Adding a different type of midfielder really would help for me. So would a Back-up left back as well as a good forward.

There are games at home where we completely dominate the ball, where we don't always need Fab, Wij and Keita for example. Ox and Keita could provide that attacking 3 with say, Fabinho. For me that's still a position where we could improve tho.

There is an issue with the press, and i certainly agree with that, but it's more for certain games i think we could do with an unlocker. Shaq arguably gives us this, but he isn't quite there at the level we need i'd argue. Can our scouting dpt find a Bernardo Silva? Very unlikely but they are very good at their jobs, so i hope so! Silva has the legs that Shaq lacks.
 

rab

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The fact it's the Daily Mail means we probably won't buy any of them but, the interesting name to me on that is Maxwell Cornet.

The more I think about it, the more I think we might be after a left footer primarily. Partly because I think if we're without Firmino, Salah gets the nod to step in and partly because he's our only left footed forward player other than Shaq I believe.

We know we had scouts at the recent Lyon game and it's not the first of their games we've watched. All the chat has been around a possible return for Fekir, Aouar and even Depay. But, Fekir's knee hasn't magically got better, we really don't need another 8 right now and I can't see Depay's personality endearing him to Klopp or his association with United endearing him to fans.

That leaves Cornet. A left footed wide forward that primarily plays on the right. He's got the pace and directness and fits the age profile we like to buy. Also, his contract runs out in a couple years so Aulas won't have us over a barrel.

His stats aren't as good as someone like Neres but he arguably plays in a better team in a weaker league and he's shown in the CL he can hold his own against the likes of Man City.

Given all that I'm wondering if he's perhaps an option we're looking at to add depth up top without bringing in someone expecting to start every week.
 
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shachart

"You're supposed to help people that need a bit."
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After a succesful season picking new players to strengthen the team is always hard, because you hav eto drop players as well. and it is hard to bring top players knowing they will play second fiddle at best. As good as Gomez, Matip ( outstanding this season ) and Lovren ( last season when he was fit ) are, if VVD is injured how good will they be with out him ? I think De Ligt while expensive, is probably worth it.
Milner can cover for Robbo, TAA and Gomez can alternate when needed. and if Migs is ok with it, he is a good backup for Becker. Defense sorted.

Fabinho is nailed for the DM position, but Hendo and Gini can cover for him from time to time ( there is also the possibility of Grujic ).
Box to Box - we got Hendo, Gini, Keita and Ox. a true creative attacking midfielder is where we are lacking.
another CF is also a priority , but I wouldn't go looking fora like for like replacement for Firmino, there isn't one. We need someone who can bring something else, do the things that Firmino doesn't.
 

Zoran

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Ferland Mendy of Lyon is another interesting LB. Very dangerous offensively from what I've seen. Would maybe be a tad too ambitious to have him as Robbo's backup. But just to give him another mention. Not as versatile as Guerreiro though, that's a nice bonus because Robbo is a very fit and consistent player.
 

Notasuperfan

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261
We honestly need back-ups for LB, LW and DM and a new starter that can replace any of our starting CMs( and relegate our usual starters) as our CMs are largely made up of pretty brittle stuff bar for Gini, Milner and possibly Henderson.

I wouldn't talk too much about the issue about LB and LW. The reason for a DM is very obvious as we don't really have a solid backup after Fabinho. If Fabinho gets a serious knock, we are forced to depend on Hendo and to a certain extent, Gini. I am not saying that they are bad players in that position but if they are faced with an opposition midfield that is set up to clog the wings, we are fucked as Hendo/Gini will be unable to make their late runs forward and help impact games. I am not sure if AOC is back to his best and I would not want to see Lallana starting and then wasting a sub for us as he couldn't finish a 90 minutes for various reasons.
 

Mousecat

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For a lad who only today asked to be let back in after a ban, this is some post.
To be fair Mascot, a lot of people thought the ban was harsh in the first place. Plus, it was only supposed to be for 24hrs, or 48...

That was 3 years ago.

So to be clear, I didn't ask to have a ban lifted, I just politely reminded you that it already should have been lifted. 3 years ago.
 

Mousecat

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Speaking of three years ago... And to clarify what I meant when I said "surreal" earlier on.. I was looking over the conversations when I first joined these boards. Time flies. Lots has changed. But we haven't fully transitioned yet from that old style. Not fully. Very nearly, but not quite.

The transition from that Liverpool to this one has gone in stages. But the first stage we went back to the best of it by getting Salah on board, who, in that first season was as good as Luis Suarez at his best, which I never thought I'd see again for a long time.

But we still largely bypassed the midfield.

People are talking about getting to two champions league finals with Henderson and Milner in midfield, as if it proves their quality. the basic line goes; Champions league is the pinnacle of European football, they were the midfield when we got there, therefore X plus Y = ...

The truth is, as hard working a midfield as that was, and despite being led by a much more intelligent tactician in Jurgen Klopp, the reason for our success was that we largely bypassed it, or at least paid it a fleeting visit on our way to the front line. Plus our ability as an attacking unit was much greater with chamberlain attacking from deep.

The best example of it was against Roma.

There was a point in that game where I paused the match to show who I was watching it with, that we just couldn't go near their midfield. I mean literally, there was like a no go zone in the middle of the pitch. We just did not have the ability to break that at all.

And then we hit a long pass over them, and it worked, and Klopp gestured from the sidelines to just go long, and the rest is history.

His comments afterwards were telling, too. "that must be the perfect performance" or something along those line was the leading question from the interviewer after the game.

His answer was "if we could control the game better after that, we'd be a lot closer to City in the league"

This is something he obviously values highly. It's something every top manager in the game values. In fact it's something every mediocre manager values too, but only the best coaches will be able to achieve it.

What we lack in control when Henderson and Milner are played together, puts a lot of strain on other parts of the team. The fact is, the other parts of the team have just been incredibly consistent.

We've got two players sharing the golden boot and BOTH fullbacks at record numbers for assists in premier league history. If you don't factor those two things in when analysing whether the midfield has been strong enough this season, and instead just point to the points total, that's fair enough.

Can we go into next season expecting Chamberlain and Keita to give us a full season?

We simply can't afford to. We need someone who brings what they bring to the midfield in terms of mobility and creativity. It'd be absolutely stupid to get this close, and risk going into the next season with the same limitations in midfield that we've had this season. In my opinion it really won't happen. I wouldn't even be surprised if we sign two attacking players who can play deeper.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Speaking of three years ago... And to clarify what I meant when I said "surreal" earlier on.. I was looking over the conversations when I first joined these boards. Time flies. Lots has changed. But we haven't fully transitioned yet from that old style. Not fully. Very nearly, but not quite.

The transition from that Liverpool to this one has gone in stages. But the first stage we went back to the best of it by getting Salah on board, who, in that first season was as good as Luis Suarez at his best, which I never thought I'd see again for a long time.

But we still largely bypassed the midfield.

People are talking about getting to two champions league finals with Henderson and Milner in midfield, as if it proves their quality. the basic line goes; Champions league is the pinnacle of European football, they were the midfield when we got there, therefore X plus Y = ...

The truth is, as hard working a midfield as that was, and despite being led by a much more intelligent tactician in Jurgen Klopp, the reason for our success was that we largely bypassed it, or at least paid it a fleeting visit on our way to the front line. Plus our ability as an attacking unit was much greater with chamberlain attacking from deep.

The best example of it was against Roma.

There was a point in that game where I paused the match to show who I was watching it with, that we just couldn't go near their midfield. I mean literally, there was like a no go zone in the middle of the pitch. We just did not have the ability to break that at all.

And then we hit a long pass over them, and it worked, and Klopp gestured from the sidelines to just go long, and the rest is history.

His comments afterwards were telling, too. "that must be the perfect performance" or something along those line was the leading question from the interviewer after the game.

His answer was "if we could control the game better after that, we'd be a lot closer to City in the league"

This is something he obviously values highly. It's something every top manager in the game values. In fact it's something every mediocre manager values too, but only the best coaches will be able to achieve it.

What we lack in control when Henderson and Milner are played together, puts a lot of strain on other parts of the team. The fact is, the other parts of the team have just been incredibly consistent.

We've got two players sharing the golden boot and BOTH fullbacks at record numbers for assists in premier league history. If you don't factor those two things in when analysing whether the midfield has been strong enough this season, and instead just point to the points total, that's fair enough.

Can we go into next season expecting Chamberlain and Keita to give us a full season?

We simply can't afford to. We need someone who brings what they bring to the midfield in terms of mobility and creativity. It'd be absolutely stupid to get this close, and risk going into the next season with the same limitations in midfield that we've had this season. In my opinion it really won't happen. I wouldn't even be surprised if we sign two attacking players who can play deeper.
You're still being incredibly blinkered and narrow with your thinking.

Basically summed up your posts mean you see certain qualities as essential in a good central midfield. Any centre mids that do not posses these qualities are limited and need upgrading.

You're missing the obvious, ironically you even mention a part of what you are missing in your post. Klopp doesn't have that work completed by his central midfield.

Our full backs didn't set records for assists by accident or because they are just good enough to add that to their jobs. That is their job. Along with Firmino playing the 9 position more like a false 9 too.

What you are looking for the CMs to do Klopp isn't. Klopp is getting the CMs to do other work and it's working brilliantly.

Towards the end of the season our new players had settled enough that the midfield kicked on to a new, practically elite, level.

With Ox coming back and it's current level I wouldn't touch a thing. Henderson (despite your clear personal issues) has become an elite level CM balanced between the job Klopp needs his CMs to do and adding assists. He's still not a guaranteed week in week out starter but he's as good as anyone has anywhere.

David Silva is an elite level attacking midfielder and in his last 8 games he scored 1 and assisted 2. Since he was moved forward including the Southampton game Henderson has played 8 times he has one goal and 4 assists in that time. That's comparing an attacking midfielder there only to create and help his team score to a CM who has other roles and responsibilities.

Your obvious and personal dislike for Henderson (pausing a live game to point out something and have a rant really??? I'd never watch a game with you) is completely distorting your view of the game and our performances as a side.
 

Mascot88

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To be fair Mascot, a lot of people thought the ban was harsh in the first place. Plus, it was only supposed to be for 24hrs, or 48...

That was 3 years ago.

So to be clear, I didn't ask to have a ban lifted, I just politely reminded you that it already should have been lifted. 3 years ago.
Yep, I do appreciate that.

But the point still stands. You have been back a day, and there are now forum regulars opening wondering about how long until you get another ban.

Maybe you need to reign it in a bit?
 

Mousecat

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Yep, I do appreciate that.

But the point still stands. You have been back a day, and there are now forum regulars opening wondering about how long until you get another ban.

Maybe you need to reign it in a bit?
whether people get themselves in a knot over what I'm saying doesn't make my opinion a bannable offence bud.

Let the conversation flow... we might come to some neutral ground in a bit... and if we don't, not the end of the world
 

Mascot88

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What do you mean by this?

He's as good as anyone in the world?
The problem is that you are approaching this issue as if there is one set way of playing and one desired skill set for a midfielder.

Henderson may not be what Guardiola would look for in a midfielder, but he is what Klopp needs.
 

Mascot88

Yours for £1m. Need to make room for Dean Saunders
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whether people get themselves in a knot over what I'm saying doesn't make my opinion a bannable offence bud.

Let the conversation flow... we might come to some neutral ground in a bit... and if we don't, not the end of the world
Your opinion isn’t the problem. It’s the way you express it.
 

Kopstar

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The problem is that you are approaching this issue as if there is one set way of playing and one desired skill set for a midfielder.

Henderson may not be what Guardiola would look for in a midfielder, but he is what Klopp needs.
I think the other problem is that fans often look at Henderson in terms of his skill set on the field, his footballing attributes. Can he do this or that effectively? Can he add something nobody else can? It's too individualistic. It's like looking at a piece in a puzzle and wondering whether it's a perfect fit to complete the perfect puzzle. But football isn't like that, it's almost impossible to create perfection. But the main thing is that when fans look at the puzzle they want to build and the pieces needed for it, they forget that it needs a box as well. Henderson's not just a piece in the puzzle, he's also the box that holds all the pieces...even the ones not always used...fully motivated and together.

Players like Henderson and Milner are invaluable - they are so incredibly self-motivated and driven and yet selfless at the same time. They ensure that nobody sulks, that cliques don't develop, that everyone pulls for the team rather than themselves. They help create the environment where players on the fringes can come in and contribute, they help push the team on to greater heights and all the time they're doing everything they can to improve themselves. Henderson's place has been constantly under threat by new arrivals in recent years. Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Fabinho, even Shaqiri...but from what I understand, no player has done more to try and integrate them into the group, encourage them, support them.

You can't simply go out and buy that nor can that be easily replaced.

What's particularly annoying about pointing all that out is that I feel like I'm doing that to mitigate his perceived failings as a footballer. But those are constantly exaggerated by his detractors. He's a very, very good footballer. Is he world class? No, that should be reserved for the absolute top of the game. Would he make the match day squad of every single top six side next season? Yes. For all but City, Liverpool (and maybe Chelsea) he'd be a guaranteed starter.
 

Mousecat

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Ok mascot ... but still nowhere near a bannable offence.

Bank to Henderson and your point about Guardiola.. I'll admit this, I can't tell you with that level of certainty that klopp does or doesn't want something more from a player in that position, I can only say this is what I think or believe will or should happen.

We cant say for sure if Bernardo Silva would relegate Henderson to squad player, but I'm sure he would. And we cant judge exactly what klopp wants from his midfielders based on what he's doing with the ones he's got now
 

William Clarke

REDSHIRT ~ I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one
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I must admit that I'm a big fan of de Ligt even though I know he would cost a lot of money in order to get him. What is he, nineteen going on twenty and yet he is already at the top of his game. He would be the perfect foil for Virgil and wouldn't need much if any bedding in considering they are a national pairing. Can we afford to bid for him? Why not? If we can go out and buy Virgil and Allison, then surely we can get money together to buy de Ligt.
 

Limiescouse

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Am I the only one who doesnt quite see why there is the fuss about De Ligt? Of all the things there was to credit Ajax about on this CL run this season, their defending was not one of them, and I didnt see anything from him in those games when it was problematic that suggested this was something happening around him.