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Old 07-10-19, 02:11 PM   #1201
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Tis true, we could be looking at 10 wins out of 8 with a better midfield!
I mean I know results in the league this season couldn't be any better, but maybe some of the tighter games would have been that bit more comfortable or convincing?

There's a design for this team with the players we've signed, but I still don't think we've been able to see much of 'plan A' in terms of the midfield.
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Old 07-10-19, 03:20 PM   #1202
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Depends on what Klopp wants from his midfield trio;
Is he he happy knowing that keeping all of the front three quiet for 90 mins is a hard task for any defence so as long as the midfield presses and wins the ball back. If so, then it's performing the role to perfection.
However, if he wants more goals from midfield, then I think we can all see that isn't happening. Altho it does appear that out of the 3, Gini has the most license to break forwards and if he was a more accomplished finisher then he could easily break double figures this season. Maybe that's the role that Klopp think Ox can fill?
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Old 07-10-19, 03:33 PM   #1203
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Depends on what Klopp wants from his midfield trio;
Is he he happy knowing that keeping all of the front three quiet for 90 mins is a hard task for any defence so as long as the midfield presses and wins the ball back. If so, then it's performing the role to perfection.
However, if he wants more goals from midfield, then I think we can all see that isn't happening. Altho it does appear that out of the 3, Gini has the most license to break forwards and if he was a more accomplished finisher then he could easily break double figures this season. Maybe that's the role that Klopp think Ox can fill?
I think he's happy as it is but if any of the front 3 were injured then we'd be riding our luck a bit. That's my slant on it anyway
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Old 07-10-19, 04:21 PM   #1204
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There's no way we bought Naby and Ox with the intention of them playing as few minutes as each of them have so far.
In which case what we're seeing is an improvised midfield/s, suited to the players we have available or up and running in terms of fitness.

Bringing a in pre injury Ox or Red Bull Naby for Hendo or Gini changes the dynamic of the midfield in a big way.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:37 PM   #1205
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I would say that Gini and Hendo have upped their game to keep the other two out of the team.

Competition for places and all that.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:37 PM   #1206
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Same as Fabinho last season, had to force his way into the team and play well to stay there.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:51 PM   #1207
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Nobody's had to up their game to keep Ox out last season, nor Naby so far this season.

I'm not saying that Gini and Hendo wouldn't play at all. They would still be the right players for certain games or opposition. Just that there must be plenty of instances where we've had to play them where we'd ideally have played 1 if not both of the others instead. And since they're not like for like, that will have influenced our set up in those games.

We bought Fabinho because we needed a dedicated DM. Obviously he has to play well to keep his place, but it was always the plan that he would establish himself as our 1st choice DM.
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Old 07-10-19, 04:57 PM   #1208
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Injuries have hampered Naby and OX , hoping in a month or two they are playing to ease the burden on the usual 3 / 4 who play most weeks
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Old 07-10-19, 05:04 PM   #1209
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Yeah I get that
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Old 18-10-19, 08:23 PM   #1210
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/18/s....co/FSwiJypHNs

Liverpool’s Opponents: So Close, So Far, So Frustrated

Liverpool is unbeaten and has led the Premier League race all season. So why do so many of its beaten rivals feel they could have fared better?


By Rory Smith
Oct. 18, 2019, 1:27 p.m. ET

LIVERPOOL, England — When Chris Wilder went into the changing room, he did not try to sugarcoat it. His Sheffield United team had lost to Liverpool at Bramall Lane, and he did not really understand why.

Wilder told his players that they had missed a “massive opportunity.” They had, he said, succeeded in frustrating Liverpool, the European champion. They had forced the runaway leader of the Premier League into an “off day.” They had created a handful of chances to score, and their goalkeeper had barely needed to make so much as a “regulation” save. And then, in the end, Liverpool had beaten them anyway.

A week earlier, Chelsea Manager Frank Lampard had been a little more positive. He had congratulated his players in his postmatch debriefing at Stamford Bridge on matching Liverpool — particularly in the second half — and on remaining “right in the game” until the end. He said he felt they had merited at least a point. They did not get one, of course. Liverpool won that day, too.


It was the same after Leicester, when Brendan Rodgers felt his team was “in control of the situation,” and “might even go on to win.” It was the same at Southampton, when Ralph Hassenhüttl was pleased with how his side “had big chances to score, and stretched them very early.”


Sean Dyche, of Burnley, felt the score line when his team hosted Liverpool flattered the visitors; Newcastle’s Steve Bruce believed his side’s fixture at Anfield hinged to no small extent on a goalkeeping error. Liverpool has played eight Premier League games so far this season. Almost every time, its opponents have felt they have acquitted themselves well, had a chance, done enough. Every single time, Liverpool has won anyway. It is just that it is not always clear how.


There is a contrast, here, with the team Liverpool has to dethrone if it is to win a first domestic championship for three decades: Manchester City. Over the course of the last two seasons, Pep Guardiola’s team has won 64 of 76 games, and won most of them well.

In the aftermath of his team’s 8-0 defeat at City last month, for example, the Watford manager, Quique Sánchez Flores, observed that it was clear within 15 minutes that it was “impossible” for his team to resist the sky-blue tide. It is the sort of thing opposition managers often say about Manchester City. Guardiola’s team possesses a superiority that is visible to the naked eye. It does things that other managers, other fans, know their team simply cannot do.


The same is said less easily of Liverpool. It has, in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino, a front three that is the envy of almost every other team in soccer. In Virgil Van Dijk, it boasts arguably the finest central defender in the world. Alisson Becker, absent for all but 37 minutes of this season so far, could lay claim to the same status among goalkeepers.

But Liverpool’s style is not, or at least does not immediately seem to be, as slick as Manchester City’s. It is not as technically flawless, not as boundlessly inventive, not as smoothly mechanical.

Its squad is not quite as packed with supreme talent. It picked up Andy Robertson and Georginio Wijnaldum from teams that had been relegated. Joel Matip arrived on a free transfer from Schalke, and few opposition fans understand quite how Jordan Henderson became the Champions League-winning captain of one of the world’s biggest clubs, or racked up 55 appearances for the English national team. These are not players who command the same awe as Kevin De Bruyne or Bernardo Silva.


It is not as evident as quickly why Liverpool, as it heads to Manchester United this weekend, has won 17 Premier League games in a row, or why it has an eight-point lead at the top of the table, or why it has reached two Champions League finals in a row.

All of those managers who have fallen this year have had a point: there are times when Liverpool does seem to struggle to click into gear, when its passing goes haywire, when even its vaunted forward line seems out of sorts. There are times when Liverpool seems vulnerable, as if it might stumble. Increasingly, those times come just before it chalks up another win.

The easy explanation for this, of course, is the one that will give most solace to City: that Liverpool, basically, gets lucky.


The winning goal against Wilder’s Sheffield United was a basic goalkeeping error; so, too, was the strike that gave Liverpool the lead against Newcastle. Rodgers’s Leicester lost because of a “soft” injury-time penalty. Hassenhüttl’s Southampton missed a glorious late opportunity to equalize. Burnley was undone, largely, by a mis-hit cross from Trent Alexander-Arnold and a mis-hit pass from its defender, Ben Mee.

It is not an argument entirely without merit; it is hard to argue, certainly, that Liverpool’s performances this season and those of Manchester United have diverged quite as widely as the 15-point gap between the teams entering Sunday might suggest. There is hope, in that, for Guardiola; at some point, presumably, Liverpool’s good fortune will run out, and the ball will bounce the other way.

It is not, though, quite that straightforward. In all but one game this season, Liverpool has created more and better chances than its opponent, according to Opta’s Expected Goals metric. It has, in that sense, deserved to win all of its games, the visit to Chelsea apart.

That cognitive dissonance hints at an alternative explanation for why so many coaches have felt their teams might have avoided defeat against Liverpool, if only they had not made one or other telling mistake. Where Manchester City’s great strength is in making itself look good, at least part of Liverpool’s success can be explained by its capacity to make its opponent look bad.



Jurgen Klopp’s team has undergone several small but significant transformations in the last two years. Last season’s incarnation chose its moments to unleash its press more carefully, and became more comfortable in possession. This year’s is experimenting with a higher defensive line, squeezing the play, restricting space.

Its primary tenets, though, remain constant: Klopp’s style is designed to force and then ruthlessly exploit errors. City is at its best when it is sweeping through teams; Liverpool’s aim is, instead, to disrupt them. It is why opponents often feel they have been complicit in their downfall. It is why it can be hard to understand Liverpool’s superiority. It does not seem to be doing things other teams cannot do. It is just doing them better.

It is doing them more, too. Last summer, in the aftermath of its Champions League win, Liverpool came under considerable pressure — both internally and externally — to bolster its resources, to build from a position of strength. Michael Edwards, the team’s sporting director, refused and resisted. In part, that was strategic: it is fair to assume that Liverpool was keeping its powder dry in order to invest more substantially in summers to come.

But it was also an acknowledgment of what Klopp had built. Edwards, like Klopp, felt this team had more to give. On the road to the Champions League final last season, Klopp had described his players as “mentality monsters.” There was a desire not to disturb that precious, fragile team spirit.



It was no coincidence that Liverpool was in Leicester’s penalty area, deep into injury time, seeking a winning goal, just before it was awarded a penalty. It has not come upon those goalkeeping errors or defensive mistakes by accident. If City blow teams away, then Liverpool, when it needs to, merely grinds them down.

The question, now, is whether it can last the course. The challenge ahead is considerable, starting with a run of fixtures over the next few weeks that includes not just Manchester United on Sunday but Tottenham and Manchester City, too. Liverpool also must navigate the added complication of a December trip to the Club World Cup in Qatar.

And, most of all, it must maintain its focus in the white heat of a title race that seemed to start almost on the first day of the season, a consequence of the standard City has set.


There has been no jockeying for position, no chance to ease in to the season: Liverpool had to hit the ground running, and it will have to keep sprinting until the end. Manchester City will be lying in wait for any slip by its rival, any sign that the psychological pressure of delivering the club’s first title since 1990 is starting to tell. Liverpool has no choice. It has to keep going, keep winning, even if, at times, nobody seems quite clear how.
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Old 18-10-19, 08:40 PM   #1211
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(caveat I only read bit of that but my point is a general one)

I'm not comfortable with the general media love in at the moment. We lost a lead this big in a few games last season. Journos paid to try to see patterns in recent form and then extrapolate into interesting absolutes to get readers.

We're playing well for this stage in the season. Results are a lot better than usual. I'm enjoying the ride. But there's a long way to go.
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Old 18-10-19, 09:03 PM   #1212
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(caveat I only read bit of that but my point is a general one)

I'm not comfortable with the general media love in at the moment. We lost a lead this big in a few games last season. Journos paid to try to see patterns in recent form and then extrapolate into interesting absolutes to get readers.

We're playing well for this stage in the season. Results are a lot better than usual. I'm enjoying the ride. But there's a long way to go.
True, but if the form continues it's only gonna get more intense, so better get used to it I suppose.
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Old 18-10-19, 09:09 PM   #1213
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True, but if the form continues it's only gonna get more intense, so better get used to it I suppose.
Cold as ice you.
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Old 19-10-19, 12:22 PM   #1214
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True, but if the form continues it's only gonna get more intense, so better get used to it I suppose.
If form continues we'll take the league by 40 points so will be over by Christmas

If only. Lol.
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Old 03-11-19, 11:18 PM   #1215
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https://theathletic.com/1338356/2019...-pep-knows-it/

Jamie Carragher remembers the “shitty win” at Bolton in 2010 and the way it “felt so big” because it moved Liverpool out of the relegation zone. “It was like, ‘Fuckin’ ’ell, we feel like a small team now,’” Carragher reflected, painfully.

How Liverpool’s world has changed.

The weekend marked nine years since Liverpool’s narrow victory at what was then the Reebok Stadium thanks to a late goal, scored by Maxi Rodriguez in the 86th minute.

The manager of that team was Roy Hodgson and during that autumn, he had delivered coaching sessions geared toward increasing the confidence of a misfiring Fernando Torres, with forwards outnumbering the defenders by seven to three on some occasions. In theory, it would increase the number of goalscoring chances Torres would have in training.

It says much about the transformation at Liverpool that while one manager wanted to make it unrealistically easier for his stars, another is currently increasing the levels of difficulty.

It cannot be overestimated how much value Jurgen Klopp places on preparation. Those who know him best say he makes more decisions about the future of the players and the team he selects based on what he sees on the training pitch rather than the Anfield pitch.

Why did Divock Origi get more chances than Xherdan Shaqiri in the important games at the end of last season despite the clamour to include the Swiss winger? “Because of the way Divock trained — I could not ignore it,” Klopp said. Why is Adam Lallana getting a chance as a No 6 when he’s never played there in his life? The answer to that is rooted in Lallana’s application at Melwood.

The chances of Liverpool winning against the odds, as they did with two goals at the death against Aston Villa, have increased because of the working culture Klopp has created. He is hard on his players.

Whereas other managers might believe in rest during busy periods of the season, he invests in labour. Since becoming European champions in June, he has challenged Liverpool’s forwards by turning the odds against them.

Defence versus attack sessions often involve more defenders than attackers. On some days, he sets up nine-on-11 practice matches, and scenarios where he sets the scoreline at 3-1 to the team with more players.

One of the reasons Liverpool are able to blow opponents away in the space of five minutes is because of the intensity he demands in such role-plays. A two-goal deficit means scoring just once — which would normally be considered an achievement with fewer players — wouldn’t count for anything.

There was a time when Liverpool were considered as nothing without Mohamed Salah. That is not the case any longer. The Egyptian had been off the pitch for 22 minutes by the time Liverpool drew level at Villa Park and his replacement, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, offered the sort of energy and force that was previously lacking in some areas of Liverpool’s performance.

“Our mentality was fantastic,” Sadio Mane announced with the sort of confidence that assured there wasn’t any room for discussion around the matter. He had assisted Liverpool’s 87th-minute equaliser with a gorgeous cross, then headed the winner seven minutes later. “At 1-0 down, we kept believing,” he added. “We missed chances. But we tried, tried, and tried again.”

Ninety-miles away, Pep Guardiola would call Mane a “special talent” while also accusing him of diving, knowing that his team go to Anfield next weekend and also knowing that Liverpool have won their past two home matches because of penalties from fouls on Mane. Yet he also praised Liverpool’s resilience. When a team keeps scoring late, “it does not happen by accident,” he said.

Klopp was asked whether he thought it was inevitable Liverpool would recover. Moments before their equaliser — headed in by Andy Robertson, who directed Liverpool’s players back to their own half in preparation for another onslaught on Villa’s goal — it had felt like a new danger presented itself before this Liverpool team.

There appeared an assumption they would somehow reel the opponent back in and beat them, simply because it has happened before. Villa were soaking up the pressure and the raucous home support — which seriously impressed Klopp — was seizing on all positives.

“I don’t always believe,” Klopp admitted. “But I never give up.” Over the course of six days, Liverpool had beaten three decent opponents after being behind. In all, Liverpool have already secured 10 points from losing positions this season — the most of any team in the Premier League. It’s worth noting that even without those points, they would be in the top four and on course to qualify for the Champions League again.

In Klopp’s four years as Liverpool’s manager, there have been 15 victories secured after the 80th minute of games and 11 of those have come after minute 86 — the most of any English top-flight team during the same period.

It was Liverpool’s first injury-time winner from a corner in the Premier League since March 2004, when Sami Hyypia connected with Steven Gerrard’s delivery in a 1-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield.

The scene at the end was marvellous, encapsulating what sport can do to all of the participants. The groan around Villa Park when five minutes of injury time were announced encouraged Liverpool. In front of the press box, one home supporter chucked some papers onto the side of the pitch.

“I fucking knew it…” he moaned a few minutes later, storming out the ground after Mane sent Liverpool back to Merseyside with all three points.

The outcome felt unfair on Villa, whose entire team seemed to collapse at the same time on the final whistle, while Liverpool’s players celebrated around them. Tyrone Mings had been a colossus at the back, often seeming to repel Liverpool’s threats with his massive body alone. But now he was lying on the floor. Nobody seemed able to lift him.

Mings and his defensive partner Bjorn Engels had already headed more crosses away than any other defensive pairing in the Premier League this season. Yet Liverpool kept throwing them their way, testing their endurance. Though Mings was not injured, Liverpool had made him look that way.

It would be tempting to conclude that this was a unique example of the unscripted drama of football. Yet listen to the stories of Liverpool’s players — the way they speak about Klopp’s regime — and you realise the possibility of remarkable turnarounds and scenes like these are increased because of his methods.

The “lucky Liverpool” brigade should not forget that Roberto Firmino’s equaliser in the first half was ruled offside because of the position of his armpit, a judgment that sounds ridiculous even as you write it.


In the second half, Liverpool should have had a penalty but neither the referee nor his video assistants saw the handball when Engels clearly saved Oxlade-Chamberlain’s powerful strike. As Liverpool pushed for an equaliser, a foul on Firmino from a corner was also missed — Mings grabbed the back of his shirt and Marvelous Nakamba almost strangled him.

Yet rather than bemoan their own ill-fortune, Liverpool kept going.

Perhaps Liverpool’s approach can be summed up simply. “This is not an accident,” Dejan Lovren said. That was followed by cameras picking up footage of Klopp grabbing the defender outside Liverpool’s dressing room with the sort of harder embrace reserved for boxing champions.

Lovren was one of eight players in Liverpool’s squad on the weekend to have already been at the club when Klopp took charge in 2015. Klopp’s message to them four years ago? “Training isn’t fair.”
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Old 04-11-19, 12:00 AM   #1216
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Great read, thanks for posting.

I could read endless articles on the current setup. The ethos attitude and approach is fascinating.
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Old 04-11-19, 08:02 AM   #1217
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Just watched the highlights of our game and getting a tad emotional.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing bad or toxic at our club at the moment. Our players play for each other, we've got supportive owners who are happy to sit quietly at the side and the whole management team is just perfect.

I'm not saying anything we don't already know, it's just hit home hard with me this weekend. Having supported us for close on 50 years, i don't think I've loved being a fan as much as I do at the moment
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Old 04-11-19, 12:17 PM   #1218
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Just watched the highlights of our game and getting a tad emotional.

There is nothing, absolutely nothing bad or toxic at our club at the moment. Our players play for each other, we've got supportive owners who are happy to sit quietly at the side and the whole management team is just perfect.

I'm not saying anything we don't already know, it's just hit home hard with me this weekend. Having supported us for close on 50 years, i don't think I've loved being a fan as much as I do at the moment



True that. Klopp has made us believers like he said he would. Teams of old wouldn’t have come back to win the matches we’ve won late on lately. This team fights till the final whistle which is such a change in mindset from the past 10+ years.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:36 AM   #1219
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The commentary team last night said that TAA has had more touches in the PL this season than any other player.

In second place... Robbo



That is pretty extraordinary.
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Old 06-11-19, 11:41 AM   #1220
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Much of our play out from the back is via our full backs, then the often (invisible/lightweight) midfield will return the ball back to the now more advanced full backs to continue the attack build up while the midfield slip away for a quick bifter and a peroni.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:39 PM   #1221
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The commentary team last night said that TAA has had more touches in the PL this season than any other player.

In second place... Robbo



That is pretty extraordinary.
In what way? They have both played every game (I think) and it's generally only defenders who top this table.
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Old 06-11-19, 12:58 PM   #1222
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In what way? They have both played every game (I think) and it's generally only defenders who top this table.
There's me thinking

a) midfielders would be more likely to top the list
b) central players ditto
c) City players ditto
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Old 06-11-19, 01:06 PM   #1223
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There's me thinking

a) midfielders would be more likely to top the list
b) central players ditto
c) City players ditto
Only 1 dm in top 10
5 fbs, 1 wide man in top 10
Ridrigo their only player and he's 19th.

https://www.premierleague.com/stats/top/players/touches
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Old 06-11-19, 02:08 PM   #1224
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Only 1 dm in top 10
5 fbs, 1 wide man in top 10
Ridrigo their only player and he's 19th.

https://www.premierleague.com/stats/top/players/touches
Well, that's surprised me.
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Old 06-11-19, 02:31 PM   #1225
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Well, that's surprised me.
It's probably down to the fact that City rotate more. the top 5 average approx 100 touches per game. I Imagine Pro Rata that Rodrigo and De Bruyne would be in the top 5 or not far off.
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Old 06-11-19, 05:01 PM   #1226
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It's probably down to the fact that City rotate more. the top 5 average approx 100 touches per game. I Imagine Pro Rata that Rodrigo and De Bruyne would be in the top 5 or not far off.
Exactly. Touches per 90 minutes played would be interesting to see.
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Old 07-11-19, 12:23 PM   #1227
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Its great that fabinho can do most of the sitting and tidying up, and then allow the ther two midfielders to go marauding into enemy territory, but they often seem reluctant to do it...
It wasnt so long ago that hendo had a few games were he pushed forward and it really made a difference.
Ox seems most willing to push on, keita can onoy do it on youtube highlights

It should be an easy job for our midfielders to be a bit more adventurous knowing fabinho has got their back covered.
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Old 08-11-19, 12:23 PM   #1228
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Gini is more than capable of popping up in the box too. Not so good at shooting from long range but he’s pretty effective in the 18yd box though.
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Old 08-11-19, 05:53 PM   #1229
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Yet another BBC article 'exposing' our weakness of struggling against a 3-5-2 formation. As if other managers don't already know this by now.

I wonder how close Jurgen is to altering our shape to scupper this
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Old 08-11-19, 06:02 PM   #1230
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Yet another BBC article 'exposing' our weakness of struggling against a 3-5-2 formation. As if other managers don't already know this by now.

I wonder how close Jurgen is to altering our shape to scupper this
Yeah i saw that, seems a bit basic doesn't it? Sheffield United / Man United both happy to cede possession and territory so they can break on us - not something City will gladly do for 90 minutes I wouldn't think. That article someone posted says if anything Pep wants to control the game through possession, in which case yes we will be 2 vs 2 sometimes, but then they'll be 3 vs 3 sometimes. Big whoop! I'm hoping Pep ends up overthinking this a bit and we just go with the crowd and smash through them
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Old 08-11-19, 06:06 PM   #1231
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City parked the bus at Anfield last season, so I wouldn't rule it out.
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Old 08-11-19, 06:09 PM   #1232
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Yeah i saw that, seems a bit basic doesn't it? Sheffield United / Man United both happy to cede possession and territory so they can break on us - not something City will gladly do for 90 minutes I wouldn't think. That article someone posted says if anything Pep wants to control the game through possession, in which case yes we will be 2 vs 2 sometimes, but then they'll be 3 vs 3 sometimes. Big whoop! I'm hoping Pep ends up overthinking this a bit and we just go with the crowd and smash through them
Of the games they mentioned, which included the Genk one, we won 2 and drew one. BBC seem to oun hope that if City try it it'll be more effective as they're quality is better.

Shut up BBC
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Old 08-11-19, 06:11 PM   #1233
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City parked the bus at Anfield last season, so I wouldn't rule it out.
They did and it served them well in the end but we did come 12mm from winning it. I'd be happy enough for them to do that again because with limited opportunities the game starts to get to Sterling and he fades
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Old 08-11-19, 06:16 PM   #1234
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And that article was written by Stephen Warnock (ghost written of course).

He's never come across as particularly insightful, let alone as someone to give the likes of Pep advice.
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Old 08-11-19, 06:23 PM   #1235
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I don't ever recall seeing articles going in to the nuances of beating teams, to mention the part about the space between central back and full back just seemed really unfair
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Old 08-11-19, 07:35 PM   #1236
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City parked the bus at Anfield last season, so I wouldn't rule it out.
They played a more restrained game for sure with emphasis on keeping the ball, maintaining shape and staying wide. They were terrified of losing the ball centrally and get caught in transition as they had done in previous games at Anfield
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Old 12-11-19, 06:26 AM   #1237
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I’ll put it here as it applies is to both full backs - some stat if true:

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Old 12-11-19, 07:27 AM   #1238
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Worth £400m at least

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Old 12-11-19, 11:22 AM   #1239
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That 3 5 2 seems to stifle us so much , what with only 34 points so far this season.

Robbo and Trent fucking tremendous every week as well

We play one game where we struggle and the press make an issue about it.
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Old 12-11-19, 11:41 AM   #1240
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That 3 5 2 seems to stifle us so much , what with only 34 points so far this season.

Robbo and Trent fucking tremendous every week as well

We play one game where we struggle and the press make an issue about it.
Think some of the people in our match threads make more of an issue than the press.
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