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Old 05-10-12, 12:44 PM   #81
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It is a high risk system, but then Barcelona have played it for 6 years so its obviously high reward too. The key is personnel. If individuals keep making mistakes then you have no chance, whether you're Liverpool, Barcelona or Swansea.

This is where our youngsters come in. There have been hardly any mistakes with them yet they are excelling in this system. Look at the list of major brain-farters so far: Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson and Gerrard. All of them established internationals.

We must not revert to a defensive style just because these overpaid millionaires are deciding they're all billy big bllocks and don't need to concentrate for 90 minutes. We now have a very effective style in place. The necessary personnel will come to make this style a success. Its still headed in the right direction for me.
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Old 05-10-12, 12:54 PM   #82
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It is a high risk system, but then Barcelona have played it for 6 years so its obviously high reward too. The key is personnel. If individuals keep making mistakes then you have no chance, whether you're Liverpool, Barcelona or Swansea.

This is where our youngsters come in. There have been hardly any mistakes with them yet they are excelling in this system. Look at the list of major brain-farters so far: Reina, Agger, Skrtel, Johnson and Gerrard. All of them established internationals.

We must not revert to a defensive style just because these overpaid millionaires are deciding they're all billy big bllocks and don't need to concentrate for 90 minutes. We now have a very effective style in place. The necessary personnel will come to make this style a success. Its still headed in the right direction for me.
I pretty much disagree with all of that.

I think that Barcelona are extremely disciplined defensively. Yes, their attacks flow with mesmerising passing and movement, but not many teams get through their midfield and defence. There is a discipline which underpins their stylem which gives them the platform to express themselves. That bit is missing with us right now.

It does not matter if you are Lional Messi, Steven Gerrard or Stewart Downing, you will give the ball away at times. You can not have 100% pass completion. Impossible. So you need to mitigate the risk when it does go wrong. That doesn't mean reverting to a defensive formation, but it does mean getting the tactical basics right.

Whether players are overpaid or not is completely irrelevant. They are all carrying out the instructions given to them by the manager.

And no, I'm not sure the style is effective at getting results. It may become so, but right now it is reasonably ineffective imo.
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Old 05-10-12, 01:22 PM   #83
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I pretty much disagree with all of that.

I think that Barcelona are extremely disciplined defensively. Yes, their attacks flow with mesmerising passing and movement, but not many teams get through their midfield and defence. There is a discipline which underpins their stylem which gives them the platform to express themselves. That bit is missing with us right now.

It does not matter if you are Lional Messi, Steven Gerrard or Stewart Downing, you will give the ball away at times. You can not have 100% pass completion. Impossible. So you need to mitigate the risk when it does go wrong. That doesn't mean reverting to a defensive formation, but it does mean getting the tactical basics right.

Whether players are overpaid or not is completely irrelevant. They are all carrying out the instructions given to them by the manager.

And no, I'm not sure the style is effective at getting results. It may become so, but right now it is reasonably ineffective imo.
I share much of your concern. That said I think it is a mistake to always use Barcelona, rather than Spain as the model for what we are trying to do.

Part of the problem at the minute seems to be that the basics of tactics in the new system are different to those (at least some, probably most of) our players have been bought up with. There are questions for me as to a/ whether we can overcome that n time and b/ whether the tactics work as well in a higher tempo environment such as the PL.

Another thing which I've found interesting in the past is how Barcelona press hard for a while before effectively bluffing it. It seems to be part of a long standing strategy but on occasion it has led to real problems (I remember a CL game against Arsenal in particular where Walcott came on to change the game). I wonder if we have a problem getting the balance right at the minute or coordinating all our players. In particular the way Pacheco pressed on his own against Young Boys seems to indicate that different players are either a/ getting different messages or b/ learning at different rates.
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Old 05-10-12, 01:54 PM   #84
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some good points with regards to how we should proceed once we lose possession. chasing the ball and running into thin air like headless chickens doesnt work. their needs to be a more disciplined approach.

there has to be a middle way, not every man chasing the ball down, not every man behind the ball like sir Woy

we need the back four to fill the defensive positions. if a full back is out of position then a midfielder needs to cover.
the forwards and attacking midfielders can chase the ball and close down the oppo players in possession and the options for a quick pass. this still gives us the option to quickly win back possession.
once we have tightened up at the back, rather than continuing to sit deep we can start to push out and press the game again.

this should give us some solidity at the back, and still allow for some of the team to press the ball to give the defence time to fall back to the trenches.
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Old 05-10-12, 02:03 PM   #85
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I don't know what the answer is as I am a tactical onion, but I hope BR does, and that he starts to successfully implement it soon.

How is it possible to dominate every single game with 60% - 70% possession, but yet ship an average of more than 2 goals per game? Bonkers.
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Old 05-10-12, 02:06 PM   #86
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I don't know what the answer is as I am a tactical onion, but I hope BR does, and that he starts to successfully implement it soon.

How is it possible to dominate every single game with 60% - 70% possession, but yet ship an average of more than 2 goals per game? Bonkers.
this is the 64,000 euro question...

shows that possession alone isnt the holy grail.

would be interesting to see the possession stats from rafa's reign, maybe we did better at putting the ball away, but were less concerned about how much of it we had, but we just made it count better when we had it.

there were games when we were happy to have less of the ball, play a solid defensive game, and hit teams on the counter.
almost anti-tika-taka [< copyrighted] but nevertheless very effective...
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Old 05-10-12, 02:12 PM   #87
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I think that though attractive for us, right now, BR's tactics are inherently flawed. I don't think we have the ability to knock it about at the back under pressure (few teams do) and it was doing this for about 10 mins that brought Udinese onto us, as we sank deeper and deeper.

The fact is we are not Barcelona, Real Madrid, Spain or Swansea. It is Liverpool that BR manages now and I'd suggest we need to have a solid platform defensively to build this expansive passing game onto. I think BR is being given a greater amount of time to fit in than any manager I can remember at a big club, and that is laudable, however it is results we are interested in and they need to improve also. I wonder what his credentials for defensive coaching are, for the last goal the position of our back 4 and midfield when the ball went in was atrocious. Perhaps he needs to bring someone into the team who specialises in defensive coaching?

Not anti-BR at all, (I agree with Dom's concerns) and have been starting to warm to him, but have not been warming to losing so many games and winning so few
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Old 05-10-12, 02:12 PM   #88
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this is the 64,000 euro question...

shows that possession alone isnt the holy grail.

would be interesting to see the possession stats from rafa's reign, maybe we did better at putting the ball away, but were less concerned about how much of it we had, but we just made it count better when we had it.

there were games when we were happy to have less of the ball, play a solid defensive game, and hit teams on the counter.
almost anti-tika-taka [< copyrighted] but nevertheless very effective...
Yep, I do think the style under Rafa was almost the opposite of what we have now.

I remember him saying once that the idea was to pressure the opposition and condense the play as much as possible with the inevitable outcome that the ball would go loose quite a bit. From there, having superior players would mean that they use the ball a lot better than the opposition. And we did too. We had the best midfield in the world. It really was ours for a couple of years.
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Old 05-10-12, 02:36 PM   #89
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I think that though attractive for us, right now, BR's tactics are inherently flawed. I don't think we have the ability to knock it about at the back under pressure (few teams do) and it was doing this for about 10 mins that brought Udinese onto us, as we sank deeper and deeper.

The fact is we are not Barcelona, Real Madrid, Spain or Swansea. It is Liverpool that BR manages now and I'd suggest we need to have a solid platform defensively to build this expansive passing game onto. I think BR is being given a greater amount of time to fit in than any manager I can remember at a big club, and that is laudable, however it is results we are interested in and they need to improve also. I wonder what his credentials for defensive coaching are, for the last goal the position of our back 4 and midfield when the ball went in was atrocious. Perhaps he needs to bring someone into the team who specialises in defensive coaching?

Not anti-BR at all, (I agree with Dom's concerns) and have been starting to warm to him, but have not been warming to losing so many games and winning so few
completely agree.

Noticed this in several games this season where one of our defenders (Reina included) gets the ball in a tight space, in a defensive position & with opposition closing them down. You can see that they just want to boot the ball out of danger & try a long ball but Rogers clearly doesn't want or allow that, so we can see these nervy,heart in mouth moments with us fumbling around the back trying to pick a short pass and play the ball out of defense tika taka style. Skrtel,Reina & of course Carra seem to be really struggling with this.

We need a solid backline first and foremost and then let everyone else worry about this tika taka side of things. IMO sometimes you just need to hoof the ball and get it out of dodge!! Barca are an exception to this as they have players that can do this, whereas Rogers is forcing this upon LFC players that have been playing a certain way for years and now all of a sudden they have to change their game completely & this is showing. We look so uncomfortable in possession at the back.

Also IMO we really are changing our backline far too much. Obviously Reina has been poor for awhile but surely having different guys infront of you & switching the likes of Johnson around the place can't really be doing any good for the communication side of things.

We are great to watch, very entertaining but also "very open & very vunerable". Allen is great in possession and tries his best with the defensive sides of things... but he is not an out and out defensive midfielder, nor is Henderson, nor is Gerrard, nor is Shelvey. We need that buffer infront of an already leaky defense and goalkeeper.

Our form at Anfield though is nothing short of embarrassing, has to be sorted. Hope he chewed the bollocks of some players for their lack of concentration and laziness. I don't think i can remember a Liverpool team making so many individual errors, it's bordering on ridiculous at this stage.

Lot of positives but some really worrying concerns too.

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Old 05-10-12, 02:46 PM   #90
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I think to say that we need a solid backline is far too simplistic. The midfield and defence need to dovetail much better. That's not necessarily just by having a better defensive midfielder like Lucas. The whole midfield needs to function as unit and seamlessly link to the defence and attack. This is basic stuff, right?

I think a lot of the goals we have conceded have been the result of the defence being completely exposed when the ball is given away, even as far up the pitch as the opposition area (see the Arsenal game).

Again to compare and contrast with Rafa, he would typically play with two holding midfielders. Masch, Didi, Sissoko were able to play in those positions. At the moment, it seems to be down to Allen to that job on his own without much in the way of support. Swap Lucas for Allen, and the level of exposure we have now will still be there.
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Old 05-10-12, 02:56 PM   #91
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I think to say that we need a solid backline is far too simplistic. The midfield and defence need to dovetail much better. That's not necessarily just by having a better defensive midfielder like Lucas. The whole midfield needs to function as unit and seamlessly link to the defence and attack. This is basic stuff, right?

I think a lot of the goals we have conceded have been the result of the defence being completely exposed when the ball is given away, even as far up the pitch as the opposition area (see the Arsenal game).

Again to compare and contrast with Rafa, he would typically play with two holding midfielders. Masch, Didi, Sissoko were able to play in those positions. At the moment, it seems to be down to Allen to that job on his own without much in the way of support. Swap Lucas for Allen, and the level of exposure we have now will still be there.
My main gripe is the space between defence and midfield, I'm worried the midfield three can be stretched too much. Rafa was always preaching about staying compact, and we are the exact opposite of that IMO.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:09 PM   #92
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I think to say that we need a solid backline is far too simplistic. The midfield and defence need to dovetail much better. That's not necessarily just by having a better defensive midfielder like Lucas. The whole midfield needs to function as unit and seamlessly link to the defence and attack. This is basic stuff, right?

I think a lot of the goals we have conceded have been the result of the defence being completely exposed when the ball is given away, even as far up the pitch as the opposition area (see the Arsenal game).

Again to compare and contrast with Rafa, he would typically play with two holding midfielders. Masch, Didi, Sissoko were able to play in those positions. At the moment, it seems to be down to Allen to that job on his own without much in the way of support. Swap Lucas for Allen, and the level of exposure we have now will still be there.
for me there are three big issues with this system.

firstly - the fullbacks are pushed very high up the pitch and if we lose the ball we are open to fast counters. we also leave a lot of space in behind when this happens

secondly - we only play with one traditional sitter in allen who has to cover both fullback positions as well as looking after his own central area of the pitch. The other two midfielders are high up the pitch supporting play. one quick ball over the top could see our centre backs and allen exposed.

thirdly, its very very easy to drag allen out of his sitting position. he instinctively follows the ball around. when he's out of his place, we're all over the place. this would perhaps be different with lucas as the holder.

Ive got rafa's champions league book and it says time and time again how he looked to exploit space left by the advancing fullbacks and furthermore looked to build attacks behind lazy or indisciplined players.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:10 PM   #93
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I think to say that we need a solid backline is far too simplistic. The midfield and defence need to dovetail much better. That's not necessarily just by having a better defensive midfielder like Lucas. The whole midfield needs to function as unit and seamlessly link to the defence and attack. This is basic stuff, right?

I think a lot of the goals we have conceded have been the result of the defence being completely exposed when the ball is given away, even as far up the pitch as the opposition area (see the Arsenal game).

Again to compare and contrast with Rafa, he would typically play with two holding midfielders. Masch, Didi, Sissoko were able to play in those positions. At the moment, it seems to be down to Allen to that job on his own without much in the way of support. Swap Lucas for Allen, and the level of exposure we have now will still be there.
It's not a simplistic view whatsoever and it wasn't the be all and end all of my point.

A solid backline is a backline that doesn't goals away goals cheaply. The Lucas absence is obvious and we can all see that but the amount of individual errors at the back has nothing got to do with Lucas not being there beside Allen.

Between Reina,Carra,Enrique,Skrtel & Coates (just last night) we have gifted teams about 10 + goals. These particular mistakes are not a symptom of not having a DM or 2 DM's in there but simply horrific individual mistakes, which we are getting punished for. It's almost uncanny at this stage.

When Lucas comes in beside Allen we will look much more solid with regards to the defensive sides of things in midfield but that still doesn't address the problem that our "defenders" are making so many mistakes. My original point being building a solid backline, that doesn't give away cheap goals and not conceding goals is a basis for winning.

Shoring up the backline must be priority number 1 at the moment IMO, and then the rest will follow. This system Rogers wants us to play will only work when we have the players in the team that can do, at the moment through injury and our lack of transfer dealings.. we are a few players short IMO.

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Old 05-10-12, 03:11 PM   #94
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Good points, all.

I think it's clear we are leaving massive voids of space behind our full-backs, that neither centre-back is covering. Once the play is behind our defensive line, we are then chasing play and susceptible to the ball being pulled back. Having our midfield dovetail with our defence will obviously help, but I think it's our lack of zonal-pressing and knowing when to go and when not to go is causing the team a mischief.

Alongside the defensive chat, there were instances during last night's game of our zonal marking from set-pieces looking a bit wayward, which is reminiscent of when Rafa first started. It's gonna be a rollercoaster of a season, I feel.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:13 PM   #95
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for me there are three big issues with this system.

firstly - the fullbacks are pushed very high up the pitch and if we lose the ball we are open to fast counters. we also leave a lot of space in behind when this happens

secondly - we only play with one traditional sitter in allen who has to cover both fullback positions as well as looking after his own central area of the pitch. The other two midfielders are high up the pitch supporting play. one quick ball over the top could see our centre backs and allen exposed.

thirdly, its very very easy to drag allen out of his sitting position. he instinctively follows the ball around. when he's out of his place, we're all over the place. this would perhaps be different with lucas as the holder.

Ive got rafa's champions league book and it says time and time again how he looked to exploit space left by the advancing fullbacks and furthermore looked to build attacks behind lazy or indisciplined players.
Yup - that makes.

The more I think about it, the less I think that it is the individual mistakes or bad luck that is scuppering us, but the system itself.

The mistakes are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

It boils down to basic risk management. Identify the risks, then find out what you can do to minimise them, then implement a balanced strategy to deal with them.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:17 PM   #96
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Good points, all.

I think it's clear we are leaving massive voids of space behind our full-backs, that neither centre-back is covering. Once the play is behind our defensive line, we are then chasing play and susceptible to the ball being pulled back. Having our midfield dovetail with our defence will obviously help, but I think it's our lack of zonal-pressing and knowing when to go and when not to go is causing the team a mischief.

Alongside the defensive chat, there were instances during last night's game of our zonal marking from set-pieces looking a bit wayward, which is reminiscent of when Rafa first started. It's gonna be a rollercoaster of a season, I feel.
we looked very susceptible from set pieces & damn right in thinking Tony Pulis with his one track mind was taking some notes on this.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:19 PM   #97
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It's not a simplistic view whatsoever and it wasn't the be all and end all of my point.

A solid backline is a backline that doesn't goals away goals cheaply. The Lucas absence is obvious and we can all see that but the amount of individual errors at the back has nothing got to do with Lucas not being there beside Allen.

Between Reina,Carra,Enrique,Skrtel & Coates (just last night) we have gifted teams about 10 + goals. These particular mistakes are not a symptom of not having a DM or 2 DM's in there but simply horrific individual mistakes, which we are getting punished for. It's almost uncanny at this stage.

When Lucas comes in beside Allen we will look much more solid with regards to the defensive sides of things in midfield but that still doesn't address the problem that our "defenders" are making so many mistakes. My original point being building a solid backline, that doesn't give away cheap goals and not conceding goals is a basis for winning.

Shoring up the backline must be priority number 1 at the moment IMO, and then the rest will follow. This system Rogers wants us to play will only work when we have the players in the team that can do, at the moment through injury and our lack of transfer dealings.. we are a few players short IMO.
Neil Young made a god point about different levels of mistakes in the post match thread.

You are right that some catastrophic errors by Reina, Skrtel et al have led directly to goals and you can't really legislate for that. It is annoying that they have happened so often, but I'm not really talking about them here.

It is the mis-placed passes further up the pitch which are more worrying to me. Of course passes will be mis-placed in the opposing half, but these "mistakes" are often leading to goals too because the team is not set up to deal with them. That is my worry. And you can't blame the defence for that in isolation.

So I guess we are talking at crossed purposes.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:24 PM   #98
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Neil Young made a god point about different levels of mistakes in the post match thread.

You are right that some catastrophic errors by Reina, Skrtel et al have led directly to goals and you can't really legislate for that. It is annoying that they have happened so often, but I'm not really talking about them here.

It is the mis-placed passes up the pitch which are more worrying to me. Of course passes will be mis-placed in the opposing half, but these "mistakes" are often leading to goals too because the team is not set up to deal with them. That is my worry. And you can't blame the defence for that in isolation.

So I guess we are talking at crossed purposes.
i think neither of us are wrong in what we are saying, as regards my point yes mistakes do happen, but this often? IMO we need to find out our best backline, this is still undecided as LB is pretty much up for grabs with Enrique's horrendous form & Robinson although impressive is very young. IMO a keeper will always perform better with a settled/tried and tester backline in front of him. The wing backs leaving us open and vunerable when they bomb on is also apart of my point and yup we aren't setup right just yet.

For the record i completely agree with what you are saying about the midfield & how loose we are there. And my 'solid defence ' comment was just a snippet of my worries about our current setup
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Old 05-10-12, 03:24 PM   #99
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Yup - that makes.

The more I think about it, the less I think that it is the individual mistakes or bad luck that is scuppering us, but the system itself.

The mistakes are a symptom of the problem, not the cause.

It boils down to basic risk management. Identify the risks, then find out what you can do to minimise them, then implement a balanced strategy to deal with them.
at the moment i think its a case of implementation.

we're starting to dominate possession but when we give it away its panic stations because not everyones singing off the same sheet. Its probably a bit of both but we're too easy to score against.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:32 PM   #100
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Is Rogers being too rigid about implementing his philosophy? Should he give some leeway and time for certain players to adapt instead of forcing this rigid way of playing on everyone? Completely changing the way certain players play the game of football all their lives takes time.

AVB came into Chelsea with big ideas, obviously not the same as Rogers but he wanted to implement his way of playing. The problem was he didn't allow any time for his ideas to settle into the current team and for players to adapt, instead he tried to overhaul the team his way,straight away and Chelsea suffered.

Obviously different scenarios as regards what happened, but my point being sometimes as seen with AVB, a new manager at a club that have a set way of thinking and want to implement a certain rigid system or certain selection of players, when you try and do this full tilt.... sometimes it can backfire.

Lets hope we can get it sorted sooner rather than later.

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Old 05-10-12, 03:38 PM   #101
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Maybe he is, maybe he isn't.

I have no idea what his philosophy is apart from to keep the ball as much as possible. There are many nuances, but I have no idea what they are. Does he know? Do the players know? Is it the execution that is the problem? Is it a flaw in the strategy?

We will find out soon enough.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:40 PM   #102
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How is it possible to dominate every single game with 60% - 70% possession, but yet ship an average of more than 2 goals per game? Bonkers.
Taking away the goals against West Brom and Arsenal where we didn't have any kind of influence (therefore irrelevant to this argument), around 5 to 6 goals have so far been conceded by sloppy, lazy players (Brendan's words).

Butterfingers Reina, stupid backheel Agger, Skrtel x 2, Johnson and Gerrard x 2 have made unforgivable and severely punished unforced errors. If we could take back all of these goals we would be in the top four of the premiership and not having this discussion about Brendan's style of play.

Lets really examine Brendan's style of play when our senior stars stop playing like stupid idiots.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:44 PM   #103
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Taking away the goals against West Brom and Arsenal where we didn't have any kind of influence (therefore irrelevant to this argument), around 5 to 6 goals have so far been conceded by sloppy, lazy players (Brendan's words).

Butterfingers Reina, stupid backheel Agger, Skrtel x 2, Johnson and Gerrard x 2 have made unforgivable and severely punished unforced errors. If we could take back all of these goals we would be in the top four of the premiership and not having this discussion about Brendan's style of play.

Lets really examine Brendan's style of play when our senior stars stop playing like stupid idiots.
well said my sentiments exactly.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:44 PM   #104
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Taking away the goals against West Brom and Arsenal where we didn't have any kind of influence (therefore irrelevant to this argument), around 5 to 6 goals have so far been conceded by sloppy, lazy players (Brendan's words).

Butterfingers Reina, stupid backheel Agger, Skrtel x 2, Johnson and Gerrard x 2 have made unforgivable and severely punished unforced errors. If we could take back all of these goals we would be in the top four of the premiership and not having this discussion about Brendan's style of play.

Lets really examine Brendan's style of play when our senior stars stop playing like stupid idiots.
We totally dominated possession in the first half against West Brom. In fact, we totally dominated until the sending off.

From the BBC's match report:

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Liverpool had plenty of the ball and plenty of opportunities in the first 45 minutes but were undermined by a failing that troubled them throughout last season, namely an inability to convert the presentable chances they created.
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Old 05-10-12, 03:46 PM   #105
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Maybe he is, maybe he isn't.

I have no idea what his philosophy is apart from to keep the ball as much as possible. There are many nuances, but I have no idea what they are. Does he know? Do the players know? Is it the execution that is the problem? Is it a flaw in the strategy?

We will find out soon enough.
his idea is to keep the ball at all times without taking too many risks.

Players like gerrard and suarez are risky players by nature because they're attackers and they want to try things. Thats no big secret because thats what attackers do - the make things happen.

any pass you play in the final third is risky because of the organisation of the defences involved and the compactness of the space available to play in. Gerrrad yesterday looked to play a pass to suarez but it was intercepted and ten seconds later we're another goal behind.

That's what he doesnt want. Death by (boring) football but he needs time to get these ideas across to his players. Patience isnt something you can teach because some players have it and others like suarez just dont.
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Old 05-10-12, 04:37 PM   #106
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Just as a FYI - my point re solid back line is the entire team need to know there positions and responsibilities defensively, not just the back 4. And I don't see that at all.
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Old 08-10-12, 09:33 AM   #107
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So, our first goalless game.

I don't think that is necessarily a bad thing. I thought we looked a lot more comfortable at the back yesterday, and yes there were fewer individual mistakes too (Reina got aay with one this time). Was the improved defensive performance to the detriment of the attack though? I'm not so sure it was. I think we still created a few chances that might have gone in on another day - 2 more woodworks too. But some of the build up play was more certainly more wasteful than we have seen this season.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:20 PM   #108
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The most interesting thing yesterday was Stoke counter-acting our attempts to play the ball out from the keeper into the back four / midfield

I wondered how long it would be before we saw that done and it looked like it caused us a problem as we have nobody to aim for with kicks down field and equally we are absolutely fucking hopeless at picking up on second balls

Was also interesting to see that for all Rodgers philosophy about possession Stoke had more than us (52%)
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Old 08-10-12, 02:33 PM   #109
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We are simply not compact enough when we press and leave too many gaps behind, point mentioned by Dave. It's not about our back line at all, it's about how we defend as a team when we don't have the ball. The emphasis of Rodgers' tactics have been at expressing ourselves with the ball and trying to get it back as soon as possible within the area that the ball is lost. When that doesn't work, it leaves gaping holes within our 'lines'.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:47 PM   #110
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It is about our back line Nigey, but I agree there are large voids of space between our lines and agree that we aren't compact enough. I guess it's a bit mix and match; Our defensive line on most ocassions is two split central defenders, a midfielder in the gap and our full-backs advanced. The space teams are exploiting is down either flank - behind the full-backs - thus pulling our centre-backs over to the ball, whilst our midfielders are letting players run off them. This means the opposition can have a pop from either side or put the ball on the penalty spot with our defenders facing the wrong way and on the wrong foot.

We were compact under Rafa (for example) because we didn't allow the ball behind us, I felt confident that for all the ball the opposition may have had, they would struggle to penetrate us. Under Rodgers (so far), our high line is not supported by tracking runners and we look heavily disjointed. Whilst Lucas isn't the only answer, imagine Johnson pushing forward and Lucas dropping off to whatever side Johnson has come from to occupy that space. Allen's natural tendency is to assist the play that is developing infront of him, not look as to what could happen behind him. And that's not a criticism of Allen, but we desperately miss a disciplined player. I also think the wide players could be doing more to help the full-back.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:48 PM   #111
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We are simply not compact enough when we press and leave too many gaps behind, point mentioned by Dave. It's not about our back line at all, it's about how we defend as a team when we don't have the ball. The emphasis of Rodgers' tactics have been at expressing ourselves with the ball and trying to get it back as soon as possible within the area that the ball is lost. When that doesn't work, it leaves gaping holes within our 'lines'.
Interestingly, the opposite seemed to happen against Stoke.

We were often careless with the ball and gave it away loads (Gerrard alone gave it away 46 times or something, Allen wasn't his usual composed self). On this occasion, the opposition were not able to exploit any gaping holes because there did not appear to be any.

The question is, was that down to the way that Stoke play (a not very progressive but disruptive tactical aproach), or because Liverpool changed their style a bit after being too open in previous games? Or both? Or something else?
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Old 08-10-12, 02:50 PM   #112
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More good questions, dom.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:53 PM   #113
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Alway.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:56 PM   #114
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Interestingly, the opposite seemed to happen against Stoke.

We were often careless with the ball and gave it away loads (Gerrard alone gave it away 46 times or something, Allen wasn't his usual composed self). On this occasion, the opposition were not able to exploit any gaping holes because there did not appear to be any.

The question is, was that down to the way that Stoke play (a not very progressive but disruptive tactical aproach), or because Liverpool changed their style a bit after being too open in previous games? Or both? Or something else?
I think it was more to do with Stoke not knowing how to use the ball and surrendering possession back to us, only for us to gift it back. I think a team that had been set up to take us on yesterday would have had more luck in front of our goal.

I think we gave Stoke too much respect and instead of testing them on the deck, we played in to their hands with too many long balls and quite a few high which they mopped up easily.
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Old 08-10-12, 02:59 PM   #115
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I think it was more to do with Stoke not knowing how to use the ball and surrendering possession back to us, only for us to gift it back. I think a team that had been set up to take us on yesterday would have had more luck in front of our goal.

I think we gave Stoke too much respect and instead of testing them on the deck, we played in to their hands with too many long balls and quite a few high which they mopped up easily.
Perhaps, so that would imply that Rodgers either changed his tactics to a more direct approach for Stoke, or the players ignored their instructions. Or both. Or something else.
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Old 08-10-12, 03:08 PM   #116
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Perhaps, so that would imply that Rodgers either changed his tactics to a more direct approach for Stoke, or the players ignored their instructions. Or both. Or something else.
Exactly, because he did, inadvertently i would suggest.

Because our defending has been so bad i felt players wanted to get rid of the ball faster also there wasn't as mush movement(looking for the ball) as there has been in previous games add to that Gerrard forcing the play to often and we where quite simply disjointed.
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Old 08-10-12, 03:08 PM   #117
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Perhaps, so that would imply that Rodgers either changed his tactics to a more direct approach for Stoke, or the players ignored their instructions. Or both. Or something else.
Something else. I think we were intimidated.

Oh, and Stoke pressed high meaning our defence bypassed our midfield and possession was lost again. Was just a bad day at the office.
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Old 08-10-12, 03:47 PM   #118
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Interestingly, the opposite seemed to happen against Stoke.

We were often careless with the ball and gave it away loads (Gerrard alone gave it away 46 times or something, Allen wasn't his usual composed self). On this occasion, the opposition were not able to exploit any gaping holes because there did not appear to be any.

The question is, was that down to the way that Stoke play (a not very progressive but disruptive tactical aproach), or because Liverpool changed their style a bit after being too open in previous games? Or both? Or something else?
We weren't really able to develop our passing game in the first half and that was because Stoke were pressing hard and targeting Allen and disrupting our build up play. So, we resorted to a lot of straight balls forward and I noticed that our forwards, especially Suarez, were trying to make runs behind the defender. Understandable due to Stoke holding a high line. So, I think the tactics, or the way the players approached the problem Stoke posed, was good.

Second half we were all over them because Stoke were never ever going to keep up with that kind of pressing but as you say, we were careless at times and our final ball wasn't the best.

All of that seem to indicate that we're improving game by game and our main issue on Sunday was our carelessness / final ball, which is the most difficult thing to do in football when you're against packed defences.
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Old 08-10-12, 04:50 PM   #119
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The most interesting thing yesterday was Stoke counter-acting our attempts to play the ball out from the keeper into the back four / midfield

I wondered how long it would be before we saw that done and it looked like it caused us a problem as we have nobody to aim for with kicks down field and equally we are absolutely fucking hopeless at picking up on second balls

Was also interesting to see that for all Rodgers philosophy about possession Stoke had more than us (52%)
thats interesting.

Rodgers did say in an interview that teams pushing up on us and pressing us high up the pitch from goal kicks were leaving themselves exposed with so many players behind a potential long pass into either our front man or the wide forward players.

but you're right, at present the midfield isnt stong enough to win second balls. I dont know whether its a player or a system thing. My guess its down to gerrard and sahin to pick up the second balls with allen covering in behind.

Neither of those two look like they want to do that type of dirty work whereas allen infront of lucas would probably be very very good at that.
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Old 08-10-12, 04:57 PM   #120
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The most interesting thing yesterday was Stoke counter-acting our attempts to play the ball out from the keeper into the back four / midfield

I wondered how long it would be before we saw that done and it looked like it caused us a problem as we have nobody to aim for with kicks down field and equally we are absolutely fucking hopeless at picking up on second balls

Was also interesting to see that for all Rodgers philosophy about possession Stoke had more than us (52%)
Especially as Sky say we had 63.5% of the possession (as do other sources). Suggesting BBC have got incorrect stats.

Watching the game, we dominated possession.
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