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Old 22-02-21, 11:11 AM   #241
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Surely at the moment the obvious pairing is Kabak and Phillips.

IMO with what we have available at the moment I think Kabak is 1st choice because of the situation more than form.
Kabak was v shaky at the start vs Everton but when Phillips came on the defence was much better. I really donít know why Klopp persisted with Hendo at the back - he wasnít comfortable there and it left a huge hole in midfield. Play defenders in defence and midfielders in midfield. I know Fab is an exception but I really hope he plays DM when he is back
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Old 22-02-21, 12:21 PM   #242
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Kabak was v shaky at the start vs Everton but when Phillips came on the defence was much better. I really donít know why Klopp persisted with Hendo at the back - he wasnít comfortable there and it left a huge hole in midfield. Play defenders in defence and midfielders in midfield. I know Fab is an exception but I really hope he plays DM when he is back
Couldn't agree more. The logic of 'shoring up the defence with midfielders' just because they are senior players doesn't make sense. Because if we then blunt the attack, the only likely outcomes are draws and losses. At least if we had more attacking fluidity we would have a chance.

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Old 22-02-21, 12:24 PM   #243
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Surely at the moment the obvious pairing is Kabak and Phillips.

IMO with what we have available at the moment I think Kabak is 1st choice because of the situation more than form.
Can we play with a high line with two of the slowest centre backs in the world?

If we played those two then i'd imagine it'd signal a move away from 4 3 3 to a more 4 4 2 with the team sitting much deeper and Hendo / Gini offering plenty of cover in front of the CBs.
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Old 22-02-21, 06:07 PM   #244
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I would have been scared witless with R Williams and N Phillips in defence together, but I think Phillips has done OK. Yes he's not fast, but generally seems to be well-positioned and very sensible. Yes maybe he shouldn't have committed himself so far up the pitch (for Everton's second goal) but maybe Alisson should have held the shot or maybe TAA should have taken DCL out well before he got anywhere near the box.
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Old 22-02-21, 07:30 PM   #245
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Kabak was v shaky at the start vs Everton but when Phillips came on the defence was much better. I really donít know why Klopp persisted with Hendo at the back - he wasnít comfortable there and it left a huge hole in midfield. Play defenders in defence and midfielders in midfield. I know Fab is an exception but I really hope he plays DM when he is back
I think the theory for this is ball rentention, in order to sustain attacks, then Hendo is an excellent passer of the ball from deep. We lose this with Phillips or Williams and I don't know about Davies.
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Old 22-02-21, 08:12 PM   #246
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I think the theory for this is ball rentention, in order to sustain attacks, then Hendo is an excellent passer of the ball from deep. We lose this with Phillips or Williams and I don't know about Davies.
I actually thought that part of the problem had been how deep Hendo the midfielder was starting to play. When the full backs push on, this season he has become part of a back 3; last season he covered the space but was still in midfield. Maybe that's because the full backs are not making the same recovery runs.
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Old 22-02-21, 10:34 PM   #247
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I think the theory for this is ball rentention, in order to sustain attacks, then Hendo is an excellent passer of the ball from deep. We lose this with Phillips or Williams and I don't know about Davies.
Maybe - I guess Klopp thought we’d dominate the ball so it makes sense. It doesn’t make sense when you see the amount of people running off him as he’s not used to that position.

It’s all moot now anyway as I’m sure he’ll be out fir the season and it will be Fab + 1 again
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Old 05-03-21, 08:39 PM   #248
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Old 06-03-21, 12:15 PM   #249
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Injured Ffs
I have atheory, which goes as follows:

In a normal season Liverpool play a very intensive sort of football that places a lot of burdens on the body. The training is tailored to that. In this exceptional season we have had to moderate our style of football because it just is not sustainable because of the frequency of the games. We have tried to moderate the training too. But we have struggled to get the balance right so (a) performances have gone off (because a key plank of the way we play has had to be switched of) and (b) muscle injuries have increased (because we have tried to keep some intensity and have not got the balance right).


Of course, as the injuries pile up, it becomes difficult to rest players that are fit but tired without performances dipping even more, so we are in a vicious death spiral now.
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Old 06-03-21, 12:29 PM   #250
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I have atheory, which goes as follows:

In a normal season Liverpool play a very intensive sort of football that places a lot of burdens on the body. The training is tailored to that. In this exceptional season we have had to moderate our style of football because it just is not sustainable because of the frequency of the games. We have tried to moderate the training too. But we have struggled to get the balance right so (a) performances have gone off (because a key plank of the way we play has had to be switched of) and (b) muscle injuries have increased (because we have tried to keep some intensity and have not got the balance right).


Of course, as the injuries pile up, it becomes difficult to rest players that are fit but tired without performances dipping even more, so we are in a vicious death spiral now.


I think what counters that a bit is that the injuries to VVD, Jota, Thiago and Gomez do not fall under that banner. Then you have the likes of Matip, Keita, Chamberlain, Shaqiri and even Henderson, Alisson and Fabinho who have all been prone to injuries long before this season.

Think your final paragraph nails it though. We can carry the usual unreliables to some degree as long as the reliables are in the team, but once those that usually avoided too many injuries last season started joining the ranks of the injured the pressure on the rest of the team to compensate was too much as the drop off in quality, fitness, and whatever else seemed to break the team's ability to be cohesive.

In a twisted way, this may all have been a good thing as it may serve as a very hard lesson with regards who cannot be relied on and as a result who may need to be replaced.
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Old 06-03-21, 12:31 PM   #251
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My theory is this:

We play a high line in defence
This compresses the pitch and allows our athletic midfield to win the ball back quickly
When we win the ball back quickly their defence isn’t set and our forwards exploit that and score lots of goals
Losing our CBs has meant we have had to move midfielders back to defence
Our midfield can’t get rotated (it normally does) and are knackered
This means the opposition have time on the ball and can play it over our high line unopposed
Our defence is weaker and can’t deal with this
Our forwards aren’t getting the ball in transition but against a set defence and it’s harder to score
All of this has resulted in shit results and has manifested itself into a lack of confidence from the players
Factor in the fucking over from refs and VAR and the team are feeling sorry themselves
Factor in the never ending games so we can’t work on different shapes and formations
Factor in Klopp’s loyalty/stubbornness and we roll out the same lads every week

It’s a self perpetuating cycle of shit - the season is done and I hope that the lads are bottling up the rage, the fans the same and players like Thiago, Curtis, Jota etc will have had this year to leap forward from next year
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Old 06-03-21, 12:47 PM   #252
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Generally agree with Nev.

I donít think Klopp is stubborn though and I think what heís trying to achieve with playing the same team is consistency and rhythm, which is a big part of our play.

There has already been tweaks in our system, slightly different formations and player positioning. My worry is our home form though, as we do have our identity somewhat when we play away and been playing generally well. Itís the lack of clear opportunities at home which is annoying and this does originate from players taking the wrong pass etc.

At some point weíll get out of this as this is the same team which won us the league and the champions league. You canít just become finished in a couple of months, itís a period we have to suck the bad and hope we come out of it quick. Klopp and his team are far too good for allowing this team to decline this way.
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Old 06-03-21, 04:22 PM   #253
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My theory is this:

We play a high line in defence
This compresses the pitch and allows our athletic midfield to win the ball back quickly
When we win the ball back quickly their defence isnít set and our forwards exploit that and score lots of goals
Losing our CBs has meant we have had to move midfielders back to defence
Our midfield canít get rotated (it normally does) and are knackered
This means the opposition have time on the ball and can play it over our high line unopposed
Our defence is weaker and canít deal with this
Our forwards arenít getting the ball in transition but against a set defence and itís harder to score
All of this has resulted in shit results and has manifested itself into a lack of confidence from the players
Factor in the fucking over from refs and VAR and the team are feeling sorry themselves
Factor in the never ending games so we canít work on different shapes and formations
Factor in Kloppís loyalty/stubbornness and we roll out the same lads every week

Itís a self perpetuating cycle of shit - the season is done and I hope that the lads are bottling up the rage, the fans the same and players like Thiago, Curtis, Jota etc will have had this year to leap forward from next year
A good assessment

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Old 06-03-21, 06:19 PM   #254
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Injured? One of the lads now, certainly.
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Old 06-03-21, 07:31 PM   #255
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What is the injury?
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Old 06-03-21, 07:43 PM   #256
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What is the injury?
I donít know TBF. I just read he was injured, and assumed it to be correct, and probably long term
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Old 06-03-21, 08:08 PM   #257
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Injured? One of the lads now, certainly.
Just desperate to fit in
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Old 06-03-21, 08:30 PM   #258
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Just desperate to fit in
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Old 07-03-21, 12:06 AM   #259
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Just desperate to fit in
If you want in you got to be with the physios. They run the Club now
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Old 15-03-21, 11:08 PM   #260
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Excellent performance tonight
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Old 15-03-21, 11:16 PM   #261
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Yeah who’d have thought that he & Phillips would play together in the Prem & be instrumental in us keeping clean sheets? Not me that’s for sure.
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Old 15-03-21, 11:24 PM   #262
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Excellent performance tonight
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Old 16-03-21, 07:47 AM   #263
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He got motm
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Old 16-03-21, 10:17 AM   #264
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Not sure if the attacker was slow or if Kabak has got a bit of pace about him, but was impressed with the way he got back when that lad was through.

Few more showings like that between now and the end of the season and we might just take the punt for £18m.
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Old 16-03-21, 10:39 AM   #265
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Not sure if the attacker was slow or if Kabak has got a bit of pace about him, but was impressed with the way he got back when that lad was through.

Few more showings like that between now and the end of the season and we might just take the punt for £18m.
£18m looks like a really good deal imo.

He hasn't been great but there's a load of mitigating circumstances and over the past few games he's settling in and showing that he's got great potential. £18m for a potentially international class centre back is good business.
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Old 16-03-21, 10:59 AM   #266
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its is easy to say that him and Phillips would be competing for 4th choice CB......but in reality if the first 3 CBs are all coming back from major injuries, then it is likely that both will get a lot of game time in the next year or two.

There is no way Matip will ever be available to play every week. And next year, Joe and Virgil will need to be managed with cotton wool too. I'd keep both Kabak and Phillips
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Old 16-03-21, 11:07 AM   #267
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Sign Kabak plus another.

Virgil, Kabak, New CB, Gomez.

Sell Matip and at least one of Phillips or Davies. Whichever one we keep can be 4th/5th with Gomez.
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Old 16-03-21, 11:50 AM   #268
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Sign Kabak plus another.

Virgil, Kabak, New CB, Gomez.

Sell Matip and at least one of Phillips or Davies. Whichever one we keep can be 4th/5th with Gomez.
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Old 16-03-21, 12:00 PM   #269
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Sign Kabak plus another.

Virgil, Kabak, New CB, Gomez.

Sell Matip and at least one of Phillips or Davies. Whichever one we keep can be 4th/5th with Gomez.

Yep Kabak if we sign him is just replacing Lovern's spot within the squad, we still need someone else in because we know that Matip is going to miss games.

Would be very much going for what you said and selling Matip if we can get a buyer.

I would also be looking at someone like Zakaria as a midfield option in the summer. Big mobile physical unit of a player who is good on the ball. Be proper cover for Fabinho and he can also play as a CB. That way if we ended up with a back line crisis again, we would still have a 6'3 CDM in his natural slot and the other one could cover at the back. Would be a way to not lose height from the midfield
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Old 16-03-21, 12:25 PM   #270
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We need at least 4 or 5 CBs assuming that we keep Kabak (which isn't a given at this point) we are looking at VVD, Gomez and Kabak plus a couple from Matip, Phillips and Davies. I know Matip is injury prone but I would be amazed if we spent £18m on Kabak and signed someone else while shipping out two of Matip, Phillips and Davies, it just doesn't really make sense. For me it is all or a subset of what we have now, with the caveat that we might not sign Kabak but we might sign someone else in his place.

Kabak as from now until the end of the season to prove himself, I know people on here have given him some stick in his early games but I think he's made a decent start in difficult circumstances.
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Old 16-03-21, 12:39 PM   #271
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Signing 2 new CBs makes loads of sense (whether it’s Kabak +1, or 2 others). Whether we’re able to financially is another question, but that’s where a couple of sales come in.

If we want to get back to being challengers we need 4 fit, available CBs who all suit the way we want to play.
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Old 16-03-21, 12:50 PM   #272
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Signing 2 new CBs makes loads of sense (whether itís Kabak +1, or 2 others). Whether weíre able to financially is another question, but thatís where a couple of sales come in.

If we want to get back to being challengers we need 4 fit, available CBs who all suit the way we want to play.
I think we sell Matip and one of Phillips/Davis
I think we buy Kabak for 18m given his age and potential - I donít think we lose out on him if we sell down the road and weíve tracked him for a long time
I think we buy another CB with Caleta Car looking likely given we nearly bought him in Jan for around 20m
Konate is too expensive and injury prone for me
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Old 16-03-21, 12:57 PM   #273
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What does he do well? What physical attributes does he have? I still haven't figured him out to be honest.

He's not super quick.
He's not super dominant in the air.
He's not an exceptional passer.

I get he's only 20 and he's come in in tough circumstances and is now performing well (this post is not meant as criticism). I'm just wondering how high his ceiling is?

I'd still be interested in signing him, but I'd want to bring another CB in too I think.
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Old 16-03-21, 01:01 PM   #274
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Signing 2 new CBs makes loads of sense (whether itís Kabak +1, or 2 others). Whether weíre able to financially is another question, but thatís where a couple of sales come in.

If we want to get back to being challengers we need 4 fit, available CBs who all suit the way we want to play.
I mean taking into account the financial situation.
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Old 16-03-21, 02:25 PM   #275
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What does he do well? What physical attributes does he have? I still haven't figured him out to be honest.

He's not super quick.
He's not super dominant in the air.
He's not an exceptional passer.

I get he's only 20 and he's come in in tough circumstances and is now performing well (this post is not meant as criticism). I'm just wondering how high his ceiling is?

I'd still be interested in signing him, but I'd want to bring another CB in too I think.
I think he reads the game well and snuffs out danger pretty readily. At 20 imo he's got loads of potential. My worry would be his lack of real pace. At times he looks like he's running through treacle but when he gets going he might be quicker than I thought, albeit not quick enough for our high line.

That said he'd be 3rd or 4th choice and at 20 and only £18m (?) I'd take him. I didn't think I'd saying that a few weeks ago.
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Old 16-03-21, 02:29 PM   #276
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What does he do well? What physical attributes does he have? I still haven't figured him out to be honest.

He's not super quick.
He's not super dominant in the air.
He's not an exceptional passer.

I get he's only 20 and he's come in in tough circumstances and is now performing well (this post is not meant as criticism). I'm just wondering how high his ceiling is?

I'd still be interested in signing him, but I'd want to bring another CB in too I think.
Kabak broke onto the scene as a youngster in Galatasary and was snapped up by Stuttgart for a lot of money for someone that age €11m. He went straight into the team as an 18 year old and was a stand out performer even though they went down. Schalke bought him for €15m and they have been a shit show ever since - managerial merry go round and a team bereft of confidence. He was playing on a losing team week in week out

He built his reputation as a super aggressive dominant CB - see ball/win ball. With us he has had to play as the “sweeper” whereas Nat bring the ball winner. I think the last few games he has been quietly really good and for me the sign of a good CB is that you don’t know he is there.

He is quick but not rapid as you say but his win rate for headers is pretty high - for us he stands off and Nat attacks the ball. He is only just 20 and has plenty of top level experience already. I think 18m will be a bargain and if he played next to VVD he’d look significantly better.......as any CB would to be honest
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Old 16-03-21, 02:44 PM   #277
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What does he do well? What physical attributes does he have? I still haven't figured him out to be honest.

He's not super quick.
He's not super dominant in the air.
He's not an exceptional passer.

I get he's only 20 and he's come in in tough circumstances and is now performing well (this post is not meant as criticism). I'm just wondering how high his ceiling is?

I'd still be interested in signing him, but I'd want to bring another CB in too I think.
Agree his attributes aren't immediately obvious - but one thing I noticed a fair few times last night was him literally pinging long cross-field passes - and they were hit with force and accuracy. Reminded me of a Hendo type passer... seems to have that in his locker and should only get better with age... as we all do
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Old 16-03-21, 02:49 PM   #278
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What does he do well? What physical attributes does he have? I still haven't figured him out to be honest.

He's not super quick.
He's not super dominant in the air.
He's not an exceptional passer.

I get he's only 20 and he's come in in tough circumstances and is now performing well (this post is not meant as criticism). I'm just wondering how high his ceiling is?

I'd still be interested in signing him, but I'd want to bring another CB in too I think.

At present he is a bit of an all rounder rather than being excellent in a few departments.

But if you look at him in terms of his age and compare what he has now at 20 to where a lot of those who are regarded as the top CBs now were in their development at the same age and he is pretty far along.

I think he is a hell of a lot of potential whilst looking good enough to play in the first team (with the caveat that I think he would need a senior CB beside him for a spell to really help him grow and that he wuld also need to be able to train with senior CBs something he has not had since joining us).

His passing is actually pretty good and he does look to play an attacking pass a lot of the time. In the air (for us) he has only been decent rather than outstanding (talking about aerial duels now rather than aerial clearances) but other than Matip and VVD we have no CB at the club who is outstanding at aerial duels (Philips is actually pretty average at aerial duels, it is aerial clearances that Philips does a lot of).

Pace wise Kabak is pretty decent too, not Gomez or VVD quick, but still quick enough for a CB. He is still learning the game and you can see in his play that he tries to use positioning over pace (watch how often he is getting caught out of position and having to try and get back in recent games compared to when he first started with us to see the progression there), but he has ok pace when he needs it and pretty good upper body strength that he uses when bringing a ball out. He has a mean left footed cross field ball in his locker too, that he has only started using in recent games for us but was something he did do in the Bundesliga.

For a 20 yo I think he is really good, and has a lot of experience for his age as well. He is still a year off the age Gomez was when Gomez started to play in the first team on a regular basis, he is three years younger than Phillips, and even VVD at 20 was just after making his debut as a pro and barely getting a few hundred minutes in his first season with Groningen.

Kabak at 20, has nearly 100 senior games played for club and country.

Not saying Kabak is going to go on to be the next VVD or even the next Gomez, but he is very far along in his development for his age and strikes me as a player that by the time he reaches 22 or 23 could be having us laughing at the fact he only cost 18m if we activate the purchase option.

For me he could be a pretty handy 4th choice CB for us next season, and a full season training with the likes of VVD and Gomez would see his development come along in leaps and bounds imho.
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Old 16-03-21, 02:52 PM   #279
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Agree his attributes aren't immediately obvious - but one thing I noticed a fair few times last night was him literally pinging long cross-field passes - and they were hit with force and accuracy. Reminded me of a Hendo type passer... seems to have that in his locker and should only get better with age... as we all do

He was pinging balls from left to right against Leipzig too. He is a good passer with either foot, and distance passing is something he liked to do in Germany. But Schalke's collapse this season meant his options to play that sort of ball became limited as Schalke's play became very narrow and congested compared to the seasons before.
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Old 16-03-21, 02:54 PM   #280
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At present he is a bit of an all rounder rather than being excellent in a few departments.

But if you look at him in terms of his age and compare what he has now at 20 to where a lot of those who are regarded as the top CBs now were in their development at the same age and he is pretty far along.

I think he is a hell of a lot of potential whilst looking good enough to play in the first team (with the caveat that I think he would need a senior CB beside him for a spell to really help him grow and that he wuld also need to be able to train with senior CBs something he has not had since joining us).

His passing is actually pretty good and he does look to play an attacking pass a lot of the time. In the air (for us) he has only been decent rather than outstanding (talking about aerial duels now rather than aerial clearances) but other than Matip and VVD we have no CB at the club who is outstanding at aerial duels (Philips is actually pretty average at aerial duels, it is aerial clearances that Philips does a lot of).

Pace wise Kabak is pretty decent too, not Gomez or VVD quick, but still quick enough for a CB. He is still learning the game and you can see in his play that he tries to use positioning over pace (watch how often he is getting caught out of position and having to try and get back in recent games compared to when he first started with us to see the progression there), but he has ok pace when he needs it and pretty good upper body strength that he uses when bringing a ball out. He has a mean left footed cross field ball in his locker too, that he has only started using in recent games for us but was something he did do in the Bundesliga.

For a 20 yo I think he is really good, and has a lot of experience for his age as well. He is still a year off the age Gomez was when Gomez started to play in the first team on a regular basis, he is three years younger than Phillips, and even VVD at 20 was just after making his debut as a pro and barely getting a few hundred minutes in his first season with Groningen.

Kabak at 20, has nearly 100 senior games played for club and country.

Not saying Kabak is going to go on to be the next VVD or even the next Gomez, but he is very far along in his development for his age and strikes me as a player that by the time he reaches 22 or 23 could be having us laughing at the fact he only cost 18m if we activate the purchase option.

For me he could be a pretty handy 4th choice CB for us next season, and a full season training with the likes of VVD and Gomez would see his development come along in leaps and bounds imho.
...

Early days of course, but if he keeps developing, plays alongside VVD on the occasions when injuries happen... I could actually see him partnering VVD more often than Gomez next season with Joe's unlucky track record of being injury prone. He also seems quite understated but solid, which would be a damn site better than a slabhead character who reckons he's fucking awesome but makes more errors than a Tory Track and Trace system...
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