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Author Topic: 2013-2014 Season  (Read 205493 times)

Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #795 on: May 06, 2014, 10:18:58 AM »
And Rodgers, as usual, refusing to take any responsibility, or blame.

When the poo hits the fan, it's always WE   (e.g.  WE played Roy of the Rovers football, WE didn't manage the game, etc)

When we have success, we hear many more references to, I
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Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #796 on: May 06, 2014, 10:20:55 AM »
it was like watching a car crash in slow motion.
In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer.

There’s no next time. It’s now or never.

Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #797 on: May 06, 2014, 10:44:19 AM »


 :D   :D    :D

We need a whole haystack now.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #798 on: May 06, 2014, 11:13:41 AM »
And Rodgers, as usual, refusing to take any responsibility, or blame.

When the poo hits the fan, it's always WE   (e.g.  WE played Roy of the Rovers football, WE didn't manage the game, etc)

When we have success, we hear many more references to, I

There's something that is very apparent and has become more so over the second half of the season. Going forward we've looked slick, practiced, everyone sure of their role and how they fit in to the team structure and playing method.
Defensively, people look uncertain. Last night there should have been a change to our play with everyone knowing their roles and responsibilities.

At 3-1, away from home, against a team in form (which they have been relative to their previous form, since Pulis went there), needing to make sure we win, you do two things. Stop any further momentum of the home team, and kill the belief and confidence of the crowd.
For 15 minutes after their first goal, Flanagan and Johnson drop back and tuck in making sure we have a compact back four. Lucas drops in alongside Gerrard (who stays in front of the back four - that's his only role for the next 15 minutes) to give a two man screen to the defence, and Allen plays in front of, with his role to be to track any runner from deep or midfield, and generally cover across the middle half of the pitch. Also when Lucas or Gerrard go across to support their full back, which they should be doing, Allen drops in keeping the two man screen intact. We force them to try and play down the outside of us, keeping them away from the goal. Even then, when they go wide, we can double up with fullback + Gerrard/Lucas, Allen dropping in to cover centrally.
We keep the ball, 5 or 10 yard simple passes, one touch, knock it about amongst ourselves - we don't need to go anywhere, just keep the ball. Take time with goal-kicks, throw-ins and free-kicks. Kill any momentum before it can began and keep the crowd quiet.

We didn't 'manage' the game because the players collectively don't know how to. The Chelsea display at Anfield was orchestrated, practiced, polished. The players didn't just do that themselves.

We could have brought on Agger for Sakho, get your experienced players on the pitch and Agger is far more capable of retaining possession for us, and also Toure. Go to a back three with Toure centrally.
Toure has the experience of title wins with Arsenal and City. He's the most vocal of our four centre halves and the best organiser. You get your captains, your leaders on the pitch.

Back three, tuck Johnson and Flano in and bring Lucas back alongside Gerrard giving you essentially a 4 man midfield with Johnson and Flano, Allen then 'sweeps' in front of the midfield, picking up runners and trying to stop long passes from deep. Sturridge's and Suarez's jobs are to put the defenders/goalkeeper under pressure, no free passes, close down and force them to hurry. Who knows, you may just force an error and there's goal number 4 anyway.

Rodgers has talked before about managing the game when we've had leads, but the players as a unit and individually, don't seem to understand what to do and when it needs to be done. It's the complete opposite to our attacking play. 
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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #799 on: May 06, 2014, 11:42:50 AM »
And Rodgers, as usual, refusing to take any responsibility, or blame.

When the poo hits the fan, it's always WE   (e.g.  WE played Roy of the Rovers football, WE didn't manage the game, etc)

When we have success, we hear many more references to, I

He needs to be honest with himself here. Two seasons in and our defending is getting worse, not better. That can't now be down to players not yet understanding his method, it has to be the method itself at fault.
He needs to either appoint a defensive coach to work on all aspects of defending, not just the function and operation of the back four, and/or appoint an experienced assistant.

He just needs to look back at the great managers or recent times, Shankly, Paisley, Clough and Taggart, they all have one very obvious thing in common.

For me, Steve Clarke is the current equivalent of a Ray Harford (Dalglish's assistant at Blackburn) or Brian Kidd (Taggart's assistant for many years and now a vital part of City's success) - great coach/assistant, lousy manager. That caretaker half season under Dalglish (before he acquired the security of a three contract and therefore nothing to lose), we had a good balance of attack and defence, and can't be a coincidence that Skrtel's most reliable and composed period (our player of the year during it) came whilst Clarke was at the club.

Clarke has the experience under Mourinho in Europe and of winning the title (2005 & 2006), a season in the Europa with Dalglish.  As a player he was part of the Chelsea team that won the 1998 Cup Winners Cup (so has experience of two legged ties), and was a Scottish International.

He's currently on 'gardening leave' from WBA until the end of this month. So he's free to get for next season.

Also his input into defensive targets would be of added value. Rodgers is obviously going to need to target a left back at least and possibly a right back depending on Johnson's contract situation. Then there's possibly Agger's replacement if the Barca rumours come to pass. Who to get and how best to utilise them. I know who's judgement I'd trust more.
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #800 on: May 06, 2014, 12:11:06 PM »
He needs to be honest with himself here. Two seasons in and our defending is getting worse, not better. That can't now be down to players not yet understanding his method, it has to be the method itself at fault.
He needs to either appoint a defensive coach to work on all aspects of defending, not just the function and operation of the back four, and/or appoint an experienced assistant.

He just needs to look back at the great managers or recent times, Shankly, Paisley, Clough and Taggart, they all have one very obvious thing in common.

For me, Steve Clarke is the current equivalent of a Ray Harford (Dalglish's assistant at Blackburn) or Brian Kidd (Taggart's assistant for many years and now a vital part of City's success) - great coach/assistant, lousy manager. That caretaker half season under Dalglish (before he acquired the security of a three contract and therefore nothing to lose), we had a good balance of attack and defence, and can't be a coincidence that Skrtel's most reliable and composed period (our player of the year during it) came whilst Clarke was at the club.

Clarke has the experience under Mourinho in Europe and of winning the title (2005 & 2006), a season in the Europa with Dalglish.  As a player he was part of the Chelsea team that won the 1998 Cup Winners Cup (so has experience of two legged ties), and was a Scottish International.

He's currently on 'gardening leave' from WBA until the end of this month. So he's free to get for next season.

Also his input into defensive targets would be of added value. Rodgers is obviously going to need to target a left back at least and possibly a right back depending on Johnson's contract situation. Then there's possibly Agger's replacement if the Barca rumours come to pass. Who to get and how best to utilise them. I know who's judgement I'd trust more.

It's OK to be disappointed with last night's performance. But there's no need to skip the balanced look on things. Over the last 18 games we won 14, drew 3 and lost 1. That string of results have seen Rodgers do what Evans, Houllier, Rafa, Kenny and Hodgson failed to do - make us title challengers down to the wire.

If we finish second it'll be by the sligtest of margins like Webb's refusal to call a blatant penalty in the dying minutes at the Bridge, the linesman's horrible and incorrect off-side call against City away, Gerrard's slip. These are three moments I haven't seen City suffered from. Three moments no manager can do much about.

I'm not making excuses, nor am I suggesting for a second Rodgers is immune to criticism because he isn't. But to talk so unappreciative about a manager who gave us genuine hope for the first time in 24 years is, IMHO, unfair.

And for the record, we didn't lose the title last night and this isn't over just yet.
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Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #801 on: May 06, 2014, 01:38:52 PM »
As Tes and Bart have said above, bring back Steve Clarke.

We need to have someone in the dugout that will bring back some degree of balance to the team.

Unbalanced sides rarely ever win a league title.  I can think of none, in England, in my lifetime.  The one unbalanced side that came very close, was Keegan's Newcastle (that one year where they almost beat United to the title, but then fell away - bit like we did this year).

Unbalanced sides don't win leagues...........and they definitely do not bring years of sustained success.

Bring in someone to help Brendan with the balance of the side.

If not Clarke, then why not have a yarn with the Napoli guy and see if he is available.   

(puts hard hat on and runs for cover).


In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was, in me, an invincible summer.

There’s no next time. It’s now or never.

Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #802 on: May 06, 2014, 01:55:43 PM »
I agree with all you say above, Tes.

And would reply at length if I had more time (have to leave in a few mins).

When it goes to 3-1, any sensible manager drops the ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK approach, and instead takes what he has.

As you say, we could easily have tucked our wingbacks in, and compacted our midfield, with someone like Allen playing in front of the back four.

as yousay, we have no game management....nobody in the side with the brains to put their foot on the ball and change the tempo.

personally, I think Gerrard was an utter liability in these two games - against chelsea and palace.

he brought nothing to the team....absolutely nothing.  Instead he gifted goals...gifted possession.....provided no cover.

But at the end of the day, perhaps that poor first touch that Henderson took at the end of the game against City, was the difference between winning the title, and losing out. 
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y7ITziWNJg
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Offline Edward224

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #803 on: May 06, 2014, 06:23:46 PM »
Those saying brink back Steve Clarke need to have some serious thoughts.

Firstly there is no such thing as a defensive coach. We're not the NFL with defensive and offensive co-ordinators along with the main coach.

Secondly you'd have no idea how Clarke's ideas would impact on the rest of the team - especially offensively.

You need to think much more deeper than just saying bring back a coach who had a good record with teams that conceded less goals than most.


Or are you forgetting in 11/12 we only scored 47 goals......

We have no idea how Rodgers and the rest of the coaching team prepare the squad defensively and offensively.

Sure there are problems - big problems in defensive positions BUT the way we attack and the way we transition from defensive to midfield and midfield to attack is the blue print for the team.

Using your example and bringing in Clarke the tranisition from defensive to attack would be completely different causing us to score less goals.

BTW in 11/12 we conceded 40. With one game to go we have conceded 49 goals scoring 99 in the process.

I beg your pardon as I certainly do not want to go back to the days where we couldn't hit a cow's bottom with a banjo scoring 47 goals in a season.

Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #804 on: May 06, 2014, 08:19:26 PM »
Those saying brink back Steve Clarke need to have some serious thoughts.

Firstly there is no such thing as a defensive coach. We're not the NFL with defensive and offensive co-ordinators along with the main coach.

Secondly you'd have no idea how Clarke's ideas would impact on the rest of the team - especially offensively.

You need to think much more deeper than just saying bring back a coach who had a good record with teams that conceded less goals than most.


Or are you forgetting in 11/12 we only scored 47 goals......

We have no idea how Rodgers and the rest of the coaching team prepare the squad defensively and offensively.

Sure there are problems - big problems in defensive positions BUT the way we attack and the way we transition from defensive to midfield and midfield to attack is the blue print for the team.

Using your example and bringing in Clarke the tranisition from defensive to attack would be completely different causing us to score less goals.

BTW in 11/12 we conceded 40. With one game to go we have conceded 49 goals scoring 99 in the process.

I beg your pardon as I certainly do not want to go back to the days where we couldn't hit a cow's bottom with a banjo scoring 47 goals in a season.

So, Edward, what's your solution. Having a tighter defence doesn't necessarily mean we score less goals, conversely, if we don't concede left right and centre, we don't need quite so many goals.
We're talking about conceding fewer, not none. We're not looking to play catenaccio.

We're talking about being savvy in our approach, canny as Paisley used to refer to it.

City have managed to score 96 to our 99, but have conceded 12 less.
Chelsea in 2009/10 under Ancelotti scored 103, conceding 32.
City 2011/12 - F 93, A 29
Mancs 2007/08 F 80 A 22  2006/07  F 83  A 27

The only time recently that a team has won with our sort of figures was 1999/2000, the Mancs F 97 A 45 - they amassed 91 points though.

It's our in ability to hold a lead that's the problem - I'm not going into details yet, that's for another day, but just the odd goal here and there, is what we're talking about and that wouldn't have the wholescale drag on our scoring abilities that you're trying to portray.

You say you have no idea how the team are prepared defensively and offensively. Don't deny the evidence of your eyes, or is everyone else who are saying we've been shipping them all season shallow thinkers also.

We're as polished going forward as we are woeful defensively. So it's entirely down to the players understanding one aspect but being totally unable to even basically cope with the other?

Simplifying what has been said to try to show the contrary really doesn't work.
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Offline Edward224

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #805 on: May 06, 2014, 09:42:23 PM »
The solution is quite simple. It's called having better players  ;D

Seriously if we get in a top full back then our defence would be upgraded massively.

IMO it's time to say goodbye to Johnson and one of Skrtel/Agger - move Flanagan to right back and sign one or two full backs and another centre back.

I'd say goodbye to Lucas as well and buy a centre midfielder/defensive midfielder with a bit more agility. Allen and Henderson should be locks for the midfield next season and we have to manage Gerrard well to get the best from him.

Also a point for me we do lack a leader in defence. We miss a Carra or a Hyypia to command that back four.

Unfortunately whilst Kolo Toure is most definitely a leader his best days are behind him.

I also think having another offensive weapon in our armoury would also help the goals conceded column.

However I think after signing a really top class full back you'd notice a huge upgrade in our defense imo anyway.


Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #806 on: May 06, 2014, 11:38:34 PM »
Not even close. Then it was game over. This game is still on. City WILL lose a game at home some time.  I actually feel more optimistic about the title than I did 2 hours ago. Funny thing I know. I actually watched Villa against Hull and if they can perform with the same level of energy and hunger they displayed over the weekend, then I'm not ready to call it a season just yet. Then there's Fat Sam and his hatred of the novoeau riche. Keep the faith!!!

Come on you redmen!!!

I've had a look into this and against the Top10 teams (18/18 games) City have 39 points, which breaks down as:

P18 W12 D3 L3

Against the Bottom 10 teams (18/20 games) they have 41 points:

P18 W13 D2 L3

Those 3 defeats were all away, the last one back on November 10th at Sunderland.

Their home record against the bottom 10:

P8 W7 D1 L0

Maybe they are due a home defeat, probably not a draw as their only draw was very recent against Sunderland on 16th April - going on their current form though, last games, a home defeat is unlikely:

WWWDWLDWWW

I also looked at their form against the Top 7, to see if their form against the Top 10 was skewed in favour of being stronger against the better teams and worse against the lesser teams. Having played all 12 matches against the Top 7, their results were:

P12 W8 D1 L3

So against the Top 7 they won nearly 3x as many as they lost, compared to the Top 10, where they won exactly 4x as many as they lost, so the weaker the opposition the better overall they were.

With West Ham being 12th and Villa 14th, it doesn't bode well for them either drawing both games, or winning one and losing one - either of those see us as Champions if we can just produce another 4-3 against Newcastle.

Looks like we need Lady Luck coming on as a 1st minute sub for both Villa and West Ham, whilst her twin sister makes it a hat trick for us on Sunday. Failing that I guess we can always play Blind Optimism.

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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #807 on: May 07, 2014, 12:33:17 AM »
Liverpool's title hopes depend on Aston Villa reserve striker whose last goal was in August 2012

http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpools-title-hopes-depend-aston-3503530

Actually it's worse than it seems - he has more own goals than goals to his name in a Villa shirt.



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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #808 on: May 07, 2014, 07:24:40 PM »
The solution is quite simple. It's called having better players  ;D

Seriously if we get in a top full back then our defence would be upgraded massively.

IMO it's time to say goodbye to Johnson and one of Skrtel/Agger - move Flanagan to right back and sign one or two full backs and another centre back.

I'd say goodbye to Lucas as well and buy a centre midfielder/defensive midfielder with a bit more agility. Allen and Henderson should be locks for the midfield next season and we have to manage Gerrard well to get the best from him.

Also a point for me we do lack a leader in defence. We miss a Carra or a Hyypia to command that back four.

Unfortunately whilst Kolo Toure is most definitely a leader his best days are behind him.

I also think having another offensive weapon in our armoury would also help the goals conceded column.

However I think after signing a really top class full back you'd notice a huge upgrade in our defense imo anyway.

Personnel definitely need upgrading.

The full backs situation is a bit more tricky than it first appears. It's pretty obvious we need a left back, even with Enrique still at the club.
Right back - is Flanno ready to be first choice right back? If Johnson goes and despite his attacking qualities (though inconsistently displayed) his defending is definitely his achilles heel. His positional sense is poor and he either doesn't see danger or is slow to react.

That would leave the problem of potentially bedding in two new full backs, and as so far the Skrtel/Sakho combination looks far from the solution, and with Agger (strangely) out of favour and another potential departee, we could see three out of four new faces in defence.

Two is a lot to bed in, but three?

There still has to be something change. Why is it that the whole defensive side of our game looks shambolic in comparison to the attacking side?
Players look uncomfortable, confused, and downright clueless as to where they're supposed to be and what to do in situations, both individual roles and within and as a unit.
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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #809 on: May 07, 2014, 07:45:53 PM »
Unbelievably, Villa have the best record of teams outside the Top Four against teams in the Top Four.

So that's City 6-0 Villa.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

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