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Author Topic: Season 2014/15  (Read 270830 times)

Offline Edward224

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #105 on: August 31, 2014, 05:07:10 PM »
Never had a bad feeling about this game. Always felt we'd beat them and todays performance and result just reinforced my view.

It was a fantastic performance and the set up for the first goal was excellent. Moreno's goal was superb. Offensively he's like Riise but with huge defensive upgrades compared to Riise.

£27m for Shaw and £12m for Moreno  ;D  ;D

Lovren was outstanding today. I thought after the first 15-20 minutes Sakho did well too. He was a bit rusty the first 20 minutes but after that he was excellent.

Henderson majestic again. Allen did the job Brendan wanted him to do, but he was slightly disappointing. But tactically he did the job.

Sterling and Sturridge were very good. Balotelli had two early chances but again rustiness meant that he fluffed those chances. But he worked very hard which was good to see.

For me our next six games will show me whether we will challenge for the title or instead for the top 4.

Our next six are:- Villa (h), West Ham (a), Everton (h), WBA (h), QPR (a), Hull (h). Those set of fixtures rounds off October.

If we can get 14 plus points from those fixtures I truly believe a title challenge is on the cards again. 9 - 14 points then its a top 4 challenge. So for me those set of fixtures will either give us the momentum for a title challenge heading into the winter schedule or just fighting for 4th.


Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #106 on: August 31, 2014, 05:12:52 PM »
Excellent game to watch and i was more than pleased with the result.
The 2 spanish fullbacks looks excellent and solid.
Lovren is excellent as a defender but fairly useless going up field but i'm hoping he'll get better and better at that, sakho was good and bad in equal measure.
Allen and Gerrard played well and as for Sterling he was superb.
good debut from Mario and once he finds his shooting boots he will be a real danger and his tracking back was nice to see, sturridge was a constant threat and henderson mopped up.
Overall a top win.
Thank christ Gerrard has given up the internationals cos he can at least recharge now.

Sakho reminds me of a cross between Lillian Thuram and Djimi Traore. If he could just stick to be the former I'd be quite happy.

Hopefully Lallana is 'excused' from England duty, Can can get himself totally fit and Gerrard can spend a fortnight watching DVDs (or whatever space age technology overpaid footballers use) of a certain Dietmar Hamann.

We need to hope England doesn't break Sturridge or Sterling and Balotelli gets a couple of weeks to finish his pre-season conditioning a buy some decent boots. I'm sure Puma would do him a few pairs of Kings or even better, SPA Kings out of top quality calf leather, none of this Woolworths 'Winfield' plastic rubbish.  ;D
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #107 on: August 31, 2014, 05:58:52 PM »
I'm happy to eat humble pie all season if that's what it takes. But in honesty we would've been trashed by a better team. Lovren is indeed a liability and even Sakho had a few unusual mistakes today but that might be down to lack of playing time.

Our best 2nd half performance since, Tottenham away. Even Gerrard had a good 2nd half after his disastrous opening. Sterling grows by each game but his finish for 4th was among the lamest I've seen.

All in all it turned out a comfortable victory despite the numerous silly and totally unnecessary mistakes we commited. Let this be a warning or we'll soon get punished.
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Offline Edward224

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #108 on: August 31, 2014, 06:14:29 PM »
I thought Lovren was outstanding actually. Showed great leadership and made some crucial tackles plus showed great strength.

First 20 minutes I agree both centre back made mistakes but after that both were pretty excellent in my opinion.

He went for ball when it was on Sakho's side. Pretty sure that is because he is used to being on the left. He was on the right hand side today so he took a good 20mins getting used to that adjustment and as a result of that plus Sakho's rustiness we saw Spurs have some real good chances.

Lovren prefers to go in for the tackle and press rather than stand off and in some cases I think that is what we need to go in for the tackle rather than stand off all the time.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2014, 06:19:53 PM by Edward224 »

Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #109 on: August 31, 2014, 06:25:22 PM »
I thought Lovren was outstanding actually. Showed great leadership and made some crucial tackles plus showed great strength.

First 20 minutes I agree both centre back made mistakes but after that both were pretty excellent in my opinion.

He went for ball when it was on Sakho's side. Pretty sure that is because he is used to being on the left. He was on the right hand side today so he took a good 20mins getting used to that adjustment and as a result of that plus Sakho's rustiness we saw Spurs have some real good chances.

Lovren prefers to go in for the tackle and press rather than stand off and in some cases I think that is what we need to go in for the tackle rather than stand off all the time.

But we saw on Monday what his willingness to go in for the tackle means. It was his decision to press forward that opened the space for Silva to play through our back-4 for their second. As I said, I don't want to whine but it's important we give an honest and critical account of our performance. And while it was very good for most of the game, the outcome would've been different I'm sure against a better side. Lovren's made a promising start in terms of presence and leadership, I'd hate to see that undermined by silly and clumsy mistakes. I still rate Sakho as our best CB.
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #110 on: August 31, 2014, 08:38:43 PM »
We have to remember that Sakho has more than double the amount of games for the club than the other three's totals put together, and he wasn't the automatic choice from the start of last season, or this.

I think Lovren took a bit of time to settle into playing on the right, which is understandable. He's had two different centre half partners and three different fullbacks outside him in three games.
Which ever pairing are chosen are going to need to understand each other's game. Whoever plays alongside Lovren is going to have to learn to be prepared to drop off a touch if their own situation allows and be ready to cover in behind.
If Lovren and Skrtel are paired then the communication will have to be crystal clear and each will have to adapt their 'natural' game somewhat depending who's best placed to commit when and if the need arises.

We had some luck but how many times have we been on the end of goal glut where the opposition only had the same amount of chances as goals scored as they were much more clinical than on average.

It was great to see the City defeat had not blunted confidence or self belief, and that's a crucial collective quality to have.

Villa up next and they are the early stage's form team (Chelsea excepted of course). Hopefully the international break disrupts their momentum, and allows us to get one or two players up to speed and Lallana back.

Who are the Dutch up against this fortnight? We do with Vlaar tiring out. He's carried on his World Cup form for Villa.
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #111 on: September 01, 2014, 08:40:52 AM »
We have to remember that Sakho has more than double the amount of games for the club than the other three's totals put together, and he wasn't the automatic choice from the start of last season, or this.

I think Lovren took a bit of time to settle into playing on the right, which is understandable. He's had two different centre half partners and three different fullbacks outside him in three games.
Which ever pairing are chosen are going to need to understand each other's game. Whoever plays alongside Lovren is going to have to learn to be prepared to drop off a touch if their own situation allows and be ready to cover in behind.
If Lovren and Skrtel are paired then the communication will have to be crystal clear and each will have to adapt their 'natural' game somewhat depending who's best placed to commit when and if the need arises.

In parts I beg to differ, tes. His decision to go for Sakho's ball had little to do with having been moved to the right and more to do with poor reading of the game/awareness, although I agree he might need a few games to get familiar in that slightly different position (it's hardly like he's been asked to play to the left in an attacking front Three). The same when he clumsily lost the ball in the center of the park. He's too pro-active, too aggressive which causes the back-four, the defending unit, to lose it's positional sense. This, in turn, contributes to pressure being invited as the positional confusion transpires to the rest of the team. As I already said, it was very costly against City and a better team than Spurs would've killed us in the first half yesterday despite all the free-flowing attack we demonstrated in the opposite direction. I still think he's gonna be a great signing, but the glowing reviews he's recieved in many places I feel are a tad misplaced and OTT.

Other than that I have to say I'm slowly starting to change my mind on Henderson (NB! starting to  :D ). He was instrumental in helping us control the midfield yesterday and his ability to move into a more central position to help Gerrard out in the second half was a great display of his tactical flexibility and maturity. Allen, again,  also proved instrumental in helping us control the center of the park just as he did against City. I would say the three CM's are picking themselves as of now. On top of that, I'd say Allen's been our best player thus far, bar Sterling.

Some say Sturridge had his best game of the season yesterday (was anything else possible?). I do not recognise him from last season, however. He seems to have rolled back to where he was in the spring of 2013 when he signed, opting for the difficult and tricky option instead of keeping it simple and putting himself in positions where he can utilize his explosive speed. Hopefully he can retain the directness and clinical finishing that was so prominent in his game last season.

I was a tad worried ahead of the game. Maybe it's a case of being let down so many times you don't dare to Dream, dare to hope, as you expect things to go downhill after such a brilliant 2013/14 season? In any case I must admit that yesterdays game (bar the odd individual mistake I've moaned about already) showed me we're actually a much better proposition than I thought. Most papers in Sweden celebrates Liverpool victory and pour praise on Rodgers and the team this morning. It was a long time the last time that happened this time of year.

Villa at home up next. A fixture we've struggled to get a result from under Rodgers. IMHO, this represents a good chance to prove to ourselves and the rest of the league we've well and truly moved on from Suarez.

Rant over.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 08:50:44 AM by Martinmarx »
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #112 on: September 01, 2014, 01:23:47 PM »
The Villa game is far harder in reality than it looks. A 3-1 home defeat and 2-2 draw after going 2 down, as you say Martin, is our very poor record under Rodgers.

This is exactly the sort of game we measure progress by. Apart from the obvious contenders, Villa along with Swansea are the form team in the league at the moment and we have to make sure we get a victory during their 'purple patch' as there will be plenty of easier 3 points available for our rivals at home against Villa once normality returns.

Additionally, if we want to progress and look to be a regular challenger, we have to find ways to beat certain teams that have proved to be a nemesis in the past. Hull City (any Steve Bruce team) are another I'm looking forward to seeing us find a way around this season, and Selhurst Park is another unhappy hunting ground (be it Palace or when Wimbledon played there) where we need to start righting previous wrongs.

Three points, no matter how many or few goals and a clean sheet against Villa would be a confidence booster, as the players will be just as aware as us about their recent shabby home record. I've got a feeling we'll have to grind out the victory against them but knack enables you to pick up the crucial difference making extra two points, which in turn decides if you'll be an "also ran" or a challenger.

Either Balotelli getting his account open or a last minute game changing goal from Ricky Lambert against his namesake would do nicely, thankyou.  ;D 
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #113 on: September 01, 2014, 01:39:32 PM »
The Villa game is far harder in reality than it looks. A 3-1 home defeat and 2-2 draw after going 2 down, as you say Martin, is our very poor record under Rodgers.

This is exactly the sort of game we measure progress by. Apart from the obvious contenders, Villa along with Swansea are the form team in the league at the moment and we have to make sure we get a victory during their 'purple patch' as there will be plenty of easier 3 points available for our rivals at home against Villa once normality returns.

Additionally, if we want to progress and look to be a regular challenger, we have to find ways to beat certain teams that have proved to be a nemesis in the past. Hull City (any Steve Bruce team) are another I'm looking forward to seeing us find a way around this season, and Selhurst Park is another unhappy hunting ground (be it Palace or when Wimbledon played there) where we need to start righting previous wrongs.

Three points, no matter how many or few goals and a clean sheet against Villa would be a confidence booster, as the players will be just as aware as us about their recent shabby home record. I've got a feeling we'll have to grind out the victory against them but knack enables you to pick up the crucial difference making extra two points, which in turn decides if you'll be an "also ran" or a challenger.

Either Balotelli getting his account open or a last minute game changing goal from Ricky Lambert against his namesake would do nicely, thankyou.  ;D

Amen to that. At the same time I think this "grind out"-thingy is starting to become a way to paper over the cracks when managers and players alike referr to it. Did Chelsea grind out a result against us in April? If so then I'm all for the idea of grinding out results once and agan. But more often than not, at least as far as we're concerned, grinding it out is way to describe a less coherent, composed and strong performance. I'm thinking Sunderland at home, Sot'on at home on the opening day. These are games where you could argue the final result had nothing to do with grinding it out, but rather inability on the opponents part to score or that Mignolet made a stunning save or that we were just plain lucky.

I do not accept grinding out results unless we do it like Chelsea did against us, where they were in full control despite spending no more than 10 minutes of the game on our half. Or like the Scum did 08-12.

Oh, and while I still remember, I'm not sure my heart will manage another season with Mignolet. He's pretty much the anti-thesis to Reina as far as playing with his feet goes.
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #114 on: September 01, 2014, 01:41:20 PM »
In parts I beg to differ, tes. His decision to go for Sakho's ball had little to do with having been moved to the right and more to do with poor reading of the game/awareness, although I agree he might need a few games to get familiar in that slightly different position (it's hardly like he's been asked to play to the left in an attacking front Three).

I think in part it's down to not knowing your partner and therefore 'taking responsibility' in a situation where none needed taking. Also, whilst switching from left to right may seem a small change, it's in those moments where you have to make an instant decision and judgement that the disorientating effect can occur. Reactions can be instinctive and instincts rely on what we've learned and experienced previously. It simply takes over and dictates. In certain situations he is more likely to react 'instinctively' than in a more controlled manner and in a less familiar position (however slight) it can increase the chances of reactions being instinctive than comfortably controlled.

You'd expect a pro, especially a right footed one, to be able to go from the left to right side comfortably, especially he's going on to the side of the foot he favours, but at the end of the day they're still human and I guess the human aspect trumps the professional or more highly skilled aspect.

Hansen's stated a few times he hated it if he ever had to switch sides. I'll trust his judgement over mine.

Defensively we're very much still a work, at least I hope, in progress.
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #115 on: September 01, 2014, 01:43:12 PM »
Oh, and while I still remember, I'm not sure my heart will manage another season with Mignolet. He's pretty much the anti-thesis to Reina as far as playing with his feet goes.

Dude, have you hacked Martin's account?  ;D
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #116 on: September 01, 2014, 01:59:59 PM »
I think in part it's down to not knowing your partner and therefore 'taking responsibility' in a situation where none needed taking. Also, whilst switching from left to right may seem a small change, it's in those moments where you have to make an instant decision and judgement that the disorientating effect can occur. Reactions can be instinctive and instincts rely on what we've learned and experienced previously. It simply takes over and dictates. In certain situations he is more likely to react 'instinctively' than in a more controlled manner and in a less familiar position (however slight) it can increase the chances of reactions being instinctive than comfortably controlled.

You'd expect a pro, especially a right footed one, to be able to go from the left to right side comfortably, especially he's going on to the side of the foot he favours, but at the end of the day they're still human and I guess the human aspect trumps the professional or more highly skilled aspect.

Hansen's stated a few times he hated it if he ever had to switch sides. I'll trust his judgement over mine.

Defensively we're very much still a work, at least I hope, in progress.

Fair enough tes, you argue your case very well. I really see your point and realise I agree with it. Come to think of it, this labelling him as the new leader upon his arrival may have put some pressure on him to, as you put it, take responsibility where none needed taking? If that's the case he should be less errorprone in the near future.

It is a work in progress and you only need to look at Chelsea and City to realise how far off we are from being the finished deal.
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Offline Martinmarx

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #117 on: September 01, 2014, 02:05:06 PM »
Dude, have you hacked Martin's account?  ;D

 :D

On a serious note I know I've been a tad negative on things of late. Reckon it stems from my fear we'll slip back to oblivion as we've done so many times before after having had that "almost there" season. It would absolutely break my heart if we failed to build on last season's progress. I seriously can't see a way back to footy if that is to happen. It's not me being a fickle or gloryhunting fan, it's more to do with the fact you can only experience so  many false dawns until it gets to you and as we all know we've had our fair share of those over the past 25 years.
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #118 on: September 01, 2014, 02:14:16 PM »
Amen to that. At the same time I think this "grind out"-thingy is starting to become a way to paper over the cracks when managers and players alike refer to it.

Grinding out a result is the human way of reacting to and dealing with the adversity and problems caused by the inherent flaws in the human design.

Unfortunately no team will ever 'click' 100% of the time. Sometimes it's just a collective off day. The better a team is when it 'clicks' the greater the difference and potentially the harder to deal with it is as you're further removed from the norm. If you can still find a way somehow to haul yourself over the finish line it's got to be better than simply being "when you're cr@p you're totally cr@p".

If you're grinding out results every game then there is an inherent problem, but if you simply don't click now and again, which is totally understandable, then it's a great ability to have.

If the Villa game goes the way of the Southampton game, then so be it. Our start to the season is one of the worse you could ask for.
The opening home game against a team we lost at home to last season, and that was after a decent start to the season,  and our second home game against a team we've yet to beat at home under this manager and against who we've conceded 5 goals in two games, losing one 3-1 after being picked apart so easily and the other we had come back from 2-0 down.

I'll happily settle for 6 points 'ground out' against teams we managed a single solitary point against last season in the same games. Winning instills belief. Still winning when not playing well is an even bigger boost to that belief.

If we're still looking like this and talking in these terms after Christmas then we've become Everton under Walter Smith.

Chelsea had a plan. They kept us out, kept us easily at arm's length and when a mistake came they took full advantage. That's pretty clinical and incisive though not pretty. Ultimately they got three points, and that's all the record shows.

Sometimes you just have to enjoy the end result if not the method it was gained by. 
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Offline Tes

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Re: Season 2014/15
« Reply #119 on: September 01, 2014, 02:17:55 PM »
:D

On a serious note I know I've been a tad negative on things of late. Reckon it stems from my fear we'll slip back to oblivion as we've done so many times before after having had that "almost there" season. It would absolutely break my heart if we failed to build on last season's progress. I seriously can't see a way back to footy if that is to happen.

Then the Summer (or supposed Summer months) will come along, and you'll realise that even though you may want to do without it, you simply can't. It's great being a football fan and lover of football, however tortuous it can be on the soul.  ;D
« Last Edit: September 01, 2014, 02:19:08 PM by Tes »
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

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