October 26, 2020, 07:20:34 PM

Author Topic: 2013-2014 Season  (Read 209857 times)

Offline Martinmarx

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #45 on: August 24, 2013, 12:13:29 AM »
Rodgers thankfully has nailed his colours to fourth. I think that needs spelling out to all the players. No more "do what we can, and let's see where it gets us". The players need to know the definition of failure, and have it clearly spelled out for them. And let's see less of our players' words in print this season, just get on and show us, and leave the talking in the dressing room.

Still he has an obligation to appear for the pre-game PC, wouldn't you agree? We both know whatever he says will be turned and twisted. IMHO, there are clear signs he's doing great progress in adaptaing to life as manager for this club.

I would agree on the rest you wrote and especially about the obsession among media and fans of gettin in a marquee signing. Our ability to build on the second half of last season will be more important than anything else. If we can do that we'll be in it with a shout me reckons. Next 6-7 will give a strong clue as to how this season will pan out me thinks.
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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #46 on: August 24, 2013, 01:07:40 AM »
Still he has an obligation to appear for the pre-game PC, wouldn't you agree? We both know whatever he says will be turned and twisted.

Either, 'turned and twisted', or 'interpreted in one of several ways'. That's one of the joys and curses of the English language.

For example: Large Family Funfair.

Does it mean: The funfair is large, there are many rides and side shows? Is it a funfair for large families, two parents and at least 6 kids. Or, does the family have to be large, all above 6 feet tall, with 50 inch waist measurements.

What he's done is lay down a marker, and rightly so. Everybody knows where they stand. We know it's about progress, but the players have to know that whilst progress can be regarded as finishing 6th, with more points, more goals scored, fewer goals conceded than we achieved last season, and a smaller points gap between us and the team that finishes in the place directly above us, progress is also relative.
If we were to achieve all those things yet finish more points behind the team that finishes fourth, is that really progress?
We can't measure our own progress in isolation, simply comparing what we finish with this season with what we did last season. We have to measure progress within the 20 team competition we play in also.
Our target is the top four, be it first, second, third or fourth. That seems to be the decree from the very top, from the owners, from the manager's bosses.
If we finish fourth with fewer points, goals scored, more goals conceded etc then that ultimately is progress, because the only measurement that really counts is the position within those 20 teams.

So the manager has to spell it out, particularly for the players. They can now be under no illusions that the first measure of progress I described is enough. By spelling it out, he has also defined what failure will be also.

It's a good topic to fill your first press conference of the season, but now he has to learn the art of filling his media obligations, of which, I admit, there are many, with a lot of words but without actually saying or giving away very much.
There's no need to talk about philosophies, or 'our way of working' or any direct or indirect references to himself in that context. He's not the whole machine, merely a cog within it. Granted, an important one, but still just a cog. He exhausted the whole 'philosphy' and 'methods of working' theme last season.
The words are spoken in the press conferences, the talking is done on the pitch, and the proof of the methods are in the results, as the song says, 'nothing else matters'. 
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Offline Ed

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #47 on: August 24, 2013, 04:25:42 AM »
What he's done is lay down a marker, and rightly so. Everybody knows where they stand. We know it's about progress, but the players have to know that whilst progress can be regarded as finishing 6th, with more points, more goals scored, fewer goals conceded than we achieved last season, and a smaller points gap between us and the team that finishes in the place directly above us, progress is also relative.
Agree, targets should be ambitious, realistic & achieved.

Memory serves me correctly he was talking about challenging the top
3 at one point when he got a sniff last season.

We were nowhere near the top team in the division last season in terms
of over-achieving based on our resources. The likes of Everton, Swansea,
West Brom were streets ahead of us.

We simply don't have the best squad in the division, a fact that is unlikely to
change for many years. Let's not forget that we have no European commitments
though & have far greater resources and pay far better wages than other
clubs before we start feeling sorry for ourselves and the challenges we face.

It should be an honour for the gaffer to lead this club & drummed into every
player what it means to wear the shirt of the most successful club in Britain
(Success which was not achieved the easy way).

Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #48 on: August 24, 2013, 12:13:05 PM »
Agree, targets should be ambitious, realistic & achieved.

Memory serves me correctly he was talking about challenging the top
3 at one point when he got a sniff last season.

We were nowhere near the top team in the division last season in terms
of over-achieving based on our resources. The likes of Everton, Swansea,
West Brom were streets ahead of us.

We simply don't have the best squad in the division, a fact that is unlikely to
change for many years. Let's not forget that we have no European commitments
though & have far greater resources and pay far better wages than other
clubs before we start feeling sorry for ourselves and the challenges we face.

It should be an honour for the gaffer to lead this club & drummed into every
player what it means to wear the shirt of the most successful club in Britain
(Success which was not achieved the easy way).

Looking at everything in terms of squads, stability of, quality of and the managers who will select teams from those squads, length of time at club and working with the players, length of managerial experience, achievements relative to the groups of players managed and the strength of competition in the leagues competed in (this point is exactly the topic being discussed here and adds context to everything), I would say we were 6th best overall.

So obviously to get 4th we need to overachieve but the likes of Everton, Newcastle, Swansea and WBA have all done so and to arguably greater levels than we have set ourselves.

Now the target has been set, there's no need to hear anything further about it from the manager. The season is 38 games, so we could be behind or ahead of the target at differing points, but let's keep the aim constant.
It's been made clear, nothing further needs to be said, at least not publically.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

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Offline barticus

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #49 on: August 24, 2013, 08:12:03 PM »
Good result. We faded badly in the second half but for a lot of the first half we were well on top. Mignolet saved well and hopefully he'll bed in quickly...We seriously need a goal poacher. The next game will be the real tester...

Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #50 on: August 24, 2013, 08:19:42 PM »
Someone like Gradi should have been given the job (head of football development, or whatever the title was) that Trevor Brooking was given. As cultured a player as he was, what experience does he have of player development?

agreed.   But you always know that people like Brooking get the top jobs.  One can almost forecast it ahead of time.  Even before they retire, names like Sir Trevor Brooking, or Sir Sebastian Coe, have a ring to them.  Now sometimes they strike lucky and get a good un, like Coe.  But usually, one ends up with non-offensive and non-effective smilers and shakers, like Brooking.

as you say, Gradi would have brought a lot to the table.

but the FA want the Brooking and Hodgson types.  My fave england managers have been the ones that were edgy - venables, hoddle, even clough (who got overlooked).

and as for badges - don';t get me started :)
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Offline the dude abides

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #51 on: August 24, 2013, 08:25:38 PM »
like Stoke, we dominated - especially early on......didn't take our chances, and then relied for a second week, on our keeper saving our blushes.

however, beating Villa, away from home, is a good result.

someone needs to have a word with our striker though.  When you get chopped down in the area, you need to appeal for a penalty.
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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #52 on: August 24, 2013, 09:00:04 PM »
When you get chopped down in the area, you need to appeal for a penalty.

The inverse Suarez effect.
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 #53 on: August 24, 2013, 09:03:12 PM »
however, beating Villa, away from home, is a good result.

We don't have a good recent record at Villa Park so it's a good result. 3 points before a performance is always a good sign.
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 #54 on: August 24, 2013, 09:22:57 PM »
From: http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/8887765/

"Obviously second half, we just needed to defend a bit deeper today. Tactically that was the idea. In the first two games, Aston Villa have been brilliant on the counter-attack and if you open up too much the spaces, then they have players who can hurt you. We defended at half-pitch, kept our ends tied together and tried to deny them any chances."

That's pleasing to read. He's learned from the way they did us last season, in the same way they did for Arsenal in the opening game. Also he's understanding substance over style wins more games than the other way around.
Winning ugly gets the same 3 points as a 10/10 on the eye.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

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Offline Juan

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #55 on: August 24, 2013, 10:16:34 PM »
Apologies Tes, Dude and Ed you all posted replies a couple of weeks back  when I suggested we needed to look at the positives on here more. I actually did start to reply on two occasions to some of the posts but twice in the end I never got to post any replies.

In fairness today was a good day. We played well and scored. Then we played poorly and showed we could hold a lead. We're definitely not quiet there yet but one thing Rodgers seems to be building and that's consistency. Its very early days but its a solid start and something to build on. I'm not going to jump the gun and suggest anything silly but wouldn't it be a nice feeling to be 6 points clear of United come next Sunday. I know that's a big ask and we cant start looking at teams around us just focus on ourselves but if Chelsea were to do United Monday night its a possibility. 

Whats worries me about our own team is when we don't turn our possession into goals we eventually crumble. So many times we have started so well. Even when Kenny was here. We could batter teams for 30 minutes. But if we don't turn our dominance in to goals you end up with what we had in the second half today going from being completely superior to completely inferior. Even when we score one like today we seem to find it so hard to get the second.

And what a week its been with Willian doing a medical at Spurs and then heading on to Chelsea. Ive seen so much rubbish written by Spurs fans and it felt so good when Willian showed them just what a big club they really are. All credit to David Levy hes doing a super job but one season in the champions league and a bit of cash in the bank doesn't propel Spurs into footballs elite.

Offline Martinmarx

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #56 on: August 24, 2013, 10:31:47 PM »
From: http://www1.skysports.com/football/news/11095/8887765/Winning ugly gets the same 3 points as a 10/10 on the eye.

Is right but I didn't enjoy the feeling we'd struggle to hold on to the lead against a better team. I don't mean to sound negative but we need to calm things down, find a structure that allows us to "rest" during the runs where we don't dominate the games. Good start to the season indeed. ManU will be a real test. I maintain some fans, the entire media underestimate us and the potential we carry big time. I don't mind winning ugly as long as we learn and progress. It was painful to Watch Coutinho fade, Aspas not turn up and Sturridge out of sorts playing left back one minute just to see him overlap with Johnson the next. We're making progress though, let there be no doubt about it. And let us not forget this game was out of our hand for too long periods of time.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2013, 10:35:13 PM by Martinmarx »
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Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #57 on: August 24, 2013, 10:42:20 PM »
Whats worries me about our own team is when we don't turn our possession into goals we eventually crumble. So many times we have started so well. Even when Kenny was here. We could batter teams for 30 minutes. But if we don't turn our dominance in to goals you end up with what we had in the second half today going from being completely superior to completely inferior. Even when we score one like today we seem to find it so hard to get the second.


Sport has such a huge psychological side to it. In the same way that we have to learn to believe we can still win when not playing well, be disciplined when the need is there and understand when the need is there, we also have to learn not to allow a 'setback' of not adding a second goal quickly to derail us from adding a second goal. He have to learn not to lose belief. To keep playing and 'believe' it will come. Sometimes it doesn't.
The Mancs with their attacking strength went through a phase either last season or the season before where they won a string of games by just 1-0.
During our heyday we never steamrollered every time, in fact we were the champions of the 'late winner'. The difference was we 'believed' we would get that goal and heads never went down, despite missed chances or even a lack of chances created, the belief was unshakeable.

I think if we can start to string together a run of clean sheets then the desperation to get the second or third, and therefore the disappointment when they don't materialise, will hopefully subside. At the moment it's almost like they don't believe they'll win unless they get two or three goals and things go flat if they don't appear.
If we have confidence in our ability to keep out the opposition, we can start to be more relaxed about the point at which the second or third goal can arrive. Sheer force of belief is as valuable as any £30M player.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

Those who choose to preach would do well to take note of their own sermons.

Offline Tes

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #58 on: August 24, 2013, 11:00:18 PM »
Is right but I didn't enjoy the feeling we'd struggle to hold on to the lead against a better team. I don't mean to sound negative but we need to calm things down, find a structure that allows us to "rest" during the runs where we don't dominate the games. Good start to the season indeed. ManU will be a real test. I maintain some fans, the entire media underestimate us and the potential we carry big time. I don't mind winning ugly as long as we learn and progress. It was painful to Watch Coutinho fade, Aspas not turn up and Sturridge out of sorts playing left back one minute just to see him overlap with Johnson the next. We're making progress though, let there be no doubt about it. And let us not forget this game was out of our hand for too long periods of time.

You've made some good observations there, and those observations are partly the reasons some aren't as convinced as others.
Winning ugly, stylishly, luckily or undeservedly, should never be ranked in some order of preference. Teams that win things do so because they utilise all those ways. Progress is when you can turn to any of them and be successful.
I think players like Coutinho and Aspas will fade in and out of games more in this league than in any other. Until the game changes and skill, tactics, technical ability are cherished way above heart, passion and workrate in isolation, it will always be the case.
Also, lets not forget it's only the second game of the season. Arsenal's game in midweek, not just the result but the 90 minutes themselves I think was the reason they did for Fulham.
Villa have an extra game played on us and at this early stage of the season it can be a huge help building back to optimal fitness. I think that extra step ahead of us in terms of fitness showed in the second half.

The Manc game will seem odd. Playing the Mancs is always huge, but when you've got the bitterest of Bitters' managers in their dug out it will feel like playing the Mancs and the Bitters in the same game.
It will be a good chance to chart if progress is being made or how far we still have to go before we can realistically say we are in a state of progress.
Don't make the same mistake twice, there's plenty of new ones to choose from.

Those who choose to preach would do well to take note of their own sermons.

Offline Juan

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Re: 2013-2014 Season
« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2013, 11:18:50 PM »
Sport has such a huge psychological side to it. In the same way that we have to learn to believe we can still win when not playing well, be disciplined when the need is there and understand when the need is there, we also have to learn not to allow a 'setback' of not adding a second goal quickly to derail us from adding a second goal. He have to learn not to lose belief. To keep playing and 'believe' it will come. Sometimes it doesn't.
The Mancs with their attacking strength went through a phase either last season or the season before where they won a string of games by just 1-0.
During our heyday we never steamrollered every time, in fact we were the champions of the 'late winner'. The difference was we 'believed' we would get that goal and heads never went down, despite missed chances or even a lack of chances created, the belief was unshakeable.

I think if we can start to string together a run of clean sheets then the desperation to get the second or third, and therefore the disappointment when they don't materialise, will hopefully subside. At the moment it's almost like they don't believe they'll win unless they get two or three goals and things go flat if they don't appear.
If we have confidence in our ability to keep out the opposition, we can start to be more relaxed about the point at which the second or third goal can arrive. Sheer force of belief is as valuable as any £30M player.

I'd agree with all of that Tes. Thats why wins like the last two are so important. It really will help the players from the psychological perspective. Clean sheets help breed a mental toughness in defense. Wins help instill that determination to win at all costs. As you say United scrapped to one nil wins alot last year but they always managed to win the games a mentally weaker team would've drawn or lost. All of Fergies teams never believed they were beaten no matter what the score was or no matter how many minutes were gone. This year if we are going to challenge for fourth we are going to need to be mentally rock solid. From a quality perspective and looking at today's bench I think we are very short of options. We don't have many game changers on the bench , there arent many more players in the squad you can bring on to score goals. I hope we dont spend money for the sake of spending money either. If the right players arent available I would prefer to keep whatevers left in the transfer kitty and use it in January if the right players are available or next summer if they are not.