- I have been a Red since I was about 6 or 7. My boyhood hero was Kenny Dalglish and I have an autograph from him while he was still at Celtic. Thanks Gran! As such I gravitated towards the team he played for. So I have been Scottish-South African- Scoucer for about 30 years now! I am extremely passionate about our club, and have felt the need to start this blog in the face of the abject nature of our performaces under Benitez and the Hicks/Gillett ownership.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
Ryan Babel has apologised for being an arrogant, underachieving Dutch prick for the 2nd time in 3 months. Perhaps if he took the 2 bags of McCains Oven Fries off his shoulder and actually tried to impress the fans, team-mates and Manager, by playing to his alleged potential we might actually give a shit about what he thinks, says or does!
Next let me doft my cap to Mr Mancini for wiping that smarmy smile off that Govan inbred piece of shite's face and beating the Legions of Satan 2-1 this evening even with the Keystone cops defending towards the end. Tevez was immense.
Right Spurs tomorrow night. Well after Rafa's last effort at team selection who the hell knows what team formation he is going for. Could we see Reina make his debut up front? Will Maxi play at centre-half? And the burning question will Lucas ever pass the ball forward to a player in a Liverpool shirt????
I believe Lucas is suspended, so we might play with direction or purpose tomorrow night. My team would be
Defence - Degen-Skrtel- Carra- Aurelio
Midfield - Babel-Mascherano-Aquailini-Riera
Up Front - Maxi in the hole and Ngog.
Spurs are going to come and pass and move the ball around, so we need to be a little more creative ourselves to exploit and space in behind. No point in trying shackle them, we cant cope with Defoe's pace, let the come on to us and use the pace of Babel and guile of Maxi to hit them on the break. Alberto is good at spotting the early ball to let him run the show in the middle of the park.
Hopefully that will be enough not to see us get thrashed 3-0!
My prediction a 2-1 defeat.
Sunday, 17 January 2010
A game we needed a positive response from after the Reading debacle and our brilliant tactical genius selects 8 defenders!!!!! 3 centre-backs (1 of whom he plays at right back, depite having 2 fit right backs). 3 full backs (2 of which he deploys in midfield), and 2 holding midfield players!
So Rafa explain where the goals and inspiration were coming from??? Ngog tried hs best, but at 21 it is too much to ask him to bear the goal scoring burden. Dirk while he will run all day isn't going to score load and is as creative a blob of steel.
Fully accept why Babel was dropped from the squad, this is the second time in 3 months he has aired our dirty laundry in public. It does beg the question why we didnt take the 9 million on offer from Birmigham and run last week?? He is clearly a player who doesnt want to be there, so get rid of him, it must be disruptive to the harmony in the squad (if there is any left).
Yes, we should have had a pen for the first Lucas foul and now will miss his 'magnificent' contribution against Spurs. But what did we actually create, Sorensen could have sat next to Tony Pulis for most of the game and no-one would have noticed. The fact we had to rely on an error from him and Kygryiakos' knee-stomach-shin for a goal tells you all you need to know about our performance.
The team did what they have done almost everytime they have taken the lead this season, sat back, tried to absorb all the pressure and escape with teh points. But this is the Premiership and you would think after 5 and half seasons the Buffon would have figured that the other team wont just give because you have scored. Nope not our clown or the monkeys he has signed. Lets invite the most dangerous set-piece team in the league to conduct a bombarment on our goal for a full 30 minutes and see if we can hold out. WHAT MORONIC tactic is this Rafa???? There are 5 year-olds who have more grasp of how to play this game than you do.
How did we concede a goal, Ah suprise suprise ZONAL-NON-MARKING. The Boxed 'L' at the near post all vacated the premises as soon as the ball went over their heads, leaving 4 Stoke players with the freedom of our 6 yard box at what had now become the far post when the return header came back over. And Carra true his bombscare routine paniced and made a feeble attempt to header the ball instead of staying where he was (IE MARKING HIS ZONE), leaving Robert Huth the freedom to stab the ball home from 2.4 inches out.
Brilliant!!! Oh yes and its the 5th last minute goal we have conceded this season. So suppose this is consistency Rafa is looking for, throwing points away in the last minute and conceding from set pieces long may it continue. Anyone fancy a relegation scrap because that is where we are headed.
Fontunately those other teams trying to get into the top 4 seem equally as useless at putting 3 results together and we bizarrely remain only 4 points off 4th place.
Tottemham Preview Tomorrrow or Tuesday night.
Thursday, 14 January 2010
i cannot see this team scoring 3 goals and being able to defend against Stoke to scramle a 3-2 win on Saturday. Because I gaurentee you Stoke will score at least twice against our zonal non-marking.
My prediction is 3-0 to Stoke.
My team I would pick based on what is currently fit.
Degen (Only on height over Darby) - Skrtel - Agger -Aurelio
Babel-Plessis(Height again over Lucas plus he can tackle!)-Aquailini- Maxi
Up Front Ngog with Dirk in the hole.
That would mean that Maxi is the only short arse in the team, and gives us some pace on the break with Babel and Ngog and some guile in Maxi & Alberto.
Not sure if Rafa watched the first game, Insua had himself a new arsehole torn by Jobi McAnuff (What a name, his parents clearly dont love him!). So what does our intrepid manager do?????? Yes you know the answer NOTHING! Emiliano starts again and an evening off more arse shredding Insua's!
Surely you first duty as a coach is spot deficiencies and rectify them? Apparently not for the Spanish Rectum in charge! Aurelio is taller, quicker and poses a threat at free-kicks and a better defender. Insua, is young short and slow. I think on the whole has done a great job while Fab has been injured but enough is enough. let the boy go out on loan and build some experience at another club for a bit. Funny how we used to have 2 good left back called Warnock & Riise.......... We used to have a good right one called Arbeloa too.......
Secondly, I think Rafa has been reading my blog. Evidence, improved ZONAL-NON-MARKING!! We had 2 men on the posts. Our 'L' shape line was more box like, we attacked the ball and space. Well done Rafa, thank you for reading my insights.
In general the team did what they have done all season/pre-season. Started well dominated possesion, created nothing, lost interest and then folded. This is a cunning strategy if relegation, bankruptcy and derision are you goals. Not if you are the leader of a group players you have assembled to wear the Red of Liverpool with pride. I am sick of rafa spouting the same frivolous rubbish in the press that everyone is 'working & training hard'. We are Liverpool Football Club. We deserve players who excite, show skill, make us gasp in awe at their magnificence instead we get Lucas,Degen,Voronin, Dossena, Gonzalez, Barragan, Nunez, Morientez, Pennant, Kygyrikos et al. If we wanted to watch 'hard working players' (Thats Manager speak runs around a lot but are rubbish) then we would all be at Bolton or Blackburn. We want the game played in the Liverpool way. Pass, move, speed, gulie invention. Unfortunately we have just lost the 3 player to injury who have those skills.
Although to be fair 2 of these have been unfit since the end of last season and what have done about it nothing. Again Rafa must take this on the chin. Last season we beat Man U and Chelsea when we didnt have the Gerrard/Torres Axis. We could have done the begginning part of this season without them. They both need to get everything fixed NOW for next season, knees, ankle,groins, attitude (Gerrard). This season is a right off we have had to without them for most of it, so what difference does it make. We arent going to finish 4th, in fact I think 7th is looking pretty ambitious.I can see Biringham and Fulham finishing above is as well as the 6 team already ahead of us at the moment.
Only good things about last night was Dan Agger and Aquailini, they looked they cared and wanted to win.
Carragher's liability status grows by the day. He has become Djimi Traoare, a disaster waiting for place to happen. In 18 months he has went from one of the most dependable defenders on the planet to a quivering wreck.He gave away almost every penalty we conceded last season, and this season has been caught by the pace of the game. He gets knocked off teh ball too easily and is constantly out of postion. His time is up in the middle and right-back is teh only place for struggling centre halfs to go, that or Portsmouth!
Sunday, 10 January 2010
Secondly, let me also grudgingly admit that in the last month he has been our best player.
Now that 2nd point tells you 1 of 2 things, either he is improving or the team has been that bad! I believe it is probably a bit of both.
I believe that to be professional fotballer with Liverpool n cenral midfield you require a certain skills set.
You need to be very fit and willing to run until a one of you lungs collaspes!
You need to have the vision to pick out a pass (preferably to someone wearing the shirt as you).
You need to be able to tackle, and undestand where you need to be postionally when we dont have the ball.
You need to carry some sort of goal threat. (by that I mean for us not the oppistion!)
Lucas Leiva does not meet any of these criteria!
His general workrate is poor.
He always seems to be out of position when we dont have the ball.
His passing is too wayward and mostly sideways or backwards.
His tackling is abysmal, invariably he commits the most fouls in every game.
The Liverpool website describes him as 'box-to-box' midfielder, I have to assume they are talking of his ability to change from X-box gaming to PS3 or Wii!
So what does he bring to the team??? I DONT KNOW! If anyone has a clue please let me know. He was the Brazilian U20 captain, all I can say that must have been a shockingly poor crop of players if 1) Lucas was in the squad and 2) they felt he was good enough to be the leader on the pitch!
This is what I find frustrating about Benitez, he persists with sub standard players like this who get game after game after game, yet a player like Ryan Babel, get very little opportunity and when he does its invariably out of position on the left and for about 15 minutes when we are chasing the game.
I have to be honest how we managed to sign to the only Brazilian on planet Earth who cant play football is beyond me! I can only assume Lucas has pictures of Rafa doing something inappropriate with children or farm animals, why else would you keep playing him???
We have plenty options in the reserves. Little Jay Spearing, Damian Plessis to name just 2. This season is a right-off and a top 6 finish would be an achievement, so why not give players who can actually play a chance.
Thursday, 7 January 2010
I played football non-stop from the age of 6 to about 17/18 and had a couple of comebacks during my twenties. Admittedly I was not very good, I read the game well, tackled very well, but lacked height & pace and heading was not a strength. I always played at the back or in Goal, so I feel I can comment on defending. Never did I ever come across Zonal Marking. At corners and freekicks you man-marked and if the guy you were marking scored you got a bollocking. If you did have any spare men you generally he would cover the area around the near post. Someone else may have patrolled the edge of the box for those pesky volleys from poor clearances. AND ALWAYS 2 MEN ON THE POSTS!!!!!
According to Opta Stats Zonal is more effective. I think Liverpool Football Club are singlehandedly turning that around under Benitez!. Sky or ESPN put up a stat the other week that 70%-80% of the goals we have conceded this season have come from set-pieces. Astonishing, the nxt highest was somewhere in the 30 percentile range! Last year wasn't as bad but it was an increase in the previous few seasons. So we must ask ourselves what has changed?
Rafa inherited one of, if not the tallest team in the Premier League, our ranking on that stat has consistently fallen and now we are one of the shortest teams in the League. So we are obviously more vulnerable at set-pieces to aerial threats.
Our dependence on Zonal Marking has become more pronounced as the team has shrunk in size. We are no longer able to compete physically man-for-man in the air, so we placed even more weight on this wet cracked wooden crutch.
The players clearly lack belief in this form of defending, especially the defenders! You can see the looks of panic everything we concede a corner, free kick or even throw-in within the 'Delap' range. Zonal Marking does not allow defenders to take responsibility, if the ball doesnt drop on your head then you have nothing to be ashamed of. That is not something defenders are likely to accept or should accept. So why do ours? I have no idea. You will have to ask them. I would expect the likes of Pepe & Carra to voice their concern to the manager.Maybe they have and have been ignored.........
How our Zonal Non-Marking 'works'
1) No men on the posts. A cardinal sin when defending corners. It like going into battle without bullets in you rifle! Suicide.
2) We create a 5 to 6 man 'L' starting 3 to 4 yards in front of the near post. We deploy Torres as the short leg of the 'L'. I would say that this is the only part of the tactic Rafa gets right. A decent header of the ball to cut out any mis-hit or deliberate near post corners.
3) The base of the 'L' is generally occupied by Skrtel or Agger depending on who plays with Carra. The 1st player on long leg of the 'L' is Carra. Can you spot what we have done wrong already???? No, I will carry on, behind Carra is normally Dirk, we are roughly in the middle of the goal now heading towards the far post. There are normally 2 more players behind Dirk which cover up to the far post.
4) There is a second bank of 3/4 players in a straight line parallel to the long leg of the 'L'. These guys are appear to be doing a combo job, marking a zone and tracking any runners, and are made up of whoever is left. Should be good enough, but its not. Can you see whats wrong with this? No?
5) We leave no player up front when defending these situations. WRONG!
Why it doesnt work.
As you can see there are 5 parts to our defence and only 1 makes sense. Torres as the point man at the near post.
The 5 to 6 Man L should work, but I think we have the personnel wrong. Think about it we effectively have our 3 best headers of the ball clustered around the near post. So anything that goes to the middle of the goal is relying on Dirk to win the ball, bearing in mind his is not tall and is taking a standing jump as vervus a running jump. Anything deeper than Dirk is basically a free header against a dwarf!
The 2nd bank of players doesnt work either as this is invariably made our of our Hobbit midfielders Yossi, Lucas, Masha. How are these guys suppose to block or even track the runs of opposing centre half or tall strikers. The answer is they cant!
It is another cardinal sin not to leave yourself an out ball when clearing a corner. Why not leave Masha up front, not like he is going to win any headers!
How to Fix it
1) You need to move Carra and Agger a bit further back in the 'L'.
2) Even betetr would be to have at least 1 of them in the 2nd bank of players that way at elast one of teh opposing players who is good in teh air will have a hard time getting to the ball.
3) Bin it off and man mark! At least then we wil only have 1 player to moan at when the other team score!!!!
Wednesday, 6 January 2010
At the beginning there was his constant rotation of players, and total reliance on heartrate monitors and Paco (he of the shaven pate) to decide who was fit enough to play. Then there was the Ranieriesque tactical substitutions allowing us to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory on many occasions.
Now we have moved on to 4-2-3-1 and when it doesn't work we continue to play it, zonal non-marking, Lucas why???? the non use of Aquailini, and many other glaringly obvious flaws which he continues to ignore.
There have been 3 consistencies throughout his reign:
1) At least 1 protracted loss of form per season normally at the start, list below for your veiwing pleasure.
2004-2005 Season after 1st 8 league games we had only won 3 and were 11th in the table.(inherited squad that had finished 4th the season before)
2005-2006 After 10 league games only three 1-0 wins and 13th in the table. This was immediate followed by 12 games undefeated during which we only conceded 3 goals.
2006-2007 After 9 games only 3 wins and 11th in the table.
2007-2008 Mid season woe - from 7Dec07 to 29Jan08 (9 games) only 2 wins.
2008-2009 10 games from late November to end of Jan again only 3 wins but 7 draws - this ultmately cost us the title while the Legions of Satan were messing around in Japan.
2009-2010 The whole bloody season so far!!!!!!!
2) A stubborness greater than a the burro's in Espana could muster at their annual convention! I will not go into all the details here as I will no doubt comment on these individual acts in many of my future posts.
3) Tactical ineptitude that is almost Sounessesque.
Istanbul is a prime example, and my favourite tactic Zonal Non-Marking again I will discuss these seperately.
The above are the main reasons I have started this Blog and I will not stop until this man is removed from the job and his illegitimate love child (Lucas) goes with him.