I haven't blogged for a while partly because I do get weary of moaning all the time and secondly to allow Brendan Rodgers to bed in and give the players time to adapt.
Unfortunately that hasn't really happened to much. Liverpool have always passed the ball so Rodgers is hardly bringing a completely new philosophy here. He hasn't turned up at Wimbeldon and told them that football is played on the ground and got funny looks. I think modern teams are over coached and Manager try to control almost everything that happens on the field. Sometimes you have just got to let the players do what feels right any a particular time or in a particular situation.
I think a lot of our performanceshave been like a bunch of 15 year olds trying to master a new way of pressing or changing to 3 at the back or something. Unfortunately the Premier League is not a place to try this out.The players dont look comfortable. All the foibles of last season are still evident.
We still cant make the correct decision in the final 3rd.We have over 300 shots at goal in the League this season but have scored a paltry 27 goals.Once again we are at a 1/10 conversion ratio. Not good enough.To say we are profligate in front of goal would be same as saying the Titanic had a small leak.......
Our recent performances have illustrated that especially the debacle at home to Villa. Over 20-odd shots and 3 clear cut chances to be 3-0 after 20 minutes.1st one Suarez passes it behind Gerrard. 2nd one Shelvey waits to long to pull the trigger and the 3rd one Suarez shoots instead of cutting it back. What happens Pepe again doesnt cover himself in glory.Sure Benteke's opener was a decent strike but no pressure after a another Allen powder puff challenge.
We just seem to always be getting caught out on the break.Spurs tore us to pieces. No idea why Downing was at left back against Lennon.Glen Johnson still cant defend for toffee.He never truly squares up to someone running at him or in a position to cross. As a right footed player I don't understand why he leads when his left foot when he does bother to try and stop a cross. even that he hang out like a wet rag.
Tactically I think Rodgers is too rigid and sometime naive. there is no deviation from the same tactic. Pass the ball ad nausem. Over commit your fullbacks at all times.have none of your central midfielders show any positional discipline. That is roughly what happens. We seem to be most vulnerable when either have corner or are in possession just outside the opposition box.
Due to this over commitment of resources when we lose the ball all the other team has to do is pass it out wide into the acres where fullbacks normally live and have any of their quick players tear Agger and Skrtel to pieces. weseem to have no defensive shape.Its reckless pressing all over the place when we dont have the ball. No pressing when we should. We are letting in almost 2 goals a game. its rubbish.
This has bee compounded by his total devotion to Joe Allen (90-odd% pass completion but its always sideways or backwards and in his own half) and refusal to play Enrique even when he was fit.Why? probably because he doesnt bomb forward aimlessly ad if there isn't a cute pass on he goes long into the channels IE proper defending.thankfully Rodgers has relented on the latter and Enrique is showing his worth.
Yes we are playing well but it just isnt working consistently. I think the reasons are obvious. Rigid tactics, over-reliance on youngsters and lack of leadership from senior players on the pitch. Lets be honest Gerrard has been coasting this season. Yes he has scored in his last couple of games. Same goes for Downing, suddenly he looks like a winger.
So where are we, sitting 8th (flattering) ahead of Stoke and Norwich on goal difference. 5 points behind the race for 4th,with an inconsistent bunch of players badly in need of reinforcements. Some might see that as positive but we haven't beaten a single team above us in the League this season and have struggled against most of the team below us. Other than Norwich, Wigan and Fulham yesterday we don't put the rubbish to bed.That has to change. we also need to stop being 'unlucky' against the better teams. City,the Scum, Everton and Newcastle were all games we should have taken more from.
Personally I give Rodgers a D- as a mark so far..
On the plus side youngsters like Suso (lately), Sterling(briefly) Jon-Jo (more regularly) have stepped up to the plate. Suarez is scoring more regularly although he still misses loads and doesn't always look at other options.
thankfully it looks like Sturridge's arrival is imminent. That at least gives us the option of resting Suarez. I wont go into the madness that 2 years after we were offered him as part of Torres deal we are now paying for him! Dalglish and Comolli have a lot to answer for on that front. A £100 million mess.
We probaly need a another 1 or to in. We appear to be looking at buying Tom Ince back, begs the question why did we sell him in the 1st place???? Surely another season on loan would have been a better option.The lack of joined up thinking amazes me. They talk about investing in youngsters and themn sell all the best ones...
Being Liverpool - A brave and bold decision by the powers that be to let us have a look at the club from the inside. Not sure what the target audience was. But 2 things struck me. We looked unprofessional (the chef talking about player diet - straight out of 1991!) and Rodgers came across poorly and a bit of an idiot. Especially the piece with the names in the envelope nonsense. Thats psychology 101 from 1984......
W are short of players points and consistency.January is never a very good time to fix these things and with a tough Europa draw with Zenit. Think it will be down the FA Cup to provide us with any joy.
Other than Sturridge who can we get in. Firstly I would say recall Carroll. Yes he is injured (again) but surely he is better off with us. Could do worse than Snodgrass and Sessingnon. But those clubs wont sell in a. Maybe 2 for the summer. Not sure what Rodgers is doing with Assaidi.In the Cup games he looks good but doesnt even crack a nod for the bench. Worriyingly Henderson has been told he has a future at the club. I hope its on the shop selling bobble hats! Joe Cole will surely go in Jan. even if its just for the £90k off the wage bill.
Not a lot of value and talent out there for us to exploit this window.
One a separate note great news the verdicts in the Hillsborough disaster have finally been overturned. Those families have been steadfast in their belief. The shocking thing for me is that most people werent really aware of the scale of the cover up until the independent tribunal made their public pressconference. Most of the facts have been know to Liverpool fans for years.....
Justice for the 96 may become a reality.
Oh Yes and BAH HUMBUG!
- 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.