Villa: Post predictions HERE
Lallana-Watch: THREE league goals since Dec 2014

14 February 2016

Confirmed Liverpool Team: Klopp takes massive risk; £34m duo out; double injury blow

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has named Daniel Sturridge in the starting lineup for today's Premier League clash with Aston Villa, and in doing so, he's made yet another of the same mistakes made by ex-Reds boss Brendan Rodgers.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Clyne, Toure, Sakho, Moreno, Can, Henderson, Milner, Coutinho, Firmino, Sturridge

SUBS: Ward, Benteke, Caulker, Origi, Ibe, Stewart, Flanagan

VILLA: Bunn, Okore, Lescott, Cissokho, Westwood, Gana, Bacuna, Veretout, Gill, Agbonlahor

* As I starkly illustrated earlier in the week, playing Sturridge twice in one week is a recipe for disaster:

- 2013 (NOV 19-23): Our for SIX weeks after injury

- 2014 (AUG 31-SEP 03): Out for FOUR months.

- 2015 (APR-04-08): Out for FIVE months.

- 2015 (DEC 02-06): Out for TWO months.

* Where's the fire? With Firmino, Coutino, Origi et al in the squad, why is there a need to play Sturridge? Let's hope this doesn't backfire on Klopp, but if it does, he - like Rodgers - will only have himself to blame.

* Lallana and Lucas^ are not in the squad, which probably means they're injured.

* Toure and Sakho in defence, and Caulker is ignored again. What a pointless signing. Sakho has been shaky in recent weeks, and that may prove costly again today.

* Good to see Kevin Stewart rewarded for his impressive performance against West Ham. Predictably, though, Joao Teixeira is ignored again, despite playing well in the last game. He should just leave the club ASAP, as he's never going to get a consistent chance under Klopp.

Anything but a win for Liverpool today is unacceptable. There can (surely) be no excuses? Probable formation:

-------------- Mignolet
Clyne ----- Toure -- Sakho ----- Moreno
------- Hendo -- Can --- Milner
--------- Firmino -- Coutinho
-------------- Sturridge


Make your predictions HERE.

Combine worth/cost: £34m

Author: Jaimie K

Redknapp raves: 'Sensational' £48k-a-week powerhouse is 'one of the best' transfers 'ever' in the Prem

Last week, Anfield legend Alan Hansen hailed Leicester defender Robert Huth as a 'revelation', and argued that his defensive partnership with Wes Morgan is a 'model for Liverpool' to follow. For some Reds fans, Huth will always be the cynical oaf who stamped on Luis Suarez's chest, but ex-Red Jamie Redknapp appears to agree with Hansen's assessment.

In his column for the Daily Mail this week, Redknapp enthused:

"Robert Huth has been sensational for Leicester, and [is] one of the best [transfers] we’ve ever seen in the Premier League. He helped them escape relegation and could add to the two title medals he won at Chelsea".

At a cost of just £3m, Huth is clearly superb value for money, and the fact that Leicester are challenging for the title is a clear testament to his defensive impact at the club.

As a comparison, Liverpool paid a combined £38m for Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho, and neither has yet proven to be value for money.

Players like Huth (reportedly on £48k-a-week) and Ryan Shawcross are regularly maligned by fans, but I'd take both at Liverpool in a heartbeat.

On a related note: it's instructive to make a comparison between Claudio Ranieri and Jurgen Klopp.

* Like Klopp, Ranieri inherited a failing team, but when he took over, Leicester were in a far worse than Liverpool, and had just narrowly avoided relegation.

* Klopp walked into a funhouse by comparison, and inherited a team of expensive, highly-paid internationals, yet Leicester are top of the table, and Liverpool are 11th (!)

* Ranieri did *not* buy the likes of Vardy, Mahrez, Drinkwater, Huth, Morgan, Schmeichel etc, i.e. the players driving Leicester to the title. All those players were scrapping relegation last season, but Ranieri came in and got the best out of them, which is what Klopp should be doing at LFC.

* Leicester are not top of the table because of Ranieri's summer transfers; they're top because Ranieri got the best out of the existing squad, something Klopp has failed to so at Liverpool so far.

This is what makes a mockery of the constant excuses for Klopp's inability to get *more* out of this squad than Rodgers.

When all the lame rationalisations are exhausted, a simple fact remains: Liverpool have regressed in the league under Klopp, but Ranieri has taken a team of comparative paupers to the brink of winning the Premier League.

If Ranieri can do that at Leicester, why hasn't Klopp achieved a similar uptick in performances/results at LFC?

Author: Jaimie K

13 February 2016

Future transfer? 'Fantastic' £64m goal-machine confirms he 'only' wants to sign for 'Liverpool' in the Prem

Ex-Red Luis Suarez is currently tearing it up at Barcelona, and with 51 goals/assists already this season, the maestro is well on the way to achieving the best stats of his career. Reds fans still mourn the (inevitable) loss of Suarez, but in a new interview this week, the Uruguayan reiterated once again that a return to Anfield is not beyond the realm of possibility.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Suarez - hailed this week as 'fantastic' by Jamie Carragher - mused:

"if I had to return to the Premier League, I would only go to Liverpool. It wouldn't be a move for money. In the Premier League, you never know what is going to happen, and that is something I miss."

I'm sure Liverpool fans will take heart from Suarez's comments, but if you believe this, you'll believe anything.

In many cases, public comments by footballers are not worth the air into which they're uttered, and Suarez is no exception. For example:

* Mar 2014: Suarez enthused: "I want to stay, and playing in the Champions League isn’t dependent on that".

* May 2014: He told reporters: "I signed the contract because I love it here and I'm so happy here. If you're not happy here you don't sign any contract".

Fast forward two months later...

* Jul 2014: Suarez signs for Barcelona in a £64m deal.

* Feb 2015: Suarez contradicted his previous statement about the Champions League: "For me to come to Barcelona there had to be that opportunity to not just play [in the CL] but to win it".

I don't begrudge Suarez his move to Barcelona, but perhaps he should stop making promises that he can't (or won't) keep. If - as rumours suggest - Pep Guardiola wants him at Man City, then at some point, he'll probably end up at City.

Author: Jaimie K

Anfield MegaDeal: Liverpool chase 'extraordinary' €45m Brazilian who wants to play for Klopp

Earlier this season, reports in France claimed that Jurgen Klopp was actively pursuing 'extraordinary' PSG winger Lucas Moura, and new reports suggest that the Reds are still tracking the 23-year old Brazil international.

In December, multiple reports claimed that

* Liverpool had 'made contact' with PSG to discuss the the possibility of a signing Moura (who allegedly wants to play for Klopp).

* Klopp asked the LFC hierarchy to buy Moura for next season.

According to Le10 Sport this week:

* Liverpool are still targeting [Lucas Moura] for a transfer in the summer, and PSG are willing to sell.

* The Reds have made it 'clear' to Moura that he is a top transfer target.

One of Liverpool's biggest problems is the consistent failure of the club's attacking midfielders to regularly score/create goals, but will Moura be any different?

The Brazilian - who cost PSG €45m - plays for one of Europe's biggest clubs, so he's experienced the pressure that comes with relentless expectation, but his stats are middling at best:

* 21 goals/36 assists (57) in 149 apps (Goal every 425 mins/Assist every 248 mins)

* This season: 12 goals/assists in 35 games (1 every 167 mins).

* Never scored more than 8 goals in one season (all competitions) for PSG.

Is this worth the extortionate fee Liverpool will inevitably have to pay to seal the deal? Absolutely not, IMO. A goal every 425 minutes is poor, and if Moura struggles to consistently score in French football, it's unlikely that he'll do any better in the Premier League.

That said, it'll make a refreshing change to sign a player from one of Europe's top clubs and not from a mid-table (or worse) Premier League/Bundesliga club. Moura plays with the likes of Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, Motta, Pastore, Veratti, and Cavani, and that experience with elite players should (in theory) help him hit the ground running in England.

A viable option?

Author: Jaimie K

Contact Made: 'Irreplaceable' €20m midfielder flies in for secret Liverpool visit. Transfer happening this summer?

Last summer, Liverpool were linked with a move for Malaga midfielder Ignacio Camacho, and (dubious) new reports this week suggest that Camacho is a bona-fide summer transfer target for the Reds.

According to several reports on Friday, Camacho flew to Merseyside this week to tour the club's training facilities at Melwood.

This story seems rather dubious to me, but if Klopp is planning for the summer, then it makes sense to get transfers tied up as quickly as possible.

Malaga are definitely willing to sell for the right price, though, and sporting director Mario Husillos confirmed this in a recent interview:

"I had just one call [about Camacho], not an offer, from Inter Milan. [Vice-president Javier] Zanetti called me and I told him that they'd have to pay his buyout clause fee, which is €20m."

Camacho is clearly open to a move, though, and in an interview las summer about his future, he suggested that Malaga may be 'forced to sell for a reasonable price:

"It's always good when teams are looking at you because it means you are doing things right. I have a contract here but if anyone wants to sign me, then they will have to negotiate."

Some info about Camacho, described by Malaga boss Javi Garcia as 'irreplaceable':

* Defensive midfielder, who can also slot in at centre-back.

* 13 goals/6 assists in 151 games for Malaga.

* Averages 12 yellow cards per season for the last 4 years (Four suspensions in the last two seasons).

* 2010: Europa League winner with Atletico Madrid.

* Only two minor injuries in the last five years.

* 6 separate injuries in the last 12 months (199 days out/29 games missed). 3 injuries already this season.

For whatever reason, Camacho has become increasingly injury prone over the last year, and that's the last thing Liverpool need right now.

Author: Jaimie K

Liverpool XI vs. Villa: 'Amazing' star returns? Triple injury blow; Surprise starts for Chrivella and Teixeira?

After last week's turgid home draw with relegation-threatened Sunderland, it's now one win in six league games for Liverpool, but the Reds have a chance to get back to winning ways this weekend with a trip to relegation-threatened Aston Villa. Three points in the bag...right?

Pre-match news:

* Brad Smith, Joe Allen, and Dejan Lovren are definitely out of the game.

* Martin Skrtel, Jordan Rossiter, and Cameron Brannagan also remain on the sidelines.

* Klopp confirmed on Friday that Steven Caulker 'is available' as are Coutinho, Sturridge, and Origi.

The big question of the weekend is simple: Should Klopp start Daniel Sturridge on Sunday? Reds legend Mark Lawrenson is in favour of throwing caution to the wind, but as I illustrated on Friday, playing Sturridge twice a week invariable ends in disaster:

Examples of Sturridge's historical injury layoffs after playing two games in a week:

* 2013 (NOV 19-23): Our for SIX weeks after injury

* 2014 (AUG 31-SEP 03): Out for FOUR months.

* 2015 (APR-04-08): Out for FIVE months.

* 2015 (DEC 02-06): Out for TWO months.

Keep 'amazing' Sturridge on the bench and use him as an impact sub. A few other points:

* Tiago Ilori played well against West Ham, and deserves (IMO) a place on the bench. Ditto Teixeira, and Chirivella.

* Lucas also had a great game, so why not continue to utilise him in central defence? Hell, just play Ilori and Lucas again - the team has nothing to play for in the league, so what's the difference? A Lucas/Caulker partnership is also an interesting prospect.

* Keep Lallana and Emre Can on the bench. The team is arguably much more fluid and decisive without them.

Seriously, Villa are bottom of the league, with the worst goal difference in the division. Anything but a victory is totally unacceptable. My preferred lineup:

------------------ Ward
Clyne ----- Caulker - Lucas ----- Flanagan
---- Hendo --- Chirivella -- Milner
--------- Coutinho -- Teixeira
---------------- Firmino


You have until Sunday @ 2.05pm (GMT) to participate.

* 20 Points: First goalscorer.

* 20 Points: First Liverpool player to get a shot on target (Excludes goals scored).

* 30 Points: Liverpool player with the most short passes (% as per OPTA - excludes Mignolet).

* 50 Point Triple-Whammy: Goalscorer + shot on target + short passes.

* The Gabriel Cash Mega-Bonus: 100 points. Perfect score + Goalscorer + shot on target + short passes

Oh, and my message to Roncalifornia, who knocked me off the top of the league this week:

Author: Jaimie K

12 February 2016

Klopp Confirms: 'Outstanding' £40m Liverpool duo will miss Villa; 'Brilliant' Academy sensation injured

After the disappointment of being dumped out of the FA Cup, it's back to Premier League action for Liverpool, and when it comes to the injury situation, it's another case of one step forward, two steps back for LFC.

In his pre-match press conference today, Klopp confirmed that:

* 'Brilliant' Brad Smith is injured and will not feature against Villa.

* Dejan Lovren, and Joe Allen^ - both hailed as 'outstanding' by Brendan Rodgers) - are also definitely out of the game.

He explained:

“Joe [Allen] is unfortunately is out for a while. [Lovren] won’t be fit for Aston Villa but hopefully for the next game. It’s not a big thing, it’s more about a strange feeling in the muscle".

Martin Skrtel also remains on the sidelines, but there is one piece of good news:

"Yesterday he [Steven Caulker] trained normally, so he is available".

It'll be interesting to see how Liverpool respond to the last-gasp FA Cup defeat.

The manner of the defeat reminds me of the Reds' 2-1 FA Cup fourth round loss to Man United during the 1998-99 season.

As with West Ham, United scored in the dying throes of the match, and that game basically killed Liverpool's season. After that, the Reds failed to win 11 of their remaining 16 league games (7 defeats/4 draws), and ended the season on 57 points.

The team just couldn’t recover from the disappointment, and this was obvious in the sluggish, disinterested performances that followed. It may have only been an FA Cup game, but to lose like that after giving everything was too much for the players, who clearly didn’t have the mental strength to bounce back.

The difference between then and now is that prior to the Man United game, Houllier's team had won five of their previous six games. The team was on a roll, which is stark contrast to Liverpool's run of just one win in five games prior to the West Ham defeat.

Here's hoping history doesn't repeat itself (!)

The noise inside the stadium is just incredible...

^ Allen: £20m-rated. Lovren: Cost £20m.

Author: Jaimie K

Anfield Shocker? Jurgen Klopp makes disturbing revelation about 'exceptional' £9m Liverpool star

After watching almost five months of interviews/press conferences, it's becoming increasingly clear (to me) that Jurgen Klopp failed to conduct the requisite due diligence on Liverpool/English football, and the latest evidence of that is his surprising revelation today about the allegedly 'exceptional' Tiago Ilori.

In his pre-Aston Villa press conference today, Klopp admitted:

"Tiago Ilori. When I first came here I didn’t know he was a Liverpool player to be honest. Of course not, he was at Aston Villa".

Klopp also made the following admission in January:

“When I came here, I didn’t know there were two rounds in the semi-final of the Capital One Cup".

Some fans may find this lack of LFC-related knowledge endearing, but I personally find it disturbing. How is it possible for a potential Liverpool manager to not know about £9m-rated Ilori?

Rudimentary research on the squad (achievable by anyone with a computer) would've revealed Ilori's status, and I find it concerning that Klopp signed for LFC without conducting such basic due-diligence.

It's also concerning that Klopp didn't know the finer details of the League Cup. What other important things did Klopp miss about Liverpool before taking the job, and how have these things impacted on his impact at LFC?

Some fans may dismiss this as a minor issue, but in my view, it's symptomatic of something I perceive to be serious, i.e. Klopp ending his sabbatical too early and rushing into the Liverpool job. After announcing his 12-month sabbatical on June 1st, 2015, Klopp told reporters:

"I feel below average. After seven intensive and emotional years, it makes sense to take time to take stock...before me and my coaching team embrace a new challenge, fresh and highly motivated".

Just four months later, Klopp took the Liverpool job two months into the season (i.e. no preparation time), and based on his knowledge gaps, it seems clear to me that he rushed into the role without doing the proper research. Seriously, how is it possible to recover from 'seven intensive and emotional years', and reflect on that period, *and* properly research every aspect of LFC in just four months?

In my view, Klopp ended his sabbatical too early, and based on Liverpool's results so far (and his decisions in a number of areas), he has learned little from his time at Dortmund. Last season, for example, Klopp presided over BVB's worst season in living memory, and for much of the year, the club were hovering in or around the relegation zone.

Liverpool's poor league form under Klopp (6 wins in 17 games - the same win percentage after 17 games as Roy Hodgson, who got sacked soon after) is no coincidence; it's merely a continuation of Dortmund's form last season, and that's hardly surprising considering he's had no real time to properly reflect and learn.

The proof is in the pudding: If Klopp had learned from his Dortmund experience, he wouldn't have immediately pushed high intensity gegenpressing, an approach that decimated Liverpool's squad and created a serious injury crisis. This approach also decimated Dortmund's squad, especially last season, when the constant physical rinsing of BVB's players finally came home to roost in a perfect storm of injuries, physical/mental fatigue, and damaging under-performance.

Liverpool needed something different from Klopp, and if he'd had enough time to properly *reflect* on the follies of 'heavy metal football', he might've come up with a modified approach that fits with the physical demands of the Premier League. Instead, due, perhaps, to the time crunch, Klopp simply transplanted his Dortmund approach into Anfield, and so far, it has abjectly (and unsurprisingly) failed.

Given Klopp's pedigree, success, and supposed genius man-management ability, Liverpool should've - at the very least - mounted a serious *challenge* for a top-four place this season. After all, Klopp - as fans have insisted since day one - is a significantly better manager than Brendan Rodgers, but if that's the case, why are Liverpool languishing in 9th place in the league, ten points off fourth place?

At the time of Rodgers' termination, Liverpool were just three points of fourth place, so there is a clear regression here, and it all comes back to the main point of this article: Klopp - unprepared and under-informed - arguably rushed into the LFC job.

Forget the spin - Liverpool had a superb chance to qualify for the Champions League this season, and I have no doubt that FSG expected Klopp to come in, get more out of the squad, and push Liverpool into top-four contention. A different, fresher Jurgen Klopp (or, indeed, a different manager) might've achieved that, even with this allegedly poor squad.

Klopp is undoubtedly a fine manager, but he ended his sabbatical too early, and Liverpool have paid the price. Obviously, I support the manager 100%, and hopefully, he'll improve things exponentially next season.

Author: Jaimie K

'Start Him': Lawro urges Klopp to unleash 'wonderful' £25m attacker against Villa. Agree...?

On Tuesday, Daniel Sturridge finally made his long-awaited return from injury and although he looked sharp against, he couldn't stop Liverpool getting dumped out of the FA Cup by West Ham. Sturridge seemingly made it through the game unscathed, and Reds legend Mark Lawrenson has called on Jurgen Klopp to start the £25m-rated striker against Aston Villa this weekend.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Lawro explained:

"Sturridge looked sharp when he came off the bench and I would be inclined to start him on Sunday. If he is fit, what is the point of holding him back?"

Lawro clearly has a very short memory. Sturridge - hailed this week by Brendan Rodgers as a 'wonderful' player - may (ostensibly) be fit, but given his ludicrous injury history, playing him twice in one week is simply asking for trouble.

Examples of Sturridge's historical injury layoffs after playing two games in a week:

* 2013 (NOV 19-23): Our for SIX weeks after injury

* 2014 (AUG 31-SEP 03): Out for FOUR months.

* 2015 (APR-04-08): Out for FIVE months.

* 2015 (DEC 02-06): Out for TWO months.

The moral of this story: do not play Sturridge twice in one week!

Given Liverpool's trainwreck of a season, the temptation is obviously strong to play Sturridge as often as possible, but Klopp needs to remain strong and restrict him to just one game per week.

As the historical stats show, it's folly (and arguably negligence) to play Sturridge more often than that.

Author: Jaimie K

Yes Please: Liverpool ready to sign 'spectacular' £20m Barcelona star. Offer made already but rejected

Liverpool are once again being linked with a move for German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and the news will (I'm sure) be welcomed by Reds fans, who are growing tired of Simon Mignolet's regular (and costly) mistakes.

According to The Mirror this week:

* Liverpool are 'ready to sign' Marc-Andre ter Stegen this summer.

* Luis Enrique is unhappy with the German's attitude.

* ter Stegen has allegedly requested 'talks' with Barcelona over his lack of game time.

Recent Transfer Timeline:

* Nov 2015: Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato claimed that Klopp 'discussed' ter Stegen with Liverpool's 'leadership'.

* Nov 2015: Don Balon added: "Klopp wants Liverpool to sign ter Stegen on loan for two years, with an option to purchase".

* Jan 2016: The Telegraph claimed: "Liverpool had a £10m bid [for ter Stegen] rejected with Barcelona keen to hold out for closer to £20m".

ter Stegen hasn't started a league game since September, and with Euro 2016 on the horizon, is it any wonder that he's growing frustrated? To me, that's not an 'attitude issue', it merely shows ambition/drive to succeed, and that is arguably a positive, not a negative. ter Stegen's stats for Barcelona:

* Barca total: 39 goals conceded in 39 games = 1 every 90 mins.

* Mignolet: 1 every 76 mins.

* 14 clean sheets (36% of games = 1 every 251 mins).

* Mignolet: 1 every 294 mins.

As the stats show, ter Stegen concedes goals less often than Mignolet, and achieves clean sheets on a more regular basis. Is he worth £20m, or is Timo Horn a better option?

Author: Jaimie K

11 February 2016

Replace Benteke? Liverpool chase 'spectacular' €30k-a-week attacker who smashed La Liga goalscoring record for Galicians

This summer, Liverpool's top transfer priority has to be the recruitment of players who can score/create goals on a consistent basis, and new reports this week suggest that Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has his eye on one of La Liga's top goalscorers.

According to Italian newspaper Corriere Dello Sport:

"Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is interested in signing Deportivo La Coruna attacker Lucas PĂ©rez".

Perez appears to open to a move, and when asked in October about his future, Perez he told reporters:

"If I was to leave my home, it would have to be a very good offer for Depor, not just me. I want to stay here and I'll be happy if I don't need to leave. If possible, I want to finish [my career] here."

* Spent most of his career playing as a winger/AM, but Deportivo moved him to central striker this season, and it appears to have paid dividends.

* This Season: 21 goals/assists in 26 apps (One every 103 mins).

* Career Total: 48 goals/33 assists (82) in 163 games (One every 148 mins).

* Dec 2015: Equalled Bebeto's 20-year record of scoring in seven consecutive league games for Deportivo.

* Feb 2016: Broke the record for La Liga goals scored by a Galician in a single season (12). Lucas is on 14 so far.

* Dec 2015: Deportivo coach Victor raved: "What Lucas is doing is tremendous. It is not just goals, it is that he gives us a spectacular [amount of] work. He is hammering on the door of the national team".

* The Guardian's assessment: "On the pitch, he is always moving. It looks like it means everything to him. Quick, determined, chasing everything, there’s a kind of desperation about the way he plays, a need to win".

* Has a comparatively small €2.5m buyout clause in his contract.

Perez - reportedly on €30k-a-week at Deportivo - fits the Klopp transfer template: comparatively unknown, under the radar, and *cheap*. Additionally, at the age of 27, he's missed only 6 games through injury for his entire career, which is exactly the kind of robustness missing at Anfield.

Worth a bid in the summer?

Author: Jaimie K

LK Prediction League: Games 39/40 (Sunderland/West Ham) - League Tables - New Leader!

I've been deposed! Going into the final strait of the season, the Prediction League has a new leader. Here are the latest results:


* PS: No one.

* CR1: Livi, Ronny, FdotM

* CR2: No one.

* First Goalscorer: (Firmino) [20 Bonus Points]: Great hair, BEAST, DaBandit, Kibur Semachew, YoloToure11, Dips, Imoff, tartan360, tigger1703, GogesusSS4, Gagan Jit Singh Saini, Linu, Funkdoc, romper, lfcjai, Jensen Huddleston, RedMaximus, trigger, DAROVAR, Glen, Weiz, Coodakay, Graham Matheson, StuartC, Ash, Peter BIDsley, DBM, fkpoh, roncalifornia, scotthardy, Persona, PhillyRed YNWA, Peter_Maxwell, SGMM, Salim, Tambel, Livi, US_red, Case, Lady☆bird, TableLFC, MICK THE RED

* Most LFC Forward Passes (Sakho) [20 Bonus Points]: TableLFC, Jaimiek, Syed Faraaz, FdotM, roncalifornia, nX3lemZ, Nicolas Chamberlain, BEAST, Italoscouser, Dips, YoloToure11, PlayTeixeira, tartan360, tigger1703, john52, GogesusSS4, Gagan Jit Singh Saini, Linu, Funkdoc, Timp, Glen, Ash, SidLFC, Persona, Mike

* Most LFC Touches (Emre Can - 128) [30 Bonus Points]: TableLFC, BEAST, Syed Faraaz, YoloToure11, PlayTeixeira, Gagan Jit Singh Saini, romper, lfcjai, RedMaximus, trigger, Toni ¤ 911, roncalifornia, scotthardy, SGMM, Salim, Tambel, Livi, US_red, Case, Lady☆bird


* PS: Charlie, Donkey Kong, roncalifornia, DaBandit, TableLFC, Sav, Ash, Joe, PhillyRed YNWA, DAROVAR, Alex, Greg, adamblfc

* CR1: Jaimiek, Trigger, GogesusSS4, Livi, Nicolas Chamberlain, john52, Italoscouser, scotthardy, Weiz, Francisco Mambela

* CR2: Hawthorn

* First Goalscorer (Antonio) [20 Bonus Points]: No one.

* First LFC Foul : (Smith) [20 Bonus Points]: MICK THE RED, YoloToure11, FdotM, StuartC

* Most LFC Long Balls (Milner) [30 Bonus Points]: No one.

If you spot any errors/omissions etc, please leave a comment below. If you're unsure of the rules and/or want a refresher, please go HERE.








Author: Jaimie K

Wise Up, or Leave: Mellor slates 'misguided' Liverpool attacker; accuses him of 'losing focus'. Fair?

Reds starlet Jerome Sinclair appears to be a dead man walking at Anfield. The young striker reportedly wants out of Anfield, and according to ex-Red Neil Mellor, Sinclair is no longer fully engaged with his career at LFC.

In January, The Telegraph claimed:

"Jerome Sinclair has told Liverpool he wants to leave [as] he wants to start playing first-team football quickly".

On transfer deadline day, The Times claimed:

"Liverpool reject improved offer from Watford for Jerome Sinclair. Liverpool want to use him as a makeweight in other deals".

After the recent U21 defeat to Manchester City, Mellor single Sinclair out for specific criticism:

"He [Sinclair] is a little bit misguided at the moment, and he’s losing focus. If he wants to stay at LFC, he has to perform, and he didn’t look like scoring".

Like many fans, I watch every U21 game that's available on LFC TV, and in my view, Sinclair - hailed by Jamie Carragher for his 'outstanding' finishing - was very far from the worst player on the pitch against Man City.

Unfortunately, Sinclair is in the midst of a period of negative press, which usually means more criticism from ex-Reds. Granted, Sinclair hasn't helped himself by signing up Aidy Ward as his new agent, but the 'greedy Sinclair' narrative was already in play before Ward arrived on the scene.

As I argued last week, with the appalling promotion prospects for Academy attackers, leaving Anfield remains the best thing Sinclair can do for his career.

Why should he hang around and waste his career? Liverpool have an utterly atrocious record of developing Academy attackers, and for strikers/attacking midfielders, the LFC Academy is a development graveyard.

In the last 25 years, only six attacking players have made it through the youth system to become first-team regulars (Owen, Fowler, Gerrard, McManaman, Sterling, and Ibe), and in the last 15 years, only Ibe and Sterling have made the breakthrough.

Liverpool should've just let Sinclair leave in January. He wanted to leave; Watford made an offer, but the club inexplicably put the stoppers on the deal. Now, he can leave for free in the summer.

Reject cash for a player, and let him leave for free. Amazing transfer strategy!

Author: Jaimie K

Lawro blasts: £12m Liverpool star isn't 'good enough' and 'cannot defend properly'. Sell?

With the rise of Brad Smith, and the return of Jon Flanagan, Liverpool now have several viable left-back options in the squad, which means Alberto Moreno's place in the team may come under threat. Moreno continues to suffer costly concentration lapses (which often lead to opposition goals), and according to Reds legend Mark Lawrenson, the Spaniard is one of the weakest links in Liverpool's increasingly porous defence.

In his column this week for the Liverpool Echo, Lawro slammed Liverpool's leaky defence, and singled out Moreno for specific criticism:

"They [Liverpool's defenders] aren't good enough. The whole defence keeps on making individual mistakes. We have players like Alberto Moreno who is good going forward but just cannot defend properly".

In the league last season, Moreno made four individual errors that led to goals, and he's continued the trend this season, with several costly errors against the likes of Chelsea, Norwich, and Stoke City.

Moreno's poor positioning is also a concern, and he's routinely caught in no mans land, which brings added pressure on the team.

Lawro claims that Moreno - who cost Liverpool £12m - is 'good going forward', but I personally disagree with this. Moreno's league stats since signing for LFC:

* 2 goals/1 assists in 52 apps (One every 1363 mins)

* Shots On Target: 10 (One every 409 mins)

* Shooting Accuracy: 34%

* Successful Crosses: 30 (One every 136 mins)

* Crossing Accuracy: 20%

The one attacking area in which Moreno excels is chance creation (80 chances created in 52 apps), but with only ONE assist, it's clear (to me) that Moreno needs to create *better* chances for his team-mates.

Ultimately, the key question is this: Can Liverpool do better (offensively and defensively) than Moreno? In other words, are there any left-backs out there capable of making fewer goal-producing mistakes *and* scoring/creating a goal more often than once every 1363 mins?

If not, then there's a serious problem with Liverpool's scouting system.

Author: Jaimie K