4/23/2012 06:31:00 pm

Hansen: 'Impulsive' £17m LFC rebel could be a 'weak link' against Chelsea

Javier Mascherano's last few months at Anfield were blighted with recrimination and resentment amid accusations that he refused to turn out for Liverpool in a game against Manchester City. After that, a transfer was ineivtable, and since signing for Barcelona in a £17m deal, Mascherano has been converted into a very effective centre-back. He will almost certainly start tomorrow's Champions League semi-final with Chelsea, but Liverpool legend Alan Hansen believes that the Argentinean has defensive weaknesses that could cost Barcelona dearly.

In his weekly column for The Telegraph, Hansen argued that Mascherano is a 'weak link at the back' for 'vulnerable' Barcelona, and urged Chelsea to target him during tomorrow's crucial game. He observed:

"Barcelona are such a good team that he has managed to get away with it [defensive frailty] until now. Mascherano’s lack of defensive know-how [last week] resulted in him in virtually holding hands with Carles Puyol before Ramires crossed for Didier Drogba to score. As a result, he couldn’t adjust his feet quickly enough to get himself back into position".



Hansen added:

"He almost gifted Chelsea an opening goal from their first throw-in last week when he failed to deal with Branislav Ivanovic and his presence will not help the Barcelona back four build a sense of assurance.

"When he was at Liverpool, Mascherano was always impulsive and...but you cannot play like that as a centre-half. Because of his impulsiveness, he is the kind of defender that will give away penalties, so Chelsea can have success if they pinpoint him again on Tuesday"
.

Having watched the game, I have to agree with Hansen; Mascherano looked uncomfortable at times against Chelsea, but that may not necessarily replicate itself on home turf.

Barcelona have lost only once at home this season (in all competitions), and given their amazing goalscoring record, I think Chelsea could be on the receiving end of a real battering, which will hopefully destroy their confidence ahead of the FA Cup final :-)

Jaimie Kanwar




SITE UPDATE: COMMENT POLICY
11 August 2014


Reasoned, adult discussion is the name of the game on this site, so please bear in mind the following when posting comments:

* ALL views are welcome, and if someone's football-related opinion doesn't fit your pre-conceived notion of what constitutes an LFC 'fan', then tough luck.

* Good-natured banter is fine, but posts containing personal insults, belittlement, sniping, deliberate antagonism etc (directed at fellow posters, players, managers, rival fans etc) will be deleted.


* Attack the argument, not the person. Repeat offenders will be banned.

* Posts moaning about 'negativity' will also be deleted. The aim of this site is 'critical realism about LFC', so please expect a critical/analytical approach, and be prepared to have your opinion challenged.

* Txt spk is outlawed. Please write in proper sentences, and avoid using abbreviations like LOL, PMSL etc.

* The site owner welcomes and encourages disagreement, but only if opposing views are presented in line with the guidelines above.


Ultimately, it's simple: be as vehement and passionate as you like, but please remain civil at all times. Thank you.


25 Comments :

Mitzsu said...

I agree that Masch is very much an impulsive player and therefore could a liabilty at RB, not sure why they are trying so hard to accomodate him tbh, certainly wouldn't fill me with confidence having Masch as RB in an important game like that will be.

Lion Heart said...

Mascherano hasn't been a liability for Barcelona, he has done the best job he could do. For a centre back to be short, is a really big disadvantage but it hasn't affected his performances much at all and this strategy could only have worked for a team like Barcelona. Sometimes Mascherano can be out of position but that can be expected of him as he is not a natural defender but then Pep Guardiola is responsible for that, it would have been better for them to buy a natural centreback instead of converting Mascherano into one and Barcelona would have easily got anyone they wanted for the price they paid for Mascherano.

Lordgarretty said...

Come of it, Jamie. The Mascherano thing was not prolonged over months. He played a significant role at the beginning of the season - he spat the dummy as transfer deadline day approached and he couldn't see any future under Hicks/Gillet and Hodgson.
Impulsive, unpredictable ... I'd have him back at Anfield in a heartbeat. Jordan Henderson? Charlie Adam? If ever you needed a barometer of how far we have fallen in the past 24 months, these two encapsulate it all.  

Trev said...

nail on the head with that statement     faIR PLAY TO YOU

Titi_Camara said...

mascherano gets a raw deal from the british media as regards to his role for barcelona.guardiola rates him and he has had a very good season.
it's easy to say he's out of position but barca aren't exactly playing a traditional 4-4-2 are they?

Titi_Camara said...

well said.
i'd take him with one leg over charlie adam,a genuinely world class player.

RedChica said...

Mascherano is Captain of the Argentina national team. That alone says a lot about the respect he has among his star teammates.
He was hugely underestimated when he played at Liverpool, and castigated when he left (an how he left) but I can't blame him given the sad circimstances and, let's face it, when you weigh up who you want to play for, Guardiola's Barca, or Hodgson's Liverpool, and you are given a choice, it is quite obvious, isn't it...
I disagree with Hansen. I watch many Barcelona games, and he is an intelligent and very efficient player. What he was doing up the pitch? it's the way they play. It's the way they defent. They press high and defend high.

Mattwong86 said...

Its hard to give an article much credit when basic information is wrong. Macherano plays centre half for barce. The right back is called dani alves.

''what is he doing in the centre of the field?''

he's playing centre half.

arebee said...

 You'd rather have Carra

James Cooper said...

I struggle to see why Barca signed Mascherano. He was never going to dislodge Xavi and Iniesta, whilst Keita had a bigger role last season. He was always going to be a back-up in midfield. Surely he wasn't signed with the anticipation he would play centre-half when Pique and Puyol were playing so well. However, after watching most of Barca's games this season (not as a supporter but I do like to indulge in the odd battering) he's been pretty solid. I guarantee you, Alan Hansen's theory is based solely on one match and highlights of a couple of other champions league games.

Mark LFC said...

A Barca win, and City win in local derby and then followed with the Reds victory in wembley should see a good season ending at the very least for the boys!

Titi_Camara said...

joe cole,poulsen,koncheskyand jovanovic just signed for hodgsons lfc.
i think he'd have moved to barca to work in the kitchen to be honest.

NJH said...

Exactly! He plays in the centre.

trutherts said...

Yeah here we go again I hate it when we have to rely on other teams winning but now it comes with being a liverpool supporter 

PatrickTheRed said...

I've got a bad feeling Chelsea will knock out Barcelona.. Chelsea are getting them at the perfect time, they look tired and Messi plays every minute of every match, he looks knackered. I'd say 2-1 to Barcelona.

joe said...

If you look at that goal Chelsea scored U see that Puyol and Masch both follow the ball and leave Drogba , but Puyol was the closer player to Drogba and was more at fault for not tracking him.A bit unfair to blame Masch..an easy target because he's not perceived as a centre back.He got back in position well, if Puyol had of gone with Drogba they probably wouldn't have conceded.

H8UTD said...

you are totally wrong. you should have said you would take him with no legs,arms or head,over that useless ba*tard adam. rangers reject says it all,a 500k player who isn't worth 500k of that even.

H8UTD said...

it was criminal we could not keep him and forced alonso out. just two of many bad,bad errors the club has made over the last decade.

Gary352 said...

So a couple mistakes, one of which results in a goal tells you all you need to know about Mascherano right? Forget about any tackles Mascherano has won, he isn't good enough now is he? 

Ashfah Ngog said...

Chi Bai lu, where is Gerard Pique ! Dont play him at centreback cos he's only 5' 10". Chelsea's strikers like Torres and Drog are t6' 2" and above. 

Tom said...

Hahaha

Dw said...

Who said anything about Carra? I didn't know he had anything to do with this conversation!

Dw said...

Oh yeah!!  That would be a perfect scenario!!

gabweb said...

Chelsea's record against Barcelona is very good but this is an old Chelsea team and a Barcelona team at their peak. They look tired but the loss to Mourinho at the weekend will mean that they will see it as a chance to save their season. Chelsea will see it as the last chance for their players. A good chance that they will meet Mourinho in the final as well. I think that Barcelona will recharge their batteries sufficiently to sneak past Chelsea. But it could be tight.  Much as I like Barcelona, I think it is disappointing that no one has managed to effectively combat their sytle of play. Particularly as they have no proper striker a lot of the time and, now, they have an unorthodox back four. Someone should have worked out an effective strategy to beat them. Their players are good but, Messi and Iniesta aside, are not so incredible that no one should be able to get near them.

Mascherano is clearly Barcelona's weak link and it is scary that a player who would be one of our best is one of the weakest in their line up. If we had made champions league for next season, our team could have been looking at record breaking defeats if we had ever met Barcelona in the group stages (we clearly would not make the knock out stages) so maybe it is not such a bad thing that we are only making the Europa League nowadays.

Mitzsu said...

He's just not all that good a footballer IMO, never was.....

Rafa fashioned a role for him at the Club as DM, which fit into Rafa's colunter attack type defensive and negative football......

Rafa's ideal IMO would be a team of Masch's....LOL.

Post a Comment