1/04/2013 07:30:00 pm

'He's not capable' - Molby clashes with BR over Sturridge role. Who's right...?

Earlier this week, Anfield legend Jan Molby insisted that new signing Daniel Sturridge 'is not capable' of playing as a central striker for Liverpool, and urged Brendan Rodgers to keep Suarez as the 'focal point' of the club's attack. Clearly, Rodgers has an important decision to make in that regard, but it seems he strongly disagrees with Molby over Suarez's best position.

In an interview with ESPN yesterday, Molby emphatically rejected the possibility that Sturridge will play through the middle for Liverpool. He insisted:

"He [Sturridge] certainly won't be performing as the central striker at Anfield, much as he feels that is his best position.

"Luis Suarez will always be the focal point of the Liverpool attack, but the Uruguayan has a free role so there will be space for Sturridge to come in from the left or right. I just don't think he is quite capable of being the lead striker by himself"


Earlier the same day, Rodgers refuted suggestions that moving Suarez to accommodate Sturridge would have a negative impact on the team. The boss confirmed that moving him 'has been in the plan for a few months', and then explained why [tactically] it would be a good decision. He observed:

"At Ajax he [Suarez] played as a No 10, in between the lines, and he played as a reverse winger from the left side so he wasn't quite out wide – he was tucked in round the corner. Wherever he plays he will make the same movements and he will find the space because he is a world class player."

"Daniel's best position is as a central striker. There is not just one way to play 4-3-3. You can have one up and two wingers, a floating nine like Luis Suárez, you can have one like Sturridge central, two in and around him narrow with full backs bombing on. I think for Daniel his best position will be straight through the middle with his pace."


I totally agree with Rodgers here, and it's heartening to see that he emphatically believes that Sturridge's best position is through the middle.

Suarez can still be the 'focal point of the attack' playing slightly withdrawn. As a comparison, consider Lionel Messi. Does he play as a central striker? No. Is he the focal point of Barcelona's attack? Of course.

Suarez has proven in the past that he can be devastatingly effective playing off the main striker. As Rodgers touched on, he played out wide for Ajax, with Klass Jan Huntelaar down the middle, and between 2007 and 2009 they scored/created 125 goals between them. Suarez has also played a more withdrawn role for Uruguay, and that didn't hampered his ability to score goals.

The Uruguayan is a great player, but the reality is he scores in bursts:

* Prior last week, Suarez went SIX games without scoring/assisting.
* That's basically NINE HOURS of football with no meaningful creative contribution.
* In that time, the Reds scored only SIX goals, and won only TWO of the six games.

It would be folly to get too carried away and ignore his recent goal drought. The same thing happened last season too.

* On four separate occasions Suarez went four games without scoring.
* In one period, he scored once in eight games.
* In another period of the season, he scored twice in eight games.

Sturridge can hopefully contribute during Suarez's non-scoring periods, and if he's to do that, he arguably needs to play centrally.

It's not as if Suarez will hog the touchline playing out wide; he'll have something of a free role, I imagine; buzzing around the box, taking players on; creating space etc. Granted, it's possible his goal return might slightly suffer, but the TEAM's goal return overall from attacking players might increase, and that's the most important thing, is it not?

Additionally, according to the EA Sports Player Performance Index:

* Suarez spends most of his playing time around the edge of the 18-yard box.
* He spends practically no time in the six yard box.
* Most of his shots come from just inside the 18 yard box.

These positioning stats suggest that a move out wide would be ideal for the Uruguayan. Like most fans, I love seeing Suarez get the ball outside the 18-yard box and then run at defenders, and playing out wide will give him more chances to get involved in the game. He'll also probably get more of the ball than he does now. My preferred first team attacking line-up (with current players):

-------------------- Sturridge

Suarez --------------------------------- Sterling (Replace with Ince if he signs)

Another thing to consider is flexibility: Suarez and Sturridge can always alternate positions during games, so both get a crack at playing through the middle.

It seems like Rodgers is willing give Sturridge the chance to play centrally, but he has to commit to that decision, not just pay lip service to the idea. That means deploying Sturridge there week in, week out, and not just giving him one game there against Mansfield and then dumping him on the wing.

Jaimie Kanwar






117 Comments :

Mfimfi said...

Suarez can play anywhere along the line. I don't think he minds all to much either. 

Anthony said...

rogers is the manager he decide who play were...

dave H said...

That Suarez will still be effective I think is a given as he is simply a class act. The question I have is will Sturridge be effective. If he plays best in the middle then I think he has to play there. If his movement off the ball is good and he is a threat with the ball then I think defenders will have a tough time dealing with our new front 3.
Which leads to another question. If Sturridge and Suarez are a given (and I think at least for the next few games they will be), who will be the player that misses out, sterling or Downing?
Personally, i would keep downing in while he's on form, but I'd be interested to hear other views on this.

Andy fleetwood said...

molby=gr8 player(legend) but shite manager????
Leave it to brendan its his sword to weild,or fall on?

liverpool4life565 said...

Sturridge will play well down the middle with are full backs going forward also erinque passing range, sturridge could run onto it and score.... Look how we used torres pace.

Soulshalize said...

The team is designed to be fluid, front 3 will work together, come on give them a chance!

lizard said...

suarez is best when he floats he is unpredictable and will have teams terrorised with a bit of pace around him if he plays infront wide or behind sturridge you will get the same 110% he should benefit from having pace and quicker options about him

Leif said...

Suarez has had more touches in the opposing 18 box than any other player in the league, so u r manipulating stats to assist ur point! How many players r actually in the 6 yard box throughout the match? A striker may touch the ball once a game in the 6 yard box! Most strikers, no matter how talented score in spurts! I do agree, that players positions will change during the game, which is a common trait in most sides! Good luck to sturridge, keep up the great work Suarez and maybe u can give Liverpool players anything more than back handed compliments one day jk!!!

SE said...

Only thing that concern me is that we not capable to sign "big" players anymore...Sturridge is an average squad player and we do not need more of those as we already have Shelv, Hendo and Downing that are just that...we need to add some quality!

lizard said...

we are were looking a few big players sturridge is capable of better things and hendo is starting to come on now he is getting in over allen

SE said...

Well when i said we dont sign "big names" or quality...i was also thinking about Borini and Allen....and now with Sturridge we have used almost £40m on squad players..the same as Kenny and Comolli did....so cant see that much improvement... and no Hendo is far from starting to come...he is still just an average player! it will be a sad day when Gerrard is to old...he is only world class we got beside Suarez-

Johnunpressure said...

if we got ince id like to sterling sturridge and ince up front with suarez top of da mid three lucas and allan behind 

Banoog said...

Right now, this is our lot. We may progress up the table with such players, but we most certainly will not win the EPL unless we possess 4 or 5 world-class players - however long it takes to acquire them. The only problem is that, in the meantime, we may end up like Arsenal, where our best players leave as they tire of waiting for that elusive success.

Jim G said...

Looks like Suarez will be a victim of his own versatility. 

SE said...

we should try to get Sissoko from Toulouse...a real powerhouse that can operate the whole center mid. think he wants away and soon out of contract so shouldnt be impossible to get.

alanacourt said...

JK why replace Sterling with Ince
very shocked at that statement

VermHat said...

I too would like to see this (with Gerrard in for Allen, which he deserves on recent form and if not Gerrard, Hendo has played some good stuff lately and really promotes a good pressing game) and when we play away (or generally against a decent side) push him into the front 3.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I see the front 3 rotating making them harder to mark. The real width will come from the fullbacks imo as the 2 "wider" attackers will be moving inwards towards goal anyway and probably rotating to create space for each other and runners from midfield. As BR says, there are different ways one can play the 433, Suarez up front tends to play a little like a trequarista and drop deep becoming involved in the build up. If Sturridge was up front I think he would play the central role a little further forward. The wide forwards can either move in towards goal like inside forwards or if Suarez plays one of the wide forward roles I could see him coming inside just behind a more central striker like a play maker. There are many permutations and the fact is, BR looks like he is trying to give himself options. Suarez/Borini/Sturridge can all do a job centrally or in a wide attacking position and Sterling/Ince (if we get him) can play either side of the central striker giving us options.

I still worry about us defensively though. We must retain the ball better (especially when we are being pressed) when we are building from our own half as with the full backs pushed on and DCs moving wide with a DM dropping in centrally, there is much space to exploit for clever, quick opposition players if we lose the ball in this phase. Passing needs to be quicker, especially as we move up the pitch to stretch and move the opposition about although sometimes there is no problem retaining possession at a lower tempo while we probe for space as long as this does not become the norm. Retain possession by all means but always look for chances to make space, a run or an incisive pass.

lizard said...

great player he would be for us so would m,villa

VermHat said...

Another thought though- when Enrique is fit (out for 6 weeks), if we play Suarez on the left we can get their nice partnership going again.

gilstrap said...

im puzzled why would ince ( Blackpool no caps ) replace sterling ( Liverpool & England international ) Im sorry Jk but as far as i know ince has made no impact or proved himself in the PL so its pure indulgence to suggest he may be better than sterling

gilstrap said...

The problem is we have other areas LB and CB which are woefully short of cover

SE said...

Agree.... even Shelvey was decent at Blackpool so not a quality sign. Sterling got massive potential and need something better than Ince to replace him... getting abit worried we still paying to much of average english players instead of finding bargains like Michu and Cabaye.

gilstrap said...

the problem with this set up is unless everyone was at the very top of there game you would get overrun,,,,to many chiefs not enough indians 

gilstrap said...

Henderson has looked anything but average this season

gilstrap said...

As long as Gerrard agrees or so it seems

Johnunpressure said...

sterling 30 or so games 2 goals ince 25 games 13 goals and set up about da same i know its the prem but scoreing from 25 yards out with left foot cracker on one pitch is the same as any other sterling will come go but ince has goals in him right now

gilstrap said...

it really isnt ..you dont get the time and skilled defenders push you on to your weaker side ...its only split seconds but thats the difference between average and great players

Mitzsu said...

I think we have to go with what is presently working.....it would be folly to change Suarez's role in the side to accommodate Sturridge given we are only just finding our feet under the new system etc, for me Sturridge would be a perfect replacement for Sterling on the right.

Clearly opinion is split on this but I would say that considering how lacking we are in momentum.......and how important it now is to try and stay in contention for a possible top 4 finish AND how very important each league game will be from here on in......to risk upsetting the TEAM fluidity or player understanding/awareness would be way too risky.

NOT particularly happy with the story that Sturridge was asking for some kind of contractual agreement re his position etc..........

I caan't quite put my finger on it but something about this signing seems very odd to say the least, initially I was happy enough with the transfer news thinking he (Sturridge) would be a very good wing type forward who would replace Sterling to strengthen our weaknesses but things have turned a bit weird what with all this stuff about him wanting written assurances etc and then BR and Gerrard making a few comments.......

Anyway, best of luck Daniel, welcome to the lions den......

Jay said...

When quality players are available on the cheap, we should be picking them up immediately, irrespective of whether there are other higher priority gaps in the squad (and I'm not sure that LB or CB cover are higher priority than more steel in the middle of the pitch anyway).

Much like when Spurs picked up Lloris inspite of having Friedel who could do a perfectly fine job at the time, we should be picking up M'vila or Sissoko now while their stocks are so artificially low (and they remain players that would definitely improve our team)

Jaimie K said...

Reasons why Ince is preferable:

* Older and more experienced.
* Scores and creates more goals
* Ince: 13 goals/10 assists in 25 apps (Phenomenal)
* Sterling: 2 goals/2 assists in 30 apps (Underwhelming)
* Using Ince more would mean Sterling doesn't burn out.
* Good competition for Sterling, which might make him up his game.

When it comes to Sterling vs. Ince it's absolutely no contest. For an attacking player, end product is the most important thing, and Ince is miles ahead. Even allowing for the difference in league quality, Ince is still miles ahead.

Ince should be first choice IMO. If Sterling wants to be first choice then let him score/create a Ince's level.

Jay said...

How is what we're doing presently working? We've played 21 league games so far this season, and clearly needed a fresh approach to maximise the threat of the team over one individual

Jaimie K said...

You really think there is a difference between the likes of Southampton, Reading, Wigan and Blackpool? Be serious. Would Sterling score 13 goals and provide 10 assists playing for Blackpool? I sincerely doubt it.

Jay said...

I would've preferred to see Suarez shift out left, with Sturridge performing a similar role from the right and another centre-forward being brought in to spearhead the attack, but eitherways I am happy to see Suarez's role being reconsidered.

Then again, Rodgers did say that he saw Gerrard as an attacker though and look how many times we've seen that happen so far this season...

Gene Sylvester said...

I do not like the idea that Suarez is gonna be pushed out wide to accommodate Sturridge!! Anybody that watches and understands football will know that Suarez is not a conventional Centre Forward. He was bout to play off a front man (Torres), as he did at Ajax (Huntelaar) and Uruguay (Forlan/Cavani).
As Jamie states...Suarez is most dangerous when running at defenders from deep. Only problem there is that we never have that conventional centre forward to keep opposition centre backs occupied, meaning that Suarez usually has to beat a fullback/Defensive midfielder, followed by A central defender who has no one else to mark!! Sturridge will give defenders the concern of running in behind, meaning they will drop off deeper, giving more space between the lines for Suarez to work his magic in! Currently, centre sucks have little to worry about pace wise in behind, meaning they are comfortable defending high up the pitch... I can't remember the last time I saw a Liverpool player make a Rush type bending run onto a through ball...that is not Suarez game, as he is not a natural centre forward!?
So people talking rubbish about Suarez being pushed out to accommodate Sturridge don't have a clue what they are talking about!! This will add a whole new dimension to our game that we haven't seen since Torres!!

Dann said...

You know Ince is playing in the Championship right ?

Harjbahia said...

Dont agree with Molby on this one. The amount of times I have seen our beloved LFC team struggle to finish off chances right in the central position within the box is driving me mad, if sturridge can niche himself as that poacher (considering a number of his goals have come as tap ins) he will be a very valuable asset, not had that since god and owen!

Our "No.7 genius" is that and will score goals from anywhere along the front line - without him this season we'd be in bottom 3. He has changed his behaviour and simply letting his football do the talking with amazing results. Deserves the plaudits Jamie!! And should be player of the season at this rate, not RVP! (who is top quality)

Sterling needs to be benched and used in the right games, his composure when passing and finishing is generally erratic and if worked on that side of his game, he would be a walcott who I would love to see join.

Shame about Enrique as he has been second best player, great turn around!

Does Hendo know how to shoot on target and aware of how to pass forward rather than constant lay offs backwards / sideways!!

Ince stats are great! Is BR using media to drive the player to demand a move so that we pay the right price. Blackpool have already screwed us on Adams so playing hard ball is ok with me... finally we learn!

Ryan said...

yeah.... well..... i would see a top manager putting the leages joint top scorer on the wing. it wont be long before whiskey nose puts rvp on the wing. saurez is a world class striker he should play as one, br should try his best not piss saurez off.

Jaimie K said...

There's a difference! (aaagh!) - Suarez has a history of playing out wide. Why do you and others ignore that? Van Persie does not, so the comparison is pointless.

Jaimie K said...

Yes. What's your point? The idea that Championship players are vastly inferior to PL players is nonsense. If that was the case, Liverpool wouldn't be trying to sign him; Arsenal and Man U wouldn't be trying to sign Zaha.

13 goals and 10 assists in 25 apps. End of story.

Soulshalize said...

quality is good to have! but a team ethic is better which is what we are developing, it's no good imo to just hope that a player here and a player there will solve all our problems. LFC need to be sellf sufficient meaning even when our next Gens come on the field we don't see a dip in quality, so far from what i have seen there is plenty of quality right under our nose, TRUST ME!!! 

Jay said...

Am I the only person that remembers Tevez, and more recently Rooney, playing out wide for Man U. Both more conventional centre forward types than Suarez. And both managed by ole whiskey nose...

Jay said...

In fact Uruguay were a lot more successful with Suarez out wide than as the focal point of the attack. 
They've also flopped since Forlan was phased out and Suarez switched to centre-forward...

voiceofreason said...

it really isnt like that though is it? Look at the top scorers from the championship then see who has made it in the top flight. Think of the stats of players like Nugent, taarabt, beckford amongst so many others.

Soulshalize said...

the media have us to believe that only Suarez and Gerrard are world class performers? So what! who determines who is world class? imo Messi, Xavi, Iniesta are in a world of their own, any other footballers it really is a matter of opinion. I dont buy into this world class media hype, every player who touches the field at Man u are all meant to be world beaters but we all saw what happend to them in europa league they got battered, don't buy into the hype just keep the faith...WE ARE COMING...

gilstrap said...

Obviously Jaimie thats why Blackpool arnt in the PL....iNCE is a relatively new player performing in a lower league i just dont know why you think he is going to take this ability and step into the Pl with such ease ...i honestly dont think hes that special and trust me i hope im wrong   

Dann said...

 It's not a case of players being inferior, it's a case of the league being inferior. Why isn't Shelvey performing as well as when he was at Blackpool ?
If there's no difference between the two leagues, why don't Liverpool just get relegated then ?

gilstrap said...

The point is Jaimie they are prospects with potential nothing more they are not dead certs....And Pl players are superior to championship players ...on a sliding scale i dont know by how much ..but to suggest different is folly  one swallow doesnt make a summer

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I see Sterling and Ince as players with a fair degree of potential -

but in terms of current ability;

1. Ince is a little older and so has more life experience than Sterling,

2. Ince has about 12 months more first team football experience than Sterling (which imo is massive when both are still relatively inexperienced),

3. Ince has a better goals/assists record than Sterling.

Ince's experience may be at a slightly lower level but we are talking 1 division difference here and that is a much smaller negative than the 3 positives I have listed here imo.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I don't believe the nonsense about playing in set positions - that would go against the fabric of what BR says he is trying to create. Press speculational nonsense imo.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

The attacking players BR is bringing are ones who can play in more than 1 position across the front line, so I would not expect to see such rigidity as some on here seem to think - the players will rotate and interchange to try and create space/chances/goals for each other. The team, not the player. Rigidity makes players easy to mark, rotating around will produce gaps for others to run/move into.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I don't see a long term future at Liverpool for Downing, I think he will survive January due to lack of numbers but will be gone in summer unless he produces something noone has ever seen from him - I doubt he will get the chance to though.

It may seem like Downing has suddenly coming onto a game but isn't that because he has been so poor up till now? For the first time recently he seems to be running at people a bit more and getting involved (great run to take defender away and leave space for Suarez when Gerrard's long pass lead to our 3rd goal the other night) but isn't that just the basics of what he should be producing week in week out for the 18 months or so he has been here?

No, too often he gets the ball, immediately passes it back or sideways and then hides behind the first available defender offering nothing.

Soulshalize said...

It already happened, Alonso, Arbeloa, Mascherano all said to be world class, all gone! let's wait and see with the new rebuild who they will call world class players in the future.

Can't look back got to look forward!

Jaimie K said...

Ince arguably has more potential than Sterling. Again, I ask you: would Sterling score 13 goals and get assists playing for Blackpool? Absolutely no chance (IMO). Taking into account the difference in quality between Championship and PL: if Ince dropped his creative return by 50% after moving to LFC, he'd still have 5 goals and assists, which is still superior to Sterling.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

There is no victim here. The important fact is to get Suarez on the ball as often as possible in the final third of the pitch. I have seen Suarez cause devastation from the left, right, centre, hole behind in fact all over the opposition half while he was the "central striker". Our front 3 (as intended by BR) I think is meant to be 1 fluid, rotating, interchanging unit, not 3 seperate players playing in set positions and sticking to them.

DecDec89 said...

I think you are probably right when it comes to sticking with Downing at present, as I believe it is form that should pick the side. However, Sterling has done nothing wrong and him and Downing could be alternated tactically during matches and from one match to the other. The same can also be said that with Borini likely to start training again in about a week and the possible, (hopeful) arrival of Thomas, not forgetting young Suso; then up front we are beginning to look like we could have a few options to change things up front during a match for the first time this season! nb I too believe Suarez and Sturridge should be a given for the next few games.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

It is about improving the group. For the players that can play in his position, Sturridge is an improvement imo. The best and most sustained improvements usually come in small increments unless some rich benefactor buys the club and that is not the Liverpool way... certainly not the way I want to go.

Jaimie K said...

But it is like that though. For every player who failed making the step-up, you can find lots of players who actually made the step up easily. Take Swansea City, for example. Two years ago they were in the Championship; every one of their players was a championship player. Look how great they did in the first PL season last year, using many of the same players. You can find countless similar examples of either players/teams.

Ince is a superb talent, and his creative return is excellent. There is a high probability that he will transfer that to the Premier League. If that wasn't the case., why on earth would LFC be trying to re-sign him?

Mark my words, if Ince signs, he will perform at a higher level than Sterling, and by that I mean he will score/create more goals.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

If players can see continued improvement then they will buy into the vision. Any that dont will probably not fit into the vision in the long term anyway.

Jrafferty said...

What about Borini? He is back soon, and surely the lad deserves a chance.The goals werent there (yet) but his movement and work rate were first class.  People forget the lads age as well. The team seems to be gaining more confidence in their style of play and I think its a pity he got injured, think he would have benefited.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I think it depends on whether BR and the scouting team feel he is the type of player we need. If we were to get an enforcer, a "power house" of a player so to speak, who would he replace? If you have 3 central midfielders in your team, to have Lucas AND an enforcer type would reduce creativity too much.

I think the balance I would look for if I was BR would be something like a DM (could be an enforcer, who can play simple passes well), a deep lying playmaker who will control the tempo of the game and an Advanced playmaker who will be the link between/join in with the midfield and the front 3.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Unfortunately we cannot always attract these players and we should only go for them if they fit into our system. There is no point buying quality players for the sake of it. They need to have the right kind of quality for what we are trying todo.

Jaimie K said...

It's hard to see where Borini fits in. If LFC get Ince, there could potentially be 8 players vying for the three front positions:

Ince, Sturridge, Suarez, Borini, Suso, Sterling, Downing, Assaidi,

Suarez is an automatic starter, so that leaves 7 competing for 2 places.

It's going to be hard to keep everyone happy.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I agree with this. I think a rotation of the 2 to some extent will also help both of them.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Correct about end product. It's nice though to have an "attacking player" being promoted through our youth ranks (although we bought him in we have developed him to a reasonable degree).

I can remember the times when you posted (correctly) about only defensive players being given a chance in my former guise as a lurker in the past :-)

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Borini has reminded me a little of a "Kuyt" with pace. Would be nice to see him more involved and amongst a few goals but he needs to impress when he's given the chance so that he gets subsequent chances. That's the beauty of having options up front and why I really hope we manage to get Ince.

Jay said...

by his words (though not his actions), Rodgers recognises that Suso is a #10 central player and playing out of position in the front 3.

And surely Downing is still on his way out at the earliest opportunity (pretty please!?)

That leaves 6 players rotating for 3 spots (assuming Suarez can be rested with viable options on the bench & Rodgers finally gives Assaidi some game time again), which would be fine for me. 

I'd still rather see another centre-forward come in and Sturridge occupy the first choice wide-forward role, rather than have Ince come in as a starter though

Jrafferty said...

I was thinking, Borini through the middle with Sturridge and Suarez being more fluid. I then thought of Sterling et al as you have mentioned, (also not sure what my suggestion woud do to the balance of the side when defending) To me, even given the list you have produced Borini (in theory) is still one of the few out and out goalscorers.

Good problem to have for  a change mind you, bring players on that might actualy change the game! Maybe it being a young squad it may well mean they stay happy for a bit longer. Personally, I cant see Suso having too much of an impact in the premier lge, great prospect but he seems to be one these players is a luxury (much like Garcia was) 

Think Downing and Assadi will move on, although would definately keep Henderson, think he is another Lucas and will be appreciated in the future.

Jay said...

This does make it even more important that we qualify for Europe next season again though, as without it the number of available games will drop drastically, which poses more problems for a deep squad than having too many games...

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I dont think Downing will remain in that list past summer though Jaimie.

Suso in the end will hopefully end up more in a playmaker central midfield role which is his strongest position (he's not ready yet though).

Assaidi - I am not sure about him - he looks good with the ball at times but seems a little lightweight, bereft of a final product (for Liverpool that is) and not sure of his tracking back so that would make 2 from 5 with either Assaidi or Suso making the 6th for now.

You could level a similar argument about Suso (that I just did for Assaidi) but the difference is that Assaidi is 24 and should be experienced (if not settled in yet to the English game) whereas Suso is just starting out his professional career in terms of first team football.

I think confidence may play a big role in the development or not of both these latterly mentioned players, and BRs man management may be the key here.

Zanatos said...

I agree with Rodgers, Suarez has been great, and I don`t think any other striker on earth would score many more than he has so far this season, but he is only one player. Look at Swansea, Michu is flying, but Swansea aint in First or Second are they??? You need other players to score to, mainly your attacking options, and that is where we fail. Sturridge best position is through the middle, and as we signed him, it makes sense to use him in his best place, if Suarez still scores half his goals, and Sturridge scores 75% of what Suarez has so far through the center, we are still better off. 

I also think the pace of Sturridge through the center, will give defenders a nightmare, and create more space for Suarez, and vise versa. This should result in more goals as a team, as the other teams defenders have more players to deal with who are good. 

The beauty of it is, if in a game it don`t look like it is working out, they can switch positions fine. 

I strongly believe due to the weakness of our other attacks, defenders only needed to take Suarez out of the game, and we were made null, now they got to deal with Sturridge too. This should also help out Sterling, giving him more space and time. 

Jrafferty said...

100% about Ince, means we can take Sterling out of the firing line every so often. My ony slight concern is, Ince, given the comments I have read, seems to be expecting a starting place as if he was a seasoned profeesional.

Remember his Da being the self styled GuvNr, and the disruptive influence he had in our dressing room. Different person I know, just a slight concern. Same reason I am glad we went nowhere near BA.

Zanatos said...

Downing has been doing well of late. Yes he wasn`t before, but he is looking like the player we hoped when we signed him. If we get Ince though, that will be both Sterling and Ince who can play that side, and therefore I see no place for downing unless he wants to be third choice, which at his age, I doubt he does. But credit should go where it is due. He has been playing a lot better, and the longer that goes on, the better for us, so I hope he carries on.

JJ said...

I would agree, we need someone in the Toure mould. We should have a defensive midfielder (Lucas), alternate between a pass master (Allen) and an enforcer (Toure, I know he doesn't play for us but still), and and attacking midfielder Henderson,Gerrard or Shelvey. The enforcer could provide cover for all three. I think a good prospect for an enforcer is one of our Youth players, Yalany Baio...

Zanatos said...

J-Rock, small glitch on your commentors thing, mine says up4, when infact it should read down 4. 

Jaimie K said...

Good spot. Fixed!

Zanatos said...

Your welcome, I will invoice you for my IT services shortly :-)

Jaimie K said...

Occasionally I get something right. It's rare, but it does happen.

Aidan80 said...

Ince is a good player but the idea that he isgonna be able to replicate in the prem anything like what he has done is a stretch. He has been a 1 goal in 3 at blackpool over his time there. He will lighten the load on Sterling which as you mentioned shouldn't be under rated. Both Sterling and Ince are both young un's on the way up the 2 year age gap in there deveopment is huge. Don't forget Ince wasn't exactly pulling up trees as an 18 year old at Notts Co.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Agree totally about Ba, glad we missed him/he didn't want to come... whatever.


If the media are to be believed there is a sense of irony here in that Ince Snr was allegedly the driving force in the lad leaving in the first place and is now allegedly the force in trying to get the move back to Liverpool on.


I would hope that Ince Jnr would work/train/learn hard and know then that if good enough he will get first team opportunities, but he will have to earn regular starts like anyone else. That is where BR will make/have made judgement. I dont believe he will bring in anyone who "expects" this and "expects" that. That would disrupt the group.

The impression I have of Ince (intuition) is that he is a worthwhile risk because he has shown he has the right attitude and guts by moving from Liverpool to prove himself first rather than being happy in the reserves picking up his wages. I like that and it shows me ambition.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Good points Zanatos.

Banoog said...

It's because of players of that quality that we even had the chance to claim the Premier League title in 2008/9. Yes, we must look forward, but that surely involves learning the lessons from our past.

A major reason for Liverpool's decline in recent seasons is the lack of quality players. Two of our 'world-class' players (Reina and Gerrard) don't quite justify that title anymore. That leaves us with Suarez only.

There is no doubt in my mind that this rebuild must sooner, rather than later, involve the addition of a better quality of player.

Jay said...

The point is that we should pick up such players when the opportunity arises. We couldn't have picked up M'vila (and maybe Sissoko also) just a year ago, and may not be able to do so if circumstances change by the summer, but right now we could pick them up on the cheap. 

In the same way we picked up Suarez when his stock was (relatively) low, even though the club was not performing at a high level at the time.

And quality players can fit into most systems. Besides, these are ball winning central midfielders that we're talking about here, not immobile target men or one dimensional wide-men, and I can't think of any team that doesn't need ballwinners or anchor men in the team.

Banoog said...

Your first statement is absolutely correct. However, when players don't see continued improvement and agitate for a move elsewhere, you are inevitably left with a cluster of players of average quality, necessitating a continual rebuilding process.

OriginalChan said...

For me, the best bit about Sturridge's game is his finishing and at Bolton, he played as the front man, he was very good in front of goal. Couple that with the notion that he can be greedy and narrow-minded in/around the box (not necessarily always a bad thing), its understandable why some think he is a central striker. 

I prefer Suarez to play where he is currently playing and Sturridge coming in from the wing, mainly because of Suarez's form in his current position. Its not a big thing for me, that Suarez doesn't provide a constant presence in the box, as the wide players and attacking mid/s should be doing more to get in the box. Many a team have had wandering central forwards and teams compensate for their lack of presence in the box by having their team mates attacking the space vacated by the forward. 

But if we looked at it from the position of last summer(i.e. not knowing how good Suarez would be in the coming season at that point) (assuming we had Sturridge then), I would have said Suarez as a narrow wide forward and Sturridge as the central option but interchanging as well. Because of what I said about Sturridge's finishing as well as Suarez has played aplenty in the narrow wide forward role for Ajax and Uruguay. Despite my reluctance at moving Suarez to another position, it is a tactical idea that does make sense. As Zanatos has already picked upon, the key will be the link up play between those two, as to whether this works.

Though my main worry about playing Suarez wide is the impact it could have on the side defensively, especially our full back on that side. So that will be interesting to see, as to how we compensate/plan for that whenever Suarez decides to go for a wander far forward and inside. Obviously is not a new thing, wide forwards and 4-3-3, so plenty of precedent but still will be interesting to see how we execute it defensively with Suarez in a narrow wide position. Not easy to defend when full back doesn't get enough support defensively on the flank, especially on the counter attack but generally, teams are often at their weakest defensively anyway when being counter attacked. Probably will often see central midfield shifting over to help compensate, when needed. 

Mfimfi said...

Assaidi never plays in the PL, Suso and Sterling will be on the bench a lot more. If Downing stays and Ince comes in that will leave 4 players fighting for 2 spots me thinks.

Pete said...

Under AVB Sturridge played on the right acting as an inside forward cutting in on his stronger left side and it worked pretty well. I wouldn't move Suarez out wide because he doesn't have much pace, he needs to be the focal point of the attack in the middle to create chances for himself and others, he scores goals with his skill not his pace. 

Barraob1 said...

Dead right every year teams come up with championship players and stay up, proving that the championship is not a poor league. Ashley young came up with watford...

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I agree Zanatos which is why I gave credit to him for coming onto a game recently and highlighted his part in Liverpool's 3rd goal when Gerrard found Suarez.

Credit should certainly go where it is due but for how much of his 18 month tenure has he performed like he was expected to given his level of experience, age, being an England international, his price tag? For me the answer is nowhere near enough - 1 month out of 18? That is why he should be sold in the summer imo.

I feel we can make much better use of his 70-80k pw wages within our squad.

Soulshalize said...

If we really want compete its got to be done, need to keep opposition guessing, need to be able to change a game in a instance.

 2008/09 season for me was an example of a big squad, Kuyt, Torres, Babel, Ngog, Vorinin, El zhar and Yossi, Pennant not to forget Stevie G who could do everything all have attacking intent and all wanted a place in the first 11.

 If current squad want to win things as footballers they are going to have to get used to it.IMO ur only as strong as ur sqaud not first 11.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I agree totally Banoog which is why one would hope to "weed out" these sorts in the initial selection process so that we dont buy them and end up in a continual rebuild process.

Barraob1 said...

Sterling is young and his end product will hopefully improve as he gets older and more experienced, another winger of quality would be good place to start his education.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I appreciate what you are saying Jay, and I do agree that when the opportunity arises to pick good players up cheaply then we should take it but only players that would fit into our system.

I was not dissing the players you spoke of in particular as I am not massively familiar with those players other than on Football Manager which is not much help here :-) My point was more general in nature as it was when I said that not all available players will choose Liverpool.

Last season, and much of this season, one area we have been found out in (annoying that it has been 2 seasons in a row - like the striking issue which has been more) is the DM/ball winning position that is for sure.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

I haven't seen enough of Baio so cant offer an opinion on him but he sounds like he's worth a look from what you say, I guess you have seen more of him than I.

You make a fair point re Yaya Toure JJ.

GetDefoeKuyt said...

:-) same here. I get lucky on the odd occasion.

Jrafferty said...

Wife came in and sidetracked me, women, just because you have a beer in your hand they think you actually want to socially interact! (Joke!)

Take on board what you said, especially about Rodgers, he seems old school when dealing with players (as much as you can be these days) Think you are right.

Again though, my only concern is that Ince snr has featured a lot, what if young Thomas isnt getting the games, will he feature again?

Then again, this is Liverpool, if thats the case, go and play for Wigan son!

GetDefoeKuyt said...

Excellent thoughts in your post as usual OriginalChan but your last paragraph introduces an interesting train of thought to the discussion for the idea of Suarez playing out wide. 

rubyrm said...

Spot on. Suarez floating deeper will get Sturridge the space to move into scoring positions. At any one time 2 opposing players will follow/ mark Suarez. Sturridge has to have the intelligence to open up to score.

rubyrm said...

I guess Ince signing is off. Buck Rodgers has sent out a statement that no more signings this window. No money and Ince' asking price is too high.
Can't believe after our struggles the first 6 months we sign Sturridge and close shop. Ince is deperate to come back and these goons at Melwood are pussyfooting around. 

Simon said...

Fingers crossed that it all works out and Suarez stays happy. He is a unique talent, one we are unlikely to have again if we do not achieve top four when he is with us.

I don't care if it sounds like pandering to Suarez because it is. He is irreplaceable for Liverpoool.

I honestly don't know where Suarez will play best, I just know that he is doing damn well exactly where he is at present.

But if BR believes, and Suarez also, that playing Sturridge through the middle will reap greater benefits, then let him try it out.

I did see BR mentioned a tight front three, with fullbacks overlapping.....

Also, the comment in this article about scoring bursts etc shows how stats can be used to undermine almost anyone.

When we refer to other players goals / game ratio will there be a qualification with regard to scoring streaks or bursts?

I haven't seen Suarez play once where he didn't do something breath taking

rubyrm said...

Suarez is not about pace. He is all about trickery and taking on defenders. His movement on and off the ball is superb. He needs the space to run at players to cause mayhem, crass, riot whatever you call it. I always believed in this saying. "If you cant beat them. Confuse them"
How many tap ins has Suarez scored? He is not a conventional CF like Rush.

Zanz Kedah said...

Luis Suarez can playing every where when needed.He can operate left or right winger.Lonely striker or second striker or an attacker player.But i cannot ynderstand why B.Rodgers dislike to using one more best player who able to playing any where too when needed.He is SEBASTIAN COATES......cool and tough when be defender.Faster and creative when attacking,also able to assist or score the goal.This season he also scorer more goal better than Sterling,Suso,lucas,Downing and henderson.But still cannot get the place at liverpool fc.F.Borini still no goal and now rest in peace at home.

Chirag Vyas said...

442 or 4411

Ferbourtwa said...

big lol when we see that chelsea pays 7m for ba and we pay 12m for sturridge.. br saying thats not the right transfer market but still theres top class players on the market like sneijder lorente and aimar. even pato was available for only 12m. and am sure there are willing they can surely get some fantastic players. it drives me crazy when i see spurs getting dembele, swansea michu and we allen and borini for much much more money!

Pete said...

Okay, but on the wings Suarez won't have those creative freedoms. 

We are playing a 4-3-3 With Henderson slightly more advanced than Lucas and Gerrard. It's not a 4-2-3-1. We are using two wingers and they can swap if they like but they definitely cannot roam out of position otherwise they will be caught out. 

Suarez has freedom in that 'roaming number 9' role and IMO his effect on the team will be diminished if he moves out wide. 

H8UTD said...

i would say that taking the pressure off him as the sole goalscorer, letting him cause havoc by letting him roam, will make him even better and a nightmare to try and pick up.

Septimus_severus said...

I never take anything TOO SERIOUSLY when it comes from Molby as he stated this season that STERLING was not ready for first team football.
I'm going to say it, he seems to always have negative things to say about BLACK PLAYERS.

My team would be with the expected signings fully fit squad:

---------------Reina

Johnson    Skertel  Agger   Enrique

              Lucas    Allen     

Sterling        Gerrard       Sturridge

                  Suarez

Subs: Coates,Shelvey,Assaidi,Jones,Downing,Ince,Wisdom        
 

Deaththekid said...

I think BR is wrong on this one... The idea should always be to build your team around your best player(Suarez)...certainly not pushing him out of position to accommodate a lesser player(Sturridge)...

I do believe that Suarez creative return in terms of goals would be reduced. He will still be able to take on players, create space for others etc but the number of goals he will score will be less.

People may say that he is used to play behind a striker like for uruguay where he played behind Forlan or for Ajax where he played behind huntelaar but for LFC it may not be the same. Remember last season when he was playing behind Andy Donkey Caroll? His goal tally was not as impressive as this season, where he is being deployed as the MAIN attacker while others(sterling, downing, suso etc) are SUPPORTING him..

I think BR should stick with what is working i.e stick with suarez as our main attacker and let the others like Sterling, Sturridge or Ince(if he is coming) support him from the left or the right. Disturbing the homeostasis of our attack by making a non world class player like Sturridge as our man attacker while pushing a world class player like Suarez out of position to accomodate him may backfire against us...Be careful brendan!

PS: I would not mind if a player like Huntelaar(world class) came and Suarez was pushed out of position to accommodate him.
PPS: I hope I`m proved wrong and Suarez continues to score as much as he has been scoring for the first half of the season and also that Sturridge find his scoring boots and scores as much as he has been scoring when he was playing on loan at Bolton...

Mike Aitcheson said...

Suarez scored 111 goals in 159 games as a second striker. That alone should allay any fears about him being moved to a narrow wide or no 10 in just behind postion. Brilliant as he is, he could score 30 goals this season , but if his % of the total goals stays the same as it is now, we will get nowhere near where we need to be. Sturridge likewise has played both positions, also Borini .

I see the most progressive clubs, the Barcas and Dortmunds etc blurring the traditional roles and as a result, are developing new problems for teams which are well organised and used to countering the more traditional formations.

The interchangeability of our players, all following an established pattern of play (albeit with variations) is for me the ONLY way we will get back to challenging the top 3 positions; we can't spend our way there, we have to do a Dortmund or Valencia, or , going further back, a Nottm Forest.

Suarez will adapt: He'll be fine, he's THAT good. We don't need him to track back their full back. That's the thinking which has stifled our creative /expansive players in the past for years ( we called them 'luxury' players) Look at players like Joe Cole in his early days, then what he became in the end.

BR will sink or swim with what he's trying to do. Given the circumstances, I don't think we'll see his true vision until next season. In the meantime, at last we will be able to identify the way Liverpool play again and school (youngsters) or retrain (Gerrard etc) our players in that ethos.

It's only now beginning to make sense. Give him his chance.

voiceofreason said...

Unfortunately we are currently not able to compete for the best players, he is an inexpensive option. That's why we are trying to sign Ince. Why are we not facing stiff competition from other sides if his stats are expected to be repeated in the prem? Why has no one from the top flight ever bought Glenn Murray or Charlie Austin? Think about players like Lambert, Vaz Te, Charlie Adam, Billy Sharp!  Obviously we want Ince to be a success and transfer his championship form (I'm convinced we will re-sign him) but history shows that making the step from a championship club to a top prem side is a big one and few replicate that form.

Adam Griffin said...

Totally agree. Rodgers is the tactician here, he'll work out a way to get these two players working well together. He obviously fancied Sturridge in the summer and now has had another 4 months to think about how to fit him into the attacking system. He either knows what he's doing or he doesn't. I think this is a very carefully considered buy and it will be Rodgers' real test in terms of playing the players that he wants in the team. He got his central midfielder, now he's got his central striker, add in Gerrard and Suarez who are supposedly still two of the best in the world ... no excuses for LFC or Rodgers in the second half of the season.

gilstrap said...

Jaimie your post is pure speculation ...there are just two facts to this argument sterling has stats for liverpool ince has stats for Blackpool anything else is pure speculation ....sterling may go to blackpool and score 20 or he may score 0.....ince may come to liverpool and get dropped after one game because hes terrible....sterling is actually performing for liverpool in a capacity ...where as ince may come and not be able to perform...

gilstrap said...

 the counter argument is sterling has faced some of the best players in the world and not looked out of place in the prem

Guestyjones said...

IMO other 'world class' players we have are Agger, Skrtel, Reina, Sahin (when in form) and Johnson. The former 3 have all attracted 'attention' or offers from the richest Champions League clubs and the latter has was the best full-back in the EPL in 2012.

Jojomomo said...

Ince would obviously start over Sterling, as Sterling is heading for burn out. Plus, hasn't actually provided much given his extended amount of game time given - which is expected at such a young age.

2Jay said...

Downing has been playing well. We should keep him if he continues to perform at this level. Even with the arrival of Ince, Downing should be retained. Liverpool"s has a thin squad but its a good problem for Brendan to have. His runs and crosses have been good. 

anteater71 said...

Another ex-player/pundit lays into Rodgers and Sturridge. Is there an unwritten law that they shall not talk positively about us? Seems so.

As I've said before, I wouldn't be against the idea of playing Suarez behind a central striker in a free role. That is very much the traditional #10 position and actually the focal point of the attack. Seems that Rodgers likes this idea, too.

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