15 Sep 2014

It's Your Fault: BR blames Villa loss on £20m LFC star; warns him to 'do better'. Harsh?

Brendan Rodgers very rarely criticises his players in public, but in the wake of the Reds' pitiful 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa, LFC's boss has taken the unusual step of publicly blaming £20m summer signing Dejan Lovren for the goal that cost Liverpool the game.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Rodgers insisted that Liverpool 'have to defend better', and then criticised Lovren for losing his marker 'too easily'. He mused:

“When you let the opponent get the first contact that’s what can happen.

"It was unfortunate, and Dejan Lovren is a wonderful defender, strong and aggressive, but we have to do better in that situation"


I doubt Lovren will be too impressed to see Rodgers basically blaming him for the Villa defeat. I'm sure he's aware that of the mistake, and in my view, it's not good man-management to specifically highlight the error in public.

Generally speaking, Rodgers doesn't criticise players publicly, so why start now? What exactly will this achieve? Mistake aside, Lovren put in another good defensive performance, and he's been solid all season.

I'm all for public criticism, but only in general terms and/or directed at a specific area of the team. Slam the defence as a whole; highlight the lack of real creative threat up-front, but singling out individuals can be counter-productive.

As for Lovren - he usually plays as a left-sided central defender, but he's been shunted to the right to accommodate Sakho, and it looks to me like that's thrown him off his game a little. With Skrtel out, needs must, but as soon as the Slovakian is fit again, he should come in to replace Sakho, which will allow Lovren to move back to his preferred position.

EDIT: As usual, some fans refuse to acknowledge the reality. Rodgers has clearly singled out Lovren for criticism here; it is as clear as day - he even mentions him by name, which is something he rarely does in public. This is a very fair interpretation of BR's comments, whether fans like it or not. He criticised Lovren in public; the goal led to Liverpool losing; as such, BR is indirectly blaming Lovren for the defeat.

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125 comments:

  1. We Need to drop Gerrard!! he is way to slow and honestly he needs to become a super sub like Giggs was we needed Lucas in there who is a bit more mobile than him!! Rodgers needs to have sonme balls to drop him seriously or were gonna suffer teams will suss us out like paul lambert has!!

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  2. No when Skrtel comes back Lovren goes out tisk tisk tisk JK picking on Sakho again even though its evident Lovrens not cutting the mustard ATM.

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  3. Loveren is a big big player... only explanaton for the crit is that Rodgers is trying to pressurize Loveren into his leadership role. He is undoubtably our leader at the back and needs to assume responsibility for these sorts of things.


    Vice captain is on the line lets not forget...


    Growing pains again :(

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  4. Yes, disagree with Sakho going out...


    He has more control than skrtel!

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  5. I think Rogers can be forgiven on this occasion. It was a truly shocking performance.

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  6. Sure, we lost the game on a defensive mistake (most goals are conceded from defensive mistakes) but for me the real disappointment lay in our failure to get past Villa's defence, particularly when you consider the attacking talent at our disposal. Reminded me very much of last seasons Chelsea game; lots of huffing and puffing but little penetration. We must find a way to score against teams that come to Anfield to defend.

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  7. Totally agree, I'm not suggesting he was at fault for the goal but in general the whole defensive side of that position is in jeopardy when he plays there, 2-3 good passes a game doesn't warrant a start, bring him on as a sub!

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  8. I'm going with BR though... new players


    But yes, this is a big big issue we need to solve!

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  9. is whole team let us down...not particular player

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  10. Rodgers was and fault nobody else ! he started with Henderson playing behind Gerrard who was playing deep himself this was through fear of the power and pace of "Bayern Munich" sorry Aston villa, with no engine going forward we handed the initiative to Villa - Rogers then says we started slowly ? Doh.

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  11. Agree here - as couldn't name one player who had a particularly good game it's unfair to single out this one mistake . Over all the team played pants ...... just hope normal service can be resumed tomorrow evening !

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  12. He did not blame him for the defeat merely the error leading to the goalt. He also said the corner should not have been given away (Sakho) and that despite going a goal down there was plenty of time to turn it around.

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  13. And .... we must learn to be able to do the same when necessary . The mindset last season was that no matter how many goals we conceded we could always come back and score more . We don't have the fire power this year but hopefully we won't change our exciting style of play

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  14. My God Jamie, how on Earth do you make some of these interpretations? Where does it suggest at all that he blamed the loss solely on Lovren?

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  15. Whilst he does mention Lovren for that incident, he does also say "WE have to do better" Laying emphasis on the team as a whole.

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  16. I agree 100% with you Ash and it too reminded me of the Chelsea game. IMO Markovic, Coutinho and Lallana are all very similar and all want the ball to feet. None of them were prepared to get behind the AV full-backs, We should have played Sterling from the start and targeted Cissohko. I was also disappointed with Lambert and Borini. Lambert appears to be starstruck and can't seem to believe he is actually playing for Liverpool. Someone needs to tell him to get the finger out and start working for the team. The only thing I remember Borini doing is knocking the ball out for a throw. I would have expected more from him seeing as he keeps saying how much he wants to remain at the club. We were slow in our build-up play and made it easy for Villa to defend and to be honest we can't complain about the result.

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  17. To be fair he has made mistakes every game up to now. The problems continue despite personnel change so for me Rodgers had to take some blame.

    As for the villa game they gad planned set pieces and defending all week, vocal marking gets a bad press but we can see from that game how nan marking can also be a problem.

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  18. totally agree...we need to play nasty as well,there will be games when we can only put our noses in front as oppposed to going 4-0 up inside 20min.teams will look to play negatively against us especially in the first half.we need to learn to shore up the defence and unlock negative defences too.

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  19. None of the media picked it up so I'm sure Lovren won't get the feeling that he was criticised publicly.

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  20. I think you're reading way too much into an interview. I don't really think Rodgers said anything controversial. It's no secret Lovren was at fault for the goal, I really don't think Brendan is trying to send him a cryptic message through the press and I really don't think Lovren will be upset by Rodgers comments, it's not like he slated him.

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  21. You can do a bit of both zonal mark the main areas and pick the biggest threats and chase them up that seems to me the best solutions.

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  22. Yeah I was thinking something similar but you seem to have your head around it more than me. It surely has to be a mix or you can just turn off the main group and....well do what Senderos did when he beat our marking for the second and third times.

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  23. There is no way in hell that anyone agrees with that headline...

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  24. Gotta decide who'll be VC first...If Gerrard doesn't play we're leader-less :D haha

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  25. true, but the defence does seem to have a more sturdy look to it as compared to last season. I think this defence will fix itself given some time. thankfully there are many games to get the chemistry right!

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  26. I learnt this as a very young player and I can't remember it letting me or my team down. I have described it in much detail on here before but I'll give a simple view of it now.


    Your two best headers of the ball spread out across the line of the six yard box (a meter or so in off the edge), and you obviously have two people on the posts. Everybody else man marks, that includes attacking the ball if it's coming towards you but also obstructing runs (legally) as best you can. You have to attack the ball and you can't just let it come onto you, because an attacker with momentum will get there first. When you defend the ball into the box, you have to pretend you are going for goal and any sufficient contact will get you the goal. To eliminate risk, you smash the ball straight back where it came from, not outwards towards the edge of the box for a steaming Gerrard to hit.


    That's the best zonal and man marking system I've experienced/seen and I struggle to see a team that's actually good at defending set pieces collectively. There are outstanding individuals like Kompany, but teams as a whole generally struggle.

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  27. Thats not too bad Pete but you basically identify the 2 main threats or so and pick the players who would best compete with them.
    Someone like Cahill at his best would have been difficult.

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  28. How many strikers played in this match? Much as i am not a fan of Sturridge, he was sorely missed. concerning the goal ... well that's football

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  29. Knowing JK, I just read the headline and knew exactly what to expect - a mountain out of a molehill.

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  30. Its going to be teams playing 5 4 1 at Anfield this season, trying set pieces and counter attack. We need intelligent passing and speed to break them open, both were missing on Saturday.

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  31. I didn't listen to BR after the match, so thanks for this much clearer summary.

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  32. Gerrard is slow and has been losing possession easily. His defending is extra, not world class.

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  33. I'm not reading too much into anything. Rodgers criticised Lovren in public, and made direct reference to his culpability over the goal. I didn't say it's controversial. LFC lost by a single goal, therefore it is clear he has indirectly blamed him for the defeat. Not everything in life is black and white; BR doesn't have to say 'I blame Lovren for the goal' in order to get the message across. Plus, the fact that Rodgers very rarely name-checks players who make mistakes is also significant.

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  34. Semantics. The error led to the goal, which also led to the defeat. Ergo, he is blaming Lovren (indirectly) for the defeat.

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  35. But we didn't score, which also lead to the defeat, and BR highlighted that too. He didnt give more importance to Lovren's mistake.

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  36. The level of denial is just amazing. Did Rodgers specifically name-check the strikers? Did he say 'Balotelli missed a great chance. He's a good player, but he needs to do better'? No. There is a major difference, yet you and others just refuse to accept it.

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  37. Well he is not going to blame himself, the real reason - see above.
    Why with half the team not playing 25 league games between them for us would he drop Stirling ? "re Ronaldo rubbish" an attempted lesson in humility yes, a mistake also yes.

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  38. The reason we lost was the Managers fear of the opposition, They used tactics to stifle our game, Brendon changed our game and made it easier for them.

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  39. with Gerrard has anyone else noticed we play 3-4-3 formation as gerrard as a centre back and teams have picked up on it! Gerrard will never be Xabi Alonso if we had Xabi alonso we would be genuine title contenders we need this formation
    Mignolet
    manquillo Skrtel Lovren Moreno
    Lucas/Can


    Sterling Henderson/Allen


    Coutinho/Llalana


    Balotelli Sturridge Subs Jones Sakho Gerrard Lambert Markovich

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  40. Guess Rogers felt we could make the changes against Aston villa n rested Sterling. Mistake was not realizing n making changes earlier at half time to introduce Sterling n another striker. Hindsight wisdom but I believe we should offer our best offense n withdraw n rest should we get results midway...
    We probably could have signed eto (loan) n would need a back-up striker in jan.
    We need to prepare for more teams parking their buses at anfield. We need to be more incisive in set plays (offense) eg corners n win more of them when the box is filled n difficult to dribble through ...
    If we sort this n drill our defending in set plays then we would be rocking again ...

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  41. There are many ways to look at it and you chose to see it as BR laying the blame on Lovren for the defeat. You're in your right to do so but the fact is that BR didn't lay the blame on Lovren for the defeat, he mentioned several other reasons why we lost the game.

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  42. Lovren had Fonte running about for him at Southampton, with either Morgan Schneiderlin, Jack Cork or Victor Wanyama in front of him, all very good at breaking up play and playing in a system designed to do just that.

    Liverpool's defence looks shaky with Lovren in it. Southampton's defence is doing just fine without, having replaced their "big player" with someone who won the Liga last season, along with four Eredivisie titles.

    Call the police and get a crime number, LFC. You've been robbed, la.

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  43. You take Rodgers to task when he grossly overpraises players. Now you take him to task when he criticizes a player for a mistake.


    I understand the idea to slam the defense as a whole so that you're not singling out a player, but then you would have someone like Manquillo feeling aggrieved as though he was to blame since he's looped in with the defense and he did nothing wrong to contribute to the goal.

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  44. Youbseem to overlook the fact that I've adressed the criticism issue in the article, and it's a point upon which I've always been consistent. Harshly criticise the team, or areas of the team, but not individuals.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

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  45. Spirit of the Shadows2:39 pm, September 15, 2014

    Lovren looks like the sort of a guy who takes criticism head on , probably that's why BR mentioned it. That aside blaming lovren alone is trying to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. Rodgers's system deserves some of the blame and he should accept the blame and fix it. A thrashing to ludogorets is a start. Rodgers has to drop Gerrard if needed , Henderson can lead.

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  46. It might also be possible that Rodgers thinks Dejan has the kind of personality that will want to do so much better after this?

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  47. I understand your point but we didn't score any goals, we didn't create enough chances, as a team they were all responsible and you might read into BR's comments to say Lovren was responsible but the truth of it is that he was responsible for one mistake and any rational people will think that doesn't equate to why we didn't score at the other end, it just compounded the error. Tactically again i think BR does not have much beyond the formation we start with. If we are held up by a team we have no way out, and even though we sign someone like Lambert it then dictates that we should change the way we play tactically to open up teams, this is an area that BR needs to take responsibility for.

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  48. The best way to beat a packed or any other defence is the same as it has always been - only one team do it all the time - Man city - if you don't know what it is look at the type of goals they score, get behind them on the flanks and cut it back.

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  49. Spirit of the Shadows3:04 pm, September 15, 2014

    Yeah maybe 442 is the solution for these games but who plays with balo if sturridge is injured?

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  50. He acknowledged that he allowed the attacker to get first contact but he also went on to give Lovren quite significant praise. Was Rodgers not asked about that incident directly as well?
    I think if Lovren is annoyed today it will be with himself, not with Rodgers for giving nothing more than a cursory acknowledgement that he was at fault for the goal which we all knew already.
    To say Rodgers is blaming him for the Villa defeat I think is a bit over the top. He's accepting he was at fault for the goal but it was still very early in the game so to place the blame for a 1-0 defeat at home to Villa squarely at the feet of one player is ridiculous. It was a poor team performance basically.

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  51. The problem is we do not have a mobile specialist DM or Enforcer at club, if the defence had some proper protection in front of them instead of an ageing S Gerrard(34) with lack of energy, legs, mobility, pace and speed.


    Our defence will still concede but until we get a mobile tough tackling DM to the club, we are going to always exploited. B Rodgers needs to use S Gerrard(34) from the bench.


    And B Rodgers needs to ship out L Leiva(27) in January and replace him with C Tiote(28) Of Newcastle or Y M'Vila(24) Of Rubin Kazan( On Loan at Inter Milan) for £6-£10M

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  52. BR is blaming Lovren for the goal, I fail to see the inference there after that he blames him for losing the match??

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  53. You fail to see the inference because you are taking everything ultra-literally; and you're doing that because, subconsciously, you don't want to accept that Rodgers is indirectly blaming Lovren for the defeat.

    Whenever fans don't want to accept something, they (unrealistically) demand that everything is 100% literal, and utterly refuse to read between the lines.

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  54. I can see no one disputing the facts merely your rather individual interpretation which seems a reasonable thing for realistically critical people to do :-)


    In your opinion BR blamed Lovren for the defeat most other people seem to take a different view.

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  55. thexcuriousxwanderer5:02 pm, September 15, 2014

    Jaime, in terms of English, he's right, you're the one insisting on your views. One thing we agree on is that BR blames Lovren for the goal, but that is one of the many factors that lead to the defeat, for example, lack of incisive passing or not taking chances that were presented to them. Your narrow minded thinking reduced the factors to one, which is why you arrived at the conclusion that that must be the only factor that led to the defeat.

    My point is being singled out doesn't mean it is the only factor. Like some other posters pointed out, perhaps BR knows Lovren thrives on the push, and thus was singled out, whereas say Balotelli is a player that needs protection from the press. Then the correct approach would be to give Lovren a nudge and not mention Balotelli's miss (just an example). That doesn't mean that Lovren was the only one blamed, or that he was the sole factor that we lost.

    Ergo, Jaime, you need to accept that the others are right, rather than to accuse others of being in denial.

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  56. I didn't overlook it. In fact I acknowledged it and went a step further by stating how it would subsequently lead to other issues.


    Criticizing a group as opposed to an individual player doesn't necessarily mean that a player won't feel aggrieved, especially if he played well or had nothing to do with the goal given up. I used Manquillo as an example.

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  57. We're going to need drop players over the course of the next several weeks if only to provide rest. We're essentially playing 2 games a week except for when we have the international breaks.


    Which of course we should prohibit our English players from participating since the manager (Roy) has no bearing on actually managing the rest/health of the players in the team.

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  58. Lovrens been pretty headless to be honest everytime I have seen him play. But I think it was Rogers tinkering that cost us the game.
    We played a 4 2 3 1. When do we ever play that formation? This new formation along with a brand new front 4 (Coutinho, Markovic, Lallana & Balotelli who have never played together in a competitive game)
    Well what do you expect.
    Should of kept a diamond. Replaced Allen with Lucas and Sturridge with Lambert. Sterling should of started. Then rested him against Ludogrets.. Rogers had a stinker!

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  59. Why should I accept that someone else is right when I don't believe they're right? There's a constant double-standard by commentors on this site. When they disagree with me it, it's fine; when I disagree with them, it's not okay, and I'm told I should just concede and agree and/or I'm forcing my views on people.

    It's complete and utter nonsense. I believe one thing; others believe something else. It's that simple. And I'm not going to just relinquish my view because someone else thinks something different.

    And the only person here with 'narrow-minded thinking' is you. I didn't argue that BR blamed Lovren solely for the defeat; you did that. It's implied that there are other factors that led to the loss, but in this instance, BR only name-checked one person, which is significant.

    Also, you and others don't seem to get the fact that name-checking an individual in this manner is totally out of character for Rodgers. I don't recall a single instance where he's done that before in such an emphatic manner, which is part of the reason I highlighted it.

    So, perhaps you should stop misinterpreting my views on the subject. Thanks.

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  60. What is the point of this comment? Obviously people are disputing my interpretation, just as I dispute their intepretation

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  61. The 4-2-3-1 formation was a disaster in the fist half. I am actually still fuming at Rodgers for only changing the formation when the second half started. By then Villa had already shut up shop.



    We will see more results like this if we go with two holding midfielders. It just does not fit in. No pressing or penetration. Be gone with that formation.

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  62. there are 3 guilty parties to this whole torrid affair the non existent protection from the midfield which led to sako making his usual hash which led to lovren doing an agger and losing his man ....

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  63. the system is fine as long as the two deep midfielders can actually play the position ....hendo and Gerrard cant as a pair hendo has the evergy bit not the know how for the position while Gerrard has neither the energy or the know how to play the role

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  64. We have been poor at set pieces for a long time, all last season we were poor and conceded from corner kicks and set plays, Rodgers brings this up in the interview as well and has said that is something they will focus on going forward.

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  65. any one with half a brain can see we need to drop Gerrard and play a specialized Dm or at the very least someone with the energy to press but Liverpool as a club are becoming quite deluded over Gerard he was shocking against villa and we will continue to leak goal and be overrun as long as he is there

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  66. Harsh to single out one player for a poor team performance. Overall I thought the two defenders had a good game, Sakho was solid doing everything else bar corners, Lovren is a class modern defender and I enjoy when he plucks a one touch pass out of the sky. Everyone makes mistakes, happened last season and cost us the title. I think BR should have owned up to this one.. we should have matched villas formation, and played our strongest team. We've undermined villa again and we've been punished.

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  67. the problem though is much deeper we are giving away a lot of set pieces because if a team starts fast against us we get overrun

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  68. we need 3rd place in the cl group ,
    so we get europa league then if we win it we get cl for another season
    because we need to keep raheem sterling

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  69. Two holding midfielders does not do anything for our pressing game irrespective of who we have in those positions.


    The diamond formation has best demonstrated our ability to slaughter teams and that is with Gerrard in front of our defence. The Spurs match was proof of this. Not sure why Rodgers wanted to change things with two in front of our defence. Second half vs Villa Gerrard with Henderson and Coutinho pushing forward. We were far better in the second half but unfortunately it was to late. Two holding midfielders does not suite our style of play end of and nobody is going to convince me otherwise.

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  70. thexcuriousxwanderer5:54 pm, September 15, 2014

    "When they disagree with me it, it's fine; when I disagree with them, it's not okay, and I'm told I should just concede and agree and/or I'm forcing my views on people."

    Well in their defence you did force your views on them when you said they were in denial when they disagreed with you. Your attitude now seems to be a "let's agree to disagree" but that's very different from a few posts ago when you were going "this level of denial is just amazing" which implies that you were right and everyone else were in denial. I don't think this was misinterpreted wrongly.

    So anyway I went back to read the comments. When you said BR blaming Lovren indirectly for the defeat, the implication is that he is the one who caused all of this.

    Let's go through your argument again:
    1. BR singles out Lovren for fault on goal
    2. There was only one goal that led to loss
    3. Ergo BR indirectly blames Lovren for loss

    What we are saying is that:
    1. BR singles out Lovren for fault on goal
    2. Other factors led to goal. Lovren's mistake was made public, perhaps because of management of issue (like I pointed out above). BR as a good man manager, would know that.
    3. Therefore BR is probably not be indirectly blaming Lovren for the loss (just the goal), but perhaps trying to push him on (which is more likely)

    What we know from players and other coaches is that BR has good man management skills. If he had great man management wouldn't the reverse be more likely (as a probability thing) that he is trying to spur Lovren on because he knows what makes him tick?

    I think this interpretation is fairer than yours, and probability wise is more likely to be true if we trust other sources, rather than thinking it is a one time mistake by BR.

    Of course everyone makes mistakes, still. Just that this time, probability tells us our outcome rather than yours is more likely, thus you can't say we are not facing the reality, rather it is you who should acknowledge this as the truth. Well I think this is the truth. If you can substantiate otherwise, please go ahead, would be nice to trade opinions based on facts, rather than calling the other camp "in denial". I my part, will also take back my comments on "narrowmindedness".

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  71. Which IMO is down to preparation, Aston villa have done this to us for the last couple of years now and still we haven't come up with a solution.

    As for the set pieces I think it's down to the system, I don't understand why we miss so many of the balls coming into the box, is it just physical players overpower our own? I don't see why they should man mark at all and just attack every ball that comes into the danger area, it should be everyone's responsibility to get the ball out not just down to one player to organise everyone's positions.

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  72. The point is you have edited and added to the article and accused people like me of ignoring reality - I am just pointing out it is only YOUR reality that they and I dispute.

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  73. I think this is a key point. Even beyond the classic British obsession with captains, Gerrard's leadership does have a tangible quality on the pitch. You see it defensively and offensively. I think Lucas wouldn't be so willing to take the ball as Gerrard nor would he attack the ball and make blocks as Gerrard often does, particularly in set-piece situations. Often Gerrard is the one who clears the ball because we haven't got someone else who'll take responsiblity.

    I think Gerrard is an issue re: defensive solidity, but of our current options, I think he is the best. Can would probably come in midweek if he were fit I think (maybe even Allen) but I think Gerrard is the best we've got. It is an area for concern. I like the way Monchengladbach play (often swift counter-attacks that resemble ours) and would be interested in keeping tabs on Kramer, who has a marvellous engine and would be a remedy to Gerrard's lack of mobility.

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  74. AndI thought this Xabi Alonso dream was over, yet guys are still talking about him. Get over it man, he's never coming back and never intended to.

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  75. From the corresponding fixtures last year we only got 4 points off (Southampton H) (City A) (Tottenham A) & (Aston Villa H) so we are technically 2 points better off from last season. Lookin on the bright side here!

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  76. Yeah sure it is not all doom and gloom but why try fix something that is not broken? There was no need to go with two holding midfielders.

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  77. Pieter Engelbrecht6:57 pm, September 15, 2014

    so true lambert looked clumsy, the moment he came on.watching the manure game on sonday. hate to say this takings the oppositon in mind, you could see the difference between our 20 mil signing and manures 40m plus signing., pure class

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  78. If anything, it was sakho error that lead to the goal.

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  79. Pieter Engelbrecht7:00 pm, September 15, 2014

    for me he was bullied from the start, had no guts. what a difference costa was when the defender tried to hold him,we want him to be a good boy. but not a pussy

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  80. Thoroughly enjoyed that post mate. Whole heartedly agree and thought you argued your points excellently. Back slaps and high fives all round

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  81. Nicolas Chamberlain7:45 pm, September 15, 2014

    You guys are hysterical.
    I watch the game and he was one of our best performers. Our attacking play was woeful and our CB's still look total strangers when playing together. Its typical for some fans to blame it all on Gerrard, but its based on nothing. Without him we would be certainly struggle to find some rhythm. His passing range is still one of the best in the country. Please learn to analyse a game.

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  82. I would tell you what I really think of that but it would just get removed

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  83. I prefer to think of it as Lovren prevented us from a draw as opposed to causing the defeat


    :)

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  84. Against Spurs Sakho was better than Lovren, and the same again yesterday IMO.

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  85. No Suarez/Sturridge/Sterling, we lose, its not really that surprising when you think about it.

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  86. I didn't 'force my views' onto anyone - I stated the opinion that people are in denial; that is nor forcing anything. it's exactly the same as if someone disagrees with me. I'm perfectly entitled to have the view that people are in denial - and it doesn't imply that I am right everyone else is wrong in the slightest. That's a nonsensical perception of the situation. It's merely my opinion, and if you or anyone else can't handle it (which seems to be clearly be the case), then I suggest you grow a thicker skin.

    You don't see me going around telling people that they should agree with me, or that the 'probability' is that my opinion is correct, and there's isn't. People have their opinion, I have mine. It's not about who's right and wrong. Everyone is right, and everyone is wrong.

    Re Rodgers' man-management skills - there's little evidence to support your contention that he publicly criticised Lovren as some sort of motivational strategy. Conversely, publicly criticising players is widely accepted to be a negative, for obvious reasons.

    As I see it, the only 'truth' here is that Rodgers has publicly criticised a player in quite emphatic terms, and it's something he's rarely, if ever, done in the past, which makes it a significant occurrence, especially given his usual propensity for fawning praise.

    I choose to interpret that in one way; others are free to interpret that however they wish. Similarly, if I want to have the view that fans are in denial, I will, and the reverse is also true: if people want to accuse me of being in denial, or seeing things the wrong way, that's also fine.

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  87. Lovren has been solid all season, really. I think you should look at the goals we have coincided, so far lovren has been at fault in all them.

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  88. What game were you guys watching on Saturday? Gerrard I will agree may not be the best DM however it was barely his fault that the goal was scored on a set piece. Lovern has shown some defensive frailties the past 2 weeks and not being able to mark your assignment well thats just poor. Agger was booted out for the very same reason not being able to keep up with the stronger guys. I think it was Rodgers way of saying to Lovern to get his game together and refocus. What's really killing our performance is playing a lone striker up front. Their is no link up play and for large parts of the game the striker is invisible unless he comes down to pick up the ball and get involved. Whenever Rodgers goes back to a 4-4-3 or 4-2-3-1 our fluidity is non-existent.

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  89. BR is a great man manager. he was specific because it was true and factual and didn't lambast his entire effort. Also, I expect that he knows Lovren enough and thinks he is capable of owning the error and was just trying to be factual to the press. I wouldn't build a cathedral on this comment. If BR has gone on for 5 minutes dissecting things then maybe it would be 'harsh'. Not in this case............

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  90. Chose to criticise the player "in quite emphatic terms"? Come on Jaimie, even for you that's a gross exaggeration

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  91. Regarding Stevie, we blew our chance to land Daley Blind who while playing midfield would have been a great replacement 'in waiting' for Stevie. It turns out the 'waiting' may be here sooner rather than later. The point is Blind would have been the perfect defensive mid and have Coutinho be quarterback or split time with Lallana who we paid all that money for. Now we are stuck until January.......

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  92. I think you just need to ask what it means to say that Rodgers "blames Lovren for the defeat". Whatever your intention, it comes across as a very emphatic statement that Lovren and only Lovren is considered responsible for the loss. Liverpool would have been expected to overcome that defensive mistake so I'm sure Rodgers also blames his attackers for failing to score. He also mentioned how it was a mistake that led to the set piece so he indirectly has also blamed Sakho. I would guess that some posters also take issue with you using the phrase in the title "It's your fault" as if Rodgers actually said those words, which of course he didn't. He never said anything so emphatic and in your own defence you concede that it's only "indirectly" that he's blaming Lovren. Anyway, it all sounds like silly word games to me. Lovren made a big mistake in the game and should accept a large degree of responsibility for the loss. The rest of the team should also accept a degree of responsibility. No one has blamed Lovren exclusively for the loss.


    I still don't believe Rodgers makes these comments off the cuff without thinking about them. If you, a casual fan, can see the possible effect this would have on a player then the manager would be able to see the same thing. He's not an idiot and there is little evidence to suggest that he makes these kinds of statements arbitrarily. So he knows what he's saying and it would be quite deliberate. Of course you can disagree that this is an appropriate way to manage the player but Rodger's record speaks for itself. He seems to know when to criticise and when to offer support or praise.

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  93. "today the bit of quality in the final third let us down" ...

    so he also "blames" the attacking players.



    I'm not using quotes to be a smart ass, I just think it's a questionable term to use. Laying "blame" and saying "it's your fault" are exclusive and definitive terms and in this instance it's clear that Rodgers doesn't place exclusive and definitive responsibility on Lovren for the loss. He blames the whole team and maybe Lovren a little bit more for the individual mistake.

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  94. I mostly agree. We could have played the diamond with Lucas and Henderson, Coutinho at the point. If you need two strikers then play Lambert. Too many guys in the front 4 who don't know each other well enough.


    Then again, if he'd gone with that formation there would have been another crew of unhappy fans saying the exact opposite. We could have lost the game no matter what we tried because the simple facts are that we conceded a soft goal and Villa defended well.

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  95. roncalifornia




    "I expect
    that he knows Lovren enough and thinks he is capable of owning the error..."

    Exactly. One of Brendan's key responsibilities is to know how to motivate his players. From the glowing praise from the likes of Gerrard, Henderson, Sterling (and others) it seems he knows how to motivate individuals and build team spirit extremely well. Lovren seems to me to be a leader, in my experience genuine leaders are comfortable with open post mortems, owning their mistakes, and will do their utmost to not repeat them.

    Besides which, it's a simple statement of fact. A defensive error that - 100m's+ people have all watched on TV - made by Lovren that he needs to improve upon. Rodgers hasn't really said much more than that, he's hardly put the boot in or contrived events that none of us saw.

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  96. Or maybe that's the role Can is earmarked for. (Apparently played in 4 positions for German U21's in the last game, including CB!)

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  97. Just to reinforce the point - Rodgers did not only single out Lovren for criticism. He might have been the only player who got named but Rodgers made a ton of other critical comments where it's quite obvious who he's talking about:

    Sakho: "We have to defend better, that’s where it starts. Just defend, don’t try and be clever. Don’t try and play, just defend and don’t let them have the set piece in the first place. The one we conceded is disappointing for sure. We have to do better down the side of the pitch (before the corner). It’s a problem."

    Wide attacking players (Markovic and Coutinho): "When they get a goal and go 1-0 up, you've got to get around the sides and switch the play a bit quicker. We were just unable to do that."

    Attacking players: "we just lacked that bit of quality in the final ball."

    Attacking players: "we just couldn't get the final pass - it was really frustrating for us."

    Attacking players: "we just lacked that bit of quality today."

    Attacking players: "We've seen many games here in the couple of years I've been here where we've ended up with 15-20 shots on target, but today we just couldn't find that bit of quality for some reason."

    So I don't disagree at all that Lovren wasn't given his own special comment because yes, he was the one who made the most glaring and surprising error. So absolutely, Rodgers places a good share of the responsibility on Lovren and that's probably accurate. But he does not exclusively blame Lovren and he consistently mentions other areas of the games where we were simply not good enough. In fact for all that he mentions the Lovren incident ONCE he then goes on to bemoan our lack of quality in the attacking third some 5 times, minimum. Obviously Rodgers believes that many people in the team are to blame for the loss, not just Lovren.

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  98. replace SG with Lucas? maybe a bit too far fetched don't you think...why do people always pick on gerrard?this guy is still one of the best in midfield...have you seen his long range passes recently? can you see someone replacing him with his passes, and please don't forget the SG's leadership, which is so important in high tempo games...can you think of someone with his leadership skills?

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  99. fair enough, but I couldn't image life without Gerrard on the pitch. YNWA

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  100. For me i don't understand why we didn't stick with the diamond formation that worked so well at Spurs. Yes Sturridge was out and he wanted to rest Sterling but use other players in their positions. Lambert could have played up top with Balotelli and then Coutinho in Sterling role. Then later on i would have swapped Lambert for Sterling to inject pace up top and brought Markovic on for Coutinho, that would have been such a big change for the Villa defence to deal with suddenly having two direct quick player coming on at the same time.

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  101. Too many changes were made simple as, the reason we did so well last season was down to having a consistent starting lineup. If he keeps chopping and changing we ain't gonna perform. Although saying that the players should be performing better, when you compare the value and money they are on they should be beating teams made up of Richardson, Hutton, Senderos!? Finally, what happened to starting your best players (ie. Sterling) then pulling them off when your in a winning position..!? Instead of giving them 20mins when your losing..

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  102. I think the idea was Sterling was not going to play at all, necessity forced him to be brought on to try and salvage the game.

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  103. How dare somebody have a different interpretation to you, it must be the case they must be in denial. Your level of self importance have no end.

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  104. a few hollywood passes dont cut it remeber spurs last season at white hart lane withour gerrard that was our performance of the season...... lucas allen henderson coutinho sterling and suarez the only player we are missing is suarez trust me we need to count it as a blessing in disguise if gerrard gets injured coz rodgers doesn't have the balls to drop him

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  105. this is one of those moments when you should sit back and let BR do his job. hopefully you realise BR is a good man-manager because he man-manages the man

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  106. just look at stats, lucas' defensive stats are comparable and in some areas are better than Stevie

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  107. so lets analyse stevies long balls, and what exactly did they achieve in the game? how many diagonal balls did he send over to players who were stadning by themselves and invariably ended up passing backwards or laterally anyways. Stevie is there on performance and reputation, which is a shame

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  108. For someone who claims to be unbiased either for or against an LFC player, you sure do pick on Sakho an awful lot...He's clearly outperformed Lovren in the 2 games they've been paired in...if you think Skrtel deserves a start why shouldnt Lovren be the one making way? and please dont tell me about his 'leadership skills', they didnt keep that goal from getting in..

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  109. There must be pure people on here with half a brain then as no matter that we have signed more and better defenders , we are still shipping goals for fun and B Rodgers slates the defence instead of the blatant obvious.


    We need a MOBILE Specialist Tough Tackling Defensive Enforcer or two at the club, especially with the fact we have mobile quick attacking full backs in side.


    Chelsea and Man City are the strongest sides in league as they have class quality back fours and at least 2 mobile specialist tough tackling enforcers in their squads.

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  110. The low block is something we are going to come up against quite a bit. We have the players to get round this but it's going to take time.
    I still think the 4231 formation will be very handy for hard away games trying to catch teams on the break but for the life of me i can't understand why the manager used this formation at home against Villa.
    I really hope Borini takes his chance because if he don't i can see us playing 1 up top quite a bit this year.

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  111. Who played last season when either Sturridge or Suarez were injured? At least we have cover this season in Borrini and Lambert......... Still think we lack quality in depth up front.

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  112. i know what but needs to happen no one is bigger than the club

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  113. I said Gerrard is an issue with regards to defensive solidity, but compensates by contributing exponentially more than Lucas in an attacking sense.

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  114. Oh agreed, but why drop someone whose on fire!? Big challenge this season for Rodgers in terms of having a bigger squad and keeping them happy, but you can't chop and change all the time especially in the EPL. Hope he plays two up top more as well, look a different team with someone next to Mario.

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  115. yea I agree about stevie. my thing is that the balance of the team is more important. and when you look at player's roles, does the cdm have to have such an exponential impact on the game in an attacking sense? I wouldn't have thought that is critically important for me. rather to shield the defence and keep the ball moving through the middle.

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  116. No it's not key, but you'd be wrong to disregard it.

    My main point is that I think the Lucas of today wouldn't be much of an upgrade on Stevie defensively and would contribute far less going forward.

    If this was pre-injury Lucas, I'd play him over Gerrard at DM, no doubt. Nowadays though, he's just as immobile as Gerrard and would cause similar structural problems defensively whilst also making it more difficult for us to play it out from the back (thus compromising us offensively).

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  117. i disagree defensively. Lucas last season before his injuries had better defensive stats/game than stevie in almost all defensive categories. And since his return Lucas has barely played. The "lack" of offense if lucas plays instead of stevie is a fair point. but we're talking about stevie's long balls and set piece delivery nowadays. and let's be honest, his passing accuracy is more miss than hit the older stevie gets. Lucas plays the ball on the floor and knows how to move in that anchor position. we don't need offense from there, we need the ball to get out to the offensive players. In my mind stevie should be one of those offensive players, not playing furthest away from the action!

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  118. When considering the stats from last season, you have to bear in mind that Gerrard didn't move to the DM position until January. His stats will naturally be lower on average, because he wasn't fulfilling a true defensive role in the team until the season was more than halfway done.

    Lucas might be the answer. I've always liked him. If he could recapture some of his old form then I'd be all for it, but from what I've seen this season, he doesn't look up for it. Maybe that is just match sharpness.

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  119. so game time would definitely help lucas get up to speed, but he has absolutely lost a yard of pace! The big picture has to be important for us here, and for me I don't think relying so heavily on stevie is the best way to use his last years. Succession planning has to be key and part of that plan should include raising the expectations of other plays to take responsibility for the team. I just don't think other players will take the step up until there is a role to fill. Stevie is still there, is still relied upon and of course he will step up. It's time to create the space for someone else to step in there. Meanwhile I hope that BR will utilise stevies attacking skills more. No one in our team can raise the performance of sterling, coutinho, balotelli the way stevie can. Only a player of that personality can do that, not just skill. So hopefully we will see that more!


    Look at lampard at city, he is being used in a role that maximises his skill set and also takes into account his lack of mobility.

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  120. If we're talking about succession planning though, Lucas isn't the future. He feels like a relic of the Rafa era at this point. Emre Can is presumably the future. When he is fit, I'm all for him easing the load off Gerrard and replacing him (form permitting).

    Re: Lampard/City- City can more easily leave a player of Lampard's quality on the bench and drop him in now and again because they have more quality in midfield than we do. If we had the likes of Silva and Toure and bench options like Milner and Fernando, we could use Gerrard more judiciously, but with our current midfield options, he has to be used a bit more, in my opinion.

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