5 Nov 2014

Carra: €3m LFC 'leader' was 'very good' vs. Madrid. Replace struggling £20m star?

Individual defensive errors have plagued Liverpool all season, and the curse struck again tonight, with Martin Skrtel, and Kolo Toure making costly errors during the Reds' 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid. Toure's ball-watching led directly to Madrid's winning goal, but overall, he had a decent game, and after the match, Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher singled the Ivorian 'leader' out for specific praise.

Prior to the Madrid game, €3m-rated Toure - hailed by Brendan Rodgers as 'outstanding' - had made only two starts all season (both in the League Cup), and reacting to Liverpool's defeat at the Bernabeu, Carra damned Toure with the faintest of praise.



Toure played well overall, but how is his performance any different from Dejan Lovren? Madrid's winning goal came as a direct result of Toure failing to track Karim Benzema's run into the box, so like with Lovren - who's made several similar mistakes this season - a concentration lapse led an opposition goal.

Toure also had a few good moments during the game, and made several vital blocks, but the fact remains that his error led to the winning goal. The question is, despite that, should Toure retain his place for the weekend?

As much as I like Toure as a player, he should return to the bench...unless Rodgers is planning to give him an extended run of games. Defensive stability is crucial, and the club's first-choice defensive partnership should play together as much as possible.

If Rodgers is planning to change that dynamic, then Skrtel should be the one to make way. The Slovakian had some good moments against Madrid, but he also looked shaky at times, and made one mistake in the first half that almost led to a Cristiano Ronaldo goal.

When it comes to continuity, there's no point in bringing Toure in for one league game, and then reverting back to Skrtel/Lovren. However, if there's a real chance of the Ivorian usurping Lovren or Skrtel as a first choice centre-back, then play him.

Is Toure a better defensive option at this stage than £20m Lovren, or Skrtel?

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38 comments:

  1. Start with Toure and Lovren.

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  2. Totally agree

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  3. Jamie, you said "Madrid's winning goal came as a direct result of Toure failing to track Karim Benzema's run into the box". I totally disagree.
    The player who should have tracked Benzema's run is Moreno. Benzema scored near the far post and Morena should have got there before Benzema. Also, Kolo back was facing Benzema whereas Morena had a full view of Benzema's run. When I learnt football I was always told the left back's positioning on crosses coming in from the right depends on the positioning of the CB that is furthest away from the cross. If Toure was near the far post then Moreno should be further away past the far post.
    As Toure was closer to the near post it was Moreno's responsibility to plug the hole behind and track Benzema or be in the position from where Benzema scored.

    IMO it is very unfair to lay blame on Toure for the goal.

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  4. Moreno was marking Benzema, not Toure. Didn't you watch the match?

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  5. That's what I voted too

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  6. I'd just like to point out that no team has stopped Madrid scoring at home in a very long time. I thought we had a really good game and am heartened by the performance

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  7. i vote Sktel n Lovren purely bcoz of stamina wise...but My crazy idea is Gerrard and Lovren at CB


    reason:
    gerrard got more pace than sktel to deal with costa
    gerrard can feed long ball from deep
    leave the midfield spot to more pace player deal with hazzard

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  8. What qualifies as "club first-choice defensive partnership", that's very vague if not subjective at best.

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  9. the problem is not our defence its gerrard exposing them and lucas is much better in that position

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  10. totaly agree bruce, you had a good coach, If kolo had of tracked/marked him and madrid scored through the middle we would have said it was kolo's fault for being out of position IMO. (by the way I've been a big Kolo critic, he had a good game last night )

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  11. true, I thought Lucas had a decent game, but seemed to get tired.

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  12. thats what happens if your manager gives you no match practise!

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  13. It doesn't really matter who we have in defense, each player is error prone. I'm feeling very sad at how we are playing and we'll definitely not get anything from the Chelsea game, I mean who is going to step up and score?


    The way we are relying on Sterling is going to make him stagnate.


    I didn't watch the match yesterday, just caught the last 20 mins and it was average at best...no creativity or urgency...

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  14. You are right but the fact is, in a CL game against Real Madrid, no matter who the player is, either Kolo/Moreno/Skrtel or anyone from the whole squad... they shouldn't have let the opponents running into the D Box like how Benzema did. Defenders have to be extremely alert on the opponents attacking movements and runnings, as JK was saying...Kolo was ball-watching. I'd say Moreno was too. Neither Kolo nor Moreno noticed Benzema making the run in. They were too ball-watching rather than marking/blocking the man running in and attending to the ball first.

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  15. Nevergonnacrackthecode11:46 am, November 05, 2014

    we dont rely on sterling
    i dont think he is gonna make our starting 11 much
    he had initial promise but let the real Madrid hype get to his head now his career is going wayward

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  16. I imagine there are no tables on your house. With the way your knee keeps jerking I think the place would be a mess.

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  17. Enemyofeverydisbeliever12:07 pm, November 05, 2014

    You blame kolo for the goal thats fair enough but how many would we concede if lovren was there? Probably four five more. Kolo was back in action after a long time staying on bench yet he had a good game, way better we expected tbh. I dont know if he can produce that performance against chelsea as well, if so then let him play, lovren is just sorry to watch atm.

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  18. if we beat ludogorets, no matter what scores in other games, bottom line is we need to win by 2 v basel at anfield. remind anyone of olympiakos? I know its not totally relevant here, but that's a fact and something we should be looking forward to. YNWA

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  19. there was NOTHING Toure could have done about that goal, the ball from Marcelo was just too good and the finish was absolute quality. U could see him shouting at players and organising the defence all nite, something Skrtel is incapable of doing and Lovren has singularly failed at miserably all season. Toure must start!!!

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  20. Enemyofeverydisbeliever12:35 pm, November 05, 2014

    We must win the last two games to go through, which wont be easy at all. Rma even found it difficult to win in ludogorets never mind us, then basel at home. Tbh Im not really looking forward to it, even if we qualify what, will we go and win it? Coming from second place it draws you with a top team, get smashed and go home. We better concertrate in the league and that cup, because we know we're way behind of winning the CL. Just hope we dont end up in europa crap, that would ruin us even more with those stupid thursdays.

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  21. The goal was a team error, and thats the end of it. Manquillo was the wrong player to step up to Ronaldo (should've been a mid), leaving Marcelo wide open, Toure and Moreno were ball watching. Honestly though, I'd rather concede this type of goal than one from an individual errors. Team goals we can fix with training. Individual ones come down to player concentration and confidence, which is substantially harder to deal with...

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  22. If BR decides to stick to his favourites then I hope it works but if it doesn't I hope he's moved on. BR witnessed a 'team' last night.... a real collective. Our first team is a bunch of individuals who cant gel, similar in many ways to the England national side. BR's 'first team' rely too heavily on Luis Suarez being magical whereas the players last night tried to find a new way of doing things without hoping for miracles.

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  23. 100% agree.

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  24. We also have to remember in phase 1 Manquillo gets taken out of the game completely exposing our right flank. When that happens everyone should tuck round one. That's what I was taught. Moreno should have tucked round in my opinion because Skrtel had to move across as did Kolo. Moreno was jogging back.

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  25. Kolo Toure is a dying breed..... a real leader. At 33 he is in the prime of his defensive life just like John Terry at 33 is also in the defensive prime of his life. Skrtel peaked at 24..............

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  26. We were actually really good in my opinion. The only thing we lacked was someone who could play that final ball, and maybe better movement from the AM attacking the box, both of which could be solved by putting in 2 of Coutinho, Sterling, and Hendo instead of Markovic (who actually impressed, almost got a free run at goal if not for Varane's incredible recovery) and Allen. Once we brought in Gerrard, we lost possession much too easily. We started running out of ideas by the end of the match, but we kept the Real defense on its toes and defended really well.


    If you watch the goal, it wasn't any one man's fault, which is good imo. Manquillo stepped up to Ronaldo when he didn't need to, Marcelo got a free run down the right, Toure lost Benzema (he drifted back post and Toure thought he was running in) and Moreno didn't recognize he had to cover. It was a team goal conceded, no one is specifically at fault. We can work on preventing goals like this, but we can't work on solving individual problems, which is what we've been suffering from.

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  27. Kolo was not ball watching as both he and Skrtel were in line with Marcelo (or close to it). Technically speaking their positioning was not wrong. Had Marcelo pulled the ball back then Gerrard, Can or Allen should be positioned to intercept. If he crosses (as he did) Kolo should have been slightly more forward to stop/clear the ball from reaching Benzema. The problem was Kolo was half a yard too behind so he pulled back from touching the ball in fear of an own goal. So yes he can be blamed for being a bit slow but NOT for not tracking Benzema's run.

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  28. The peak of a defender is around 28, not 33....

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  29. not you again :)

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  30. Tell that to Maldini, Baresi, Tony Adams, Terry. When they hit 32,33 they no longer had to run they read the game so well. It's all about opinions. Players peak at different times. according to your logic skrtel sould be in his prime but he seems to have peaked during his first season here at 24.

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  31. but that means it only gets harder to increase our UEFA co-efficient, so when we qualify for CL again, we still get harder groups. and yes, i'd fancy our chances over two legs v most teams. obv not the way we are currently playing, but we will improve. with a bit of luck, we can go far and really kick on in the UEFA co efficient. we're actually lucky in a sense that there are only city, Chelsea and possibly arsenal who are really going to threaten finishing above us, which gives us a few years of CL qualification, establish ourselves there, and be top seeds (or near) and be getting easier groups once the PL starts getting harder again. our situation really isn't that bad

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  32. Of course its not you ;D

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  33. Ridiculous. At least you're consistent.

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  34. if gerrad cant play Dm what makes you think he can Play Cb

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  35. I agree it wasn't Kolo's fault! The cross was fantastic & Moreno was nowhere!

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