21 Dec 2014

Molby tells BR: LFC can beat Arsenal by 'exploiting' €20m star's big 'weakness'

Last season, Liverpool annihilated Arsenal at Anfield, and that stunning 5-1 victory is one of the most memorable performances in years. Given LFC's poor form in the league, the chances of a repeat performance are incredibly slim, but Anfield legend Jan Molby believes there's one specific strategy that will pay dividends for the Reds tomorrow.

In his column for the Liverpool Echo this week, Molby urged LFC's attacking players to put Arsenal's 'makeshift' defence under intense pressure, and singled out Raheem Sterling as the key man in 'exploiting' the Gunners' defensive deficiencies. He explained:

"I’d fancy Sterling against that back four, any day of the week. Mertesacker is one of the slowest central defenders around, and Sterling is one of the quickest forwards. Let’s use him, exploit that weakness and put Arsenal on the back foot again".

The key question is this: In what position should Rodgers deploy Sterling to 'exploit' €20m-rated Mertesacker? There are several options:

* Lone striker (like the Bournemouth game)
* Number 10 role.
* Left of a front-three/midfield 4
* Right of a front-three.

According to Rodgers, Sterling's best position is on the left, cutting in and taking players on. This week, he told ESPN:

"His [Sterling's best position is on the left, dipping inside, making runs in behind, creating one vs. ones. I put him in the position because I believe he can play in it"

Getting Sterling (and Markovic) in one-on-one situations with Mertesacker could be a fruitful source of chances for Liverpool, but he is (IMO) often wasted out wide.

Sterling isn't a John Barnes-type player, who can dribble past players at will - his pace is arguably his most important asset, and the best way to utilise that is to have him running in behind/playing off the shoulder of the last defender (like Sturridge does, for example)

Last Sunday, Sterling got into some great positions against Man United, and spurned several gilt-edged chances, and in my view, Rodgers should utilise him in the same position against Arsenal.

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88 comments:

  1. Just need to repeat the first 18 minutes of performance from last season.

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  2. I would like to see, Emre Can, and Moreno start, and just go at them, if we sit back they will destroy us. Does anyone really think Arsenal will not score, I dont.

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  3. If we are playing with three at the back than Markovic will be a better attacking threat than Moreno, no?

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  4. Let's repeat it four times in a row.

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  5. With you on Emre Can and Moreno.


    Rodgers will most likely go with three at the back though. Arsenal are injury stricken but does not mean they will score goals.

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  6. AFC are playing through the middle so far this season, E.Can might be able to disrupt this, and leave Moreno on the left, to give them something to worry about, I would bring in E.Can, Moreno, Sakho, and Mig from the Bournemouth game. Just my opinion.

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  7. Take my word for it, they will score, and if they are finding it difficult, we will probably help them.

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  8. i edited my post. left out the 'not' between will and score.

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  9. If we play Lucas and Gerrard alongside each other today then we are screwed. Arsenal will run right through.

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  10. We have plenty of defensive weaknesses too and to add to that have been poor in front of goals but yes we have got Arsenal at a good time.
    Whether we can take advantage of this and finish off our chances remains to be seen.
    I too hope to see Can in the midfield and no 4231.

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  11. I never fancied Lovren, after reading an article in L'equipe, the author stated he will never make it at Southampton, but with Sneiderlin, Wanyama, and Steven Davis in front of him, he got away with it for a season, I really hope he improves, but I'm not holding my breath.
    Now Sakho has to prove he is up to it, he was very good against BFC midweek, fingers crossed.

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  12. Giroud is the danger man today. He is unstoppable in the air so set pieces will be where they want to capatalise. We are absolutely pants at set pieces.

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  13. Giroud is the danger man today. He is unstoppable in the air so set pieces will be where they want to capatalise. We are absolutely rubbish at set pieces.

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  14. Cant see Lucas starting, he is a week or so from moving on.

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  15. Southampton are still laughing all the way to the bank. Got £50m from us and they are better off in the league. What a joke we will be if they finish ahead of us this season

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  16. Yes not just defending them but scoring from them too.

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  17. Going to be interesting to see what happens in January. IMO at least two players will leave but forget about any arrivals. Rodgers dead man walking and FSG will not be interested in wasting anymore money unless they get someone else to the the purchasing.

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  18. I pray we do two strikers or a front three. Glad Balo is out. Last game vs Arsenal was the best performance of last year. Could have had 8 goals instead of 5 quite easily..........never see that kind of performance with this roster......arsenal 3 reds 2. Sadly....... Thank god I kept the recording of last years game.....

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  19. I want to see Rodgers at least see out this season,
    His scouting in the office is complete, with his new GF, (I am not being rude or offensive to BR, JK) just stating a fact.
    I think he will learn from his mistakes, his career is on the line, I doubt if he will throw it away easily,
    unlike most of you, I am not calling for his head.
    From Best Manager of the year to failure, I just do not see it happening. And of course Jurgen (the diver) Klinsman would replace him, I hope he is given time to prove his worth, this season would suffice.

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  20. but i guess the key man of this match how to free up no.20....

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  21. We can provide that protection for Lovren


    ............................Can..............Lucas
    Moreno...................Lovren................Skrtel........Manquillo

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  22. On the evidence I have seen so far with Lovren, he would never get picked before Sakho., or anyone else for that matter.

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  23. I think he is suffering with what fellani was last season


    if teh team is performing with confidence and winning games i think lovren will fit in easily

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  24. But the problem is,, with Lovren in the team, the team will not be performing with confidence, or winning games.

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  25. I am with you. Deserves the full season despite how bad we have been. I can't help but feel those championing Rodgers last and now calling for his head every day this are lacking on moral fibre.

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  26. Nothing to with that.


    Rodgers in his Arsenal press conference talked about us being able to counterattack in the way we did vs Bournemouth for the first time this season. What a daft thing to say and clearly shows that he is in denial and will not admit that he has ruined our season by sticking to an insipid style of football and now only changing it.


    Sorry, but if he had after 5 games said 'ok, we need to return back to the way we played last season' then we would not be in the situation we are at the moment.


    The owners will not accept any of his excuses after spending almost £120m. That i can assure you.

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  27. Bad hair days should not affect his on the field performances. Nevergoingtoshakeyourwhatnot

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  28. Yes, because going 'back to the way we played last season' is as easy as the flick of a switch, the press of a button, and 123.

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  29. I agree and can see them getting another late consolation goal

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  30. In what sense was it difficult? Why is he doing it now and why was he not able to do it sooner? we are much more dangerous with Lambert or balotelli up on their own. Did it take him 10 games to figure that out?


    Excuses maybe?

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  31. I have read about 3 reports now saying that we are very interested in bringing Torres back to Liverpool in January.

    I honestly do not know how I feel about this

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  32. How can it not be difficult? You mentioned 'style of football'. He has not purposefully persisted with an 'insipid style of football' because BR's fundamentals have not changed since the day he walked in.


    Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to actively coach a team to perform specifically to what you want them to do? Has Rodgers instructed his team to not get the ball moving, to not move off the ball and create space, to not press, to defend like clowns? I sincerely doubt that.


    Maybe Rodgers has finally put his foot down by changing the team shape and not selecting a striker. These are things within his control. But, there isn't a single player in the squad who could be satisfied with their output thus far. A lot of players have let BR down on the pitch.


    I agree about Lambert, who knows what the powers were thinking when he was signed. But you'd expect Balotelli to do better, Gerrard to be more influential, and for Lovren to actually do his job and defend. There are certain things you can pin Rodgers for, and there are things you cannot.

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  33. Good stop gap till summer
    he runs in behind defenses works hard etc

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  34. Would Balotelli and Lambert worked up top on their own last season in a pressing system?


    You are having a laugh right? It is just as baffling as Rodgers saying we could counterattack for the first time this season the way we did vs Bournemouth. the way we have played this season is like chalk and cheese 'Rodgers first season' compared to las season.


    If Rodgers had not persisted with Lambert and Balo up on their own then we would have scored many more goals and most probably would not be sitting mid table.

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  35. I've seen and read that presser. When did he say that?

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  36. He explained: “When you have got the players to play in the way we want to work you can see the issues and the problems we can cause opponents. We had that ability to break forward with speed and on the counterattack for probably the first time [this season]. That was clear. That tactical element is critical to how we work.



    Link in the reply to this post.

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  37. http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/dec/19/liverpool-brendan-rodgers-new-system

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  38. The loss of Suarez and Sturridge forced the change in tactics, I would have thought that was obvious. In my view, turning down Loic Remy was a big mistake as Balo and Lambert are both too slow to press or run in behind.
    So playing like last year was impossible without going to 3 at the back, and early experiments of doing that didn't go too well

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  39. Was that the post match presser then?

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  40. But vs UTD and Bournemouth it showed that we do not need Suarez and or Sturridge to play the way we did last season.

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  41. We didn't score against United but tempo was much better.

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  42. But it needed time to coach the team ; it's not in any way the same formation/tactics as last year, and as I said, early tries with 3 at the back went less than encouragingly I seem to remember lots of people, probably yourself included giving BR stick for trying it. As well as Van Gaal.

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  43. Well unless it was a body double who made the comments? Copy and paste he quote on google and it should give take you to the link/s.

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  44. I do.
    No way.

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  45. Then misses. Next.

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  46. I am not referring to the back three.


    I am making the point that it took him this long to finally swallow the pill that Balotelli and Lambert up on their own was not working and now most are arguing with me on that?


    I leave it there.

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  47. Runs in behind create spaces for players like Hazard,Willain,Oscar,Mata,Sterling,Coutinho,Lallana,Markovic

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  48. Mate, if lambert was playing up on his own vs UTD we would not even been 10% as threatening.

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  49. Boremouths tactics were baffling


    Everyone knows to beat this lfc team you press gerrard and the center halves and they will panic


    not back offf

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  50. Lallana injured at the beginning. Markovic not being nearly ad up to speed. It's difficult go say whether form of Sterling and Coutinho was anything to do with formation or tactics or just themselves. Like you I think he could have looked to.Sterling up top earlier but we.can say it but coaching people to do it is not so simple. A problem we all have is we expect these things to happen over night. You only have to play five aside to know that you get to know eachother of a.period of time.

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  51. H e also probably thought Sturridge would be back sooner rather then later

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  52. Who else would have made the comments? Google the quote from my post. It will take you to the link/s.

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  53. I have no doubt about that. The gamble on Ballotelli was also a gamble on Sturridge. Both have led to losses.

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  54. Lambert did play in a pressing style last season. In a similar formation to what we have been playing with him in the team. The problem we have had is we have not been pressing nearly half as much ad we have. The reasons for that can only be speculated upon but I doubt he has said don't press.

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  55. 'Do you have any idea of how difficult it is to actively coach a team to perform specifically to what you want them to do?'

    I would suggest that Rodgers got the job because he sold FSG , not least , on his coaching ability ..... as outlined in the dossier ! A good coach is a good motivator / man manager and will get his players to carry out his instructions on the pitch . That's what brings success . Moanrinho is a perfect example . Rodgers failed last year to sort the defence presumably because players weren't up to the job .... He was given adequate funds to get in replacements and now has a decent squad but with no improvement . He has said publicly that it is easy to get a team to defend and has refused to get in an additional defence coach specialist.
    He has to take full responsibility and the owners will expect that .... As I've said before I think it better if BR stay's until end of season but if we are in the relegation zone after the Christmas period I believe his position would have become untenable .

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  56. 4 Million for a plan B fine he hasnt been great but still better value for monbey than many we bought to me he has been just serviceable.

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  57. Mourinhos a perfect example well he has had the privilege of being surrounded by world class talent that helps.

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  58. While you do, consider this: the back 3 formation was integral to playing 3-4-3 which allowed the high press/threat in behind.
    You cannot divorce the two.
    So I know you didn't refer to the back three. That's the flaw.

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  59. The point is ....... he wouldn't play anyone who didn't carry out his instructions !

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  60. Which is why they fired him off to Milan, who want to send him back, I presume?
    So others have to do his job for him.
    None of the players you mention were prolific scorers on the back of all that space Torres made....

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  61. See the assumption being made here is that lfc have no money to spend in January so we need a signing which we can get for free or on a loan
    so find me a better option that we might be able to get for free

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  62. I did. I didn't deny he said them just knew it wasn't the Arsenal prematch presser.

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  63. If you have a system where you press as a team or when the press is not on you drop then if the pressing isn't happening from lots of corners of the field you would persevere to get the players up to speed. Of course. Then if this continues to be a problem you drop some. If this continues your drop more. Even bring back in some players who haven't played in a while but have worked under you for a while. Maybe he should have done that. Oh wait he may have.
    How long he gave players or systems he definitely needs to be criticised for.

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  64. What is his GF?

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  65. Thts the failure in transfer market..rodgrs dint get the type of strikers he needs t

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  66. There is no flaw in my reasonitng. My argument is that no Balotelli or Lambert up on their own and we are more dangerous.

    "So playing like last year was impossible without going to 3 at the back"



    Impossible without going 3 at the back you say. That is flawed.

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  67. Liverpool have to sign Perez from Newcastle
    he is so agile just what lfc need
    fits fsg philosophy of being young

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  68. seriousley if we lose rodgers time is nearing the end!

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  69. for some reason i have soft spot for alonso, mascherano, arebeloa, torres kuyt

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  70. Yes and with no end product

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  71. Confirmed Team

    Jones, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Lucas, Henderson, Markovic, Coutinho, Gerrard, Lallana, Sterling

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  72. Just like i said it would be
    i am a genius

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  73. 01 Szczesny
    02 Debuchy
    21 Chambers
    04 Mertesacker
    03 Gibbs
    20 Flamini
    17 Sánchez
    15 Oxlade-Chamberlain
    19 Cazorla
    23 Welbeck
    12 Giroud

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  74. Apart from Jones that squad looks decent

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  75. Very attacking lineup. 3 at the back will be heavily exposed and reckon the holding midfield of Gerrard and Lucas are going to be shredded.


    Hope I am proven wrong.

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  76. OOOF
    Chamberlain in the middle is scary stuff
    Gerrard has to ahve a top game today


    Henderson may struggle picking up welbeck as well as Welbeck never stops running
    hendo has to attack and defend

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  77. No ramsey


    though so happy

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  78. I hope ur wrong also but 3 in the back will be exposed by Arsenals pace

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  79. Hmmm...wasn't it you who said think small, be small?

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  80. How about no. We have to stay clear of signing players from teams who finish below us and that is even irrespective if Newcastle finish ahead of us this season.

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  81. I can think of many other words to describe you

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  82. I think it will be Lucas and Hendo back. Gerrard more forward

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  83. Hendo will be at right wing back.

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  84. He is spanish continental players are better then british players like austin long etc


    just his name makes him better

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  85. It's like hitting your head against a brick wall with you sometimes.
    Impossible with our current roster of players and injuries- Not impossible under any circumstances.
    Blimey.
    We all know your anti BR views, you use any excuse to have a go
    And I thought you were leaving it there...

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