1 Mar 2015

'Outstanding': Carra hails £81m quartet but insists the 'most credit' goes to Brendan Rodgers

Liverpool's relentless march towards a Champions League place continued today with a superb home victory over Manchester City, and after the game, Reds legend Jamie Carragher singled out four players for individual praise.

Reacting to Liverpool's dominant 2-1 victory, Carra raved:

"Great game at Anfield today. Liverpool [were] outstanding, particularly Coutinho, Lallana, Henderson and Allen**. Rodgers deserves most credit though"

Overall, an excellent win, especially given Thursday's Europa League exertions, and it's now a question of when - not if - Liverpool will break into the top four.

* Coutinho, Hendo, and Allen all had good games, but I don't agree about Lallana. He played okay, but for me, he often slows down Liverpool's attack by taking too many touches and/or not moving the ball on quickly enough.

* The same applies to Markovic, who wasted possession/promising attacking positions countless times during the game.

* Lovren deserves some credit for another solid performance at the back, but with only 72% passing accuracy, his distribution needs to improve. Plus, 25% of his passes were long-balls, which probably explains the lack of accuracy.

* With 88% accuracy, Skrtel was once again Liverpool's most accurate passer. He also achieved a 100% success rate in aerial duels and ground duels.

* Just behind Skrtel on 87% accuracy is Allen, and his neat and tidy passing in midfield helped the Reds maintain possession and intensity on the ball.

* Amazing goal from Coutinho, and if he and Henderson had played against Besiktas, it's possible the result might've been different.

Brendan Rodgers really has pulled Liverpool's season out of the fire, and as Carra states, he deserves a lot of credit for the club's resurrection over the last few months.

However, it's clear that Rodgers waited far too long before implementing the 343 solution. It was obvious very early in the season that significant tactical/formation changes were needed, but it took him 4 months to figure things out and take decisive action.

Alas, by the time Rodgers acted, Liverpool's chances of mounting a title challenge were already dead. Granted, the Reds are playing well now, when it comes to the league, the club is playing catch-up, and will continue to do so for the rest of the season.

As such, whilst Rodgers deserves praise for digging the team out of a hole, it shouldn't be forgotten that it's mostly his fault the Reds were in that hole in the first place.

The galling reality is that if Liverpool had managed a half-decent start to the season, the club would probably be challenging for the league title right now.

I just hope that Rodgers learns from this season, and is able to implement changes - if needed - with greater speed in future seasons.

For now, though, Liverpool are perfectly placed to mount a final assault on the top four, and with the Reds in imperious form, second place is now a realistic target.

** Combined transfer fees = £81m

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52 comments:

  1. Joe Allen MOTM!!!.............................superb display!!!

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  2. thexcuriousxwanderer6:21 pm, March 01, 2015

    So many people saying "if BR found the 343 earlier ..."

    Have you all considered maybe they were learning the system? It seems to me that the players are now adapting to the tactical demands, which also happen to suit their strengths, but that doesn't mean that there isn't an adjustment period, eg Sterling who needed time to adjust to the new role. Also we had quite a bad spate of injuries which severely hampered our ability to find the goal, through no fault of the manager. I think he does deserve praise.

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  3. Lallana had an excellent game. He was unlucky not to bag a couple of goals, ran 11.9km apparently and played in 3 different positions. It's not his fault he cost £25m, but you keep having a go at him if it makes you feel good...

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  4. Moved the ball around so goddamn well today. We simply outplayed City, top 4 is near.

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  5. 3pts off 3rd place!!!.

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  6. Now all we need is to end our amazing streak with a loss against Burnley

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  7. BR was probably 2 games away from being sacked and he pulled the rabbit off the hat. He's still very young for a manager and I am sure he will learn from this. I think he has changed the formation 3 times before, (1) when he arrived, (2) the diamond, and (3) the current formation. And he is getting better at that now.

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  8. Was thinking this was the best I have seen him play, and it was the tidy non glamorous work that won this match, the goals were great from both players, sterling and lallana need to be a little more composed with the final touch, I agree on the lovern points, Rodgers criticism I feel is not fully justified due to the amount of change he has had to deal with concerning new players and injuries, but think it is a good point that he must learn this lesson

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  9. What a great win , well done boys !!!!!!
    Great game by Lallana , Allen is improving with more game time.
    Lovern needs a good run now to get his confidence back.
    Sterling looks to be distracted by his continued contract dispute
    and Sturridge still a way off match fit .

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  10. I just love moreno. And I love coutinho, new ronaldinho

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  11. TheDublinBossman7:07 pm, March 01, 2015

    Jesus H Christ... This Jaimie K guy.... He's a tad special isn't he? Or her. It's unclear. Please let someone else write for the site. This is beyond appalling.

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  12. What Jamie didn't mention which is of vital importance regarding the tactical change to 3 4 3 is that Cann was not signed as centre back, Markovic and Morano were not signed as wing backs and sterling before this season had not played as a striker.

    It take time for players to learn new positions as well as the overall team.

    This is something that Carra talked about and why he gave BR a lot of credit.

    LooK I was not happy with BR and was one of those who were very unhappy and thought he would get the sack.

    I have to eat a lot of humble pie because BR has done a fantastic job to turn it around and this performance against City was brilliant.

    I actually believe that if we can stay clear of injuries we have a real chance of finishing in the top 4 and win the FA Cup

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  13. That was to be my point exactly, I should think Rodgers saw the problems earlier than 4 months and probably took 3/4 weeks to get settled into the system and style in training, so in the mean time carry on with the 4 at the back systems. He cant just go in on a Thursday say 'we are doing 343 on Saturday ok boys' and see it click. It takes time and adjustment. Also I think you have to give a bit of allowance of seeing it's not working, but trying to give it the chance. While implementing new ideas on the training ground for the new formation if necessary, (which it was).
    All in all, I'm convinced we will get top 4...maybe even as high as 2nd but I believe 3rd is more than realistic. Take this performance onto Burnley and we could see it even more realistic by the weekend FA Cup. Win that and we are a day trip to Wembley.
    As JK stated....even an average start to the season and we would have been in the mix....hopefully (with no mass additions/changes in the summer....just tweaking required) Rodgers can learn from this and take it into next year.

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  14. True BR took long to figure things out, but better him than LVG, don't you think so?

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  15. He owns the site, lol!

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  16. I would rather have seen Sterling go to L/RWB instead of Lallana...while he does hold up the flow sometimes he also adds magical touches and movements into a static set of play. Between him and Couts I think we have slightly different playmakers with Adam needing to play a bit quicker when it's needed, but I like his style to the game, he plays almost 'on a swerve' all the time.

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  17. The criticism of Lallana is a bit off the mark for me. If you can point to one single example of Lallana making a bad decision and slowing down an attack when there was a more direct option available I'd be very surprised. His decision-making, in concert with his individual skill, movement, and energy, is superb. If you think he should do one thing when he did another, I'd need some persuading not to side with him in that argument. Can you give an example?

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  18. Anybody seen what this Rochdale youth 'player ' said about SG's daughter- won't repeat it but it's in Daily Star Sunday- man she's only 3

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  19. What a load of tripe. I actually enjoy reading the critical analysis of some of these posts, but this is just being critical for the sake of it. Your last waffling has no substance.

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  20. Yeah its despicable

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  21. I'm sure if Hendo and Coutinho had played against Besiktas we would still be in Europa ... however they wouldn't have been so fresh today - all swings and roundabouts . Obviously we are all disappointed with our start to season but new players had to get used to each other and the system etc. Also we had to adapt to being without Sturridge and more than our fair share of injuries to other players . BR had to realise the best positions for players within the team and work with them. This has all taken time to establish etc. Players now know what it means to wear the LFC shirt !
    I have been as frustrated with this as the next but it is now all coming together and the stats prove that.... only team unbeaten in prem this year ! We have the momentum now and on a roll .
    Let's take one game at a time and who knows for two seasons in a row we could finish up second !

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  22. In hindsight Jaimie, I think it's too convenient just to point out that Rodgers should have reverted to 3-4-3 earlier on in the season. There are a lot of factors to consider. He's a young, very talented manager who's on a continual learning curve. The important thing is he learns from his mistakes and comes out a lot better for it.

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  23. Here's a video for reference purposes. Maybe there's *one* moment he could have released earlier? Maybe?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Mrzm76PtFg

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  24. I love them both also but the has a way to go to reach Ronaldinho type technical status...

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  25. I think Lallana needs to be consistently playing in the team and we will see the best of him. I'm just happy we have another player with good technical ability. He compliments the team and is improving and learning what it takes to play for a big club...

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  26. Rochdale says it all really. Was nearly stabbed first time I went....

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  27. Agree with first half of the article. Allen unbelievable today and for me motm. Markovic was terrible and had one of those off games he has where he clearly lacks confidence.

    Still having a go at Rodgers however is ridiculous. He has taken brave decisions and they've paid off. Radical formation change and players playing in different positions, notably sterling and can has saved our season. Not many managers would have had the balls or ability to do what he's done.

    Injuries to sturridge and lallana, lovren being crap at start of the season, ballotelli being unwilling to press were issues Rodgers has had to deal with.

    We're lucky we've got Rodgers. All the knee jerk snipers from November and December have disappeared and the Patient pragmatic supporters have been vindicated in their support for BR.

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  28. He wasted 2/3 good positions by hanging onto the ball too long instead of shooting or passing. Nonetheless he was execptional so no skin off my nose.

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  29. Agreed. Markovic's crossing and composure was all over the place. Ibe, who has only been in the team for 4/5 games and is 19 handles it superbly. Makes me wonder why we had to splash 20M on Markovic?

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  30. I saw most of the game. Well done lads! BR is proving his worth as I expected, the sack talk was way to premature. We have a very young team and manager. If they can perform this well at this stage, in 2 years they will be animals! Up the Reds!

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  31. We need to atop ourselfs becoming a selling club. The only way to do that is by consistently getting top 4 and challening for European and League titles.

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  32. We're all forgetting the first time we tried 3-4-3 we got trounced by Man United. Rodgers has shown tremendous belief and confidence to stick with it. Many top top managers would of scrapped it a while ago. Can't help but also notice that this particular rich vein of form has for the most part came in Gerrards abcence.

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  33. I know I'm going to come across a bit argumentative here, but -- no he didn't. There was *one* moment where Lallana carried the ball instead of passing to Coutinho, at about 2.20 on the touches video on youtube: he's trying to use Coutinho's run as a dummy and either score as he did against Swansea, or put in Sterling, but it doesn't come off, he was well-challenged. And that is it. Virtually everything else he does comes off.

    I really feel like if Lallana wants to do something that you or me wouldn't do, if Lallana has an other idea, I'm going to respect his decision, because he pulls off things that hardly anyone else would see, such as his backheel to Sterling from which the lad should have scored at the end of the first half. Calling it a "waste" when he tries something different to the obvious doesn't sit right with me. But I don't mean to be a dick about it.

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  34. I still rate Markovic. He has good ball skills, is fast and direct and can pass well, Sometimes he rushes things but he is still young and well worth his place in the squad

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  35. I'm reserving judgement until we've seen a bit more of him in the centre, where he makes more sense. I have a feeling that when it comes together for Lazar it will be quite sudden and spectacular: he comes across as a little reserved and watchful, but he will grow. He's an unusual player and won't develop like a typical footballer. Macmanaman is the closest we've had at LFC and he could be frustrating to watch sometimes too.

    First half today he was pretty good actually, set up Lallana for that impossi-volley with a nice little flicked lob. He was coming inside a lot and switching positions with Lallana. But Rodgers put a stop to that at half time, and Markovic spent the second half firmly out wide. Helped the team, but didn't help his performance. Still produced a couple of good moments, but there were some stinkers in there too.

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  36. Going to be a big call for BR what to do when Stevie is fit ..... however he will captain the team at the FA Cup Final at Wembley !

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  37. I think most people saw a top 4 place as a great achievement for Liverpool at the start at the season considering they had lost their best player and the added amount of games that they had to player and a lot of new players who they had to bed in. I always felt that if Rodgers could survive a post-Suarez period that his team could even better than than a team with Suarez in it.

    In November it didn't look like Brendan had the answers but fair play to him he found a system which works for the players. It is a bit naive for people to say why didn't he play this system from the beginning of the season, that is like saying why did it take 6 years for Ferguson to win the title.

    Like Rodgers has displayed, Fergie had to survive periods of crisis during those first 6 years but most modern day managers don't get to learn from theirs , because in most case it costs them their jobs.

    The future for this side is very promising and if Liverpool can finish the season strongly, i am sure with astute transfer dealing and keeping star players. They will hit the ground running at the start of next season to produce a serious challenge for the title.

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  38. Markovic's touch needs improving, I think the pace of the prem has shocked him. In this league you can't just hit the ball & chase, you need guile. He doesn't have it yet! He's an athlete who can put a shift in which is needed especially with games coming thick and fast.
    Mingolet deserves credit for turning things around as does Rodgers.
    I hope we don't switch off against burnley.

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  39. Yes easier said than done but I get your point. I think a few additions of real quality and experience with the development of the team will see us mount consistent challenges to the CL places in years to come

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  40. Rodgers can't escape the early season problems and yes, he's the only one who could have really solved them. Still it seems a bit unrealistic to expect that he should have just known what the answer was. Football at the top level is hard, so many managers just outright fail. That it took time to get it right is not good but I'm not sure how it could have been much better. The final solution has turned out to be nothing what we expected and I doubt any fan would have predicted it. Most of the talk on here never got far beyond playing two upfront. it's easy to see when something is not working. Obviously not so easy to find the answer. Rodgers did ultimately find the answer and did it in time for a top 4 challenge. We shouldn't underestimate what an achievement that is.

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  41. I'm going to put it down to him being a talented footballer coming out of lesser leagues where the demands on a player are a bit different. It's all well and good in Portugal (and Serbia for that matter) to have pace and a willingness to run direct at the opposition but in England he's going to have to be a bit more intelligent. Some players like Ibe and Sterling have this "wisdom beyond their years" thing going on which really just means that have better instincts most of the time. Markovic has probably never had to think too hard about what he's done, just get out there , get the ball and run like a lunatic.


    The confidence thing is a big deal. I think he himself doesn't know what kind of football player he is. Is he a winger? Is he a number 10? Does he score goals or set up others with through balls? Does he beat people with dazzling footwork or just raw pace? He started at Liverpool looking very reserved and disciplined, playing much more like a wing back than an attacking midfielder. Rodgers will tease it out of him eventually I hope. The kid's got talent, it's just that no one quite knows what to do with it.

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  42. It's actually immensely encouraging that if it weren't for that horror run pre-Christmas, we'd probably be in the title race right now. It's confirmed to us that if Liverpool perform steadily until Christmas, and then begin to peak around February like they always do, we can be right in the mix next season. Rodgers definitely was not crazy for suggesting so a few weeks ago. Chelsea and City throw whichever money at whichever player, yet we're still able to match them on the park, and again, fall into title winning form. It's becoming more clear that this is enabled by a great core we have in the team

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  43. Agreed. If we were to make a full list of the specific tactical changes that Rodgers has made this season it would fill a page pretty quickly. It's not just "ok lads, we're going for a 3-4-3 now ... GO". Every one of those changes requires thought and consideration, planning and training. Plus who knows how many things he tried that just didn't work? It's easy as a fan to sit on the sideline and sum it all up, in hindsight, with a few key phrases. In reality it's a complicated and messy combination of 100s of different factors and the manager has to get most of them right.

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  44. I find it interesting that this same kind of criticism is now being levelled at Pellegrini. City are using tactics that won them the title last year but it's not necessarily working any more. Like Liverpool they perhaps relied on the brute force of their goal scoring last year and that was good enough. Despite their talent there will be times when their defensive tactics (or lack of) will undo them. It happened against Barca and then against Liverpool but these are only two notable results and generally they've had these issues for some time. If they don't respond and change something then perhaps more results like this will come their way and they'll get nothing from the season. Pellegrini will be criticised for not being able to quickly find a solution when things are not working with the established system. I think it goes to show that being tactically flexible is challenging for a manager no matter who you are or what kind of talent you have at your disposal.

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  45. Clearly thrives on more game time

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  46. Chelsea has become a selling club and do it perfectly as it helps with FFP

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  47. One great game from Allen and you 're over the moon like we won the BPL come to think of it, we paid $15 mil for him and all we got is couple of great game in how many season? You gotta show more consistency Allen.

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  48. There is an article in the echo with a statistic on that. Liverpool under Rodgers have lost 18 games in the first half of the three seasons. In the second half they've lost 4. It's an issue they'll want to address this summer and hopefully with only 2 or 3 key signings to be integrated into the team that will happen.

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  49. Mate he changed system more than three times last season. He has tried lots of different things.

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  50. I think he suffers from not being Coutinho. Cout will make passes before you even see them. Lallana might not see some we see from birds eye view but that's OK. He has a lot a great qualities. He scored what would have been goal of the month if he was not offside. Man we scored some whoppers.

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  51. It's not lime everyone was saying that is what formation we should play is it? It is unconventional.

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  52. For sure i agree.

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