23 Mar 2015

Hamann: This is what Liverpool should've done to 'break down' United. Betrayal?

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers utilised both a 343 and a diamond formation against Manchester United on Sunday, but neither approach seemed to work against Louis Van Gaal's tactically well-drilled team. What else could the Reds have done to turn things around? According to LFC legend Dietmar Hamann, Rodgers should've played Van Gaal at his own game.

During Liverpool's 2-1 defeat, Hamann made the following tactical suggestion:

"Why do they [Liverpool] keep playing out from the back. We couldn't break them down with 11 so never gonna do it with 10. Throw Lambert on and go long".

'Go long'? What is this, the 1980s?

Desperately reverting to long-ball tactics at home should never be an option, and utilising that anachronistic 'lump it up to the big man' approach is a glaring sign of tactical failure.

Granted, there are advantages to playing a long-ball game, such as bypassing midfield, and reducing a team's susceptibility to high intensity pressing, but it's a betrayal of Liverpool's footballing ethos, and totally goes against Rodgers' approach to football.

Instead of regressing into Allardycian ignominy, Rodgers could've made the following changes in an attempt to effect the game:

* Replace Allen with Lucas in a bid to get to grips with the midfield battle. If the Brazilian is on the bench, then he's fit to play, or why include him at all?

* Sub off Lallana; put Johnson at RWB, and move shameless mercenary Sterling up alongside Sturridge (in the diamond) or alongside Coutinho (in a 343).

I'd rather see Liverpool play football the right way and lose than watch the team employ long-ball tactics and win, but maybe that's just me.

Author:



104 comments:

  1. I'd rather win.

    By the way, Hamann, we *were* lumping it up to the big man (Mario) for the last ten or so minutes. Agreed, Lucas should have come on for Allen.

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  2. I agree as a fan. We should have tried that when normal routine fails, as we have Balo and Lambert both strong and tall, and as Fellaini was so effected,maybe LFC could have tried such a tactic and let Coutinho and even Sterling feed of the scraps. Man U would have their esp after the 1st goal. Regression or not, do something different for the remaining time of the match.Just my thoughts on hindsight.

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  3. death by football or long ball didn't we buy Lambert for games such as these or as Rodgers would call it Plan B anyway hindsight is a good think

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  4. I wonder if Lucas might be back for Arsenal though, since they r a handful. I thought Allen would come good, he had a really bad day like Hendo and esp Moreno.

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  5. Moreno was horrendous. Lallana was just as bad - can't believe he missed that sitter.

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  6. You spoke about this mythical 'Van Gaal effect' yesterday but 'go long' is exactly what Van Gaal has made United do for a lot of games this season at Old Trafford. So if you're fond of VG and his effect, then you must be fond of his long balls.

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  7. No one is a fan of long balls.

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  8. It's always easy to say 'we should have'...hindsight is a power most of us possess. I agree re. Lucas....he's not an impact player, so if he's fit for the bench he should be fit to play.
    Yes, I would like to win, but I would never like to revert to hoofball, grass roots football is trying to drive that thought out of players from a young age now. Long passes towards a player with good holding up capabilities is different to hoof and hope! Play the Liverpool way, how about go around them instead of through them, or mix it up in other ways that don't go against the way to play. Case in point...Arsenal can play slightly more direct but little rather than often, do it in good play not in hope. I am laways proud of the way we try and play, proper football wins out more often. Yesterday we got outgunned and outmanned, sad, but so be it.

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  9. Alan Shearer told BBC Sport
    he believes it was a day to forget for Liverpool defender Alberto
    Moreno on Sunday, after the Reds full-back was torn apart by Juan Mata.

    Alberto Moreno's 1st half by numbers:
    (squawka)

    50% pass accuracy
    0 take-ons

    0 tackles won
    0 aerial duels won

    0 interceptions

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  10. I wonder if Enrique will play LWB against Arsenal.

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  11. "Instead of regressing into Allardycian ignominy..."


    Quality writing.


    Win at all costs for me though, my man, especially against the scum. Not that I'd ever go full Hodgson and totally abandon all our revered principles of football, but sometimes - see Chelsea at home last year - you come up against a 6-3-1 formation which leaves no gaps on the deck and requires a change of attack.

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  12. Moreno was terrible, had such a bad game, I felt a bit sorry for him, Lallana had another off day and missed a sitter that would have changed the game. Sterling was again poor. Mario I thought did 'ok' when he came on, Sturridge scored so no complaints, Sakho was huge again. Migs could do nothing with the goals and saved a peno...all ok. Allen was poor against a strong midfield...Hendo tried to make things happen but couldn't get the game together. An off day all round...

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  13. Gerrard did pretty well for 45 seconds.

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  14. He did make one great tackle.

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  15. I hope Lucas (if fit) does, otherwise I fear we will be extremely vulnerable to Arsenals offensive firepower.

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  16. I have a feeling he will. Let's hope I'm right.

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  17. You weren't wrong about LVG's long balls, so fingers crossed. As for moi, this won't curry any favour, but I fear the worst against Arsenal. I'm already preparing myself mentally for a shellacking : (

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  18. Manure took us apart yesterday, Moreno should have come off after the first TEN minutes, his passing was ludicrous and his marking was woeful at best (Mata). Gerrard cost us dear with his stupidity, but should have started, i'm sure he would have put Moreno straight right at the start. Allen and Henderson have shown they're not good enough. Rodgers ultimately to blame though, just not good enough either.

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  19. Shocking without even mentioning the worst part...

    Personally, I think attacking fullbacks are often overrated and sometimes a liability. Case in point, Moreno. He's had a hand in more goals conceded than he has in goals scored this season.

    Same thing happened with Glen Johnson replacing Alvaro Arbeloa. GJ cost us far more goals defensively than he contributed offensively. And at a net loss of about £15 million on the deal, too, smh.

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  20. Yep, BR to blame most for me.

    Poor set-up, blind to ManUre's obvious tactical approach, customarily too slow to change it.

    Make no mistake about it, BR is an outstanding coach, but I think our club deserves a better manager.

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  21. Unfortunately I can't see Sktrel escaping a retrospective ban. With my rose tinted glasses on I would say it was accidental but having watched it back several times I think he knew what he was doing. Shame but I think we will be losing him for 3 games.

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  22. Don't exaggerate, he did pretty well for about 27 seconds.

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  23. BR always seems tentative to throw a player straight back into the action after an injury... They always seem to spend a few games on the bench. I think we really needed Lucas yesterday and agree he should have started instead of Allen. Moreno was awful but unfortunately we don't have an adequate replacement down the left side. Sterling was poor as well but he shouldn't be playing RWB. As for Johnson the less said the better, would rather we played with 10 then played him.

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  24. As long as it doesn't involve cheating, I don't mind using a strategy that doesn't look pretty.

    Playing long ball is no less right or wrong to playing counter-attacking, parking the bus, tiki taka, etc. It's a strategy within the confines of the rules and regulations of the game.


    If it's against the rules of the game, that's a different story.


    But if playing long ball every game wins, then people won't care. The reason why people don't like long ball is it doesn't always equate to winning. If it did, I assure you every team would do it more often, and then fans would be ok with it.

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  25. BR has had nearly three years now. And, after three years of his management we turn out yesterdays performance? Nowhere near good enough for our club, imho.

    I have no loyalty to BR. I had loyalty to Kenny and to Rafa before him. Proper managers.

    The way I see it, BR got the job on the back of his 180 page dossier on "killing the opposition with football"...and within months of a horrendous start to the season, he's abandoned it all and we revert to counter attacking.

    He's a fantastic coach, but I think we deserve a better manager.

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  26. I usually loathe the International break - it bores me shitless, plus there's the constant worry of injury to your best players - but I think it's come at just the right time for us. Stifled by Blackburn, lucky against Swansea, 'out-tacticed' (sic) by MU. Despite all the confidence going into the game I'm sure we all had some major nagging doubts, particularly with Utd hitting recent good form. The break should give BR a bit of time to think about his selection, iron out a few tactical issues before the next big game and, importantly, allow the ever important Lucas a little more time to reach full fitness.

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  27. Totally agree. As is the norm, Allen's poor performance went totally ignored yesterday. The number of times he got bullied in the middle and just bypassed as if he was not there. He might have good games once or twice but those are the exceptions, not the rule. Lucas never gets the credit he deserves. He has to play against Arsenal as their midfield is weak and with lucas, we can dominate them.

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  28. I cannot believe this

    "Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge is being assessed by England medical staff at St George's Park today, having picked up a hip injury.

    "Unlike his injured club team-mate Adam Lallana, the striker did report for training with the national team today but is now considered a doubt for the Euro 2016 qualifier with Lithuania on Friday.

    "Sturridge's potential absence could pave the way for Tottenham's Harry Kane to make his debut at Wembley."

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  29. And Sterling should be playing in attack! I know there are many hyping about Lallana but what did he actually do vs the Mancs? I would have played Mrkovic at RWB. Plus we were totally outclassed by the mancs. Bitter pill to swallow. We even played better football at Old Trafford. Cannot see how we can continue now with three at the back when the signs vs Blacburn and Swansea were there that we have been figured out.

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  30. Rodgers needs to change something for sure. He has been found out and the best managers find a new solution. I would bring Toure and Flanno in.

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  31. Allen, imho, isn't good enough to be an every game starter for us, he's too limited. He has qualities, which suit certain situations, but is more of a squad/role player for me.

    The Arsenal game is tailor made for Lucas. We're going to need the defensive qualities he has. I'm not a fan of the 3 at the back system, but if BR persists with it, I think he has to bring Lucas in to sit in the middle and have Hendo and Allen flanking him and pressing the bejesus out of them in more of a 3-5-1-1, with Stirling up top and Couts roaming.

    Hopefully that would keep us in the game 'til the second half, because I feel Arsenal will be rampant in that first half...payback for a year ago. If Stuzza is fit, bring him on for one of the mids around the Benitez mark (that's around the 65 minute mark for anyone who missed every single one of Rafa's games ; ) ).

    If we go 3-4-3, as yesterday, we'll be whooped. Arsenal are a class above United, imho.

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  32. That is the biggest problem with Rodgers. He knows his Tiki Taka system and the pressing system which came afterwards but other than that, there is not much we have seen. Rodgers is a very good coach but managing a club as big as LFC he has found himself to be out of his depth.


    Really cannot see FSG continuing to let him have full grip of what happens on a day to day basis at LFC. I reckon a DOF is on the cards at the start of next season which will either be a new start or the end for Rodgers.

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  33. Let's not forget BR had a run of 13 games without defeat before this one and IMO was let down badly by his players yesterday . He has said both before and after the match the plan was to play high and attack from the start. In the first half the players showed lack of character , bottled it and allowed MU to bully them . They didn't make any tackles and showed no desire to win the ball ....... what did they expect ? We were lucky to go in HT only one goal down . Rodgers would have changed things and had a strategy for the second half that involved Gerrard and what happened ? His captain let hm down . No on this occasion I don't think the manager should be blamed .
    Hopefully they will show up and make amends against the Gunners ........ I have a sneaking feeling
    All is Not lost ......... !

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  34. Not too concerned (yet).


    If he didn't go at all, I'd be more concerned.

    Wait and see approach.

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  35. Were they in 80's with their use of Fellaini?
    It is perfectly natural to use a tall attacker for let's say free kicks ad corners we had, specially with a man down. And you get those free kicks with 2015 game from Couts and Sterling. I was hoping for that..

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  36. I wish he'd change things. I just don't think, unless you're Barca in their tiki-taka heyday, you can play the exact same way against every team you play, home and away. I think there has to be game specific strategies.

    I respect the warrior that goes into battle looking to impose his will on the foe, that's commendable. But I'd like to see a little more cannyness.

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  37. Your opening sentence warmed my cockles, thank you, great point. And your closing locution, while almost impossible for my mind to believe, has my heart racing again. Awesome! ; )

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  38. Let down badly by his players yesterday? So what about the first half of this season when even the regular players had no clue what to do with the ball?


    To many excuses are being made for Rodgers.

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  39. I'd never wish injury or illness on anyone (though Red-Nose and Maureen have tempted me a few times...not to mention Lampard for constantly bombing on and leaving Gerrard sat in the centre circle for England about a million times, when Gerrard was at his peak, which was the worlds best midfielder and right up there with your Kaka's and Messi's and the Prancing Narcissist - not my words, the words of anyone who was anyone in world football), but, and forgive the digression there, let's have Spurs supply their in-form goal-scorer to England for Woy to weck and weturn wuined for the west of the wun-in.

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  40. Damn you, that's reminded me of the one thing I was trying to forget!

    It's true, though, after all, whose job is it to prepare the players for battle? (Assuming it's Rodgers' job, and if it isn't, why the hell isn't he doing the job?)

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  41. Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel is facing a three-match suspension having been charged for a stamp on Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. Skirtel has until 6pm on Tuesday to respond having been informed by the Football Association he is in breach of rule E3.



    Another key player that we could be without and could cost us dearly
    BR to be blamed for that as well ??

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  42. No, just for the things for which he's responsible, like sending the team out unprepared for battle against our most hated rival in our most important game...and standing idly by and watching us get dominated for almost the entire first half.

    I don't like watching us get dominated like that, and wouldn't let it continue for so long, and would hope a manage of our club would have the nous/balls etc to change it sooner than to hope to hold out 'til half time before changing it.

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  43. All United have done for weeks AND yesterday was lump the ball up to their big man. Don't understand how they're "tactically well drilled" but it would be abject failure if we did it.
    That being said, I totally agree with your point. This lumping it forward to the big man tactic is the reason British football is decades behind the rest of the top footballing countries and it's absolutely endemic through every league in the country. I can remember playing for teams as a kid and there was constantly people on the sidelines screaming "GET IT UP THE PARK", fans parents and 'coaches' alike. While British kids are doing that, kids from Spain, Brazil, Germany etc are playing Futsal and 5 or 7 aside on small pitches, honing their touch and ball control and learning to make basic short passes, which is obviously integral to their development as players.
    So I agree that football should always be attempted to be played in the proper way

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  44. The past ... move on ! Yesterday was the first PL loss this year 13 wins on trot - no credit given for that ?
    Rodgers is a young manager with young team who are learning and has dignity unlike many other PL managers I could mention . Sure he has made mistakes ( even our iconic skipper does that ) but I believe we are on the right track and getting there . Let's get behind him and our team at this time ..... plenty of time for your recriminations in the Summer

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  45. Yea that pretty much sums up my feelings on it too. He will be missed. Now Lallana's injured too and apparently Sturridge is having an injury assessed!

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  46. The complexity of the system is irrelevant to the question of whether a team is 'tactically well-drilled'. Van Gaal had a plan and it worked, and his team instituted it fantastically well. Plus, just because Man United utilise a long ball game doesn't mean I want to see Liverpool do it. The final line of the article explains my entire point, and if you weren't so dead set on finding something to bit moan about (re my comment), you'd see that.

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  47. He can go direct to Fowler for confession

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  48. I would suggest that it was a lot of the players who lacked the balls .. to tackle and win the ball . The shirt was too big for them and they let the occasion get to them . Hopefully they will show more against the Arsenal and not be so intimidated .... O and a bit more self discipline wouldn't go amiss either !

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  49. Frickin' ay on the discipline, smh ; )

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  50. Are you Phil ( Long live Genesis ) Collins ?

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  51. Sadly, you were right. Big loss. Huge : (

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  52. And all these other Top Notch Super PL managers who can't compete in Europe ??

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  53. Consider my avatar "paying homage to one Steven Gerrard"

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  54. I doubt FSG are on the same page as you. I do not sit on the fence my friend. The investment made by FSG this season and to find still find yourself outside the top 4 is not acceptable.


    It is a clear indication of 'it it happens next season then it will be ok'. Fuck it.

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  55. I doubt FSG are on the same page as you. I do not sit on the fence my friend. The investment made by FSG this season and to find still find yourself outside the top 4 is not acceptable.

    It is a clear indication of 'it it happens next season then it will be ok'. F*** it.

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  56. Don't be paranoid Jaimie, I'm not desperate to find something to moan about, I just felt it was a bit contradictory. I then went on to agree with with your overall point. I just call things as I see them, when I agree and enjoy your articles I say so, if I don't I say so, it's not personal.
    Sometimes you use quite inflammatory language but then take it personally and get all uppity when it provokes a reaction from people. It's nothing personal, just my take on things.

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  57. If you think 'tactically well-drilled' is 'inflammatory' language then I suggest it's you with the issue, not me.

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  58. Alex Ferguson was never interested in playing the most attractive football but ended up making UTD the powerhose of the 90's and 00's. As long as you win nothing else matters. That is the message someone like Shankly would have delivered too.

    "If you are first you are first. If you are second, you are nothing."

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  59. That's not what I meant. You went on to lambast the mere mention of us resorting to a long ball to a big man tactic yet described United as tactically well drilled for employing the "Allardycian tactics". I concede your point however that the complexity of the tactic wasn't what we were discussing. They had a plan, however basic and it worked

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  60. For once in a long time I agree with JK perhaps that's because Raheem barely gets a mention ;-)


    I would much prefer to see the team play well and fail rather than to win playing long balls which would never lead to a sustained challenge either in the league or in Europe.

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  61. And how long did it take him to win a trophy at United? He'd have never got the chance to build that dynasty if you'd been in charge, he'd have long since been sacked

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  62. Won the FA Cup in 89-90. Let's not make any excuses here, Ferguson came and conquered. Rodgers is far off from proving that he can win anything I am afraid.

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  63. Red-Nose had a CV to suggest giving him time was wise.

    What's on Rodgers' CV? dismissal at Reading, smh.

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  64. His public support for Skrtel is hopefully not repeated in private

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  65. Maybe I missed something because looking at the match without red glasses on.Man U dominated very long spells of the game with a possession.Not whacking long balls to Marouane Fellani's Afro all the time.They used that tactic very rarely but as Liverpool fans, labelling their performance as long ball is easier than saying the truth.We were completely outplayed by our biggest rivals.Especially in the first half on home turf.
    Man U are a very good conservative possession team.When they get in front that can frustrate.They suffocate and slowly str3ngle teams anaconda-like with slow Spanish build up play.
    The first half was like watching England play a big team at a International tournament.Liverpool didn't have much possession and when we got on the ball our passing was rushed, sloppy and Man Utd got it back and reset with patient ball domination.

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  66. If you are second in Prem you qualify for EPL with all the dosh that goes with it...... and give me attractive football Anytime !

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  67. Perfectly said. Liverpool were chasing shadows.

    UTD were the better team throughout yet some want to blame Gerrard for our inept first half performance!

    Some cannot face the facts. Is a bit too late now. We are not going to finish top 4 but as usual Rodgers opened his mouth and claimed we still have a chance of finishing 2nd. Rookie still has not learned when it is important to talk or keep his mouth zipped.

    With Mourinho it is different as Rodgers highly unlikely will ever win the amount of trophies Mourinho has.



    We need to have winners, not those who like to talk the talk but struggle to walk the walk.

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  68. "Rookie" Rodgers, that's about right.

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  69. Second in the EPL is quite an achievement and we played the best football of any team. This year has been more of a struggle and there are things that need to be put right. Changing the manager deems to me to be an overreaction and I hope he gets another year at least.

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  70. I thought our big match pressing and energetic high tempo performance would be too much for Man U to handle.But like you said we were embarrassingly chasing shadows for most of the first 45.
    My top four confidence balloon has been deflated, but isn't popped.Man Utd have some tougher fixtures to play.
    It doesn't get any easier for Liverpool in our next match... Arsenal away.

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  71. I respect your loyalty.

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  72. Managing Liverpool is a full time job

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  73. FSG like the young,with potential, strategy, but I'd take Rafa back...

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  74. He will. It's amazing, we go on an excellent run, are the form team in Europe and all these doom and gloom merchants fade into the background but one bad result and they're out with a vengeance! This result has knocked Logan's broken record right back to the broken bit too.
    End of the day you can't win every game and play well every week, especially with a team as young as ours. The knee-jerk reaction to this result is honestly quite astonishing.

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  75. So how much more should he be given to spend? Ings surely is going to bring him the title!


    That is the problem we are sitting with, attracting players who will not improve us. No CL will make sure that the teams ahead of us sign the players to make us finish outside the top 4 again.

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  76. Post of the day!

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  77. Knee jerk reaction. So what are you expecting from Rodgers next season if we do not finish top 4 this season?

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  78. Knee-jerk? It's not like this is the only time we've been hopelessly outclassed.

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  79. I expect him to be backed once more in the transfer market and given one more season. I'm all too aware of what you think so please don't feel the need to tell me again

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  80. Oh so how much more does he need to spend to make sure he finishes top 4 next season MINIMUM????

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  81. Agreed, I think FSG give him another year.

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  82. Exactly. It is like the blind leading the blind.


    Rodgers will either win the league next season or get excused for finishing outside the top 4.


    Another season of transition on the way :-O

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  83. "The most impressive part of their performance in the first 45 minutes at Anfield was their intensity when they did not have possession.” Alan Shearers words not mine ........ What did we do when we didn't have possession ? Pleeeese let me have the ball ! Win it , keep it , pass and move - basic skills ! Oh and if Lalllana hadn't missed the sitter we would have gone in at HT 1-1 re grouped and stuffed em second half. No I don't blame Stevie for our inept first half performance but do for costing us the match ......

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  84. So what sack the manager, rip up the script and start again with someone new? That would be a very shortsighted, knee-jerk decision imo. We are almost there, we need tweaked slightly not scrapped.

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  85. I think and hope you are right. It will not be easy though as we will be up against well resourced teams in Chelsea, City, United and Arsenal.

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  86. So who are we going to sign without CL next season?

    Ings!!! Hooray! Going to catapult as straight into the top 4. Our midfield is the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be. Cough Cough.

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  87. I said don't...

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  88. It's the 64 million dollar question and such a crucial one. Knee-jerk reaction, most certainly not, but risky, for sure.

    Our great club is in an awkward position right now. We had one great season in how many years, largely due to the brilliance of a certain South American cannibal.

    Now, we stand on the precipice of obscurity, with the CL places all but locked up not just for this year, but for the foreseeable future, imho.

    An unqualified opinion on our current plight is: We're f&cked. Let's see what happens.

    Utd will go from strength to strength under LVG. They have money and LVG is a proper manager. I don't see Arsenal faltering under Wenger. And the two oil rich Blues are already on a different stratosphere to us.

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  89. Hmmm. I think you need to read the final couple of sentences in the article again ;-)

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  90. Probably as much as LVG will get this Summer

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  91. Think your glass needs topping up again mate !

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  92. Can you top mine up with your infectiously optimistic twists, please : )

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  93. I am a bit hard of thinking so I read the whole article again and I still agree with you even if my previous comment was a little clumsy

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  94. Cheers buddy, that worked a treat. That and the three shots of vodka and can of Kronenbourg ; )

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  95. Robin can sit in for him for a short while. All we need is Bruce Wayne's millions in order to resign Suarez . That should solve our problems.

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  96. Lolol, intentionally or not, I'm now picturing Brenny boy as Robin. Holy veneers!

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  97. You are dreaming and that is your biggest problem.

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  98. Might as well give up then...

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  99. I thought our biggest issue in the first half was our inability to maintain possession once we got the ball.


    Seemed like we couldn't put together more than 3 passes before giving the ball away. Say what you will about United's strategy and execution... I think the our playing poorly only magnified their playing well.

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  100. I would agree mate, we simply couldn't get hold of the ball for the first 35 mins. The gaps between our pressing players were far too big so it was totally ineffective and easy to pass around.

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  101. Still can't get by last 16 of ECL when they get there

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