19 Apr 2015

Confirmed lineup vs. Villa: 5 players out including 'incredible' star; surprise start for Markovic

As expected, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard comes straight back into the team for today's FA Cup Semi Final with Aston Villa.

Predictably, though, Daniel Sturridge is missing once again through injury.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Can, Skrtel, Lovren, Moreno, Allen, Henderson, Gerrard, Markovic, Coutinho, Sterling

SUBS: Jones, Johnson, Toure, Lambert, Manquillo, Borini, Balotelli

VILLA: Given, Bacuna, Baker, Vlaar, Richardson, Westwood, Delph (c), Cleverley, Grealish, N’Zogbia, Benteke.

* Lucas - hailed as 'incredible' by Rodgers recently - is injured yet again. This time, it's a thigh injury, and it's another signal that his time at Anfield is coming to an end. Like Sturridge, he simply isn't reliable.

* This season is an absolute disaster for Sturridge. No wonder Chelsea sold him on the cheap - clearly, someone at Stamford Bridge knew about his injury proneness, and Liverpool have paid the price this season.

* Liverpool's other sicknotes, Adam Lallana and Mamadou Sakho also remain on the sidelines. Including Sturridge, that's £75m worth of talent out of the team.

* Flanagan fails to make the bench despite being cleared to return to action.

With the players chosen, it looks like Rodgers will revert back to the 343 system. Probable formation:

------------------ Mignolet

Can -------------- Skrtel ---------- Lovren

- Markovic --- Hendo -- Allen ---- Moreno

------------- Gerrard - Coutinho

---------------- Sterling

My prediction: 2-1 to LFC

Author:



270 comments:

  1. Back 3 would make a lot of sense as benteke provides a real areal threat.

    With gerrards passes and raheems pace gives us a good opportunity to hit them on the break. Expect us to win 3-1

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  2. Another option is for Cou to be in the middle like last time out, with Gerrard and Sterling running off him.

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  3. Man, too many injuries and that too long term ones. We have no proper RB it seems even though that is the position we are loaded in. I would rather Manquillo than Markovic or Can at RB.

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  4. we have to take into account how horrible sterling's finishes is and the number of occasion he could miss, hopefully a win but a defeat wouldn't surprise me with error-prone lovren and moreno playing side-by-side.

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  5. Gerrard should play as far up the pitch as possible. He's the strongest finisher we have in the team

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  6. Not so sure where Henderson will line up today. Could be REB or CM with Markovic either side of him

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  7. Lucas not a big loss really......hendo quicker and more physical in the that position and will allow gerrard to be more attacking and effective for us going fwd. COME ON BOYZ!!

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  8. Isn't it funny that our CB-fullback partnership at the left with players at their natural positions is frightening us more than a midfielder who's playing as a CB and a winger/attacker who's playing as wingback on the other side?

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  9. What do those 4 BT Muppets look like swanning around ....

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  10. Having Skirt back for this one is more important

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  11. There's no such thing as being injury-prone. It's about specifics -- specific injuries or conditions, and how they are dealt with.


    Sturridge has had a blighted season with his thigh injury and its complications, but he might well come back and play 40 games for us next time out.


    Have a look at Robin van Persie's Arsenal career. There were successive seasons where he'd go from playing 40 games one season to 15 or so the next. He missed a lot of football in his mid-20s. It's just how it can be sometimes. His body has been more resilient as he's got older. The same may prove true of Daniel too.


    Fans can throw around the "injury-prone" or worse the "sick-note" label too readily. Sturridge performed consistently and consistently well for us for 18 months without a major lay-off. He's a proven warrior. He'll be back.


    Glass-Half-Full party round mine in ten minutes?!

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  12. never taught about it but it actually is

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  13. It constantly suprises me that they think anyone wants to hear what David James has to say....

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  14. I'm in. Welcome back mate..

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  15. Win it lads and don't be bullied

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  16. But a full one with beer, I hope..

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  17. Anybody superstitious ... Last time we played in Yellow against Villa WE WON ;-)

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  18. Grealish is quality eh. A lot of good young players coming through the English clubs presently -- skillful, intelligent players too, not just athletes. Interesting. We should obviously buy all of them, immediately, at at least two or three times their market value.

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  19. More worried about the 2-1 prediction

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  20. Ooh forgot about that !

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  21. Wish Sterling had someone up with him

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  22. We need posession for that..

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  23. Same old go to to WIN it and KEEP it ... preferably up field !

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  24. Markovic looks like he might finally have settled -- some confident touches, less of that anxious, heavy stuff. Still expect him to be a player for us.eventually.

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  25. I say offer sterling up to the highest bidder and give Coutinho a 1 year ext with a raise just for shigs and giggles

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  26. Marcovic coming forward men in box first bit of pressure and Coutinho smash ... lubbly jubbly :-)

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  27. Skirt stood off ... can't do that with Benteke

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  28. allen-henderson leaves so much spaces in midfield

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  29. So i noticed Suso is really racking up the minutes at Milan :P

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  30. Back three too often leaves our defenders out of their positions. Markovic was nowhere for the goal, Moreno was in front of the goal, Skrtel was not on his man.. Very good movement from Villa that one, but it was our desorganisation. And I am not sure Can and Moreno at full backs is the answer either.
    We need possesion.

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  31. Theycallmemrburt3:51 pm, April 19, 2015

    I wonder if Sherwood could get the best out of Ballotelli.

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  32. not a great showing so far today but hey atleast we are respectful about it http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3043181/Chelsea-worst-behaved-team-Premier-League-comes-showing-respect-referees.html

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  33. Theycallmemrburt3:53 pm, April 19, 2015

    Lucas is king in our midfield. Without Lucas naturally having danger gravitate to him and then being able to deal with it we will always be suspect

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  34. What - do you mean by getting his lot to not defend so well ?

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  35. Theycallmemrburt3:56 pm, April 19, 2015

    Flipp it was going wide from Phil, but when your lucks in...........

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  36. Theycallmemrburt3:56 pm, April 19, 2015

    lets stick to the subject at hand :p

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  37. And hate to say it but where is our skipper ?

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  38. Theycallmemrburt3:59 pm, April 19, 2015

    What I think really is Sherwood has never bought anyone. So I'll judge him at the back when he's allowed to strengthen how he chooses. From what I saw at tottenham and Villa he hasnt had the chance to work with real top notch premier league quality central defenders

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  39. Hope Brendan has a plan for SH and it includes dealing with Benteke !

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  40. By the way, that wasn't gonna go in without the deflection?

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  41. Gerrard assists to Mario. Mario smiles..

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  42. mario......Mario.........MARIO.........MARIOOOOO!!!!

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  43. Theycallmemrburt4:04 pm, April 19, 2015

    " He's rather like an omniscient alien superbeing. A bald baby, in
    space, wearing a toga, orbiting the earth; able to view the ENTIRE span
    of human culture and existence, yet tragically, by the creed of his
    alien race, Steven Gerrard is forbidden from ever intervening in football
    affairs."


    I altered a stewart lee bit there :)

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  44. Hoping for a penalty

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  45. Theycallmemrburt4:07 pm, April 19, 2015

    Skrtel in a back four...... buckle up lads its gona be a bumpy one

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  46. Theycallmemrburt4:10 pm, April 19, 2015

    its incredible that we've allowed Gerrard to go back into that pivotal DM position.

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  47. even more fesorganized. no dm, and skrtel on the midfield line?!

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  48. Utter Crap they deserve it unfortunately

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  49. Theycallmemrburt4:13 pm, April 19, 2015

    So predictable. If we play the players who got us in trouble at the start of the season in the SAME POSITIONS we'll get the same results.

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  50. Balotelli is a joke. A shameful episode.

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  51. totally balotelli's fault that henderson and allen are garbage in midfield and leave too much space to exploit

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  52. klopp.......Klopp........KLOPP.......KLOPPPPPP!!!??? possibly?

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  53. He's a ppor excuse for a professional footballer.

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  54. Theycallmemrburt4:17 pm, April 19, 2015

    1-1athalf time and we go to a back four. Rodgers in the big games dumps a load

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  55. it have to be Rodgers' genius plan obviously

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  56. Totally Balotelli's fault that Gerrard has had no impact!

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  57. Theycallmemrburt4:19 pm, April 19, 2015

    way too much.

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  58. liverpool need to get serious for the rest of the season its time to bring in harry wilson

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  59. And nothing you can do now to change things before 70th.. Damn..

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  60. Since balo came in we haven't had an attack on 15 minutes, new tactic sucks

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  61. "This season is an absolute disaster for
    Sturridge. No wonder Chelsea sold him on the cheap - clearly, someone at
    Stamford Bridge knew about his injury proneness, and Liverpool have
    paid the price this season."


    Jamie be warned ,tartan will have a full go at you for this comment !!!!

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  62. When we lack intensity and a good pressing game we struggle... Everytime.....

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  63. i hope not....18 years of age so young....

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  64. Theycallmemrburt4:24 pm, April 19, 2015

    In short, Rodgers plays the occasion every time we have a big match. You can see him twitching and planning his next tactical mistake.

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  65. It'll be quieter than a library after the game where Delph is concerned....

    We aren't making any challenges, they are being allowed to move and pass without to much to worry about.....Why we have reverted back to the 343 I don't know..

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  66. Owen sucks!

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  67. Sorry wrong bloke .. thought you meant ex prime minister ;-)

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  68. Sick of some of these weak-minded idiots in our team. Completely fed up. Outmuscled, out-enthused, outfought by Villa in the semi. Fair f***ing dinkum.

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  69. Do we really want this ?

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  70. Every ManU legend does ;-)

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  71. Skirt has lost it with Benteke

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  72. This is awful. Totally lost the shape.

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  73. We're looking clueless going forward....maybe he could get kitted up....... Actually... Nah!

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  74. It's not that, really, it's tactical. Villa have options that we can't cope with, because of the way Benteke is able to dominate Skrtel. That means Delph, Westwood and Cleverley can play high up the pitch and squeeze the play in our half.


    We brought on Balotelli to try and offer a counter and even the game up but he just doesn't compete with the central defender at all, he wanders off to look for space. He's less competitive than Sterling. Vlaar can just light a cigar and strut around as though he's Laurent Blanc or something.

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  75. No shot on goal yet in 2nd half

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  76. I'm a big fan of Rodgers, but I think there's some truth in that. Although I disagree that he made the changes for "no reason". This hasn't gone well, but it threatened to go even worse before he made the changes.

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  77. Logan is going to be loving this...

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  78. I find it incredibly disturbing that Villa can out play us so easily. I think it's both. We've conceded two soft goals.

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  79. well we have to tighten at the back don't we ?

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  80. Gerrards passing is poor....

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  81. A goal is the priority at the moment surely . Let's hope he can make a good run ....

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  82. BR hasn't the bottle to sub Gerrard in his last Wembley match

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  83. Grealish has been excellent.

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  84. well he can make good run ! but he'll just loose the ball easily

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  85. No fire no spirit If we are to go down Let's go down fighting FFS !

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  86. Well, Villa are in form. This was always going to be a tough match. They have good players throughout the side and they are playing well. I don't think it's about effort, though -- it just always looks like that when one team is on top tactically. Our guys are running enough, they just don't have the numbers in the right areas.


    For me Villa's weaknesses are out wide. They lack physical presence and duelling ability in both full back positions. I'm a bit disappointed that we didn't *set up* to try and exploit that weakness, and instead have had to make changes to try and give them a problem there.

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  87. Joe Cole to rub it in :-(

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  88. Packing the bench with players that you have either slated in the press or have told you selling

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  89. I think this has been a major fail by Rodgers. Tough match or not, we should be beating them

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  90. Theycallmemrburt4:45 pm, April 19, 2015

    why not play 4-4-2? and an orthodox one at that. We are far too dogmatic with that three or four in the middle. They are bypassing midfield alot of the times rendering Allen useless (although it could be argued...............) get henderson and Can in the Middle and play Gerrard wide right whipping em in. It's all he's capable of these days

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  91. Can't you just wait for his comments....... NOT

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  92. F OFF! this was on side!!!

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  93. Was that offside number 27 for balo the 2bd had?

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  94. Balo offside? f*** off. What a shocking decision.

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  95. Theycallmemrburt4:47 pm, April 19, 2015

    well on side

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  96. shocking decision

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  97. Theycallmemrburt4:48 pm, April 19, 2015

    we have a tension that breeds a lack of creativity. Cant see us scoring

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  98. Sterling, go to hell.

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  99. Football is a ridiculous game. Balotelli scored a legitimate, once-in-a-lifetime goal which would have transformed the narrative. As it is, Rodgers and Balotelli are going to get absolutely murdered for this. All because some guy failed to do his simple job properly. Crazy.

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  100. well we scored but the linesman denied us

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  101. Funny old game ....

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  102. Theycallmemrburt4:50 pm, April 19, 2015

    they did stop when they heard the whistle.... but i take your point

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  103. yep, it's ridiculous indeed. such a result-oriented

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  104. Rodgers absolutely fails at big games.

    Lovren, you're a joke.

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  105. I just don't see a team ethic,maybe I'm over critical I see 11players doing there thing, do any of them look like they would run the extra mile for rogers,not in my eyes

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  106. Better team n manager won - outclassed n outplayed

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  107. Villa deserved it we were and are crap

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  108. Agreed. Does not mean Rodgers wasn't shiite.

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  109. Always thought this birthday fairytale thing was tacky bullshit anyway.

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  110. yep but if we had won this game, nobody would have cared

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  111. GENIUS OF FOOTBALL

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  112. The problems are a lot deeper.

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  113. Rodgers totally f^^^ed this game up

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  114. Theycallmemrburt4:54 pm, April 19, 2015

    fair play to Sherwood. Not as good a coach as Rodgers but mentally far far superior.

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  115. Rodgers waited way too long to adjust.


    Should have been pressing much earlier.

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  116. How terrible were we? We never deserved to win that game. We went out like it was a training game. Lovrens shot at the end summed it up. Very poor all round.

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  117. Might be all the nicotine inside me, but I think I made up my mind. Please go Brendan.

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  118. Theycallmemrburt4:55 pm, April 19, 2015

    Delph " we had a game plan we stuck to it" Theres the difference right there.

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  119. Decisions during the game were dreadful. Might be emotion, booze or both but Login you win.

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  120. Guys I'm really sorry but I have to be your Logan for the rest of the day. Rodgers absolutely screwed us up. I don't care about this FA cup magic. There's no excuse for being so outplayed by Villa in the semi final. No excuse. Nearly every big game we've had under Rodgers has been a failure.

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  121. His much vaunted tactical acumen is vastly over rated I see a team driven by anego

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  122. Balo played well...

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  123. Won the Rodgers argument?

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  124. Good news chaps- Gerrard is going, Sterling isn't as good as he thinks he is so we can bargain him down, hopefully FSG will invest

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  125. B R LOSES THE BIG GAMES

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  126. What is BRs plan for next season? More unproven young players. Will this team improve? Nope. It's frustrating being a Liverpool fan.

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  127. I was actually insulted by Lambert coming on in the 90th minute.


    What's the point in bringing him on that late? We couldn't have used him 25 minutes (at least) prior?

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  128. I know right?! I thought you only do that when you're leading?!

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  129. Balo was one of the better players

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  130. Theycallmemrburt4:58 pm, April 19, 2015

    As soon as we started Gerrard it was 10 vs 11. We stood no chance and our season with him in the side proves this. BR flapped it all over Wembley.

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  131. Why would FSG give Rodgers another fortune to spend?


    I've detailed before how I don't think Rodgers gets fired.


    But there has to be some sort of organizational structure change in terms of transfer management.


    We can't afford to waste another 100m.

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  132. I agree. I thought he played alright.


    Went offside too many times. But otherwise held up the ball well and was active.


    It's a shame that Rodgers doesn't play him more

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  133. What's the use in going to plan B when the game is minutes from being over?

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  134. This is the man who got sacked by Reading

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  135. They could invest with a different manager in charge or we could offload the dross & hopefully replace? I agree Rodgers doesn't have a clue.

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  136. BR next season?

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  137. The Brenda experiment has totally fckd up.

    3 yrs
    220m spent

    Final result fk all to show for.

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  138. We should have come down on STERLING WITH A TON OF BRICKS AND NOW ITS COST US A CUP FINAL - Trouble in the camp guarantees LOSING - For the first time I am now beginning to think B R time might be up - absolutely handed it on a plate to Villa as he did to Man U as he did to Arsenal - HE WILL PROBABLY TELL US LATER THE PLAYERS WERE MARVELLOUS - More than wearing thin - MANAGER HAS LOST THE PLAYERS

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  139. He's the only player in our team that I can feel confident about holding the ball and not losing it. I really like players who can dribble and not turn the ball over all the time, probably a big reason why I'm the minority that likes Balotelli. I wish our team can hold the ball like Chelsea can.

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  140. Markovic is trash, rubbish, can we sell him?

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  141. Hope he's plans don't involve lfc

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  142. Nothing worse than losing a big match because the other team apparently just wanted to win it a bit more than your own, perhaps they don't get paid enough. Specially Sterling.
    Moreno not a great game again, but in the second half at least he seemed to be aware it was a place in the FA cup final they were playing for.

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  143. He might have talent but so do a lot of players who f^^^ing flop.

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  144. Fcuk knows mate he shouldn't have been here along with 6-7 others in the first place

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  145. I think he is handcuffed by the overall transfer strategy.


    But we need to bring someone in to run that business

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  146. Theycallmemrburt5:05 pm, April 19, 2015

    Villa had ENERGY and we tossed Gerrard in amongst legs.... pathetic

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  147. Actually hard to care what he s plans are- hopefully far away from this club

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  148. It's times like this when you bloody hate FFP. We finally get rich but responsible owners, only for FFP to halt any ambitions of throwing big money at big players.

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  149. honestly the "rodgers can get the best ouf of players" myth must be debunk by now

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  150. Same comment by all the lads - GAME TOO BIG FOR B R

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  151. On the other hand, I don't think transfer strategy handcuffs his non-existent ability to choose correct tactics in big games.

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  152. Look, in his defence it's actually proven to be true in a number of players.

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  153. handcuffed ? he spent 25M on lallana, 20M on lovren and markovic, it's time to see that no top player want to play under him

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  154. His contribution to this season is almost negligible

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  155. Also, I reckon that if you put Mario into the United squad, he excels.

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  156. Agree we should play Wilson and Kent etc now -FSG have massive decisions to make. B R allowed STERLING TO DESTROY MORALE

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  157. honestly who ? because Suarez is world class regardless of Rodgers and even though henderson contribute him, we can't really say that him and Sterling have been superb this season

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  158. So many guys on here say Balo was our best player...?????


    Seriously, he was offside 400 times and blamed everyone else ....


    Sterling might 'run' at players but loses the ball again and again and again.....


    In answer to someone esle on here.... no our players do NOT look like they are playing for BR...has he lost the dressing room ...I wonder....


    Mourinho didn't give a s*** about having 30% of the ball yesterday.....and won......


    I dont understand football like you guys but really I cannot think of excuses.....


    Lovren is not shit but looks it......etc etc etc......


    someone help me put this c**p in perspective....please.....

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  159. 2 cup semi finals and currently 5th without a striker all season. BR continues to fail in big games. Aston Villa were up for it today our side haven't been up for it most of the season, no heart, no fight, no aggression, no goals and mediocre in Europe. WTF is going on, depressing the life out of me this side this year.

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  160. B Rodgers his Love child Clue/Useless J Allen and the abyzmal transfer committee need to be shown the door in the summer.


    How is Markovic £20M player? He does not even look £5M player.


    I thought that even if B Rodgers won us FA Cup due to his love affair with J Allen, his poor spending on transfers over last three seasons and the fact he shipped out Reina and Agger who are both still better than most of what we have at club is poor management

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  161. Fair point.


    In my opinion, he is handcuffed by the fact that he has to buy young, relatively inexperienced players that we hope maintain or increase their value over time.


    It's financially prudent, but we needed a direct replacement for Suarez and we didn't get it with any of the players we bought

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  162. Well played, Villa. Grealish was the most creative player on the pitch, freed by Benteke, who was the most effective. A nice, simple combination of strength and subtlety. Good to watch.


    Though they will get criticised heavily, Liverpool were not all that bad. Villa were legitimately good. But there were several disappointing aspects to our play. We were effectively a man light in midfield, since Gerrard seemed to be running through butter. This negated Allen who had to cover for him (and is it just me, or does Allen rarely play well with Gerrard? It appears to make him nervous -- not I think because Gerrard is such a famous footballer, but because he makes so many mistakes and takes so many risks that it gives Allen hives).


    Balotelli was brought on to play as a striker in order to give us territory and possession. Instead he played as a free-floating number 10. He is utterly awful and I hope he enjoys the rest of his career at Olympiakos or Fenerbahce or wherever the odious Mino Raiola can find a spot for him. I've rarely seen such a poor centre-forward appear for Liverpool.


    *


    My feeling overall is we have really missed Lallana's quality and work-rate since he's been out. He carried us in many games during our good run. Most of our best moments this season involved him in some way -- his goals against Swansea kick-started our best period of form -- and it was his chemistry with Coutinho that made the 3-4-2-1 work, in my opinion. Of course Sakho's leadership and incisive passing from the back are a big miss too.


    Overall, though it's been a disappointing season, and it's going to be touch and go for Rodgers, I hope we don't change him for a fresh start. Man City appear to be weakening, and there may be an opening for a club to take their place. Liverpool would be well-situated to do that. Rebuilding under a new coach would set us back, and Rodgers has shown himself a capable builder. But we desperately need a good close season, and we really can't afford to lose any of our established performers this summer.


    Next season is going to be massive for us. We must add some proper quality to the squad. We have a decent structure in place now, and can expect improvement from our growing players -- Can, Coutinho, Moreno, Sterling, Lallana, Henderson, Allen, these guys all look like they can kick on. But we need some *real* quality to make the difference for us in the big games. Let's hope we find it. Onwards and upwards!

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  163. I'm sure we did similar against utd and Arsenal, it seems we have a strange mentality at the moment - If a team gives us space and allows us to play then we can be extremely good to watch and also very effective but if we encounter a team that dares to think they can give us a game then we come over all shell shocked and nervy, and pretty much stand back and capitulate.

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  164. Anyone else concerned that we're now going to break the bank on Delph based on today's performance.


    I'm convinced if Downing didn't have such a good game at the end of the season against us, we wouldn't have bought him.


    It was as though the club was thinking about it and became convinced based on that performance

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  165. Thank you, Robo! Finally someone with a level head.

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  166. I'm not sure we had a game plan to begin with

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  167. Is it terrible that I want Rodgers to stay primarily for the sake of your bet with Logan?

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  168. Arguably better..

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  169. he brought better players than us

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  170. Poor first half, execrable second. I'm a certified BR apologist but can't defend him for his odd tactical choices today. That said, I feel too many Liverpool players just didn't turn up, and our midfield no longer seems to play well with Gerrard in it. We badly missed the dependability of Lucas and Lallana's pressing and work-rate.


    By contrast Villa were excellent and thoroughly deserved to win. Hungrier, sharper, first to every loose ball and when they did have the ball they used it intelligently and quickly, cutting through our midfield like a hot knife through butter on numerous occasions. Grealish was excellent, Benteke monstered our defence throughout.


    Shame about the incorrect Balotelli offside call, but the whistle had gone and the defenders and keeper had already stopped moving so it's difficult to say if he'd have scored or not. By that stage the linesman was probably so used to raising his arm when the ball came to Balo that he'd developed an involuntary muscle spasm, so I can't blame him.

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  171. Good points there Robo and especially well constructed during the post-match misery but do you feel that we really went out of the cup fighting there? I'll join you in congratulating Villa - a deserved victory by the better team on the day.
    Not close to enough effort from us though imo.

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  172. I hate that term, a Brendan apologist.... No your not, your just a supporter of the club, and that includes the manager...

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  173. At this moment in time BR needs to go. West Ham would be ideal for him.

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  174. Yes and also Benteke is likely now a shoe in.

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  175. i can also count : Aspas (25) Assaidi (24) Sturridge (24 that i forgot) Sahin (24) Cissokho (25) too, that's like 11 players, if i count the loaned too there's 11 players too, that's half young and half experienced.

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  176. Lambert too I'm sure... He must be sick to the core knowing what has happened to that fantasy he had of playing for his boyhood club.... Brendan has properly shafted him this season....

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