20 Sept 2011

DAILY POLL: What are the 3 most concerning aspects of the Spurs defeat?

As John Aldridge says in his column for the Liverpool Echo today, Sunday's game at Spurs was an 'absolute nightmare' and 'everything that could go wrong, went wrong'. What were the most concerning aspects of the defeat though, and what can Kenny Dalglish do to fix things going forward?

For me, the three most depressing aspects of the game were:

1. Lack of pace

2. Players being played out of position

3. Failure to react/change things quickly enough (i.e. keeping Skrtel at RB when it was clear he was being torn apart; keeping Carroll on the left when a better option would've been Kuyt or Bellamy etc)

What do you think?

The comparative lack of pace and dynamism in the team was/is a real problem. Spurs' players were infinitely faster, hungrier, and quicker to every second ball/knock down etc. It was embarrassing at times, and the Spurs' speed on the ball undoubtedly led to frustration, which inexorably led to red cards for Adam and Skrtel.

This must be one of the slowest Liverpool teams for a while; there's literally no real pace. Agger and Carra is a slow defensive partnership; Adam, Lucas and Henderson is not a very dynamic unit; Downing has some pace, but he was anonymous on the day, and the Carroll/Suarez partnership is not exactly lighting-paced.

Where is the pace going to come from in the immediate future? This is a serious issue, and one that needs to be resolved. It's all well and good buying the alleged cream of the British crop, but if these players collectively have no real pace then the team will be punished, as it was on Sunday.

One or two players with blistering pace should definitely be a priority in the next transfer window.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. this is sooooo true, our team has no pace and no stamina, I don't know what the coaching staff is doing, but according to me, they are having more laughs and fun than being serious about there work. Our players look sluggish and out of breath. If KK don't realize this soon enough, then we are going to be big loosers. We need the players to be faster and last longer, they run like they know they are not going to win the ball, better yet, they don't even run to tackle players, they stand off them and do nothing, I mean seriously, how do you stand a meter away from a player and expect to put pressure on them, I really don't know what KK and the coaching staff is doing, but if they are MEN, they atleast should realize that they are not getting the team to train hard enough. Maybe NSV should take there pay away for a week so they can wake up!!!!!!!!

  2. How I would have lined Liverpool up:


    Flannaghan Carra Agger Enrique

                    Adam Lucas
    Kuyt             Suarez        Downing


    I know there will be disagreements with playing Carroll from the start dropping Suarez deep, but my justifications are:

    Flannaghan instead of Skrtel. Although Skrtel is experienced he was badly exposed, which is understandable being a CB. Against another team without the pace of Bale down that flank it would probably have worked, but Bale's pace embarrassed him. 

    Bulking up the midfield with 5 players could have nullified a lot of the good work Modric put in, and playing Kuyt ahead of Henderson would have helped out Flannaghan nullify Bale.

    I've put Carroll up front on his own as he needs to be in the box not dropping into midfield or out left to collect the ball. Carroll up front means Suarez is free run at defences or collect knock downs and scraps from Carroll.

    At the end of the day the game is done and we have to move on. This is not intended as criticism of KD, I think he is the right man in the right place at the right time and am fully behind the project he is doing. This is just how I would have set the team up. However, I don't manage them mighty reds and don't see them train or have a team of fantastic qualified coaches around me. I'm just a fan.

    No lets go batter Brighton and put the Spurs game behind us!

  3. I think its quite clear Jamie that Kenny has made mistakes, and i think he has to swallow his pride fast and start making logical changes before he tarnishes his own name. Just out of curiosity if this season proves a disaster and we dont make 4th,I think Kenny being the man he is will step down voluntarily and if this does so happen who do u think is best to take over and really steer this club back on the right path?    

  4. There were definitely problems on Sunday, pace being one of them, but I think the misuse of the players available was the biggest problem and also the reticence of the management to make changes.

    This was not a game where we would be putting crosses in from the wings,
    and although there is more to Carroll's game than receiving crosses, he
    needs to be playing against a lower quality defence at the moment. Kuyt and Suarez have been working well together, and have been bright and sharp. Kuyt is also able to play on the wing if needs be, which Carroll is not able to it seems. Skrtel was always going
    to struggle against Bale as he is not a Right Back, but Kuyt in front of him would have been a lot of help. Even changing Enrique over to the right may have been a better choice, as at least there would be a proper Full Back with some pace to take on Bale.

    Henderson did nothing again, and I would have started with Bellamy on the wing, though he did nothing when he did come on. So much for him being an impact player.

    How we do in the next League game will determine the character of the team we have. Spurs are a good team on their day, as their league position in recent years have shown, but I don't think they were as good as everyone have been saying after yesterdays game. We just didn't get started or impose ourselves, which is the major worry.

  5. Good comments from you.  But I think except for Adam, Carragher, and Skrtel at RB, you make too much of the overall pace issue.  Babel was one of the fastest players in the league but was generally ineffective (he is highly effective in the German league at the moment as a central striker btw.).  Downing, Bellamy, Enrique, Henderson, Suarez, and several of our other natural Fullbacks all have decent pace.  

    IMO, our main problems have been Skrtel playing at RB instead of Flannigan, Adam`s clumsiness and slow pace, Henderson`s ineffectiveness, and Carroll`s lack of confidence.  Most of this  was apparent before Sunday, but came to a head against Spurs.  Unfortunately, what we seem to lack most is creativity and leadership from midfield, i.e. players like Gerrard, Meireles, or Aquilani (instead of Adam and Henderson). 

  6. dont often agree with your blogs but I feel that your offerings for why we were so poor were pretty spot on.
    I dont think there was 1 positive from the game and it was as poor a display as any under Hodgson.
    I am not going to bash our players but firmly put the blame on the management Carroll was isolated and forced to forage out wide and deep Henderson not used well and we could have rectified the bale threat by simply putting Jordan on him he has pace to match bale and is not bad positionally.
    When Agger went off simply move Skrtel inside and play someone who would put up a challenge to Bale.
    My saving grace is that this side is a massive work in progress we have produced some fine performances and have the best squad in years. Top 4 is a very real goal still and when the likes of Gerrard, Kelly, Johnson are back playing and fully fit the team looks arguably more impressive in creativity, pace and quality.
    I said it many times before that this season will provide us with a rollercoaster ride so far its been up as much as down fingers crossed it gives us more ups than downs over the remainder of the season

  7. Harsh on Bellamy, he came on when we had players sent off and the game was already lost.

  8. Hi Niall.  I agree with the changes you've suggested. I can't for the life of me understand why Skrtel was allowed to continue his fruitless toil on the right against Bale. In his last press conference, Kenny described Skrtel's right back ability as 'brilliant' - I think he'll be changing his view after the Spurs game.

    Also agree that top 4 is still a possiblilty - our form overall since KD took over is top 4 form, and unless Arsenal get their act together, Liverpool's only credible challengers are Spurs, and they are prone to off-days too.

  9. Thanks for your comments.  Agree re Bellamy - I would've started with him too.  To be fiar though, it's hard to make an impact when your team is down to 9 men (!).  Kuyt and Surez do work well together, I agree, but so did Meireles and Suarez, and look what happened to him.

  10. Hi Mizzy. IF KD doesn't make 4th then he will definitely go, and like you say, he'll probably step down himself.  I would love it if KD was the long-term solution but I just don't think he will be.  He'll steady the club and bring back the Liverpool ethos, and then someone else will take over and move us to the next level. 

    Re who that will be: One thing's for sure, it won't be another british manager.  I would've loved to have seen Martin O'Neill given the chance, but he's too old now.  Villas Boas will inevitably be given the red card by Chelsea in a year or two, so when he becomes available, I think he fits the style of football Liverpool should be aiming for.

  11. You recently commented that losing GJ was irrelevant, even though this left us with first and secondchoice RBs injured, and the third choice still out of favour following his error to let Sunderlandscore on opening day. You were clearly wrong

    Skrtel was just inexperienced at full back. Obvious before the game that he would have a hard time, althoughfirst yellow should have been given to Henderson for the tug on Bale's jersey. Look closely at it again

    Referee thought that he would teach Kenny a lesson in my opinion

  12. Hi Dan. Agree with that line-up. And if we'd still gone down to 9 men then bring Bellamy on the replace Carroll.

  13. We were given a real lesson and were thoroughly beaten, regardless of red cards

  14.  Do you think Spurs websites had the same sort of reaction after the losses to Man Utd and City? I reckon they did. They got mauled in those games. We got mauled in this game. We were out-played and out-performed which is a concern. Spurs have a good team with some great players, so do we. I think its purely down to who puts the performances together on a more consistant basis.

  15. Do you think spurs spent 130million in the last 6months because if they did then you'd have a point

  16. For the city one yes, for the united one, not so much. The general feeling within the online community after city was that the team was set up poorly and always going to lose the question was how long it took the city forwards to get into gear (30 mins it turns out). United however we were punching above our weight for 60 minutes, then conceded and capitulated as we usually do against them.

    The reaction we had against them wasnt quite the same as Liverpool have had against us, the optomists could always look back and say if we only lose two games it would probably be against them anyway, where as the realists stuck with the fact we werent competing for the same thing, we are not top 3 contenders looking at a 6 pointer. Any way people looked at it there were still positives to pull out of the disasters which isnt the case for Liverpool here unfortunately and while I wont pretend there wasnt the kneejerk reaction associated with all spurs fans there was never any thoughts of there being anything fundamentally wrong that wouldnt be fixed with the new signings and injury returnees

  17. Spurs and arsenal have spent peanuts compared to us and yet we are struggling...against arsenal we only won because of half their regular team was injured. why is Kenny dalglish not allowed to be criticised.

    We will be Lucky to finish in top six ....Fact....

  18. We'll see if I was harsh on Bellamy in the coming weeks. I hope I have been harsh, but they were all playing poorly, so it shouldn't have been that hard to stand out.

  19. It baffles me as Rafa left a great legacy in an abundance of academy players yet Dalglish in his wisdom spends a fortune on Carroll and Henderson as supposed future stars of England.We are down to 2 saleable assets in Suarez and Reina and if everyone thinks NESV will carry on investing well they wont,they want a return on their £300m outlay plus Dalglishs extravagent spending,and dont for one second think these yanks will trust Dalglish with another penny because they wont and I dont blame them.Rafa nurtured the young talent in the academy and 18 months down the line some of these players are definitely at the same standard as Henderson and Carroll.Take away Reina and Suarez and the only hope for the future now is the youngsters.

  20. Bellamy wasn't too bad game was again gone. The thing for me was how badly Henderson has been in every game so far except for the exeter match kuyt should have been on the right or maxi. Henderson has really disappointed me and I thought Carroll was ,under the circumstances, good jus needs game time and some decent deliveries

  21. hear ye hear ye...

    rafa has spoken. Bow down to his knees, kiss his feet, suck his fat toe and then lick his nipples. 

    No thank you!!! I would rather lick my dogs ahole for the rest of my life before welcoming rafa back as our manager.

    Time to piss some more people off :)

  22. can't believe kuyt wasn't selected, at least he would have given skrtel some cover.but once he got the booking skrtel was an accident waiting to happen with bale constantly roasting him. we can't keep playing centre backs as full backs, surely we've got enough cover? hope we can learn from this and give wolves a lesson

  23. Kelly started as a CB but he is far better as a RB. Carra started as a RB but better as a CB but he can still play at RB and do a far better job than Skrtel even at the age of 33. Skrtel has always been a accident waiting to happen... 

  24. Flannagan Vs Bale would have been equally bad, worse when you think how the young lad would feel after the constant owning.

    With the available players we should have gone with 3 center backs with Lucas in front of them and Downing and Enrique as wing backs. Better than playing either Skyrtle or Flanno against Bale. And yea, totally should have taken off Carroll and got Belamy or Kyut on. I'm no kyut fan boy but at 9 men we needed Kyut's energy.

  25. WTF is this? One bad game and talk of KK stepping down. Shut it both of yous!

  26. Henderson should be settling in and starting to hit from, especially given the amount of playing time he's had. I still think he'll come good, would just like to see it sooner rather than later.

  27. You have to give it to Harry and the Spurs players. They saw our weaknesses and stomped on them. Once rocked by their excellent start we never had an on field presence to rally us. We have lacked leadership for sometime and no-one had stepped up to fill Stevie Gs role as leader particularly in hard games. Even if he is not sharp yet I do hope he comes back expecting more mental strength and character from the team, and leading by example.

  28. I like the way everyone seems to be more qualified than KD and his coaches!!! They know the players etc, but we were screwed at that stage with 9 men

    I only saw highlights due to being at Dublin's All Ireland win at the weekend in Gaelic football. First win in 16 years. 83,000 at the final. And it's an amateur game, I'll send you a DVD of it Jaimie. So much drama, you'll love it!!! Players train from 6am to 8am before their real job. Amazing commitment when compared to sickening Adebayor and his peers

    What i saw in highlights was a Spurs side that shot out of the blocks, and coulda been a few up before Adam was sent off. They made us look worryingly poor

    Skrtel's first yellow was incorrect. Henderson pulled him back, not Skrtel. That beachball referee is not up to it

    Fingers crossed we can spank Wolves next week, we need Stevie back asap. Hopefully Bellamy gets a start soon, he has been a bit of a git but is at least driven, his charity work shows a little publicised facet of his personality

  29. Be careful mate....your not allowed to say anything against king Kenny or you will be hanged ....king Kenny won the league only over 20years ago

    just wait till king Kenny becomes Kevin keegan

    RAFA wasted 220million and that was in six years . According to Anti RAFA brigade

    but king Kenny,"who can do nothing wrong " has spent almost 150million in six months...yes six months and this is what he has assembled....

  30. And at Blackburn? Go do your homework please.

    You are writing off our manager in his return from what has been January 2011 - September 2011 who has won more in his career than most which Rafa quite honestly can only dream of. Shame, you have to pity poor old Benitez. I think I am going to cry now...

  31. i think KING KENNY need to play  suarez and Kuyt instead of Carroll in our next game. STILL LIVERPOOL! THE ROYALS OF ENGLISH FOOTBALL.

  32. best form of defence against tottneham is attack. I would of like to have seen kuyt and surez up from with downing down the left and bellamy on the right, i would of also used flanagan. the team we put out was a good team, however it lacked leadership when tottenam started to take control of the game. not to worry this leadershi has arrived, STEVIE G IS BACK!!!!

  33. Lack of pace is real worry; however, what is of equal, if not bigger, concern is the lack of technical skills.  Xavi is not a particularly fast sprinter, still he manages over 100 passes a game.  Barcelona as a team neither run longer or faster nor are taller or more physical than their opponents, yet keep over 70% possession and make any team look like second tier (regardles whether it is ManUn or Real or Osasuna).  I think possession football could counteract a team of sprinters.

    Do not get my post wrong, pace is absolutely necessary but I think we lack something as equally fundamental...

  34. I'm not sure how Gerrard will fit into the team. I doubt he'll be put on the wing as in the past, especially coming back from an injury, so that leaves Adam to make way. Adam hasn't exactly rocked the World though as he?

    And as for leadership, he inspires the team when he plays well, unfortunately he hasn't been playing well for quite awhile, but as a Captain, I don't think he is a very good one, as I never see him talking to other players on the pitch. Carragher is a good Captain because he has a football brain and opens his mouth.

    Add to that that everyone starts deferring passes to Gerrard when there may be better passes available, and I'm not that enthusiastic about him returning. Maybe it will be different this time as the team have had time to work as a proper team and the negatives he brings to the team may not happen.  Fingers crossed he adds a lot to the team, because I think he'll be in the team regardless of form.

  35. Agreed, Alex. Technical skill is probably equally as important as pace. If you can't keep hold of the ball then no amount of pace will make any difference.

  36. I agree re Gerrard's ability as a captain. He leads by example with the way he plays but he's definitely not a great onfield leader like, say, Emlyn Hughes was.

    I think there is way too much pressure and expectation on Gerrard - he's not just going to walk into the team after 7 months out and set the world onfire. he needs to regain match-fitness and confidence, and that could take time.