7 Nov 2011

A possible solution to the CHARLIE ADAM problem...?

I'm a big fan of Charlie Adam; the Scot is a modern day Jan Molby, and he shares many of the Great Dane's footballing characteristics, such as exquisite passing ability; great close control; a venomous shot, and of course, a distinct lack of pace (!). As we've seen this season, Adam seems to tire early in games, which allows the opposition to exploit the gaps he leaves in midfield. Some fans have argued that Adam is a luxury Liverpool can't afford, but I think there's an easy solution that could bring great benefits to the team.

I think it's fair to say that Adam has been a success at Liverpool so far. He has more goals and assists than Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing combined (despite only costing 10% of their combined transfer fees), and he brings creativity, great set plays and top tackling ability to the team (78% of tackles won - the best of all LFC players).

I think it's also fair to say that the Lucas-Adam partnership is not the most effective, especially against pacy teams. That partnership lacks speed and dynamism, and in the latter stages of games, Adam sometimes seems to lack stamina.

So, how do we we solve the situation? To me the solution is simple: In the final third of games in which Adam plays, move him further up the field and play him in the hole behind Suarez.

Like Adam, Steven Gerrard is also a central midfielder who has successfully played in the hole, and like Gerrard, Adam has all the attributes to play that role: great vision and creativity; ability to come up with defence splitting passes, and a keen eye for a goal himself.

This tactical change would also solve the stamina problem; Adam would not have to do as much work playing in the hole; he'd just have to float around and do what he does best: pass the ball and create chances.

When we're missing Gerrard, I don't see the sense in substituting Adam in the latter stages of games, especially when he is arguably our most creative midfielder. Similarly, it seems remiss to keep him in central midfield when his effectiveness is dulled due to a lack of stamina and mobility in the latter stages of games.

I'll use the Swansea game as an example of how this could be implemented. At the 70 minute mark, the team was as follows:

----------------- Reina

Johnson --- Agger ---- Skrtel --- Enrique

Kuyt ----- Lucas ---- Adam ------ Downing

------------ Suarez --- Carroll

At this point in the game, Swansea were all over Liverpool, and the midfield battle was essentially lost. To implement the change I've suggested, the following subs could've been made:

* Carroll out for Bellamy

* Downing out for Spearing

The team could've then looked like this:

----------------- Reina

Johnson --- Agger ---- Skrtel --- Enrique

Kuyt ----- Lucas ---- Spearing ------ Bellamy

------------------ Adam

------------------- Suarez

* Spearing would bring much-needed pace energy to the midfield

* Adam would be relieved of the bulk of his defensive duties, but the team would still benefit from his creative ability.

* The gaps in midfield we regularly see with the Lucas-Adam partnership would probably dissipate.

I argued in a recent article that Lucas should've been removed at half time against Swansea, and Henderson moved into the middle. Incorporating that change into this system, we would have:

----------------- Reina

Johnson --- Agger ---- Skrtel --- Enrique

Kuyt ----- Henderson ---- Spearing ------ Bellamy

------------------ Adam

------------------- Suarez

I genuinely believe that if we had gone for this formation for the last 20-30 minutes on Saturday, the game would've been won.

At present, Liverpool barely have a plan B, and we saw this against Swansea. It's always good to have a few different ways to change a game and this simple change would, in my view, kill two or three birds with one stone.

I doubt it will ever be implemented, but I can't see how it would fail.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Charlie Adam is not a problem .

    Charlie Adam is Charlie Adam & we knew what he was when we signed him .

    Charlie wasnt & will never bee a traditional box to box English Midfielder but what he is is a crafty Celtic schemer with an eye for goal & an ability to dictate the entire game using only two touches from the centre circle .

    Charlie is one of the most gifted players of his type in Europe , perhaps like Paul Lambert before him , more suited to the Continental game than the traditional hare em scare em , kick n Rush , up n at em , English game .

    Dont buy a cat when its a greyhound that ya want otherwise quit yer whinging & appreciate tha mans talent before he too decides to down tools , quits performing & engineers a move away from us .

    With that said your tactical suggestion isnt particularly foolish but none of us are there on the ground dealing with the temperaments , form , attitudes & God knows what else on a day to day basis .

    As far as I have seen Lucas is there to hold tha fort while Charlie is there to create , I cant see a problem apart from maybe some of our fans dont think he is either as fashionable or as pretty as the similar but much less effective Aquilani ?

    Either way I find your post highly insulting toward the players we have already got & the ones who have just arrived .

  2. Amazing how you have such faith in Adam yet none in Benitez!!

    The problem with Adam is despite a couple of excellent passes per game (hardly more than that, most of his work is very average), he doesn't know how to own the midfield [with another midfielder], say the way Meireles could do with Lucas.

    That's why we get over run once the opposition decide to have a go.  He just goes missing, which presumably is because he can't read the game when it's coming at him.

    You could play him in the hole, it would remove a big liability in the middle that's for sure.

    But rather than focus on a very limited midfielder, a bigger impact is to be gained from

    - improving Downing's final ball
    - working more on Downing's link up with the excellent Unrealque.
    - getting some deep wing play down the right (any at all!).
    - getting more attempts on target (for crying out loud, hit it on target).
    - further improving Lucas' forward passing (I think that'll be there within a couple of seasons)
    - having pool players run the channels more to help service providers.

    Adam is highly unlikely to do any more than he has done so far and is keeping Hendo out of his natural position.

  3. charlie adam problem mmmmmm?

  4. Charlie Adam one of the most gifted players in Europe and yet only cost us 8million.? what the hell are people on???next we'll be hearing downing is the best winger in europe

  5. Adam seems to feel the need at the moment to try and pass the ball 30+ yards every time he gets the bloody thing and he tackles like a cow rolling down a hill. Fact is whatever we do we need another midfielder in there. If you are only playing two central midfielders in a formation, then they'd better be amazing. Look at city, even they are playing with three most of the time, yet they have better players. We are gonna get murdered when we play them if we use the same formation we played against Swansea.

    I know the past is the past, but I can't help wonder how in the hell we had two world class internationals in Miereles and Aquilani, and now we are being forced to consider players like Spearing. 

    Why, why, why is LFC with its fantastic tradition and heritage still selling its best players to other clubs? Frankly the only signing from the summer who has impressed so far is Enrique, who is teaching Downing how to play football. I still can't believe he was 1/3rd the price as well, but that's understandable because Downing is English!

    I don't hate Carroll, but I hate the way he seems to make us play (its not even his fault. He may hate it too). So much for pass and move. Its just what I thought would happen. Adam+Downing+Carroll=Dated English football from the nineties. What we need are some players that can get to the byline with trickery and pace and play the ball back across goal. 


    If we don't change our philosophy of play soon we are going to be lucky to finish in the top eight. 

  6. Why not? It's not like we are running all over teams at the moment ... 

    For that matter, why not try Lucas with Henderson in central midfield, with Adam in the hole - and not just for the final third of games?

  7. Jamie what is your obsession with 4-4-2? It doesn't even fit with the players we have! The future of football is a more narrow 3-3 formation with full backs doing any crossing. Right now there are way too many players trying to cross at LFC. Crossing for me should be a last resort or what you do occasionally if you are consistently failing to open up the defense with passing and player movement. It should be added occasionally to vary your play and keep the defenses guessing, but if you do it all the time, it just becomes obvious (as well as boring to watch). Defenses in the EPL know how to deal with crosses. If we cross the ball to Andy Carrol's head 20 times in a game and one leads to a goal, that is not good enough. It would be far better to keep possession and create movement. You get that with 3 up front. 

  8. i agree, if it makes Adam limit the amount of 30 yard passes he attempts, and gives him chances to shoot it can't hurt. The bottom line is this old fashioned 'knock it into the big man' football is horrendous to watch and looks like championship football. 

    I was alternating between vomiting at our football and admiring Swansea's last week. I don't like being like this. I love this club, but hate the way we are playing right now. YNWA

  9. If I wanted your opinion I would have read Yesterdays Daily Star .

    You are judging a price tag not a players ability  , players arent livestock or slaves , smarted up coz yer readin like a brainless fashion victim , simply repeating what the media tells him .

  10. You find my post 'highly insulting'? Diddums. Get over it already. It's not remotely insulting to our players. Perhaps if you read my post properly and appreciated that I was suggesting it for the last 20 minutes of the game then you might actually see the point I'm making.

  11. In terms of percentages Downings final ball has been good , the majority of his cross's are always into high percentage areas , as of yet we havent capitalized upon it  , In terms of final ball into high percentage areas theres only Downing & Ryan Giggs in that league & If you compare Downings pass completion rate to any wide player in the league I'd bet if he isnt top of the league that he isnt far off it .

    Downing is the best left sided midfielder we have had since Patrick Berger who was the best since Barnes & if you were a LFC supporter & not a LFC critic you would realize that .

  12. The problem with Charlie Adam is Dalglish keeps buying mediocre players like Charlie Adam. If we wanna win a title.. we can't keep buying mediocre Brits...

  13. In some matches Liverpool are being overrun in midfield, and in the absence of Gerard, I would give Maxi a chance there over Spearing because of his greater scoring potential. Maybe give Bellamy a turn in place of Downing, because it is not happening for him at the minute!

    Leave Adam where he is, but give him some help.

  14. Charlie Adam is a class footballer

    We are blessed to have him, he is what football is all about. He can score belters, great set pieces, extraordinary range of passes and he sees the entire game in his mind's eye

    He is exactly what every young lad who plays in midfield wants to be

    And he seems to have lost weight, and has increased his mobility as far as I can see, remember the 70 yard run that led to a free kick in 78th minute versus Man Utd..... Not exactly fading

    But I do agree with your idea of pushing a midfielder into the hole, but it should be Stevie G. Finishing has always been Stevie's main ability

    If we kept the ball a bit more we wouldn't need Lucas main attributes as much and could give Henderson a go in centre mid

  15. Get off the stage

    If you think Charlie Adam is mediocre you don't understand football, hence your opinion is worthless, something you obviously already know by posting as a guest

  16. completely agree i dont like adam he gives too many fouls tries too many stevie g passes which he cannot execute and shoots from half line everytime the gaolie is an inch of his line sell him and bring afellay

  17. didnt like rafa never will stevie g and torres carried the team single handedly during his reign

  18.                                          reina
    kelly                     agger                   carra                     enrique

    johnson                    lucas                gerrard/spearo                 bellamy

                                            suarez           kuyt

  19. care to share Adam's tackling stats? From what I personally see and other stats, Lucas is a much better destroyer

  20. I agree with the writer, Adam-Lucas partnership is not the best combination. Adam need more stamina to last the 90 minutes and could partner to be more effective.

  21. I mean Adam-Henderson partnership could work.

  22. Players are judged by results and their performances. Messi, CRon , Zidane et all come in the category of Europe's most gifted players because they have proven themselves at the highest level. Adam might be a good player but your opinion means nothing. Unless he proves himself and wins something he cannot be considered among the most gifted players in Europe. I found your argument highly insulting to the most gifted players in Europe.

  23. .........................................Reina





  24. Simon!!!............Look at my team selection.............you can change Carra for Skertl if you like but that 4-2-3-1 formation is the best for Liverpool. Subs from Carroll, Maxi, Kuyt, Coates, Henderson, Doni, Aurelio, Johnson, Adam Morgan, Sterling, etc etc etc!!!!

  25. Agreed. Our problem is with Lucas, not Adam. Adam should partner Spearing with Hendo just behind Suarez in place of Carroll.

  26. The current liverpool midfiled of lucas and adam does have a McMahon and Whelan feel to it, where one person is the hard hitting defensive midfielder and the other is the more forward thinking of the two. The history of KK teams have always had a brittish feel to them, whether you look at the 86 fa cup final, 89, and the blackburn winning title team. the problem we face at the moment is the liverpool fans! some liverpool fans change their minds like the wind, one minute KK is the saviour and the next he is the devil. Hypothetically if we blasted away both chelsea and mancity 4 nil I would magine the same fans will be back on the KK wagon to glory! Fans have become impatient and it is threatening the long term plans of KK.

  27. People calling for a new manager are dumb asses sorry. Wastes of skin.

  28. Liverpool under Dalglish has always looked better in a 4-3-3 formation with a triangular midfield.  I always thought Adam would play that Pirlo or Scholes role more so than the Xabi role (Adam can't tackle), linking up play from the back, middle and front.   Maybe against Swansea, a midfield of trio of Spearing, Adam and Lucas would have done the trick; maybe Henderson in the middle instead of Spearing also.  If we would have taken off Lucas, we may have been buried.  But KK might wax lyrical again, and then stick Henderson on the right instead of Maxi.

  29. it is a very good suggestion in my opinion ......... I have been the first to criticize Jamie on how he writes to infuriate people and get hits ...... but there are some more than decent articles in there ......

    this one is a top top article and an excellent suggestion in my view ....... gives us flexibility in that adam can be substituted or not ...... if he is substituted, suarez drops in the hole ..... carroll may come up top , or you can simply move bellamy or kuyt up top and bring in a fresh downing to run at the tired fullbacks ....... 

    but as Jamie said ....... will it be implemented ....... i do hope so ...... - not all the time, but it is as said - one of the plans ....... and gives us great flexibility ......... something we are not using with the types of players we have

  30. Its like having a ferrari (xavi..alonso ..fabregas..even ramsey ..wiltshire ..nasri ..) and somebody brings a lada or skoda (Adam..downing..Henderson..Carroll). and try to convince you that because they both happen to have four wheels and drive therefore are both equal in quality...and if somebody disagree they are branded as being blind and not seeing the light...

  31. i think the problem with us at the moment is that we made one huge mistake in buying a big guy and we are trying to justify that decision ever since ............ we should have kept the 50 million from nando's sale ...... or simply refused nando to go to chelsea .....

    with spearing lucas maxi meireles kuyt and suarez we were not only awesome to watch (our so called present situation) but we were scoring for fun  ........ we did not need to change it as much as we have done ........ and the players that performed for the last 10 odd games for us were completely ignored for the start of next season which is very poor management by Dalglish indeed ...... he has gone with people he bought and given them chance after chance to prove themselves which they have failed at time and time again ....... what about maxi, what about spearing ....... what about meireles ...... they proved themselves when Carroll was being protected through the excuse of his injury ......... they got no reward for it whatsoever ...... I think that has been the major turning point ....... the personnel brought in were to make Carroll effective and in turn they replaced meireles, maxi and spearing ...... hate to say it ...... but the decision to sign Carroll is costing us big time , and I don't know when people will deflate their egos and accept it to avoid making more mistakes and puncture the momentum that we built towards the end of last season   

  32. Charlie adam is not the problem. Its the one pairing him in central who is. If kenny dalglish wants to use the shitty henderson despite all the pleas of the fans to drop him then he should at least use him in a position he can have a positive influence on the game and this position is none other than in the center of the midfield with charlie adam. Last year with sunderland he had some good stats playing there and he also played well during the manutd match there. Until gerrard gets better henderson should replace him and thats why we bought him in the first place. Spearing is shit and is no better than the other shit called lucas. Replacing shit with less shit wont improve our game. Hendo/adam were among the  best creators of chances in the league last season. They SHOULD be played together. We got no better options right now. Then comes the wings, downing and rodriguez  SHOULD occupy each side. Again we got no better players to play there. Then in attack its a no brainer that caroll should sit and watch bellamy take his place alongside suarez. Adam, downing, rodriguez, bellamy, suarez and henderson(until gerrard is back) are the ONLY players we have capable of creating sufficient chances and/or goals for us. With norwich we had a somewhat similar formation and look how many chances we created! On any other day we would have crushed the opposition. If comolli with all his "statistical analysis" did not recognise that this was the best formation we put this season and that the poor result that day was only just because of bad luck and try this again with chelsea and man city then theres no f#ck*ng way we are gonna beat them!
    The players I listed are the only ones we have capable of linking together playing this pass and move football, the others are just too limited in skills below average or overrated. Lucas is too one dimensional and can only tackles in games doing nothing productive with the ball. Are we gonna win games by tackling balls, huh? Kuyt is too inefficient on the right side with his bad crossing and too wasteful as a striker with his poor shooting. He works hard but this is not enough to win games, is it? Caroll should be used as a sub for the last minutes of matches until he turn half as good and promising as he was at newcastle. Spearing=reserve player, he is not a squad player. And finally johnson is a freaking liability as a defence, he should either be used as right wing or dropped for kelly who is the better all round player as he can both defend and attack, is younger and is not prone to doing any mistakes as johnson. The latter may be better in attack but is not very good at defense. Opposition players are often beating him during matches...Thats all I got to say. Hope we stop with this shitty formations and start winning matches so that we do not get too distanced from the top 4 places until january come and we buy 1-2 top quality NON-BRITISH players capable of giving us champions league football next season.

  33. Kuyt is a big problem not scoring any goals

  34. And Kuyt also runs like a headless chicken.. Face it there are no
    decent goalscorers coming up from midfield. For the money they paid for
    Adam under 10m, is a real bargain as they paid for the likes of Downing, Henderson and Carrol. These 3 need to shape up or ship out. I still got a feeling that Carrol has got something to show in the future matches. as for Downing and Henderson, real let downs looking at the money they paid for them. Kuyt justs runs aimlessly, gives passes away, falls easily and can't score at all. I say drop him.

    For LFC to finish in the top 4 or better, they need to:

    1. Get a natural RW. Good one at that with some top international experience.
    2. A proven quality CB at international level also. Not aging ones i.e. Kiryakos - cant understand why thet bought Coates in the first place as we need immediate returns.
    3. Monitor the 3 abovementioned players (Downing, Henderson, Carrol) - shape up or ship out

  35. ahem - Albert Riera.

    Short memories

  36. Torres was not their during his first three years, and if you check we reached a final every year Torres was not their and won two of them. Short memories

  37. That was spot on IMO

  38. Jaimie, I can see your angle, but if you look at when Gerrard played in the whole he was very mobile, you have to be otherwise it is easy to be marked out of the game by the opposition. Adam has the vision, creativity and the passing to create assists, but what he cant replicate is the bursts of speed Gerrard used to show in one twos and breaking into the box - if you leave Adam to float and pick passes in that whole it would be easy for too many opposition managers who would just sacrifice a DM to man mark Adam who does not have the movement to shake that off.

    Its funny how some fans when discussing our midfield dont seem to think we need a DM / destroyer anymore? In this 4 - 4- 2 we already look overwhelmed in that area against other teams - in previous years we have had two very disclipined holding players in front of a back four which has made their job easier.

                     Mascherano - Alonso

    That worked in a 4-2-3-1 (with the right players) but our issues IMO are down to our formation. We play an extra man up front in a 4-4-2 who is anonymous and we could use in midfield to stop teams running all over us in the middle of the park, becoming a solid compact unit again. If that two up front was working then great but it is not so KD needs to swallow his pride and realise that two up front will not cut it at the moment

                                           ReinaKelly / Johnson      Carra / Skyrtel        Agger                 Enrique                       Lucas / Spearing        Adam/ HendersonKuyt / Maxi                          Gerrard                             Bellamy / Downing                                         Suarez

    IMO I would prefer to see this again - but it may be seen as a pragmatic move to the wonderful attacking pass and move that has currently been on display all season.

    Also IMO your suggestion of Suarez in that whole is overall a better idea than Adam but with a different type of striker in front of him of course!

  39. Defensivley solid and not open like we have been all season, but it would be admitting Carroll is not working... If we get more money from FSG then Suarez can move into the whole and we play a more mobile striker up front than Carroll.........................................ReinaKelly/ Johnson.......Carra/ Skyrtel..............Agger................Enrique....................Lucas / Spearing.......Adam / HendersonKuyt / Maxi ......................Gerrard...............................Downing/ Bellamy........................................Suarez

  40. The only thing we need is a plan B, doest not really matter what formation we play. 

    Are problem has been the inability to change the way we play to break teams down. 

    For Adam to use his talents, we need other players to run the channels like he had at Blackpool, its not rocket science. 

    The problem we seem to have is, we buy a player who has impressed playing a certain way, and we don't play to his strengths. ie. Henderson, good in the middle, not so good out wide, where do we play him? out wide. We have done this with many players over the years same when we had Babel, Centre forward, play him on the wing.

    There are very few players like Stevie G, who can play to a high standard anywhere on the pitch. 

  41. I agree with the formation but would stick with Johnson and Sktrel, can we yet rely on Stevie and play Adam there and bring back in Spearing, the 2 holding midfield players dictate the play in midfield if they play to far back we are to defensive if they are pushed up field they shut teams in their own halfs 4,2,3,1formation also offers more varity you can play 2 defensive midfield players 1 defensive 1 attacking or 2 attacking midfield and we won't have the problem of being over run in midfield playing 442.
    The front 3 can offer more with playing 2 wingers or like last season with Maxi and Kuyt who tucked in more allowing Johnson and Kelly to get forward.                            Renia

                 Johnson             Sktrel         Agger          Enrique


                  Lucas/Henderson/Gerrard         Adam/Spearing

        Downing/Kuyt            Adam/Gerrard/Suarez    Maxi/Bellamy/Downing                                

    The system offers more options and the inter change of players is better then a 442.                      

    Johnson                    Sktrel   Agger                 Enrique


                          Henderson            Spearing

    Downing                      Adam                     Bellamy


    The team we could have played on Saturday offering the attacking style we want at home.

  42. Jaimie, No, No, No...
    The skillsets required to operate in that area are all wrong for Charlie Adam.

    Lets first define why Charlie Adam is in the team.
    The overriding reason is to provide longballs to Carroll's head or defense splitting passes to Carroll or Suarez.
    In short, his main strength, LONG RANGE PASSING.

    Kenny is more than happy to put up with his deficiencies (and there's many), so long as Carroll is afforded a few scoring chances per game.
    Same applies to Stewart Downing, he's there to feed Carroll.

    If you were omit Carroll from the team, there is no way Charlie Adam justifies selection. Period.

    The position behind the striker requires a different skillset.
    You need a SHORT, QUICK PASSING game in that area.
    The player also needs to be able to read spaces around the defenders and know when and where to attack those spaces in relation to the striker, (Suarez).

    This is typically fast one touch football, in close proximity to each other and the defenders.
    In simple terms, Suarez needs a partner to work with at unlocking defenses.

    These are key traits of 'technically gifted' players, who from an early age are taught to play this way until its second nature to them.
    Both players instinctively understand and 'see' the gaps and work together at exploiting it.

    A Kuyt, Meireles or Maxi, would be far better choices.

    English players are poor at this.
    Thats why Carroll looks lost next to Suarez, he doesn't see the gaps or spaces Suarez wants to attack.
    Adam would be the same, in fact worse.

    That's one of the primary reason Rafa fought so hard for control of the Academy.
    Because he understood the English system was failing its youth in their early years of development.
    They weren't being taught these basics from an early age and therefore struggled all through their careers.

    Adam, in my team would be on the bench, at best.

  43. All the solutions are within the Liverpool squad, we have a strong squad and we can use 3 subs every game, the problem isn't Adam the problem is Dalglish. It is his failure to recognise when a player is tiring, his failure to recognise that Henderson will never be a right winger, his failure to understand that Downing was player of the year at Villa on the right wing not left. His failure to give Bellamy and Maxi more playing time, his failure to utilise all the subs at the right time and his failure to have a tactical plan other than go out and enjoy yourselves lads.

  44. IMO I agree with a move to this formation from what we are playing, it suits the players we have in the squad a lot more.... 

  45. I think we all agree that 4-2-3-1 suits our players so well, Adam is much better in such a system!!!!. You can slot most of the players into that system and win games, the players are there but we must use them wisely and pick players on form!!!!

  46. Could Carroll be that very plan B???, just a thought!!!!

  47. Agreed 100% mate.............constructive i must say.............nothing wrong in that!!!!

  48.  you were doing fine until that dumb last line.  go off to some trolling website if you're going to be like that, noone wants to read what you have to say.

    If you had a second braincell, you'd see that I was suggesting Downing's work could be improved.  If you didn't see that on Saturday you clearly have no idea what game you're watching.

    Get a life, and leave Liverpool fc to real fans.

  49. well put.  Swansea put 5 across the middle and so dominated.  a little less when Hendo was there drifting in from wide, but not much, and a lot more when he was taken off.

    I think this fits in with Jamie's suggestion of pushing Adam up 'in the hole' and having Lucas and Hendo (good engine) behind, which is a slight alternative to your setup which I think carries the problem of Adam + A.N other mf not being able to hold the middle well enough.

    It's hard to know if Adam can be effective in the hole, and clearly you like Gerrard's past record there (don't we all), but what bothers me about Jamie's suggestion is it's trying to put Adam somewhere more because he isn't a versatile enough midfielder to operate alongside Lucas, rather than because he would be a standout performer in the hole. 

    That kind of reasoning makes me nervous.   Build a team round Ronaldo, Xavi, Xabi, sure, but Adam?  Chances are he'd do some things ok up there but you'd quickly hit a limitation simply because he's a limited player. 

    I think at Blackpool, while he had 2 defensive mf's to fall back on, he still preferred being deeper rather than a Van der Vaart who carried Spurs' scoring last season.

    It's become an obsession dealing with Adam (on the blogs) which is clearly not good.  That being said, we're not putting dead ringers away, and there are enough to clearly win games - in the first half (all but Spurs)! 

    I don't know what you do with that - take the boys up a Scottish mountain, make them cold and wet and knock some grit into them.  The plus side is the coaches have to work on the deficiencies to improve things not assume everything is ok which might happen if we kept scoring!

    I do however think the right side work can be improved and the strikers can work better off each other - Carroll was knocking balls down to static red shirts all day, and Downing, although pretty decent, can improve his final ball too.

  50. works fine every day of the week.

  51. the only counter i'd put to that, is organised teams like Swansea park the bus and you have to open them up and stretch them.  

    That's tough through the middle, but definitely effective on the wings as Enrique/Downing demonstrated.  Some clear cut backs/simple passes from the line were missed by Enrique and Downing (that final pass again), none came from the right at all.

    Hence I don't think crossing is a last resort in this type of game.

  52. I would say limited in ability and not very mobile.

    Adam can't own the midfield with another MF such as Lucas, the way say Meireles and Lucas did.

  53. Put bellamy on the left and downing on the right - we have none of that deep wing play on the right at the moment and these two will beable to link with the fullbacks.

    Hendo/Gerrard, Lucas in the middle.   Suarez, Kuyt, Carroll for the front 2 positions and even try adam there.  I don't see how we can leave Adam alongside Lucas, it always ends up with us getting overhauled.

    We've got too many midfielders, that's a problem.

  54. ...which pushes Adam back alongside Lucas - not good.

  55. Aren't you continuing the problem of Adam + Lucas = an overrun midfield?

  56. I'm still waiting for the manager to come along that matches his achievements against ManUre and the Great White Russian in our league while doing what he did in Europe. 

    Mancini has a  real chance for obvious reasons, Spurs have no chance I don't think as they will not/cannot solve their striker problems, Wenge won't although he could.

    What's certain is it'll be a damn long time before an English manager is able to do it.  Of course the media will never question them.

  57. Interesting comments,
    I beleive the problem is the strike partnership. The best part of Suarez game is his movement(he is all over the front line) But Carroll needs some one to play of him, so reducing there movement. I would like to see Suarez given a similar possition to Messi with a free roll

      Kelly                        Carra              Agga                Enriq

                                     Adam                     Lucus

                   Suarez                     Gerrard/Henderson                Downing


  58. If you concentrate on the formation you can change the partnership, i.e....Spearing and Lucas etc. If Gerrard plays off Suarez he can drop in to make a defensive 3 when needed or play Adam off Suarez????. There are many options as you are able to change as and when needed!!!

  59. Im sorry but for me there is no place for Carroll at all, he is a big problem so drop him!!!

  60. Adam does all his best work as a deep lying central midfielder. These defense splitting passes are possible because he has the whole field ahead of him, allowing him to fully utilize his vision. Playing in the hole would probably result in him having his back to goal which is not at all where he would be at his best (if you'll notice, his passes often come from when he's positioned right up next to our centerbacks). Lastly, Gerrard has the pace and tenacity to play in the hole. He can make the runs to get the ball, turn get his head up and pick someone out or go for goal. He never stands still and is at his best when he gets the ball, lays it off and makes a quick run forward into space (or arriving late in the box)

  61. Don't agree to anything you said except that Adam should be an attack midfielder if we ain't gonna play with and 5 men midfield. But anyway, I personally think Adam is whats costing Liverpool these matches.. We were doing fine before Adam even came to Liverpool and we won stoke without Adam. Drop Adam and see what happens. People also say that the Lucas&Spearing midfield need creativity. I'd rather loose abit of creativity than end up number 8 this year.

  62. I was expecting Adam to play like he did at Blackpool and his defence splitting passes he use to play to DJ Campbell but I can't think of any really since he joined us and we have a striker 100 times better then Campbell buzzing around up front.Adam seems to play to the wing more when since he joined us.
    Gerrard is injured at the moment and we need to make the most of Suarez and Adam has shown he can run with the ball and beat a man and he is more then capable of playing the killer ball short or long and can shoot.
    What Rafa saw in Gerrard why have a player who can pass a ball and scores goal playing a centrel midfield role the back push him up field so he his more effective.

  63. you should be manager

  64. IMO it seems Liverpool underestimated what Aquilani and/or Meireles brought to the team. We should never have left the pair go (especially the latter at the price he was eventually sold at).

  65. WWhy not just play Charlie Adam as the striker..he so good and will score dozens of goals..ff sake why do people believe their own lies...Adam is not good enough to be anywhere near the lfc team never mind play in the hole ..

  66. You seriously need to calm down pet.

  67. The Aquilani deal is even worse imo - if he succeeds Milan take him from us at a heavily subsidized fee. If he flops, he gets dumped back onto us, a year older and with even less value in the market!

    Hodgson was a fool to sanction the loan deal last year, so unfortunately I have to say that Dalglish was an even bigger fool to sign off on the deal last year. Especially after he saw that Aquilani was one of the few players capable of legit MOTM performances during pre-season! :-o

  68. @Don - Kuyt always has these extended dry spells, which Jamie has written about elsewhere.

    As far as I'm concerned even when he does manage to get a few goals this just masks his overall lack of contribution to our team (as best exemplified by the Champions League final against Milan). If "Fat Frank" can be called a passenger even with his goals and assists record, then Kuyt definitely can too!

  69. same thing I've been saying ChrisFlyer, although I don't think that Henderson is ready to be a playmaker for an elite team - the problem is that Dalglish got rid of Aquilani & Pacheco who were both naturals in that position. Maybe it's time to freshen up the squad and give Suso a chance to step up into the first team??

    Eitherways, the persistence with a midfield 2 and flat lines defensively HAS to stop asap

  70. Spot on but i would not even let him near reserves never mind the bench

  71. Well put...but how dare you say that KK could possibly make a c*ck up..you are anti kk!!!

  72. KK had over 80million to his disposal and he should have got rid of Kuyt ..bought a ready made replacement for Carragher..two wingers and two strikers..as well as enrique and the squad from last year ...we would have improved.

  73. Instead of Adam in my opinion we should have brought back Danny Murphy who in my opinion is better than Adam and is just as slow as Adam .

  74.                                             Reina

  75.  Adam hit 13 goals from CM in Europes toughest league last season , if he was any other nationality the press , you & yer brain dead fashion victim like  , would be falling over themselves to kiss his @ss .

  76.  Its like being a human being trying to teach a farm yard animal about the finer points in life .

    When did Alonso hit 13 goals from CM in a Premier League season ?

    Fabregas is over rated too , he is a decent player but he isnt in the same class as Xavi while Ramsey & Wiltshire arent even on Fabregas's level .

    Alonso , Fabregas & Adam are all comparable in terms of standard . the rest of yer post isnt worth commenting upon .

  77. Riera wasnt the worst but he was nowhere near Giggs or Downing at the same time , let alone even coming close to what Berger & Barnes were .

  78.  Real fans ?

    LoL !

    Real Critics ya mean .

  79. Why do you talk about Aquilani? I like him had a great touch and could pass and i did n't buy into the crap that he was n't strong enough.
     He wanted to go home as simple as that he got fit then Roy sent him home Juventus back tracked on signing him he then put himself back in the shop window with some sparkling preseason games to get his move back home he was never going to stay with us .

  80. The same Rafa who publicly questioned if Gerrard was trustworthy enough to play centre midfield & then played him on the right wing for the best part of 3 seasons ?

  81. The same Rafa who publicly questioned if Gerrard was trustworthy enough
    to play centre midfield & then played him on the right wing for the
    best part of 3 seasons ?

  82. I have to agree with Johnleenon123 about the way we are playing  at the moment ...

  83. I don't have anything against Charlie Adam and he was surely a good buy at the price we paid for him; I cannot say the same about Downing whatever the attraction of having a traditional left-footed winger on the team. I would much rather have spent the money on Mata. 

    As for Carroll, we simply overpaid by a factor of two or three. I do appreciate, however, that the owners were under pressure to replace Torres and to show the world that Liverpool was still a force to be reckoned with.

  84. And yet we are missing the creative, attacking midfielder who can make the difference. Quo vadis Aquilani? 

  85. The question is who will play the role of Stevie G when he is out injured? Henderson? Perhaps we should recall Shelvey ...

  86. Cannot agree with you there Livmad and Asfah. Lucas and Adam certainly are not a good combination, but I would rather move Adam forward as proposed by Jamie, leaving Lucas with Henderson or Spearing in central midfield.

  87.  You need to realize that this isnt a homosexual site & comments like that are both offensive & insulting .

  88. Why not Lucas with Henderson?

  89. Good point DavidK, you just changed my whole view on Adam! Question of course remains who to play in the hole or in a more classical trequartista role in the absence of Stevie. Aquilani perhaps but that option is no longer available; Henderson? Shelvey?

  90. To be fair to Dalglish, Pacheco did not show he had progressed enough to play for the first team; I would however have done everything to keep Aquilani at Anfield.

  91. Forgot about Meireles, agree we should not have let him go under any circumstances ...

  92. Lol - good one Mali - again!

    I've asked you before and you have never replied - if you want Dalglish out so much who would you replace him with?

    Come on share the wealth of your knowledge 

  93. Cannot agree with you there jj. Aquilani was bought for a hefty fee and - whether he wanted to or not - would have stayed with Liverpool and performed to the best of his ability. He in fact said so himself this summer, while last summer he was not even keen to go back to Italy - it's just that Hodgson and Purslow in their infinite wisdom decided it was a good idea at the time.

  94. 3 seasons? Gerrards play under Rafa was transformed from a charging Bull to player who could control his game and passion and channel it into goals and assists.

  95. He was going home!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  96.  The season we finished 2'nd when he actually allowed Gerrard to play behind Torress from January onwards ?

    Yes .

    But up until then he restricted Gerrard & had he built his team around him instead of playing him on the right as though he was an inconvienence he had to fit in some how we would have seen a lot more top two finishes .

    You are in dreamland if you think Benitez discovered Gerrard .

    From when he arrived he played him on the wing until 08/09 , he was always signing players like Benayoun & Keane to play them in that deep role ,

    Benitez didnt rate Gerrard at all , it was only fan pressure he bowed to .

  97. only reason he played in those preseason friendlies was to put himself back in the shop window for the Italian clubs,so he could get his move home,Juventus should have brought him but backed out.
    Already had problems in other seasons with players that wanted to leave how can Kenny start a new season with a player who was doing everything to get a move home, did we want a Tevez situation?

  98. Rijkaard.....deschamps even though he turned us down but i think he would come now....Louis van gaal ...any one of these will do and can you imagine the type of player they could attract and the style of football we'll play.

  99. I have backed Lucas and is a valuable member of the squad especially in Saturdays game with the 442 if he was n't playing I hate to think what could have happened just think Henderson and Spearing might have had a more attacking instinct and it would totally freshen up the midfield for home games.

  100. Albert Riera? Barnes is a Anfield Great and he can't be compared to any of the above! Berger is remembered as a treble winning hero, Downing we don't know yet but Riera why would you mention him ??????????  Mark Walters was better then him and he got given the job to fill Barnes boots which no left winger was ever going to fill.

  101. I disagree with a lot of what you say Mali but I have to agree with you there. And anybody that says "we couldn't have got better players than we did because..." is just chatting sh!te - nobody was asking for us to get Messi, but we definitely could've gone out and picked up second tier players such as been tempted by Man City, Malaga, PSG, , Newcastle, Juventus etc without Champions League football

  102. The only reason that he played in the preseason friendlies is because he was picked. And the only reason that he went home was because it was made clear that he was not valued by the management at Liverpool.

    People constantly make up stuff about his homesickness, but every single quote that came from Aquilani himself was to the contrary

  103. I don't remember Pacheco getting a single game through the middle with the first team. Hodgson stuck him out on the wing with a bunch of fringe/reserve players in European games and then Dalglish pretty much ignored him altogether.

    If it comes down to the reserves, Pacheco (and many others) put in far better performances than the likes of Robinson, Flanagan and Spearing yet somehow it was these guys that were promoted to the first team - even when it comes down to looking at positions, it still didn't make any sense to me

  104. Benitez discovered more in Stevies game and made him a more complete player improved his goal scoring and assists.
    Gerrard played a number of positions when Rafa came and scored goals his best seasons coming when he played as a RW and SS and we had our best points finishes 82 points 05/06 and 86 points 08/09 seasons.
      Rafa brought Pennant for the 06/07 season onwards then Kuyt and Yossi played RW. 

  105. So why was there a buy clause in his Juventus loan aggreement does that sound like a player was preparing to come back to Liverpool?

  106. maybe so, but our problem is really about converting chances rather than creating them.

    Both Carroll and Suarez have cost us points by not taking chances, some very clear.  We can increase chances by exploiting the right wing more and adding an extra/better final pass or better movement in the penalty box (Hernandez is a good example of this).  But our conversion average is poor while chance creation is top notch.Currently Kenny's favouring the newbies to the ageing old guard (eg kuyt, Maxi etc) because he wants to get them settled in, using the older players as squad resources and making decisions more clear cut for next summer.

    But because we're not finishing that plan's in jeopardy.

    I still think this team's time is the run in, the last 10 games.  Rather than bring in one or two players, everyone north of the defence bar Lucas is new. 

    So rather than fit into a system of play, they're having to create the whole system themselves and then improve it, when expectation was to push on in a big way from April/May.  A big task.  

    And surprise, surprise this article is questioning perhaps the fulcrum of the team in Adam which I think backs up my thinking.  

    Would, as Jamie suggests, moving Adam up in the hole improve things?  I think it would improve midfield, but it's really not clear if it would improve our attack, but then that's what jamie's asking.

  107. Pacheco could be our David Silva.

  108. how is adam costing us games when we're creating a lot of chances but not converting them.

  109. Pacheco had Benitez, Hodgson, Lambert (Norwich) and Dalglish/Clarke look at him.  He made few appearances at Norwich.  They can't all be wrong.

    Even Atletico have loaned him to Volarenca (?) for a year before their loan arrangement.

    My guess is he's not physical enough (yet?), and possibly his thinking isn't 'tuned'/quick enough at the higher levels yet.

    The transition from reserve to senior is a big one and the success rate is very low.  Otherwise, no one would even pay £20m for a player.

  110. Gerrard/Kuyt/Suarez/Bellamy/Henderson.  No shortage of options.

  111. We've created chances all season, regardless of who's playing where. 
    Suarez and Carroll have cost us not finishing some clear chances.

  112. I simply cannot believe these comments attached to an absolutely pedantic and untalented Adam are for real!