6 Nov 2011

Tactics? Why LFC's approach to the Swansea game didn't make any sense...

A couple of weeks ago, Gary Gillespie revealed that when he was at Liverpool under Kenny Dalglish, the players were 'just told to go out and play', and that during his 8 year spell at Anfield 'the days we were actually coached I can count on one hand'. Against Swansea yesterday, it seemed like the coaching had regressed back to Gillespie's 1980s heyday for the afternoon.

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Having watched the Swansea game again, it's hard to discern any kind of tactical game-plan from Liverpool. It literally seems like the players were actually told to just 'go out and play'.

After the game, Kenny noted:

"They played exactly like we thought they would play. It doesn't matter if you're promoted, or if you've been there for 10 years, you've got your own style of play, and that's the way they play".

This sounds like Dalglish and his team studied Swansea before the game, but if they played exactly like he thought they would, why were Liverpool so unprepared to deal with it? Why was there no plan B? Why couldn't Liverpool adapt and overcome?

The tactical plan (if there was one) needs to be looked at here because Liverpool singularly failed to adapt their 'tactics' to deal with growing threat of Swansea.

Jordan Henderson was removed at half-time, and replaced with Dirk Kuyt; did this make any tactical difference whatsoever? It was basically like-for like, and the number of attacks down the right just increased during the second half, so the substitution arguably backfired.

What Liverpool should have done (in my humble opinion) is replace Lucas with Kuyt at half time and move Henderson into the centre. I'm not for one minute suggesting that the Brazilian was playing badly, I just feel that it would've made tactical sense:

Kuyt -------------- Henderson ------ Adam ------------ Downing

Henderson is far more mobile and athletic than Lucas, and it's possible that he would've been able to plug the gaps in midfield better, and help Liverpool play higher up the field.

Additionally, when Liverpool are under pressure, Lucas drops deeper and deeper and just concentrates on doing what he does best: tackling and breaking up play. Sometimes, that's just not enough; we also need midfielders who can move the ball forward proactively, and Charlie Adam aside, we didn't have that in central midfield yesterday.

We saw the benefits of this change against Manchester United a few weeks ago; Lucas was replaced by Henderson in the 57th minute, and he went on to play really well, and almost won the game for Liverpool on two separate occasions.

If the team can survive and play well without Lucas against the league Champions, why not against a newly promoted side? Lucas is excellent at what he does but he provides next to nothing when it comes to positive, incisive forward play.

I would've also replaced Downing with Bellamy, and in the latter stages of the second half, brought on Jay Spearing in place of Adam. Regular readers will know that I'm a huge fan of the Scot, but Liverpool clearly needed an injection of energy in midfield, and Spearing would've provided that.

A few weeks ago, I argued that Henderson was destined to fail at Anfield, but that it wouldn't be his fault. I still believe that. Taking him off at half-time will not do his confidence any good, and the whole situation could've been avoided if Dalglish didn't play him on the right in the first place.

For me, Henderson should be played in the centre or not at all.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Dalglish and Hodgson share a common trait. They are equally clueless where tactics are concerned.

  2. The bottom line is Dalglsh bought terribly in the summer, He bought mediocre, overpriced british talent. The lack of pace and athleticism in the team is unbelievable.   We are easily dominated in midfield by progressive teams who can pass and move it...we have no wingers of any description of genuine quality.  

  3. think what bothers me the most isn't the result or the performance. Its the lack of appreciable improvement (and in Downing's case actual decline in performance) by the new players that have been brought in, as well as the continued insistence on their inclusion regardless of performance. There was much talk of players needing time to gel and to settle in, but after 11 games the same weaknesses in the same players are still in evidence with no sign of improvement. Worse, these players are still used in the exact same role with no attempt made to cover their weaknesses in their game.

  4. Unfortunately - and it pains me to say it - it does seem that our tactics at the moment are naive ...

  5. tactics are not needed when your starting 11 is good enough to play their own game regardless of the opposition - true of Liverpool in the 80s, true of Barcelona today. It doesnt apply to our current crop of players, so if this is KD's management style we all need to be a little worried.

  6. Lol theyre are some idiots on here , on everywhere .. no wonder other fans take the piss out of us.
    Dalglish useless at tactics? what the same dalglish who played 3-5-2 at chelsea at beat them last season .. what an idiot you are.
    and to the guy who made the article , do you really think that dalglish tells them to just go out and play like gillespie said?? .. football has moved foward and so has dalglish just because we couldnt score and played badly dosent make him tacticly inept.. some supporters well so called supporters make me laugh.
    keep supporting from your coach.

  7. Actually main problem is Carrol. He is not upto standard and fit into liverpool type of Football. I think dalgish is obsessed with Carrol or he want to prove 35 Million they paid for him. Carrol neither have footballing brain nor speed or accuracy. All the four draw at liverpool is due to Carrol. We were better without carrol. for my  openion Ballamey is the only player except sourez who is looking capable of scoring. therefore, I my opinion he must start from the left wing and downing from the right. Because when ballmey from the left and downing from the right turns into they look good. In the absence of Carra defence looks more solid. We are needing a finisher. our players  create chances but cannot convert them into goals.

  8. tiresome. never-ending criticism from so-called liverpool fans. another match where you would have heard a pin drop. visiting fans mocking the lack of atmosphere, noise, or support. you all screamed to bring back kenny. given the legendary status of our fans, they are the biggest under-performers of all. Support the team would be a start. get behind them, whoever is selected, they wear OUR shirt. stop presuming you can pick a better team, or better players to sign. this is not a video game. this is reality. you all need to man-up and support liverpool - win, lose, or draw -  every minute, every match. thats what real supporters do ....

  9. Your right we don't have a plan B.
    If the long balls to Carroll from the wing or midfield don't work we have problems.
    Because those same players are then unable to adjust their game to support Suarez in a plan B.

    Of greatest alarm to me is the way Suarez isn't supported when he has the ball.
    He looked so isolated against Swansea & frequently ran into dead ends.
    Gone are those neat triangles we worked with Maxi & Meireles, who always made themselves available to receive the ball in a neat exchange of short passes.
    The unpalatable truth is that most of our new signings are totally unsuited to supporting Suarez in that manner.

    As for Adam, I'm slowly coming round to the conclusion we can't afford to play him in a two man midfield. He just doesn't have the workrate to make it viable.
    Against Swansea, we would have been far better server with Lucas and Spearing from the start.
    However that wont happen because Kenny needs him to drop the ball on Carroll's head...
    A real conundrum...

  10. Miles and Hodgson share a common trait. They are equally clueless where football is concerned.

  11. This is why Liverpool should’ve looked into the future rather than back to the past.
    There’s a section of Liverpool fans who will stand-by Kenny Dalglish regardless of how he performs as manager. That’s laudable really, especially in an age where fans are more fickle than ever. However, John Henry must surely be starting to doubt the wisdom of installing Dalglish, because the pricey team that’s been assembled grows more underwhelming by the week.
    It’s interesting to compare the treatment of Dalgish by the Liverpool fans with the comparative relationship between Arsene Wenger and the Arsenal faithful. One heralded as a saviour regardless of contemporary results, and the other derided because of them. The past is Wenger’s enemy, whereas for Dalglish it’s a saving grace. Arsenal and Liverpool are currently level on points.
    Can you imagine how Anfield would’ve reacted to a Roy Hodgson team that failed to beat Swansea, Norwich, and Sunderland at home? Or how the fans might have responded to getting humiliated at White Hart Lane?
    The problem John Henry has, is that anytime you appoint a club legend as manager you complicate the situation. Getting rid of Dalglish, should he ever want to, is almost impossible given the fans emotional investment in the man himself. Sacking someone like that would put the ownership in direct opposition to a considerable percentage of the fanbase – and owners do that at their peril.
    Some may argue that even talk of dismissing Dalglish is premature, but since when is this kind of form acceptable to a club of that stature? The Champions League grows a more remote objective by the week, and you could certainly make a case for saying that Liverpool are currently – on form – the seventh best side in the league. That’s not good enough for Liverpool. It’s definitely not acceptable when you’ve spent an absolute fortunate on putting a team together.
    At times, and apologies for this being a laboured point, Andy Carroll looks little more than a Championship player. Stewart Downing is a mid-level player at best, Charlie Adam – for all his much-heralded set-piece qualities – is a passenger in that midfield, and Jordan Henderson has done so little in a Liverpool shirt that you can’t really have an opinion. Luis Suarez is a fantastic player, but he’s actually limited by what goes on behind him.
    That’s an awful lot of money for very little product, and on the basis that you can’t eat out on the 1980s forever, there eventually has to be some accountability for how this team is performing. Trouble is though, how much of that accountability can John Henry put on his manager?

  12. Do Barcelona play with tactics?

  13. Not Carrol, Carroll. Not Bellamey, Bellamy. Not Sourez, Suarez.
    Not Jass, Ass

  14. Give over. Criticism is fine, and it is warranted. That's part and parcel of the game. If you can't hack it, that's your problem. Fans have a duty to point out issues; blind faith is the most dangerous thing of all. The players/management lap up the praise when it comes their way (which it does, constantly), so they have to accept the criticism also.

    And please don't suggest that football is some massively complex, and you need to be some kind of intellectual genius to be able to understand. Football is EASY. understanding tactics etc is EASY. You don't need to be a rocket scientist to understand how to pick a decent team. It really bugs me how people try and intellectualise football; it's really ironic considering the majority of people involved in the game are among the least educated people in society (!)

    The hard thing about football is managing egos and personalities; understanding how 352 works etc is the easiest thing in the world.

  15. A defence 2 midfield players and the rest are just told to "go out and play":)

  16. Guardiola is not a tactical manager, nor was some of the great managers such as Shankly, Paisley, Clough and most recently Fergie.  All of these managers have a philosophy on football and their teams went out and play with that philosophy. 

    Barcelona invite teams to play offensive and defensive football against them, their view is if you attack us we will take the ball of you.  If you sit back against us we will continue to play our pass n move style and find a way around you.  This is a philosophy of Barcleona that the players go onto the pitch with, very few tactics involved.

    Read up on Shankly's and Paisley, their game plan was pass and move and don't give the ball away.  I'm not suggesting in any way that they didn't apply tactics but if you're thinking that these great managers won their matches through applying high percentage of tactics then I'm afraid you're wrong.

    Mourinho is probably the most tactical manager in football today and his football is dull and painful to watch, it's anti football.       

  17. Wenger had George Graham's back 4 and Dennis Bergkamp a stong base to work of from.
    What did Kenny have certainly not a strong back 4 like that and a striker who wanted to leave and then an injured Gerrard and Kenny worked wonders.
    You should check your results we Roy did draw against Sunderland then LOST to Blackpool,Northampton and Wolves!!!!!! 
    Would you really sack any manager after 11 games?
    The team has n't been playing for the full 90mins but in nearly all the games they have fashioned  chances that should have won us the games against ALL the teams we have played at home is it Kennys fault Suarez missed the penalty and Carroll can't finish from even closer,thats is what you should be looking for first at a new team is it creating chances even when they are n't performing some of you are expecting perfection in 11 games!!!!!
    Man City brought Robinho and Jo for over £50 million and look what happened to them  bigger flops then what Carroll will ever be.
    Under the last 2 managers we played it cautiously and it cost us the league,mainly under Rafa in 2008/09 drawing at home!
    Under Kenny we have played decent football this season and last but this season players don't take their chances,which is now building pressure.

  18. Absolutely spot on mate 100% correct, Carroll is the problem................simple as that

  19. Drop Carroll and watch how Liverpool improve again, Carroll is only a sub at best, plan B if you like!!!!. It's not fair to the rest of the squad to try and prove that Carroll is a good player, when he clearly is not!!!!!

  20.  Thats fine if your Barcelona... they have some of the finest attacking talent on the planet to allow that.

    We don't.

    In order for lesser teams to be competitive they employ tactics that focus their strengths against an opponents weaknesses.

    Strategy 101 dude, happens every time a game of football is played.

  21. You would have not played Lucas which then would have exposed Agger and Skrtel who for the last 6 years have played with 2 holding midfield players!
    You think Johnson is a weak link at RB but his stats defensively are just as good if not better then Kelly this season, against Norwich and Swansea most of the attacks and break aways came from the wing remove Lucas and you open up all of the midfield for attacks on the break.
    Lucas should play if he his fit with Spearing(maybe Henderson) or Gerrard when fit and push Adam up the field he has n't got the legs for a box to box midfield player behind Suarez like last season with Meireles  with Kuyt on the right and Maxi back on the left,the formation was working wonders Maxi and Kuyt knew when to tuck in and pick up those goals are n't those tactics?

  22. I agree.

    But nothing I have seen or heard so far from Kenny fills me with confidence we will be changing tactics anytime soon.

    My greatest fear now is that come January, Kenny will be in the market for another striker, a Carroll mk2 if you will.  :-/

  23. Lucas is excellent at what he does but he provides next to nothing when it comes to positive, incisive forward play.?????????????
    Yeah sure buddy Lucas' pass last week created the goal.

  24. If wee are going to play 4-4-2 Kenny has to bite the bullet and put out the same midfield that won so many games on the spin last season and let the new boys earn their place.  Results will inevitably improve and these new players can one by one be introduced to a consistently winning side. Kuyt maxi and spearing are still with us I believe and have merited the opportunity of a consistent run in the side to see if they can replicate last seasons form. 

  25. Good comment until the last bit. Mourinho, like Rafa, was a highly tactical 'technical' manager, very systematic yes, but certainly not anti-football

  26. But how many time has Lucas provided a ball that breaks the oppositions defence in his LFC career? How many times has he scored a goal in his LFC career?

    The only good thing Lucas offers is tackling. His attacking game is completely out of the window.

    Jaimie, you are absolutely right. We did not need Lucas against the mancs, I said it myself after the match and we did not need him against Swansea. Fact is we do not need him when we play at home!!!

    I also agree that Henderson is not a wide man, I said it when he joined us. Play him in the middle and you will get results out of him and play him alongside Adam and we will be much more fluent and positive in our attacking play. Lucas attcacking wise has to be the worst player in the league. Defensively he is very good but when we are 0-0 at Anfield into the second half with the minutes ticking buy then we need to take him off and make a attacking change to try and win the match. I would only play Lucas in away matches.

  27. Pessimistic in the extreme. Nobody liked getting beaten 4-0 at Spurs, but that kind of embarrasing performance was the norm a year ago. You talk of 'this kind of form' about the draws with Sunderland, Norwich, and Swansea, whereas a year ago we were losing at home to Blackpool, Wolves and Northampton. You also find it far too easy to forget that Dalglish has achieved victories over United, City, Chelsea and Arsenal.  The 7th best team in the league ? Well you won't know that after a dozen matches. The new players certainly haven't gelled as quickly as we all would have hoped, but they have all shown their ability too. City are excellent right now. Of the others, Tottenham are the only ones playing well. United, Chelsea, Liverpool, all having struggles, Arsenal having a mini-recovery after their apparent meltdown. Apart from City and Spurs, your comments would apply to all of the others. Patience needed, and support. The silence from our fans is deafening. If only THEY lived up to their reputation.

  28. crazy comment Jaimie. 'Fans have a duty to point out issues'. Laugh out loud. Arrogance in the extreme. You know more about football than Dalglish, Clarke, Keen and co ????!!!!!  Maybe they should be less polite and 'point out' that your record as a football manager isn;t that great. If you support Liverpool, support them. You just sound like the average united fan who walks out when they're not winning.

  29. will be fine to say this in a few months if you're proved right and Dalglish proved wrong, but for now, at the very least, thats premature. Downing IS a winger of proven quality. I agree that we're being outdone in midfield (when we play Carroll) because we get outnumbered. Our best football since Kenny returned has been played with one striker and with no wingers. With 5 in midfield, plenty of runners linking up, such as the win at Fulham. we have a stronger squad now, more options, but what's the point if we're not going to use the new players, he has to give them a chance. hopefully, patience will be rewarded. Carroll is not a bad player, just he doesn't fit the system that suits a lot of the players we have.

  30. mrburt, I have to agree with you about not throwing Henderson into the deep end and being left to drown. He is only 21. This is also not Sunderland.

    Kenny is giving a reason for these vulture fans to rip Henderson apart. We need to introduce Henderson when we are winning in order for him to go onto the pitch and feel calm instead of playing in a match where we are not winning and when he has a howler it sends his confidence even further down the drain.

    I unfortunately feel that Kuyt has not done anything this season to justify a place in the starting eleven. I would rather have Maxi who I am also not the biggest fan of or Bellamy ahead of Kuyt out on the wing. If we have to play Kuyt then it must be as a striker. Down the right defenders have a very easy job of taking the ball away from him, his pace is non existent and he loses the ball far to often.

    We have the perfect player to play down the right hand side of our midfield. He has pace, he can cross and has an eye for goal. Why the hell are we still persisting with Johnson at RB? Surely he will be more effective on the RW? We have two more than capable DEFENDERS for the spot at RB. Kelly and Flanagan...

  31. Rafa wasn't tactically astute as he makes others believe.  Against AC Milan in the CL 2005 final he was outplayed and outhought.  There was no genius level tactical changes in the 2nd half! it was a no brainer we he HAD to come out in the 2nd half and attack. 

    Against West Ham in FA cup final, again we were outplayed and Benitez was outhought by Pardew for large parts of the match until Gerrard's brilliance saved us. 

    In Europe Benitez did well, simply because in CL you have to be ultra defensive, Benitez's style of football was more suited to Europe where we played a pressing game, and two defensive mid protecting the back four.  This way the team kept their shape. It was highly effective but his football didn't evolve over time.

    When I say Mourinho is anti-football, what i mean by this is, most football fans tune in to be entertained.  They want to watch a team win and do it in style.  For example Man Utd vs Man City i was on my knees infront of the TV when Man City won and did it style.  When Barca beat Utd in both finals you applauded them for winning and winning by playing well.

    You're not entertained by mourinho's football, his teams are physical and defensive.  A lot of his victories are 1-0 borefests.  Your general TV audiences don't want to see that! 

  32. If the silence at Anfield is anything to go by, then I,d say Kenny has a problem with 'the supporters'.
    I didn't hear them singing too much...  can you explain why ?

    I'll give you a hint...  The supporters don't like what they're seeing.

  33. the games we won last season we didn't play 4-4-2 so we can't replicate the midfield four, it was a five. personally, i would get back to 4-5-1. the criticism of Lucas is crazy, he's been our best player the last 18 months. sure, he doesn't do much 'going forward' but that isn't his job !  Thats like saying Suarez doesn't do very well at defending !

  34. He has been our best defensive midfielder over the last 18 months but there is no other defensive midfielder in our squad to give him a run for his money.

    I am almost sure if we still had Mascherano, Lucas would be enjoying time out on the bench.

    Don't get me wrong, Lucas has improved and he is a very good defensive midfielder but we do not need him when we play at home. We were very comfortable in midfield when Kenny subbed him against the mancs.

  35. daldlish should quit bring back rafa,i didnt like rafa at some point too,but at least we were top and one of the best teams in champions league

  36. if you don't think Benitez was astute, yet we beat Chelsea in big semi-finals, we beat Barcelona away, Real Madrid away, Inter away, drew in Juve with virtually all our best players injured, every time we played teams who were better than us but we got results because of his technical planning. Yes we were out-thought and out played by AC Milan, mainly because they had much better players than us.  His weakness was breaking down little teams who parked the bus. Mourinho's Chelsea were a great side and a good watch for a football fan. Not for people who want endless goals such as chelsea v arsenal last week, which was, in terms of quality football, one of the worst games ive ever seen, but sure entertaining, couldn't stop laughing how bad it was ..... i'm not bothered about tv audiences, just about our club achieving success and improving. but give me a 1-0 quality match over 5-3 comedy capers anyday  Good planning, organisation, astute tactical awareness, scientific knowledge are not anti-football, but they are anti-losing !

  37. as you would understand, if you read my comment in full, the problem i am talking about is our terrible 'supporters'. they don't sing, shout, support the team at all, its silent. then they are the failures. we HAD a reputation as fans, legendary. The current fans are terrible. they don't support the team at all. When things are going badly, the idea is try and help the team, ie look up the word 'support' in the dictionary. these are the same fans who demanded kenny have the job. its pathetic. a new team, a few points off the pace, and they act like spoilt kids. singing when we're winning ? whinging, moaning, criticising, .... before they talk about players being not fit to wear the shirt, these fans are not fit to wear the scarf. the team should be supported win, lose, draw, every minute, every match, every player, thats what a team is, and we are supposed to be the '12th man' not the one who scores own goals at every home match. supporters need to grow up. i repeat. this is not videogame oh lets buy him, him, him, and him, and oh he should pick him not him, and oooooh i know better than the manager. you're all a disgrace here slagging off our club.

  38. Yeah, I am sure Rafa (I gaurentee 4th and no trophies in his last 4 seasons) will guarantee the league title in his first season back at Anfield seeing that we never won it with him in charge over six seasons and then he will take us straight back into the CL in a flash after failing to even get passed the group stage and then finishing 7th in the league in his last season?

    No thanks :)

  39. does kenny pay you guys to counter whatever is said against him!! hodgson inherited an even worse team -with ngog backing up torres- with a 100 odd pounds less to spend and the curse of hicks and gillett as a noose! he bought meireles who was sold to be replaced by the evening walker adam!! and still, hodgson is sumbest in the world and KING KENNY RULES!!!!

  40. Dude, the relationship works both ways.

    Blind, obedient loyalty is for slaves, not supporters...

    I'm also glad John Henry was in the stands to see this display first hand.

    The silence wont be lost on him either.
    You can dismiss fan criticism all you want, but once the boss starts asking questions, thats another matter...

  41. You only have to listen to the European nights when the fans lift the roof of the stadium and then at the next league you can hear the kop but not the rest of the stadium.
    I would n't blame the fans that are going I reckon more and more of the tickets are being sold as part as a package Hotel,Meal and Ticket to make more money, day trippers.

  42. Tactics are being overrated when talking about getting the better of lower placed teams

    If we play bog standard 4-4-2 and put in same work rate as most opponents we'll beat them

    We have hit the woodwork 14 times this year, bit more luck and we would have a few more wins and resulting confidence boost

    Spurs were hammered today in play, yet still won. Luck is massive.

    We are missing players of true pace, to maximise any openings we make

    Bale, Lennon, Nani, Young, Walcott, Mata etc can all skin anyone. We just lack that killer pace

    Henderson has been signed as a future replacement for Gerrard, Carroll on his future potential but beginning to feel like we need a real finisher. Like Anelka on a 6 month loan in January............

  43. Forget about vultures ripping anyone apart

    Only opinions that matter is Kenny and Steve Clarke, the incessant press will always be circling

  44. You mean hodgson who sent Aquilani out on loan and wasted the money he had by buying another midfield player instead of another striker!

  45. Except for when he changes formation to a 3-4-3, or plays Alves more/less defensively based on the opposition.

  46. Well hodgson only wasted 30 million but King K had 110million to waste .since kk spent more he deserves more criticism

  47. Reason why barca play the way they do is because they don't have Carroll Adam Henderson
    and downing

  48. The ungratefulness of fans is alarming at times... okay he is gone now... but dont ever forget he gave this club its most important trophy in over 15 years, got to two European Cup finals, got us an FA cup, put in a title challenge where we finished 4 points behind the winners, made us top scorers in a league season above everyone else, beat Juventus, Milan, Real Madrid , Barcelona, Chelsea and Inter in Europe... when we get back to that level then you have a right to comment... untill then... shut up and dont criticise an ex LFC manager

    Rafa did not have 100million to spend in the course of ONE YEAR... I want KD to succeed as I support the club and not managers but what Rafa did for this club will only be realised in a few years.... he had a bad final season ok, but he is gone now (IMO a big mistake) but lets give KD a chance to see if he can match the success Rafa had... I personally doubt it but I hope Im wrong

  49. your a bellend mate! henderson is shit, carroll is shit! and adam and downining is shit, now only one of two people bought these players ,dalglish or comollli, and make no mistake heads have got to roll for these poor players,and i dont want to hear no bullshit about supporting the players because these players play for the liverpool,i was a match going fan when jimmy case was replaced by sammy lee ,and even today i think that was a massive mistake and even though we still won trophies i think that if we had not sold case we would have gone on to greater sucess. these new players have no heart and to hear downing making any kind of comments just makes me angry because unless you give your all and sweat and risk a broken bone you have no right to comment,and if these players dont know this then it shows to me thst all they care about is their own persional gain at the end of the month,these fuckers have got to realise that they are paid by the fans of liverpool fc and expect no less than 100% and if they cant deliver this they they have to be shipped out.

  50. crazyhorse - please don't slag off other posters' comments with one word expletives (5 deleted so far). Thanks.

  51. If anyone wondering why i have said bullshit in a lot of these comments i posted a comment and it has not been showed so i guess this shows me that some peoples comments are omitted

  52. Your comment is live. It was held for moderation initially because you slagged off another poster.

  53. Rafa was a bloody hero in Europe.
    But what about beating Hull,Stoke,West Ham,Portsmouth,Blackburn,Fulham,Middlesbrough,Charlton,Wigan and of course Birmingham who Rafa never beat at Anfield and lost, all these teams came to Anfield and went away with something, he never really came up with a tactic against a team that puts 10 men behind the ball in the league.

  54. I am sure Kenny has got a plan like when he came in we will start scoring and winning consistently and play for the full 90 minutes.Long Live The King. 

  55. Ye your right we.d rather have Kenny "lets buy donkeys for 110million" dalglish.

    Chris Eagles scored twice today may be Kenny will buy him in January for around 30million .

    And when it doesn't work out lets blame the ref..get ratty when asked awkward or even simple questions.

  56. In summary we are missing 3 things: pace in our attack (both physically & mentally), real width - like Stevie Heighway of old -the only way to get past a team who park a bus in front of the goals is stretch them accross the park & get in behind them & you need pace to do this right, finally, an out & out goalscorer (ala Fowler). I think we are covered relatively well in the center of the park. Downing has been disappointing. Too often he drifted into the center against Swansea which made it easier to mark & defend. We have no right winger & Johnson needs that right winger so he can push on past him. A simple method to winning the premier league is having good width. Manure have had it all through the years & strikers to get in the box. Football is relatively simple if you have the right mix of players. Finally, central midfielders playing as wingers doesn't work & I don't know why Maxi has not been played this year - it baffles me - if I were him I would be pretty pissed off!

  57. Manager Bob Paisley was concerned by Case's close friendship with fellow midfielder Ray Kennedy, with the two regularly embroiled in off the pitch escapades - culminating in their both being charged with assault in the spring of 1980 - and with the emergence of Sammy Lee on the right side of midfield, made the difficult decision to offload Case.
    Could this be the reason he was sold not football but bringing shame to the club and the shirt? Even back then Chairman did n't want their players on the front pages for the wrong reasons.
    For the last 20 years fans have been saying signings are shit and they are not fit to wear the shirt is it really surprising that we have n't won the league to easy to label a player shit.

  58. I don't how your suggestion about improving after a while helps, Arsenal replaced 2 of their top 3 stars after the season started and had a poor run but after 11 games they are level with us on points but down by 2 on goal difference.
    Arsenal have had their worst start to a season in decades but they have still managed to catch up with Liverpool who have spent over £100million in 2011 under KD.
    Arsenal had have as many new players as Liverpool does but Liverpool did not buy to replace so we still have the better performing players from last season watching these horror shows from the bench or stands.
    Under the much maligned Hodgson who bought poorly but had less than 20% of the money KD has had to spend, we are only 4 points better than then after the same number of games.
    For the record after 11 games we were 9th on 15 points but behind leaders Chelsea by 10 points and now we are 6th but 12 points behind leaders ManCity.
    Under Hodgson we were 5 points off top 4th placed ManCity but under KD we 3 points of both 4th placed Chelsea and Tottenham who have a game in hand that can possible see them go 4th and 6 points ahead of us. So this means we are now only marginally better points wise than under Hodgson but our rivals have improved better than us yet again despite all bar ManCity spending less than Liverpool in the period in question.
    When KD took over 8 January, his next 11 league games returned 20 points which is one more point than now but this was with the so-called inferior players who were said to be holding liverpool back. 
    According to http://lfcfooty.forumotion.com/t1260-net-spend-at-liverpool-fc Hodgson's total outlay on all his buys was 22.8mln equal to one Suarez or one Downing plus £2.8mln. Danny Wilson and Brad Jones are the only survivors of the 7 Hodgson purchases so the squad was supposed to be drastically better now after KD spent over $100mln.
    The notion the new players need time despite the reasoning behind spending expensively on players with premier league experience being they needed no adjusting time but also assumes when Liverpool starts improving, they will improve better than the direct rivals but I believe Tottenham have an ever improving settled side, Arsenal by catching us have already shown the are improving better than us and Chelsea have shown that even at their worst in recent years they will still be ahead of us while United are always ahead of us in recent times even if we beat them in our matches but more significantly ManCity have room to improve despite topping the table while they have as many players to settle in as we do and we spent marginally less than them to get our inferior players.
    It is sad when I have to point out that under our club legend we may very well be on course to maintaining our top 7 status rather than re-entering the top 4 tussle.
    According to JK, KD has spent aproximately £111mln in 2011 http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2011/09/amazing-how-kenny-dalglish-bought-luis.html which is ££178 less than Rafa's total spend between 2004-10 http://www.liverpool-kop.com/2010/10/rafa-benitezs-grossnet-spend-figures.html.
    By the way it now looks, the club may well need over £100mln to replace or complement the recent £100mln buys if we are to catch up with premier league rivals and also be competitive in Europe should we make it.

  59. people talk about tactics but if you need detailed tactics for mature professional players their is something wrong. In any practical job in the world, the only people who get detalied information is youngsters or inexperienced people new to the job; e.g. If a new firefighter comes into my work, we unload a lot of information onto him, tell him how, where and why. After his probationary period, he does not get spoon fed all kinds of information anymore. If; as an experienced person he constantly needs to be told the finer details of his job, then he obviously does not know his job or his traininig on his probationary period has been piss poor. if he is any sort of professional and has learnt through his training (probation) all the requirements to conduct his duties then when experienced he may just get a certain position on the vehicle that will have a multitude of responsibilities regarding the team approach to incidents. If every person on the fire crew has had this training and understands thier own role, the roles of other people on the crew, and they also understand their own crews stengths and weaneses through continuation training. Then when it comes together on an incident when the team deploy it all should come together. The watch manager in charge will only require to give small advice particular to the type of incident faced. If we link this type of apporach to football then an experienced professional playing in a certain position should only need small advice depending on the opposition.
    Taking  downing as and example; if some one cost 20 million quid and they have been playing a certain position for the last 10 years and have developed through a brilliant youth system, played for england and in the premiership, then all this player should need is simple tactics that are given to the team as a whole. This player should not need to be told how to do his job and spoon fed information. He should already know his opposition, the strengths and weaknesses of his own team through every day continuation training so what else other than a team talk that has an over view of how the team are goingto apporach the game does this player need?  

  60. I agree with you apart from Carroll, he is a bad player, very bad!!!!...............but the rest i agree with 100%

  61. Stop beind silly FFS!!!!

  62. Einstein said that the definition of insanity was to keep doing the same thing and yet expect a different result. From Kenny's comments after the Swansea game he does not appear to believe the lineup or team selection is the reason for the poor performance. Adam is a weaker player than most people seem to realize,there was a reason he flopped at Rangers, he aint good enough. His stats at Blackpool were not great in open play, he is a dead ball specialist but only now and again! Maxi is a clever player who could do a good job alongside Lucas until Gerrard is fit. He keeps the ball well, defends well, has good movement off the ball and will support the strikers far better than Adam. He will also score goals from open play and not give silly fouls away cos he can't defend which Adam does, check the stats. To let Alberto and Miereles go to be replaced by Adam was crazy!!! Bellamy needs to play wide left asap and Downing can be wide right. I'm not a Shelvey fan but right now he is ahead of Henderson imo and Jordan should go on loan to get his confidence back, his head has gone! 

  63. I dont see light at the end of the tunnel yet.

  64. Apologies in advance if you feel offended, I must say what rubbish you have just posted about Maxi.   

  65. I completely agree with your comment here mate. 

    Its not even that I really dislike Carroll. What I dislike is the way the team plays when he is there. The long ball to the big striker is a thing of the past. Adam is incredibly frustrating. He seems to think that he was signed to kick the ball 30+ yards every time he receives it. A variation of 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 with three midfielders will cover Adams inadequacies. 

    Bellamy, Suarez, and Kuyt should be the front three. Lucas, Adam, and Henderson or Gerrard if we ever see him again should play behind.

    Here is my question. How is it that we managed to lose the Portugese International Miereles, and the Italian international Aquilani and replaced them with Adam and Henderson? I was excited to see REAL quality options from the bench in the midfield and now we have a midfield that (barring Lucas) wouldn't make it into Swansea's first team IMO.

    Why, why, why, why, are we still selling our best players? And I don't care if you say that Aquilani didn't want to play for us anymore. The fact is, when you don't give a quality international the respect he deserves of course he will want to leave. You end up with the hard-working players that play like "headless chickens" as Agger rightly said faithfully running around with awful first touches and terrible game intelligence. 

    If we continue to play like this we may not finish in the top ten. I am seriously worried and depressed.  

  66. Problem is Adam and Lucas don't offer enough intelligence going forward in a 4-4-2. Fact is we have to play 3 midfielders. And yet somehow as we managed to offload Miereles and Aquliani (two full Internationals) and with Gerrards ongoing injuries we have to play Henderson in a 3 with Adam and Lucas.

    Sorry to say but for me ninety percent of this team is too slow and cant even control the ball. 

    Its time for some foreign talent. Agger, sometimes Suarez, and Aurelio (for his 30 second camio's before an injury) are the best players on the ball. Downing is exactly what I thought he would be.....around........sometimes. Enrique is teaching him how to play right now, who cost 1/3 of Downing's fee but that is understandable obviously because....well.....hes not English!

    I can remember when some Liverpool fans were saying that Silva was "unproven" in the EPL and may be "too small" LOL. But its okay! We now have Adam who goes for the sensational long pass every bloody time he gets it, and who tackles like a fat cow rolling down a hill.

    But they all seem to "work hard" and thats what really counts if you're wearing the red jersey right? 

    Here's to a finish in the top eight! 

  67. ...........................................Reina.................................................................Kelly...........Carra......................................Agger..........Enrique............................................Lucas.................Adam.....................................................Downing........................Gerrard..................................Bellamy.........................................................Suarez.............................................................

  68. The point is that Lucas isn't supposed to create the play, he breaks it up.  The much lauded Mascherano never created, but no one moaned about that.  It's Adam that needs to be dropped from this team, a one trick pony (free kicks), too slow to play centre mid, can't tackle and his long range passes only hit their target 1 out of 4 times.

  69. well he wasnt a problem at newcastle if a players got or had talent its down to the manager and coaching staff to get him playing that well again its them were the problem lies in the last year we've had about 11 player new manager and new head coach we need stability and time to gel before we'll win nethink. 

  70. i just said that, maybe you should read it again

  71. Completely agree.  That's why it annoys me so much when certain fans keep on with the "remember where we were this time last year" phrase! To those I say: keep burying your heads in the sand 'cause when you do look up, we're going to be right back there if something doesn't change soon. It already looks to me like Suarez is disgruntled as he alone is carrying the team at the moment.

  72. Reina.............Kelly Carra Agger Enrique......Lucas Adam.......Downing Gerrard Bellamy......Suarez!!!!..............now that would be quality!!!

  73. As a die-hard fan it's difficult to not be frustrated by our recent HOME performances. Naturally we should be beating newly promoted sides, especially at home. However, this is nothing new. For a long time now, we have consistently failed to win some of our so-called 'home bankers' against newly promoted teams. Even still, I feel we ARE moving forward in the right direction. Why? For 2 main reason: 
    1. Our style of play:  
    We are creating far more chances on goal week-in week-out than we have done for some time. We have also been a little unlucky so far this season hitting the bar and posts on a number of occasions (particularly at home) which on another day would have gone in the net and likely secured a win. Looking at the OPTA index based on first half performances this season, we are only 4 points off City, 1 point off ManUre and Chelski, level on points with Spurs and four points ahead of Newcastle. However, based on second half performances we are a massive 13 points off City and 9 off Newcastle. So what appears to be the chink in our armour is our lack of concentration throughout 90mins as well as our inability to get that all important second goal. But you have to believe that this will start to change for the better once our team (half of which are new to the club this season) start to find their rhythm. On the flip side we have managed to keep 4 clean sheets so far (3 away from home) and the Tottenham game aside, only let in six goals in 10 matches (10 in total if you include the Tottenham game). Based on these stats, if we are able to score 2 goals in the first half we are likely to go on and win matches. While this may not be a ground breaking revelation it does at least show that we are doing things right in the opening 45mins of matches. And aside from City and Chelski, we have had the 3rd most amount of shots so far on goal this season. 
    2. We are winning AWAY: 
    Over the past few seasons we've had a very poor away record. Couple that with dropping points at home in the so-called home bankers has meant we have fallen short come the end of the season. But in fact over the past 2 seasons when we've failed to reach the top four, we have only done so by a matter of 7 odd points which is not that much. Winning a few more away games and we've got those 7 odd points. Our target this to get back into the CL and I still believe that we can and will do it. But anyone out there or even on this blog who truly believed we had a shot at winning the title this year is deluded. No team goes from 6th to first in one season. Ultimately, winning away from home is the hardest task in the Prem as most teams are able to get some type of result at home. There is no doubt that our home form will return and once it does coupled with a few more away wins, we'll be in that CL spot come the end of the campaign. One further aspect we should also consider is that over the past 7 seasons (since Rafa) we have managed to finish far stronger than Arsenal and Tottenham and they are the teams we need to beat to get a top four spot. (I don't envisage Newcastle lasting the pace however well they are performing right now).

  74. I think two things are holding LFC back atm: i)Trying to get a lot of new players playing in a different setup; & ii)A lack of mobility in the middle of the park; which, if any one player has to be mentioned as being responsible, it would have to be Charlie Adam. 
    He has consistently gone missing in the second half, & it also wasn't really there after Hodgson left last season, especially at Anfield, where we really put pressure on teams; & we also had a fair few different scorers.

    What having Carroll in the team has often done, too, is having players 'hoofing' it, as if trying to bypass midfield. If you want to get the best out of him, you have to get pace & penetration down the wings, stretching play, with Suarez playing 'between the lines' - we simply do not have such a midfield, which is why I'm surprised Dalglish took Henderson off (he'll never be a right winger). I would have brought Adam off, put Bellamy on, & put Henderson beside Lucas. I reckon JH would learn a heck of a lot from him

  75. Rafa highlighted the previous owners plans to milk the club dry,buy to sell policy held Rafa back you don't know what your talking about if didn't realize this, if he had fenways backing him he would virtually guarantee success we were the number 1 club team in Europe under Rafa with all those restrictions just imagine if he had full backing!

  76. Henderson is for the future, he will play in the middle.  Nothing wrong with playing him as a right mid, that tucks in, until then.

    And again, consider if a few of those stunning saves their keeper made had gone in.

    Sometimes you ca be too critical just for the sake of it and using an example from one match would represent insufficient evidence.

  77. check the mitigation snd avoid sly sports mate

  78. There's nothing wrong with Henderson playing on the right...except he's totally ineffective. I guess KD took henderson off at half time v Swansea because he was having a stormer on the right.

  79. Henderson will come good

  80. You don't really high light it 1 sentence! A man who had tactics to beat those teams in Europe should have come up with something to beat the teams that parked the bus.