22 Jan 2012

HANSEN: Liverpool's attitude and commitment were UNACCEPTABLE

Anfield legend Alan Hansen is usually quite diplomatic when it comes to assessing Liverpool, but he didn't hold back when analysing the team's 'performance' against Bolton.

Speaking on Match of the Day last night, Hansen shared Kenny Dalglish's disappointment:

"When he [Dalglish] played at Liverpool, and when he was the manager the first time round, he would always encourage us to start quickly, and as long as the effort, attitude and commitment were there, we'd have a chance.

"They started slowly, and the effort, attitude and commitment were unacceptable. If you're not scoring goals, it will put pressure on the defence, and I've never seen them play so badly, individually and collectively".

Mark Lawrenson was also shell-shocked by Liverpool's capitulation, but praised Bolton for the quality of their performance:

"I thought they [Bolton] were full value for the win today; Just the way they started the game; they got an early goal, and as poor as Liverpool were - and they were very very poor - take nothing away from Bolton.

"From Liverpool's point of view - if you're not scoring goals then your rock has to be the defence, and it's been very good, but just not today".

Having watched the game again, it's clear that Liverpool's defence must take much of the blame for the result. As Lawro says, the rock has to be the defence, and it was anything but that, and giving a poor goal away after only four minutes sucked the confidence out of the team.

Communication was poor; positioning and anticipation for all three goals was terrible, and usually reliable defenders took leave of their senses far too often.

I personally don't into the excuse that we missed a dedicated holding midfielder; if the defence did its job properly in the first place then it wouldn't have been an issue.


Martin Skrtel got sucked towards the ball and committed himself too early. He left a huge gap behind him, which should've been closed immediately, but both Daniel Agger and Glen Johnson were to slow to react. Instead, they backed off and allowed Davies to run into the space and get his shot off. All it needed was either Agger or Johnson to rush in and challenge Davies; defending 101, but it didn't happen.


Steven Gerrard just allowed Chris Eagles to ghost past him; he also stopped running and didn't chase him, which was the wrong decision. Still, when Eagles advanced on the box, there were FIVE Liverpool players around him, yet he was still able to thread through an inch-perfect ball for Reo-Coker. Once again, Glen Johnson didn't get tight enough; he didn't anticipate the pass and allowed Reo-Coker to get goal-side of him.


Skrtel was ball watching, and consequently allowed David Wheater to outjump him and knock the ball down for Steinsson to hammer in the third goal. Agger didn't anticipate the knock-down and didn't get across quickly enough to cover.

Liverpool's attacking impotence is obviously a major issue but, ultimately, all three conceded goals were down to horrible defending, not the absence of a defensive midfielder (IMO).

If the defence was playing this badly every week then it would be cause for serious concern, but Agger, Skrtel et al have been solid for most of the season.

The bigger problem is the tens of millions of pounds wasted on extremely poor attacking players, and that is something that has hampered the club for months.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. Liverpool's attitude and commitment against smaller teams have been unacceptable for years.

  2. I can't quite wrap my head around it, but how is this even possible? 

  3. Same story for a long time. Not sure why our defenders and mids love to ball watch. We need Lucas back. Even SG didnt track back a lot. He was a poo captain that day.. Sigh... All played badly. Even when DOwning came in,,, did he? Carroll totally sucked his own life out of the game. Only God knows why he always slipped and fall.. We know footballers do that at age of 4-7 yrs old.

  4. If Lucas had of been there them goals wouldn't of happened.

  5. agreed, adams has to go. spearing to fill in till lucas gets in.
    adams attitude is terrible, he offers nothing.
    i wonder if fergie got a nice drink off blackpool saying charlie adams free kicks were worth £9 million alone.
    why not even stick hendo in centre mid, least he has legs, and can learn off gerrard

  6. English player are only good at defending not attacking that is why they create the history of long ball and liverpool have this bunch of glamorous but useless attacking midfielders that is gonna kill liverpool hope.Wake the hell up kenny don't toture us fans with your british player vision.

  7. Totally agree with the sentiments above. Whilst the defence did not cover themselves in glory, surely Kenny must see that the biggest problem yesterday was in the midfield. No communication, no organisation. Henderson should not be played on the right. When he was bought, the word was that he can play in centre midfield or on the right wing. His better performances have been in central midfield, we need a bona fide right winger.

    Gerrard is just getting back to fitness, he had a great impact against Newcastle as a sub, but it's going to take him a while to reach his peak level. Also, I am sure fans remember that his peak level before his groin problems was nowhere near the level he attained when he carried the team for Benitez.

    Charlie Adam...where do I start. I had mixed feelings about his signing, but convinced myself he could step up to be Lfc quality. Wrong! Does he run in to opponents purposely does he just find it difficult to stop running once he starts? He is clumsy footballer. I had wished Lfc had gone for Diego.

    Yesterday's result makes the transfer window more complicated. We shouldn't panic over one match, but yesterday we got a glimpse of what the future may hold. Whereas a we might have gotten away with signing a striker only in this window, it would seem that a defensive midfielder, right winger and forward are basic requirements.

  8. With the first goal I'd agree with your critique, though I think Johnson can be exused a little more than agger considering he had Petrov to worry about.  But the midfield is equally to blame, how was Eagles allowed to play the ball into N'Gog under no pressure and Davies then had free reign to drive through untracked?..
    The second goal was a good football by Bolton, but the midfield showed a lack of effort, allowing Reo Coker to initiate the move, and letting Eagles ghost through.  Then the defence plus Henderson failed to recognise and deal with the threat thereafter. The fact that the three lads inside Johnson were compromised so easily, putting Johnson into that situation is worrying. Though Johnson then showed no responsibilty in dealing with the foremost threat.
    The third, spot on, Skrtle lost his duel, Agger lost his man.
    I do think with a disciplined midfielder, such as Lucas, in our first line of defence, we would have proved more difficult to break through, halting the momentum Bolton gained that was imperative to their first two goals.

  9. Stick Carroll on a diet, teach him how to run then send him off to Mr Miagi to teach him some balance... Then, and only then, he might just be worth 35 quid.

  10. Didn't Gerrard use to play on the right wing?. Why not put him there and Spearing and Adam in midfield? I am pretty sure that he would do a much better job than our current "wingers". His crossings are one or two levels above anyone else in the team, which means Caroll would have no more excuses of not getting decent balls in.

  11. yea for years liverpool attitudes have been like this against lower teams.  stat will reveal LFC has been beaten at home and away many times. Perhaps in the head players think it's an easy game so they dn,t put all they have or not attentive.  LFC should see it at the psychological level . Teams at the bottom are there to give a good fight.

  12. The Players were unworthy of the reds shirt. I am. a big Kanny fan, but he has to be held responsible for the players he put out on the feild. Personally I would not play Stevie Adam And Hendo together. Adam always looks for the killer ball and lacks pace. He is clumsy and his set peices have been poor. He needs to be dropped and we need to play Hendo in the middle with Stevie. Carroll is starved of service, so how is he able to get the goals. I could see the frustration on him yesterday. Things need to change otherwise we will be a mid table team for years to come.

  13. Attitude Carroll was right, he was not the problem yesterday... for me.

  14. Stevie in the middle? REALLY.  A combination of Adam and Gerrard in the engine room is what cost us the match.  Kenny is guilty of getting the chemistry of the team all wrong.  I have NEVER trusted SG in the middle of the park as he is tactically unaware in the modern game .  He is technically a very gifted all round footballer with the ability to tackle...that's all great.  However he is never in the right place at the right time when the pressure is on.  Our Alaves, AC milan, West ham cup finals exposed the good the bad and the ugly of SG's game, he should only be played in the middle when accompanied by a minder...like a child.  All the above minus the cup finals also applies to Charlie Adam. CA+SG=disaster of catastrophic proportions. 

    REd4life your thoughts please.............

  15. Hendo is bloody clueless and inefficient in the middle of the park. He needs to be dropped !

  16. Ok then P Hendo or Adam, who wud u choose. At least Hendo has pace. Charlie is too slow, and runs into the opposing players. We have some really good players coming from the youth team, who have the creativity, pace and skill, why are these players not getting a chance?

  17. Only yourself and another poster (Paddy) have picked up on this point (gerrard + adam middle combination), and I am dissapointed that Hansen / Lawro did not mention this yesterday but that would mean laying responsibility with the tactics - now we cant have that can we, the need to water down scrutiny of a Pal comes first rather then telling it like it is.

    This point about Gerrard has always been ignored by many of our own fans , Arrigo Sacchi summarised perfectly it when he said " Gerrard is a great footballer, but perhaps not a great player" - exposing his inability to position himself and show tactical disclipine - which is why his two best years for the club had been playing on the right and also behind a striker in arguably free roles whilst the midfield was covered by more reliable players.

    Dissapointed with the result but more annoyed how KD has removed himself from the responsibility of the result and no one incuding Hansen / Lawro pointed out the ease at which the midfield was surpassed, the gap between defence and midfield and the tracking back of our middle players. If anyone needed a lesson yesterday, it was Kenny and he got it.


  18. Sack KD, Comolli and Clarke

  19. Some really interesting comments here but it appears that
    some are shutting the gate after the horse as bolted.
    It should have been evident from the summer signings, along with the good will
    of media hyping them that they were not good enough.
    The problems were clear from October when you like me could see these new
    players were not able replacements.
    For instance, I said that Aquilani was a better player than Henderson.
    Mereles a better player than Adam.
    The mistake and responsibility for where we are is the same as it was when
    Hicks and Gillett.
    The New owners took the decision to give Kenny Dalglish a contract in
    On reflection when Purslow did the dumbest thing to sack Rafa Benetiz it was
    done on results and based on the fact that Rafa wasn't prepared to work with
    the no budget after they assured him previously that he would have money.
    Purslow sacked Rafa and brought in a YES MAN in Hodgson DESPITE the fact that
    Dalglish was recruited to assist them to a Manager/Coach he offered HIMSELF.
    Purslow resisted this for a reason and now we know why!
    How can any person in any CAREER take a 12 year break and then expect to get
    straight back in at the highest level?
    This is what Kenny Dalglish has done by recommended himself over the BEST
    Personally i thought it was stupid to get rid of Rafa whose deficiencies
    are man management and a unwillingness to accept second best for LFC.
    What we as fans now need to do is accept we will NOT FINISH IN THE TOP 4 BASED
    We need accept that these SIGNINGS ARE SANCTIONED BY DALGLISH as I have keep
    telling everyone.
    When we reach the end of the season Dalglish should do the decent thing, which
    is unlikely considering how he left the club previously.
    FSG will have to remove him.
    Kenny Dalglish ,Kenny's Media Allies, The Ken Kenny Fan Club, cannot try and
    blame Comolli, the light touch media scrutiny cannot suddenly defend
    Kenny Dalglish cannot have any excuses not even not having Saurez.
    So I'm going to wait and prepare myself for the FIGHT to get this Club back to
    where it was not more than 4 years ago.
    Kenny Dalglish is on borrowed time if FSG in John Henry who expected a top 4
    finish for his investment is short changed.
    Kenny Dalglish should go at the end of the season if as is likely we do not
    finish in the Top 4.
    My fear is the ability to get a Top Quality Manager to replace him, FSG need to
    start looking NOW with a view to acting quickly at the end of the  SEASON.
    Many fans ASSUME that Rafa Benetz would come back, I'm not one of them.
    We need to look beyond Rafa if he doesn't want to come back.
    We are depended on FSG to again come to our rescue and IAN AYRE and TOM WERNER
    we are watching you closely and expect you to put the Clubs Interest BEFORE

  20. Couldn't have put it better.

    I feel our fans are far too sentimental.  We overlook ANY faults of our 'legends' whilst constantly pick at the 'lesser' players and managers like vultures.  Take Carra for example, the fans seemed to think because he is Liverpool born and bred that he has a divine right to start every game because 'he deserves a title after what he has done for us' Well maybe Carra was also part of the problem? If we had dropped him two years previous when his legs went we would have been so much tighter at the back, as we have now demonstrated, and would have maybe landed a top 4 position. All our current woes could have been avoided yet we decided to avoid the elephant in the room due to his status.

    At the moment we have 'Nelly' playing central midfield when he shouldn't be and 'Dumbo' managing us.  I wonder if it will take another 3 years for our fans and former players to notice.


  21. Been saying it before we signed Adam...he is not good enough for us never mind any top 10 team but deluded " kenny can do nothing wrong "fans were saying he's the new Alonso ...talk about bias...8 million for him or Scott Parker ..what makes sense.

    He can't run...tackle...and lately cannot even cross...even Bellamy takes corners now....and yet he is meant to be our Playmaker ....

    Man city have David Silva

    Arsenal have Wiltshire or Ramsey

    chelsea have Mata

    spurs have modric

    and we have Charlie ADAM .....says it all

  22. because you 3 obviously know wat your talking about and exactly right.
    im on my knees worshipping your comments lol
    you 3 are just fickle thats about it.
    i cant be bothered to write an esay on how you numptys are so wrong about evrything your banging on about.
    god dont think hes you.............work it out

  23. I'm sick of half witted fans calling for Kennys head! Why? so we can get a new manager to come in with another style of play, buy 5 or 6 new players who will have to bed in, in which time we will probably be calling for their heads. 

    Dalglish has made some bad mistakes and will continue to do so. some players bought just simply will not work out no matter how good they look on paper. new ones will be bought to replace them and slowly the team will start taking shape.

    Lets not forget we are missing Lucas and Suarez. so a team with them means not having to play Gerrard Adam and Hendo in the middle. Lucas will free up Gerrard to be more advanced and not worry about defending. 
    Anyway its gonna take time no matter who the manager is so cool yer god-dam Jets!!!

  24. When we were fit enough for some time we had left only with the good impressions (but no points) because we are missing many opportunities and break the posts!!! Now we are not fit enough and we are losing points from teams like Stoke and Bolton without a fight! We have absences, the team have many weaknesses and we need additions as well. Being without Suarez and Lucas for long, our second defensive midfielder injured (Spearing), Gerrard is not 100% ready yet (I tremble becase he might get injured again), Johnson is gifted but inconcistent, Enrique is a monster but not so smart, Agger and Skrtel are good but need help from midfield. Reina is out of form all this season!!! Henderson and Caroll are young and need time, Downing is so unlucky, and Adam is good for Blackpool but not for Liverpool. We have consecutive games and I have my doubts about how the training team handle our bench and decide about first eleven. The game Wednesday, becoming a game of life and death cause is our ticket for Europe football...

  25. 90% of LFC's goals conceded this season have involved defensive mistakes from Glen Johnson.  Kenny is no mug and surely he's aware of Glen Johnson's errors yet he continues to get the nod ahead of Kelly.  My only explanation why Johnson continues getting selected is Kenny looking to sell him on in the summer.  We have a better chance of selling him if he's playing regularly as opposed to warming the bench for the large portions of the season.

  26. The best comments I've read so far

  27. Jaimie, you seem to consistently look side step the elephant in the room. It's not grey, it doesn't have big ears and it does not have a trunk. Rather he's Scottish, can't tackle and is consistently out of position.

    Nothing wrong with being Scottish - my own ancestors hail from Scotland but Charlie Adam - despite a semi decent run some time back is the weak link in central midfield.

    Of course, he's not defensive by nature but surely a professional midfielder should at least be able to tackle and defend.

    Jaimie, you clearly protect your favourites - as we all do, I guess - but laying the blame squarely on the defense for the first two goals in crazy. Without a defensive midfielder - and yes, Gerrard had a poor game too - Skrtel and Agger were exposed and had were sucked into the vaccuum left by Adam.

    When Henderson - who also is not defensively minded - went into the holding role we were far more sound defensively (which is not a solution to the problem only a reflection to how bad Adam was).

    And before you quote goals and assists for Adam, his only goal from open play was a hang of a long time ago and his assist total is terribly inflated with shots way off target fortunately finding their way via opponents into the goal. Yes, credit must go to his willingness to shoot but we're focusing here on his defensive capabilities which are wanting and part of the problem against Bolton.

  28. Well said mate.

  29. Unbelievably short sighted and profoundly silly comment.

  30. Yes, you're right CK. Perhaps I'm not being as critical of Adam as is warranted. I'll accept that he's not the long-term midfield solution, and I doubt he'll be here for more than two years. I think he more than most has suffered from not having Lucas around to do the donkey work.

    Re the first two goals - I still maintain it's the defence at fault. We're talking about Bolton here. not Barcelona; if Agger and Johnson had closed Davies down quicker, he would't have been able to get his shot off.

    The second goal was just ridiculous - five or six Liverpool players around and Eagles just ghosted into the box unchallenged and managed to threaf an inch perfect ball through to Reo Coker in a tight area without a single challenge.

    You're right though - Adam's tackling is pretty awful; too many dodgy free kicks given away.

  31. I really appreciate your willingness to "listen" to honest and good natured critique, Jaimie. (Also appreciate your candid approach - thanks for having an opinion and being willing to buck the party-line).

    I think you make a good point regarding the second goal; far too many players who aren't prepared to put in a good tackle - a responsibility Lucas and Spearing never shirk.

  32. what the hell you want ,keep kenny as liverpool manager forever?