5 Aug 2013

'He's not my favourite' - Reds hero insists BR must replace €8m LFC star. Agree...?

With Jack Robinson now out on loan, Jose Enrique is currently Liverpool's only dedicated first-team left-back. Glen Johnson can also play there, but as Brendan Rodgers confirmed recently, he is actively looking for a new left back to add further competition to the squad. The likes of Aly Cissokho and Guilherme Siqueira continue to be linked with the club, and Anfield legend David Fairclough hopes that the addition of a new left back will mean that Jose Enrique's days as a first team regular are numbered.

Discussing Liverpool's left-back situation recently, Fairclough - who won three European cups during his time at Anfield - made it clear that he is most definitely not a fan of Enrique. He told the 5-Times Podcast:

"Enrique is not one of my favourite players. He’s in the doubtful category for me, and I would look to bring in a better left back.

"We’re being linked with [Aly] Sissokho at Valencia, and I wouldn’t rule that out. I think we can expect somebody to come in".

I agree with Fairclough to an extent; Enrique - who cost LFC €8m in 2011 - seems to blow hot and cold, and although he finished last season strongly, overall, certain aspects of his game leave a lot to be desired, specifically: decision-making in the final third of the pitch, and final ball when in attacking positions.

When in attacking positions, Enrique is (arguably) one of the most frustrating players in the team, especially when it comes to crossing, and picking out a killer final ball. Some stats from last season:

* Passing accuracy in opposition half: 64% (7% worse than 2011-12)
* Total crosses: 68. Successful = 7 | Unsuccessful = 61

An 89% failure rate when it comes to crosses is just not good enough for a first-team left-back (IMO) Imagine if just half of those failed 61 crosses found a Liverpool player; it's conceivable several may have led to goals, which could've been the difference between winning and losing.

Rodgers clearly doesn't rate Enrique that highly. In September 2012, Rodgers accused the Spaniard (and Stewart Downing) of lacking 'self-motivated, hunger and desire' and urged both players to work on their individual game preparation.

Clearly upset by the comments, Enrique blasted Rodgers for the public nature of his criticism. He told reporters:

"When the manager said what he did, of course I was angry. It had never happened to me before and it was not good that he said his comments in the press. But I thought to myself, ‘Okay, now I have something to prove and I must train even harder’. It was not nice to read what he said, and I still don’t think the manager did it the right way".

Enrique is right here - individual public criticism is a sign of suspect man-management (IMO), but the fact Rodgers made such comments in public suggests that he is no entirely convinced that Enrique is the long-term solution for Liverpool. As such, if/When a new left-back arrives, I fully expect Enrique to become second choice full-back at Anfield.

Players should, of course, be selected on merit, and if competition spurs Enrique onto greater heights, then it's a win-win situation for Liverpool.

NOTE: Please stick to the Comment Policy (Click to read)


  1. We will need cover of some sort no matter what, as we don't have a recognised left back now do we? Apart from Enrique obviously.
    Those stats are pretty poor. But I don't really think stats like that are a true reflection. We don't know why so many were unsuccessful. Its quite possible that some of the crosses were great crosses, and were only just missed by someone in the box, we don't know.... Still, more should be connecting.
    Competition for his place should be good for him.

  2. Enrique improved when he was moved further forward and started to cut inside - he has now reverted to type hugging the byeline and turning back on himself - managers and coaches are there to notice such things. the opposition do.

  3. I don't see a problem with blasting players in public, especially if private criticism hasn't had any effect. Houllier did it to Gerrard and it was a big part of the making of him, IMO

  4. True, but you never know how players will react. Some may respond well, but what about those who respond negatively, which then has an impact on the team?

  5. Enrique is strong, a good passer of the ball, fast, good going forward. He played several pin point accurate balls for Luis last season. It depends on the angle of debate. I have always thought Glen Johnson was a woeful defender, he is also better going forward, his positioning is often dire, and he disappears defending corners. I'm not sure where Fairclough is coming from to be honest. Arbeloa was fancied either yet managed to comfortably hold down his place in the Madrid and Spanish side, Rafa is currently looking to being home to Napoli. We don't nurture our talent very well, that is worrying, too many great footballers have come and gone and not flourished. And all the more worrying when we look at the players in the squad, Flanagan, spearing, downing, Allen, sterling, skyrtel, and until the loans or sales, wisdom, Robinson, Shelvey, Suso, Pacheco,. Enrique is the least of our problems, he will put in a good shift.

  6. Finally my disqus is working here!
    Enrique is an average player IMO. Whenever he bombs forward I don't really see anything happening.
    We need a player that can actually cross. Finnan comes to mind as a master crosser. Enrique is also one footed and struggles when opposing players force him to use his other (right) foot.
    Competition for LB is def a priority.

  7. I'm fine with public lashings if warranted, also competition makes improvement and if it doesn't you cut the dead wood.
    On another note I've noticed Milan have annoyed fiorentina with a bid of around 7m for ljijac. Would it be a favourable move to come in with 8m for a talented young player on the last year of his contract? IMO he would fit into our system quite well. Opinion anyone?

  8. Enrique is a decent player but when he's bad, he's really bad. He frustrates me sometimes with how many touches he needs and he is far too slow in releasing the ball. If we could get Sissokho in on loan it would improve us massively. Changing the subject a little bit, I really don't want us to sign Costa. For the amount of money he will cost I really think we could do better. I would like to see us throw all that money at Bernard who I believe could be a top player.

  9. Sticking with your change of subject, I've been thinking about this, starting off a bit skeptical, and I reckon it would be a good signing, adding a bit of physical presence and fieriness as an option up front. Seems a lot to pay for an option, but players of his type aren't common these days. Bernard looks quality, but he also looks a lot like players we already have in the shquad.

  10. He may have improved or he may not have but fact remains that he was one of two players who had the least impact on our games in spite of playing in many of them. Downing being the other. They should have been the first players we replaced this summer. Cissokho seems a good option as he seems good whenever I see him play. On the other hand, I've only ever seen him during a live game five times or so, so maybe it's a coincidence. He left Lyon for only 9 million and now it seems Valencia don't ask too much for him either so I wonder why that is.

  11. He is a decent player IMO. But at the same time it seems his previous clubs were more than willing to lettin him before.
    Hopefully there is not other reason apart from "the right fee" being received.

  12. Enrique attempted more long, over the top passes for suarez and sterling in the first half of last season,,may be thats why his successful passing rate is low..
    Definitely we need some cover for him in case of any injury or poor form. BUT MORE IMPORTANT is CB and AM positions which need to be sorted out asap...or be ready for another mid table season..

  13. Thats why we are signing costa , johnson and enrique love putting thee chipped balls but sarez and sturridge cant get to them.
    If costa arrives it will also be intresting to see the suarez and enrique partnership on the left , they are fantstic together.
    1st team next season
    Minglot,johnson,toure,agger,enrique,lucas,gerrard,coutinho,suarez,costa and sturridge
    then the bench
    Jones,kelly,skrtel,hendo,allen,sterling and aspas
    squad players
    ward,melgrado,wisdom,alberto,downing nad borini what a squad hopefully

  14. Ill admit I haven't seen a great deal of Costa but, the few occasions I have seen him he hasn't done anything to justify his £20m price tag. I also think we don't need another striker, even if Suarez leaves we've still got Sturridge, Aspas and Borini. Wouldn't that money be better spent on a quality wide forward like Bernard or on a top quality centre back.

  15. This whole Costa thing is interesting. He is def a different type of player we currenly have.
    However he is a hot head, and unless he is prepared to be kicked around in the PL then he might be a liabilty.
    I don't mind the fire has, as long as it's not Suaresque i.e. biting etc...

  16. I guess that comes down to how good the manager's intuition is. Generally, BR seems to get these calls right, as Enrique did start working harder and playing better. It's always a risk though of course.

  17. Mr. Point Of View1:46 pm, August 05, 2013

    LB is not top urgent prior...Why only pin point at his negetive stat??? How about those stat say he well covering, pace to chase ppl down, strong physical and etc???

    I do really wonder why some ppl can tolerant Glen mistake but not Jose?
    Understand Jose is not 1 of the world BEST but he neither 1 of the world BAD rite?

  18. I dont think Enrique is as bad as made out and I can remember a couple of through balls(assists)for Suarez leading to goals but I do think we need another LB.I am not convinced we are going to get Cissokho as we would have completed it by now.

  19. if you want your player to perform better you need to be bold and tell him like it is not in the press like a coward.

  20. He cannot be anybody's favorite and is a poor mans Alba and is good sometimes but what he lacks is the consistency which cost LFC its league position and also the CL qualifying position IMO.

  21. get fabio contreao from real. good defender and great player going forward. invest to reap. before the transfer window we were expecting mkhitaryan, eriksen, sakho, alonso, wanyema, ince,.... we got kolo, aspas, alberto and mignolet instead. worrying times ahead.... no fault of rodgers, but liverpool is no longer a power... it breaks my heart.

  22. My pesonal opinion regarding man management is that one approach does not work for every person that you are managing. I think it is good to treat players in a way that you feel you are going to get the best out of them and if that means public critisism then so be it. BR has the advantage of working with these players every day so is best placed to decide the right approach. .. I would however expect someone in his position to get it right the vast majority of the time but everyone can make mistakes too. What strikes me is that you consider public critism as bad man management, a couple of weeks ago you said the public praise of a player is bad man management and in the past you also berrated Dalglish for his bluntness with the press... so Im curious what exactly is good man management in your opinion?. I don't mean this as a swipe at you, you are entitled to your opinion just like everyone else... I'm just interested in your point of view.

  23. I think the ones who respond negatively have not got the character required to become a great player

  24. I Wonder If The 35 Percent Who Reckon Enrique Is A Choice Full Back Are Bored Everton Or man ure Supporters Cos Real Liverpool Fans Should Be Setting Their Sights A Bit Higher

  25. I wouldn't say Jose is in the doubtful category. He is a good left back except that he can be quite inconsistent with his performance. He works hard and can be very aggressive in winning the ball back. Sometimes he does make bad decisions when playing out from the back.

    Of course if we can sign someone better, then why not but I would not make him out to be as doubtful as Fairclough. But we do need another left back for more options.