2 Nov 2013

CONFIRMED LFC XI vs. Arsenal: BR forced into shock line-up change. Problem...?

Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has made one significant change to the team that hammered West Brom 4-1 last weekend.

Glen Johnson is out of today's of the table clash with Arsenal, with the official story being that he's suffering from some kind of 'illness'.

FULL TEAM: Mignolet, Flanagan, Cissokho, Toure, Skrtel, Sakho, Lucas, Gerrard, Henderson, Suarez, Sturridge

SUBS: Jones, Coutinho, Moses, Kelly, Allen, Agger, Sterling

ARSENAL: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Rosicky, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Giroud

SUBS: Fabianski, Vermaelen, Monreal, Jenkinson, Hayden, Akpom, Bendtner

John Flanagan takes Johnson's place in the team, which seems like a risky move considering he hasn't played a single minute of football so far this season. In fact, Flanno last played for the club on 6th January, and then, he only played for 12 minutes.

It's hard to understand why Rodgers has overlooked Martin Kelly for today's game, and I'm sure the youngster will be slightly miffed to be ignored after repeatedly warming the bench this season.

There are multiple options Rodgers could've considered, and he's gone for the least-likely choice. Who knows, it might pay off, and we'll all be lauding the manager's genius after the game.

On the other hand...



  1. Henderson, Lucas and Stevie G all 3 need fcuking competition. Henderson is an engine but will never be a top players. He just doesn't have that vision or creativity. Lucas needs some serious competition, someone in the mould of Yaya Toure who can offer something in offense as well. Stevie G cannot play every match especially so deep. He should play up as much as possible and BR should rotate him as he gets tired too early in the match. We need at least 1 AM and 1 DM and if we are going back to play 4-2-3-1, we need couple of high quality wingers. Currently, there are at least 5 teams better than us and Everton is playing exceptionally well, we seriously shouldnt hope for top 4 finish. Arsenal were playing without Wilshere, Walcott, Flamini, Ox, Podolski.....and they won comfortably. Thats like Liverpool playing without Stevie G, Lucas, Sturridge, Coutinho and Moses.

  2. This match shows how Shitee is Liverpool midfield wen they come up against Actually Quality....All three looked Useless and what the hell is peanut brain Cissokho doing?

  3. Im an Arsenal fan but I dont think Liverpool are too far off. Theyve done really well this season and have a decent spine to their team. If I was BR I'd seriously consider sticking Henderson as the more defensive minded holding midfielder as he has the energy and stamina to hustle and get stuck in. That would free up Gerrard and most likely Coutinho in more offensive positions.

    Hopefully come the end of the season, Arsenal and LFC will be in the top 4!

    Good luck

  4. You can make your point without calling someone a peanut brain.

  5. Henderson has problems at DM as well. The only decent position for him is Right Wing Back. That is where he should have played yesterday, with Louis Alberto and Coutinho sharing the number 10 role.

  6. The problem is most fans know that the squad we have is simply not good enough to really compete with the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Man City, Man United or Tottenham.

    Gerrard has been a great amazing loyal servant for the team, but he no longer has the legs, mobility or pace in centre of park to be playing week in week out. Lucas is good at what he does but like Gerrard lacks mobility and pace, so against mobile, nibbly, quick , youthful sides who move the ball round quick them two struggle. (Newcastle, Swansea, Southampton and as we found out last night Arsenal) Henderson stood out for us in the middle due to the fact he has mobility and pace and was only person in middle who could press well and win ball off the likes of arteta, cazorla, ozil, ramsey and rosicky.

    The biggest is problem with our centre midfield is the players that we have who are mobile and have some pace are Allen and Henderson and to be honest, both of them are average. Both good passers of ball, both do not create enough, both prefer to pass back or side ways and both choke when opportunity in front of goal arises, as we all saw with Henderson’s chance in first half.

    The owners need to give B Rodgers 60-70m to bring in 6 players in January:

    3 of them are for centre midfield: 2 of them are two eventually replace S Gerrard:

    And all of these midfielders are mobile and move well across pitch:

    1: DM: Fernando(26) Of Porto Or M’Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan needs to be brought for 10-15M as Lucas needs some class, quality competition for his place.

    2: CM: Koke(21) Of A Madrid needs to be brought in to compete with Henderson for 15-18M

    3: CM: B Etxrebarria(26) Of A Bilbao needs to be brought in to compete and Cover Allen for 10-14M

    4: Good Class Quality competition for Mignolet week in week out for next 5-7 years: A Mccarthy(23 now, 24 in December) from Reading for 5-7M

    5 and 6: Two class pacey quality quick wide men on each wing who create and score goals:

    5: RW / RWF: M Salah(21) Of Basle for 12-16M to compete and Cover Sterling for next 5-7 years

    6: LW / LWF: B Arfa(26) Of Newcastle for 10-14M to compete and Cover Ibe for next 2- 3 years.

    Rodgers needs to ship out kelly and Flannagan, as if he feels kelly is not better or good enough to play ahead of Flannagan who is diabolical and terrible to say the least, then he should be shipped out with Flannagan asap asap.

    Toure needs to be benched, He is in starting line solely because if his age and experience, but the best defenders at the club in order are: Agger, Skrtel and Sakho. And if he decides to use the 3 5 2 system , those should be the three picked to play every game if they are fully fit and injury free. RCB Skrtel Agger CB Sakho LCB

    Skrtel and Sakho have been great for team in last 4 games, but Toure was exposed and exploited last night and Agger deserves his chance back in side.

    Another huge negative was if we play the top sides, the 3 5 2 system will only work well if G Johnson and J Enrique are avaialble as its blatantly obvious now how underated those two are and how crucial they are to the side.

  7. Have you watched many "top players" from the beginning of their careers? Henderson is still in the beginning of his career for a central midfielder, and continues to develop well. He is one of the better midfielders in the division already, and may go on to become one of the best. Ramsey is a good example of what I'm talking about -- though he had arguably always been a better prospect than Henderson.

    In the article Jamie says that none of the midfielders looked like scoring yesterday. But that's not right, Henderson had his good chance through on the keeper when he appeared to lose his nerve; a moment that changed the course of the game. That was the chance we had been working so hard to create in pressing the ball and breaking fast in numbers on the Arsenal defense. It should make us cautious about pronouncing on the destiny of the team at the end of the season. Tight games are decided in moments like that; and yesterday's game really was tight: Arsenal had to work very hard for their win.

    I'm not sure the midfield display yesterday was particularly poor. Arsenal make plenty of good defensive midfielders look like cones. I was excited by the change Coutinho's return made to our play, and hope that if he can secure a place in the starting XI that Henderson will come to be seen as real competition for the established two behind him. I disagree with you about Gerrard, though. If he's fit, he starts. End of. He raises the quality of the team to a whole other level, makes the possible level of our performance much higher.

    Arsenal were missing players, but so were we: the team's still got places to go, is still growing and evolving. Comparing our resources to Arsenal's shows the headroom we have to grow into, no more than that: watching yesterday's match reminded me how far we've come. We *do* deserve our place at the top of the league; and as we play those stronger teams I've no doubt we'll prove it.

  8. Hi Jamie,
    I 100% agree with you. Games are won or lost in midfield and at present we have none. Its slow and ceates nothing. Although they are all fine players, Gerrard Lucas and Hendo are just not title challending players. We need a completely new midfield. I am a huge fan of Rogers and what he has done in a sgort space of time is fantastic but will he have the courage to finally faze Stevie out. I believe he will find competition for Lucas and Hendo will be a sub at best, its the Gerrard issue that will prove the most difficult one for him. Stevie is a legend but his legs are gone. Like you said though, its not all doom and gloom, if we can stay in the top 4 until January then hopefully he will address these issues or else he will come undone and ultimately pay with his job.

  9. If you insult LFC players again you will receive a 3-day ban. Please stick to the comment policy.

  10. Unfortunately for Rodgers, he has - as you suggest - one of the hardest and most unenviable jobs an LFC manager could have: bringing an end to Steven Gerrard's LFC career. If Rodgers stays for 2-3 more years, he'll have to deal with that at some point, and whatever happens, he's damned if he does, and damned if he doesn't.

  11. i am a big fan of liverpoolfc but for me the team is not good enough,deffence not good the midfielder is very bad,henderson,cissokho is not good enough for a team like liverpool,the manager much change this player,if they continued like this ,they will not finish in the top FOUR?

  12. Even though I disagree that Henderson is one of the better midfielders in the league, I agree that it is still somewhat early days in Henderson's development. Ramsey isn't a similar or good example to what your talking about, imo, as he had a big setback (the Shawcross-injury) in his development that Hendo hasn't really had (or at least not to that extent).

    Hendo has got to show more nous on the ball and when/where to collect the ball, which is something the likes of Ramsey and Wilshere have. I think he is very average (at best) in that regard. Great engine he has and no other central mid at the club comes close to that at present but not much else of his game is near that engine. To be fair on him, he isn't the only one with problems in midfield and maybe he is low down on the priority (in terms of who needs dropping). Another thing in his defence, I think he should be playing deeper where one of the other two central midfielders play.

  13. Our midfield was overran for most times in the match and therein lies our problem which i believe has been plaguing us for quite sometime.I believe the system we played coupled with the absence of Glen Johnson too has been a reason for our failure to contain Arsenal .We have become too predictable and not flexible/adjusted quickly enough to the demands of the situation.Of course if we had finished the number of chances we had the game would have gone either way.

  14. A work horse work hard everyday but still just a horse if you're playing and working hard without using your brain then you're no different from a work horse,We need creative midfielder not hardworking midfielder and at least Ramsey shown his calmness when taking shot while Henderson play like a newbies at 23,Gerrard don't have the leg for a whole game, Overall our midfield is not even V6 engine material compare to Assenal's V10.

  15. waiting all week for the game then lfc and rodgers repay us like that, you look at the table and you think we doing great NO, dont know where to start, first of all this 352, must be stopped NOW, seriously did anyone expect us to win after seeing that line up? gerrard lucas so untouchable for ages now and you see how they are performing, hendo might play some great games but he was, is and will be poor for me, cissokho I dont know how he plays football he surely must be joking hes not a footballer he could be anything else just footballer no chance, and one other big problem is suarez playing vs big teams he almost never shows his qualities like he does vs teams like norwich wba wigan etc. still no agger, lfc always used to play brilliant vs top teams but under rodgers not happening anymore, so if we get to CL well be probably in pot 3or4 where we would play with barca inter psg bayern napoli etc. how is rodgers gonna cope with that with zero experience there? Not happy at all but at the end of the day they are getting payed not me, just such a shame to disappoint supporters like that, not fair.

  16. I think the main problem is that BR is afraid to bench Gerrard because he is the veteran of the team and fan favorite. Because of that, Br has a very limited chance to creating a new midfield. Not to say that Gerrard is not good but I think he should take to BR and give some chance to other players to test the new midfield strategy. If this keep on another season, I don't see there will any changes in midfield in the near future.

  17. Nice point dude but Glen johnson? i doubt it,don't get me wrong he's good at attacking but almost always give the ball away cheaply when making passes and suck on defending,We really need a pacey dribbler who can score and create chances and a much better DM while our Gerrard can become Suso's mentor.

  18. Another problem was our full backs wasn't good enough defensively(cissohko) and going forward they were rubbish. But next up Fulham.

  19. IMO the day Gerrard is not an instant starter is the day he retires. I think he's on his last LFC contract. Carra did not want to accept the bench either with claims that he wanted to retire before Rodgers was put in charge. Unfortunately Gerrard is no Giggs or Scholes but maybe carrying the club for so long takes its toll.

  20. If Hendo drops deeper then the team has no pressing threat at all. Rodgers stated that we would "kill teams" with our pressing, but that's clearly BS. Henderson and Suarez, and sometimes Lucas, press the ball and opponents effectively but apart from that the effort is pretty bad. Pressing is supposed to be done by the whole team, starting from the back.

    I thought 3-5-2 after the West Brom game would be good for us against Arsenal away but since it didn't work out I think we should just scrap it. Go back to 4-2-3-1 with Hendo on the right, Coutinho 10 and Sturridge on the left with Suarez up front. Sacrifice Sakho and get on with it...

    I mentioned in a comment on a previous post on the site that we shouldn't nitpick too much because we were just outplayed and outclassed, clearly second best across the 90 minutes against a better team. We all have hopes but no one should of expected too much from the match. Move on to Fulham! :)

  21. i totally agree with you, i think Liverpool is not too far from a top team level, we just need a couple additions in midfield mostly area, which if they are the right ones, then the team will get a huge boost after the next transfer period

  22. Aye, he is our best midfielder at pressing but I just think, in terms of getting the best out of him, he is better off deeper. He has got the legs to make runs from deep. But I guess in terms of the team's needs, maybe they need him where he is as he has a engine that no other player in our midfield has.

    Although I don't see much point in pressing if the understanding isn't there as a team. Too many times you'll see Hendo press whilst the other back off. Next thing you know, you get outmaneuvered in central midfield as Hendo is taken out of the midfield battle due to the gap between his pressing and the other's backing off a lot. That is just suicidal against Arsenal or even a decent possession-team like Swansea can overload the central midfield area. I don't like the balance between Hendo and the two behind him in those situations. Something has got to give, in terms of central midfield set up, in order to get this pressing game sorted.

    Tactically, it was a odd set up the team yesterday in the first half.

    Yep, I said in the other thread, in terms of losing points yesterday, it isn't the end of the world as its a crazy season thus far. But tactically, I've always been worried about central midfield and will be if they continue like that, regardless of where we finish this season.

  23. Voucher And Discount Codes10:30 am, November 03, 2013

    The problem is BR buts players & plays them even tho they are playing like Sunday leauge lads !
    We've gone to this 3 centre halfs at the back to accommodate Sako, who at this momnet in time is absolutely useless.
    This has also allowed him to play the other donkey Cissoko.
    When we strted the season with Toure & Agger in the middle we were doing well.
    Get back to a flat back 4 that nearly EVERY top team in the world plays & stop messing about.

  24. Firstly I think Arsenal although being at home showed more endeavour and we're tactically on point in exploiting the weaknesses in our 352 system. It was glaringly obvious that this system only works well with the right personnel and having Johnson and Enrique missing we should of opted to four at the back. Once we did we looked better.

    For me I don't know why Hendo was starting in the first place. You need technical players against Arsenal who are good on the ball which presented opportunities for Moses, Couthino, Allen and Alberto. Personally I would prefer Gerrard further forward with Hendo along side Lucas because as 'the Red Sea' of Arsenal players parted in the first half Hendo caught stage fright and naturally did not know what to do.

    I agree the midfield was lacking yesterday and SAS were isolated. I would like to see us revert back to a back four as LFC looked tired chasing shadows without the ball for 70 mins.

  25. We didn't play that bad IMO. We were simply outplayed. Most comments are right, we're having issues with Lucas (I'm seriously hoping he'd get back his form) and Gerrard (As hard as this may be, he's not nearly the same player he used to be). I thought everyone else did alright, as I said, we were simply outplayed by a better team. It happens.

  26. I will throw this out there but Wilshire and Walcott are so overrated it is unbelievable. Don't get me wrong Wilshire is a good player with potential and he is NOT world class. Walcott IMO is an average if not below average but is considered good because he is fast but that's it. That is the only thing that makes him a threat. Speed does not make a player just ask one Florent Sinama Pongolle. He can't cross, he can't pass and he can't shoot but because he is so fast he can get in to positions before people can react and like all attacking players he can chip in with the odd good goal.

  27. Liverpool win= everyone says we will challenge for the title
    Liverpool loss = x player, y player, z player etc aren't good enough.

  28. Our CM is woeful. Why BR didn't got for wanyama i'll never know, but word is there is a big signing and a top DM joining in Jan. (pastore is one of the names being touted by some ITK's, m'vila for DM as he;s top mates with sakho).
    We need Agger back in the side along with Joe allen asap imo.

  29. We get caught on the break because the three of them are too slow. We need a mobile hard working deep midfielder to break up attacks, get a toe in and knock it sideways to more cultures midfielders.....We need a mascherano

  30. It's not just to accommodate Sakho, it's also to accommodate both Sturridge and Suarez upfront. 4-4-2 is too easily exploited these days so it's no use. I don't agree with it to be used to accommodate Cissokho though as we had started using it a few weeks before he came back from injury.

  31. WE NEED MIDFIELDERS, and i'm not talking about the type that has been talked about in transfer rumors (pastore, honda, etc.) I'm talking about the type that are athletic and can control the game (such as wanayama, bender, rakitic). We need midfielders that can enforce the pressing philosophy. Too many times yesterday I saw both sturrdige and suarez running down defenders and pressuring them, only for them to pass it to arteta who had acres of space. We need more henderson type players that have more quality (rakitic!)

  32. I agree a lot with your observations here. Immediately after the game I thought that the main 3 differences between both teams was that Arsenal play better as team in general, Arsenal have a goal scoring midfield as well as Arsenal players TRACK marauding runs by opposing players into their box! We have conceded at least some 4 goals like this already this season eg. 2 against Swansea, 2 against Arsenal, 1 against Newcastle etc.. Luckily, set-pieces did not come to haunt us this time, although we would have lost anyway given we did not score.
    It is no wonder Rodgers was interested in signing Mikhitaryan. FSG should ensure we go the extra mile to buy these players because they really do make a difference given our needs. What our team really lacks right now, and it has been apparent for some time, is a better midfield.

    Henderson, for all his good work, should be scoring goals given the good positions he sometimes finds himself in. Also, it would do him well if he uses his intuition a little bit more. During the last minutes of the game, Henderson opted for a cross when Szecsney left the left side of his goal post wide open. I remember some few years back, Aurelio noticed Cech had done something similar in the game against Chelsea in the Champions League and scored a goal from nearly the extreme left side of the pitch! It's this kind of guile in players which we must look for to improve our goal scoring midfield ratio! Analyzing Ramsey's words on his description of the goal, he described this intuitive thought processes really well and this is what LFC players should be like!

  33. How many times does it have to be said.
    Henderson,and Lucas, need to be gone as soon as.
    Gerrard needs to come off the bench as impact player,as he has lost it as a top top player.Also BR has ???? marks all over him,is he good enough for LFC or not? Hope LFC are there about come January,because we need good recruits desperately.

  34. In the PL, speed has its uses and when used right in this league, it is very potent. Last season, he got 14 goals and 10 assists in the league. In the last three seasons, he has made good contributions. Speed causes problems in this league. Not my cup of tea, his type of player but he certainly can do the business in PL, especially on the counter. His problem is inconsistency, partially down to him being overly reliant on instinct, rather than nous. The lack of nous lets him down when Arsenal are in their build-up phase of the game, especially when he is used as a wide player.

  35. no team in this league has the divine right to win, its all down to formation, tactics and of course players to execute, agree, Gerard, Handerson, Lucas, none have true competition in the team, they play every week because there is no alternatives, missing Johnson and Enrique made the formation weak, having said that, Chelski got beat by Newcastle. the league is more like a marathon, we need to pace ourselves, get a rhythm and stay with the front pack, which LFC are doing. we must admit that Gerard cant play the 90 minutes every week. Handerson, I never really rated, as he will never get into any top teams in the league, its all good doing lots of running but what you do with it is crucial, he don't seem to do much other than run and that isn't enough for a eam challenging for to 4, and that is the aim for this season. come new year we have to bring players of Cazola and Ozil class, player who can keep the ball and be a threat in front of goal. e have a great attacking 3 in Suarez, Sturidge and Coutinho, just need the players to provide the ammunition and that's where we really going wrong. I like Luis Alberto, I think he has a good football brain and should be playing instead of Gerard, or share playing time. long way to go yet, arsenal will lose more games this season no doubt about that. nd still have to play us at home, so as long as we win our home games until the new year, we are on course for op 4. walk on LFC.

  36. It has it's uses to but you said it yourself pace does not make you a good player. Football is evolving into a tactical game and pace has it's uses but not to be a regular started in a top team. Better used as an impact player if you're chasing a game.

  37. I think cissokho, mingolet were absolutely poor. sturridge and suarez never played badly, because they are top class but I am sure they wont be happy with their performance. coutinho's final ball was poor, as Neville highlighted many times but the vision was their which was encouraging signs. personally I think we should have used victor moses LWB and Henderson RWB. I think flannagan had a fabulous game, got forward well, had great energy and didn't look scared or get bullied. but hendo is more experienced and should have started their. I would have went with
    because the fact is, our wings have not been utilised and are massively ineffective. cissokho's assist to suarez was a fluke. unless we get Enrique back, this guy should never play again. I know why Rodgers is refusing to change the system, hes just signed sakho, who I thought had his best game at arsenal, and he must accomadate suarez and sturridge. but then in that case we must utilise our wb positions.
    in January, I don't know why Keuisuke Honda was not on our 1st list of targets. we need top class midfielders. IMO we should go all out for Javier Pastore and Stefan El-Shaarawy

  38. He was a regular starter for a top team last season and rewarded them with 14 goals and 10 assists in the league which is a regular contribution, whilst having to switch between a wide role and forward role. Only two of those goals were from the bench (espn stats). 24 league goals/assists in 32 league appearances is very good for a player that spent half of his time at least on the wing. I didn't say pace does not make you a good player. Pace with good instincts can make you a good PL player and can serve a purpose. And he has proven that in the last three seasons. Regardless of whatever stage of evolving football is in, counter attacking and PL tempo will still be here in this league, thus always a place for pace in this league.

    Not sure why you think he is better served as a impact player when chasing a game. When chasing a game, a very good chance that the opposition will sit back and soak up the space. Space is what Walcott thrives on. He is at his best when on the counter attack and we saw that time and time again last season why. Arsenal may like possession but they also like to counter attack as well, hence why Walcott has proven to be useful for them in the last three seasons. He is frustrating but he is also devastatingly lethal in this league.

  39. This will get me some reaction but I have my doubts on Sturridge. He had a wonderful year but in order to keep up his performance, he will need lot of support from the midfield. He is no Luis Suarez and he also makes consistent errors in decision making at final third. He is good player but not that magical. I will love to see Liverpool signing one more fantastic striker in order to have depth in that department. Sturridge IMO will go out of form very soon, just a feeling and Suarez will start making noise in January if we fall out of top 4.

  40. We werent bad... the first 15-20 minutes we were up for it. carzola goal knocked the stuffing out of them! Perhaps we were unlucky that it was hendo clean through on goal and not a striker. And on another day the quick free kick wouldnt have been pulled back.

    The problems highlighted in midfield are obvious - simply because lucas and gerrard are expected to do a similar job - why? Can you really carry 2 players? Hendo is no goal threat simply because he has no final touch. Great for doing the ugly things but poor for the killer pass or shot.

    In the system we play hendo invariably gets many chances because he is the only one with legs to get into the finaly 3rd. We cant really drop hendo for Allen because he isnt a goalscorer either.

    Against the bigger clubs perhaps we may pay for ignoring the midfield.

  41. Was at the game yesterday and I'm sorry to say that it was more than disappointing. There was absolutely no real work coming from the midfield (Until Coutinho came on). Also, why the hell did Fannigan start in front of Kelly? Gerrard should only be on for one half in my opinion, lost possession and as you said JK just hasn't got the legs anymore. Unfortunately BR isn't established enough to drop Stevie yet. So I guess we just have to wait until he decides to retire....

  42. lucas ...can't score
    hendo...can't take players on
    stevie g..is getting weak each season , but is expected to create and break attack.
    cissokho..IS A DEFENDER and is not sharp in attack
    Flanagan.can't take on players and is still reading "my first book of soccer"

    right from start i told my wife, an arsenal fan, that we were going to loose the game and we did.
    it was BR fault. totally . he had sterling ,coutinho and moses on the bench.

  43. The way the morning started in the PL yesterday, Begovich scoring, Sunderland getting 2 sent off in extra time of the first half, Man City 7-0, Chelsea losing, Glen Johnson getting sick - something was in the air and fortunes were going to swing one way or another. On another day, the free kick leading to the disallowed goal, or the other shots, some would have gone in, and it wasn't to be.

    Not the end of the world, but that doesn't negate the fact that you point out the midfield is problematic, not only slow, but no threat whatsoever for goals, even creation. Henderson does not strike fear into defenders, neither does gerrard anymore. Coutinho's coming on changed the dynamic, and was a genuine threat - there were 3 rather than 2 threats.

    So while we can deal with the mid level teams well, the top teams are more of a challenge, Arsenal's midfield is the best, you can't afford to double mark anyone really, because cazorla, Ramsey, Ozil, Giroud, are all goal threats.

    A couple of players in Jan of that calibre, proper back up/ competition for Glen Johnson, and we're good. Until then, we can hold in there, get the full points off the weaker teams, half the points off the top teams, 40 points + by january. Then some new guys.

    I hope for Gerrard that he is concious of his predicament, and is proactive about doing something about it - i.e. stating up front that he can't do 90 min every game. Henderson has had his chance for now, next week they should start Allen, he was looking alright in pre-season.

  44. Flanagan starting was a fluke, think he was supposed to start on the bench with a minimal chance of being subbed in, and GJ got sick. Bad planning or Rodgers part to bring back a player to the first squad for such an important game, but certainly wasn't planned.

    And he was poor, can't really blame him, lots of play went through the right, and through him, but his passing and pass selection were poor - no vision, opportunities missed.

  45. I just want to say that I think the 3-5-2 formations suits us, but we need to make a few adjustsments ...

    The first one. If Gerrard always has to start for Rodgers, he should put him in the centre back role, it's perfect for him. He doesn't need to invest as much energy as in midfield, he is quite strong in the air, knows how to tackle and the most important thing could help build play from the back with his passing, especially his diagonal long passes.

    The second one. PRESSING AS A TEAM!!!! You either do it as a whole unit or you don't do it at all!!

    I really would like to see this sometime in the future ...


  46. G Johnson in the 3 5 2 would have kept Gibbs pegged back and if Enrique had of been playing on left wing back role ,Sagna would of been kept on the back foot last night. When Rodgers plays the 3 5 2 system , these two full backs would have excelled. It would have been a problem if we had them available and Arsenal had the likes of Walcott, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Podolski or Gnabry. As those four attackers have pace and speed and could exploit the gaps in behind the wing backs. But last night, Ozil, Rosicky, Cazorla, Ramsey, Giroud were never going to stretch our back 4. But their fluidity, movement and passing would cause us problems.

    There pace would come from their full backs as i said few hours before game, but thought Cissokho and Johnson would be able to handle Sagna and Gibbs. But when saw Flannagan in side, was not optimistic at all.

    Cissokho used to be a very good defender, but now he looks laboured, he is still powerful and quick but he has struggled at club. I think Rodgers now knows how Vital and important fully fit and Injury free Enrique and Johnson are to the first 11.

  47. Arsenal were missing all their pace and speed in attack, Gnabry, Oxlaide-Chamberlain, Podolski and Walcott and they convincingly beat us.

    Gerrard and Lucas pressed for 25 mins then there legs gave in and it became a passing masterclass in all honesty, the only person in middle who competed with them was Henderson as he has energy, pace and speed to press most of game. Henderson just lacks creativity and quality in attack.

    We need a minimum of 3 midfielders: 2 Creative / Offensive midfielders who will create and score goals:

    1 Mobile quick tough tackling defensive Midfielder

    A good Gk to compete and cover Mignolet at club for next 5- 7 years and keep him on his toes week in week out,

    2 class consistant performing creative pacey quick goalscoring wide men on either wing

    And a class quality right back, because Flannagan is poor to say least and for rodgers to pick Flannagan ahead of Kelly, shows both of them need to be shipped out.

  48. Henderson made some crucial interceptions that lead to chances for Liverpool and he could have scored. He did score in fact but goal was disallowed as referee backed off play.

  49. Our midfield is the worst we have had since the sixties, Gerrard walked through the game, Lucas is crap anyway, Henderson is a squad player at best, Coutinho is probably the best prospect in there, after that we don't have much. Sissoko should never put on the red shirt again, totally rubbish. Mix that with the wrong choice of formation and tactics against a quality side and you're shafted, as we were.

  50. That was not a tight game, Arsenal took the piss out of us, in fact at times it was embarrassing.

  51. You're actually right m8, Cissokho is poor, that's why he was THIRD choice as Valencia. Although i don't know what his brain is made of.

  52. You are right we do need a defensive midfielder, but it's not Henderson, we need to buy one, then we can free up Gerrard to play higher, unfortunately Rodgers can't see past the end of his nose.

  53. Just finished watching the most satisfying match of the week in a 0-0 draw between Spurs and Everton. I kept cheering for every sloppy pass and good defensive effort to switch the possession and keep the ball squarely out of each team's box...very exciting match when viewed from that perspective;-). Yellow card for Lukaku was unnecessary...just trying to get out of the way...which brings me to my Lukaku point...he is exposed as a fence post striker a la Carroll. I was watching Deufeulo when he came though. Good looking mid-fielder, hint, hint.

  54. Liverpool defeated, why???..its because of poor performance in midfield..henderson, lucas, gerrard? easily defeated by arsenal midfielder..Liverpool need quality midfielder, good vision and creative mind..gerrard is old already, its obvious gerrard is lazy nowadays. please BR, buy creative midfielder and skillfull

  55. Our style of play has reverted from playing an aggressive defense to play a counter-attacking style... this may work when the game is tied or we are winning.

    But we need to adjust when we are down 1-0 and then 2-0.

    I remember a couple seasons ago when we were playing ManU and Kenny used this counter-attacking strategy, and Sir Alex was wise enough to simply tell his players not to shoot because they had the lead and we were just letting them pass it back and forth in midfield (similar to what Arsenal did yesterday).

    I thought we started to play better when we converted to the 4 in the back and having Coutinho certainly helped create some chances offensively.

    Furthermore... Let's take Redknapp, tell him to stand in a spot and then kick the ball straight at his face and see what he does.

  56. AndWithSuchSimplicity5:11 pm, November 03, 2013

    I'm not sure if we were "comprehensively beaten". For the first 20 mins we played pretty well and then the goal put us on the back-foot. We had plenty chances to get back into the game 2nd half, but never seemed to have the belief. Suarez wasted two good chances, and the free-kick 'goal' should have been allowed to stand.
    The most worrying thing is the amount of goals we are letting in. We could've easily taken a point if we had kept things tight (we did last season, with a 'poor' team). The second goal was good, but it was nowhere near top-corner. Mignolet needs to do a bit more, for me.

  57. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:19 pm, November 03, 2013

    Maybe Enrique and Johnson aren't as bas as the critics on here might suggest....?

  58. Or maybe that their replacements at the club are a lot worse ;)

  59. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:22 pm, November 03, 2013

    I don't think Gerrard has 'lost it' as a top player, but he certainly needs to reinvent himself as a player. Xabi Alonso has managed to dictate games at walking pace for years, and there's no reason Gerrard can't do that. He just needs to stop with the Hollywood passes.

  60. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:25 pm, November 03, 2013

    I had a Chelsea fan sitting behind me last night (the loud-mouth), but he did make a comment about "that's the Sturridge we all know", which was quite telling.
    Mind you, he did also say that there was "no quality" in the game at all (!!!) and "That's the Scarrrsers put back in their place" - obviously he hadn't heard the Newcastle result..... ;)

  61. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:31 pm, November 03, 2013

    Mike Marsh, Istvan Kozma, Mark Walters, Don Hutchison, Paul Stewart. Not sure if they all played together - let's hope not, eh????

  62. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:35 pm, November 03, 2013

    Same thing, really. And if they are, why buy them...?
    All I know is that without Glen Johnson we lose any overlapping threat going forward, and whilst there are better left-backs out there, Enrique is pretty solid and does a job. Not many clean sheets since he lost his place to Sakho / Cissokho says it all.

  63. Very disappointed by the performance from:
    Lucas- did not sense the danger areas, did not close down enough. Never tackled back enough.
    Gerrard- few long passes found their mark. Did not close down and tackle effectively, and ball watched far too often.
    Cissohko- Didn't have a clue going forward and watched as the interplay went on around him
    Flannagan and Hendo did pretty much what I thought- Hendo really needs a footballing brain to go with his energy levels and some composure , to put away the chances he keeps getting. His chance and Carzola's were about equal in difficulty. One went way over the bar into the crowd, the other was a goal. Flanno was willing, but out of his depth both defensively and going forward and played mostly predictable passes which put the recipient under pressure.
    Still, as long as we dust ourselves off and maintain our form, it's still on...

  64. I don't see it as the same thing at all, as I'm one of Johnson's so-called critics that I still don't rate him, regardless of how bad/good the alternatives at the clubs are. Just because the alternatives are bad, doesn't mean I should be more forgiving of Johnson. One thing to say 'Johnson isn't as bad as some make him out to be' and another to say 'the likes of Flanagan are much worse'. Not the same thing at all.

    Football has too many variables to go down the 'says it all' route in that manner, for e.g., there have been other changes in the team, there have been tactical changes too, new players that are bedding into the team/the league, etc. Especially when we aren't even that far into the season.

    'And if they are, why buy them...?' I didn't buy them, the respective managers did and they probably had what they felt in their view good reasons for doing so. Managers buy bad players that they think are good for the team/squad all the time. I doubt we bought Mark Walters because he thought he would be poor.

    Yes, no one else at the club overlaps on the right like Johnson does. I still don't rate him.

  65. AndWithSuchSimplicity7:10 pm, November 03, 2013

    It could be classed as an observation-based comment, rather than an insult.

  66. Sometimes defeat is a "good thing" because alerts you about your weaknesses. Liverpool is not a super team. But it is not a shitty team as well. Rodgers is not a world class manager like Rafa Benitez, but he is learning (pretty quick I think). So Liverpool has to continue to learn, without disappointment and disastrous thoughts. First we have to believe that we have a historical chance to return to "top 4" (and maybe more), because we have one game every week and our rivals have two (Europe or league cup), so we can use more our best players without rotation, with less cards, injuries or fatigue. But: 1) Gerrard has to rest sometimes, he is great but unfortunately he is 33, so he needs to live with the idea of playing less for his own good, 2) we need a defensive midfielder to rest and rival Lucas for the first eleven, 3) Agger must play, especially when we use 3 centre backs, because he is our only CB who is really comfortable when he has to pass, shoot or run with the ball, 4) Suarez and Sturridge have to play together, passing the ball, not dribbling all the time, rival and argue for personal glory, but play for the team success, 5) systems (4-3-3, 4-4-2, 3-5-2, 4-2-3-1 etc) are for the players and not players for the systems, so we have to play with the strong elements of our available players. Arsenal defeat is not a disaster. If Arsenal lose next week from Man U is not a disaster for them. When Man U, lost from Liverpool wasn't a disaster (for mancs). Every big team can win or lose when is playing with an equal team. Yesterday was Arsenal's day, we will have our days as well! Disaster is when you are playing with lesser teams and losing points. Winning always against outside "top 8" teams is the key for success. I think this Liverpool can achieve that. Do not panic and win next game. YNWA

  67. AndWithSuchSimplicity7:15 pm, November 03, 2013

    No need to be quite so bombastic, Chan. You could have simply said, "I still don't like him," and I might have just let it go. (Notice I said, "Like" and not "rate").
    Rogers has replaced players with worse players. He has effectively 'down-sized'. The money could have gone towards a dynamic midfielder instead.

  68. We need Granit Xhaka in January to put pressure on Lucas/Gerrard - he is one for the future - and for now - and he will sell shirts (he looks like Christiano Ronaldo).

  69. AndWithSuchSimplicity7:18 pm, November 03, 2013

    I agree about beating teams outside the top 8, but you still cannot afford to lose too many of the "six-pointers" against your nearest rivals. Arsenal could drop points next weekend, but then again that means the Mancs stay in touch.

  70. You have right, Man U is always a threat, I really don't know what is the best result for us next week. Of course we have to take some points from big games (already we have 3 against Man U and -3 against Arsenal and we have Everton, Tottenham, Chelsea and Man City). I remember that Ferguson was winning titles because he had always good results against the lesser teams. We had a way to win big games (and we are proud about that) but often we had bad days against small teams, so we couldn't win the title...

  71. AndWithSuchSimplicity8:05 pm, November 03, 2013

    Best result has to be a draw, surely....

  72. Well said Jaimie. My thoughts exactly. We were completely out-midfielded. That was the difference.

  73. Sorry, I disagree. They were knackered by the end, just as we were. It was a close, hard fought game between two good, competitive teams in decent form.

  74. He sometimes shows good touch, even a little bit of flair, when he's in possession but I agree he isn't as instinctive in finding space in central areas.

    Still I'd put him in the top 20 central midfielders in the league -- at any rate it's not hard to find 20 or so who offer less than him, but perhaps that says more about the league than it does about Hendo!

  75. I don't like him as a player v I don't rate him as a player? Hmm, I'm going with both.

  76. Yep, the league is in a poor state in terms of CMs!

  77. Stark Reality!

    Henderson will never be any good to a team with any aspiration!
    Lucas is just plain Shite! And will always be; Playing him in a critical role will amount to LFC always being nowhere!
    Cissokho is absolute Shite! What a calamity. He is completely useless. I honestly know Sunday League players that are miles better than him. How BR has picked him from all the loans signings in the world needs to be questioned.

    Sakho is complete Shite! And BR spent £18 million on that lump!
    BR will not make it past the next 2 seasons, and I say good riddance!