7 Dec 2013

'I'm happy!' Sakho, Coutinho, Hamann etc on 4-1 win. GAME OVER for £17m LFC star...?

What a great day for LFC! For once, the club managed to capitalise on the misfortune of other teams challenging for the top-four Premier League slots, and with the Reds back up to second place in the league - and Spurs/Manchester United seemingly on the slide - opportunity continues to knock for Brendan Rodgers' team.

Here is a selection of post-match reaction:

Glen Johnson

"Another great result! Very proud to have worn the armband, just a shame for Stevie"

Didi Hamann

"I like the way LFC is picking up points under the radar. If they take a healthy cushion over Spurs and MU into 2014 we could be back in Champions League"

Jon Flanagan

"Great 3 points today, after a long week. We go again next week at Tottenham"

Mamadou Sakho

"Very happy to have scored my first goal for Liverpool this afternoon. A great victory!"

Philippe Coutinho

"Good result today!"

Simon Mignolet

"Another great home win, roll on Sunday!"

Neil Mellor

"Another 3 points at Anfield today for Liverpool. Although there was a small nervy period during that 2nd half. Coutinho excellent today"

Brendan Rodgers

On Gerrard: "It was definitely his [Gerrard's] hamstring. Hopefully it's just a strain and we'll see where we're at in the next 48 hours"

On Sakho: "I thought Sakho looked strong and aggressive and he looked like he really wanted to take his opportunity. He did that. I thought he and Skrtel were both excellent."

Sam Allardyce

"It's a sickener for us with the way we conceded the first goal. We gave it a good go, but then the third goal killed us off"

A few observations:

* Immense performance from Sakho. Commanding in the air; good positional play; a couple of vital interceptions, and capped it all off with a goal. Will he stay in the team now, or is Rodgers going to continue to destabilise the defence by changing personnel practically every game? I see no reason why Sakho shouldn't start the next game.

* Daniel Agger missed the game through 'illness'? Sorry, but I don't buy it. It seems a little convenient, especially since it was obvious that he'd be dropped for this game after his errors against Norwich. I have a feeling that Agger is on his way out of the club; with Barcelona hovering for the £17m-rated Dane, and Ian Ayre having recently met with Barca officials, this could be his last few weeks at Anfield.

* Brave decision by Rodgers to keep Lucas on the bench again, and to be fair, the Brazilian wasn't missed. Joe Allen is far more mobile that Lucas, and he makes more telling passes in forward areas. Additionally, he has a better recovery time after players go by him, unlike Lucas, who is basically out of the game once a player gets away. Still, given that Lucas is a superb professional, the competition from Allen will only spur him on to improve his game.

* On the subject of Allen - another good performance, especially in the final third, where he played a number of excellent attacking passes, several of which split West Ham's defence. The best two passes (for Suarez and Martin Kelly) came when he played higher up after Gerrard went off, and that's the type of position in which he could possibly excel (given the chance).

* Much better showing from Glen Johnson. He's been off the boil for the last few games, but provided great width on the right throughout the game, and got into some dangerous areas. Plus, he delivered a dream cross for Suarez's goal.

* Surprised to see Sterling go off. He had another good game, and was causing havoc on the right. Still, it's good to see the other members of the squad get significant game-time, though I personally would've preferred to see Alberto or Aspas instead of Moses.

* On the subject of Aspas, it really does seem like it's curtains for the Spaniard at Liverpool. If Rodgers isn't going to give him any game time against the likes of Norwich and West Ham, I seriously doubt he's going feature against Spurs, Chelsea or Man City over the Christmas period.

* Despite the scrappy nature of the goals - three of which were arguably own goals - the Reds thoroughly deserved the victory. I especially enjoyed that twenty-minute spell in the second half when the Reds incessantly attacked West Ham, and created chance after chance. Total domination, and a joy to watch.

* Deserved red-card for Kevin Nolan, and it just goes to show how lucky Luis Suarez was last season for not receiving the same fate for his equally bad stamps on Sylvain Distin and Kevin Mirallas.

* Winning home games is great, but there are some real tests for LFC over the next few weeks, and the club's midfielders will really be tested. With Gerrard possibly out for a couple of weeks - maybe longer - Allen, Lucas and Henderson will really have to step-up.

* Any injury is bad news, especially when it involves Gerrard, but if he misses a few games, we'll finally get to see how the team performs without him in the Premier League. Sink or swim time.

* The worst thing LFC can do is get carried away. I personally don't want to hear any triumphalism from the players about winning the title, but that will inevitably happen. For example, in his post-match press conference, Glen Johnson suggested that Liverpool...can win the title (!) No doubt we'll hear more cloying ego massage from the player's this week too. I wish the players would just stay humble, and simply focus on the next game without any fanfare.

* Overall, a great day for LFC: Up to second in the Premier League table; Chelsea lost 3-2 at Stoke; Man City dropped two points at Southampton; and Man United lost their second home game in a row.

* Special mention to Liverpool's forgotten man, Oussama Assaidi, who did the Reds a solid by smashing in a last-minute winning goal against Chelsea. Thanks, man!

Assaidi goal chelsea



  1. No. Almost a great day. Please notice: Again a referee is a coward and supports Spurs. He stands in the best position in the world to see a deliberate hand ball but simply ignores it.

    He is a coward and its a sold game because it doesn't look good that Spurs loss after they spent so much money.
    Keeping tabs: We are 3 points above Spurs - It should be 10.


    Hope Brendan organizes the right defense tactic next week. Hope we bash them. Hope we get justice.

  2. good post jaimie prretty much sums the game up

  3. Cheers. Who was your man of the match?

  4. Good position in the table but still a lot of improvements to make, defensively we must be dogs to keep a clean sheet!!!

  5. Absolutely agree.. Only four points separating 2nd from 7th. That's why getting carried away is a pointless exercise - A couple of bad results and LFC could quickly end up in 7th place.

  6. Very impressed today with Sterling, Coutinho, and Allen. Sterling has rebounded nicely from that game last weekend. The way he pressured their defense today is instrumental to show how we are going to cope without Sturridge.

    Coutinho doesn't get enough credit because his name doesn't show up enough on the scoresheet with goals/assists, but the way he passes opens up the defense and enables future opportunities.

    And Allen was sharp overall. Once he cuts down on those two mistakes per game, people are going to start appreciating what he brings to the club... especially if he keeps pressing forward.

  7. Quite true JK but we must ensure that we defend much much better.

  8. Sakho or Allen. mignolet was very good also! i allmost shat myself with that dribble he pulled off.

  9. jamie! i need to say when you do those transfer bits about BR. im not entirely sure but i think you allways mention successes to be Coutinho and Sturridge. but Mignolet is awesome, i love the belgian lad. he is one of best shotstoppers ive seen!

  10. i disagree. i was yelling when he tracked the player to the left side of the pitch and DID NO DEFENDING AT ALL. i screamed and screamed that right side must be heavily unmanned. im glad TV didnt show footage. i wouldve died if cross came in and there were three WHU players and Johnson recieving. he is ill disciplined. we have a lot better options in team atm than moses. alberto, aspas! ive been hearing good things about Teixeira!?
    is he really that good!?!?

    Suso is atm shining!

    and Suso is in mold of Coutinho IMO? if he can have a similar impact in a playmaker role from flank. we are good to go.

  11. Totally disagree with your analysis of Sterling! Thought he missed 4 to 5 relatively easy goal opportunities today and thought his decision making when in the final third was flawed and at times too slow, yes an improvement on his last two performances but by no means impressive!!

  12. Alberto and Aspas should've gotten a chance today instead of Lucas and Moses, they didn't bring anything to the game. Moses was disappointing compared to Sterling who put in a great shift today. Great performance overall, althoud there was some panic after Gerrard was subbed, Lucas was invisible.
    Sakho is improving with every game, looks far better in the air than Agger, including going forward. As far as I'm concerned Agger can take the first flight to Barcelona in januari 2014, if they still want to have him. ;)
    Great post Jaimie, not much to add.

  13. tino or sako for me....i really think rogers has got to stick with some of his signings and cut the strings ...i also thought Allen and hendo looked okay against a pretty big west ham midfield

  14. To be fair I want our players to come out and say they can win the title. The first part of winning anything is belief as without it were are you? The league this yr is anyones, why not liverpool! If we are still second after December I truly believe we have a chance!

  15. i don want any mention of titles,but ive always said if you are in the hunt in jan your in with a shout regardless of whatever club it is

  16. Agree 100% on the Sakho assessment...superb job of defending start to finish. The free header was an exception, but Sakho was there, the cross was spot-on and I don't really think he could have stopped the guy from getting his head on it.
    Not only was Allen good on the attack, but his defense was tenacious today too. Good, solid performance going both ways. A couple of moments where he bailed out and passed backwards when he could have turned, but on the whole a very good match.
    Yes Nolan deserved a red card, but rather than highlighting how lucky Suarez was last year, I think it really highlights how lucky Mirallas was on a much worse intentional foul a couple of weeks ago.
    I agree RS had a good game, but cripes...so much indecision at the critical second...pass, shoot,...make your mind up a bit earlier Raheem...he had two golden opportunities he wasted. He did take one good shot the keeper did well to save.
    Don't if the replays were on Assaidi long enough but the kid has put on some real muscle...that's got to make BR happy.

  17. I was ok with Moses. He played well and up tempo for a change, but I still would have had Alberto in the game somewhere today.

  18. Agree, but I was heartened to see shooting pressure coming from more than just Suarez. So that's a bright spot.

  19. Hendo looked like Hendo...always trying hard, but I just don't think he will ever really be great.

  20. Agree...you look at the the Belgians taken as a whole and it will be fun to watch that team in Brazil...lot of Belgian talent out there...better than the Dutch I think.

  21. AndWithSuchSimplicity10:06 pm, December 07, 2013

    I thought Allen had a great game - he offered a lot more mobility than we have had of late, plus his passing was pretty much spot on.
    A word about Gerrard: if he had passed instead of shot we would have scored AND he might have avoided injury. Harsh, but true.

    And Suarez looked like he turned his ankle early on. Either that or the grimace was directed towards Sterling....... ;)

  22. Agger has to stay. I wouldn't bare him leaving.

  23. we need water carriers in team

  24. Sterling's finishing was poor and his decision making can be sluggish or erroneous, but that is symptomatic of his inexperience. That judgement could be generous and this kind of infelicity could be native to his DNA, but the heartening thing about Sterling is that even when he plays badly, he still offers a fair bit, simply by being there. He tracks back much better than a Moses or an Aspas. Also, his pace and his propensity to go in behind brings variety and balance to our side.
    He's nowhere near the finished article, but has good base attributes and is unusually reliable for a young winger with regards to looking after the ball and keeping possession.

  25. Good professional performance.
    I think Rodgers made the right call on the line-up. Very good to see Sakho in the side. Played well. Aggressive. Commanding. Once he has a good grasp on the language, he could be the leader/organiser we've been waiting for. Nice to see he kept Allen and Sterling in the team after decent performances last time out. Allen was better again today but still needs to be careful as he sometimes gives the ball away in extremely dangerous areas. You can see he is improving though and with Gerrard out, he should certainly stay in the side. Sterling isn't the most polished player in the side, but I think his presence is beneficial for the side. You also feel that he can only get better. The types of issues he has; decision making, conviction in the finish and final ball; are ones that you often see players grow out of. You can see that he has certain aspects of game intelligence that some speedy winger prodigies lack- he may be missing chances, but that he is doing so so often speaks to his positioning.
    I think his failure to rest people is what resulted in Gerrard's injury though. That kind of fatigue based strain has been on the horizon for some time. The guy is 33. You can hear his knee joints creak whenever he breaks into a jog. I think that if you're 2-0 up at home and we have Lucas, a safe operator, on the bench, we should have rested Gerrard. Let Allen and Henderson close down further up the pitch and let Lucas hold. It makes tactical sense, it makes sense with regards to planning for the next game. Easy to say in hindsight but I feel like Rodgers has underused his subs a few times this season.
    We'll miss Gerrard's maturity. Allen, Henderson and Lucas should be a nice axis to use against Spurs. Steady players, good tenacious closing down. Other players will have to step up. Pick up Gerrard's creative slack. We need more of the same from Johnson. Coutinho is looking sharper again after a sluggish return at first from injury. The biggest miss will be Gerrard's set-pieces which have been incredible this season. A more mobile, more solid central midfield (if slightly less inspired) could be a blessing in disguise against a very athletic Spurs side.

  26. If Gerrard is injured then Lucas-Allen-Hendo is our only option as there are no other senior centre mids in the squad. That combination if fairly promising though even if it lacks a bit of adventure.

    Sterling was up for the game and energetic. Unlucky not to score a few goals and give Hendo a much needed assist.

    Sakho is strong and deserves his place but I don't want Agger sold in January. Watch us sell Agger and then Skrtel or Sakho get injured. Just be safe and do it at the end of the season if required. But because Toure is not a long term option, Agger should stay anyway.

    Allen was decent. He needs to watch himself when he closes opponents down, they can easily skip past him. It's too easy to give fouls away and if you stick out a leg you might get into trouble. I've noticed his greatest asset to the team may be cutting off passing angles. If he doesn't go all in and try win the ball he holds off a little bit and cuts off passing opportunities.

    Don't want to see Moses ahead of Aspas and Alberto. If Aspas is out of the picture then fine but don't punish Alberto who needs game time.

  27. If I'm honest I have looked over and over again at our last three games and Agger was to blame for a lot of mistakes, I was relieved when I heard Sakho was in for him, we are picking up the points while others around us are loosing points and blame others instead of looking closer to home ie Jose Mourinho

  28. Although it was a good performance by the team a failure to keep a clean sheet yet again was a concern.
    Another major worry in my books is the finishing ability or lack of sharpness by a few around goals Sterling in particular but Allen Hendo and even Coutinho could do with a bit of work on that area.
    Coutinho though was still MOTM in my books and did like Allen and Sakhos efforts.

  29. I don't buy the conspiracy theory around Agger. Rodgers has been quite explicit on why he's playing or not playing certain defenders so why would he make up an illness in this instance? It's a big call to say the manager is telling a flat-out lie. More likely there WAS an issue with illness and Agger didn't train so well during the week. If you don't train well you don't play. Well done to Sakho for taking the opportunity, that's a sign that he's not just sulking behind the scenes, he's pushing hard for that starting spot. We need all our players who are not getting on the pitch to be pushing hard and not just giving up.

    I'd agree that we still have a question mark over finishing and composure in front of goal. Henderson snatches at shots, Coutinho can be quite inconsistent and Allen just gets it wrong too often for a player of his ability. Sterling is still young and maybe that can be forgiven, but we need all these guys to start burying those chances to add a goal scoring threat beyond just SAS. Once we start doing that we'll be a genuine title threat.

  30. This is Joe's big chance to show his quality, I really hope he does it. I don't think we'll suffer with both Lucas and Allen in the team, I think we've been struggling to deal with SG's lack of pace and energy so having a young, hungry midfield won't be an issue. This period should actually be good for the team because it will assure everyone that we can live without Stevie. I reckon Rodgers will stick with this same team for a few games and Aspas will get a chance when the schedule tightens up. We really don't need to write off players just because they spend a few games on the bench. Some players spend entire seasons struggling for game time only to come good, that's part of life at the echelon of club football.

  31. It was a very good result and all we fans should have more than enough reasons to smile because LFC is 2nd in the league after 15 games. For me, another good reason to smile is that LFC is consistently murdering lesser teams at Anfield this season and I don't think any team will think Anfield is a place to collect points by now. We must rebuild that once-feared Anfield fortress!

    I think we are having an incredibly tough schedule during the festive season and I'm not sure who the hell planned that. This is outright murder as far as I'm concern. A little pessimistic on my side, I think 3 points will be a great result for us in away games to Spurs, Man City and Chelsea. I also expect LFC to be out of top 4 by starting of next year, after that 3 crazy away games. If we can get more points and stay in top 4 by then, I'll be more than willing to apologize for my pessimism.

    Does anyone think that Aspas will be gone by January?

  32. I think Allen had a superb game. He did very well, linking the back four with the midfield. Passing was excellent and defence was sound. Sterling impressed me as well, as did Sakho (what a beast). Everyone wanted to score, so that must mean the attacking confidence is at a high... Maybe more goals will come from other areas in the upcoming matches. Overall, my weekend has been made!

  33. Firstly, I'm positive we'll beat Tottenham. Secondly, I hope Aspas stays and gets integrated somehow (based on effort solely)...

  34. Yes i think he will to me he just seems surplus to requirements think Rodgers may bring in a bigger type to add a plan B.

  35. Suarez scored 1 goal and created 2 OGs and I thought he had an off day today! Gerrard's injury came at a time when we were cagey. As much as how people rack him for his inability to track oppositions in midfield, when he left, I felt that the midfield lacked the leadership. Lucky we had Lucas (which I thought he took some time to settle in after missing 2 games - imagine what Allen had to do to settle in after missing most of this season). The problem would be, what if any of the midfield gets injured (touch wood), do we have enough cover? Moses does fit. A shame we lost Shelvey (which he wouldn't be playing many games) and Suso (who is doing so well elsewhere). The squad actually lacked depth. Lucky Suarez made Sturridge absence of little concern - only a world class player could do that. These are games we expect to win. The real test would be in the next 4 games. But we gave ourselves a real good cushion. Hopefully we can get 7 - 9 points out of these 4 games.

  36. It will take Sterling a couple of games to see his true value. Today he was a constant menace to West Ham defense. His pace actually kept West Ham from pushing up (something that Sturridge does to opposition defense). So in a way, it gave up more balance as he uses his body very well against bigger players, he tracks back to defend (not like Moses). The major weakness is has is his decision making in the final 3rd. He seems to think too much, before making a pass or shooting. Most of the decisions he make are not correct. These are things you can polish with games. He has raw talent, good in both feet, strong, fast and pacey. It would be good to have in at Spurs next game. His pace will create problems but Spurs is a very quick team, so BR has to decide how to setup his team.

  37. Was watching Allen's highlights of the game. He possession twice (in each half), one was Suarez's bad pass and another was he was caught in possession. Other than that he passing accuracy was definitely above 90%. He's not a world class player, so he needs a couple of games to get back in the form. Today his game is improving and he can see the game better in front of him. With Gerrard out, he has to grab this chance.

  38. Good article...enjoying the comments.
    With Allen and Sterling I did think we were more balanced, mobile and effective in pressing there defence. Gonna be very interesting against Spurs though as their midfield is far superior to WH in terms of passing and keeping the ball. They had a terrible first half and then great second half against Sunderland. Dembele, Paulinho and Lennon looked dangerous.

    BR cant make the mistakes he made against Arsenal and play a 3 man defense with Lennon waiting to pounce. Hoping the same back 4 as yesterday and looks like Lucas-Allen-Hendo-Sterling-Coutinho with Suarez upfront. Coutinho and Sterling will have to play very well to help defend the flanks and then support Suarez...

  39. Great post! Great game! Sure there was some lengthy period in first half where it looked like we would threaten but never cash in.
    Good stuff.
    1. Sakho played very well
    2. Coutinho and Henderson had great games; shame neither made the score sheet cause they deserved it. PC looked dangerous and creative again!
    3. Astoundingly, Allen played pretty well.
    4. Thrilled that Kelly finally got a sniff of play.
    5.loved that Sterling actually caught phases and made a couple including that unselfish header into the path of Suarez.
    Bad stuff
    1. Surprised and disappointed that Alberto didn't see time.
    2. Felt bad for Skrtel on the OG. Had he taken one more step he could have easily cleared to the sideline.
    3. Sorry to see Stevie pull a hammy. Probably the only way other mids get some time

  40. "Astoundingly, Allen played pretty well" or is it a case of fans not wanting to accept that he is IN FACT a very good player?

  41. 4. Still searching for at least one more player to be a real finisher. We dominated possession and had a million chances but only Suarez closed the deal...
    All that said, great win against another team in tatters that we. Would have gifted a win or tie to in the last 3-5 years. Real progress, especially after the egg we laid at Hull.....

  42. Sakh17mil ABSOLUTELY well spent! He possibly is our answer to Hyypia.

  43. With Spurs Chelsea and City all away and just around the corner the defining weeks of our season may well be this period.
    I Have my fingers crossed.

  44. i agree with the point about getting carried away. every time we seem to get a bit of momentum going, someone in the press says something stupid such as, "we can win the league now" or "we will do.......blah, blah ,blah". for once, just for once, say nothing and let the winning results save the oxygen, that you waste, when you tempt fate!

  45. What a great goal by Assaidi!

  46. Waz at the game yesterday and sakho finally looked like a true centre half, great in the air and provided stability at the back. Allen also looked very mobile with his quick turns and decent effort on goals. Soon as lucas came on, gave the ball away and then west ham score. Its not gerrard but has always been lucas who offers nothing and is too slow in everything. Sterling needs more game time and with confidence growing slowly will have more impact in the game.

    Great hospitality experience in the red cafe and was sitting 2 rows from the pitch with the lads for my 40th birthday and with others dropping points made it a perfect weekend!! Big smiles.......

  47. Things are going well. Shako has to play he's made for this league. Delighted for assaidi borini almost done the same against spurs. So far so good. Gerrard injury could be blessing in disguise. Really hope xmas goes well.

  48. Suarez was clearly a contender for Man of the Match. Goals, assist and a lot of fight. Despite a lot of good observations in your post, Suarez doesn't even get a mention. Interesting.

  49. Oops, of course he did get a mention, for a tenuous link to unpunished red card offenses 'last season'. I thought you were all about focusing on 'the now' Jamie?

  50. Lol, hilarious post. Don't be so ridiculous, it isn't a big conspiracy, referees make bad decisions or miss some, it happens, deal with it. I hope we beat them too, but not because I have some childish vendetta against them, simply because I want us to win every game.

  51. Belgium are definately a dark horse to win the world cup. They have one of the easiest groups, so they shouldn't peak too early and will be able to rest their key players

  52. I didn't think his decision making was bad. Actually, I felt that he and Coutinho were playing well together. In terms of his finishing, he really needed to put him the one ball in particular when he was one on one with the goalie.

    As good as Suarez is, if a defense can devote two or three players specifically to stopping him, it should open up areas for other players... and Sterling was getting into those areas, which we haven't seen much of by anyone except Sturridge.