6 Dec 2013

'The problem is...' - Lawro explains why 'disappointing' €11m star is failing at LFC.

Last week, Reds hero Jamie Carragher criticised Victor Moses' performances for Liverpool, and suggested that the Nigerian striker would be pulled 'out of the team' if he continued to make poor decisions on the field. The Nigerian - recently named 'African Footballer of the Year' - is coming under increasing scrutiny at Anfield, and Anfield Legend Mark Lawrenson has now jumped on the bandwagon.

After Moses' mistake led to the opening goal in the Reds' recent 3-1 humbling at Hull City, Carra barked:

“This is the reason why he doesn’t play! He’s not responsible enough with the ball in his own half of the pitch. You can’t make decisions like that as a wide player. That’s why wide players notoriously end up out of the team”

In his column for the Liverpool Daily Post yesterday, Lawro advanced his theory on why Moses is struggling at Anfield. He observed:

"I was disappointed [with Moses]. The problem with Victor Moses is he doesn’t know the game, he doesn’t know about football. At least that’s what I pick up from watching him. He plays by intuition rather than knowing what his role in the team is".

There may be a grain of truth to Lawro's comments. Indeed, in an interview last week, Moses admitted that his style of play is 'off the cuff' and spontaneous. He told LFC.com:

"It's all instinctive when the ball comes to me. If there's space I will move towards goal. I always want to attack and put defenders on the back foot".

On the other hand, Moses - who cost Chelsea €11m in 2012 - claims that the team's tactical plan is always at the forefront of his mind:

"You have to find a way to influence the game wherever you are playing, but you also need to be aware of the team's tactical plan. The first aim is to do the job the manager is asking you to do."

To be fair, it's hardly surprising if Moses is not sure of his role in the team. After all, Rodgers - as is his habit - has deployed the Nigerian in several positions since arriving, most notably as a number ten during Coutinho's recent injury.

Is Moses a busted flush? Is he going to end up making a significant impact at Liverpool, or should the club cut its losses and send him back to Chelsea in January? Admittedly, that would be a drastic move, and given the paucity of the squad at the moment, it's unlikely to happen. Rodgers also seems to rate Moses highly, as he reaffirmed in his pre-West Ham press conference on Thursday:

"Victor is a talent and is happy to be in the squad, he wants to improve and I communicate regularly with him. He has never said a bad word about Liverpool since he's been here".

For me, Moses is a squad player. He clearly came to Liverpool to be more than that, but despite starting six games in a row when he first arrived, he hasn't proven to anything other than a squad player. He had the chance to step up during that period, but didn't take the opportunity.

Now, with the probable arrival of at least one more attacking midfielder during the January transfer window, his opportunities to play will become even more limited.



  1. Indeed, Moses has not impressed me much. I still can't believe BR persisted with playing him as a number 10 when he was offering nothing at all in that position. He was just running and getting caught in possession. Alberto should have played there IMO.

    At the moment I only view him as a squad player for sure, I just can't see what he offers. Dare I say Downing was a better option?

    We're linked with Erkin, that Fenerbahce left back, he looks good.

    Ps BR must see something in Sterling if he keeps on giving him a chance, if he turns out like Shaun Wright-Phillips then that would be good lol

  2. Learning through experience to play in more than one role in the team is an important part of player development. It means the development of tactical flexibility and intelligence, of teamwork, and directly enhances player value and marketability. It's fundamental to the successful career of any modern footballer at the elite level that he can play in a number of roles in the team.

    Moses has never been played out of position: that would be asking him to play defensive midfield or defense. He's been asked to play in different *roles* not different positions. Tactics and strategy are about more than just the nominal starting positions, obviously, but about the many roles that the team will require a player to fulfill over the course of a given match -- and over a season.

    Even though if you look at his Palace, Wigan and Chelsea careers you will see him being played as a striker, winger, wing-back and central attacking midfielder, Moses was underdeveloped in that he didn't have enough experience for a player of his age of being given more tactical *responsibility*. In asking Moses to mature Rodgers is aiding Moses' overdue development, not hampering him. If Moses is unable or unwilling to go down this road, then Liverpool will be the last major club he ever plays for, because without doing what Rodgers is asking him to do, what he asks all his players to do, Moses will never, ever be attractive to any club competing for the top honours in the game.

  3. That's a very good point Robo!

    At previous clubs Moses has done "okay" but that's about it. The fact that he just a loan signing means I don't really care too much.

  4. downing wages were ways to high thats the problem - thanks comoli!

  5. Are we too soon nail the coffin to moses??? he just only few games with us...
    Cant deny that he right to be criticized atm but is he really gonna be bad to us (in overall long term)?

  6. Downing is never a better option... Speaking of West Ham players, what on earth has happenned to Carroll?? They bought the guy £15M and i don't think he's played an entire game whole season...

  7. I did say when we signed Moses that he's pretty much a right-footed version of Downing - both are decent enough players when played to their strengths (Downing was just ridiculously overpriced), but we're wasting time messing about with him as an inverted winger and even more so as a central playmaker!

    Rodgers just needs to stick Moses on the right flank and have him open up the pitch in the final third, or just play players more suited to those alternative roles on the pitch.

  8. I think the Moses critique is a little OTT. He had a bad game against Hull, we know that! If you look at his career esp at Wigan he was a thorn in the flesh for all the top teams.
    Ironically, Rafa our most tactically astute ex-manager rated him & played consistently & Moses repaid Rafa with some very important goals. I think playing him outside is his best position so for Rogers to play him as 10 doesn't help ! I like him because he attempts to take a game by the scruff of the neck, we saw this for Wigan. He also single handedly won the ACoN for Nigeria. Which is why comparing him to Downing is strange, as Downing doesn't have the mettle to try things! I believe the jury has judged prematurely & for Carra to berate the guy in public was a bit out of order. We actually lost to Hull because we allowed an overweight Craig David aka Huddlestone to dictate the game which is more a blight on Gerrard & Lucas, but you will never hear Carra comment on that!

  9. Btw, it's funny how quick people are to jump on certain players for any mistake no matter how trivial but so willing to gloss over others.

    I've seen Gerrard give the ball away in the middle of the pitch plenty of times this season which could just as easily have led to goals, not to mention the more obvious failings in our own penalty box, yet that isn't seen as reason to hang him out to dry.

    People love to talk about how players should play with freedom, but then want to harp on about a winger losing the ball out on the flank halfway up the pitch when trying to beat a man?! That doesn't make any sense, at all! It was obviously a mistake, but it wasn't an incident worth beating the guy up over...

  10. Jay please read my comment, just like your name you're right! It seems scouse born players are exempt from criticism. All of a sudden Flanno is Roberto Carlos incarnate even though he lost possession on numerous occasions against Norwich. Gerrard could score an own goal & people would say it was tactical genius to motivate the team!

  11. ‘I know what I’m getting with Victor,’ he said. ‘He is an intelligent footballer. He has good pace, he’s strong and he has got good experience.

    ‘He has already played 100 Premier League games and we were fortunate that he became available ." Quote from Brendan Rogers


    Support the guy, we're not even half way through the season & we're righting him off.

  12. http://metro.co.uk/2013/09/14/liverpool-fortunate-to-add-victor-moses-to-ranks-says-brendan-rodgers-3996217/

  13. That is why we loaned Moses. If he is not able to step up then he will be sent back to where he came from. Highly doubt Chelsea want him back on their books. How will he get into their bench, never mind their starting lineup? Moses is a talented player but maybe just not good enough for the red shirt. Nothing ventured, nothing gained and same goes with Cissokho.

  14. He was totally frustrating to watch at Hull. Every time someone passed him the ball, he would wait for the ball to reach him. In the meantime, there would always be a Hull player picking up the ball on his behalf. How he wasn't benched from the start of the second half amazed me.

  15. Moses himself says he prefers the 10 role so if he can't adapt to playing there and sticking in a tactical formation then that's his own issue. The way Rodgers has used him has been very much the same as Coutinho - either on the left side of a front three or as a proper 10. Coutinho never had any problem with that positioning and I don't think it's an excuse or even an acceptable reason as to why they player isn't showing that team awareness and maturity.

    Something we might conclude about how Rodgers works his players is that he always asks them to do something above and beyond what they might be used to. Some players are fine with that and they thrive, like Henderson, Sturridge, Mignolet and Suarez. Truly top class players are usually good enough to play any tactical formation and the guidance of a tactically astute manager is just part of how it all comes together. For others that step up seems a challenge too far. Aspas was looking good at first before he started to slip, as was Moses. They have a spark, a level of basic raw talent and ability that has gotten them so far in their career. But when they are asked to fit a disciplined role in a team and do something outside their natural instincts they don't instantly show their quality. Maybe they never will. I certainly don't blame the manager in that instance. Good players will always adapt and grow into better players, right to the end their careers. If they don't then they just don't have the quality required to play at a top club.

  16. Coutinho can never offer real width the way Moses can due to lacking that extra bit of pace! It's up to Rogers to make the most out of the squad.

  17. The problem with Moses is blablablablablablabla and no end result.