6 May 2014

'I'm speechless': Angry Reds legend blasts 'mentally weak' £31m LFC duo. Fair?

Well, if you're going to throw it away, you might as well do it in epic style! Tonight's lamentable collapse against Crystal Palace means that Liverpool's title bid is now hanging by a thread, and legend Jamie Carragher has delivered a scathing assessment of the Reds' blundering defenders, accusing Sakho et al of being 'mentally weak'.

Analysing LFC's calamitous capitulation at Selhurst Park, a clearly irate Carra lambasted the team's defensive performance as 'not good enough', and criticised the ineffectual Skrtel/Sakho partnership. He barked:

"I'm Speechless. It's not acceptable. That [defending] has been their achilles heel all season. I always felt the defence would come back to haunt them, and tonight's the night. The defensive side of the team is not up to the level of Premier League champions."

On the subject of the Skrtel/Sakho partnership, Carra added:

"They [Skrtel and Saksho] can't cope with the pressure. They're good players, but they're not leaders. That's 17 games they've played together now, and it's one clean sheet. They always concede goals whenever they play together. They're weak mentally [and] don't think like defenders.".

I made this clean-sheet point three months ago in an article about Sakho's negative defensive impact on the team. With the Sakho/Skrtel partnership, LFC:

* Concede more goals per game.
* Achieve fewer clean sheets.

With Skrtel/Agger, LFC concede less, and achieve MORE clean sheets. Agger may have some defensive issues, but he clearly makes a more positive defensive impact on the team than Sakho, and the clean-sheet disparity proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt:

* Skrtel/Sakho = 1 clean sheets in 17 games.
* Skrtel/Agger = 7 clean sheets in 21 games

£13m-rated Skrtel makes the odd mistake, but overall, he's had an outstanding season, and is clearly LFC best defender. Sakho - who cost the Reds £18m - is the problem; he unsettles the defence with his uncertainty on the ball, rash challenges, and (sometimes) suspect positioning, and I imagine that Skrtel spends a lot of time worrying about these things when he should be 100% focused on the game.

Central defenders need to trust each other, and I don't get the feeling that Skrtel trusts Sakho. Add into that a tentative, error-prone goalkeeper; an inexperienced, positionally-suspect young right-back, and a veteran full-back who continues to be a defensive liability, and it's a recipe for disaster.

On the subject of Glen Johnson: I didn't want LFC to sign him in the first place, and I've argued for years that he is a defensive liability. I always got shouted down by fans telling me that he's such a great player, but it seems that people are finally waking up and seeing the truth.

And what about Joe Allen and Lucas? They're supposed to be the immovable wall in front of the defence, but they made absolutely zero impact in that regard. I've heard fans passionately argue that Allen and Lucas are defensively solid, but this season has completely blown that theory out of the water.

Like Sakho, those two need to be permanent squad players next season, as they're simply not effective enough to be regular starters in a team with title aspirations.

Rodgers utterly failed to effectively replace Carra last summer, and the entire defence needs another major overhaul in the upcoming transfer window. However, given the manager's suspect overall performance in the transfer market, I have little faith that he'll get it right.



  1. Best day ever, nothing funnier than seeing the bindippers fail. Good times good times.

  2. Mike Aitcheson1:17 am, May 06, 2014

    I still think that Johnson is the weakest link. He's pushing 30 so won"t learn now, and stand so far off wingers that they can cross and shoot at will. He's now had the cheek to call fans 'armchair experts'

    sakho and Skrtyl need a leader, and unfortunately minolet isn't commanding at all or decisive enough coming for crosses. The trouble with Agger is poor marking...

  3. The 70M B Rodgers was promised, the first things he needs to bring is 5 defensive players: GK CB RB LB DM

    GK: A Mccarthy(24) Of Reading for 4-7M

    CB: D Lovren(24) Of Southampton for 12-16M

    RB: N Clyne(23) Of Southampton for 5-7M

    LB: B Davies(20) Of Swansea for 4-7M

    DM: M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for 8-11M

    Those 5 players should be the first players brought to club this summer, as there is no way in hell we are getting through champions league, conceding goals for fun home or away, we can't out score teams every game. we need some clean sheets

  4. Agreed, Johnson played a part in all 3 goals conceded.

  5. Yannick, Dwight and Delboy really did stop the "Merseybeat".

  6. Mike Aitcheson1:26 am, May 06, 2014

    Sorry, but they are not of the quality that we need to make the next step. Good players, certainly, but not difference makers. We are going up against world class teams now, we need top performers

  7. David Okorodudu1:26 am, May 06, 2014

    Jamie I make you right:BR is poor in the transfer market- excepting Coutinho and Sturridge;is stubborn and inflexible .I honestly don't believe lightning strikes twice and we should recruit-you read me right-a coach with global stature,winning history and the ability to attract top notch players.Who?De Boer,Simeone and Ex Bayern Manager before Guardiola.

  8. We need to hold back a bit. nothings changed. we werent going to win the league on goal difference anyway. We needed city to drop points and still do.

    The last 20 minutes were atrocious. Br made a few errors. sterling off for coutinho was one. sterling had pace to control bolansie. as soon as he went off the guy went on a mad one. Countinho could have brought him down but didnt and they scored. We had 2 if not 3 penalty shouts and moses fluffed sitter.

    Sakho is a nervous wreck at the back and why the experience Agger isnt playing at this time of the season only br knows. The value of hendo to the team is shown by the fact that allen and lucas both combined arent putting his super human effort in.

    Suarez even though wasnt fully 100% still put a huge effort in his tears at the end showed that even though he is a foreigner it meant hugely to him probably more than some of the others.

    Johnson was superb in the first half. Should have had a penalty and should have scored.

    i still have a feeling that its not over till fat sam sings. and this season of surprises may just hold one final downing assist and carrol goal!

    Chin up guys.

  9. I saw mistakes tonight that I wouldn't tolerate in my Sunday league days, the Liverpool back four cannot cope with pressure!!

  10. I don't include Flanno in that, he was solid as usual!

  11. Mike Aitcheson1:38 am, May 06, 2014

    Johnson was superb?

    Don't make me laugh... He was wasteful as always even first half and fell over three times like he'd been shot by a sniper in one game. Don't think he blocked a cross or shot all game. Again.

  12. Jaimie, you were an advocate for signing Sakho since you claimed to watch Ligue 1. From memory, none of his problems now were mentioned. Sakho should have been dropped after Norwich when he tripped over his own feet and knocked down Snodgrass.

    Skrtel and Agger were the best in the business under Dalglish, and the immense protection Lucas provided the back four with no longer exists. Bar Sakho, it's still the same defence. It's Rodgers who constantly exposes them. I'm sure that if Allen and Lucas sat as a pair in front of the defense without Gerrard as last man we would have done a little better.

    Maybe it's the nature of the Premier League, but we just can't dominate the game when it really matters. You can see control slipping away in the majority of games and we do nothing about it. You do not concede 3 goals in 10 minutes, and next season I hope the squad is good enough to drop those accountable for such a poor effort.

    Defensive signings might help, like replacing Johnson, but for 2 years under Rodgers it has been a tactical issue and that's where it needs to be addressed.

  13. Yes, I was an advocate of signing Sakho. Ligue 1 is a much slower league than the Prem, so he didn't have the same problems. Yes, he'd make the odd mistake, but all defenders do. He's clearly not suited to the Premier League. Too much pressure on the ball; not enough time on the ball etc. Given his height and physicality, it seemed reasonable to assume that he'd adapt well to the Prem, but that's not been the case.

  14. Skrtel had a fairly good game but sakho is a bombscare of a player, I'm nervous every time he's got the ball. When I watch Johnson, sometimes the way he's beaten I feel he could've tried harder sometimes. Flanno doesn't have Johnson's skill and quick feet but he's got heart and desire. If someone like hazard skins him, he's either done him with dazzling skill or pace which is fair enough. Sometimes as a fullback, wingers are gonna make you look silly but I feel flanno never gets done cos he cant be arsed. Sometimes I feel like Johnson does. And how he can be making snide comments on twitter about anybody other than himself after a display like that is laughable. Two new fullbacks and a centre half in the summer please

  15. LoserPool
    23 Years & Counting
    This is why Suarez was desperate to leave in the summer.
    Despite playing no 'midweek' games in Europe (effectively 14 games less than top 4 rivals which is the equivalent of 14 weeks rest!) Arsenal with only 1 average striker and a catalogue of half-season long injuries are just 5pts behind. Arsenal, City, Chelsea would all have won the league by 10 pts with Suarez in their team! What a waste of a player. He'll be off first chance he gets and no lies about his contract will keep him this time!

  16. Agreed. Pathetic back 4 have cost Liverpool dearly. The defending problem was there all season.

  17. bill the drill2:18 am, May 06, 2014

    I turn on TV every night to see Jamie,Hansen,Lawro,Jim Beglin and Steve Nicol.All legendary LFC defenders,throw in Steve Clarke and surely one if not two are available,IF ASKED,to sort out this defensive disaster.Apologies if I've omitted anybody and sod Coaching Badges,experience wins.

  18. bill the drill2:20 am, May 06, 2014

    Agreed,they'd contribute to further disaster.

  19. bill the drill2:21 am, May 06, 2014

    GJ was dire,end of story.

  20. bill the drill2:23 am, May 06, 2014

    Yes,Sakho is Cissokho in disguise.

  21. Fair play for admitting your mistake. I've felt you've shied away from that in the past.

    Wasn't an unfair assumption on your part. I was unsure but swayed by people like yourself who are generally reliable.

    Sakho needs more time. Not great so far, but we'll see.

  22. Yeah in the end the defense cost us, but equally to blame is the indecision and lack of conviction in the final third. Look yes, it's disappointing but CL football was the goal and we have achieved it. CP played well...give them that.

  23. bill the drill2:28 am, May 06, 2014

    He needs time to speak to his agent,for a transfer,end of.

  24. Look we played with 1 team all season and not a bought Saudi toy thing on the bench - CL Done, check - dream of PL title - not over but also was a distant dream - Man U in 20 years of drought - check, Man City should be banned from Europe - will they? Of course no - cheats abound - Suarez stays next year - bring it on - style over plastic fantastic Chelsk and Man City - lol Man City - nothng other than a play-thing for kids in Middle East.

  25. If I can make a simple point that I hope demonstrates my view on this: Today we set up with a number of supposedly "defensive" players and yet we scored 3 goals. With those same "defensive" players on the pitch we then conceded three goals. It seems obvious enough that it's not about the players, it's about the tactics. It doesn't matter so much who plays so long as they stick with the team philosophy. Quite obviously our philosophy on scoring is a great one, while our philosophy on defence is extremely suspect. The only way bringing in new defenders will help us is if they are also provided with the right tactics by which to stop goals being scored. Rodgers has to take a degree of responsibility on this because it seems clear to me that the team is just not provided with the tools to shut a game down.

  26. bill the drill2:30 am, May 06, 2014

    Sure,I'd imagine zero defensive coaching.

  27. It's a bit much to blame him for the first. Generally if a defender gets a touch on a shot he's done his job. It was a fortunate deflection.

  28. How could LFC capitulate like that in 10 minutes of football?
    1, Lucas is hopeless and deserves to be gotten rid of.
    2, Coutinho is to inconsistent.
    3, Agree defence needs overhaul.
    4, B.Rodgers needs to learn a lot quicker then what he thinks he does.He has to take most of the blame.
    5, Looks like we need more then 6 new recruits.
    6, Suarez will go to Real Madrid now when they come in for him,and you can't blame him.

  29. For me Brendan Rodgers is the first to congratulate for the beautiful attack minded football of LFC that gave us the chance to scream "GOAL!!!" 99 times in this league season until now. But also Brendan Rodgers is the first to blame for the defensive circus that lead LFC to a pathetic defensive record. Everybody accepts that 49 goals (and maybe more, we have one last game to play this Sunday) are too many for a champion. We have to accept that the attack excites everybody (me too), but defense is the element that wins titles (and defense is not only "parking the bus"). For me the big problem is not our centre backs (and I say that even if I have to admit that we don't have somebody like Vincent Company or David Louis in our team) because in the modern game EVERYBODY MUST DEFEND. Defenders must be protected by the midfielders and we are not good enough when we have to do that. Unfortunately, Henderson, our midfield dynamo was sorely missed in this three games, making things even worst. We had nine points to fight for and without Jordan we lost five of those. Gerrard cannot run like 10 years ago anymore, neither Lucas can after his succesive injuries since 2011, but they can do very good job (expecially Gerrard), when the tireless Jordan Henderson is unleashed and running a little bit for them too. This is the reason why Henderson plays always, no matter what. Yesterday after 60 mins of game nobody could run. We were exhausted and we lost the midfield and attackers of Crystal Palace could go in frost of our area without seriοus resistance. Rodgers was waiting and waiting and waiting (he is probably the most anti-substitute manager I have ever seen). He had to do his changes faster, to play somebody of his three bench defenders, but never with this Moses lazy ex-footballer, who doesn't care about anything. Now the title is gone for good and we can't do many things about it. What Rodgers can do is to learn much more about defending and make his next year Liverpool a team able for many clean sheets. Not only defending (at the expense of attack, like Mourinho is doing), but attacking and defending too... YNWA

  30. bill the drill2:39 am, May 06, 2014

    Hear hear.

  31. Good points, but Liverpool conceded shedloads of goals *with* Henderson in the team, too. It's not like he's some defensive powerhouse. If's he's so vital, why did LFC have the worst defensive record in the top 6 before his 3-game suspension? I doubt Henderson would've made that much difference over the last two games, either offensively or defensively.

  32. He left waaay too much space, he should have closed him down. He always does that, invites them in. Ironically on the second he decided to go for it, when he should have chased them down. Third goal, same as the first, kinda dragged his feet around and wasn't marking or pressing anyone.

    The worst part is, he looked like he was going to have a good game, the first 20 minutes or so, then imploded.

  33. I don't see why you edited your post to highlight 'claimed'. With the way I put it, it can sound as if there's a negative connotation to it, but there isn't, and it wasn't intended. In numerous articles, you said you watch/follow Ligue 1, I assumed that this would allow you a greater insight into Sakho's game. To me, Sakho looks the same on the ball no matter the situation, always towering over it and looking clumsy.

    Only his strengths were mentioned in the pieces you wrote. But, you would think that having watched Sakho before, you would have surely picked up on some of his troubles. Regardless of the pace of the league, Sakho has never had the attributes of a ball playing centre back and it's not as if his strange body shape on the ball, hesitance, and clumsiness has just suddenly entered his game since joining Liverpool.

  34. I disagree that it's about tactics. With 4 defenders, and *three* defensive-minded midfielders on the pitch (Gerrard, Lucas, Allen), how is team not set-up to shut down a game? Rodgers has every right to expect 7 defensive players to be able to defend, but they don't, irrespective of the formation/tactics.

    This season, we've see 352/442/433/4312 etc, and the players can't defend properly in any formation/tactical set-up. It's the players that are the problem. Skrtel aside, the club's defenders are just too error prone, too shaky, and don't gel as a unit. Whether it's positioning, aerial ability, ball-watching or the other myriad of defensive issues, Johnson, Sakho et al are just not consistently good enough.

    The one area where Rodgers can be blamed is his obsession with playing out of defence, which sometimes causes problems, but other than that, the blame (IMO) lies solely with the players.

  35. I agree with you Jaimie and this is the reason why I wrote that " Unfortunately, Henderson, our midfield dynamo was sorely missed in this three games, making things EVEN WORST". My point about Hendo is that with him we have much more energy. I think that yesterday we lost two points because of bad defending and lack of energy as well...

  36. I never argued that he was a 'ball-playing centre-back', and as I already stated, the weaknesses he's displayed for LFC were rarely in evidence when he played for PSG. You can't pick up on major issues that just aren't there. In France, Sakho was a very strong, solid defender, and never appeared to be shaky on the ball (when I watched him)

    Sometimes players just can't handle a different league/different style of football, no matter how good they appear to be. That has happened many times over the years, with lots of different players, and Sakho is just the latest example.

    Fernando Morientes is a prime example of this phenomenon. Superstar for his previous clubs, and anyone watching him regularly prior to his LFC move would've been stoked with the transfer. The Prem just didn't suit him, and he didn't do well. That doesn't mean that those who championed his signing somehow missed something from watching him all those years.

  37. biggestfandownunder3:13 am, May 06, 2014

    I'm as angry and gutted as the next Red, but I thought the management and players played that last twenty minutes like fans not professionals. The narrative, encouraged by all (me included), was score as many goals as possible.

    When Palace's first went in, we should have looked to close off the game instead of continuing all-out attack bearing in mind the players looked knackered. When Palace scored their second, Agger should have come on for a forward, and that third goal wouldn't have happened.

    BR's been excellent all season and the players were very good today for 70 minutes (despite being wasteful). But they got carried away with the fairy tale that has enchanted us all, I'm afraid. I'm a huge BR fan, but he's got to field most of the responsibility for two dropped points.

    Perspective? We go into the final game of a remarkable season knowing we can still win it. Asking for Man City to draw either game was always a long short. Hoping they draw both or lose one, impossible. Or is it?

  38. There is a bit more to tactics than just the players you select and what kind of nominal formation you can describe them as. There are a thousand different permutations of how that very same team could be used. Even though you could claim we had "defensive" tactics (as you did in your game preview article) we still played a very offensive game. That's the point I'm trying to make. We appeared to set up defensively and yet we scored three goals and could have had more. The "tactics" that I'm referring to are what make that possible. In terms of what we are capable of doing as a team, scoring is not a problem and it seems to not matter who we put on the pitch. However that same seemingly defensive unit can completely melt down and concede 3 goals from virtually nothing.

    A team that is always looking for the forward pass, the space in front of them, is a team that forgets about the space behind them. That's tactics. They're focused on getting up the pitch and when time comes to turn around and get compact they just don't seem to know what to do. A well drilled defensive unit immediately knows who is responsible for what area of the pitch, what player to pick up. You can hit them with long balls and it's just instinctive to them what position to fill. But it's not instinctive because they are a better quality of defender, it's because they all, as a team, know what roles they are supposed to fill. That's the coaching, the tactics, and it's not so much a reflection of the personal capabilities of each player. The exception is in what Carragher said which is that they are possibly mentally fragile and focused on the wrong thing. That could be the case and I think it's a fair suggestion. But while mental strength is something you can't coach, I just don't personally agree that focus and knowing what to do are native attributes of players that you can fix by buying different defenders. Maybe a player doesn't listen or can't understand instructions, however in this instance I think as a team the instructions are just not there, or are not drilled often enough. Rodgers himself said that it's something for them to work on for next season.

  39. I think most of those attributes are appearance. A player can look bad and still get the job done. I agree that he has an oddness about him but check his pass rate, it's 90%.

  40. Im disgusted with their performance tonight, Glen Johnson done, not good enough constant bad touch's and wasteful ball.lucas Allen midfield got their job done barely,really missed hendo since he stupidly got sent off.the two lads were like headless chickens at times. I can't complain about the strikers, Suarez did not look well before kick off, he done well concidering, Danny S, was a bit gready at times but he got us there in the end.I hope that the glory hunting from both strikers will ease up next season,it needs to be addressed,players in better positions for goal shoud b priority.what really made me lose the rag at the end was brendans tactics.3 up and still throwing everyone forward,crazy,we had another 1 or two in us even if we were a bit more defensive. Bringing on moses, c'mon now,agger or toure to see out the game.after all the s@#t against Chelsea, I thought lesson learned we'll move on and be better prepared next time. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice,shame on me Mr Rodgers.I know im stating the obvious but im still stewing here.All in all, its been a great season,some bad decisions and play wont take away my love for lfc.what a heck of a season,and who knows maybe money city might slip up, im a villain weds, and forever blowing bubbles Sunday.football deserves to win imo .heads up lads lets get it together and rip Newcastle a new one at the fortress known as anfield on sunday.love ye lots redmenYNWA

  41. I know his rate is very high, but the guy tripped over his own feet...He takes ten years to figure out who to pass to and then it's just a short and simple pass. Nothing is defence splitting or opening like something Hummels could produce, even Agger.

  42. Rodgers comment was that "we got carried away, thought we could have more, and lost our defensive structure". I call that "tactics". Maybe it's a terminology thing, but it's clear enough to me. The team got itself so focused on scoring goals that they just didn't know how to defend any more and when some pressure was applied they crumbled. In my view the way to solve a problem like that is to make the defensive formations so well known and understood that it's second nature to the players and they do it without needing to think too much. That's training and tactics, at least that's what I think. The only way a different defender will help this is if that defender can, in the way Carragher used, actually rally and force his team to play a different way. Maybe that's the weakness of Skrtel and Sakho. I can't see either of those guys being able to use their voice to actually get other players to change how they are playing in the game.

  43. IMO, the team hasn't been drilled to maintain possession. When it really matters we can't string a few passes together or Johnson or Suarez will lose it within a few touches. Pep's Barca and Bayern were relentless with the ball. In the last 10 minutes it should have been impossible for Palace to get the ball off us, with Allen, Lucas and Gerrard dictating. Maybe it's just the nature of the league and not possible. I posted several weeks ago about our players having a lot more freedom, particularly Suarez, we are more direct and look for an attacking opportunity with every touch of the ball. It's not sustainable over a period of 90 mins. Also, Playing out from the back creates an illusion that we are a controlling team when we aren't. A lot of our problems stem from there as well.

  44. Johnson has always been a defensive liability, Skrtel is a great defender, Sakho is in his first season and Flanagan is young and inexperienced. I have to agree with all the points made in the article. But the centre backs would not be under so much pressure if both Johnson and Flanagan were of a higher quality. What happened to Martin Kelly? He was looking at being a top defender for a while. Maybe he and Wisdom will make a bigger impact next season as hopefully Johnson will not get his contract renewal he's hoping for.

  45. Looked up some completion ratios (whoscored). Let's assume they are reliable. Sakho is on 92%, Lucas 90%, Hendo and Allen 86%. Who is most the most effective though? Clearly, Henderson.

  46. Davewestausregularguest4:02 am, May 06, 2014

    Maybe if Carragher had stayed another year it would have been a totally different story ???

  47. Hey Jaime we had carra and we finished 7th. Rodgers has done awesome like it or not

  48. justplayers hat replace the whole team u mean mfhahahHah. Anyone got a real suggestion?

  49. Pete Jaime has no better insight than anyone else here. So don't be too hard on the guy haha

  50. I could not agree more with everything you've said. The biggest issue is the "period of 90 mins" part. We just can't maintain it, and we don't have that ability to revert to being a controlling team. We're like a wind-up toy that bolts out of the box but in the last 10 minutes ends up on it's side, spinning endlessly until it runs out of battery. Rodgers has steered us away from a pure possession based game and for all that it's had some rewards it's clear enough where the problems lie.

    Rodgers is young and he'll continue to learn. He needs some of what Mourinho has at Chelsea, that ability for the team to just shut down and be intensely disciplined. Still, given that we already know how to score goals maybe it will follow that we can spend more time working out how to defend and control games rather than just blasting our way through them.

    If there are players out there who can improve us then I do hope we get them. I like our team and I very rarely find myself disliking particular players even if they go through periods of poor form, but I'm happy for the current mob to shift to the bench and be replaced with some serious quality so long as the incoming players truly deserve it. What would really suck is if we go on a shopping spree and the new guys just don't gel or turn out to be good enough.

  51. This is the reason why LFC are not going to be champions yet!! When we fail everybody starts blaming and pointing fingers...It's a team sport that means everybody from the manager to the last sub that get's on is part of the reason something went wrong. I taught we had learn our lesson but I guess not. LFC main mission this year was CL everything else was bonus. Next year the mission is to challenge on all fronts. The Year after we should be winning trophies without any excuses or reasons why not. That's am going to say on this matter, it hurts like hell but this team and manager have given the world excitements this season. Now we go back to the drawing board and reassess for next season!

  52. i still dont blame entirely on Defenders...Why was BR lukin to get 8-0 or 9-0 when he knows he can get 3 easy points from 3-0 lead and put pressure on Man City....He was sleeping after 3-1...Attack Attack Attack will not solve defensive problems...We need 4 defenders 2CB'S,1RB,1LB and one Defensive Midfielder too(Lucas is finished)

  53. Mike Aitcheson5:34 am, May 06, 2014

    Watch it again. The reason he doesn't gret a decent block in is that he fails to move while the attacker lines the ball up for his shot. Then he fails to get closer to him to cut down his shooting angle. Then instead of charging the ball down, taking it in the face for the team if necessary, like Chelsea players all did for example, he half turns and waves his leg in the air, not wanting to get hurt.

    Pathetic. And not isolated either...

  54. I read this ages ago, but Mourinho has always been defensively solid and he focused on defending when he worked under Bobby Robson, who focused on attacking. It's clear that Mourinho builds from the back, that's his foundation. This is obviously all speculation, but I don't think that Rodgers has much defensive insight. Even if he does, he certainly pushes it aside.

    I also think Rodgers is naive and resistant to change. In all of our previous nail biting games he has watched us fall apart and taken no action. Luckily, only against Palace has it had consequences. (I don't blame him for Chelsea).

    He can switch between 10 different formations but that's only been to suit individuals. 3 at the back was to bring in Sakho and have SAS up top. Moses played in behind who is clearly unsuited for the position. Similarly, the diamond just has to go, it's only there for Gerrard and SAS up top, Sterling plays behind, not his best position.

    Back to 4-3-3 and two new fullbacks is a decent starting point for me. I agree about new players but there's no where to hide with transfer failures next time around. I think we will struggle next season with extra fixtures. I also reckon Suarez will go. Plenty of work ahead.

  55. I only watched the game up to 65 minutes and we were cruising 3-0 ,I can't believe the result when i woke up this morning 3-3 how in the hell did we end drawing the game when we could have easily won by 6-7 goals.Some serious questions have to asked about our defense ,its all right scoring 3-4 goals but you have to do the dirty work and keep defense tight especially away and with a 3 goal advantage.This point really feels like a loss because now we have handed the title to city.The season has been great but it could have been awesome if we had won the title too.

  56. Skrtel should be the one stamping his authority as he is our most senior defender when Agger is not in the team. Carragher is 100% correct, Skrtel is not a leader.

  57. you cant imagine how bad loss it was when some players work hard and score you goals and some bullshits concede all you scored it pains you it pains .... other than gerrard suarez sterling sturridge and coutinho .. i think no body else wanted to win the league esp the likes of lucas and johnson LOSS/WIN are same for them

  58. I dont want to see that twat again flanno is better than him by a mile

  59. We need new defender the likes of Garay (benfica) and Hummels (dormound) spend 50m for them get the best defence in the world

  60. I think naive is the right word. Whatever they are doing in training it's as if there is some assumption that it will work but the team issues are quite stark. Rodgers either needs to learn for himself or bring in someone who can tidy up those defensive ends. Mental strength at the back can be a personal attribute but it can also just be drilled into a player. Having a ruthless defensive coach at Melwood (maybe Carragher himself) is surely a consideration for the off-season. But if we didn't have enough time during training this season to do enough defensive work what the hell is going to happen next season?

  61. Joel Matt Murdock Hwa7:06 am, May 06, 2014

    Yeap. Understandable if he wants to attack at 3-0. But at 3-2, he should have brought on Kolo to stabilize the defense instead of the useless Moses!

  62. Our defensive problems are down to individual errors. Defenses don't improve in their consistency, lowering the rate of errors, by having players replaced every season. They need to play together to gel. The demand that Liverpool's defense shows that kind of resilience under pressure whilst it features a new goallkeeper, centre back and a rookie fullback, is unrealistic. We have done brilliantly well this season to cope with the injuries and losses of form of our players.

    Of course it doesn't look like those players are responsible for the errors: rather Skrtel and Johnson, who have been error prone for years. This is the thing. These habits, the poor decision-making and concentration, take a long time to break. The conditions for breaking them are stability and consistency.

    Jaimie Carragher is a weak analyst whose self-serving criticisms of the defense last night were equally sickeningly self-righteous and ridiculously inaccurate. "Look at Sakho" [freezes frame, highlights Sakho] "for me, whenever I see him he's running backwards" [starts video, Sakho starts running forwards]; or [freezes video, highlights defenders] "What are they doing, they need to be pushing out" [starts video, defenders push out to eighteen yard line, freezes video] "And there, they need to push up again" [etc]. This analysis was complete garbage and bore little relation to what was happening on the pitch.

    There is no warrant whatsoever to blame Allen, particularly, or Lucas for the goals conceded last night. Demands that we effectively replace half the team are close to idiocy. It's not how to build a consistent, error-free side.

  63. What are you talking about, Flanagan was our weakest defender, allowed Gayle space for the third goal, and contributed least in attack of all our players.

  64. keep to what your good at sterling and sturridge give us impetus when rogers took then off it gave them impetus...allen lucas gerrard with sako and skirtal behind is a disaster waiting to happen without forwards to counter attack and occupy the other teams defenders

  65. Ridiculous.

  66. For some reason, I feel optimistic about City f**king up. They play better when under pressure. Jaimie, we still gonna win? You still convinced? ;)

  67. Like seriously? I advice you take some time to learn the Liverpool way, cos while I could be wrong, I'm guessing you are one of the new LFC fans I see donning the jersey all about Nigeria now, we support our players and coach through and through. We've made mistakes, we'll work at them, it's been a steady progress since BR came on board.

    I think he should have stuck wit Steve Clark though. Great football, but at the end of the it's trophies that matter, dont ask Wenger though.

  68. He's done it since the days of Rafa, the problem with some of our players is the ability to walk into the team anyday, believe me if there had been serious competition or he had been dropped a few times, lad would have buckled up.

  69. I like strikers to do defending too...i may be wrong but i hated sturridge in this match...yes he scored a goal but he needs to help midfielders and defenders too when needed....he does not even bother running to the other end of the pitch for rescue...In Modern Day football u need to score goals,defend for ur team when needed and do some tackles too if needed

  70. I think we just need to sit back and see how it all unfolds. Finishing ahead of Mourinho will be very satisfying now.

  71. You're right ... surely at a critical moment you don't put on a guy like Moses who has questionable decision making anyway. Agger or Toure should have been given some instructions on re-making the team formation to lock it down and control the game. Either player could then come on, shore-up the defence and deliver the right set of tactics to the team.

    It shouldn't matter that we spent the whole game attacking, we should be able to have a switch of tactics, a coaches call or something that gets the team to revert to a predictable, controlled and defensive method. It seems painfully clear to me that the team doesn't have that. We just kept playing the same kind of football except that our defenders were suddenly unsure about the spaces that opened up in front of them.

    We are a fearless team when we attack ... we need that in defence too. Everyone needs to know how to close out a game like that and it's inexplicable that this didn't happen. The only people who might not be at fault are the front three, but even then if they are giving away possession and looking for penetrating passes then that's a problem too.

  72. Devastated, plain and simple..

  73. Neither Skrtel nor Sakho are real on field leaders which seems to me to be the main problem.
    I would like to see Sakho at Anfield next season tho i think he needed time to settle in and probably just needed to play alongside a leader may have been good alongside Carra.
    Although i do concede if he is to succeed he needs to change his approach to the game and find some leadership and confidence.

  74. It's a nice idea but it doesn't reliably work when teams manage to play direct football against us and it absolutely doesn't work when we're frazzled, still looking to score and tired from 80 minutes of intense attacking. It's worked mostly in the first half of games and maybe if players could do it for 90 minutes it would be viable, but how can it be? No team can press high and hold position perfectly for the entire match, spaces will open up and those moments of lost concentration will, I think, be even more exposed. I hesitate to call it a plan B but the team needs another way of operating because that idea of pressing teams out of their comfort zone simply can't be relied on in every instance.

    The way we play seems, to me, to be entirely about how we move forward and has some serious gaps when it comes to protecting the back 4. That's why I so rarely find fault in what the CBs are doing, although it's easier to spot when a full back is out of position and it happens quite a bit.

    Still, all of this is a bit over-the-top because, let's face it, we're about to finish second in the league. It's a massive achievement and even with the blow-ups we've done incredibly well. Some are suggesting that this was our only chance for the title and we've blown it but I don't believe that. For the first time in years I have confidence that we're about to get better, not worse.

  75. We need complete new back 4 expect skertel next season and a gud solid defensive mid in the place of Lucas who can break down counter attacks and slow down the momentum of the opposition.

  76. I think people have been a bit harsh fine Sakho to me lacks confidence and can look a little clumsy.
    Have you all forgotten he played very little football last season and is new to the ;league.
    I really think he just needed that leader to play alongside its amazing how a few good games turns things around.
    Yes i am still a fan of his we will see next season.

  77. Jamie doesn't know jack9:55 am, May 06, 2014

    Lols - from 7th to 2nd, guaranteed champs league. Missed out on the majority of offensive targets. Seriously, you are a retard.

  78. No excuses from this fan...

    When we can't defend a 3 goal cushion in a must-win game, we obviously don't deserve to win the title. Our defensive frailties have come home to roost...big time.

    City would be more than deserving winners. They know how to defend and attack in equal measure. That's what we need to become if are to ever win the title.

    That being said, I was an emotional wreck last night.
    Not because I think there's no more hope but how easily we threw it all away.

    P.S. All plaudits to Palace. The team and their fans are a credit to the league.

  79. Calling SG "timid" is one of the stupidest things I've read.
    What was needed is a defensive leader.
    Someone who marshalled the back four to close out the game.
    We sorely lacked that this season.

  80. Ive seen more desisive women in a shoe shop than Johnson.

  81. You write as though City have an unblemished record this season which somehow makes them "deserving" winners; but they have had as many disappointing results as we have. Do a side that could only draw at home to Sunderland deserve to win the league?

    The circumstances of the result are disappointing, but a point away to Palace, the division's form team, at this moment, is not such a bad outcome. City still have two teams to beat. They could easily, *easily*, lose one of these games.

    Totally agree with you about Palace. I don't really like that continental-style chanting, paying no attention to what's happening on the pitch, but the atmosphere during their comeback was really thrilling.

  82. What do you mean? Our defence have no leaders at back, no organsation when their backs against the wall.

    How can we go to places like Cardiff, Hull city , palace, west brom and crumble under pressure?

    If we had three of the 5 Defensive players i mentioned in our squad already we would have won the league three weeks ago.

    The 5 Defensive players i mentioned will change GK: squad:

    GK: A Mccarthy(24) Class, quality Young to keep Mignolet(25) on his toes

    RB: N Clyne(23) Class quality defender, solid quick defender, better defender than G Johnson(29), Johnson attacks better, but 1 vs 1 with winger Clyne(23) is much better

    CB: Lovren(24) is a awesome centre back and leader, would have commanded back 4 and would be ideal partner for either Skrtel(29) or Sakho(23) as both are class quality defenders , yet none of them are leaders.

    DM: A fully fit injury free M'Vila(23) is a beast in centre of park and would be vital component to side. Gerrard(33) does not have the legs to cover ground like he used 5-6 years ago. We had to defensive players midfield players in midfield and 4 defenders and GK on pitch, yet we conceded 3 pathetic goals in bizarre 25 mins.

    Yet next season we may have places like san siro, Camp Nou, Bernabeau, Allianz stadiums to go to, could this defence go abroad to those stadiums and keep clean sheets? Teams don't win leagues winning 6-3 every week, you need 1 0 , 2 0, 3 0, 0 1 0 2 0 3 yet all season our defence has conceded goals left right and centre.

    Last night B Rodgers lost us the game, he disrespected C Palace by taking off the two quickest players in ground off, when they both should have played all game. Suarez is the best player in league by country mile, he was last season. But that doesn't mean he should play every game , every minute. After 58mins, you could see he had nothing in the tank left.

    He should have been subbed, why can't B Rodgers take him off? Even Messi and Ronaldo are subs from time to time, they are human they do need rest no matter how good or crucial they may be, have faith in your other players to get job done.

    B Rodgers should have taken off after 60mins Flannagan, Lucas and Suarez. Not Sterling(19) and Sturridge(24) And brought on Agger, Cissokho and Coutinho. And gone 5 3 2 for last 30mins

    As soon as those two came off, The palace defence must have thought thank you Rodgers. Suarez is exhausted and will not stretch this back 4 by himself and the two quickest players in ground are no longer on pitch. And Sterling(19) and probably the fittest player at club should have stayed on for sure.

    B Rodgers lack of respect for palace and poor subs cost us game and 3 points yesterday.

  83. Well its better seeing us blame ourselves rather than everton......and also it is too simple to jist blame individual players. As a collective we left ourselves far too exposed and that was the result.

  84. The only hysterical overreaction is coming from you. There is absolutely no evidence to support the contention that Sakho will have an 'outstanding career' at LFC. And to mention Hyypia in the same sentence is sacrilege. Sami was immense from the minute he stepped on the field to when he left. There were never doubts about him.

  85. Neither is Sakho, and Carra was talking about him too, not just Skrtel. As usual, you ignore that.

  86. Skrtel is Sakho's senior.

  87. I can't think of a single team who have signed that many first team players in a single window and succeeded, in the last 20 years. The closest might be Chelsea in 2004-5 who added Cech, Carvalho, Ferreira (was good at the time!), Drogba, Kezman, and Robben to the first team -- all played 30 games or more, and were added to a squad that already included Lampard, Makalele, Terry, Joe Cole, Damian Duff... That was a one-off as far as I recall. You can sign your 10 players, but realistically, only three or four of them can be properly integrated into the first team squad (i.e. play between 30 and 50 games over the season).

    Man City and Spurs are good examples of what you can't do; City's new signings have been disappointments when the whole season is considered: they remain reliant on Silva, Kompany, Toure, Milner, and Aguero; Navas, Jovetic, Negredo, Fernandinho, have all been underwhelming -- all but Fernandinho have been arguably appalling signings who have hardly contributed, particularly at the sharp end of the season.

    And Spurs' signings have been atrocious across the board. Eriksen for some reason gets a pass on this board because his "stats" look alright, mostly because he takes the corners and free kicks, but he's been very weak in most of the games I've seen him play this season.

    What I'm saying is, you can't solve our problems just by piling up "quality" players like that. It takes patience and stability for resilience and consistency to become habitual, no matter how "good" the raw materials, the players themselves, might be.

  88. Pff, that's not me being hysterical, I get much more offensive when I'm excited. That was just mildly irate.

    I can rationalise my "contention", though it's not possible to provide the "evidence" you demand for something that hasn't happened, by pointing out that he has the physical and footballing attributes of all top defenders in the game in the last 20 years, his touted "clumsiness" notwithstanding, and is well-positioned at a major club to remain a prominent, important player in the European game over the coming seasons.

    He's already a pillar of a promising France side, and has played for two of the biggest clubs in Europe. He's already having a pretty good career. His goals saw France through to the World Cup; he's been part of what might be the most exciting Liverpool side in living memory, which has caught the attention and imagination of the footballing world. He's a major talent. I'm sort of surprised you can't see that. Give him a few seasons free of injury and we'll have a dominant defender. I make that judgement based on years of watching young talents turn into elite performers. It doesn't always work out of course, but Sakho's got everything it takes.

    I guess *outstanding* is vague. By that I mean being an important player in sides that win trophies. And given how things stand, I'd be surprised if Liverpool and France didn't win trophies with Sakho in a prominent role in the next five years.

    This talk of demoting him in favour of some yet-unnamed player just seems nonsensical to me.

  89. Slipperie_Slope11:08 am, May 06, 2014

    Our defence has been weak all season, but if you told me it was week enough to throw away a three goal lead in ten minutes I would have laughed.
    Unacceptable, the lads up front must be wondering what the hell they have to do.
    Needs to be sorted out for next season, players in, players out. But there was a bit for Rodgers to learn last night on what to do when you are 3-0 up at this stage of the league.
    Great season, really enjoyed the year. Lets get make it 26 league wins and 100+ goals on Sunday. If City do win the league (which i am not totally resigned to) we will have come from 7th to 2nd in one season only to lose out to the free spending money-bags by a single drawn game....
    Chin up LFC

  90. Slipperie_Slope11:10 am, May 06, 2014

    Although even I had to laugh at this......

    Trophy Count 2013/2014

  91. Spot on Jamie - get players in who have the maturity , intelligence and authority to manage a game and also the self discipline to carry out a defensive plan as instructed and when required .
    Lower teams in the league are able to do this and their players haven't cost the earth but are more intelligent and defend better as a unit .

  92. you say we need a solid defensive mid but rodgers has clearly penned gerarrd in for that role again next year. lucas obviously isnt going to be as good on the right of a diamond, and for me every player has to have a great energy and a pressing game in our system, which unfortunately gerrard doesnt have, so there will always be defensive problems with him at dm.

  93. I just cant wait for sunday, cant wait to see the end of this league, last two weeks been too much to handle for everybody I guess but one thing br must know is that mignolet and all the defenders we have should move on from here.

  94. i completely agree. i think some people forget how good this season has been. sure i would have loved for us to win the league but we have done brilliantly and i for one am looking forward to next season and the champions league!

  95. sakho still cost a massive and unnecessary amount consideirng skrtel and agger were always a more than decent partnership. also sakho is not exactly an up and coming youngster anyway he has a lot of experience with PSG and internationally.

  96. What I meant is that City have the best balance between attack and defence. Seeing how Liverpool and Chelsea are the two extremes in this example, City offer the right mix between the two.

  97. i really think kelly's career is finished at liverpool. i would be surprised if he isnt sold, or loaned at the very least. he just hasnt recovered properly from injury, his technique is poor and he has gone backwards over the last 18 months or so. i agree about the full backs not being good enough though

  98. fans like you get me so annoyed. one result and you think something radical needs to be done, and that you have all the answers. we have finished top three guaranteed! champions league football guaranteed! on reflection when you're not angry about last night (which i am too) you will see it not all bad. clearly rodgers will learn, he is inexperienced, and players will be bought and sold. lets just see what happens and enjoy the final day to what has been a really good season.

  99. Sometimes the most unexpected things happen if a highly experienced and decorated team didn't through a 3 goal lead away in 9 mins carra wouldn't be a European champion. We need a leader to organise in either one of the two centre back positions or the goalkeeper. We got here playing the way we did so no apology or critism of the style of play now is logical even if it does make somepeople feel better

  100. Although I am gutted and quite annoyed I just think we've done brilliantly to put such a strong challenge this season. No one would have predicted this, and let's not forget the aim was CL. Of course, being so close to the title hurts but it's not over until it's over.

    Although unlikely, who knows, City might lose to either Villa or West Ham. If they lose tomorrow then imagine how crazy Sunday is going to be.

    I think our defense has let us down this season so it's no surprise it happened again. I was a keen defender of Sakho but I after watching him carefully I no longer trust him. He makes me so nervous when he is on the ball.

    Our Achilles heel yesterday was wanting to win by a big margin and not being satisfied with the 3 goals we scored. We need this win so badly.

    BR made some sub mistakes. I never want to see Moses in a red shirt ever again.

    All in all, this summer we only need to tweak things. We need major surgery on our defense. Especially our full backs, although Flannagan has done well but we all know deep down that he is average, although I think he will improve a lot more. And GJ...I think time is up for him. He has been a big liability.

    Onwards and upwards.

  101. From the defender who was known for going too deep lol carra was a liability himself hence we never challenged with him at the back, he was a donkey and can't criticise anybody really at least not players who are better than he could have ever hoped to be, if he wasn't local he'd have been booted out of LFC years ago aged 20

  102. Sakho has some good attributes but he's not the deity you make him out to be.

    Discussing a player's attributes and perceived ability isn't a hysterical overreaction either.

  103. Yes we were naive, on the pitch and in the dug out, by not closing the game down before thinking about closing the gap in goal difference, but we went for it, and for now that's what matters. The players don't need to be told that they f'cked up - their reaction on the pitch shows how much it hurt (no doubt pretty embarrassed too). We beat Newcastle and guarantee second, and city still can't afford to lose either of their last two games. Besides, we'll always have Arsenal 5-1, Tottenham 5-0, Everton 4-0. Second place still massive. CL here we come.

  104. Ok lads, last night is gone and barring a Citeh loss in their final two games, so is the title. Personally, I wouldn't put it past West Ham or Villa to get a win but I think I'll get used to accepting that it probably won't happen. I said in January/February that we would lift the title because I believed that this team can beat anyone, anyone, on any day of the week. I still stand by that. Personally, I feel completely vindicated by the fact that as time progressed, many more Liverpool fans started believing that we could actually do it. So taking into account the feeling you had at the start of this season, should we not all agree that this season has been absolutely fantastic and that the team, in spite of its shortcomings and the flaws of individuals, has exceeded every expectation we had. Out of frustration, we say a lot of things but looking at the season, this team deserves tremendous praise from all of us and our manager deserves people marching around the city centre with his portrait held up in the air. We are once again a proud club. The last club to be challenging the eventual champions for the title.Had you said it in August, you would have been laughed at and mocked by friend and foe alike. In less than 12 months we went from "no one wants to play for you" to Champions League team praised the world over (by those who are not blinded by club loyalty) for our approach to the game. Sure this morning it's easy for pundits to talk about swashbuckling Liverpool paying the price but those are the same people who called us the best team to watch three weeks ago. We should not be tricked into believing that this team has performed anything other than a miracle this season. Sure, if you're this close you want to win it but the fact that we were this close has nothing to do with not having European football, not having a cup run worth mentioning or not having any other distractions. We may have played less games but we also have a much smaller squad than most of the teams BELOW us and we have two strikers who have combined 52 goals this season in spite of injury lay offs and a SIX game ban. We can be very proud of this team, its manager and the club's owners. Sure we need to strengthen in the summer but every club does. Not because last season was bad but because last season is gone and to make sure next season is at least just as good. YNWA.

  105. In my opinion the weakest link were the left / right back sakho and gerrard and how many players BR bought and loan were average joe only sturridge and coutinho is consider good.

  106. Skrtel has been at the club for 7 years and has played in 244 matches for LFC. This is Sakho's first season and has featured 19 times for LFC.

    I can see where this is going...

  107. I say this AGAIN... LUCAS COST US THE TITLE. Yes Johnson was awful but most it was cause he was the only one covering that right side. Lucas was practically jogging the whole game! If I ever see him in a red shirt it will be too soon!

  108. We're top of the league with 1 game of the season left, after finishing 7th last year and you want to sack the manager? Really?

  109. Jaimie do you have stats on the pass completion of Sakho? I see lots of posts complaining about his passing but when I watch it it seems he more often than not finds his man. Is it just that he just looks clumsy?

  110. Boooooo...

  111. Sakho's passing accuracy this season is 92%. HIs passing is not the problem.

  112. And this matters, why?

    Sakho is not the long-term solution, and his games this season have (IMO) shown that. A player doesn't need to play 100 games before it's possible to discern his potential. He is a squad play, just like Allen and Lucas.

  113. Muhammad Ibrahim1:18 pm, May 06, 2014

    Sakho can't speak English at the moment, therefore can't be criticized too much for not being a leader. He is not worth the 18mil reportedly spent on, feel we could have got better for less. Although he is very strong and good in the air defensively. The trouble is when teams try to pin us in our half, we get too deep. Gerrard is fanastic when we have the ball but defensively in terms of mobility is lacks, so does Lucas. We needed our defense to push up 5 yards and have our defensive mids about 2 to 3 yards infront of our defense to counter their attack in the end, which would leave about 2 attackers out for the counter. I have seen Sakho at times trying to use sign language in attempt to getting the defense to push up a bit without any luck. The defensive display has to be rectified by the coaching staff, it is a matter of positioning between the defenders and midfielders which is leading to open spaces at times for the opposition to attack.

    Johnson is very weak defensively and has to shipped out, we might not get someone as good in the attack but a defensive improvement is much needed. Lucas is not mobile enough, watched the game and kept thinking what exactly he was doing for us in the game. He did alright at times but if we had someone more mobile and a bit better on the ball in place of Lucas we could have killed the game long ago with about 5 goals. That does not excuse us conceded 3 the way we did in any way.

    The Palace, game showed the limitations of our squad. We have a first 11 that can compete with the best teams in the PL, but if they do not for some reason click on the day for the whole 90mins we have almost nothing on the bench to bring to change the game. Hopefully this will be fixed in the summer.


    Mateo De Scgilio
    Lucas Digne/Coentrao/Marcos Rojo
    Yan M'Villa,
    Mateo Kovacic
    Will Hughes,
    And a cheeky bid for Hazard wont harm us either.

    I know this is not FM or Fifa but we can hope at least.

  114. Clearly Skrtel and Sakho are not a very good CB pairing. Who is to say that Sakho would not perform better with Toure or Agger beside him?

    What is more, Skrtel and Agger have had more than one season together as a CB pair so their must be some sort of understanding between them.


  115. Agger and Sakho are both left-footed. That will not work, which is probably why Rodgers has not tried it out.

    Skrtel and Agger = 7 clean sheets. Sakho and Skrtel = 1 clean sheet. These are facts, and this is persuasive evidence to suggest that Sakho is the problem, not Skrtel.

    Like Allen, you will just go on and on about Sakho, even when it's obvious that he's no more than a squad player.

    Allen and Sakho will *never* be first important first team regular for Liverpool.

  116. Sakho played for PSG at right CB so until Sakho and Agger are paired up then how can you say it will not work?

    Sakho and Allen will be at the club for may a year to come. Live with it.

  117. You can live in denial all you want. They may stay at the club, but they will not be regulars. Allen will be in his third season at LFC soon, and he's still a squad player. The same will happen with Sakho. I argued this point in Allen's first season, and no one accepted it; I was proved right, and I will be proven right about Sakho, too.

  118. Proved right? How many games has Allen and Sakho started since returning from injury?

  119. Irrelevant. Allen is fit, and has ben for months, yet he's not a regular starter. And he won't be next season, either. As I said: stick your head in the sand all you like; makes no difference to me.

  120. Mike Aitcheson2:08 pm, May 06, 2014

    You're not getting it are you? The only players who would possibly make the difference out of that lot would be m'vila and he has attitude issues, and Lovren who had an excellent first half of the season- he was seriously taken apart a few times more recently, including against us 2nd time.

    But none of them are sufficiently better to have made us into champions. Clyne is much poorer going forward which is a big part of how we played. Ben Davies is again promising, but not enough to transform our back four with Flanaghan being mostly sound this term.

    Luke Shaw is better. None bar maybe Lovren would have been the leader we needed to stop them dropping back into their area. Definitely not players who I would feel could keep out say robben or

  121. Mike Aitcheson2:25 pm, May 06, 2014

    Yeah, that worked great for Spurs this year didn't it?

    Unbelievable. If we win Sunday we will be no more than 2 points off the eventual winner.

    10 players. Stick to C mgr

  122. Yeah, pretty much agree with that; I like how Arsenal set up strategically, too. Hard to hit on the counter but can still put the opposition under sustained pressure. I think if they'd been more fortunate with injuries (Walcott, Oxlade, Wilshere out for sustained periods), they'd have remained close contenders.

    My feeling is that once we've got the personnel sorted at the back, and can manage a period of stability, we'll be quite well-balanced too. We don't usually give a lot of chances away -- it's just that defensive errors mean that too many of the chances we concede can be converted into goals. We're a bit like Man Utd under Ferguson in that the defenders have to be able to defend 1-1. Ours have come up short this season for several reasons. But if we can get individuals of the right calibre in there, we'll be a strong, maybe stronger force again next season. And this one still isn't over!

  123. Yeah, wasn't really directing that at you guys, sorry if I gave offense. Just as disappointed as anyone after last night I guess.

    I'm not overrating Sakho. He looks a very good and very promising defender to me, capable of achieving high honours in the game, and the criticism of him *as a player* -- fine to criticise errors when he makes them, though there haven't been many I can recall -- seems wrongheaded.

  124. I think we should go for David Marshall from Cardiff. He is bar none, the best shot stopper 1v1 in the league this season. Mignolet needs to get serious competition next season. Sahko's early season positive impression has faded somewhat. Agger is done at Liverpool (it seems). We need real leaders at the back and GK who commands his box. Both of which we sorely lack. Johnson needs to be sold this Summer imho. Flanno has been a real treat though.

  125. Took the words right outta my mouth.

  126. I have a problem in that I'm not very good at knowing when *not* to be patient, but: I think we should be patient! Command of the box tends to come with maturity, experience, and time with a settled, stable group. Sakho will be stronger next season, Mignolet too. That presence, the aura of authority, comes with time and, especially, with success.

    Flanagan's story has been fun to follow, but he's made so many mistakes, many more than Johnson, and it confuses me a bit to see him praised and Johnson, who has some outstanding qualities, damned. Of course we are entitled to expect more of Johnson, given his experience, but people's expectations of him seem somewhat unrealistic. Flanagan gave the ball away unnecessarily half a dozen times last night that I can recall without trying, and his marking for the equalizer was *very* poor -- a much worse mistake than Johnson's disappointing effort to track back for the second, or his somewhat complacent attempt to block the first. That said I agree that Johnson's time of dominating his position is up at LFC. I think we'll find him hard to sell, though.

    Anyway we should keep experienced players as long as possible, even when they lose their status as certain starters, if we can. So important to have experience and stability present in the squad.

  127. He has a bad record in the transfer market? Sturridge and Coutinho are clearly bad players. Before you say anything about people like Borini or Assiadi, look how they're performing now they have had a season to settle and play consistently. Sure there have been issues but every manager signs some flops.
    Allen has progressed in recent games and be able to develop his attacking play while Lucas was only in for the injured Coutinho. We played well all season and throughout the game until we lapsed and now you criticise Rodgers choice. At the end of the day if Agger is hardly fit it's a risk playing him.
    Last season we finished 7th and scored about 50 goals. The season later we get Champions league and our attacking power is double so I don't see how Brendan cannot do the same with the defence.
    Overall it's been a good season and I don't see how criticing players or the manager helps; do it the Liverpool way and get behind the team.

  128. Niall O'Reilly3:07 pm, May 06, 2014

    I nor anyone else should be foolish enough to bite but seriously dude get a grip.

  129. I agree, I think Rodgers has been poor in the transfer market but I'm still unsure as to how much is his fault or the rest of the transfer committee. I appreciate Rodgers must have pushed for Borini and Allen but how much did he push for Aspas, Alberto, Llori and even Sahko?

  130. And I totally agree, it seems crazy that having spent all that money last year on the defence we're going to have to start again afresh this summer. It's ridculous and has cost us the title.

  131. don't be silly!!

  132. My thoughts on palace's goals for those who care are -
    1st - a deflection, maybe Johnson could of stood firm rather than turning side on?
    2nd - a counter attack after a corner (where Gerrard was fouled in the box), maybe we shouldn't of had so many committed forward for the corner?
    3rd - A punt from the half way line and knock on, Skrtel shouldn't of committed to winning the header (leaving Gayle unmarked behind) when he was never going to get there.

    These are typical of the goals we have been conceding all season. Its difficult to put a finger on what the problem is but IMO its down to -
    1.a proportion of bad luck,
    2.personnel missing through injury,
    3.individual errors,


  133. Can we calm down please people.

    The reason we had the debacle at CPFC last night was not because of the defence (Carra shoulld be ashamed of himself). We have a reasonable defence who concede fewer goals than we might considering the number of times they are exposed.

    The real reason is the huge lack of depth in the squad particularly in Midfield. Having lost Henderson, we have had to watch Gerrard playing as though he has concrete in his shoes and Lucas, Allen, Coutinho and Sterling trying to win midfield battles when they are simply not good enough at this aspect of the game (Sad as this is the primary function of Lucas).

    So don't be surprised if there are not many changes in the defence during the summer, what we need are two or three powerful passing midfielders, if we could clone Hendo we'd be on our way.

    At the moment, cover for Suarez/Sturridge is Aspas, cover for midfield is Moses and Alberto. For a team at the top of the league that is nothing short of astonishing.

    Cover players at Chelsea are Salah, Lampard, Luiz and Cole. At Citeh it's Lescott, Kolarov, Navas, Rodwell, etc. Even at Spurs they have ELEVEN quality midfielders to chose from. What BR has managed to do with his resources is truly astonishing.

    So let's get some perspective, the team needs some more quality bodies and with the same approach, I can't see any reason why we can't be even better next season.


  134. i think with glen johnson he would be better of as a right winger , because going forward he is not bad , and his defensive frailties are less exposed in midfield as they are as the last line of defense , if he gets beaten he has more time to adjust and get back if he is a midfielder , but pushing 30 now i tend to think that its beyond his years , we have missed leadership in defense something pepe reina and carragher brought to the back line

  135. Don't know how you muster the audacity to come back on this site commenting on the deficiencies of Liverpool's defence and saying "Carragher is 100% correct" yet when I said precisely the same thing 5 days ago and you said (I quote): "I cannot believe what I have just read". - 'I had said that BR was wrong chasing wingers in January rather than a dominating central defender and a strong midfield enforcer - and this could cost us the title'. I advised you to wait and see. Regrettably that seems to have happened earlier than expected. Please don't waste the light from our eyes reading your nonsense opinions. BUT Liverpool CAN still win the TITLE if City lose against Villa or West Ham and we beat Newcastle. Hope springs eternal.
    In case your memory is failing too just tap on your name for your proffered words of wisdom.

  136. Clyne(23) is a better defender than Johnson(29) so bolaise skipping past with ease would rarely of happened.

    B Davies(20) is left footed faster quick and a better player and defender than J Flannagan(21), so those two already at back would have made difference.

    Southampton went to selhurst park and won and didn't concede, i am sure D Lovren(24) had a huge part to play in that. we have best strike force in league and maybe Europe? But our defence and our centre midfield has been our achilles heel this season. We can always score goals, but we can always concede goals also.

    D Lovren(24) is of the same class and calibre of skrtel(29) now and he has 5 years to get better, he is a leader now and would command our back 4.

    M'Vila(23) is a beast, whatever club takes gamble in him, it will be his last chance to get back to his very best or he will be forgotten.

    And i am sure if B Rodgers brought him to the club this summer, he would get back fully fit and motivated. A fully fit injury free motivated M'Vila(23) is as good as J Martinez(25) Of Bayern Munich just 25M pounds cheaper

    Those 4 players would definately improve our abyzmal defence: 2 more leaders ( Lovren(24) and M'Vila(23) and two young mobile quick pacey solid full backs on either side (Clyne(23) and Davies(20)) Those two would offer team more balance and cover on back foot than G Johnson(29) and J Flannagan(21)

  137. What are you going to do with the other £40m - Put it in the TSB?

  138. its like you read my mind, i just didnt want to get into the whole debate about carra the "legend" which usually ensues. i firmly believe he was way overrated.

  139. B Rodgers should take the complete blame, we needed goals. we went 3 0, but why take foot of gas? And why take off our two genuine speedsters with raw pace and trickery with one game in league to play? L Suarez(27) is the best player in league, he was last year also. But he is human, after 58mins he was absolutely knackered. So Rodgers should have brought him off for Coutinho(21)

    Sterling(19) and Sturridge(24) should have played the whole game, s if they had of stayed on pitch their mobility, movement and pace would have picked off palace and kept them pegged back.

    When B Rodgers took those two off, he put up the white flag. L Suarez(27) was knackered he had nothing left in the tank and he was not going to stretch crystal palace's back four again.

    B Rodgers should have taken Lucas off as he was basically non existant all game, when him and gerrard(33) play in middle of park together we have no mobility, speed or protection for back 4. Both don't have the legs for it

    Lucas(27) Should have gone off for Agger after palace scored 1st goal and Flannagan(21) should have been replaced with Cissokho(26) at Left back.

    And then we should have gone 5 4 1 and we would have probably won game and nicked two more goals

    5 3 2

    Skrtel Agger Sakho
    Johnson Cissokho

    Gerrard Allen

    Sterling Sturridge

    If Rodgers had have reverted to that team after 65mins, we would still be in hunt with first title in 24 years. But his lack of respect for C Palace in taking off Sterling(19) and Sturridge(24) was like he thought the game was done and dusted. And we took off the two fastest players in the stadium, for palace to bring on their fastest attacker who came on when we were vulnerable and who scored two very good goals. We had no one else in side, who was going to stretch palace's back four once our two speed merchants came off. And then it was attack after attack from side, as we couldn't stretch or hold the ball for more than 10 seconds. It was the managers poor substitutions and lack of respect for Crystal Palace which cost club the game, a game is 90 mins long not 65 or 75, its 90minutes

  140. The game left me flabbergasted with Glen Johnson. The lad had absolutely no balance and fell to the ground that easily. Left me thinking whether he has was drunk on that god damn pitch!!!!!!!

  141. Crap! Finishing ahead of Mourinho will only be satisfying if Mourinho's Chelsea are second.

  142. 58M should be spent on those 5 Defensive players.

    12 M left plus 40M-50M selling those 10 players and shipping out the two loan players.


    Should be spent on these 4 attacking players:

    1: CM: I Rakitic(25) Of Seville for 14-18M
    2: AM: A Lallana(25) Of Southampton for 15-17M
    3: LW: Y Konoplyanka(25) Of Dnipro for 12-16M
    4: FD: L Remy(27) Of QPR for 7-9M AND J Ibe(18)

  143. Flanaghan??????????????

  144. Liverpool's defensive woes where evident for all to see last night against crystal Palace. While we were excited at the prospect of finally lifting the premiere league trophy for the first time in 24 years a lot of simple minded fans have always been quick to forgive LIverpool's defensive shortcomings and in most cases make excuses for them.

    I will even go as far as say that Rodgers failed miserably in his defensive signings last summer. Last year Rodgers brought in Mamadou Sakho from PSG, and Kolo Toure from the wilderness in Manchester City and finally Tiago Illori from a some club in Portugal in an attempt to replace Jamie Carragher. It is safe to say than none of these signings have successfully made an impact on the team. Luckily for them the Liverpool offense always made up for their defensive frailties by simply scoring more goals than our opponents. Last night we paid a big prize for not getting our defensive tactics right. Liverpool could not rely on scoring more goals.

    I will briefly attempt to give my own analysis of the Liverpool defensive players who i think should be given their marching papers this summer. This goes far beyond who was at fault in the last game against Palace.

    (i) Kolo Toure: The Ivory coast international in my opinion has been the weakest link in our defense. It is my opinion that he is clearly not good enough to play for Liverpool or any other top club in England. He like Martin Škrtel is a goal scoring defender. Just that in his case he has scored a couple costly own goals for the opposition. He is now rides the bench just like he did in Man City. Toure is a very likeable character who is really popular on social media but his catchy song and dance moves doesn't not go far enough to help Liverpool's defensive problems.

    score 1 out of a possible 5

    (ii)Mamadou Sakho: Has been a real disappointment in my opinion. For a big lad he fails to use his massive frame to his advantage. While standing at 1.87 m (6 ft 2 in) the Frenchman is surprisingly not that good in the air. He should be getting his head to a lot more crosses in corner kicks and free kicks both in offense and during defensive duties. He is guilty of being caught on the wrong side of the ball a bit too often. He should be get his working papers.

    score 2 out of a possible 5

    (iii) Jose Enrique: is clearly not being used by Brendan Rodgers. The Spaniard has been displaced by Johnny Flanagan of late. Enrique should not at this stage of his career be displaced by a 21 year old who is still working to perfect his game. At 28 Enrique should be performing at his peak of is powers. If he is not going to be utilized he should be sold. He is not making an impact on the team on the bench. Someone should be brought in to challenge Flanagan for his position.

    score 3 out of a possible 5

    (iv) Glenn Johnson is a great player and has served Liverpool well for many years. He still has a lot to offer the KOP but i understand the 29 year old is reluctant to sign a new deal. It is probably something to do with the money on the table. I think that Liverpool should go ahead and remove Johnson from the wage bill and use that money to pay someone younger, and faster who will serve the team for a longer period of time

    score 3 out of 5

    These are the players who i would suggest to Brendan Rodgers to send packing this summer and if not this summer then next January. They are clearly not contributing much to our team and so therefore i consider them a waste of money. Better choice signings should be made. We have no depth on the bench and we have in adequate cover in many positions. We have a lot of work that needs to be done this summer.

  145. Nicolas Chamberlain7:23 pm, May 06, 2014

    Dude, real life is not like playing FIFA. Only Davies could be a good signing and Lallana, Rakitic and Konoplyanka. The rest is not good enough.
    Not even close.

  146. Come On guys let’s not play the blaming game. Last season we
    were 7th and now we are top of the league. Mourinho is a world class manager, who has experience and has won trophies everywhere he went, and he can’t have his team playing good football or winning the league. Brendan came from Swansea… Swansea and took a lost sleeping giant from a very flat mid-table position and to a title
    contending team. You guys seriously want to axe him for not winning the league when you consider the fact that at the beginning
    of the season CL football would have been a struggle for us. Seriously. If
    someone should be sacked, it should be Ian Ayre. The guy can’t do a deal to save his life. He has let Liverpool down too many times- Salah, Mkitatryn, Dempsey, Konoplyanka Costa and many more. So therefore I think Brendan is doing well when considering our ‘amazing’ managing director can’t get him the deals that would make us into a better club. Sacking
    Brendan would be like sacking Shanks. And sacking Ayre would do the club good - like sacking Hodgson

  147. Can honestly say that I for once, agree with all that both the Jamie's ave to say.

    That was a monumental collapse; An absolute capitulation.

    How do Champions lose a 3 - 0 lead; To lesser opposition with all due respect.

    Questions need to be asked and someone needs to take blame for losing the first possible league title in going-on 3 decades!

    Next season, we will be a known entity and as such, teams are going to come at us harder and smarter.

    This was our shot!

    The one shot to establish ourselves as a Great in Europe again and we bottled it.


    Shame on Johnson, Skrtel/Sakho. Flanno at least is young and cannot be blamed for all of LFC's defensive woes this season, he's only just become a regular.

    Shame on coaching staff and defence alike!