26 Aug 2014

MC 3-1 LFC: The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly. £50m star now a priority buy?

Only hours after the euphoria of Mario Balotelli's signing, the striker's former club, Manchester City, brought Liverpool down to earth with a resounding 3-1 victory, and with four goals conceded in the first two league games, the fledgling new season is already beginning to follow a familiar pattern.

In the grand scheme of things, the 3-1 defeat to Man City is pretty meaningless; Liverpool lost at the Emirates last season, too, yet still managed to finish second. What difference does it make if the loss occurs in August or December?

Liverpool will lose games; it's inevitable, and losing so early in the year doesn't mean that the season is now - as some fans are arguing - irreparably compromised (!)

There are a couple of positives to take from the game, but there are also recurring problems that still need to be addressed, and the defeat will hopefully be the wake-up call Rodgers needs to prioritise these issues.


* Some good attacking play in the first half, with Sterling, Sturridge, and Hendo getting into some promising positions. However, Coutinho is (arguably) wasted playing out wide on the left, and he should play as a number 10, or not at all. Having said that, the Brazilian didn't set the world on fire last season when playing at the tip of the diamond. Sterling had more success in that role, and if Rodgers switches to a diamond formation in the future, Coutinho could find himself languishing on the bench.

* Markovic had a good five minutes when he came on, and created a couple of chances. He seemed to disappear a little after that, but as his match-fitness increases, he'll hopefully be more of a consistent threat.

* Lucas not in the squad, which could mean that he's on his way out of Anfield. The Brazilian is a fine servant to the club, and good squad player, but he's had his day at LFC.

Erm, that's about it (!)


* Unlike Javier Manquillo - who had a great LFC debut - Alberto Moreno got off to the worst possible start in a Reds' shirt. He was arguably at fault for two of Man City's three goals, and his mistakes led to uncertainty across the back four. As maligned as Glen Johnson is, it may have been a better idea to play him at left-back, and continue with Manquillo on the right.

* That said, Johnson is increasingly a liability. To be fair, he did okay defensively, but if it's not his defensive weaknesses sabotaging the team, it's his poor play in the final third. Johnson's final delivery was atrocious all evening, and he repeatedly lost the ball in promising positions. The sooner he's permanently banished to bench duty, the better. On a related note: where is Jose Enrique? He missed the cut again last night, and there's no word from Anfield about a new injury scare. According to Rodgers, he's fit, so why isn't he in the squad?

* Defensively, Liverpool were poor at times, but when basically overhauling the entire defence (two new fullbacks, plus a new central defensive partnership), it's going to take time to gel, and things will probably get worse before they get better. It's unrealistic to expect Lovren to arrive and instantly transform the defence - he needs time to build up a rapport with Skrtel, Moreno et al, and until that happens, there will inevitably be further defensive lapses.

* Liverpool's midfield unit singularly failed once again to provide adequate protection for the back four. With marauding full-backs, it's vital to have midfielders capable of tracking runners, but Gerrard, Allen, and Henderson offered practically nothing in that regard, and City's killer second goal typified this.

* Again, it has to be said: Joe Allen offers nothing significant to this Liverpool team. What specific impact did he make against Man City, either defensively, or in attack? Zilch. Nada. Nothing. He is a passenger, and should remain a squad player for the rest of the season.

* Rodgers' decision to move Gerrard into a deeper role is seen as a masterstroke by some, but it's clearly a negative overall. Gerrard offers little protection for the back-four, and doesn't have the mobility to hassle and press for 90 minutes. Plus, the team regularly lost possession as a result of his endless Hollywood passes.

* As I've argued several times recently, Henderson needs to impact the game more in the final third, and that means taking control and making things happen, not shirking responsibility and playing the easy ball. On several occasions last night, Hendo played the wrong pass when in promising attacking positions, and as Reds legend Jimmy Case put it: "When Henderson made that tremendous run into the box, he turned away from goal, whereas Sterling or Sturridge would've turned towards the goal and took the chance".


* I remain unconvinced by Emre Can. So far (i.e. from pre-season until now), he's shown nothing to suggest he'll be an upgrade on Allen or Lucas. He seems slow, ponderous, and like Allen, it's hard to see what he brings to the team. Against City, he got booked after two minutes; got skinned on the right (which exposed his fatal lack of pace), and then shamelessly dived in an attempt to con the referee into giving a free kick. Can deserved a booking for that, and if he wasn't already on a yellow, I'm sure he would've got one.

* Last season, Mignolet made more mistakes that led to goals than any other Premier League goalkeeper. The Belgian is not the long-term solution, and last night, he proved that again. For City's third goal, why was Mignolet beaten at his near-post? He had plenty of time to see the action unfold, and to set himself, yet he still conceded. Aguero only had a small space to aim for, yet he still managed to squeeze the ball into the net. Fans regularly lambasted Pepe Reina for his near-post calamities, and Mignolet seems to suffer the same problem.

Overally, I personally don't see this defeat having any significant impact on Liverpool's season, and it's no disgrace to lose an away game against the league Champions. The time to start worrying is when the so-called 'lesser teams' inflict similar results on the Reds (which hopefully won't happen). Predictably, the doom and gloom merchants are out in force, but that's only to be expected after last season's miraculous performance.

A couple of final points:

* The defeat had nothing (IMO) to do with the absence of Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan featured in last season's game at the Etihad, and Liverpool still lost the match.

* The Reds desperately need a quick, mobile, combative defensive-midfielder, i.e. someone like £50m-rated Arturo Vidal. Rodgers has made a rod for his own back, though, with his insistence on playing Gerrard in a deeper role, as it means it's hard to fit a dedicated DM into the team. Ideally, the DM should play in Gerrard's role, but unless Rodgers drops him, or moves him to a different position, I can't see the skipper being dislodged.

Last season, Liverpool always responded well to bad defeats, and I'm sure the same thing will happen after this minor setback.

Bring on Balotelli :-)



  1. It appears that SG needs fazing out. the question is does Rogers have the balls to do this? He certianly has the ego to handle it but does he have the guts to be the manager to faze our legend out. MOurinio or Fergie in his day would not have thought twice about it, and unfortuantely Rogers has not addressed this issue. He should have bought SG replacement and started to introduce him to the 1st team.

  2. He does need a decent alternative. Who though?

  3. yes let's buy 2-3 worldclass players. what a embarassment to lose at the etihad.

  4. I see it differently with big Emre. Think he will become a midfield enforcer for us breaking up play and providing powerful forward runs... time will tell. But one things for sure, it is too early in season/careers of the new players for anyone to judge.

  5. That's the problem though, we've spent £100m on players who might be good instead of players who definitely are.

  6. How is it an embarrassment to lose to the PL's most expensive squad ever and the current champions? We matched them for the first half right up to the Moreno mistake, but as JK said we were not clinical in front of goal ( I'm looking at you, Hendo)
    Mingolet very rarely saves one on ones. He does make outstanding stops, but most forwards feel they're going to score against him when through. Contrast that to the likes of Couteous

  7. sorry, i didn't see the need for *irony off*

  8. Agree. We also have Lallana and Balotelli still to add in

  9. Would love Barkley to be the man to replace Stevie G. If only he was a red and not a blue! Big big shame!

  10. I see. my apologies. Some people really meant it though, so we still need a reality check..

  11. You are spot on IMO, with one exception:
    Emre Can offers a lot more than Allen. For starters, he is one of those rare players who is completely two-footed, to the extent that he takes free kicks and penalties with either foot. He has good shooting technique, is a strong tackler, and has excellent positional awareness. He played in all defensive and midfield positions for Leverkusen last season, and was impressive throughout (I regularly watch the German league). He could be the answer to Gerrard's shortcomings in the holding role, if given a chance.

    I am gutted that we did not seem to be interested in bringing Diego Lopez or Ochoa to Anfield, both were available on free transfers. It is hard to believe that Rodgers does not see the liability Mignolet represents.

  12. Hendo and clinical don't belong in the same sentence. That is like a surgeon doing open heart surgery with a machete. Love the kid's desire and work rate but he doesn't have the intellectual or physical gifts to truly create things in and around the box. Maybe he should play deeper and transition to a DM.

  13. I also think Allen and can will come good. Allen had great movement and played some good passes.
    Glen Johnson and Lucas should be fazed out by the talent we have brought in

    Lazar Markovic looked decent!

  14. They took it to the Champions in an away fixture and lost. No shame in that. Weaknesses were exposed and can be fixed for the next round. Far better than a flat defensive performance with a prayer for a point. Once the team gels I can see things turning around. As was mentioned the one big question mark is a shield in front of the defense. It was the glaring weakness against Southampton as well,

  15. I was impressed with Moreno regardless definitely a bad game to be finding your feet in i think he will be very good and i think had Hendo been two footed he may have done better with that chance.

  16. Also the Lambert signing appears to be a masterstroke. He's been a big positive in both matches coming off the bench.

  17. Although he has played the pass of the season so far with his left foot.

  18. Haha very good, too many fans having knee jerk reactions to this result. We played well up until a point and game could of well panned out differently had we got the early on. Like to have a positive view/outlook, bring on Mario for spurs...should be interesting next month or so.

  19. You watch it and tell me different.

  20. *had we got the goal early on

  21. I thought moreno was quite good. Yes he had a loss of concentration twice but give him a break. The intensity in bpl is very high esp. Against city. He did more in one game attacking wise than johnson did last season. And wheres enrique? Coutinho was poor. Better replace him with markovic. And guys from wat i have seen. The lfc trend is that we get better in the second half. Heres hoping. Plus vidal aint the answer. We need someone like khedira, or matuidi. Plus romero.

  22. We would not of got as many players if we had signed established big names, think we have added better depth to our squad.

  23. we get better in the second half ? is that in the second half of games or the season?

  24. Moreno won 80% of his duels last night. He now knows there's no time to dawdle in the PL. If it happened again, it'd we a problem. But in his first game? Just a wake up call. One of his crosses was exactly what we've been missing from our full backs on both sides last season.
    Give him a few games

  25. Plus the manquillo played against southampton. So its unfair comparasion. Manquillo didnt habe nasri and silva, zabaleta marauding down the flanks.

  26. He relies a lot on his physicality. Not much of a football brain, the first yard is in his feet ,not his head...

  27. I agree with most of the above. Mignolet worries me, but the defence will get better. We're still not strong enough in midfield. I like Can but he does seem slow. I find it amazing that people always go on about the deficiency in the left back position, When as the last time we had a decent left-sided midfielder/winger? Coutinho, Allen and Moreno on the left did not make sense.

  28. He's seemed a little overawed to me. A bit like Robbie Keane

  29. If my Auntie had balls she'd be my Uncle.

  30. the display against city was decent but did not blow liverpool fans away by any means. but i for one am confident that this side can get a result at white hart lane on the back of a slightly improved performance from last night.

  31. SG is not the problem, really. Lukas is disastruous, I hope he leaves soon. Please don't put Allen in the same bracket. He has excellent technique he is pretty agile and a complete footballer. I just can't believe where does all the hype about Hendo come from?!?!
    He is so slow and an average player. Just watch him closely, in each situation where he needs to produce quick response, he is slow and crap. He got two great opportunities last night, and he needed like 10 seconds to get the ball, look around and react...I see that he has untouchable status in the team, but hey, when Lucas goes there's gotta be somebody to get on my nerves for years...I also think somebody should slap Lambert in the face to sobber him up. He seems a nice lad, and a great fan, I don't doubt his skills either, I thought it was quite a piece of business...BUT, he simply chickened out at opportunity to make it 3 2 last night, come on, the goal was almost without any defense, and he hesitates, and tries a pass, omg, he should have slammed it right away...Someone needs to say, hey man, relax and do your thing, we believe in you...He made it difficult for himself, he missed that penalty in preseason because he is thinking about it too much.
    Coutinho was quiet, I adore him, not sure what is going on with him, maybe he should play more centrally. I am optimistic about Balotelli, we needed domeone with balls last night. I know they are so strong but we treated them with too much respect. Just hope we won't do that at White Heart Lane. YNWA

  32. Yes, but is first instinct is always to play the safe ball, could you imagine David Silva turning away from goal like that when played in, or Yaya Toure? He doesn't process options quickly enough in most cases. That's why he took two touches when one would have yielded a goal in two separate occasions last night

  33. Pablo Von Mooneyo3:23 pm, August 26, 2014

    ast nite was no great surprise really, last season City lost ONE game at home and drew ONE, they WON all the rest. So really its not that much of a surprise. Moreno, apart from that one mistake looked a good player and hopefully the injury isn't too bad so he can get a run of games and adjusted to the speed of the league. Lovren needs to sort out that back 4 and get them moving together as a unit sharpish, hopfully without Glen Johnson for the rest of the season, Manquillo is surely our number 1 choice at right back now.
    Joe Allen in the starting 11 is a complete waste of a place IMO, he offers nothing offensively or defensively, personally id drop him in order to play Balotelli up top with Studge playing off him. Id have Sterling and Markovich playing down the wings with Gerard and Hendo sitting in the middle.
    Coutinho was poor again last nite, in difficult away games in particular he seems completely ineffectual, almost invisible. Lallana i feel will come in and do a better job, hes more physical, just as good technically and a much greater goal threat.
    its not all doom and gloom tho, the main thing is this year compared to last we have alot of different options and possible combinations which we havnt had in a LONNNNNG time.
    i still think we need a decent back-up to Mignolet who WILL fuck up and cost us points at sum point and most importantly a top quality specialist DMF, Lucas does not cut the mustard anymore and hes prob off to Napoli anyway, we need this type of player as a matter of urgency for away games against the top 5/6 clubs to help protect the defence.

  34. I think BR needs to stop his naive selection and the media and fans needs to brought back to earth. Last night was bad personel playing the right formation and tactics.
    -Hendo and Emer Can needs to be playing that holding role. And Hendo needs to be benched for him to realized he has just plateaued. Confidence in shooting needs to be had!
    -I have been saying this from the first pre season game StevenG played, he needs to be played in his regular position that he loves so much and he is dangerous when he does. His minutes needs to be limited on the field from now on. He is not Pirlo. It does not mean he is bad just he has his strength and we need to use them.
    -Sterling is not a finish article yet. He needs to play simple game like he did last season. Run the defense and pass the ball not forcing himself to be a world beater. He is not there yet!
    -Couthino needs to be played at his preferred position. He needs to stop disappearing in games when things gets tough! He needs to start off the bench at times.
    -BR needs to stop been naive at times.

  35. Wouldn't argue, still the first midfielder's name on the teamsheet though.

  36. Maybe, butI'm not sure he will ever have a fast enough mind. Train him to be Mascherano

  37. Great summary JK. I really do think that some added steel would make a difference but what has amazed me is the total lack of objectivity when it comes to Gerrard's role as a holding midfielder!
    Gerrard's legendary status has been signed & sealed but surely you can't ignore that he can barely cover the wing backs if they push on leaving us so open. IMO this is why people look back at Benitez as the messiah. Then we had monster Masch/Momo doing the grafting, Alonso's immaculate distribution & Gerrard's drive. A perfect blend! We now have a jack of all trades master of none scenario! Hendo has improved in driving us forward but it doesn't seem to come instinctively, Allen typifies my point which is why he's the most dispensable. Gerrard has lost that driving force but is still our best distributor, I say this cautiously as I think his pass selection is good but not excellent.
    I'm hoping Hendo & Can will be the driving force whilst we replace Allen or even Gerrard for some much needed steel.

  38. The one area in which this Liverpool team lacks when compared to the last 10 years or so is a defensive steel, an ability to knuckle down and deny teams like City easy goals. A fair portion of that is just tactics and Rodgers will always set up the team to attack. However I'm starting to agree with the people who are saying Gerrard is becoming more of a liability than an asset. He's not the player he used to be, the guy who would chase you for 40 yards and then mow you down with a perfectly timed tackle. He's a great play-maker, wonderful at setting the direction when we've got the ball but all our problems as a team are defensive and they start in the midfield. Gerrard has no where else to play in that line-up and Rodgers will now be thinking about when he's going to drop him. It's a hard call to make but it's a call that has to be made eventually. That position in the holding role is far too important for any team in the Premier League and it demands a top class player in peak physical shape. Vidal is probably the kind of player we need and maybe if Lucas goes Rodgers will think about that extra cash burning a hole in his pocket.

    When Lallana is fit he'll play a left side midfield or left side attacking role. I think Coutinho could only ever be considered a stop-gap for that position, however I think he'll do fine in the diamond formation and with Balotelli to come I wonder if that might become a preferred formation. Sterling will push him for that spot, that's for sure, but I think the two of them together can mix it up and there are enough games to go around.

    Far too early to be worried. This is nothing more than an extension of the problems we saw last year and Moreno is too fresh to be considered a defensive liability. He needs to get up to speed with the intense pace of the league, the defensive work he needs to do. Maybe it was a poor choice of team but given that it was his first game in England I wouldn't be concerned. Once Johnson is muscled out of the starting 11 (by anyone else who might be fit on the day) it will become a settled back 4 and they'll be a much better unit led by Lovren. There really isn't much shame in leaking 3 goals to Man City especially seeing as a couple of them were just simple mistakes that can be corrected as the season goes on.

  39. I think the back 4 with manquillo back in at RB just need time to settle but will come good. I agree we need a strong back up to Mignolet, Vorm would have been good, maybe have a go for Begovic?
    I agree that we have to be honest and say we need a quick and strong DM to compete with Gerrard or play alongside him. Someone like Vidal, Carvalho, Matuidi, Bender or Khedira. lets off load agger, lucas, borini, assaidi and coates and spend 25-30M on an excellent DM. With Lallana, Balotelli and Markovic coming in we have enough attacking threat, just need to really bolster the central defensive midfield because as you say its critical with the flying FBs that Rodgers likes.

  40. Allen has played DM before and he has all the skills to go forward and cover and make tackles running back. If he's in that role he plays accordingly. He's not physical but he doesn't need to be, he just needs to get in the way of the opposition.

    Rodgers can see the problems out there, he surely can't ignore them for long, so we'll see what plans he has. It's going to be a big call to drop Stevie but it has to happen some time. He needs to be brave.

  41. I really think we needed to spend on established players to keep hold of a top four spot. Do you think utd etc will spend on quality or squad players? They will go all out to get the best as they will be repaid if the get CL spot.

  42. Exactly! It doesn't come instinctively to Hendo in the same way as it does to Sterling it Sturridge. A lot of people harped on about Sturridge always dropping deep & not always being a focal point. The reality is Sterling, Coutinho are the only ones yesterday who naturally run behind defenders. Which is why Lallana & Markovich are absolutely key to breaking down defences & getting more from Sturridge.

  43. This is not a game that should be taken too seriously. Realistically, City had just three openings in the entire game and they scored from all of them whereas we had many and failed to take advantage. They have the mentality and belief to win and that got them the win on the day. Moreno made an error for the first goal but was excellent otherwise because Zabaleta did not get a sniff. The second goal was IMO Johnson's fault because he leaves Jovetic open. Third was a team error as everybody just shut off after the injury and did not expect it. FOr some reason, the team left it's shooting boots back home. If this was last season, they would have had 20 shots yesterday and we just had 11. City was not the better team, they just believed they were....

  44. Jaimie would you prefer Liverpool sign Vidal or Reus ??

  45. I enjoyed that article Jaimie. Didn't necessarily agree with everything but it was very reasoned and your points well argued so kudos

  46. I, like many others went into this game expecting Liverpool toget beat, but hopeful for a point. I have time for Allen, think Henderson is good enough to play Gerrard's role successfully, him or Can (need to see more, but I like his positioning). This isn't our season over, but it makes the spurs game on Sunday more interesting for the Negative Nancy's out there.

    Back to Allen, I think he deserves a run of games due to the fact that there hasn't been much of a consistency at pool for him, he was both integral and quality at Swansea. He isn't a passenger, him and cout were breaking up play more than Hendo in the first half

    I might be jumping the gun here, but on preseason and the first two games, I fear the worst for Steven Gerrard's playing future.

  47. Vidal, without a doubt. At this stage, a player like that is more of a priority. However, it's only worth making a signing like that if he's going to play. There's no point signing a top DM and then having him play second-fiddle to Gerrard all season.

  48. Fair analysis.
    I think that the formation is critical. 4-3-3 is useless because of the players that we have, unless the midfield triangle is switched around (and with our new wingbacks bedded in):

    Which could become a 4-5-1 when we don't have the ball.
    I still believe that the 4-4-2 diamond leaves us light in midfield, and against good opposition (top 6 and champions league opponents) we could be punished.
    I think that with the new signings we've brought in we'll be seeing the 3-5-2 again before too long:
    What do you think?

  49. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:29 pm, August 26, 2014

    We need to get balotelli in there straight away
    unfortunately it looks as if moreno will miss a few months but he is for five years


    until coutinho regains form he should be given a rest

    markovic should be given time to bed in ,lallana later

  50. I think Stevie still has a role to play in games this season, I think as the season goes on though can see him being an impact sub. If he could come on in the attacking third for the last 30mins of games what a prospect that would be especially with our other attacking options.

  51. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:30 pm, August 26, 2014

    you seriously want to sign a 28 year old from seria a with knee problems?

    have you not learnt from aqualani

    morgan schniderlin is perfect also he is a liverpool fan as a kid

  52. Where's it say Moreno missing for a few months? Not seen anything on that.

  53. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:32 pm, August 26, 2014

    unfortunately moreno ankle injury looks liek it could rule him out for a few weeks
    and enrique has not even been on the bench this indicates he is not ready
    maybe can has to fill in?

  54. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:33 pm, August 26, 2014

    rodgers said his ankle looked swollen

  55. guess he needs to be taken out to the woodshed then.

  56. Yes but that does not automatically mean months, think they will have scan on it and we should here more later today or tomorrow...i just heard he is doubtful for spurs at moment,

  57. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:35 pm, August 26, 2014

    i dont knwo when he fall it reminded me of owen at teh world cupa nd that was pretty serious

    he managed to finsih the match though

  58. Lets wait and see. We have cover plus various formations to cope with this.

  59. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:38 pm, August 26, 2014

    jaimie aruto vidal is not a dm
    he is an attacking midfielder

    he can play there but so can joe allen

    morgan schniderlin is what we need he has a stamina of 88 on fifa
    so he probably can also press a lot

    please rodgers sign schniderlin

  60. My Be-A-Pro stamina stats are 90. Perhaps BR should sign me...?

  61. I think that sounds like the best option for the club, but if Rodgers carries on with him playing deep he causes more problems than he solves.

    Is Gerrard quicker than Lambert? If yes then I could see him working In attack, he still has an eye for goal. If not than I personally don't see him fitting in very well.

    We all love Steven Gerrard, but after his summer(slip, wc, int retirement), he seemed that these things deeply hurt him, and u don't think it's behind him. I wouldn't be suprised if he has one of his quieter years (hope I'm wrong though).

  62. Spirit of the Shadows4:43 pm, August 26, 2014

    attacking full backs with no proper dm means a bad defense

  63. I want to see Moreno and Manquillo as our fullbacks, or at least Enrique to have a shout ahead of Johnson, Enrique tracks back, clumsy crosser though.

  64. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:44 pm, August 26, 2014

    if you can pass teh balla nd make tackles to teh standard of schniderlin, why not?

  65. Spirit of the Shadows4:48 pm, August 26, 2014

    Maybe we should go with 3 in the back now that we have a leader in lovren. Skrtel gets sucked into the right side anyway and sakho will come good in time

  66. Nevergonnacrackthecode4:51 pm, August 26, 2014

    it would give less rsponsobility to manquillo and moreno when defending

  67. Spirit of the Shadows4:52 pm, August 26, 2014

    The thing is if stevie is dropped where does the team get all those assists from, ie those impeccable set piece deliveries?
    that being said the defense would be improved considerably..

  68. Vidal is not an attacking midfielder. He can play that role but mostly plays deeper.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  69. Spirit of the Shadows4:53 pm, August 26, 2014

    exactly, moreno looks more attack minded anyway..

  70. Man City lost one home match last season and by the looks of things they are not going to lose easily at home this season either.

    Mignolet also looked lost. I did also say that we were going to concede goals if Johnson was going to play and both our CB's did not know left from right last night. Moreno for me had a very good game. Lightning quick, good passer, great touch and gets stuck in.

    Our defence has to improve otherwise we are in for many more disappointments.

  71. Honestly, I'm a joke on the pitch. But if we're going by FIFA stats, I am clearly the better option.

  72. pretty much how i would have summed it up Jk......as a defensive unit our midfield was completely non existent...im really unsure on what if any Gerrards role is ...Allen is Allen so no surprises there..

  73. Yeah I understand that Can is capable of playing at left back. According to the PL website Enrique is injured but it doesn't say what with. So if Moreno's out, Johnson's out, Flanagan's out and Robinson's apparently off to QPR then we have no one else but Can to play left back.
    Crazy bad luck to have them all injured at the same time.

  74. Spirit of the Shadows4:57 pm, August 26, 2014

    I like BR but sometimes he contradicts himself. He said competition brings out the best out of players, then why is mignolet competing with jones? why not sign someone better?

  75. or maybe we should play mid fielders who actually influence a game...have to laugh when ex player offer a critique on hendo but not Gerrard...hendo was head and shoulders our best midfielder Gerrard and Allen did nothing

  76. At the end of the day you can have the best keeper on the planet. If your back four is in disarray then your keeper is buggered.

  77. i agree logibear i thought Moreno played okay for his debut...the midfield offered no protection

  78. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:02 pm, August 26, 2014

    we only need a dm and a gk

    song and romero are the ones so far linked

    makes sense i guess we could get both for under 10m

  79. the deep lying defensive midfielder role has been handed to Gerrard but he has a remit of rogers that doesn't involve tackling or pressing ...nice work if you can get it

  80. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:04 pm, August 26, 2014

    last night we lacked creativity
    i think balotelli and lallana will solve the solution

    but what was telling was we applied pressure for 40 mins no goal
    they applied it for 5 mins and got one

    you know why their defense is experienced with but also they ahve a holding midfielder
    morgan schniderlin or song is a must

  81. Spirit of the Shadows5:04 pm, August 26, 2014

    is song an upgrade on lucas? I never saw him play for barca

  82. We have needed a world class DM for several seasons but that will mean Gerrard getting his walking papers so dont hold your breath

  83. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:06 pm, August 26, 2014

    no other teams in this league has this so called deep lying play maker

    they all have a dm
    chelsea matic/mikel
    man city fernandinho/fernando

    what we need is a proper enforcer of this ilk
    a schniderlin or song
    i prefer the former

  84. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:08 pm, August 26, 2014

    gerrard is important but we can play two dms

  85. Hendo had almost as many key passes a Gerrard last term, and with Lallana added to his input, they'll cover the loss . As you mentioned set pieces, I though Steven was a bit off his game last night for those. RedPaul made a good point by using him as our impact creativity, we could keep some of the assists and shore up our defence. I l

  86. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:10 pm, August 26, 2014

    we need a hamman or mascherano

    it is morgan schniderlin
    rodgers you scouted southampton to death
    how did you miss him

  87. Vidal doesn't play in Gerrard's position so I don't really see your point. If we sign Vidal it would mean Allen or Henderson losing his place.

  88. Song is more mobile than Lucas, I like him at arsenal, more box to box than mikel or khedira mould players, but not afraid to get proper stuck in. I'd have him over Lucas all day long.

  89. Gerrard isn't a dm though thats the problem ...its not in his nature his first instinct is a hollywood ball ...A dm first instict should be breaking up play and spotting danger

  90. why is that exactly ....can Gerrard not be dropped

  91. Im with jamie on this one, last night's perfomance doesnt bother me in the least in terms of the result. Un terms of how we played id say Alberto Moreno IS our long term solution to the LB position. Sturridge is not world class and can't lead the line, he will always need a partner and i see no problem with playing him wide on right giving him the chance to cut in and have shots at goal. Balotelli should lead our attack. Glen Johnson is finished and there's a lack of interest about his play. Gerrard is finished and offers nothong to the team, a change is required asap. Henderson is NOT the future LFC captain and we must stop kidding ourselves. I still feel Jonjo shelvey had more potential than henderson. Coutinho should be a supp for sterling who should be our no.10. There seems to be a natural understanding between Markovic and Moreno and i hope rodgers looks to expolit this. Mignolet must be replaced by a proper No.1.

    My starting 11 for now:


    Manquillo Skirtel Lovren Moreno


    Henderson Lallana


    Balotelli Sturridge

    Or from midfield

    Henderson Lallana


    Sturridge Balotelli Markovic

  92. He can, but Vidal wouldn't be the answer for that position. He plays further forward.

  93. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:21 pm, August 26, 2014

    daily mirror say utd signing vidal

    ....................................................van persie
    di maria.........................................mata..................rooney

    god kill me now !

  94. If Gerrard plays in this position, we need two midfielders covering for him half of the time. If we play two attackers(and it seems inevitable), only one out of Sterling, Coutinho and Markovic get a spot in the team, and we kind of waste Sterling because he soooo good on the wing. Having so many good players seemed like a strenght with variations of formations available , but so far we look trapped by that.
    I think Rodgers is waiting for Lallana as a solution, and I think he is the solution too. Midfield of Stevie Hendo and him is fast and skillful enough. Maybe three central defenders with Moreno and sterling on sides, above mentioned three with Coutinho or Markovic in front and two beasts in attack...

  95. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:22 pm, August 26, 2014

    he is joining man utd

    morgan schniderlin is the answer

  96. Second one is a killer, two out of Sterling, coutinho and Markovic with those two beasts are 3 goals per match. Just a shame there is no room for Stevie there...

  97. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:25 pm, August 26, 2014

    say if alex song comes in

    with markovic and can as squad players for this season

    looks good to me

  98. The majority voting Allen man if the match on the afield wraps website. He moved the balk intelligently and was winning it in good positions. Sadly this was mainly the first half and he still hasn't done enough creatively. He WAS one if the better players on the night though.

  99. as long as Gerrard is the deepest midfielder we will leak goals...if Gerrard plays there in the next set of games we will concede every game we may outscore teams but we will concede

  100. A very good debut, but waiting 3 seconds to kick the ball out when 3 meters from your own goal is just...

  101. the role which Allen would be most suited is the role Gerrard plays im not allens biggest fan but he would offer far more protection than Gerrard plus we would have to keep watching those dreadful Hollywood balls that give away possession

  102. All the new guys were fine - be cool baby

  103. I always thought that he will be pushed more and more forward as years pass, to have less defensive work, but we are doing the opposite.. He gives very much from deep lying position in 90 percent of the time but those 10 will always leak goals if we play good sides...

  104. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:31 pm, August 26, 2014

    see now i buy into alex song

    he could be perfect

    with balotelli , coutinho and gerrard also vying to get in

  105. Nevergonnacrackthecode5:31 pm, August 26, 2014

    one dream morgan schniderlin

  106. Stop dreaming, both of you...

  107. If i was an opposing manager there are glaring weakness in our system ...and gerrads role is pivotal in being the deepest midfielder...NO1 he doesnt cover across when the fullbacks go forward No2 He doent pick up runners that go into the hole in front of our Cb and no 3 when the two other midfielders press he doesn't join them completing the triangle which ultimately leaves them overrun

  108. Spirit of the Shadows5:54 pm, August 26, 2014

    allen has played that role in the past (rodgers' first game against man city ) it was probably his best game

  109. He was good there couple of times, so Brendan got the praise and didn't change it. He was bad like vs Chealse but it would e too much to change it than.. Fear that we won't use one of the greatest players ever played for this club properly, a darn shame...

  110. Spirit of the Shadows6:07 pm, August 26, 2014

    Daley blind anyone? he did play a defensive mid role for ajax last season..

  111. I don't recall Lucas making any mistakes yesterday...unless it was what program to watch

  112. Who signed Valdes? Is something going to happen with Romero?

    I think that another keeper is a good idea, even with his faults, I remember times when mignolet had saved points as well as losing them, last week vs schniederlin, pen against Stoke. But that's about it (could be missing some).
    Because there are a lot more costly mistakes that I can remember off hand, I don't think he should be a nailed on starter for us. Don't hear of anyone saying Jones is anything like competition for Mignolet . We've missed all the other high performing GKs of the World Cup, Romero looks needed. Looking at pantilmon who was a Free from city to a pl club

  113. Watched the highlights again. Attacking wise we are really good. Defensively it really does not look promising and very worrying. Emre Can might start at LB if Moreno is not fit otherwise there is always Robinson. Johnson being injured may just be a blessing in disguise. Manquillo back in. I want to see Sakho partner Lovren.

    Looking forward to see Balotelli make his debut. Maybe Rodgers will start him alongside Sturridge vs Spurs. Plenty of goals right there.


  114. Say hello to your aunt tranny for me.