11 Oct 2014

'Comedy of Errors': Aldo slates £20m LFC star for Anfield horror show. Harsh or fair?

In September, Anfield legend Jamie Carragher accused new signing Dejan Lovren of making Liverpool's defence 'worse' defensively than last season, and the criticism of the Croatian just keeps on coming, and John Aldridge is the latest ex-Reds to criticise the £20m defender.

In a recent column for the Daily Mail, Carra scathed:

"Lovren was brought in to add leadership at the back but Liverpool actually look worse defensively than they did last season"

Writing in the Liverpool Daily Post this week, Aldo expressed similar reservations about Lovren. He observed:

"It was a comedy of errors from Lovren on Saturday. Signing him was supposed to tighten things up at the back but at the moment it looks like we’ll concede 50 league goals again. The way he dives in has to be a concern"

In my view, the criticism of Lovren is unduly harsh. I maintain that Rodgers is partly to blame for Lovren's temporary form issues. He moved the Croatian to the left to accommodate Sakho, which was/is a nonsensical decision.

Why spend £20m on a defender and then play him out of position? It's akin to playing dedicated left-sided players like Daniel Agger or - god forbid - Sakho on the right of a defensive partnership. i.e. a stupefyingly bad idea. Lovren will happily play wherever he's told, but when you move a player out of their career-long comfort zone, problems will inevitably ensure.

As for Aldo's contention that LFC could concede 50 league goals again this season; sadly, based on current stats, it's looking likely:

* This season, LFC have conceded 10 goals in 7 league games so far, which is an average of 1.4 per game. If the team concedes at the same rate for the next 31 games, the Reds will concede 54 league goals.

* As a comparison: After 7 games last season, Liverpool had conceded only 5 league goals, yet still went on to concede 50+ league goals.

Admittedly, it's not looking good, but I have no doubt that if Lovren had played in his preferred role from the start, Liverpool would've leaked fewer goals.

In future, if Skrel gets injured, Kolo Toure should come in and replace him. The Ivorian is a right-sided central defender, and that will ensure continuity, and defensive balance.

On the subject of Toure - with Lovren injured, the Ivorian will almost certainly deputise alongside Martin Skrtel, and if he plays well, then he should stay in the team on merit. If that means Sakho and Lovren have to sit it out on the sidelines, then so be it.



  1. Sakho and Lovren started of shaky vs Spurs but as the minutes went by they looked more comfortable and there was something called communication between them.

    Look at our other matches and there was panic, no communication or organisation etc. it is about getting the right CB pair and sticking with it.

  2. I couldn't agree more logoanlfc, skrtel has been doing this for years, looking solid for 95% of the game then going to pieces at corners and free kicks. But the managers (not just brendan) never learn and keep putting him back in after dropping him (granted he deserves credit for his hard work and never giving up) but this will continue to happen until he is moved on. We have to stop buying these rash defenders that look strong and quick but make mistakes and buy one with composure and good in the air (which was aggers down fall) to play alongside lovren. Anyway that has been my opinion for years now and every time i see him on the team sheet i think oh dear well we are going to have to score 2 or 3 to win, and pull my hair out (hardly any left now!) when the same thing keeps happening.

  3. How many clean sheets have we had this season in the league? What position has Lovren played in for that game? So if clean sheets are a way of judging a players effectiveness then Lovren on the left is actually were he should be played? Unless go posts have been moved? If Sakho had done the things that Lovren had done he qould be under far far more criticism The Lovren is. Also to.reiterate Lovren has played right side many times in France and is right footed. On the right side he has made as.maybe not more mistakes than on the left. To suggest Toure is any kind of answer seems to be neglecting his form and mistakes he has made.

  4. It all starts with Mignolet and the playing style of attacking fullbacks without a running/physical DM.... It has made all our CBs look bad

  5. I think it is unfair blaming it on the attacking full backs as most of the goals conceded are from set pieces/corners and they aren't off up the pitch when they are been taken. Mignolet could be more commanding though.

  6. The original post said that he failed to prove his doubters wrong when he got the chance. I am arguing that since I can`t remember him being that bad when he played for us, or bad at all for that matter. More than once he looked very good and seeing him in Almeria couple of times(including Barca match) I THINK HE PROVED HIS WORTH. nOW MAYBE THAT IS NOT SOMETHING OUR MANAGER wants to see, but the point is that he had to see how good can he be for other teams, give him more playing time, extend his contract and than sell him for probably 12/15 mill in the summer, at least.

  7. On Monday Night Football last season both Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville waxed lyrical about how good Lovren was when they analysed his game.
    If Liverpool had a physical midfield destroyer who's able to read danger and protect our centre backs.Or alternatively a energetic snappy pressing midfielder.I think we'd see better more confident performances from our defenders.
    Dejan Lovren looks average but I think he's a good player.If you stuck him in Chelsea or Man City's team there would be no major drop off in defensive security.It's who we have around Lovren that makes him nervous and that turns into mistakes.
    Liverpool could replace him with whoever is viewed as the best centre back in the world.I don't think it would make much difference.They'd make mistakes and we'd still leak plenty of goals.
    When Emre Can recovers from injury I'd like to see him given a run of games as a defensive midfielder.Or we could use the Hendo & Joe Allen high energy pressing combination.Which would provide a better shield.
    We desperately need a new defensive midfielder in January!

  8. I feel you're deviating from the subject a little here. Aldo is referring to Lovren's mistakes in the match against West Brom where he played as a left-sided CB, his preferred position, but then you write a whole article on how he wasn't playing in his favorite position in previous games. Why not address the actual game Aldo is talking about?

  9. Another thing- you say it is nonsensical to buy a player for £20M then play him 'out of position' to accomodate a team-mate, but how does it make more sense to leave a £18M CB on the bench when your first choice CB gets injured and you need someone to replace him ?

  10. The derby was our most assured defensive performance of the season and it was Skrtel - Lovren in defense. Even the West Brom game wasn't that bad defensively bar Lovren's wild challenge.

  11. I am afraid to even think what would you write if West Brom defensive mistakes were made by Sakho. And Lovren played in his position that game.
    And if you have to play one of your defenders out of the position it will be the better one(as seen in our full back situation), the one with leadership in himself, with more flexibility, and Jaimie, I think your opinion that player is Lovren, so...

  12. Perhaps you need to read Johnny's post again. He doesn't say doubters just he has not proved he is good enough. He has not proved to the man who picks the team he is good enough, otherwise he would have had more pitch time. I an quite sure Rodgers wants players to show their worth ad it means he doesn't need to sign others and he gets kudos for getting the best of the player. This hasn't happened so his chance to shine in training may have been blown. I don't know if he has or not like I have said.

    Also didn't he get dropped for Almeria?

  13. There are some posts under your question, and many many posts on the web about our defence but no real answer for you. Why the fcuk do I think we will conceede when I see graphic that says 5 corners for our opponents and we have 3 great central defenders in the team...

    Nobody knows..

  14. And poor header and bad positioning when they had a free header. That's off the top of my head. The Spurs game was no worse than any other performance.

  15. I disagree. Vs Spurs we played a high defensive line and dealt with Spurs easily 99% of the time.

    Vs WBA and Everton it was about defending a one goal lead and we almost came undone on both occasions.

    Give me the way we defended vs Spurs any day of the week compared to the way we have defended in other matches.

  16. Being moved a few yards to the right hardly constitutes "being played out of position". He's a CB, playing at CB. If he cant handle being played on the right (while being right-footed) then that is in itself the problem. He's not making rash tackles cos he's starting a few yards to the right. Put it another way, great players adapt. Carragher frequently moved between the left and right CB positions, whether it be to accommodate his CB partner, or to protect the latest youngster playing at full back. And it never effected his game

  17. The problem is in time our best centre back partnership will be Lovren(25) and Sakho(24).

    The problem last season and this season has not been rectified even though we have brought in 6 defenders in last two seasons( Lovren, Llori, Manquillo, Moreno Sakho and Toure. Our team will keep shipping goals for fun as the Defence is not the Main Problems or weaknesses in side.

    Priority 1: Weakest position in our first 11:

    S Gerrard(34) and L Leiva(27) do not have the energy, legs, mobility, pace or speed to protect back four well enough and to nulify attacks and to stop oppositions best players dictating play. Attacking players with good movement, mobility, pace and speed get in the holes and Gerrard(34) and Leiva(27) cannot do anything to stop that.

    The DM Position is the biggest priority in side, we need a mobile tough tackling enforcer in the Mascherano(30) or Momo Sissoko(30) Mould.
    B Rodgers needs to bring in January needs to spend £7-£18M on on of these Defensive Enforcers:

    1: C Tiote(28) Of Newcastle for £6-£14M
    2: Y M'Vila(24) Of Rubin Kazan ( On Loan at Inter Milan) for £10-£12M
    3: L Bender(25) Of Bayer Leverkusen for £14-£18M

    Priority 2: GK: Not Just a shot stopper:
    S Mignolet(26) is just a great shot stopper and nothing else.

    B Rodgers should bring V Valdes(32) to the club this month if he can prove his fitness, but next summer B Rodgers should spend £12-£15M bringing A Begovic(27) Of Stoke to Anfield in swap deal with O Assaidi(25) and £8M cash.

    Our biggest problem this season and last season was and is not our Defence, it is the Lack of Protection they have IN FRONT OF THEM and Lack of Confidence they have in the Person BEHIND THEM.

    And the Manager does not want to admit those are the flaws, instead he criticises the defence and says they make too many mistakes.

    The main problem is until we get mobile tough tackling DM at club, S Gerrard(34) and L Leiva(27) play the DM role will always be easily targeted and exposed as they do not have the energy, legs, mobility, pace or speed to play in the quickest league in world , playing in young mobile quick fluent side as a DM they are easily left wanting.

  18. Perhaps you should stop telling me what to write about? I also reference Carragher comments, and they are more general. I've used Aldo's comments to discuss the wider issue.

    Sent from Samsung Mobile

  19. no offense boys and girls but lovren wasn't a 20m player in the memory of man ....20m and he cant play left or right at Cb are you having a giraffe ,hes no better than sako its just that sako is the token scapegoat that Liverpool always have,The fault lies with rogers for spending vast amounts on players without knowing there strengths ive maintaned from the git go this season that we will leak goals and im seeing nothing that suugests that will change

  20. Gerrard as a dm and Dracula in the nets cant help

  21. Suso is not good enough, and he has failed to prove this wrong, with the chances he has got.

    I assumed Johny always though he wasn`t good enough/ a doubter.

    Yes I do know he didn`t convince the man who picks OUR team, but read my post again, or here it is again/

    but the point is that he(BR) had to see how good can he(Suso) be for other teams,
    give him more playing time, extend his contract and than sell him for
    probably 12/15 mill in the summer, at least.

    My point is that Suso played good here, good in Almeria and has a lot of potential and we mustn`t just give him for peanuts because he doesn`t fit OUR team(and I do understand that some fantastic players can`t play for some managers at some teams, that is normal, Mata situation etc...)

    And Almeria was going for 0,0 in most matches being a small club fighting for the 17th spot so not playing talented attacker made sense in many games.

  22. He didn`t tell you what to write, just thinks that your headline has litlle to do with the article. And the headline/ meaning the West Brom game is the key issue. He didn`t look all that good so far but we made excuses for him and than comes his 6th match, at home, against outsiders, playing on his preferred position and he looked clumsier than Sakho(best example of looking clumsey) ever did. And he didn`t just look clumsey, by the way...

  23. Jaimie, I do not see why Sakho is castigated so much. Sure, he is hesitant and makes mistakes but so do others. Let's be honest. It was not as if Lovren was the best of the best when he came to us and it is not like he came to us from the best of the best. He only had one season of experience under his belt. Our expectations of him are too high(justifiably with the price tag) for a player who has limitations.

  24. The headline has everything to do with the article. Stop being so inflexible and restrictive with your interpretation. I don't have to slavishly stick to the headline in every article. If I did that, then each post would be about 5 lines long. Headlines are a starting-point for a wider discussion of LFC issues. Discussing this is utterly pointless, and pedantic.

  25. Your answer to me is no longer active, so here it is Jaimie..

    Headline is a starting point for a wider discussion of LFC issues. Yes,
    and you evaded(and yes of course I know you have the right to) the issue we all thought is very much important and that
    is why in his 6th match, at home, against outsiders, playing on his
    position he looked clumsier than Sakho(best example of looking
    clumsey) ever did. And he didn`t just look clumsey, by the way...

    gave him the excuse of being played out of position and based your
    article on our entire season so far(which is perfectly normal), but I
    really think that he is simply underperforming, especially with the last
    game in mind.

  26. During the second part of last season Southampton and Lovren were poor. I believe Lovren is simply picking up where he left of last season i.e playing badly. He has shown that he can be a good player and when he settles (and it does look as though he is settling. He has been better since coming back into the side following our league cup game) We'll have a major player. He is a player who is out of form AND who is simultaneously trying overly hard hard to justify his 20mill price tag...... A very very unfortunate combination indeed. When his form returns he'll justify that price tag naturally.

  27. Im not......really sure how I feel about that......... :)

  28. Good post Twistadee.The only thing i disagree with is Cheick Tiote... He's average and spending big on him would be flushing money down the toilet.

  29. Lovren is trying to hard to impress, that's all and Skrtel ain't helping him no matter how anyone wants to paint the picture.

  30. I've been wondering why we haven't tried 3-5-2 this season. We've got the fullbacks for it and perhaps having 3 centre halves on the pitch might help us defend a set peice. Skrtel/Lovren/Sakho. Couldn't be any worse than what we've already seen so far this season

  31. We did go three at the back vs West Ham.

  32. We didn't start the game that way. Damage was already done by the time we switched

  33. JockInTheKop it's a very hard system to get right.I can't think of any successful Premier League team in recent times that sets up using the wingback system as their primary formation.That's why i was delighted when LVG wanted United to play 3-5-2.
    Man City under Mancini tried it for a while.Then scrapped it because of bad results.Brendan Rodgers used it a few times and we've had mixed results and negative patchy performances.
    The only side who i've seen use it well for a while and played attacking football with good results to match is Wigan.Roberto Martinez switched formations when they looked dead and buried.They won something like 7 out of the last 10 games to escape the drop.
    That impressive run made Roberto Mancini take notice.He changed Man City's formation the following season.Although City had much better players, they struggled to find the team chemistry needed for it to work.So they quickly switched back to a flat back four.

  34. agreed. Sktrtel is a mid table player. With him in the team a team will never go down but also never be consistent enough to challenge for honours.

  35. Good post mate and ultimately I agree with everything you're saying about it being difficult to get right. But while we've persevered with the 4-2-3-1 and dropped a few points along the way, I'm surprised we didn't give it a bash

  36. Thanks Beast, C Tiote(28) fully fit and injury free is an awesome DM at breaking up play, tough tackling, protecting back four and stopping oppositions best players dictate the game he is very good. At winning ball back and keeping it simple and this what the back four need, some solid protection in front of them.

    I hope B Rodgers brings in Y M'Vila(24) Of R Kazan for £10-£12M and gets him fully fit and injury free as if he can get anywhere near their level he was at when he first came on the scene ( 4 years ago) he will be awesome for club.

  37. Davewestausregularguest8:18 am, October 12, 2014

    Lovren was solid for Southampton for only about the first 15 games then he almost dissapeared.Fonte was the man that played well throughout the season! and he is the man LFC should have gone after!

  38. Would you blame Lovren's partners for the match at West Ham? and we let in 1 or 0 goals in all the other matches.

  39. Its been a long time since Suarez played in goal

  40. Too bad Allen and Can are injured

  41. Y M'Vila plays for Inter Milan, Lucas has the mobility to make the midfield work if Gerrard is not playing

  42. A strike force of the stagnant Balotelli and the slow Lambert will strike fear into the hearts of defence just how the mesmerising Suarez and the skill of Sturridge did last year

  43. From what I know which might not be much but to get 3-5-2 right you need the right mix between physicality and pace which I think we have but I can only see it working with Sturridge up front but picture this
    Sakho, Lovren, Skrtel
    Moreno Allen, Henderson, Sterling
    Balotelli Sturridge

    I have a feeling this may work however it coild go horribly wrong

  44. Y M'Vila(24) is on Loan at Inter Milan he is owned by R Kazan if B Rodgers offers £10-£12M for him in January we could buy him out right.

  45. I have no idea what point you're trying to make

  46. Toure will fulfil his role as 4th choice and should be OK with Skrtel. Our defensive issues are a combination of individual mistakes and awful team tactics so those two will be subject to as much pain as any other pairing, but they both have the ability to settle in and provide some tough defence. Maybe the spell on the sidelines will give Sakho and Lovren a chance to watch some videos and gain some perspective, but it's harsh to blame any individual for what is obviously a team problem.

  47. Everyone saw Sterling's potential. If you didn't, you're probably the only one. That's like crediting Ferguson for discovering Ronaldo. Suso played most of the matches he played at a time when Rodgers was just at the club and he had no one else to put on the pitch. From the moment Sturridge and Coutinho arrived, Suso dropped out of the first team. The only chance he got since then was against Boro a couple of weeks ago and in spite of scoring and influencing the game from the second he came on, he was again dropped for the next game. What more than scoring could he have done to prove himself? It's still one more than Markovic has scored. You say that had there been good players at the club, Rodgers would know about them. My whole point is that he clearly doesn't.

  48. Going forward with speed, penetrate, cut inside. Suso can start out wide and move inside. That's the position he played for most of the games he did actually play for us .

  49. That's another thing. How many injuries so far?