Liverpool Message Board
I just recently posted this at the very end of a long threaded post and thought I'd just make it a new topic so it didn't get lost in the mix. This is about Meireles:
Hey gang, I have a friend from Portugal living in the states who I spoke with this morning via email and he was curious to see how Meireles did since he missed the match and he's not a liverpool fan, but he has been watching Meireles play for years and here is my discussion below via email. FYI this is completely independent of the reasons for Roy choosing not to use him, or his fitness, or his understanding of the language/system, just info on the player: Start from the bottom and work your way up to make sense of it.. You'll see my questions about him, and some thoughts on other players/topics.
He is a fine club player and did well for Porto over the years, I just think there are more dynamic players for that #8 role on the Portuguese national team. He works hard and is committed, but has below average feet and cannot adapt to a pivot function. My original dislike of him was solely based on the fact that there were better options on the NT. That being said, he grew on me and was dedicated.
Hulk plays just off the striker and mainly occupies the right side of the attack. He is on fire and would open the field up for you lot.
Just a ? since you've obviously seen more, what would you say are his limitations? From everything I've seen live or on video, I'm thoroughly impressed with his box to box play, passing, long range shot and finishing in the box. He seems like a much faster, more athletic Xabi Alonso, with less passing range of course.. I really like. His 15 mins yesterday were game changing against a team who's 17 unbeaten @ home, w/ fewer goals conceeded than Chels last year..
I doubt Hulk would be on the radar, but I think right wing or left wing has to be #1 priority in January. Kuyt can hold down one side and Torres/Ngog/Babel/Kuyt are enough forwards.
Just fyi, there are 2 teenage stars, Toni Silva from Portugal who's been compared to Nani looks great. And they finalized a contract for "Suso", dubbed the next Torres at age 16, scored a goal in first reserves match. Wouldn't mind a 17 year old and 16 year old over Maxi and Jova at this point..
Date: Monday, September 13, 2010, 11:38 AM
Meireles is limited but committed and plays his role well. He has a good attitude. I've grown to like him. Hopefully he does well for you lot.
This is from a FC Porto fan from another forum that I frequent quite a bit:
Hi there Reds!
Im a FC Porto fan and a great Meireles fan.
You've made a fantastic sign! A fantastic player very cheap! Unfortunately for us...
I've read many post of this topic, and many of you think that Raul is a natural substitute for Mascherano, but he's not.
He's not a 6 but more a 8. A box-to-box midfielder. Raul is not a strong player and he's not the tackling type of player. He never played very well at 6 in FCP, but he can manage...
Where he plays better is at 8 position. He could be very helpful to Gerrard as he can release him to step in more attacking zones.
Raul can transport the ball to attacker very well. Hes a good playmaker and he also finishes well and have a good mid shot.
I think his major weakness is fitness and physical power. But he has good pace, though.
At the end you have a fantastic player, a great man and we'll miss him at FCP.
The best luck of the world to him at you home! ;)
Liverpool is my english team for a long time.
I used to be a great fan of Fowler and little Owen!
About Raul, I understand your concern about Meireles/Aquilani, but I can assure you that they could look the same (by description) but Meireles is far better than Aquilani.
Hes used to great stages, pressure and top teams. Remember thath Porto is a regular club in Champions League - except this year because of that mf's of benfica - (thank you for crushing them last season)
He came to FCP in the season Mourinho has left so he never trained him.
He quickly grabbed a place in the starting 11 since then.
Like I said he's not a physical player (you can see he's quite slim) but he has strong pace and he can run an entire game.
Although he was the "cliché" substitution for our last coach (Jesualdo Ferreira) he can perfectly play an entire match in high rythim.
Dont think of him as Aquilani II.
I can assure you he's far better than Aquilani. My word on that! ;)
Just wait to see him play. His time at FCP has ended and he wanted to leave, so his very motivated, and he will be a great reinforcement for your team.
I wish he can help you to win the league again.
PS: sorry for my english! It's not perfect, I know, but i thing its understandable!
PPS: if you catch benfica, please crush them again!!! Meireles will tell you what to do!
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Adidas, looks like you and I have our scouting of the Portuguese Ligue, and Meireles covered pretty well.
Maybe we can be brought on staff by Purslow and help find some proper wingers in January?!?!
Both my friend and your post offered very insightful information of what to expect from him.. But this still doesn't help us or anyone understand why he didn't play in Lucas spot unless Roy just thought it was too soon. The 2nd half of that game was wide open and he would have had a greater impact if he came on in the 50 min mark... just my opinion of course. But it is a fact that Lucas offers nothing unless you like backwards passing and being disposessed..
That's what I'm thinking at the minute we have no pace so when you look at it from my view we don't have a wideman to get beyond the fullback as they simply get outpaced and that causes a breakdown in play.
Babel has the ability to outpace most fullbacks and get into dangerous positions which will have Evra on the backfoot. We know he has the ability to do so but can he adapt it onto the playing field which is the big question.
How many out and out wingers in the prem? Valencia, Nani, Malouda, Downing, Wright Phiilips, Adam Johnson, Guttierez, Pennant, Etherington, N'Zogbia, Lennon, Bale and Petrov are probably a good start. We might not need so much pace against the smaller clubs as we have large periods of possesion high up the pitch but when we are playing against teams even as competent as Villa upward we need pace to have any threat on the break and to stop the ball coming back at us all the time.
Its not so much about getting crosses in as we dont play with 2 strikers and Nando gets picked up in the box very easily so its more about having defenders on the back foot as well as stopping opposition full backs attacking more because of the ability to track back and cover.
Babel can play on the right, so I think you guys are onto to something, and for everyone who's complaining how bad or inconsistent he is, or how he never fullfils his potential.... like it or not, he's probably the most explosive player on the team. So, having said that he does absolutely no good on the bench. And being that he wants to play so badly I'm sure he'd play CB if he was asked to.
Last year @ west ham we were tied 2-2 and Rafa brought Babel on for Kuyt at rw, and around the 73" mark he made a stop and go that had the left back drop his pants, blew right past him and flick a brilliant little cross over everyone which Torres blasted home with his head for the 3-2 win. So, seeing as he is a right footed player his crossing can certainly improve, and he'd be less inclined to cut inside because he can simply run by people and that alone would open up more room for Glen to come down and really create some genuine pace and space on one half of the field. Torres seems to like to drift to his left alot to shoot and cut across, as well as meet headers, so this is a good thing.
Maybe whatever lineup Roy puts out, of the names we all seem to be agreeing on of Pepe, Glen Carra Agger Konchesky poulsen Babel Meireles Gerrard Torres Cole can actually develop into a 4-3-3 on the pitch?
Meireles Poulsen Gerrard
Babel Torres Cole
What do you think of that? IMO that's the best 3 man midfield we could play and our 3 most creative attackers (outside of pacheco). If this were Chelsea or Arsenal no questions this would be the formation almost certainly. Meireles speed and creativity plus hard work would aid Poulsen and we know Gerrard can push on from here, make a pass and get back to tackle...
I doubt we'll see it, and I'm not convinced by my own thought here, but how about throwing Jova out on the right? He's got the pace, and is willing to run at defenders (so far at least as successful at it as Babel) and since he like all our wingers likes to cut inside, at least he'd be cutting in on his favored left foot.
Just a wild thought.
I think looking at it again, if we were to set up purely to cause Utd problems then we should be looking to play Jova on the right and Babel on the left with Joe Cole as the focal point of midfield in behind Torres. I love the idea of Gerro and Meireles sitting in front of the back four but just get this nagging feeling that 1 or both of Poulsen and Lucas will be playing.
I dont mean to attack Poulsen already but he needs to gain his sharpness in the Europa and its clear he should be back up to Gerro and Raul.
Probably not and that's how I would have approached the Birmingham game and the west brom game. For united I might feel slightly more inclined to have a little more protection and was wondering if this formation even exists or has ever been used?
Glen Carra Agger Konchesky
Meireles Gerrard Jova/Babel
I don't know where I came up with that, but it seems to put everyone in a comfortable position, allows for the front 5 to go forward and still have 5 men and Pepe in defense... just a wild thought..?
Just a side note, obviously most of you saw or know Valencia broke his leg so I'd assume Obertan would play there and I'd like to think Konchesky could handle him fairly well. Unless of course (probably) Ferguson puts Nani there and Giggs on the left. If not, I think they should really look to exploit down that side vs obertan and neville/oshea. I honestly think Babel could win that one along with Cole weaving and interchanging with him on that side..
Im on that. I think Babel would burn people for fun on the right. Im assuming his delivery is poop as he has never been tried there. Even if he were to get Evra on his wrong foot and keep coming inside. With no Kuyt and Maxi looking out of sorts, we need some pace out wide.
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