Liverpool Message Board
Selection dilemnas for the right reasons have to be welcoming to the gaffer. Not for years have we had goalkeeping ones! If Reina is anything less then 100%, Jones HAS to stay in the sticks. Assaidi and Downing would have provided food for thought last night too.
Subs: Reina, Carragher, Enrique, Shelvey, Downing, Suso, Yesil
I think we all have plenty of moments of nostalgia here, for me, mine would be still willing to have Torres back if it was reasonable and financially possible.. Probably will never happen..
But regards to Skrtel / Agger, of the 2, Skrtel has and is the more consistent, our reigning player of the season and in our run of clean sheets absolutely immense, while Agger is always prone to his lapses of concentration, or having wandered up the field for a shot or joining the attack. That said, pointing out Skrtel's "lapses" .. I think he made one terrible mistake against City, which can't be defended and we lost out on a W most likely, but other than that, I would say he's up there with Allen as player of the year, again.
There were at least 3 clear chances created by Anzhi in the midweek where Skrtel was the last man or in the crucial spot including one that I recall as destined for a goal and he slid in front of Jones to clear it well off the line..
Agger was abviously chosen because of his quality as well and their partnership, and they will be facing a much stronger team, with Jelavic, Mirallas, Fellaini and other big, physical, skilled players.. While I may be proven wrong tomorrow, this is the very last match Carra should be starting, especially having not played in 3 weeks.. Sorry. And I'm not having a go, just simply pointing out what seems obvious, in addition to this back line having 3 straight clean sheets..
Up front and the back line almost picks itself now. Assuming Riena is not 100% I'd also go with Jones, but if he's fit experience I think takes it.
The question mark I think is the midfield trio. Allen for sure who I have been hugely impressed with. Gerrard of course, but who to join them?
I see some have picked Suso over Sahin, and the fresh pair of legs argument makes sense. He also brings that little bit of trickery that can unlock things. But I'm wondering if Shelvey gets the nod as he can also bring a bit more physical presence neither the Turk or the Spaniard have. Potential for cards is a concern, but that is always a risk in this match up every year, and it seems to me the side that has dominated the center has usually come out on top, and that means dominates physically not just technically.
- 1 Reply to dsteer_lfc_68
Jones over Reina for me, even if Reina is fit.
I tihnk Pep needs a damn good kick up the "ass" to get his mind back on the job and to tell the truth I have been VERY impressed with Jones commanding presence in the box, especially in the air. two things I think Reina has always lacked - presence/command in the box and surety in the air - and something essential in a top level keeper.
As for the midfield, I hionestly think Shelvey is still a distant fourth/fifth in our midfield options at the moment. I expect him to improve over time but just not yet. Also, his tendency to NOT stay on his feet could totally kill us in thsi game just as it did in the uniturd game. Make him sit the bench for the first 60 minutes and let the passions subside a little bit. Then, when they are tiring bring him on in that attacking mid role and pray to god that he has finally developed a first touch in over the last week :-) He's almost odds-on to get a goal scoring opportunity, I just hope for his and our sake that this time he can remain calm and slot it away.
So, Sahin, Allen and Gerrard to hold midfield for me.
Suso to come on later, again as they tire and we push even more. His trickery can definitely be invaluable in those closing stages if we aren't 3 or 4 up by then :-)
I'd only make a couple of changes there, Suso in for Sahin for a fresh pair of legs in the middle of the park, or if Gerrard needs a rest in place of him. Not sure if johnson is fit? Enrique would be fine, although I wonder if he's behind Downing now for LB now?! Jones has done great but Everton are looking good right now and will be bang up for this so not sure I'd take the chance if Reina is fit.
- 1 Reply to Aurelio
I've been saying it for a while now, in fact since the pre-season tour beating a dead horse into the ground, something's up with Enrique and he may well still not be fit and have an injury, that doesn't seem to completely stick since he was on the bench vs Reading, then disappeared from sight vs Anzhi.. Maybe I'm off, but he could be off in January. I like him, but his form dipped dramatically last term, and has never come back, whether it be injury or not..
As for Downing, the only thing I think he did as far as consideration goes, is justify a 1st team inclusion and perhaps staying in a Red shirt through January, which I still question. Yes he scored a cracker, on the right foot no less, but I honestly didn't hear his name once inthe first half, and against top tier right wingers, he's never going to hack it at LB, and (IMO) it's seeming factual that Johnson has made left his own, and actually looks menacing there.. That said, I thought wihle tidy and compact, but quite unoticeable, Sahin could well see his spot come under pressure from Suso as that advanced mid, because Assaidi made a very strong case for his on the left, with Sterling right.. Having that kind of true pace and width is priceless and we've not had for as long as I've been a fan.. Suso can do a nice job as a wide attacker, but I think that just off the striker advanced CAM role allows for his creativity to dribble, take on people and use his vision for his passing range as well as see what he's got in the locker far as goals/chances go..
All this said..
Gulasci (or Pep), Carra, Coates, Sahin, Shelvey, Downing, Yesil