Liverpool Message Board
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I'd give us a grade of C, and would agree that must do better is applicable, and do think we can do better if we keep working the way we have.
But would suggest those contributing to this thread ask themselves what they are measuring the grade against? If you look at the table we're right in the center, so a C marked on a bell curve would be appropriate. But I suspect many are grading based on what their expectations are, which is fine, as long as we're clear on what those expectations are ahead of time.
If someone thinks we should be top 4, then we'd be lucky to be scraping a D. Top 6, then maybe a C-. But as some have called us now a mid-table club, then meeting expectations would be closer to a B.
For me I'd agree results, transfers (at least late in the window) are the negatives. I'd also agree on your positives, but I would add the style of play as a marginal positive rather than a neutral factor.
We have not changed as much as some in the press make out, but do think we move the ball faster than last year, which helps create better chances. Much of that is down to faster feet in the likes of Sterling and Suso over the likes of Kuyt. That is creating better chances for Suarez at his feet, rather than half chances last term. Problem is lack of experience of these players can lead to bad decisions with the final ball, but that will get better with time and of course more experience.
We were not a long ball team last year, but sometimes when Carroll came on late, tended toward pumping the ball forward at times, and even without Carroll do think we played a much more direct style that we do now. We still go long at times, but its man to man with Enrique to Suarez being the best example, rather than pumping it forward hoping Carroll can flick it on, or hold up the ball. For me this is better is two ways, one it has created better scoring chances, (including actual goals), but it’s also helped us defensively by allowing us to retain the ball rather than quickly giving it back and inviting pressure again.
So I'd say it’s a positive but marginal as I still don't think we have the system perfected. Stoke on Boxing day showed us we can still be rattled when they really press hard, and we need to handle that better, but that is what the second half is for. Making progress, and turning that C into something better.