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  • Colyn Colyn Jan 14, 2013 08:49 Flag

    24 points - not in quality but in squad

    In Rodgers' post match interview he stated that we aren't 24 points behind United in terms of quality but we are in terms of squad.

    I thought this would make an interesting point of discussion.

    For me there are differences in quality but it's slightly more subtle that many will have you believe. Yes Van Persie is scoring at will but we also have quality in Suarez and he is not too far away from the Dutch marksman.

    The league table reveals a lot. Believe it or not we have actually conceded less goals than United, just. We've conceded 28 to their 29. That figure isn't The goals for tally is where the difference lies. We haven't scored enough, surprise surpise. Why?

    Two reasons stick out for me, the midfield and full backs. Yesterday and for many years actually we've seen United create a numbers advantage going formward through their full backs. This has stemmed from a rock solid platform in mifield allowing their fullbacks the freedom and confidence to push on and overlap the wide midfielder / winger depending on what system they play. This creates a two on one or overlap against the opposition full back. The exploit it all the time and has brough them so many dividends over the years.

    I would have never have put the likes of Cleverly and Carrick as a rock solid platform from which they can attack. Especially over a midfield that contains Gerrard but yesterday it was there for the first hour.

    Rodgers has a lot of work and for me the midfield must again take priority. At this level it's possible to dominate possession but the real trick and difficulty is doing it under pressure, we can't and getting penetration. This should come from full backs but we haven't seen enough of it. When it works goal finishers of the likes of Van Persie, Nistelroy etc. have an easy day.

    Food for thought and I welcome peoples thoughts and comments

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    • I take your point here; it’s not just about depth. Although to be fair, when we play a right back at left back, and put 18 year olds on the wing and at RB, I think depth is an issue. But for me the main problem we have is inconsistency rather than a lack of quality.

      On our day we can go toe to toe with almost anyone. Case in point the 2nd half when I think we really rattled them, demonstrated well by Fergie jumping up off his chair a number of times. But we can't or don't do that game after game, despite often having our best, or close to best 11 on the pitch.

      So I'd go beyond just the personnel playing the game and ask if there is something else going on. For me part is the fact we expect a lot out of young and inexperienced players. Already talked about the teenagers, but we also have a good number still in their early 20s, and maybe it’s telling that where we do have more seasoned pro's (CB, Keeper, DM) we are more consistent hence the low goals against number.

      But others bring in youngsters, and Utd are not exactly a bunch of old men when you think of how well Cleverly did for example. However we also have chopped and changed manager, system and tactics, which I think is also an issue versus, bringing through youngsters into a stable system where it’s very clear what their role is. Utd have obviously had consistent management for years, but for the most part a consistent way of playing, which is only tweaked slightly to best suit the available players on the pitch on a given day. So for example Cleverly knows exactly what’s expected of him, and he’s been working on doing that job ever since he joined the club as a kiddie.

      So bottom line we're not 24 points behind in quality, but we are at least a few years behind in building a platform that can really compete. Some always bang on about the money that needs to be spent to compete, but it also takes time for that money to gel before real results start to happen (I've said it many times, even City and Chelsea did not buy success overnight if you bother to look when they started spending versus when they started competing for silverware!). Get the right manager, the right philosophy, the right foundation, then we'll start going in the right direction, but it will take some time.

      • 1 Reply to dsteer_lfc_68
      • dave..yes it can take time for players to gel BUT look SAF spent 28 mill on RVP and who is todays top scorer in PREM ? BR or whoever is in charge of buying in at our club now spends 15 mill on Joe Allen 10 mill on Borini so, 25 mill right there another 3 mill and we could have had RVP in our ranks...please dont tell me the vast majority of our support world wide wouldnt have opted for hving RVP rather than Allen and Borini ??? My hope is that Sturridge will turn out to be the buy of the season.

    • Am I the only one who is getting rather tired of the BR "spin"?

      The main difference between Utd and us is that all their players have a winning mentality instilled into them, and that has come from Fergie.

      BR has been installed because he is nothing more than an FSG puppet who will spout David Brent spiel until the cow's come home !!

      Do you honestly think Fergie would have taken part in something like that awful "Being Liverpool" documentary?

      Until we have someone in charge who can instill the winning mentality then we will be nothing more than mid table mediocrity.

      Fergie will be laughing his t!ts off now, another Premier League manager in his pocket who daren't criticise "Sir Alex".

      Should have given KK more time !!!!

      • 1 Reply to andy w
      • Yea I noticed in the pre & post match interviews BR wouldn't go on the offensive against SAF in fact he was very sheepish. Even though SAF was being offensive and rude about us and our players.

        Whats that say about BR? Daren't even stand up for the club.

        The sooner we get rid of BR the better.. he'll make us a worse laughing stock than we already are and keep us as a midtable team..

        KK wasn't given as much chances as BR has.. so why makes BR so special? Or is FSG lining up Guardiola in the summer?

    • Hi Noo Noo

      To be fair to BR - we also attack a lot through our full backs who constantly bomb on to create width so I'm not sure if that is the answer.

      I think I'm right in saying that we have created more chances than Utd this season but obviously have scored less goals. When the likes of Utd & City create a decent attacking situation they convert a higher percentage than the rest.

      To me the reason is obvious. Regardless of what BR says, those teams have better players than we do in terms of both quality and experience. As a result they are more efficient/ruthless in converting chances/winning games.

      The teams that can attract the best players usually end up above those that can't. It was ever thus.

      • 1 Reply to Paddy
      • I agree the full backs are key in our game and any possession based game where you compress the defence into their own half or defensive thrd. You need a way to get behind them and the full backs are critical to this.

        While our full backs do press forward they do so without full control of the midfield. How many times have we seen the ball lost in the middle of the park and the opposition exploit the space left by our full backs who are out of position?

        To their credit seldom do you see United lose possesion and the full backs out of position. The platform is there for them.

        I also agree that we've had a cavern up front without a finisher. We've taken some steps forward there but I still think the midfield is a problem. I'm also sure that Rodgers is aware of it with his constant search for teh right balance in there. Sahin hasn't convinced and gone, Allen is under pressure, Gerrard is playing deeper, Henderson is getting game time . To me it all points to Rodgers searching for something.

    • Yes but Noo Noo has Rodgers got it in him to do that? He's not managed anybody of significance until now.

      Maybe in 10 yrs time he'd be ready to do so. I think it's too soon to have Rodgers here.

      Thing is FSG were looking at a young manager. Probably a yes man. Thats what they got. So should we be really surprised in the crap way we're playing?

      Yes THIS IS LIVERPOOL FC so much is expected. I seriously have my doubts about FSG too. They don't seem keen to wanna splash the cash. LFC is their club so you'd think they'd wanna make it successful and be right up there at the top.

      Yet once again I can see us being 8th in the league again. Well 8th place cost KD his job so if we finish around 7th or 8th should we not expect that too to mean bye bye Rodgers?

      If Rodgers is still here when we finish around 8th in the league then FSG will be hypocrits.

      I think they should make a serious push and get Guardolia.

      Why have a Barca knockoff style under odgers when we could have the the real thing under Pep.

    • Actually Robert I think you make a very good point and I never really thought of it this way before. Not sure this is really what you’re saying, but I'm hearing and agreeing that the myth of Chelsea chopping and changing is really a myth and in fact you are one of the most consistently run clubs in the prem.

      Now what I mean is why does it have to be the manager who provides the consistency? It worked under Fergie, but it’s a question mark whether it still works under Wenger. But you bring up Barca which tells me it’s not just about the manager, but how the club is run, by whoever is really in charge.

      Yes you've had a number of coaches (maybe that is what you should call them instead of managers?) but only one man who not only owns the club but runs it. Utd are the opposite, it does not really matter who owns them, it’s the purple nose one that runs the show.

      So in some ways we've had the worst of both worlds. Multiple owners, each with their own issues, and a series of managers who we want to say have been in charge, but since Rafa have not stayed long enough to really put their own stamp on things.

      Who knows if BR is the right man to really take charge (or if FSG will let him) but seems clear to me, just over half a season is not nearly long enough for us to know.

    • I don't agree entirely, no. Certainly United have been successful for a generation and this is put down to the cast-iron rule of one old grumpy fart. But I'm not sure it follows everyone has to do it the same way.

      Chelsea has been successful for a decade without being directed by a powerful manager, unless you think we're still run by the ghost of Mourinho. Barcelona has been successful with different managers but one managerial continuum and playing philosophy. Once Shankly did his thing, Liverpool were successful under a number of managers for fifteen years.

      Liverpool fans are fond of saying that no-one is bigger than the club. If this is true (and it generally is) then it's true for the manager too. Surely the ideal structure is where the manager is an important part of the team with an influence on direction, but ultimately replaceable.

      I suppose Clough is another counter-example.


    • nevertop the kop...A great post...very controversial but so are mine today ...I have had enough of BR and his timid managerial style he cannot motivate the Boys that much is clear. He is not imo the man to take the club fw we are hurtling backwards at an alarming rate one step forward two steps back ...too often.
      We cant beat anyone in the upper half of the table and look a long way off doing so ...this guys tactics are starting to make Rafas "hold-position" strategy look ...exciting ! His tactics were chaotic yesterday...He looke dabout as animated on the touchline yesterday as a snail ! No wondr there was no fire in The Boys first half...he is also far too ready to quietly put it on the lads rather than admit blame for his poor starting line up Yes SAF WANTS to win and he wants to win EVERY season 28 mill for RVP and he is 27 we pay 15 mill Joe Allen and 10 mill Borini Im sure the accountants on this board will be all too ready to site ...Yes but what about his wages ? ...You get what u pay for in this league lad and how many of u would say No to having RVP in our squad right now ? We are a BIG CLUB or we are about to forget that and adjust to being a feeder club for the Big 6 ? I think that is the real question and not have we made a modicum of progress this season or not and how many seasons it will or wont take till we are once again A POWER IN THE LAND This is a time for bold decisions by the owners and I think the boldes t they could make right now is to admit they appointed the wrong man for the job sack him and get somebody in who is up to the job because BR clearly is not that man.

    • I think it really does come down to how people view FFP and whether it will bite or not. But the fact that even Chelsea have tightened their purse strings this year, reporting their first profit in who knows how long, and even City evident by not going crazy this past summer, are doing the same, suggests most clubs are looking at reigning in spending to meet the new regulations.

      But I think Colin is right on one point, which is we cannot compete with the likes of Utd, City or Chelsea. They just happen to earn way more than us. He points out the higher gate at OT, but we should also consider the extra money they get on a regular basis from CL, which we have not seen in years. Spending more than we earn would not just potentially violate FFP, its simply not good business. It’s not how a family budget should be run, a company's budget, a governments budget, so why do we think it’s good idea for a football club to take such an approach? So to gauge if FSG is actually investing enough, maybe we should look at clubs who have similar earnings as us, and those clubs are not those in the top 4, but their tier below that.

      So finally your point is there is two ways of building the club back up, either throwing lots of cash at the problem, which is the quick route (although btw not overnight either if the example of City is anything to go by, as it took them about 3 seasons of heavy spending before silverware started coming through the door, or regular top 4 finishes were secured), or try doing it piecemeal by living within our means but looking to improve season over season.

      Now the first is risky which is my biggest concern because if it does not work immediately it risk us becoming the next Leeds, Pompy or Rangers, plus it also risks us running afoul of FFP. But the second is frustrating as it takes time, requires patience, and it may be harder to see progress in a short period of time (say over just 6 months for example).

    • I guess that's my my point really. Every club needs some form of figurehead that defines it and makes it what it is. Other than Rodgers there is no one in that position. He's been placed in that position (partly at his own request I might add) and it's up to him to shape the club the way he sees fit. FSG certainly aren't forward enough over here to do and they don't seem to be doing it either, preferring to be in the background. So long as everyone pulls together with that figure head everything is hunky dory.

      I would also add that Dalglish wasn't or didn't take that step this second time round. Whether that was because of Commolli or other things in the background I'm not sure. It's also true that he wasn't given much time but it could be argued that results and "other things" made certain people feel that the direction was the wrong one.

      You've picked out Wenger and that situation / analogy is a good one. Arsenal is Wenger for sure but I certainly don't know what constraints he's working under or how much he's actually put in place himself. Arsenals contract / wage strategy for example and of course there's the stadium and what influence that has had. But my point still stands. He came in, was given time to put his ways and methods in place and it reaped rewards. Something seems to have goten in the way afterwards though.

    • damn it. You've got me again Robert. I've fallen foul of the impression your rather "eccentric" owner portrays.

      Do you agree with the identity thing though? Although you could argue that evryone well knows that Chelsea is the whim (for want of a better word) of Abramovich rather than a club set in a direction by a manager.

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