Liverpool Message Board
I know Rodgers likes us to play like the 'Harlem Globetrotters' as he puts it, bt it was good to see us digging in in the second half. It wasn't exactly grinding out a result be ause of the way we played first half, but I was very impressed with the tactical discipline of the boys, and Johnson in particular.
It's good to know we don't seem to have a soft underbelly anymore!
I didn't like 1 minute of that second half, or the tactics / approach that buck decided to implement there. While we definitely showed we were able to be physical and resilient, along with weathering pressure in the box, he basically said for the final 25-30, we're just going to absorb what we can and hold what we have..
It played right to a strength of Villa, and I would have brought on at least 1 if not 2, offensively skilled players to help push them back some, and catch a counter attack. Villa like to play somewhat attractive football, and if we did that at the Brittania, West Ham, or even someone in the top half, even while nullifying some of the wide play, we'll blow a lead, and or lose.
I think it also showed we are a very thin squad particularly out wide, and selling Downing without having a replacement ready, or who could emulate his game, was a mistake and will be until we get someone in, which I have my fears about as the days tick by.. 6/6, and 3pts is 3pts, but we could have done it much easier, Villa simply could not handle our first 45, and movement..
- 1 Reply to Jason
I disagree Jason. On the one hand the second half had me nervous as a kitten thinking it will take one good bit of skill to undo all the fine football in the first half, but I think the tactical change actually took away Villa's best game rather than playing into their hands.
Yes they've got some skillful players who can play, but their real strength is their speed and the counter attack. By letting them have the ball we did what they like to do to other teams. We invited them to break us down, which they could not, while we kept the option of the counter attack. Also, by compacting the pitch, we took away the space they need to take advantage of their speed. Yes Benteke was still a handful (and no tactic will neutralize that) but Weinmann had little to feed on, and Agbonlahor was stuck making short little passes rather than having anything to run onto.
Arsenal thought they could play around Villa for a full 90 minutes and got themselves slapped down by being too open. Chelsea also, with all their quality in midfield also almost got burnt (and between the yellow that could have been red, and Terry flapping his wing it well could have been decisive). Put it into the context of what we know Villa can do, I think BR got this spot on. Out of the gates early when they most likely expected us to sit back, then turned the table as soon as they started to show any real intent.
One other point I'll call out is how impressed I was with Sturridge. Not for the goal which everyone was shouting about, and does deserve some acclaim, but more for the amount of times he tracked back in the second half. He spent more time wide right, and kept with his runner, or even popped up as the critical player on the edge of our own box a number of times. It showed me that the lad has bought into the team mentality rather than just being the centre forward, which bodes well when Suarez comes back when he'll inevitably be asked to carry some water as well as score a few goals.