Sunday, May 7, 2017

Predictable Liverpool...Predictable Klopp!!!


I have spoken before about the tactical deficiencies with Liverpool, today i took some screenshots of the game to get across some points

Example 1:


The Liverpool player in possession is circled. Look at how easy it is to play against us here as we are completely lob-sided! There is a massive area highlighted where there is not a solitary Liverpool player?!




Example 2:


Here we see us in possession again and we see Milner in a great position to bomb forward but instead stays where he is. Again, easy to play against. Why not run into the space? Why not drag players out of position by doing so and create space? Too easy



Example 3:


The one time we do have someone make the type of run i was looking for in example two we see how different the game becomes. While in the game the delivery was poor and easily cleared for a corner, the point is the player on the ball has multiple options

Why can’t we look to make these type of runs more? Why can there be over-lapping runs? Liverpool are very predictable at the moment. Teams know that we won’t do this and in example 1 we see the line the opposing teams now hold against us and we have no answer...Coutinho with a wonder free kick and Emre with “that” goal...If it is not a great goal like that i don’t see how or where we will score in the remaining games...



Top four will go to the wire i think sadly...



JD



YNWA!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tactical Evolution from Klopp, Youngsters, January, etc


In not having written a blog in some time i have loads to discuss but i have broken them down into sections. There are endless topics to cover but i will get through a few here. As always replies and emails are always welcome through Facebook or replying here on the Blog Site, happy reading:

Tactical deficiency that continues to hurt us


Watching Liverpool at the moment is so enjoyable as a fan. But as a Coach there is one thing that kills me is that we never use the full depth of the pitch. See the example below in that the player on the ball has no option out wide


Now in the picture above the yellow arrows indicate the possible run that players may make but what drives me crazy is how Clyne never gets to the by-line. Against Burnley this cost us and has nearly done so against Sunderland and others. When a team sits deep then you got to go deeper!!! Get to the by-line and crosses going in or link up play could lead to anything happening from an own goal, penalty, cross to a goal, etc, etc, but Liverpool next to never do this. See below how different we look and the endless possibilities by Clyne being at the by-line in possession:


This is a whole new world of possibilities with Clyne is this position!!! It drives me nuts watching Liverpool and never seeing this. When a team sits deep, this is how you beat them!!! Liverpool have yet to master it. Below i have highlighted the areas defenders hate. In yellow is the areas they don’t like and in black is the areas they dread


When will we start to exploit this, if ever???

Gini Wijnaldum and his movements coupled with tactical evolution


One thing that is massive for Liverpool is attacking overloads. With the high counter press you must have options when you come into possession so to penetrate. Below we see the line up against Leeds in the EFL Cup win



Now what is great about Liverpool is sometimes Ejaria would be in Wijnaldum’s position and vice-versa. Tactically Ejaria is competent allowing Can and Wijnaldum to roam knowing in the transition to defending Ejaria will see them covered

Twice this overload from midfield cut Leeds open. Wijnaldum hit the post with one and the other he drew in a defender leaving Woodburn unmarked to slot home

This evolution of tactics from Klopp is extremely impressive

Last season Liverpool played with a 1-4-2-3-1 formation but i always worried for us in the transition to defending

It was so easy to play between the lines especially between our midfield and defence. If you played inverted wingers against us you would have ran riot

Klopp has shown to have something that my beloved Rafa Benitez never had: adaptability! As your team evolves so too much your tactics and coaching! Rafa could never do this but Klopp already has. In the 1-4-3-3 we have a solid number 6 in the bargain £20million purchase that is Jordan Henderson. I always find it a good gauge when assessing people’s football acumen when they talk about his impact, people who don’t rate him usually don’t understand the game

Then there is the 8 and 10 roles. In the above picture i have the 8 as Can and the 10 as Wijnaldum. What is vital in this is that the 10 is a false 10 of sorts. In the possession phase he can advance into a roaming 10 role and in a defensive transition he becomes a more regular type 8 player

The movements of Lallana are brilliant in this role but Wijnaldum offered penetration also from this against Leeds and this position is vital going forward. We must continue to provide overloads from deep. With the absence of Coutinho and others this will be vital in the coming weeks especially

Ben Woodburn, Ejaria, etc


Liverpool have a host of young talents coming through. Firstly let’s discuss Ovie Ejaria. This kid is real talent. He could develop into a star for sure. His technical ability and transitions are as good as it gets and he has an eye for a pass. His pass completion ratio is top notch also. I see this kid being a big player for us in the coming years providing he is given a chance. Is he ready to fill the gaps left by Coutinho and Mane? Only Klopp knows

In the middle of these young talents is Kevin Stewart who is 23 years of age. While he looks younger he is now at an age where he is expected to deliver and he is showing signs of doing so. After being released by Spurs he now looks a very handy squad player for us

Trent Alexander-Arnold looks a gem. When Carra and Stevie G rave about him then you know he must be good. Having studied him for a while you can see why Klopp knows the right back position is sorted for some time to come. Top player in the making saving us millions

Lastly, and i could have picked more talents, is Ben Woodburn. This kid only turned 17 a few weeks ago and he already looks the real deal. Most, if not all Liverpool fans are well aware of him and his development. The kid always seems to get chances to score and his link up play and pass completion ratio coupled with his tactical acumen is unbelievable for someone so young. He is a huge talent for sure, so much so Klopp said the following after his goal against Leeds: “We know what Ben is capable of and what he is already able to do. My first job is to help these boys so that they can be the best. In this case, Ben Woodburn. There’s a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible. That’s quite a difficult thing to do. But on the other hand, we only bring him in because we want to use him. So that means when he’s on the pitch he’s absolutely allowed to score goals, to prepare situations, to make crosses – how Trent did, for example. So, all good. I’m really happy for him. The only problem is I’m a little bit afraid about you [the media]. That’s why I’m so quiet on this. Think and do what you want, but don’t write anything – only ‘Goal scorer, Ben Woodburn.’ Done. Quite a challenge!”

I think he just wants him to continue developing with the under 23s like Ejaria, etc, and wants to keep the pressure off him. The thing is he is so good he could be ready to go NOW??!!! It will be very interesting to see how Klopp handles this and especially with Liverpool fans as he is a local lad who is ridiculously talented and the natives will most certainly want to see more of this precocious talent

January is make or break


Sadio Mané is to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, with the tournament running from January 14 to February 5. Now, if Senegal progress to the final, it would mean Mané will miss the Premier League fixtures against Man United (January 15) Away. Swansea City (January 21) Home. Chelsea (January 31) Home. Hull City (February 4) Away. He will also miss the both legs of the League Cup Semi-Final against Southampton!!! Before that we have to play Man City at Home on New Year’s Eve without Coutinho who will also miss a few of the games Mané will miss

I think it has gone from a case of wanting to add players in January to desperately needing to do so. That, or will Klopp trust Ejaria, Woodburn, etc? Unlikely but if he did and it worked out his legendary status would be utterly untouchable

If you are to buy in January you have to pay real big money and this is in what is already the most inflated market of all time

Van Dijk has also been mentioned and this guy is an absolute superstar, he has everything but i would imagine Man City and the likes will be queuing up for him

No two ways about it in that January will make or break our season!!!

To finish up

We just have to take it one game at a time and no matter what we keep our patience with the Manager and squad. We are progressing as a club at an unbelievable speed so let’s just enjoy the ride



YNWA



JD

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tactical Set up, Net Spend, The Good...The Bad...And Alberto Moreno!!!

Liverpool had a good 2-0 win over a terrible AC Milan team last night. Now while it was only a friendly there was lots to observe especially tactically. Liverpool set up again in what looks like how we will be setting up for the coming season in a 1-4-3-3 formation with midfield having a holding player and two in front

See what i believe will be our team against Arsenal in the first game of the season and i will get to the Moreno issue later in the post




Firstly we are very short due to injuries in defence which could cost us. Left back is a problem i will address later. I think Emre Can will be in the 6 for the season and Wijnaldum in the 8. The front three is where we have luxuries and i haven’t even included Firmino in it

Obviously losing Karius in goals has hurt us but long term hopefully he will prove a big hit. Left back though is a huge problem. With the way we will play this season we have to be solid in the transition to defence and even against a weak Milan team both full back positions got caught on more than one occasion. I really think this is our biggest weakness

When we play out from the back the full backs get forward like below or when our center backs come into possession you can see their first intention is to go create the overloads, notice Emre Can will drop into the 6 pocket


This has worked well for us in pre-season and it helps especially with an extra outlet for the player in possession. My problem with this formation is the number 10 role. When Hendo plays he does well, etc but going forward he doesn’t offer enough. I think for away games he will be in but for home games i would go with Grujic. When Grujic plays he takes up the positions highlighted in black below when play goes forward he finds those pockets and usually arrives late into them

I think this could be a real source of joy for us tactically as Hendo doesn’t make those runs or take up those positions. Grujic sometimes doesn’t even get the pass but his run takes players away and creates space and that could be vital in home games when we are struggling for goals


With Wijnaldum and Grujic playing in front of Can at home i think we will be a serious proposition

I also think we have done our pressing game better than ever in preseason and there seems to be even more of an emphasis on it with Klopp which is great. Last season was very good but it looks to have gone up a few notches. We seriously need to improve our final pass also

Our transition to defending is what worries me and the full back positions. Jonas Hector, who we are being linked with, would be a colossal addition to this team

After that i would like one more very versatile defender and anything after that is a bonus

Our current transfers are as follows and our Net Spend is very encouraging



Players IN:



Marko Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – From Loan

Joel Matip – Schalke – Free

Loris Karius – Mainz – £4.7m

Sadio Mane – Southampton – £30m

Ragnar Klavan – Augbsurg – £4.2m

Alex Manninger – Free Contract

Georginio Wijnaldum – Newcastle – £23m



Spent: £61.9m



Players OUT:



Jordan Rossiter – Rangers – £250k (compensation)
Jerome Sinclair – Watford – £4m
Joao Carlos Teixeira – Porto – £250k (compensation)
Lawrence Vigouroux – Swindon Town – undisclosed
Sergi Canos – Norwich City – £2.5m
Jordon Ibe – Bournemouth – £15m
Martin Skrtel – Fenerbahce – £5.5m
Joe Allen – Stoke City – £13m
Brad Smith – Bournemouth – £6m

Received: £46.5m


So we have a net spend of just over £15.4 million

Who would you like to see bought between now and September???



JD


YNWA!!!


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Latest Transfer News

Jurgen Klopp continues to mould our squad to his liking and below we see a possible starting team and the remainder of the squad then below that




Keepers
Defenders
Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders
Forwards
Adam Bogdan
Joel Matip
James Milner
Adam Lallana
Christian Benteke

Jon Flanagan
Marko Grujic
Sheyi Ojo
Divock Origi
Joe Gomez
Kevin Stewart
Lazar Markovic
Danny Ings
Alberto Moreno
Lucas Leiva
Luis Alberto
Mario Balotelli
Andre Wisdom
Joe Allen


Brad Smith


Players IN:

Marko Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – From Loan
Joel Matip – Schalke – Free
Loris Karius – Mainz – £4.7m
Sadio Mane – Southampton – £30m

Spent: £34.7m


Players OUT:

Jordan Rossiter – Rangers – £250k (compensation)
Jerome Sinclair – Watford – £4m
Joao Carlos Teixeira – Porto – £250k (compensation)
Lawrence Vigouroux – Swindon Town – undisclosed
Sergi Canos – Norwich City – £2.5m
Jordon Ibe – Bournemouth – £15m
Martin Skrtel – Fenerbahce – £5.5m

Received: £27.5m


So we have a net spend of just over £7 million. As stated in my previous entry I think Sheyi Ojo could be loaned out and Goalkeeper Danny Ward just signed a new deal before going out on loan again while Adam Bogdan, Andre Wisdom, Lazar Markovic, Luis Alberto, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli are almost certainly going to be moved on. Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen could also be on the move which would leave us with the starting team in the picture above as previously mentioned and then these are our options remaining...

Keepers
Defenders
Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders
Forwards
???
Joel Matip
James Milner
Adam Lallana
Divock Origi

Jon Flanagan
Marko Grujic
Sheyi Ojo
Danny Ings
Joe Gomez
Kevin Stewart


Alberto Moreno

Brad Smith


Goalkeeper wise we need a third option and we are reported to be offering 39 year old former Arsenal keeper Alex Manninger a deal. I guess a third choice option with lots of experience is not the worst choice and i highly doubt he will get a game this season but he could be very helpful with Loris Karius in particular passing on his experience

I still think we need to sign a top left back with my preference being Jonas Hector. I have major worries about Moreno

Central midfield i think we are more or less set and i hope to see Grujic and Can beside each other this season. Maybe Klopp might think it is too soon for Grujic and want another midfielder in

Another striker would be nice

With Sakho and Gomez injured and Matip carrying a knock we are going to have to get another center back. Estonia captain Ragnar Klavan has been linked with a £4.2million pound move. The 30 year old center back from Augsburg would provide welcome cover

Liverpool also have been highly backed to sign Georginio Wijnaldum and are reportedly confident they can strike a deal with Newcastle United this week. The 25-year-old moved to Newcastle only last summer for £14.5 million. Newcastle have set a fee of £27 million, but Liverpool are confident they can settle on a deal nearer to £20 million and there is some optimism on Merseyside that talks could advance significantly over the next few days

It is hard to know where Klopp would envisage playing him. Steve McClaren tried Wijnaldum as a No 10, wide on the left, and also deeper in midfield, but the ex-England boss seemed to struggle to determine which role he believed the Dutchman was best suited to. Rafa Benitez insists Georginio Wijnaldum is “so good he can play everywhere” across the midfield and succeed - but believes the Dutchman’s best position is as a No 10. His versatility would be welcomed and below we see just how versatile he is and how effective as he got 11 goals and five assists for a team that got relegated

Position
Apps
Goals
Assists
Rating
AMC 
(Attacking Midfielder Centre)
14
3
1
6.79
ML (Midfielder Left)
11
6
1
7.26
AML (Attacking Midfielder Left)
8
2
1
6.67
DMC (Defensive Midfielder (C))
2
0
1
6.99
MC (Midfielder Centre)
1
0
0
7.04
Sub (Substitute)
2
0
1
6.54

Surely he is worth the gamble...His stats are impressive, 25 years old and versatile = no brainer for me

If we got Wijnaldum and Klavan i think it would be very good business and then with Alex Manninger signing as third choice keeper it would leave us with the following

Keepers
Defenders
Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders
Forwards
Alex Manninger
Joel Matip
James Milner
Adam Lallana
Divock Origi

Ragnar Klavan
Marko Grujic
Georginio Wijnaldum
Danny Ings
Alberto Moreno
Kevin Stewart
Sheyi Ojo

Joe Gomez


Jon Flanagan
Brad Smith


I think we would look in fine shape with those two signings but again i worry about how injury prone our defenders are. Another versatile attacking midfielder is needed also

The squad is shaping up though better than i could have hoped

Hopefully we will be as happy come September


JD

YNWA!!!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Important summer ahead for the Reds

So Liverpool have made four signings in Sadio Mané, Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Marko Grujic. The Reds will pay £34m for Sadio Mané, reports the BBC, which adds: "The fee could rise to £36m, which would make him the Anfield club's most expensive signing, beating the £35m paid for striker Andy Carroll in 2011”. Already i have read where Phil Thompson says “I see it as an absolutely pivotal signing, one that was needed as the other attacking midfielders are more technical players and don't really have the pace”. He added: "I think we've paid far too much for him, Perhaps it's because of the money coming into the Premier League. Just look at Crystal Palace reportedly making a £31m bid for Michy Batshuayi”

It is most certainly because of the crazy money now in the EPL and as such the inflation rate is beyond belief hence every transfer is huge money

Jurgen Klopp is a big fan of the 22-year-old Pole Piotr Zielinski with Udinese demanding £15m for the player. As soon as their tournament ends in the Euros i expect this deal to go through also. A playmaker in beside Emre Can would be nice

Left back is the biggest problem facing us now and reportedly Liverpool have had a £7 million bid for Leicester’s left back Ben Chilwell rejected by the Premier League Champions. Negotiations are currently at a stalemate with Leicester seeking at least £10 million for the 19-year-old, who has one year remaining on his current deal. Could he go straight into the first team? What is certain is we need that position sorted ASAP

Rumours also about Borussia Dortmund defender Neven Subotic refuse to go away as Klopp knows the 27-year-old from his time in charge of Dortmund and the German is known to be searching for defensive reinforcements. We surely have ample options now at center back and the left full back position needs addressing as previously stated

The team as i see it now



That leaves us with the following taking out those who i have down to start in the above picture (excuse spelling errors). Highlighted are those who i think face an uncertain future, some are obvious, some are not

Keepers
Defenders
Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders
Forwards
Danny Ward
Joel Matip
James Milner
Adam Lallana
Christian Benteke
Adam Bogdan
Jon Flanagan
Jordan Henderson
Jordon Ibe
Divock Origi

Martin Skrtel
Lucas Leiva
Lazar Markovic
Danny Ings
Joe Gomez
Joe Allen
Sheyi Ojo
Mario Balotelli
Alberto Moreno
Kevin Stewart
Marko Grujic

Brad Smith

Luis Alberto
Andre Wisdom


I think Sheyi Ojo could be loaned out and Jordon Ibe also while Adam Bogdan, Martin Skrtel, Andre Wisdom, Lazar Markovic, Luis Alberto, Christian Benteke and Mario Balotelli are almost certainly going to be moved on. Lucas Leiva and Joe Allen could also be on the move which would leave us with the starting team in the picture above and then these are our options remaining...

Keepers
Defenders
Midfielders
Attacking Midfielders
Forwards
Danny Ward
Joel Matip
James Milner
Adam Lallana
Divock Origi

Jon Flanagan
Jordan Henderson
Marko Grujic
Danny Ings

Joe Gomez
Kevin Stewart


Alberto Moreno

Brad Smith



Goalkeeper wise we should be OK, get a left back and i think we would be more or less sorted with defence. I think we could do with another attacking midfielder and striker wise possibly another there also

A left back, an attacking midfielder and a striker and i think we would be pretty set

Great that we have a lot of business done so far and hopefully we get in three players quick for those positions


JD


YNWA!!!