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Created enough to win the game but still look out of sorts. Bedding in a new/changed midfield will create weaknesses/misunderstandings but doesn’t wholly excuse the poor form of TAA, Van Dijk and Salah (although the latter was unlucky not to win it at the end)

 

Mixture of relief and disappointment really.

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2 minutes ago, Stigweard said:

What a dogshit start to the season this is. 

I mean it's no Roy Hodgson, but it's not been great.

 

But what do people expect? This is still largely the same team that has been all out now for 5 years and they can't just keep going, especially when the broader squad is still lacking real competition for the spine. I'm sure we all love Elliott, but would he really be starting so many games if we had a proper, fit midfield? Would Milner be playing at all?

 

People have said in the thread before about this being a season of transition, which I still disagree with not just because we've hardly revamped the squad but more because it almost becomes a 'get out' clause for a poor season, caused by poor longer-term squad building. When TAA's competition for a place is Milner, you know there are issues. None of this is helped by seemingly endless injuries, but then again some of those midfield issues are caused by relying on players age 30+ to keep trying to play the high-intensity pressing game week-in, week-out, so that can't be surprising.

 

The main thing of course is that none of this exists in a vacuum. Every team around us has done a lot to build out their squads, so once again we've stood still. I mean nobody is excited about Arthur on loan, are they? We can talk about transfer fees and/or salaries, but that's all distraction. I've probably said this every year since before the title win that the club needs to bolster the squad and, by and large, it's never happened, whereas everybody else does. I didn't think we were as far ahead of other teams as a lot pundits did last season and I think that's going to really show this year and top-4 is going to the only realistic target - the title (or even 2nd) is a pipe dream I think.

 

I'm not even sad about it now, so I have no expectations for what is to come (I don't think an assault on Europe is likely either).

 

I'm just glad we did win the title back in 19/20, because I don't see them winning it again any time soon.

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42 minutes ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

To be fair this team should have cleaned up the last few seasons but going up against an oil rich state is a thankless task. I wouldn’t write off a ten game winning streak once things click. 

 

Which is great, but the standards City are now setting means we're once again relying on them to fuck up at some point too. Getting 90+ points and still losing to them by 1 or 2 points is just heartbreaking.

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The doom and gloom in this thread is breathtaking.  So, we've had a bad start to the season.  Weve lost one game.  We aren't playing well, big players like Salah and Van Dijk are not at their best.  Yup, this happens.  We've got a load of injuries, that also happens. 

 

But you know what, we've been the 2nd best team in the premier league for the best part of 5 years, behind a club that has had literally tons of money chucked at it for fun.  We've won the league (which I never thought I'd see happen again in my life time), FA Cup, Champs league in our recent history.  We've been in multiple Champs league finals.  I think people's expectations have gone through the roof and now we just expect to be winning all games.

 

This idea we have been standing still for years is bollocks too.  Mane gone, Diaz came in (early). Nunez arrived, along with Carvalho.  Along with this, our bench today without injuries would include Matip, Konate, Jota, Thiago, Firmino, Henderson and Keita.  Is that a bad bench? Fuck no. It's a very strong bench.  A well run club cannot just buy 4 extra players because of injuries.  A business doesn't run like that, where will the money come from?

In the last 3 seasons we've bought Konate, Jota, Nunez, Diaz, Thiago and Carvalho.  We've built on a championship winning side, not stood still.

 

2018/19 - 97 points (2nd)

2019/20 - 99 points (won it)

2020/21 - 69 points (3rd)

2021/22 - 92 points (2nd)

 

We are spoilt.

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@Chewylegs Dealing with a lot of 'ifs' there, and you can't just hand-wave away the injuries, that's the whole point! Thiago has largely been a disaster because he's just crocked all the time, as is Keita (and everybody in here moans about how bad he is most of the time, including you I'm sure, so that's not helping your argument). Henderson has been getting more and more niggles, Jota has been out a fair bit since he joined and we all know Matip is made of glass. Konate's had a few injuries since he joined too, perhaps it's catching?

 

I mean, the money thing isn't really an issue, the owners are billionaires and could buy players if they wanted and yes, I'm well aware it's more about wages and trying to run sustainably.

 

You say we've built on a championship winning side, but the trophy cabinet would disagree. Two domestic cup wins since 2020 is nice, but neither were the trophies that the club would've really been targeting at the start of a season. Yes, Man City are a different beast that we've pushed hard, but to throw some 'ifs' back at you, perhaps with a bigger squad that has genuine competition for places the team might've turned some of the draws into wins in 18/19 and 21/22, or not looked so leggy in the CL final?

 

I believe that over the past 2/3 years the club has allowed those around us to get closer and closer, whilst Man City continue to pull away, hence why I think top-4 is the aim (and I thought that before the season started, too), rather than a challenge for the title - but I'd be very happy to be wrong.

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6 hours ago, Chewylegs said:

The doom and gloom in this thread is breathtaking.  So, we've had a bad start to the season.  Weve lost one game.  We aren't playing well, big players like Salah and Van Dijk are not at their best.  Yup, this happens.  We've got a load of injuries, that also happens. 

 

But you know what, we've been the 2nd best team in the premier league for the best part of 5 years, behind a club that has had literally tons of money chucked at it for fun.  We've won the league (which I never thought I'd see happen again in my life time), FA Cup, Champs league in our recent history.  We've been in multiple Champs league finals.  I think people's expectations have gone through the roof and now we just expect to be winning all games.

 

This idea we have been standing still for years is bollocks too.  Mane gone, Diaz came in (early). Nunez arrived, along with Carvalho.  Along with this, our bench today without injuries would include Matip, Konate, Jota, Thiago, Firmino, Henderson and Keita.  Is that a bad bench? Fuck no. It's a very strong bench.  A well run club cannot just buy 4 extra players because of injuries.  A business doesn't run like that, where will the money come from?

In the last 3 seasons we've bought Konate, Jota, Nunez, Diaz, Thiago and Carvalho.  We've built on a championship winning side, not stood still.

 

2018/19 - 97 points (2nd)

2019/20 - 99 points (won it)

2020/21 - 69 points (3rd)

2021/22 - 92 points (2nd)

 

We are spoilt.

 

 

We play 4-3-3 and have 9 players who play in the middle. Of those 9 players, 1 can effectively play the role of DM we need to be successful and one can cover.

3 of our midfielders are severely injury prone, another 2 are the wrong side of 30 and another 2 are still lacking in experience.

 

That doesn't scream well run to me. If you sign Thiago (which in isolation is fine) you don't have another two players who are also injury prone, that's too much pressure on the rest of the squad. It means you're playing the younger ones when you need legs, not when it's best for them and it means you're playing Milner more often than you should.

 

If you want to accommodate Thiago, you can't have 2 other injury prone midfielders in the squad. You need an alternative to Fabinho and you need a midfielder who dictates tempo and carries the ball who isn't Thiago.

 

Its just dumb. Trying to constantly save money in a market that has massive amounts of inflation is also pretty dumb.

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After 7 years of Klopp it's fairly obvious the club will wait until the player they want is available, rather then scour the market for alternatives. I'd suggest considering the consistency of points each season and Champion's League qualifications the approach has been successful. The fact the club doesn't have the funds to sign multiple high value signings during a single window without raising funds first has been consistent.

 

As for Thiago, he made 39 appearances for the club last season, 25 in the Premier League. That is pretty good for an injury prone midfielder and it didn't stop the team losing out on the title by a single point or getting to three cup finals. Maybe with a few hundred million they would have won the league and Champion's League but that isn't the club and it never has been under FSG. It never will be.

 

What has changed from last season apart from the early season injuries and Mane? I suspect the truncated pre season has caused the injury problems, they seem to have struggled compared to almost every other club.

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So what you are both saying to some degree is we shouldn't have injury prone players?  Was Keita injury prone before he got to us? (I don't think he was).

 

@SMD I understand an alternative to Fabinho is/was needed, perhaps that will be addressed in January? I do think this is a problem.

 

But @Gabe seems to be suggesting is that because Matip, Konate, Henderson, Keita, Thiago and Jota have had injuries since being with Liverpool, we should be buying because of this?  So we basically have to either get rid of those players OR buy to cover those injuries.  All well and good doubling the wages we pay by buying a new defender, midfielder or two and striker but then what happens when they are fit?  You've then got too many players in the squad and players like Elliott, Carvalho, Jones and Gomez won't ever see the light of day. 

I'm not a massive fan of Gomez but look how much better he's been since having a run of games under his belt.  He was excellent yesterday.

 

Could we have won more, perhaps, although with City around it's hard to see, but I don't think we have stood still.  The other teams behind us have improved because they were so far behind us, they couldn't not.  Man City in my eyes have not pulled away at all.  They have brought in probably the best striker in the world yes, but also lost some of their squad and may find later in the season they might pay for it.

 

Anyhow, I'm not trying to start a fight with fellow reds, I just think from what we were a few years ago we are spoilt in what we've achieved and the way we play.

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1 minute ago, Adrock said:

After 7 years of Klopp it's fairly obvious the club will wait until the player they want is available, rather then scour the market for alternatives. I'd suggest considering the consistency of points each season and Champion's League qualifications the approach has been successful. The fact the club doesn't have the funds to sign multiple high value signings during a single window without raising funds first has been consistent.

 

As for Thiago, he made 39 appearances for the club last season, 25 in the Premier League. That is pretty good for an injury prone midfielder and it didn't stop the team losing out on the title by a single point or getting to three cup finals. Maybe with a few hundred million they would have won the league and Champion's League but that isn't the club and it never has been under FSG. It never will be.

 

What has changed from last season apart from the early season injuries and Mane? I suspect the truncated pre season has caused the injury problems, they seem to have struggled compared to almost every other club.

Well said. 👏

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27 minutes ago, Adrock said:

After 7 years of Klopp it's fairly obvious the club will wait until the player they want is available, rather then scour the market for alternatives. I'd suggest considering the consistency of points each season and Champion's League qualifications the approach has been successful. The fact the club doesn't have the funds to sign multiple high value signings during a single window without raising funds first has been consistent.

 

As for Thiago, he made 39 appearances for the club last season, 25 in the Premier League. That is pretty good for an injury prone midfielder and it didn't stop the team losing out on the title by a single point or getting to three cup finals. Maybe with a few hundred million they would have won the league and Champion's League but that isn't the club and it never has been under FSG. It never will be.

 

What has changed from last season apart from the early season injuries and Mane? I suspect the truncated pre season has caused the injury problems, they seem to have struggled compared to almost every other club.

 

The thing is that even though we were grinding out wins last season, we still looked leggy and our run of conceding first started even while we were still going for the title and the CL. Our midfield compounds all our other issues, that's why I think it's such a problem.

 

Under Klopp our style has transitioned from a side that presses high and relentlessly for most of the game to a side that selectively presses to get quick transitions on the overlap and the underlap to a side that relies on triangles to get up the side to this current incarnation which i'm not sure what we're trying to do. We're trying to play a possession based game with forwards who are set up for the counter and a midfield that's sloppy. We've been losing the ball far too cheaply and regularly to be a team that depends on maintaining the majority of possession.

 

When we don't have an energetic midfield, we ask too much of our forwards and defenders to close the gaps. When we don't have a creative midfield, we rely on our full backs and forwards to create all over the pitch. When we don't have a solid midfield, we're constantly relying on our defence to nullify the opposition. Increasing the demands on the rest of the side will have the effect we're seeing now where mistakes are punished more severely.

 

I'm not saying all our midfielders are shit. I'm happy with Fabinho, Henderson, Elliott, Jones, Thiago, and to a lesser extent Milner and Carvalho (as both are at the opposite ends of their careers with us and their minutes should be managed accordingly). What I'm not happy about is that Fabinho is the only player we have who can play the 6 effectively and if he's out then we're relying on Hendo. I'm really not happy about Oxlade Chamberlain and Keita because it's just not worked out for the former and the latter can never maintain a proper run of games fit and at a high level. He always gets injured and always needs time to get back up to speed. You're effectively writing off months of the season for a player who hasn't shown enough for us to perservere with, unlike Thiago.

 

Having all 3 of Thiago, Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain is negligence in my opinion. We should've moved at least one of them on this summer but I would've rather seen us bring through more midfielders over the last 3 years so we wouldn't have kept waiting for the both of them to find fitness they're never going to get in our side. I know it's especially harsh on Oxlade Chamberlain because of how good he was when he first joined but that was over 4 years ago now and his body just can't handle the role we need him to play.

 

I'm not even mad about Mane leaving, he was clutch last season but the year before he was awful and he's only going to keep losing pace. Watching him trying to beat his man on the flank with a burst of speed that doesn't come is just so painful and playing him through the middle while also having Firmino isn't really strong evidence of forward planning.

 

What the club should have done is been pragmatic about the squad building. It's good they're identifying these super talents and are trying to wait for the opportunity but we did that with Tchouameni and we fucked that. Either you go all in on these players or you find someone who might not be as good but fills the role in the squad better than anyone else. I don't think anyone has said that Lallana was world class or that he would walk into any side in the world but for a while under Klopp he was one of the most important midfielders in the side.

 

The transfer market is only going to keep inflating until some kind of crash hits the sport. Your £10m midfielder a decade ago became a £25m midfielder 5 years ago and is now going for around £50m. As a football club there's no point in sitting on cash, you're not saving anything and your money is gonna be worth much less next year than this year. Arsenal found this out the hard way.

 

Yes it would be amazing to get Bellingham in next summer but he wouldn't plug all the gaps in our squad. Why put all our eggs in that one basket when we've been after a new DM for at least 3 years? We still don't have a replacement for Wijnaldum, who you could depend on for 50-60 appearances all season. Having a player who'll be ready every week and will put in a 7/10 regularly isn't something to be sniffed at. Your problem is when your whole squad is made up of those 7/10 players, but we're supposed to be at the top competing for everything so are we really turning our noses up at players who will keep us consistent with routine performances?

 

By all means identify pathways for the youngsters to break through into the first team squad but Jones is showing that you can't just assume they'll reach there based on age. Elliott looks ready to play 90 minutes 2 out of every 3 games, Carvalho looks like he can perform in bursts and Jones looks like his peak might come much later as his creativity needs more maturity and experience. We shouldn't be forced to playing them regardless of their needs because a third of our midfielders are broken on a semi permanent basis.

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Excellent posts @SMD, and you have articulated things far, far better than I have (but we have broadly the same view.)

 

@Chewylegsyou seem to be missing the point still. I'm not saying we buy loads of players on the off-chance others have injuries; I'm saying we've had years of Keita, AOC and two seasons of Thiago being crocked a fair bit, and nothing has been done about it. With Keita and AOC, what has been the benefit in keeping them around? They rarely get games, just spend time being injured, trying to get fit, maybe have a game or two and then get injured again. It's irresponsible to just let that carry on for years, but here we are.

 

You can also say how many games Thiago played last season and that looks good, but then you look at the detail and 11 appearances were as a sub and he only completed 90 minutes 11 times too. Hell, in 8 of those games he played less than 30 minutes - that's not such a great picture, is it? 

 

On the money thing, like I say, it's a bit of whataboutism. Football clubs at the elite level are still not run as businesses, no matter how many times people like to say they are. Yes, you need to be sensible with wages and stuff, but nobody wins things these days without flashing some cash. We are probably a bit of an outlier in that respect, because as @Adrocksays, FSG are not like that and are much more focused on the numbers. 

 

It's why I'm not even annoyed about it, I just think it's interesting to have a good, civilised exchange of opinions with fellow fans. It's been clear for ages that FSG aren't really that much different from the Glaziers in the respect that success on the pitch is a happy by-product of using the club as an investment piece.

The other thing which points to a lack of planning/foresight is Nunez. The club knew over a year ago Mane wanted out, but the player we bought doesn't fit our succesful style and the shape looks to be some weird combination of trying to accommodate him but also be like what it was before. It's a bit of a mish-mash and then is confused when he isn't playing and they try to replicate what it was with Mane but without that same level of energy and guile. I'm sure Klopp will iron it out because it is very early days, but if Nunez was meant to herald a change in style then there is a lot of work to do.

 

And as SMD says, Fabinho having no cover has been an issue since we bought him (and pointed out by many of us over the years.)

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I'm not even against signing Nunez. Yes he's different and yes he's young but if he goes to City or Real or someone like that, we're not getting him. So we either go big on someone who's still rough around the edges or we change our way of doing business. We really suffered with Jota getting injured with Portugal at the end of the season, we would've had far more joy against Fulham and Palace with him up front and it would've given us more options against United.

 

It'll take time for the team to adapt to Nunez and vice versa, it's time worth investing. I think it's different to waiting for Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain to get fit.

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35 minutes ago, Gabe said:

 @SMD

@Chewylegsyou seem to be missing the point still. I'm not saying we buy loads of players on the off-chance others have injuries; I'm saying we've had years of Keita, AOC and two seasons of Thiago being crocked a fair bit, and nothing has been done about it. With Keita and AOC, what has been the benefit in keeping them around? They rarely get games, just spend time being injured, trying to get fit, maybe have a game or two and then get injured again. It's irresponsible to just let that carry on for years, but here we are.

 

FSG aren't really that much different from the Glaziers in the respect that success on the pitch is a happy by-product of using the club as an investment piece.

 

The other thing which points to a lack of planning/foresight is Nunez. The club knew over a year ago Mane wanted out, but the player we bought doesn't fit our succesful style and the shape looks to be some weird combination of trying to accommodate him but also be like what it was before. It's a bit of a mish-mash and then is confused when he isn't playing and they try to replicate what it was with Mane but without that same level of energy and guile. I'm sure Klopp will iron it out because it is very early days, but if Nunez was meant to herald a change in style then there is a lot of work to do.

 

Can't get rid of the @SMD so sorry about that.

 

For some reason the club has chosen to keep Keita and AOC, so by doing that it means buying more midfielders could be an issue to the squad size.  Personally, I'd of got rid of them both, but they either think they can get game time out of them or they were unable to sell them for anything more than a bag of crisps and a Yorkie.  Ideally, I'd of wanted a back up to Fabs, but it hasn't happened.

 

Rregarding the comparison with The Glazers.  I thought the issue with them was that they don't put their own money in and haven't developed the stadium etc.  I don't think you can hold that against FSG.  But anyhow, I really don't care about that, I care about us not ending up like we did under Hicks&Gillett.

 

I see it as Luis Diaz was the replacement for Mane, not Nunez.  So there was forward planning as he came on before Mane left.  Nunez as @SMD said is rough round the edges, he hasn't hit the ground running like a fair few of our signings, but then I remember Fabinho didn't either.  I like what I see though.

 

I get the frustration, I just think going all the way back to my original post, there is a lot of doom and gloom in here when I really think it's a little OTT. We're 5 points behind our main rivals currently, let's see what happens in the next 5 games.

 

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