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3 minutes ago, bradigor said:

Urgh need to sort out whatever the issue is. Salah looked off it again. 

 

Our midfield is non existant right now, it seems to be causing issues at both ends. Salah though, not sure whats going on there at all.

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Too many individual errors to warrant anything more than a draw today. Alexander-Arnold is already being over-scrutinised, but there are issues in most areas of the pitch right now.

 

And spending £85m on Nunez looks like one of the daftest signings of the Klopp era. Not because Nunez can’t grow to become a decent player for us, but because the money could have been put elsewhere in the squad, and addressed two or three positions that lack cover.

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Yeah, I know know losing Mane was tough but we still had 4 forward options with Elliot and Carvalho as back ups.

 

Our midfield is just fucked right now. I genuinly can't believe we've started this season with Kieta and AOC still at the club and Milner as our backup.

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Another good day at the office then :lol:

 

Just reading some of Klopp's comments and he sounds like he doesn't really know how to get the team out of this current malaise. Rangers twice, Arsenal away and Man City at home are the next 4 fixtures. Other than Rangers at home, which you would think we could win, I could see at best 3 draws from the other games.

 

Too many players are in poor form (Salah's been off for 8/9 months now) and you can't keep hoping they'll play their way back into it, but TAA, VvD, Salah, Fabinho...none of these have proper cover, so they'll start nearly every game regardless. It's a real challenge for Klopp to try and get the team firing again, because even though it's still so early, already you'd say that top-4 looks a long, long way away.


Still, I said before the season I didn't see us challenging for the title (or anything right now :P) and top-4 was the aim, but even so, I have been surprised at just how sluggish they team has looked in pretty much every game.

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23 minutes ago, Oh Danny Boy said:

It’s clear that Bellingham is our no.1 choice and under Klopp the club has always waited for its first choice rather than switch to plan B. Of course if we can’t make the top 4 who says Bellingham Eliot want to even join.

There hasn't been a Plan B throughout Klopp's management though, has there? It's always been a bit of 'let's hope the front-3 do something special'.

 

I wonder if Bellingham actually has ever been a target, rather than just lots of paper talk? And, if he has, I feel that ship has probably sailed now - I can only see his stock rising further and further after the World Cup and I can't think of any good reason not to have paid what was needed to get him in the summer, it's not as if Dortmund are going to be more likely to sell him now than the were then - and certainly not cheaper!

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3 hours ago, Gabe said:

Another good day at the office then :lol:

 

Just reading some of Klopp's comments and he sounds like he doesn't really know how to get the team out of this current malaise. Rangers twice, Arsenal away and Man City at home are the next 4 fixtures. Other than Rangers at home, which you would think we could win, I could see at best 3 draws from the other games.

 

Too many players are in poor form (Salah's been off for 8/9 months now) and you can't keep hoping they'll play their way back into it, but TAA, VvD, Salah, Fabinho...none of these have proper cover, so they'll start nearly every game regardless. It's a real challenge for Klopp to try and get the team firing again, because even though it's still so early, already you'd say that top-4 looks a long, long way away.


Still, I said before the season I didn't see us challenging for the title (or anything right now :P) and top-4 was the aim, but even so, I have been surprised at just how sluggish they team has looked in pretty much every game.

 

Season could be over by the end of October in terms of the league and Europe (the former probably is already)

 

The more worrying thing is the template to take points off us at the minute is so bog standard: sit deep, stay compact and attack the right hand side, with a sprinkling of time wasting (which I’ve no qualms with, football is a results business)

 

Don’t see how things improve any time soon because there’s so little time between games that there’s no chance to drill any alternatives or adapt, not that a plan B has ever really been an option for Klopp. Think it will just be a season of pretty erratic form where we just about scramble into the European places, although wouldn’t bet much on even that at the minute.

 

Will be interesting to see how the season unfolds, and what Klopp does in the coming weeks and months.

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15 hours ago, Gabe said:

There hasn't been a Plan B throughout Klopp's management though, has there? It's always been a bit of 'let's hope the front-3 do something special'.

 

I haven't got time this morning but, wow, that has to be the most inaccurate bullshit I've read in here for a long time.

 

How can you assess Klopp's reign without the counter press, which is what the entire team was built around?

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9 minutes ago, Adrock said:

 

I haven't got time this morning but, wow, that has to be the most inaccurate bullshit I've read in here for a long time.

 

How can you assess Klopp's reign without the counter press, which is what the entire team was built around?

LOL, thanks for reading.

 

Perhaps you'll expand on that drive-by later, but I'm not sure how the counter-press invalidates what I've said? The whole team is built around the counter-press (Plan A, if you will), the aim of which - offensively, because that's what we are talking about here - is to ultimately get the ball to the front-3 and for them to do something with it.

 

Where/what is Plan B, which was the topic in question? The team has always played the same and its been very good for years now, but how often have we had frustrating draws over the years where teams have nullified that and there's been no distinct tactical change to try and break through?

 

By all means prove me wrong, I'm just making an observation, and I stopped watching every game quite some time ago. But I'm not the first to say that over the years and I doubt I'll be the last.

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I guess at least part of the issue is that 'hope for some magic from the front 3' is rather reductive. When the machine has been at its well-oiled best, it's always been a whole team effort to win the ball back at the first opportunity, smother the opposition and deny them any time to build any effective attacks or momentum of their own. This gave us both our offensive and defensive strength. I think it's very difficult to have a 'plan B' to compensate for the fundamentals of the team being far off the necessary levels.

 

Arguably, though, Nunez is an attempt at a plan B.

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2 hours ago, hmm said:

I guess at least part of the issue is that 'hope for some magic from the front 3' is rather reductive. When the machine has been at its well-oiled best, it's always been a whole team effort to win the ball back at the first opportunity, smother the opposition and deny them any time to build any effective attacks or momentum of their own. This gave us both our offensive and defensive strength. I think it's very difficult to have a 'plan B' to compensate for the fundamentals of the team being far off the necessary levels.

 

Arguably, though, Nunez is an attempt at a plan B.

Yes, that's fair, but my language was a deliberate shorthand as is ultimately what the plan has been based on; goals from other areas of the pitch - specifically the midfield - have generally been low under Klopp, because that isn't really their function in the system. And I'm looking at this over his management rather than just this season, where I would agree with the bolded.

 

Again, the system has been very successful for 4/5 years, so to a degree there hasn't been any great need to change things - but this season we are seeing what happens when it stops working. The Napoli game was hardly an anomaly, the team has been generally a bit toothless up front and far too open and exposed at the back - but in nothing has changed so far, which arguably is really hurting Nunez, because he just isn't the focal point of the attack (like a 'proper' no. 9) and he isn't skilful/mobile/intelligent enough right now to adapt (though if he is meant to offer something different, you would expect the team to adapt to him to give him a fair crack).

 

I shouldn't have to add this, but I'm not saying Klopp has lost it or anything, I'm just stating that this is one of his biggest challenges - to get a mis-firing team back on track, and it is a little worrying that a month with no games hasn't really helped with that.

 

I pointed out in an earlier post the next 4 fixtures - they are all really tough games and I can see Arsenal paying back some of the thumpings we've handed them over the past few years based on how both teams are playing at the moment.

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Every single football team in the world plays with a system and hope that is designed to allow their best players to flourish and create goals.

 

It's a very strange statement to make, that is exactly why forwards and creative players are worth so much more in the transfer market compared to others.

 

Despite all of the above there was a very public spat created by the media earlier this week about Alexander-Arnold. Klopp was strident in stating his opinion of the player and the fact he has been Liverpool's most creative player for a long while suggests it isn't just a "hope" for the front three in the current system.

 

That's before you consider the cliff the midfield's form has fallen off this season.

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7 minutes ago, Adrock said:

Every single football team in the world plays with a system and hope that is designed to allow their best players to flourish and create goals.

 

It's a very strange statement to make, that is exactly why forwards and creative players are worth so much more in the transfer market compared to others.

 

Despite all of the above there was a very public spat created by the media earlier this week about Alexander-Arnold. Klopp was strident in stating his opinion of the player and the fact he has been Liverpool's most creative player for a long while suggests it isn't just a "hope" for the front three in the current system.

 

That's before you consider the cliff the midfield's form has fallen off this season.

 

Again, I'm not just talking about this season (a point I've made in all three of my posts on this subject).

 

Rather than go around in circles, I agree - most managers may well have a system that they use for 95% of games, but the best managers can adapt when needed and switch things on the fly.

 

To pick two high-profile examples from Klopp's time though, what happened in the CL final? After a good 30 minutes in that match, Madrid got more into the game and we had no response to it - it reverted to lumping balls aimlessly into the box. They were tactically out-foxed, overrun in midfield and Klopp couldn't counter it. Go back to the 3-1 final and yes, Salah's injury definitely had an impact (and we can point to the 'keeper's howlers), but at the same time that also somewhat backs up my point - there was no Plan B to revert to, Salah went off but the team didn't change the way they played. In fact in a lot of games this season the midfield has been overrun, but nothing has changed and poor form is not the whole story.

 

I think you are also helping prove my point with your TAA comment there. The system relies on the full-backs providing width and creating chances - but TAA has no assists so far this season, plus his defending has been awful at times, but what has been done to address that? If one of your best assisters isn't assisting, then surely you need to be looking at a way to find those assists from elsewhere, right? A midfield usually based around Henderson and Fabinho is not the answer to that conundrum (for goals as well as assists). In fact, the midfield has provided just 1 assist across all PL & CL games this season so far (taken from the stats on BBC and 'LFC Stats') - James Milner. And yet the same system continues to be used.

 

I guess we should just agree to disagree - we all want to see the team do well, after all.

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I was there yesterday, first time I'd been in over seven years. The pressing looked really good to start with, but very quickly the whole right side of the pitch went to shit. Trent was getting sucked into the press too often, leaving gaps in behind him, but Salah wasn't providing any defensive pressure on that side as he kept drifting into the middle. I'd struggle to suggest either were at fault for their decision making though, it looks like a deliberate tactic from higher up, particularly as none of the other players were giving them grief for it.

 

Something odd that I noticed was the way the team was setting up on their goal kicks in the first half. Rather than setting up in a 433, Trent was pushed right up in line with Carvalho on the other side to make it a 334. It suggests to me that it's deliberate from Klopp, in some sort of ploy to get Trent to work further up the pitch than usual, playing as more of a centre mid in transition rather than a right back. It'd explain why the team are struggling right now anyway if they are trying something new there, I don't think losing Mane is sufficient to explain the drop off from last season.

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I've said previously that I see Trent ending up in midfield long term. Problem is finding the replacement at right back. Ramsey is still young and his injury removed the option of him getting some game time as cover. In hindsight letting Williams leave was a slight error of judgement bit he did also need first team football. 

 

I think it is wasted having both Fabinho and Henderson in that midfield three as it only leaves Thiago as our creative option. If you want to play two midfielders who will stay defensively to protect then tweak the formation. 

 

A 4-2-3-1 will gives us the protection and allow some creativity, which can change to our usual 4-3-3 if needed, especially with five substitutions now. 

 

You play

 

Fabinho - Thiago

Elliot - Jota(Firmino)- Diaz

Salah (Nunez) 

 

You can still pop Bobby in there please options of Milner, Henderson, Carvalho, etc depending on situation. 

 

It's not long term, but it changes things up for this season to try and combat the blueprint to beat us. Possibly even reigniting Salah. 

 

Two deep lying midfielders can also help cover Trent's lack of form and give us an option to drop the back line a little deeper to stop the constant space in behind and also allows us to play with the ball a bit more at the opponent's final third without having every minor mistake punished with runs in behind.

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4 hours ago, Gabe said:

Just so I shut up about it, I know there are people in this thread who have a far better tactical appreciation and knowledge than me, so I'm happy for anybody to come along and tell me where I'm making incorrect statements - @SMD?

 

lmao do we need to go into more detail other than 'we're shit'?

 

I mean, I don't think it's fair to say we haven't had a plan B under Klopp, it's just that most of the time we haven't needed it because Plan A was so good.

 

Klopp has always tweaked in game rather than loaded up an entirely different tactical setup - you could see this when sometimes Mane or Salah would go through the middle and Firmino would drop so deep he was almost a midfielder. The problem with Mane is that even though he was pretty much, out of the last 2 years he was a bit shit for 18 months. He really turned it on in the last 6 months of last season but that was more to do with him not trying to beat his man with pace that he lost a couple of years ago.

 

I don't have a problem with us selling Mane. I wouldn't have had a problem with us letting Firmino go as well, though not in the same window really. My issue has been that we don't have good backup down the right and don't have quality in midfield to play the way Klopp wants. Our press triggers are fucked because we've got everyone coming in out of sync and making it incredibly easy for the opposition to do basic one twos to get through us.

 

I don't even have a massive problem with TAA's role, it's more that he and the rest of the midfield constantly switch off to the point where teams know they've got a better than evens chance of catching someone sleeping and finding a way through. TAA always used to overload the midfield and provide an additional man in attack, we just had a much younger Henderson covering. I think the idea last season was that Elliott would come in and form a triangle with Salah and TAA with Hendo shifting to the other side to provide defensive balance and on field support. Elliott getting his ankle wrecked and our high pressure run when he came back meant that plan went in the bin early doors. Now we've got a side that's completely shot mentally and not enough fresh blood to pick up the slack.

 

You could just bite the bullet this summer and do a complete rebuild - Firmino, Oxlade Chamberlain, Keita out, Matip and Henderson phased out with Milner retiring altogether and bringing in two young central midfielders, one young DM, one young left back and making a decision about centre back - when does VVD's form become his level rather than temporary, when do you decide not to bother with Joemez any more, when does Robbo need his place in the side considering and is Tsimikas going to get promoted or do we need a new first choice LB.

 

You're easily looking at bringing in 4 players who have to hit the ground running and potentially 8 with an eye on phasing out certain players. It's no bad thing to sell players as they start to dip, maybe they go somewhere else and get a second wind but if you expect the overall trajectory to be downwards then sentiment be damned. If your players' best characteristics are their high levels of fitness and they go, then what. Cos on the ball, Robbo isn't as good as Cancelo and our midfield is below average.

 

So you can play TAA the way Klopp does and tolerate his lapses but when the structure around him isn't doing what it's supposed to then yeah you're gonna expose the fuck out of him and the entire flank.

 

For what it's worth, I only watched the first half of the game yesterday but I can't imagine from the updates I got on my phone while I was out there was a significant change in performance.

 

So yeah, the source of all our ails is our midfield, changing to a defensive setup or a 3-5-2 or whatever won't do shit for us because it doesn't sort out the malaise with individuals or the fact that our squad needs refreshing to manage the high energy we're expected to display every week.

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6 minutes ago, bradigor said:

I've said previously that I see Trent ending up in midfield long term.

 

I don't get this because none of his qualities translate to him playing well in midfield. He benefits from the space he gets to attack the flank from full back and play one twos with Salah and whoever the midfielder nearest to him is. His crossing ability is already neutered when he runs through the middle, making that full time would just compound that.

 

I could see the argument for him to move into DM when his legs go but he's in his early 20s, we're years from debating that.

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26 minutes ago, SMD said:

 

I don't get this because none of his qualities translate to him playing well in midfield. He benefits from the space he gets to attack the flank from full back and play one twos with Salah and whoever the midfielder nearest to him is. His crossing ability is already neutered when he runs through the middle, making that full time would just compound that.

 

I could see the argument for him to move into DM when his legs go but he's in his early 20s, we're years from debating that.

 

I would have him on the right side of the three behind a striker. So he can still get some of that freedom. He can help track back too but without exposing his current frailties. 

 

The triangle of Trent, Mo, Henderson is done the way it is looking at the strength of that right side has been negated. 

 

Trent has the ability to be our DeBruyne in time. I truly believe that. I may well be wrong but it is something I have felt for a good while now

 

 

 

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29 minutes ago, bradigor said:

 

I would have him on the right side of the three behind a striker. So he can still get some of that freedom. He can help track back too but without exposing his current frailties. 

 

The triangle of Trent, Mo, Henderson is done the way it is looking at the strength of that right side has been negated. 

 

Trent has the ability to be our DeBruyne in time. I truly believe that. I may well be wrong but it is something I have felt for a good while now

 

 

 

 

TAA's long passing is fantastic but he's nowhere near De Bruyne's level in midfield, I'm sorry. KdB is the best in the world at the moment in the middle and he's on fire.

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4 minutes ago, SMD said:

 

TAA's long passing is fantastic but he's nowhere near De Bruyne's level in midfield, I'm sorry. KdB is the best in the world at the moment in the middle and he's on fire.

 

Oh 100% agree. But I think training with Thiago will help and he can get better and better further up the pitch. 

 

Not saying he will be a clone of DeBruyne, but he can become our key to everything in that midfield. 

 

He needs to improve areas for sure but he is still so so young and can see it being his evolution in the team over the next five years. Not within the season like.

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