Free TTT Time, 4th November

Free TTT Time, 4th November
November 4, 2013 Chris Rowland

By Chris Rowland.

Welcome to today’s daily digest, listing the day’s Liverpool FC news, the latest LFC transfer news, other major PL news and also providing links to the best posts on the site’s debate section.

LFC News:

Three Barclays Premier League fixtures in January have been selected for live television coverage.

Stoke City (A) – now Sunday, January 12, 4.10pm with kick-off (Sky Sports)

Aston Villa (H) – Saturday, January 18, kick-off now 5.30pm (Sky Sports)

Everton (H) – Tuesday, January 28 (BT Sport). Kick-off remains 8pm.

It would be quicker to say that our only non-televised league fixture in January is Hull City (H) on New Year’s Day.

The club confirmed the Official Members’ ticket sale process for Barclays Premier League home fixtures due to be played in the second half of this season. In order to buy tickets during this Membership sale, you will need to join LFC Official Membership before midnight Sunday, November 10.

LFC Transfer Talk:

Continued LFC interest in Argentine playmaker Juan Iturbe, as reported in last week’s TTT Time. But Barcelona are also interested in the 20-year-old, currently on loan at newly-promoted Serie A side Hellas Verona.

Both Barcelona and Liverpool are keen to continue tracking the starlet and they are prepared to talk to Iturbe’s parent club FC Porto to seal a deal in future.

The Camp Nou outfit, however, are believed to be ahead in the race to sign the young Argentine, according to Portuguese daily A Bola, with a potential offer of €15m mooted.

Another from last week – “Djurgarden defender Daniel Amartey has confirmed he is in talks with Liverpool over a January move to Anfield.

The 18-year-old centre back, who can also play in midfield, was picked up by Reds scouts playing for Ghana’s U20 team. And after reading lengthy reports on the player, Brendan Rodgers has given the green light for Liverpool to move to sign him. It’s thought that a £1.5million deal is in the pipeline, and Amartey has confirmed he has already spoken to Rodgers about a move.

Another we’ve been linked with before in previous transfer windows is Marseille striker Andre Ayew, who “will be a £10million target for Premier League clubs in the next transfer window.”

The Ghana international front man looks certain to be sold by Olympique Marseille after their dreadful show in Europe and a dismal start to the domestic campaign.

Now Marseille look ready to cash in on Ayew with both Liverpool and Newcastle interested.

Other Football News:

Jose Mourinho says he made “11 mistakes” in his team selection after Chelsea lost to Newcastle United on Saturday.

I didn’t agree with his choice of subs either myself, so that’s 18 … 😉

Articles Published Today:

Interview With Jed Davies, Football Coach and Author, by Arnar Steinsson.

Best/Most Interesting Posts Today:

First, one from Saturday night after the Arsenal game that was so good it’s worth checking out if you missed it. It’s from DCronin, and it started like this:

10 games in, what have we learned?

Not much really.

Sturridge is possibly better than some of us realised.  Coutinho may not be quite as good as some of us thought (yet) although it’s difficult to tell as we’ve not seen much of him.  Suarez is a bit special but we knew that already.  Liverpool can beat inferior teams but generally struggle against teams that have better players and/or tactically astute managers.  We score a lot of goals.  We concede a lot of sloppy goals and are vulnerable from set pieces.

Looking at today’s game, we were second best.  No surprise there.

And ended up like this:

So to wrap this post up, I don’t know if today was little more than a flutter at the bookies we were comfortable with losing but which was worth gambling to win or if today was evidence that our season so far has been all fur coat and no knickers.

What have we learned?  I’m none the wiser.

After Gerrard’s poor performance at Arsenal, plenty of talk about his place in the side – and Chardo34 had this to say:

As has been noted earlier, benching Gerrard is a bold and brave decision that Rodgers may not be ready to make, even though impact sub is probably where he will have most, well, impact.

The invaluable team spirit is currently at an all time high, with key players given roles that they’re suited to (apart from the VC), but you can imagine what would happen if our notoriously sensitive captain was benched.

As far as I can see, Brendan’s options are:

You’ll have to read the post to find out!

Dan Kennett suggested:

In centre mid, I’d be tempted to drop both Lucas and Gerrard to the bench and give Henderson & Allen a start with Coutinho ahead of them.  Lots of mobility and technique there.

Gerrard

Is an all-time club legend starting to lose his legs on our pitch?

Maradoo bemoaned the lack of pace and energy from our midfield pair Lucas and Gerrard:

We seem well short of energy half the time during matches, and it simply cannot be a coincidence, that we seem tired whilst Lucas looks so painfully slow and Gerrard so sadly leggy.

El Suarez pointed out the lack of goal threat from the midfield:

In comparison to the teams around us we’re currently not capable of a reliable source of goals from other areas. This is a serious problem because when Suarez and Sturridge struggle so do we.

Slemsman linked to a Football365 article titled ‘A Resurgent Liverpool Would Benefit Everyone’ (I can hear the nods of agreement around Goodison and Old Trafford from here, not to mention London). If you like the sound of this lengthy extract, try the whole thing:

Watching the team play is monumentally frustrating. Half the bloody side look well off the standard required to be a top four club, half the side look good enough to be league champions. The manager seems to flip between being insightfully astute and being a potato-headed fool. He signs utter rubbish and top quality. Steven Gerrard, their totemic player, seems to go from being axiomatic fulcrum to being a redundant but un-droppable creaking hoofer trying to re-live former glories.

While being some way from being called a fan, like many people, I’m broadly pro-Liverpool and I’d like to see them do well, and that just makes watching them so carpet-chewingly frustrating.

The continuing popularity of Liverpool is really quite a phenomenon in these fickle, success-chasing times. With no league title for a generation, it’d been easy to imagine them becoming also-rans but they haven’t. Go anywhere in the world and Liverpool are still big news.

So imagine how massive Liverpool would become if they won a league title or won in Europe again and began to do this more regularly. The riches that await a successful Liverpool are phenomenal and would be on a scale unimagined by pretenders like money-bags Manchester City and Chelsea.

Either would struggle to maintain popularity without trophies. Liverpool seem to sustain on nothing more than the fumes left behind after success has driven away.

I wonder if the club’s owners really grasp how big Liverpool could become. The cultural and sporting power of a successful Liverpool would be licence to print money and would, in the long-term, repay almost any degree of investment.

There’s probably no other club on earth that could generate the income that Liverpool could once they are successful. If the owners dumped half a billion quid into the club over the next three or four years, they’d have it all back and much more within the decade.

It’s all there for Liverpool. They’re forever on the brink of being the biggest club on the planet. Then they take to the pitch and you realise how far away this really still is. It does my bloody head in, so God knows what it must be like for a Liverpool fan.

Meanwhile Dulcet posted a piece by Kristian Walsh in the Telegraph on ‘our crumbling skipper‘. The crux of the argument, one heard frequently on here, was this:

At what point do Liverpool stop allowing Gerrard (to) dictate the way they play? He is no longer a player who should be given such luxury, a player who should be catered towards so insistently.

Another comment about the ‘elephant in the room’ that is our captain came from jimtheoracle:

Brendan has made great deal of the fact that the 3-5-2 is there to accommodate both Suarez and Sturridge, but I’m not sure that is necessarily true. The attack was so isolated at times on Saturday that they looked like a separate part of the team. But our midfield cannot break to join them. Lucas isn’t mobile enough, Gerrard certainly isn’t anymore and as much as I like Henderson his movement is excellent but his quality is not there yet. I wondered on Saturday if the 3-5-2 shape is there to get lots of people round Gerrard in midfield. Centre backs stepping up behind him and the full backs coming up next to him. Lots of passing options where he doesn’t have to be as mobile as he might in a 433 or 4231, at the moment he is playing pretty direct quickly trying to get one of the strikers in early as they both play off the shoulder of the defenders. The problem is against a savvy talented side like Arsenal he just got lost and looked very very pedestrian.

Christophe84 had his first attempt at sports writing, a new blog started by one of  his friends called ‘Talk of the Terraces’, and he says it “would be great to get a few hits on the site and also some feedback too.” The title is ‘Time for a European revolution?’, and it’s about the inclusion of the tiny nations in European and World Cup qualifying – San Marino, Andorra, Liechtenstein, Faroe Islands etc.

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