The Week That Was – Friday 18th September

The Week That Was – Friday 18th September
September 18, 2015 Chris Rowland

By Chris Rowland and Daniel Rhodes.

W/c Monday September 14th 2015.

Welcome to our weekly round-up, a diary of news and events on the site, matters relating to LFC and the world of football generally.

The Week in Football – Liverpool FC:

Monday:

Brendan Rodgers admitted Liverpool were guilty of conceding possession too easily after they went down to a 3-1 defeat by Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday evening. (LiverpoolFC.com)

Rodgers told his post-match press conference:

“We’re disappointed with the result and the performance. I thought in the first half we were fairly organised but technically could have been much better with the ball.

“We didn’t keep the ball for long enough to create opportunities, but we didn’t give away too much either in the first half – it was only really when we gave the ball cheaply and put ourselves under pressure. So it was 0-0 at half-time, we’re OK and looking to play better in the second half.

“We’re disappointed with the free-kick. I thought both players were tangling for the ball, both had their arms up and Ashley Young jumps on the player’s [Clyne] back and gets a free-kick. But they worked it well and get the goal and we then gave away the penalty.

“Overall, we had plenty of effort and commitment but we needed to be better with the ball.”

Rodgers added: “I just felt we needed to be much better in terms of showing for the ball and wanting the ball. For me, it’s too late when you go 1-0 behind. I like players who take the initiative in the game, be proactive in the game, and second half we were a bit better at that.”

Rodgers accepts the Reds need to sharpen their attacking threat, but feels the return of players like Daniel Sturridge and Philippe Coutinho will help ensure his side increase their potency in front of goal.

“You need to [be better] technically and you have to be superior with the ball in order to build your attack,” he said. “So that’s something that needs a lot of work.

“We spoke about it at half-time with the players. We’re five games in and we haven’t created anywhere near as much as we would have liked. That’s something I need to go away with the coaches and staff and have a look at and how we can find ways in which to be much more creative.

“This is a team that, certainly for the first couple of years, was very offensive and creative.

“We’re still looking to find that way, with numbers of players coming in, to get that balance and efficiency in the team, but certainly we need to create more opportunities.

“With the players we’ll have coming back – players that are really creative, dynamic and have speed – they’ll hopefully offer the team that.”

“It’s difficult for the supporters and everyone connected to the club; when you win it, it’s a different feeling. We’ve just got to go away and work even harder at being better, and that’ll be the case.

“The players are bitterly disappointed because they know we can play better than that and over the course of the season I’m sure they will but as you can see there’s still a lot of hard work ahead for us. The players are still learning and adapting to how we work.”

Divock Origi promised that Liverpool will work together to produce a quick response to Saturday’s 3-1 defeat against Manchester United. Origi told LiverpoolFC.com:

“We came here to get a good result and it’s always disappointing to lose, especially against Manchester United.

“We have to learn from games like this and prepare for the next game.

“As a team we have to solve the problems, defensively and offensively. But I think the quality is there, so we just have to stick together and speak with the coach.

“The most important thing is to score. In the second half we had some good chances; we pressed the game. But we were unlucky and it’s unfortunate for us.”

Liverpool must now rally for the start of their Europa League campaign, which kicks off with a trip to Bordeaux next week.

“We’re all professionals so we’ll have to make the switch [in focus],” Origi said.

“We’re all motivated to get a good result in Bordeaux. It will be on us to prepare well in training and be ready for the game.”

Former Red and Match of the Day 2 pundit Danny Murphy says there’s no need for Liverpool to panic, it’s early days. (BBC Sport)

Liverpool’s approach in their defeat by Manchester United on Saturday has been criticised because of their lack of attacking threat.

Whether you call it a 4-2-3-1 or 4-5-1 formation, there were question marks over the tactics that Reds boss Brendan Rodgers went with at Old Trafford because they left Christian Benteke so isolated up front.

It is easy to say in hindsight that they should have tried something different, but I would suggest that being without the suspended Philippe Coutinho was the biggest reason they offered so little going forward.

You cannot keep making excuses for Liverpool, and some people might respond by saying they just have to be able to adapt when some players are unavailable, no matter who they are.

The fans want to see results now, but there are a few reasons why I don’t think it is time to panic – it is extremely early days for a start.

This is a big season for Liverpool and for Rodgers and you certainly cannot judge this team and their prospects of making the top four after only five games, because they have got plenty of time to improve.

I actually feel positive about how Liverpool look in terms of going forward and creating chances, something which was a huge problem for them last season.

When I look at all the attacking players that Rodgers has now got, I think that come the end of the season their goals tally will be fine.

Jordon Ibe is committing his international future to England, says Nigeria coach Sunday Oliseh. (BBC Sport)

Ibe, 19, is qualified to play for both countries and played for England Under-21s twice earlier this month.

England coach Roy Hodgson has said Ibe could get a senior call-up soon and is a player he likes “very much”.

“Jordon Ibe’s family informed me by a telephone call that he was giving priority to an England call-up. We wish them well,” Oliseh wrote on Twitter. 

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