Liverpool Demolish Swansea While Coasting In 2nd-Gear

Liverpool Demolish Swansea While Coasting In 2nd-Gear
December 26, 2017 Paul Tomkins
In By Paul Tomkins, Subscribers Only

 

For the longest time it was one of the quietest, flattest displays – and atmospheres – at Anfield; the Kop apparently carrying over the stresses felt at Arsenal in the way that it did after that trauma-inducing three-goal shipping at Sevilla, when a kind of aftershock hung around the place days later. I’m still not sure Jürgen Klopp’s men got out of 2nd gear against the Welsh side today, but the finishing made all the difference, and eventually Swansea crumbled.

Unlike the Everton game, or the West Brom game, it went to 2-0 and then the cushion was there to relax. Liverpool don’t tend to throw big leads away at home, but some 1-0s have ended up 1-1s. Once there is breathing space, the small clubs cannot cope with the Reds’ forceful play: 5-1 at Brighton, 4-0 at Bournemouth and now 5-0 at home to Swansea; more often than not, Liverpool are really punishing the cannon fodder, but there will always be games where the finishing is more erratic or luck goes against you (vs Everton and West Brom). Everyone said Liverpool have to win more of these types of games this season, and they are doing just that. But (unless you are Man City) you will always have days when it doesn’t go your way.

At half-time Sky’s “three brains cells in a sharp suit” said that “Liverpool need a Kane or Aguero”, yet Liverpool are now the 3rd-top scoring side in Europe this season. Roberto Firmino has as many goals as Aguero (15), and yet only has one penalty to his name, whereas the little Argentine has almost half-a-dozen. Mo Salah had 21 goals at Christmas. Philippe Coutinho has 13. Who needs a “proper goalscorer”?

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A ton of goals is a ton of goals.

And yet, for 50 minutes the flatness of the atmosphere fed into the performance, and vice versa. I feared the worst, although at least the Reds had a lead to defend and there was no desperate need to add more. But maybe that removed the sense of urgency rather than the nerves. It was almost a non-performance.

It may be a case of “too many draws” this season but people said that in 2008/09 when the Reds lost just two all season. Well, it’s also just two league defeats all season right now (plus none in Europe). As I said back then, surely the defeats are being turned into draws, and that’s a good thing, right? Or does every draw mean you should actually have won? Every draw that isn’t a defeat is a point gained, not two lost.

But no matter how the Reds play, the chances seem to come sooner or later. Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ now have 3,789 goals this season. Think about that for a moment. I may even have miscounted, and it’s actually 4,578. They could pass 6,000 at the weekend against Leicester.

I also have to praise Trent Alexander-Arnold, who had a poor first half and looked unable to impose himself on the game; indeed, his U23 performances last season were all about him absolutely dominating the living shit out of the right flank.

It will take him a year or two to even think about doing that in senior football, but there were glimpses in the second half of what he can become, when he fills out a bit and gets more defensive nous. He looks a big lad at U23 level, but fairly lightweight and of average height amongst the hoary old pros, but that’s life at 19 for many players. (Jordan Henderson used to look pretty skinny at the same age.)

Joe Gomez has the full-grown-man physique and is a much better defender; he just uses his body and pace much more efficiently and generally reads danger better (bar a couple of far-post lapses this season). But in time – like ‘TAA’ – he will gain the experience to further improve; and in his case, move into the centre of the defence so that Alexander-Arnold can slot in at full-back.

At times TAA can try and read the play too aggressively at the back, and gets caught out, but what he did for his goal was the perfect example of how to gamble and make a ball yours; not least because it was in the final third. Once he’s a bit stronger he can recover from such tactics at the back, as he can force his way back into possession if caught wrong-side – the way good full-backs ease the winger off the ball with their strength alone – but he’s not there yet.

His crossing ability, however, has to already be up there with the best attacking full-backs in the game. He has pace, a fantastic attitude and a nice range of skills, and I’d be shocked if he doesn’t end up a top international player with 2-3 years. But he’s in that awkward transitional phase, part of which is purely physical. Luckily Gomez has meant he hasn’t be relied upon, but given bonus games here and there. And he certainly offers a goalscoring threat when he gets the chance.

Otherwise, it was an odd game, but one where the Reds showed that they will still create at least two-goals’ worth of chances, whether they score one, two, three, four or five, or indeed, zero (as luck sometimes has it). If you create 2-3 goals’ worth of openings every game then you’ll usually at least hit one, and often two, and maybe three. It didn’t look likely after a poor first-half but that second goal was all-vital, and Firmino continues to prove his doubters wrong. Who gives a fuck if he’s not a “proper” centre-forward?! And unlike plenty of strikers, he’ll work hard, and create with cleverness too.

Dominic Solanke certainly is a proper centre-forward, if you want to stick to old ideas, and right now I think I want him to score more than I want Liverpool to win the league … Okay, not quite that much, but I love how, when he plays, he causes chaos and gets lots of half-chances. Of course, Bournemouth got a goal today from a touch off the striker’s hand, when the young Reds’ striker had one chalked off recently; and you have to feel that Solanke’s luck will turn. That decision cost the Reds two points, as well as his first Liverpool goal, given it was so late in the game.

I also want to give some praise to Ragnar Klavan, who continues to impress, and looks much more suited to English football now; which is odd, given his age suggested he would be a very short-term fix. He’s got experience, but also enough in his legs to still get about the pitch, without being particularly quick.

He seems physically stronger, and maybe that’s just an illusion, but he seems better at dealing with the physical contact strikers hand out in England, and is not being bullied. I think he’s been outstanding these past five games, and didn’t really do much wrong at Arsenal in the 3-3 draw, when the defence had some shaky moments.

I said recently that Liverpool are never dull under Klopp. Yet today they pretty much were. And still won 5-0. That, I feel, shows how much this side is progressing.

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Comments (47)

  1. Author

    Apologies if any mistakes in this, but tried to write something before the last of my Christmas energy fades. I have some double vision as well right now, so I thought I’d typed we’d won 55-00 😉

    • jonnyc 5 years ago

      Agree with Klavan shout. He’s been my MOTM a few times recently. Reads the game so well.

  2. jayiyer 5 years ago

    Great read Paul especially as it was done with that last ounce of energy! Definitely agree that we continue to create chances to win every game – just haven’t been as clinical as City but seems that it’s more than the rest of Europe bar 1 club with a 200m striker

  3. Heighway to Hell 5 years ago

    Fair assessment Paul.

    I had the jitters at 1 nil and was so disappointed with the lack of atmosphere.

    In the end our class showed but as you say without really getting into top gear.

    Great for the goal difference which may come into play down the line.

    Roll on Leicester.

    As you have said in last few days, I’m just enjoying watching our skill and flair. It’s a joy to behold. These could be some golden times under Jurgen. We should hold them dearly regardless of league position.

    It’s so satisfying to have built this side without financial doping. It means so much more than them lot (both of them) down the East Lancs.

    A wonderful time to be a Red fan.

    • Author

      Roll on Leicester.

      And hopefully, roll over Leicester too 😉

      • Heighway to Hell 5 years ago

        Yes please Paul 🙂

  4. rafawasthebosphorus 5 years ago

    Lots to be excited about: Fab Four, TAA, Gomez, Ox’s gradual emergence as a presser, pressing more generally, the rotation.

    Like you Paul, I think Solanke could be amazing if he can stay confident. Hoping Mane can find some form

    Great win, onwards and upwards. 2nd possible.

  5. Akshay.sarangdhar 5 years ago

    Roberto Firmino has been directly involved in more goals in all competitions for Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp than any other player (39 goals, 25 assists)

    #notaproperstriker.

  6. Ashley 5 years ago

    I don’t know if anyone saw Oxlade-Chamberlain’s latest good value post match interview ? Interviewer lauding the second half performance and in comes young Alex shaking his head and looking disgruntled . “What’s wrong Alex , you’ve just won 5-0 had a great game and scored your first goal at the Kop end” or words to that effect asked. Chamberlain continued shaking his head and then proceeded to publicly lambast himself for not doing a better in situations he had worked on in training. I could almost hear Jurgen laughing in the background. The Sky studio team were suitably impressed.

    • Author

      I just watched the goals again and I’d been busy typing on TTT during the replay of Ox’s goal, and assumed it was a shot on the bounce, as from the standard camera angle you can’t see anything apart from the ball flying into the net. It was only when watching the replays just now that I saw it was lovely thigh control and then a volley before it hit the ground. A fantastic goal, that could be a goal of the month if viewed from the camera angle from the Kop.

      Anyway, that’s three goals already, and a lot of his games have been bit-parts – which I would guess add up to about 12 full games. If he can get one goal every four games that’d be a real bonus, and he has the talent to do it.

      Sounds like he has a fantastic attitude, and that’s another thing about the players who we are signing post-Balotelli.

      • rafawasthebosphorus 5 years ago

        Yeah, I missed how good that goal was. Final shot was threading the eye of a needle.

         

  7. Fady 5 years ago

    Liverpool’s ‘fab four’ now have 3,789 goals this season. Think about that for a moment. I may even have miscounted, and it’s actually 4,578. They could pass 6,000 at the weekend against Leicester.

    I must be stupid but I still can’t make sense of that paragraph no matter how many times I read it. Is that meant to be sarcasm by seriously exaggerating how many goals they’ve collectively scored?

    • Author

      Yup, you got it. Okay, you didn’t get it but yes, you got it. Does that help? 😉

    • LeeHamm 5 years ago

      See also ‘hyperbole’.

      • Dakotadc47 5 years ago

        Isn’t that the American Football thingy at the beginning of Feb?

      • Chris Rowland 5 years ago

        V good Dakota! 🙂

    • I’ve triple checked the data and it’s more a slight over exaggeration than sarcasm 😉

      • Chris Rowland 5 years ago

        Excellent work Daniel! (removes pipe from mouth and jabs it enthusiastically towards the young sleuth!) 🙂

  8. Arvid 5 years ago

    Great article as usual Paul, Thanks!

  9. Florentina 5 years ago

    And Trent Alexander-Arnold is the first teenager to score in Premier League for Liverpool. The last one I think it was Sterling.  

    • thundyr 5 years ago

      Apparently he’s the second-youngest defender to score for us – not sure in what period though, but presumably EPL only.  Don’t know who the other was, unless it was Gerrard while playing RB.

      • stevesouthward 5 years ago

        It was none other than Jamie Carragher!

  10. stulloyd 5 years ago

    Paul, you mention in the article that TAA has been dominating the right flank in the U23 games. You go on to say that he is likely to make the RB slot his own as Gomez transitions across to CB.

    Based on the U23 version of TAA, is there a chance that he will move forward on the pitch as he career progresses? Similar to how Bale moved from LB all the way forward to being a winger?

  11. red mick 5 years ago

    Thanks for this Paul. I share your hopes for Solanke. Think this lad has a great future (like a few more at LFC!)

  12. madchenKliop 5 years ago

    The thing about TAA (and I use that abbreviation unapoligetically even down to it’s connotations with a tenacious sticky substance; it’s a really cool nickname imo) is that he’s a frickin SCOUSER!!!  I’m quite glad that people don’t seem to go on about it too much, certainly not on here, but watching his reaction to scoring that goal and in fact the voracious enthusiasm with which he took the opportunity in the first place, we were witnessing something slightly beyond professinal pride and even beyond love of the game – he’s got that delirious determined extrovert (with a football at his feet) quality that’s been passed down through the generations; through Case, Fairclough, McManaman, Fowler, SG, Flannagan,… 😉 .

    These days I think it’s a good thing if it goes under the radar a bit as the weight of expectation can weigh down a young player before he’s started, but Klopp has introduced him so cleverly.  He’s definitely got, as Paul says, those things to work on in defence and needs to fill out, but he’s also got that scouse tenacity, whereby he’ll fight like a tiger to try and recover any mistakes or put his puny body in the firing line even if he’s ultimately going to lose the battle jumping for a header.  His defensive interventions may sometimes have a small impact but it’s often a telling one.  I think he’s very intelligent player in his understanding of team play and so is ideal for JK’s pack hunting approach.

    To be honest, that goal today (along with the free kick at Hoffenheim) are my moments of the season so far.  Not least for the promise they bring; he has the ability – as Paul says – to ‘totally dominate the right wing’ with end product as well as we can now see.  He could become like a non-frustrating version of Glen Johnson!

    • mattcwell 5 years ago

      After listening to his post-match interview, I can imagine TAA becoming a club captain one day if he continues the trajectory he’s on.  I haven’t heard him speak much, but there is a level of maturity in the things he said in his post match, coupled with a charisma that is very impressive for a 19 year old. I think we all would have forgiven him if he let the moment get away from him a bit, but he didn’t.  You can tell he’s learning a lot under Jurgen, and I don’t know about you, but how perfect would a club captain be that is a true Liverpudlian, with the personality and intelligence of Klopp, molded by the man himself. Yes please. Trent could very well be that. Only time will tell

    • Seamus 5 years ago

      Madchen – this is a great thing to point out. The celebration, as it’s made it rounds, has been likened to many of SG’s celebrations. There was a pure joy, pure passion, pure something that can’t be explained in the way we he celebrated and his 2nd half was brilliant. 1st half, meh, but so was everyone else.

      To take your point about Klopp introducing TAA cleverly, I think Klopp has done that with so many of our youngsters. The way he’s used Solanke, the way he used Origi in the first season (in big moments too), the way he used Woodburn last season, Ojo, Ejaria, Gomez…I mean we seen the emergence of several teenagers and they don’t look a lick out of place (bar the stoke game last season). Klopp has kept them all under the radar, it looks like he’s kept them hungry, and it looks like he’s really developing them. I mean TAA looked lightyears better in his second half than I’ve seen him play almost entirely. The “getting better with every game” cliche is really true with him and Gomez. They are just simply getting better with every passing game!

      I am feeling good about Klopp’s youth integration!

      Cheers Madchen!

      • madchenKliop 5 years ago

        Cheers Seamus!

        If I’m honest, I can’t actually see what he did wrong in first half either.  There was a loose pass and the slightly feeble aerial battle with Jordan Ayew who is twice the size. Then he got wrong side one time but recovered. Positioning maybe? But I thought it was pretty good and he made loads of good interventions and used the ball well.  Perhaps a bit of transference of people’s nervousness in the first half?  I can’t see much evidence that he was ‘meh’!  In fact I suspect he’s had fewer errors leading to goals or chances than Gomez has this season, but that is with the caveat has had the harder games.

      • Author
        Paul Tomkins 5 years ago

        I was writing regular comments during the match and I had cause to note TAA being poor on a few occasions in the first half. A few minor things, but without doing anything positive (hence why I thought he was fairly poor), although he then burst forward well before the half ended. Then he was much better second half.

      • Seamus 5 years ago

        @MadChien – I don’t think he was poor by any means, but I don’t think he was excellent. He did make a few good interventions but I felt he could have been more of an outlet for the team, especially as Mawson was shitting his pants at the prospect of Salah curling one in on him. He’s 19, so I don’t expect him to always do this yet, but I would have loved to see him take the game from the RB position and use the space that was given to him more.

        Again, great game overall, just didn’t think he was 9/10 for the 1st half 🙂

    • S Kloppo Chew 5 years ago

      Being a ‘specialist’ looking at numerous youth players, I take it that you like TAA very much and can see him progress as a potential first team player for LFC.

       

       

       

      • madchenKliop 5 years ago

        What gives you that impression Kloppo?  I’m measured and objective at all times! 😉

        But the short answer is yes – it’s inevitable.

      • Chris Rowland 5 years ago

        I wonder if we could wind forward 2 years whether Liverpool’s starting XI might often include Grabara, TAA, Gomez, Curtis Jones, Woodburn and Solanke?

  13. Chris 5 years ago

    I, too, have been increasingly impressed with Klavan. What I appreciate most(?) about him is that he’s not afraid to look forward and pick out a winger with an outlet pass. He only goes to Hendo or Can (whomever is in the side that day) if he doesn’t feel something’s “on” with our great pace up front.

    Now it’s true that he doesn’t always connect, but it does affect how eager other teams will be to send their fullbacks forward if they feel one of ours can put a 40 yard pass down the flanks into space for Mo/Mane/Ox to run onto.

    • Seamus 5 years ago

      I’d argue that Klaven has the best range of passing out of our CBs. I think Matip is the most technically proficient, but I think Klaven has the best range and that opens up a lot of doors for us.

      If a team presses? Let Klaven lump a ball over the top and let our front players cause problems.

      If a team sits back? Let Klaven carry out of the back and pick a splitting pass.

      Long Live King Ragnar!

      All joking aside, what an astute signing he’s been. I thought he justified his price tag last year, but this year he’s just made us look like we mugged Augsburg off.

      • madchenKliop 5 years ago

        I’ve been impressed by Klavan too, but there’s been a huge difference between this season and last and I have to say I think that’s been down to the superior protection he’s had from the full backs; Moreno and now Robertson; and also the improved team defence on the flanks, not allowing crosses or runners to get at the CBs.  Klavan’s weakness is when wide men attack him at pace.  It’s been quite remarkable how little we’ve been seeing that scenario of late.

  14. Celso 5 years ago

    Thanks for the article and the comments.  All much looked forward read after the Liverpool games.

    We may not have the best players in each position but dare we say we possibly have the best squad in the premiership?

    Emre Can may also be having doubts about leaving because of seemingly great atmosphere at the Club. Everybody seems ok with being in the bench or even when not in the squad for the game. I think we all agree that this is solely because of the way Klopp treats the players and defends them as we would defend a member of our family.

    Couldn’t we therefore be referring to ourselves as the Liverpool Family?!

  15. LeeHamm 5 years ago

    My sister [at Anfield]: 5-0 up with 6 minutes to go. What can possibly go wrong?

    Me [driving in México]: Doh! Forgot to program the Tivo…

  16. halonkarrison 5 years ago

    I think Chambo is coming along really well, especially considering he’s already playing in CM, which Klopp said he was, in effect, miles off when we first brought him in. It’s a real testament to his work ethic and of course his natural ability to be able to pick it up and perform well in a very demanding position in a Klopp team.

    He is possibly a Lallana 2.0 in that he can play that right sided CM role/right wing, but he’s faster and stronger, even if he’s not as technically proficient as Adam. If he can now add that consistent end product to his game (the hardest part of footy) and listens to Klopp when he says things like “be more of a striker at times, and more of a midfielder at others” we could have a real player on our hands.

    • Seamus 5 years ago

      I said it when we signed him, and I’ll repeat it again, Ox will go down as a transfer bargain down the line. He’ll be with us for 6+ years, playing 30 matches per season, and will grow into one of our more influential players! Definitely a Lallana 2.0!

      What’s amazing to me is how much more well suited he is to Klopp’s style than he is Wenger. Wenger just simply didn’t use him:

      a. in the correct position often enough

      b. did not utilize his ball winning abilities enough

      c. to my knowledge, did not encourage him to get into the box enough (hence why people have the “he doesn’t score enough” stick to beat him with from gooners side)

      Ox is in his LFC infancy, he’s got 2 goals, he’s got 1000 minutes under his belt so far, and the craziest part is he’s only been with us for ~4 months yet looks so settled here. I’m happy to have him slowly be integrated in and quite frankly, a midfield of Hendo, Ox and Keita (with Salah, Mane and Firmino in front) looks unbelievably frightening. A midfield with Coutinho in there somewhere is even more frightening, but it’s looking more likely we cash in on Phil to fund our VVD move (knocks on wood) and Lemar move (knocks on wood).

       

  17. chuck 5 years ago

    As it turned out, it was an excellent game for Matip to make his comeback from injury. He had little to do, but it should help him to recover his match fitness. It will be interesting to see who starts at the back against Leicester since it may indicate what the pecking order is for CB.

  18. cvt123 5 years ago

    I think the halftime commentary about ‘needing an Aguero or Kane’ was trying to make the point that Liverpool needs to be more clinical rather than more goals. Which is a point that resonates – with me at least.

    After the Arsenal game, I decided to look at our results when we are in the lead. So after 19 games, we took the lead in 14, or 73.7%, of them. Of those 14, we only have gone on to win 9 (64.3% of the 14), scoring only 2.29 points from those 14. The other 5, we drew.

    Well – how does that compare? The table below shows the proportion of games a lead was taken, what proportion are won and the ppg in those games by league position. It is for the Premier League from 2007-08 season.

    League Position %_Lead %_Win PPG_lead
    1 82.9% 84.7% 2.65
    2 74.5% 86.3% 2.69
    3 73.9% 80.1% 2.53
    4 67.1% 81.4% 2.59
    5 64.2% 78.4% 2.48
    6 62.4% 74.0% 2.39
    7 56.1% 74.9% 2.44
    8 52.6% 72.8% 2.33
    9 50.0% 71.1% 2.33
    10 51.8% 66.4% 2.17
    11 49.7% 62.0% 2.10
    12 46.1% 67.2% 2.23
    13 47.1% 62.0% 2.09
    14 45.3% 61.8% 2.08
    15 42.4% 64.7% 2.16
    16 44.7% 54.8% 1.91
    17 42.9% 55.9% 1.98
    18 37.6% 59.8% 2.05
    19 37.6% 53.0% 1.87
    20 29.2% 50.4% 1.74

     

    What you can observe is that we are are currently taking a leading position that is consistent with a team that comes third in the league (pretty close to second). This is pretty close to what some of the pundits and others ‘feel’. However, our ability to go on to win those games is more in line with teams that come in tenth or eleventh.

    If we believe we have a world class attacking side, which I think is not too controversial a statement, then we have to point to our defense. And this has a double whammy.. Firstly, a good defense reduces the chances of a team  conceding a lead and then, secondly, increases the chance of retaining it.

    So how much is this costing us? Well – including LFC 2017/18, there have been 7 other teams that took the lead in 73.7% of their games in a season (that is 28). Here they are, sorted by win%

    Team Season Position Average of win% Average of PPG
    Manchester United 2009/10 2 96.4% 2.89
    Tottenham Hotspur 2016/17 2 92.9% 2.82
    Chelsea FC 2008/09 3 89.3% 2.75
    Manchester City 2014/15 2 85.7% 2.68
    Arsenal FC 2013/14 4 85.7% 2.68
    Arsenal FC 2014/15 3 78.6% 2.50
    Tottenham Hotspur 2015/16 3 67.9% 2.29
    Liverpool FC 2017/18 4 64.3% 2.29
    Average 82.6% 2.61

    As you can see, the average win percentage is 82.6% with a PPG of 2.61. That is 0.31 PPG higher than what we are achieving. Or to put that into context, 9 points over the course of a season (0.31 x 28). ALternatively, it has cost is 4.5 points in this campaign already – which would put us alongside Man Utd or a point behind.

    Also – we have discussed progress in the last few months. The data for Liverpool on these stats are as follows:

    Season %_Lead %_Win PPG_lead
    2017/18 73.7% 64.3% 2.29
    2016/17 78.9% 73.3% 2.40
    2015/16 65.8% 64.0% 2.24
    2014/15 63.2% 75.0% 2.38
    2013/14 84.2% 81.3% 2.56
    2012/13 57.9% 72.7% 2.36
    2011/12 50.0% 73.7% 2.37
    2010/11 65.8% 68.0% 2.24
    2009/10 63.2% 75.0% 2.42
    2008/09 76.3% 86.2% 2.69
    2007/08 71.1% 77.8% 2.56

    What pops out is that we only have had one season worse in terms of PPG from games in a leading position.. 2010-11 season. The Woy year…..

    I know we often talk about our attacking prowess, but I really hope that Klopp focusses on our defense. I have been a strong advocate on getting a new goalkeeper. I remember reading stats that Mignolet is the most error prone goal keeper in the PL and I think that is costing us dearly.

    • thundyr 5 years ago

      I fail to see how this has anything to do with needing an Aguero though.  People talk about this club as though we’re not allowed to win 1-0, even though it’s a perfectly acceptable scoreline for any other club or league.

      Since we go ahead as often as any club that finishes 2nd or 3rd, surely what lets us down is that we don’t have the defensive nous that a club that finishes 2nd or 3rd has.  We are very good at restricting opponent opportunities, but we simply aren’t that good at doing it when we’re only 1 up.

      We were in complete control against Swansea and somehow everyone is nervous, and the commentators are carrying on about it not being enough.  We’ve been behind in 4 EPL games this season – City, Spurs, Burnley, Arsenal.  2 lost, 2 drawn.  4.  From 20.  Two 0-0s against teams that didn’t want to play and with kind referees.  6.  From 20.  We lead in the other 14.  That we only have 10 wins instead of 14 is not because we don’t know how to score goals without this Aguero guy we seem to lack.  After all, we’ve only scored 46 in the league (second behind City’s 60 and 3 clear of 3rd placed United).  It’s the 23 against where the problem lies (joint 7th best with Arsenal).

      But we have TAA and Gomez and Robertson who are all incredibly young and talented, and we will only get better even without reinforcement ala VvD.

      Up the Reds!

      EDIT: I forgot to add that 4 fewer draws and 4 more wins would see us on 46 points, comfortably in second, and that’s the difference the officials have made this season.

      • Ding 5 years ago

        You forgot Watford there, mate.

  19. echykr 5 years ago

    After playing the other 19 teams once (not counting last week’s Arsenal game, which was already the 2nd time we’re playing them), our record against the “Bottom 14” is nothing short of impeccable (2.29ppg). Even more so when playing away (2.50ppg).

    P W D L Pts PPG
    Top 6
    Home 3 1 2 0 5 1.67
    Away 2 0 0 2 0 0.00
    Total 5 1 2 2 5 1.00
    Bottom 14
    Home 6 3 3 0 12 2.00
    Away 8 6 2 0 20 2.50
    Total 14 9 5 0 32 2.29
    Total (19 Games)
    Home 9 4 5 0 17 1.89
    Away 10 6 2 2 20 2.00
    Total 19 10 7 2 37 1.95

    The home record would have been even higher had we not been robbed by the Blueshites and WAB.

    As long as we maintain this form against the Bottom 14 for the second part of the season, we’ll be on course for at least 73pts if our form against the Top 6 remains unchanged.

    Against the Top 6, we have 2 home and 2 away games remaining. Of the 2 home games (Spurs and Man City), if we can at least win one and draw one, then we can match last season’s 76pt tally. We don’t even have to win the remaining 2 away games (it would be great of course to stuff the Mancs and Chavs at their ground once again).

    In the goals department, we conceded just as many goals against the Top 6 as we had against the Bottom 14 (10 goals each) (partly skewered because of the two “anomalous” defeats that the haters like to exaggerate ad infinitum), though against the Bottom 14, we have smashed 37 goals total, an average of 2.64 goals per game.

    F A GD
    T6
    Home 5 1 4
    Away 1 9 -8
    Total 6 10 -4
    B14
    Home 13 2 11
    Away 24 8 16
    Total 37 10 27
    19 games
    Home 18 3 15
    Away 25 17 8
    Total 43 20 23
  20. Jeff 5 years ago

    First, I think sometimes everyone judges players who come from abroad to Liverpool far too quickly. If you have watched the Bundeslaga you would know that this league is referred far differently than referees in England referee the Premier League. Many times what is not even considered a foul in England is considered a yellow card in Germany. I think it took Klavan sometime to forget what he learned is a foul in Germany to figure out what is considered a foul in England. If you have seen him play, he is a very intelligent player who uses his brain to defend and now that he understands the English game is shown himself to be a competent defender. Simply put, for the money Liverpool spent on Klavan he is a flat out bargain and shows that you do not have to spend huge sums of money to bring in players who will make your side better. On this point, I will acknowledge that Guradiola and Mourinho disagree with what I have just written but they have shown that all they really know how to do is spend money and I am glad that Liverpool have a manger who knows talent and can develop talent.

    Second, I always remember Rafa talking about balance and how should this Liverpool team be set up to provide a sound balance between attack and defense. Okay, we know that there will be a goal keeper and a back 4 but how many of the midfield players should put defense first and how many should consider putting attack first and how many should be considered both defenders and attackers? To me the answer to this question will determine how well Liverpool do not only in the Premier League but also in the European Championship. This question leads to the question how many players do Liverpool need to devote to attack or in other words can a Liverpool attack consisting of Mane, Salah, Firmino, and Coutinho provide enough attacking strength to score at least one goal a game. Always remember that a 1-0 result always suits me just fine.

    To me the unsaid problem with what I have just written is that in the modern game in Germany midfielders such as Keita and many others are not only talented defenders why also possessing real attacking ability. Now, Keita as well know is not in Liverpool which means that until he arrives in Liverpool I suspect that Klopp will have to make a calculated decision on how to build Liverpool’s midfield. How many players will be devoted to defending, how many players devoted to attacking, and doe Liverpool possess midfielders who can do both? I wish I knew the answers to the questions I have raised and I hope that Klopp and his coaches get the balance of the side right because if they do this could be a real interesting year for Liverpool FC and it supporters.

  21. Thandi 5 years ago

    So Klopp made a mistake again in this game , Should had subbed Mingolet as he only made one save in the whole game , and that was in the 92nd min . He should have brought another striker on so we could had scored a few more goals , Damn it when will he learn !

    And no one has made a mention on Gigi , he was outstanding again in the mid field , broke up so much play all over the park , unsung hero last night .

    It was quite weird atmosphere at the stadium , it felt as everyone had had too much Christmas Turkey and did have any room for desserts , No No really , I’m good , Ive had plenty , Thanks , No more for me , But then the desserts are brought out , and 5 littles gems appear , the one more tasty than the other , Was I greedy for more , you bet I was , along came Llanana and Solanke , the poor guy can’t buy a goal at the moment , but Hell , him and Adam were causing problems all over the place .

    There is only one team that everyone wants to watch , and that’s our team , Man City , for all there money and all there great players never seem to sell out the stadium . For all Harry Kanes goal scoring , and Alli’s fouls , they cant sell out a stadium , all I hear from the Manc’s is how poorly they are playing and even there fans cant bare to watch , Arsenal cant decide if Wenger should be in or out …. So who’s left , Us , That’s right Us , everyone loves to watch us , They all have postcode envy at the moment , and that post code is  L40TH .

    Be there or be square !!!

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