Liverpool: Mid-Season Analysis

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Liverpool: Mid-Season Analysis Empty Liverpool: Mid-Season Analysis

Post by iftikhar Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:28 am

This would include contents of several threads. It would be a one-stop window for reviews, analysis as well as preview for rest of the season.

1. Transfer: review of signings wrt their contributions. Include the possible impact of those who left.

2. Squad: review of present squad wrt quality, cover and flexibility. Consider both short & long term goals as well as injury. Include possible promotions from youth & possible trimmings.

3. Strategy: review our present formation. Is it effective! Has it got us the best results possible! HAS it optimized our present squad!

4. Results: analyse our results. Is our present position (league & cups) representative of our potential! Are we on-track wrt our objectives!
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Post by Art Morte Mon Dec 26, 2011 6:54 am

For a moment I was hoping for an Arquitecto-esque post by Iftikhar... 🐰


I think we're doing all right. We have looked good in most matches I've seen. Very organized, not really in trouble against any opposition. Conceded just 13 goals so far in the league. Have hit the goal frames more than anyone else, so can consider ourselves a little unlucky, too. So I for one remain very optimistic about our on-going season. Top-4 is well within our grasp and I guess I'm even happier about the fact that we're looking consistent and confident, even if there have been a few games where we should have done better results-wise.

Our 2011 signings have some started off better than others. Suarez has been an instant hit and Bellamy has been brilliant as well. Carroll has the burden of his price tag and hasn't really lived up to expectations so far, but that hasn't been a catastrophy to the team. Henderson is performing all right as well as Downing. Enrique has been fantastic. Adam has been a little on-and-off, but has provided some crucial moments.

Umm, well, I actually consider us to be stronger than Arsenal or Chelsea at the moment. Tottenham, to me, are matching our level or are even a notch higher. If each club continued at the same level for the rest of the season as they've been at so far, I believe we would be amongst the top-4.
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Post by Red Alert Mon Dec 26, 2011 10:03 pm

Summer transfers in one word:

Downing - Dissapointing.
Adam - Inconsistent.
Enrique - Great.
Bellamy - Commited.
Coates - Potential.
Henderson - Promising.

Best signing thus far: Bellamy or Enrique
Flops thus far: Downing

Results:
Home... still undefeated. Only positive. Too many draws, especially with inferior opposition have let us down.

Away... we've been great. We've beaten majority of the opposition away, but the Spurs game is still embarassing.

Strategy:
All changed when Lucas came out with injury. We were playing very well, and were playing a mixture of 4-3-3 and 4-4-2 (4-4-1-1)

We've adopted the 4-2-3-1 or a 4-2-2-2 now with two CM's playing a deeper role. Next game will be interesting as we'll get Spearing back.

Squad:
Majority of the positions have great depth.

Only problems are upfront with underperforming performances from Kuyt, Carroll and some poor finishing from Suarez is our biggest problem this season. We've only hit the back of the net 21 times. And we're 18 games in.

And then there's DM... with Leiva out, can Spearing do the job is the big question. He did do very well last season, but he had Lucas with him. He was doing okay against Fulham too, and was unlucky he caught Dembele on the follow up of a tackle where he 100% hit the ball... and was sent off. He was on the bench against B'burn.

Performances of all of 2011:
Best defender - Skrtel
Best midfielder - Leiva
Best forward - Suarez

Most improved: Skrtel / Leiva
Promising youth to feature in the starting XI: Shelvey / Spearing???? / Flanagan / Robinson

Best goal: Meireles vs Wolves
Best assist: Suarez to Kuyt against United
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Post by iftikhar Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:06 am

Liverpool: mid-season review (transfer)

Bellamy was a great signing. On top of the quality he brought in, I'm rather impressed with his fitness level (considering his age and the fact that he spent the last season at a lower division).

Enrique has been a coup. He just didn't patch-up our trouble area, he has made it our strength.

Henderson, if you disregard the price-tag and consider his age, has fitted-in. Not very convincing in RM/RW but better in central role. While he hasn't excatly been an instant hit (aka Enrique or Bellamy), he is a good buy.

Downing has been drawing flack lately and I think largely due to his price-tag. Our style (which will be discussed later) may have some thing to do with his (and couple other players) performance. Considering he is a matured player (unlike Henderson or Carroll), may be he was expected to adapt to those changes more quickly.

Adam has been hot & cold. But if we consider his age & price-tag he will be a valuable squad player. Specially in a long season.

Coats is, as it appears, for the future. Given his age, value & track record; its another coup.

Raul or Aqualini might have proved to be valuable. Either of them in tandem with Suarez and behind Carroll would have made us more potent.

For winter window, I would like to see a poacher & a DM. Suarez & Bellamy aren't out-&-out ST and we need the work they do around the box. With Carroll yet to hit the stride and Kuyt in unusually off-form, we need some one to take the chances.
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Post by iftikhar Fri Jan 06, 2012 2:28 am

I think we have to review & revise our strategy & formation. We don't have the players for 442 and some of the players are under-performing in this formation.

I would play Gerrard & Bellamy behind Carroll with Adam (AM), Henderson (CM) & Spearing (DM) in mid-field. The back-line stays as it is for reasons known to all.

Bellamy can't play 90 mins every game and will be substituted with Maxi or Kuyt. When Gerrard is substituted, Downing should come in with Adam moving closer to the box.

Gerrard & Bellamy can score & create chances for Carroll and with them in & around the box, there will be less vigil for Carroll.

With Carroll, Bellamy/Gerrad (Maxi/Kuyt) & Adam to choose from; Downing will be more effective and add to our threats.
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Post by Arquitecto Fri Jan 06, 2012 5:43 am

You know what really worries me?

Remember how we played last year with our dynamic formations, scintillating and beautiful football which actually involved MOVEMENT to compliment the pass and move to create and open space? How players were actually INTO the box rather than hovering wide outside? Or how we DIDN'T FREAKIN float USELESS crosses into the box?

What happened to that system? I fear with the recent influx of british players but more importantly the "british style" we play in is what worries me. Kenny was criticized at his time at Newcastle for being too direct and playing a 4-4-2.

We are doing exactly that as Downing who is a typical englishman with runs down the flank to cross, Adam with his direct and hollywood passes and crosses without dictating or controlling the game, or Carroll who is an old fashioned target man. The only exception is Hendo who is the quintessential player who thrives in the pass and move and if you notice, does well most when Kenny adopts his original Liverpool system which also was used last year as this broken, outdated direct 4-4-2 system that he has adapted does not suit him and the overall confusion of styles seems to have taken an effect onto the players.

Instead of Kenny's pass and move of his first stint at Liverpool and last year, it is pass and no move. The positioning is awful along with how the players INFURIATE me by repeated crosses into the box (especially to Carroll) as this is also one of the prime reasons why we don't score since we are TOO direct and our movement to open up space and control the game isn't what it was as this is DEFINITELY a more "english" system as I have a feeling Kenny is actually opting more for this based on his recent tactics.

I remember Xavi saying it isn't the speed of your body but the speed of your mind to open up spaces.

I'm being a little harsh but I feel atm the problem is with the system as if Kenny resorts back to his original and famed pass and move, then Downing, Adam, and especially Henderson will all further thrive. Carroll? Reina, Downing and others need to realize Carroll actually have VERY impressive foot skill and CAN use both feet. That, or start crossing like our captain rather than making meek floating crosses into the box which makes the marking CBs easy to snuff Andy out.

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Post by iftikhar Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:39 am

Do we have a good enough squad to qualify for Champions League!!! In an ideal situation our starting XI will look like this:

------------Reina------------
Glen-Skrtel-Agger-Enrique
--------Lucas-Adam--------
Suarez--Gerrard---Bellamy
-----------Carroll-----------

Either he hasn't made the leap to fit in a bigger club or he is simply not good enough for the starting XI of a bigger club or he is simply struggling to find form, what ever the reason Adam has failed to live upto the expectations.

Too much was expected from Carroll who, TBF, had less than a year of EPL in his bag.

Add to these the ghosts of injury on the likes of Gerrard & Bellamy, and you have a rather rag-tag XI.

Now let's see what our back-up XI is like:

---------------Doni---------------
Kelly-Carragher-Coats-Aurelio
-----Spearing--Henderson-----
Maxi-----Shelvey-----Downing
---------------Kuyt---------------

I would say only Downing has flattered to decive. While Spearing, Henderson & Shelvey are too young, Maxi & Kuyt are too old to provide consistant & quality COVER & COMPETITION for starting XI.
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Post by Red Alert Mon Jan 23, 2012 2:28 am

Reina
Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique
Lucas Gerrard
X Suarez Bellamy
X

Fill the two X's with a natural right winger and a marquee signing striker in Cavani's / old Torres' mold and we'll title challenge with that. We need CL to do get those two signings those.

Downing will have to step up or should be sold as he's going to have to replace Bellers next season.
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Post by iftikhar Mon Jan 23, 2012 4:56 am

ynwa wrote:Reina
Johnson Skrtel Agger Enrique
Lucas Gerrard
X Suarez Bellamy
X

Fill the two X's with a natural right winger and a marquee signing striker in Cavani's / old Torres' mold and we'll title challenge with that. We need CL to do get those two signings those.

Downing will have to step up or should be sold as he's going to have to replace Bellers next season.

Gerrard (& Liverpool) had their best years when played SS/AM. Also, given his age & injury he is more suited for AM (which is physicall less demanding) than CM. Finally, Gerrard playing in between Suarez & Bellamy benifits all the most.

That leaves a hole in the CM, some thing Adam was parhaps expected to fill. It's not a co-incedence that we had the fulcrum of Alonso-Gerrard when we were CL team.
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