Tactics and Formations

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Post by peerless Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:47 pm

donttreadonred wrote:what we’re trying to achieve: the Ajax team of 1995. If we look below...

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 Tumblr_mg2jgzJAa51rkxbaao1_500

…. We can see that Ajax played positionally much the same way as we did against Sunderland, with the main difference being the more dedicated central positioning of Blind at the back and Rijkaard being the general. Similarly, the outside central mids were actual central midfielders, but as someone pointed out earlier, it seemed at times that Johnson and Wisdom came into the middle of the field as part of the initial pressure phase. We definitely played more compact in the first pressure phase, both in open play and in defence of free-kicks (a trait which almost let Sunderland in to score). This shape-change helped us to win the ball back as it put players in areas that Sunderland didn’t expect. It threw their shape off and had Sunderland chasing shadows. In much the same way, Ajax would keep the ball moving and drop Litmanen into central positions to make their diamond midifield into a flat midfield, causing the opposition to reassess their own shape as they now had a new arrangement to face. The constant moving of the ball under Van Gaal was something that relied on good balance, good width, coverage of both the thirds of the field and the channels, and Van Gaal felt that a 3-4-3 did that job better than other formations, even Ajax’s historically prized 4-3-3. But it was also flexible, as have seen, and could even be changed to a 4-3-3 by dropping Rijkaard into the defense and having Blind play as a sweeper. If anyone wants to see the potential for how Rodgers wants us to play, don’t watch Barcelona – watch Ajax in the 1995 Champions League and the Eredivisie. That was the archetype of “Death by Passing”.

This is by no means possible. Brendan Rodgers will not be able to create a tactic like this as well as Louis van Gaal did for Ajax. The obvious reason is the disparity between the quality of players that allowed the system to be successful. Just look at a player-by-player comparison:

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 611319_AFC_Ajax

Compared to:

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 611322_Liverpool

In an ideal world, this would be what we should be striving towards - it is clear that the current squad of Liverpool Football Club cannot attempt to play like FC Barcelona, yet the more fundamental 1990s Ajax squad would be the goal for the current squad. However, just looking at the players', it is not possible to implement this with a fraction of the success that Ajax, and Louis van Gaal did in the 90s. It is as if it is a competition of play style, where Ajax would earn the gold medal and Liverpool would not even make the podium.

There were so many world-beaters in that Ajax squad, like Edwin Van der Sar, Frank de Boer, Danny Blind, Frank Rijkaard, Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, Jari Litmanen, Marc Overmars, and Ronald de Boer. Patrick Kluivert would even come off the bench, and in the '95 UEFA Champions League final that is what he did and he scored the winning goal. What do we have at Liverpool Football Club? The only player from that Sunderland match that has an ounce of the quality that oozed out of that Ajax squad is Luis Suarez, who coincidentally came to us from Ajax.

In mu opinion the praise from RAWK is overblown - comparing Liverpool Football Club's victory against Sunderland to a legendary team that went undefeated in the Eredivisie, went undefeated in the UEFA Champions League, and lost only one match in 49 matches in the 1994/1995 season? Really? There is a long way to go before we can even be compared to our 2005 UEFA Champions League-winning squad, let alone the 1995 Ajax squad.

Otherwise, great article. It was a nice read.

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Post by stevieg8 Sat Jan 05, 2013 8:36 pm

PeerIess, you're killing me man. Please reread what was posted.

The article in no way compares our team or squad to that great side. Instead, it points out tactical similarities that show us what our longterm goal is. Nobody thinks Downing and Andre Wisdom are going to win us the league or the CL, and nobody thinks that beating Sunderland is equivalent to winning a trophy. You're looking for stupidity that isn't there just to have something to criticize.

The point of this article is to take close analysis and use it for optimism. It is praising BR for his tactics and his approach to coaching by giving us a parallel to look at, and something that we can achieve in the near future with the right additions over the next couple years. You really seemed to miss the point.
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Post by donttreadonred Sun Jan 06, 2013 2:09 pm

Fixed the images... sorry about that.

Also thanks to Red (I'm assuming) for locating the old tactics and formations thread for me. Couldn't find it when I went to post this originally.

stevieg8 wrote:PeerIess, you're killing me man. Please reread what was posted.

The article in no way compares our team or squad to that great side. Instead, it points out tactical similarities that show us what our longterm goal is. Nobody thinks Downing and Andre Wisdom are going to win us the league or the CL, and nobody thinks that beating Sunderland is equivalent to winning a trophy. You're looking for stupidity that isn't there just to have something to criticize.

The point of this article is to take close analysis and use it for optimism. It is praising BR for his tactics and his approach to coaching by giving us a parallel to look at, and something that we can achieve in the near future with the right additions over the next couple years. You really seemed to miss the point.
Totally agree stevieg8. The point was never to draw a parallel between our squad and Ajax under Van Gaal. The point is the comparison of the end goal. As peerIess correctly points out, this should be the standard we're striving for. Now, if he had read and absorbed the message, instead of recoiling as soon as the comparison was mentioned, he would've realized that the quality of the two squads was never directly compared, nor was the standard at which they performed the tactic. It's merely a comparison of similar approaches.

We have a long long way to go before we're playing at the comparative level of that Ajax team. However, it would seem that those Ajax teams are the model Rodgers is basing our style off of, rather than the media's insistent use of the term Tiki Taka and persistent comparisons to Barcelona.

For me, one of the most interesting tactical aspects of this model is that we are not lining up in the 3-4-3 (diamond). We're actually lining up in a 4-3-3, but transition between a 3-4-3 variant in attack and almost a 4-5-1 in defense.
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Post by peerless Sat Jan 19, 2013 2:55 pm

Does anyone else think that a narrower 433 with Luis Suarez in the hole would work?

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 622655_Liverpool

Not really accurate place-wise but I think it could be an innovative formation that could have success. Glen Johnson is already known for his attacking runs, and he is one of Liverpool Football Club's best players, so giving him the license to attack him the pitch freely and come back freely would be interesting.

Jose Enrique could do that, but of course not to the same efficiency as Glen Johnson.

Martin Skrtel = stopper
Daniel Agger = sweeper

Lucas Leiva as a defensive midfielder, Steven Gerrard whatever he wants, Joseph Allen as a link man.

Luis Suarez in the hole, being able to create chances for Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge whilst still being able to score. Luis Suarez is definitely apt for a trequartista-esque role, but would Brendan Rodgers variate?
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Post by donttreadonred Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:27 pm

peerless wrote:Does anyone else think that a narrower 433 with Luis Suarez in the hole would work?

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 622655_Liverpool

Not really accurate place-wise but I think it could be an innovative formation that could have success. Glen Johnson is already known for his attacking runs, and he is one of Liverpool Football Club's best players, so giving him the license to attack him the pitch freely and come back freely would be interesting.

Jose Enrique could do that, but of course not to the same efficiency as Glen Johnson.

Martin Skrtel = stopper
Daniel Agger = sweeper

Lucas Leiva as a defensive midfielder, Steven Gerrard whatever he wants, Joseph Allen as a link man.

Luis Suarez in the hole, being able to create chances for Fabio Borini and Daniel Sturridge whilst still being able to score. Luis Suarez is definitely apt for a trequartista-esque role, but would Brendan Rodgers variate?

I disagree that it would be that effective. The decided lack of width would likely be caught out in the Premier League. See the diagram below...


Tactics and Formations - Page 4 AbD6N0hacX
Look at the formation in direct competition to a pretty standard 4-2-3-1. While it initially appears that the team in blue has the advantage in midfield, they are leaving the 2 fullbacks absolutely unoccupied. In defense, this allows them to mark any surplus midifelders making late charges into the box. Assuming the team in yellow is positionally sound, they would effectively have four on three (2 CDMs and 2 CBs marking the AM and the striker). This allows them three surplus defenders (2 FBs and a CDM). If the blue FBs move into attack, they would be all too susceptible to a counter by a quick through ball to the yellow wide attackers, potentially giving the yellow team a 4 on 3 counter (the LM, RM, CAM and striker on the DM and 2 CBs).

Moreover, for the blue team to be effective in attack, they would likely have to rely on quick tidy interplay between the midfield and intelligent special movement to draw players out. Even then, it still feels a bit light in attack without the FBs joining in, and the problems with that have already been pointed out.

While it’s not a horrible idea, and has been used to great effect at times over the course of history, I doubt how well it would suit the current, winger-heavy opposition in the premier league.
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Post by iftikhar Sun Jan 20, 2013 12:09 pm

How will the Suarez-Sturridge combination pan out! The matches with Mansfield or ManU don't give much.

In his best season Suarez played in the middle while earlier he used to start from wide areas.

Sturridge wants/likes to play in the middle and during his time at Bolton he played in such position.

So will Suarez (false9!) be flanked by Sturridge-Borini or will he shift out wide for Sturridge (CF)!

IMO, Sturridge can use his pace better on the wide areas while the foot-work of Suarez makes his ideal of central areas.

BTW, how about 4-4-1(S)-1(DS)!!!!
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Post by donttreadonred Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:15 pm

I'm not sure if this will be the preferred set-up going forward, but it seems to explain the approach against Norwich.

Why Daniel Sturridge Solves Liverpool’s Tactical Problems

The introduction of Daniel Sturridge has brought about tactical changes at Anfield that possibly offer a resounding solution to Liverpool’s defining tactical inefficiency that we have seen so much of this season. For the last two seasons (and more) at Anfield, Liverpool have consistently created chance after chance, only to leave fans frustrated and little to offer on the score sheet. Most people will tell you that the reason behind this was the inability of Liverpool’s players to finish and in some circumstances this may be true. However, there was always a much larger underlying tactical issue at the nucleus of the problem.

Liverpool are a team that now play with a slower build-up approach than most teams in the English Premier League and they are also a team that many teams employ a low-block against. These two factors make it difficult for Liverpool to counter-attack, since the opposition is already organised defensively. Here’s the problem – Liverpool have also been a team that have heavily relied on crossing over the last few years (see link at end of article) and have even signed players with this function as an objective in mind (Carroll, Downing…). Crossing is most effective when you have achieved a situation whereby you have a relatively high ratio of your players to opposition players inside the 18-yard box and the most likely occurrence of such a scenario is on the counter attack: to get in behind the opposition’s midfield and break. Of course crossing from the by-line still offers the opportunity for player movement to run onto the ball, but crossing from deep should be kept to a minimum without question when the opposition is well prepared and sitting deep.

In theory, a counter-attack can be coupled with crossing with high effect. Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur are two teams who excel with this method. Manchester United have also got players who can pick spaces within a compact organised defence too – which is why they are so successful (the combination of the two). A slow build-up team like Liverpool or (for theoretical perfection) Barcelona, will dictate play and attempt to find assists from within and around zone 14 (Zone 14 is simply the area in front of the opposition’s 18-yard box). The following two images are diagrams that illustrate the theory of build-up play and its relationship with attacking attitudes.

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 A-Barcelona14
Tactics and Formations - Page 4 A-nonBarca

Liverpool have in many ways tried to ditch their crossing habit this season, however they have been victims of a lack of patience and/or players in advanced areas to succeed as a slow build-up team. The team would try to play centrally, but through impatience the full-backs and inside forwards would drift into wider areas and then attempt to cross into an opposition packed box. As a result of the drifting of these players, Liverpool’s attacks were often isolated and ineffective. Since Rodgers’ method seeks to control games, the execution of his methods have failed to achieve control despite winning the possession statistic. Instead, the opposition have controlled games despite not having the ball – the opposition force Liverpool wide and are happy to let Liverpool distribute possession slowly as this is when the opposition will rest (and save energy to hit back with the counter attack). Teams play against Liverpool knowing that if they can protect central areas in their own third and hit Liverpool on the counter attack that they stand a chance of winning.

Tactics and Formations - Page 4 A-the-LFC-problematicLFC

The game against Aston Villa in December was a game where Liverpool created 29 attempts at goal and in combination attempted 37 open play crosses. I don’t need to remind you about the Aston Villa performance. The game against Norwich (January 2013), was game that still had it’s moments of impatience (often from full-backs) but consisted of only 13 open play crosses – many of which were from within the 18-yard box, on the counter-attack or from the by-line.

Liverpool’s issue has been that of struggling to find a formation (particularly in attack) that allows players to concentrate play (with options) in and around zone 14. Barcelona’s (and theoretically perfect) 3-4-3 formation [shown below] works well because of player personnel and attitudes towards patience, full backs and dribbling. In the Barcelona build-up the fullbacks and dribbling are used as ways to stretch the game and Barcelona tease the opposition out of position using either of these methods. It is clear that Liverpool for the first three months of the season used full-backs and the dribble as a way of trying to create goal scoring opportunities and relied on these two functions far more so than Barcelona do. Therefore Rodgers has had to find a positional solution that offers Liverpool freedom from crossing and freedom to concentrate play centrally with options (to avoid impatience).
Tactics and Formations - Page 4 FCB-343theorestical

Luis Suarez was originally employed in Leo Messi’s role (see Barcelona’s formation) of a false 9 to get Suarez on the ball as often as possible, however the problem is that this role is only effective (for the team’s play) if all things are in place. With the introduction of Sturridge, Rodgers has jumped at the opportunity to try something different tactically. Suarez now finds himself positioned in the number 10 role [see relevant images below] and Sturridge plays a much more advanced number 9 role, still allowing Suarez with the opportunity to pick up the ball and break forward, but now there are players in advanced positions to offer combination play in central and dangerous areas of the field. Therefore, it is easy to see how this new tactical solution offers Liverpool with options and takes them away from crossing as an attempted method of assist. Now, Rodgers will hope teams come to play against Liverpool and struggle to defend with ease in central areas.

So by signing Sturridge, Liverpool have bought so much more than a Premier League striker who has potential to succeed at the highest level, they’ve bought a new tactical solution; a solution that is Liverpool FC specific and isn’t an attempt to mimic what works for another club elsewhere. Each set of players will have their own unique player profile and it is the job of the manager to find the structure that fits into his philosophy.

The implementation process for Rodgers at Liverpool wasn’t just about finding players or educating players to play his way, it was about Rodgers developing as a manager himself and finding new positional systems that succeed at creating goal-scoring opportunities through having the ball, excel in the transitions and are difficult to break down in the defensive organisation.

No quote sums Rodgers’ approach up better than the words of the man himself:

“My template for everything is organisation. With the ball you have to know the movement patterns, the rotation, the fluidity and positioning of the team. Then there’s our defensive organisation…so if it is not going well we have a default mechanism which makes us hard to beat and we can pass our way into the game again. Rest with the ball. Then we’ll build again.”

(Rodgers, January 2012)

Where reporters get the formation line-up wrong is by suggesting that Liverpool play 4-3-3. Liverpool don’t play 4-3-3 like Barcelona do at times (without the ball, turning into a 3-4-3 with the ball). Instead, Liverpool play 4-4-1-1 in a deep block, they play 4-2-3-1 in the high block and they play a variation of 3-4-3 in the attacking phase of ball circulation. The diagrams that illustrate this are attached below and are drawn up on the basis of the original tactic employed at Anfield against Norwich (January 2013) [note - numbers are to represent positions only].
LFC 343attack Why Daniel Sturridge Solves Liverpools Tactical Problems

In attack
Tactics and Formations - Page 4 LFC-343attack

When the opposition have the ball in their own half
Tactics and Formations - Page 4 LFC-4231highblock

When the opposition have the ball in the Liverpool half
Tactics and Formations - Page 4 LFC-4411lowblock

N.B. All pitch images are created by Jed Davies and are not taken from any website.

LINKS

Liverpool’s reliance of crossing in statistics: http://www.eplindex.com/16597/a-cross-to-bear-liverpools-crossing-addiction-in-2011-12.html

Proof that Zone 14 is the most likely zone on the field that assists occur: http://tikitakafootballcoaching.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/goals-analysis/

All other stats are taken from EPLIndex’s Stats Centre
http://www.eplindex.com/24927/daniel-sturridge-solves-liverpools-tactical-problems.html
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Post by Helmer Thu Jan 24, 2013 5:37 pm

I have recently started taking interest in tactics and all that; so this thread is awesome :bow: If anyone is interested in more about tactics and formations, this is a good blog:
http://jeddavies.com/published-articles/
I have found this one while reading www.eplindex.com only.
Although the old graphics was better, it is still interesting to read and understand what BR is trying to achieve at LFC.

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Post by donttreadonred Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:59 pm

HEIL MEIN REDS wrote: I have recently started taking interest in tactics and all that; so this thread is awesome :bow: If anyone is interested in more about tactics and formations, this is a good blog:
http://jeddavies.com/published-articles/
I have found this one while reading www.eplindex.com only.
Although the old graphics was better, it is still interesting to read and understand what BR is trying to achieve at LFC.
Thumbs up Awesome!

Here's another one you'll like: http://www.zonalmarking.net/. I think it has some of the best individual game tactical analyses that I've found.

If you're interested in the evolution of different tactics and, for lack of a better word, "movements" within the game, I would suggest you read Inverting the Pyramid by Jonathan Wilson.
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Post by Helmer Sun Jan 27, 2013 10:01 pm

Thanks for suggesting that book. It seems to be pretty long one but initially I read few pages on google book preview and enjoyed what was available. Here is a small video about chris davies, Head of opposition analysis at LFC. The video is 1 year old but if you have not seen it, it's an interesting one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9_1Dx3wgCP8#!

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Post by Helmer Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:36 am

If anyone has observed in past few games, we are playing far too direct, instead of overplaying the ball around the box. The speed at which exchange of passing is happening is really amazing to see. I guess many times there is a balance in the team as to when we should keep the possesion and keep the tempo slow and when we should quickly counter or quickly reach near the goal and take shot or make runs behind the defence lines, something like that.

I think this mixture of keeping the ball and direct passing is relly helping us to kill the opposition off and we are being totally unpredictable. I am really impressed with this thinking from BR. It was also great to see the long ball from reina falling into the feet of coutinho and then in next few seconds, boooom n downing scores. The swansea game was also perfect example of this mixed strategy, I guess goals also came from very much direct approach and also from team play, to pass around the box in close spaces.This small change makes us hard to be read by oppponents and I believe we should continue like this. Off course it will depend upon what kind of oppositon we play.

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Post by Red Alert Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:14 am

Messiah "Aggerswagger" wrote:
ynwa wrote:Technically, I've said Glen Johnson's been our best defender this season. :coffee:

But at the moment, he's been way too fatigue and teams are exploiting that. So the whole defence has been in shambles, especially in the last month or two... the attackers have definitely been carrying us since January. Also, I have nothing against Agger. He's one of my favourite players. lol. But are you honestly telling me he's been anywhere near the quality we expect him from this season? You're kidding yourself if you do.

Carragher has been good, if not better, and Skrtel is basically out of the side because Danny's better with the ball in his feet. You can't argue Agger is a better defender than Skrtel because Martin's on the bench. It doesn't work like that. And Skrtel isn't my favourite player. It's just I don't understand why people have an agenda against him when players around him are doing the same mistakes but the only excuse to defend them is "they're adapting to the system". The same point that apparently doesn't apply to Skrtel. So if we could have some equality, and not all point and blame Skrtel for this season because he's the next scapegoat, we'll all be a bunch of happier people.

Also, a defence coach is key. Rodgers and Pascoe are deinitely working on the attacking/passing point of our game, but they have no real understanding of how to set up a defence properly. If they did, they would of worked on that first. Every manager works from defence to attack - not the other way around.

I told you I don't want to debate about our best defender or worst defender, especially in this thread. It would lead to nowhere as we're both clearly going to stand to our points but If you'd like we can do it in the Pool section.

Not Rodgers (and you should know this). When he signed he specified that he will be improving us on getting goals first and foremost and go from there.


Yes, but he should of atleast brought of a basic defensive structure. Not hope for the best for the course of the season until he gets his attack going. We've been horrible in defence all season. That includes Agger. And Skrtel. And Carragher. DAgger has been nowhere near the best defender for us this season.

We need to replace Clarke. You don't go from having one of the best defence one season to the worst the next. Not buying the system has made him this poor either. Sure, it's lead to mistakes - that's only natural. But you don't go from having having people that are solid one on ones and in the air to people that are afraid to attack the ball and beaten on a regular basis.
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Post by McAgger Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:57 am

I can tell you one thing for sure, our attack has improved more this season than our defense has regressed. I think you are making the defense sound worst than it actually is. I do agree that it's been horrible at times, but mostly due to individual mistakes and lapses in concentration rather than the defensive setup.

Ill post more tomorrow
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Post by Red Alert Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:43 am

Do you honestly think our attack could get anywhere worse from last season? We were the weakest team in terms of attack last season - and that includes teams that were relegated into the Championship.

And our defence has been mediocre this season. They're average, at best. And you can't solely blame individual mistakes, although they've played a part. It's only natural for people to make mistakes though. But at every set piece, our defence looks shaky. They lack confidence. Whenever a team has a number 9, we make them look like the second coming of Andy Cole ffs, especially when the ball is whipped over the top from a long ball. This has nothing to do with playing a high-line. I mean, when teams put us on the back foot, there is a 90% chance that the opposition will score that's how fragile our defence is. The defence needs to be worked on. So my solution to that is signing a defence coach to replace Clarke's most underrated role last season.
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Post by Nishankly Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:11 am

Agree with our defense not being the same since Clarke left us :/
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Post by Helmer Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:39 am

As i had read somewhere, defence is always a part of a team which is most vulnerable when the playing style changes; because the defenders are added with extra responsibilities and instructions. But it has been too long that to keep on saying the same excuse. It seems that all the stats in this season against the a big 9 have further reduced their confidence. So I also agree that BR and his team are not able to do appropriate preparation for such games.

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Post by stevieg8 Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:29 pm

Couple of different points to make in regards to what's been said...

1. Our defense has not been poor all season. I really really want to correct that. It's been poor for the last few months, granted, but that's coloring your view of the early season. We were getting clean sheets regularly in October/November, but our attack would have poor games, and when the attack would be good, the defense would briefly lapse. The result was the string of draws we saw. As it stands, our clean sheet percentage is at 35%, and we have the 8th best defensive record in the league - 3rd at home. (source: http://www.statto.com/football/teams/liverpool). Is that up to the level we want to see? No. Is it terrible and a major regression? I don't see it.

2. The idea that we're poor on set pieces is also a myth. Again, it's a matter of "are we as good as we could be?" The answer to that is no, but we're just a tiny mark below average both in terms of set piece goals conceded and overall +/- on set pieces. The only set piece related statistic we really have trouble with is the one that most colors our perception of the defense: percentage of goals allowed from set pieces. That number is high, but that is more of a testament to the overall performance of the defense than a criticism of their skills on set pieces. (source: http://basstunedtored.com/2013/03/20/set-piece-setbacks/)

My point is simply that we're not nearly as bad as some of the doomsayers seem to be saying. Is it a field we need to work on over the summer? Absolutely. Has our defensive performance this year been something to tear your hear out over? Not at all. Considering our standing offensively at this point, our defense is not as big of a problem as it would sound from this thread. I guess Messiah said it perfectly - the improvement in our attack has far more than outweighed the decline in our defense, and that's not just because of our poor performance last year.
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Post by Red Alert Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:07 am

Again, we had the worst attack last season. We were always going to improve drastically. It came in after January with the arrival of Coutinho and Sturridge, granted. But Luis did carry us before that.

You can use those stats all you want mate, we're definitely always on the back foot when the opposition has a set piece. I've seen it time and time again since around January and it's not getting any better. It's hardly a myth. Any team that has some height in them dominates us. And it's not just from set pieces.

If it weren't for our defence we'd be in the top 4. So I guess it is much more than a problem. Just because people tend to ignore our defensive issues because our attack is carrying us and winning us games at the moment does not mean the defence has been good or solid enough. They're a shadow of themselves from last season.

We're lucky Lucas Leiva has been healthy since his return or we'd be a lot closer to 10th position than to a European spot.

Playing 3 players in midfield helps recycle possession and helps dominates games. Which means the defence has less to do. That's why it's essential we play a 433/4321 and get rid of this 4231/424 type formation we have going now.
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Tactics and Formations - Page 4 Empty First Official Game Line-Up

Post by McAgger Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:51 pm

I feel like this is a very useful thread to have in the section which we can bump every summer and discuss the changes that each signing or injury or suspension could make to our starting line-up for the first official game. However RedO if you feel this thread is a luxury not needed feel free to combine it with whatever existing thread that suits it.

Our first official game is against Stoke City at Anfield on August 17.

Now as of right now, we definitely know Suarez won't be playing because of his suspension (6 more games left). Sturridge is also injured and we don't know his return date.

As things stand with the current available squad I think our first official line-up will be something like this (obviously subject to change with new signings and players returning from injuries).

Mignolet
Johnson - Kolo - Agger - Enrique
Lucas - Gerrard
-------------< Henderson
Aspas - Coutinho >----------
Borini

What do you think will be the formation and who will start???
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Post by Nishankly Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:12 am

Reina
Johnson Toure Agger Enrique
Lucas Gerrard
Aspas Coutinho Downing
Sturridge

If Reina leaves replace with Mignolet.
Skrtel cant start this match, They'll play tough strikers.
RW is a doubt. New signing or Downing.

Sturridge is expected to join the club mid pre season, Swagger.
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Post by McAgger Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:34 am

I know Nishy that's not what I meant. Excluding DS15 was just to provide a lineup with the available squad as of right now.
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Post by Nishankly Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:59 am

Im more worried about the RW position. If Downing starts in the first game of next season, I wont feel any progress even though we have.
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Post by iftikhar Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:04 am

-----------Mignolet----------
Glen-Skrtel-Agger-Enrique
-------Lucas--Gerrard-------
Suarez---Coutinho---Aspas
-----------Sturridge----------

If there is no further changes (in or out) in the squad, do you think this is the best line-up! Also, how do you think it will perform given the potential back-ups: Reina, Kelly, Wisdom, Toure, Coates, Spearing, Allen, Henderson, Downing, Alberto, Rahim & Borini.
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Post by Nishankly Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:16 am

The big question is who fills that Suarez spot in the first 6 games hmm
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Post by McAgger Sun Jul 07, 2013 10:46 am

It's definitely Aspas for me. Unless of course we sign another attacker by August 17 then we'll see.
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Post by ExtremistEnigma Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:05 am

iftikhar wrote:-----------Mignolet----------
Glen-Skrtel-Agger-Enrique
-------Lucas--Gerrard-------
Suarez---Coutinho---Aspas
-----------Sturridge----------

If there  is no further changes (in or out) in the squad, do you think this is the best line-up! Also, how do you think it will perform given the potential back-ups: Reina, Kelly, Wisdom, Toure, Coates, Spearing, Allen, Henderson, Downing, Alberto, Rahim & Borini.
As I said before, this team will get *bleep* up against non-scrub teams. Midfield would get overrun.

Mignolet
Johnson - Agger - Touré - Enrique
Gerrard - Lucas - Henderson*
Sturridge - Suárez - Coutinho

* = or new signing.

Aspas in Suárez's absence.
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