Why the Winter Transfer Market has been Fantastic

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Post by McAgger Sun Feb 24, 2013 6:16 am

Agger is a more composed defender, he doesn't make rash challenges and reads the game better and obviously is the better footballer. Skrtel while slightly better in the air, is a no-nonsense type defender which makes him too rush in his decision making which in turn leaves him more prone to mistakes and leads him needing to use his physicality instead of his brain, something that does not bode well in our new playing system.

The fact that Agger has comfortably outperformed Skrtel throughout the season. And the fact that the manager clearly sees it so to bench Skrtel and not Agger even though they both had errors leading to goals.

Don't get me wrong I love Skrtel to death and won't deny that he was our BEST player last season. But this season he's done f*ck all. And Keep in mind, I'm not saying Martin isn't good, I'm saying Daniel is slightly better.

Hope Rodgers isnt that dumb to let him leave and replace him with Williams. Skrtel is twice the defender Williams is and should be playing again next to Agger.

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Post by Art Morte Sun Feb 24, 2013 7:30 am

For my money Skrtel is indeed better defender than Agger, but Daniel offers more on the ball.

I just hope Rodgers isn't going to stick with Carragher for the remainder of the games, it's no good benching either of Skrtel or Agger because they should absolutely be our preferred CB pair next season and both should go into off-season thinking / knowing that they'll be starters next season. Carragher could start some of the games and especially the last match of the season against QPR.
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Post by Red Alert Sun Feb 24, 2013 8:12 am

Messiah "Aggerswagger" wrote:Agger is a more composed defender, he doesn't make rash challenges and reads the game better and obviously is the better footballer. Skrtel while slightly better in the air, is a no-nonsense type defender which makes him too rush in his decision making which in turn leaves him more prone to mistakes and leads him needing to use his physicality instead of his brain, something that does not bode well in our new playing system.

The fact that Agger has comfortably outperformed Skrtel throughout the season. And the fact that the manager clearly sees it so to bench Skrtel and not Agger even though they both had errors leading to goals.

Don't get me wrong I love Skrtel to death and won't deny that he was our BEST player last season. But this season he's done f*ck all. And Keep in mind, I'm not saying Martin isn't good, I'm saying Daniel is slightly better.

Hope Rodgers isnt that dumb to let him leave and replace him with Williams. Skrtel is twice the defender Williams is and should be playing again next to Agger.

Agger may be more composed but Skrtel does not make that much rash challenges. He's a "dirty" defender mind, as he's always pulling jumpers and kicking forwards but he's definitely never rushing into challenges that puts us on the back-foot. Also, to say he doesn't have a brain is NOT true considering he's been our number 1 interceptor in the past 2 and half seasons. He's also alot better in the air and doesn't really get beaten one-on-one. He did struggle at the start of season adapting to Rodgers' system, but I cannot recall any mistakes after Stoke away.

Agger has hardly outperformed Skrtel this season. He's made a lot mistakes than Skrtel this season and is only in the team due to his ability to pass the ball out of the defence easier. Daniel also fits Rodgers' philosophy a lot more. The only reason Skrtel is out of the team is because Rodgers has had a knee-jerk reaction to that Oldham game OR really wants Carragher to get to 500 PL games or well, both of those. To suggest that Skrtel is not the better because he's currently on the bench is false.

But to fair, they've both been average this season. They are a VERY solid pair with Lucas though. They compliment each other well and they don't really have weaknesses when partenered together. They do struggle against the Jones and Lukaku's at times, but I'm certain with Lucas Leiva back with some form, they'll be able to handle them. I mean, most of the time the forwards only beat them due to having momentum from exploiting space between the defence and midfield.
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Post by donttreadonred Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:21 am

I would agree that when on form, Skrtel can be one of the best CBs in the Premier League, and he showed his quality last season.

However, this season, Skrtel has proven to be a little more of a conundrum. His form has been shaky at best. He's failed to bring the physicality to matches that he so often exhibited last season, he's been bullied in the air on several occasions, and he has been prone to the odd error in one-on-one situations. Add to that the fact that he's never been a vocal leader in defense, and I can understand (even though I might not agree with) why Rodgers has preferred Carra this season.

Carra simply offers some of the aspects that Skrtel lacks: he's one of the most vocal leaders anywhere, he's positionally sound (if still lacking pace), and he's cheeky(see: dirty, professional, and/or cynical) enough not to be bullied by anyone.

What I have a hard time judging is whether Carra's term in the starting XI is a substitute for a player out of form and a few pieces being out of place in the squad (a full fit Lucas for example), or the replacement of a player that isn't holding up his end in a defense based on technique and ball-playing defenders.

I think you'd be hard-pressed to say Skrtel is the perfect defender for this system. He's arguably far better suited to a defense of a bank of four, looking to play balls directly to wingers and forwards as soon as they dispossess the opposition. He's obviously not as comfortable on a ball as Agger or even Carragher. This defense requires more autonomy in the CB roles than some set-ups and its possible that he's simply not fitting into it.

It's interesting that some of you point out that he works best with Agger and Lucas both in the side. That makes sense, because it gives him more options and easier decisions in marking and when on the ball. While Allen can do a decent job at DM, he doesn't have the same, natural anchor-man positioning that Lucas does. When Lucas is in the squad, we effectively play with a back three. That gives Skrtel a security blanket, and he is able to make better decisions. When Lucas isn't there, he's far more likely to make an ill-advised back-pass or botch his positioning.

Then again, I don't mean to make Skrtel out to be some barbarian of a defender, either. He's intelligent and perfectly capable of rectifying all of these tendencies. He played very well last season and was effective at both ends of the pitch. He showed his quality. However, he's been put in a system that doesn't suit him, and even the partnership (Lucas and Agger), which may not be required for his success but certainly would have assisted in the transition, was broken up by a red card and another injury. Perhaps he's more a victim of circumstance than anything.

As I've said, I do rate Skrtel, but I can't say his benching is wholly unfounded, either. Ideally, he could get a run of games near the end of the season to regain confidence (with Lucas and Agger in the squad) and begin to show his quality again. However, with Carra performing so well and retiring at the end of the season, I'm not sure that will happen. This leaves us in a bit of a situation. If he's here and not playing, he's unlikely to be pleased and settled (as his comments today would seem to suggest). In addition, we would once again be carrying a large contract for a bench player, not to mention sitting on a coveted asset to several squads. I'm honestly not sure what will happen, or even what should happen.

I know it’s not going to be the most popular opinion, but perhaps selling Skrtel and buying an Ashley Williams type of player (experienced and comfortable in the system) would be a good piece of business in addition to bringing in a young CB. I’m not calling for it to happen, but I could understand the thinking behind it…
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Post by Red Alert Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:52 am

But has Skrtel really had that bad of a season?

People only tend to remember that City game at Anfield.
He also made a mistake against Stoke City away.

I can't think of too many more mistakes Skrtel has done this season. Not going to add that Oldham game considering he was playing with 3-4 players that have averaged around 20 games in a Liverpool shirt at that time.

He CAN fit into Rodgers plans. He's been one of our better defenders (behind Glen Johnson) this season and this whole leadership argument is farce. The likes of Reina, Glen, Enrique, Lucas and Agger don't have to depend on Skrtel barking out orders. They've all averaged more than 200+ games in their careers. If they do need Skrtel (they don't) we really should be looking to sell them - not Skrtel.

@ above: Skrtel missed Lucas for over 6 months last season and was our player of the season. He doesn't have to depend on Lucas to perform - although having someone like Lucas in the squad helps the whole team out.

Skrtel doesn't really get bullied does he? And he's much better in possession than Carragher is.

Williams is also overrated. He can play that style blah blah but whenever I watch Swansea play he's not all too comfortable at defending. Don't think he has what it takes to be a Liverpool player personally.
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