Season in Review

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Post by RedOranje Tue May 28, 2013 5:21 am

Despite our worst league start in over 100 years, Liverpool have managed to secure 9 more points over the course of the season compared to last, cutting the gap between our position and the top 4 by 5 points, the gap between ourselves and first by 9, and improving our final table position by 1. The club also won more games than last season while losing less, and scored more goals while keeping more clean sheets.

However, we've also faced disappointing exits in the cups after making two finals, and winning one, last season. The gap between Liverpool's final league position and the Champion's League places remained significant.

We've seen players improve (Henderson, Enrique) and regress (Coates, Skrtel). While our attack has improved against the lower sides our defense has, at times, looked significantly more porous. 3 and 4 and 5 goal wins have been mirrored by 2 and 3 goal losses. Inconsistency has been matched by struggles against other top sides, though the weak record is one that is accented by fine margins and individual mistakes (of players and officials).

It's been a season of inconsistency, of the fantastic and downright embarrassing, one of transition. But has it been a season of progress? Are we on the right track?
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Post by Red Alert Tue May 28, 2013 5:08 pm

Skrtel did not regress.

There was progress as a unit during the last campaign. The players looked hungrier, had more tactical understanding of what was expected of them and generally looked more disciplined. Sturridge and Coutinho's movement sparked up an impressive second half display. (I think we only lost 2 of our last 16 games.)

We're more harder to beat now but we were inconsistent. If we can work on more consistency, being stronger mentally and continue to adapt to Rodgers' ideas, we'll be on the right track. We'll also be a general threat to the top four next season. Have a feeling Rodgers will go for a domestic cup too to try and win over some of the fans that don't see progress.

We did have a poor start which shaped up our position. We didn't have a DM for the first 6 months and majority of the first team players had to adapt to the 4th system in 3 years. Let's also not forget the inheritance of the youth players and the loss of experience / culture that was lost in the dressing room with the older players sold / that left. We did extremely well in the first part of the season under those circumstances but European football is a harsh sport. You need the points to justify your "progress" so this season has either been a success for some (basing it on a new system; a team now enjoyable to watch) or a difficult campaign for the others because of the poor run in cups. I feel we're on the right track though.
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Post by Art Morte Tue May 28, 2013 6:35 pm

This season was such a rollercoaster in terms of performances that I find it difficult to assess whether there's been overall progress. I think next season will provide the answer on this season, too, meaning that if we improve on our weaknesses right from the start of next season then this season could be seen as part of a successful learning curve. But if we finish, say, outside the top-6 next season, too, then it's hard to look at this season as anything else but wasted time in terms of trying to get back to the top.
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Post by mr-r34 Tue May 28, 2013 9:00 pm

Has it been a success, can't really say. The first half of the season was terrible due to the lack of quality within our squad. The second half gave me hope that we are progressing, can DS and PC retain there form or will teams learn to adapt to their style of play, that's a massive question. I'll take hope in that were looking like were are moving in the right direction but for me i'll be going into the season with the questions below. I believe If they are all addressed we could contend for a top four position. At a bare minimum i think if we can address 4 of them questions we will be moving forward, and if you asked me if i thought BR was the right man to take us there, i would say certainly. If i rated our season i would say i would give it a 6.9/10

1. Can we continue our second half form into next season?
2. Can DS, PC and LS form a formidable partnership?
3. Can our defence hold solid?
4. Will we hold onto key players?
5. Will we have an improved squad?

For me next season we have to achieve the following in order for us to consider it a success.

1. Top 4 - it's a must, the longer we stay out of it, the harder it will become to get back and considering competition is getting better were going to have to act fast. At a bare minimum finishing 5th and only behind 4th by the smallest margin might be acceptable, although unfavorable.

2. 2 Decent cup runs, considering we have no Europe this shouldn't be an issue, quarters at a minimum and at least 1 finals appearance.

3. Consistency within the playing group, finishing games off and dealing with the lower placed sides.

Another thing i think we also would need to address

- Develop a plan of leadership beyond Gerrard, after 2-3 years he will be gone so i don't want the armband thrown around to every player like it's a accessory.

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Post by RedOranje Wed May 29, 2013 5:21 am

Skrtel went from our player of the season and arguably one of the best and most physically dominant centerbacks in the League to a defender who was inconsistent, played suicide passes, and was bullied by multiple CFs. That's regression for me.

If you want to talk about the reasons behind it and/or [mitigating] circumstances surrounding that drop in quality there's certainly a discussion to be had (preferably in another thread); but the actual regression is fairly clear and inarguable.
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Post by donttreadonred Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:56 pm

First off, you can't go from player of the season to dropped from the squad without regression. Skrtel simply did not perform well in several key games, and his confidence looked to have deserted him. I point to that first Man City game having a large effect on his confidence. However, Red is right. It's really a discussion for another thread.

I believe the points total shows at least slight improvement. Moreover, the run of form from January on was top-four quality, losing only three matches, and going 8 games unbeaten at the end of the season. Had it not been for our dour start to the season, we could’ve been far closer to our goals, than we ended up.

There were always going to be difficulties after such sweeping changes. This season always felt like a true “year zero”, and that’s how I am choosing to view it. For better or worse, we cleaned house last summer, and began the season with a near-unrecognizable squad. Surprise, surprise. It took a while to gel. Luckily we had Luis Suarez to get the goals, Raheem Sterling to create and threaten, and Joe Allen to control the matches in the first few months of the season. Gerrard went missing until Novemeber, Skrtel was not performing, and Borini and Lucas were out injured. Things looked dour before Christmas.

Luckily, Lucas’s return provided more stability in the midfield, Gerrard’s deeper role allowed him more space and time (and energy), and Carra’s return managed to organize an otherwise shabby defense. The January purchases also showed progress in scouting and negotiations. We were able to get two fringe players from other teams and put them in a position to flourish. Studge’s goal haul was immense for his first 11 games, and Coutinho looks like a twenty year-old wizard. (I love the comments about how you don’t give a Brazilian midfielder #10 shirt without knowing what he could do…)The point here is that Rodgers and his managerial staff/scouts seem to be progressing as much as the players, and this should be cause for excitement.

The points total only shows part of the story, as far as I am concerned. If you remember, we dropped a fair number of points (especially against the top 6) from winning positions or at least dominant positions in the run of play (both matches against Man City, away at Arsenal, and even home to Chelsea could be argued). We looked dominant for long stretches against teams across the board. The problem seemed to be “killing off” individual matches, which I would say points to a lack of defensive cohesion/stability. It would seem the defensive playing staff is being sorted out, but perhaps a defensive coach should be looked at as well. Oh, and set pieces… For the love of all that is good holy, can we please learn how to defend set pieces.

In my opinion, the improvement in playing style (free-flowing, attacking football), squad revamp, and transfer window learning curve were enough from last season to give me hope that the foundation being laid is one that could actually see us progress next season. Moreover, if you take the points haul from the second half of 2012-13, it equates to 72 pts (we took 36 from 57 after week 19). That’s good enough for 5th this season (ahead of Spurs), 3rd last season, 2nd in 2010-11, and 4th in 2009-10. I think we could all agree that the opportunity was there for us to even take more in the second half this season. If that doesn’t give you some modicum of hope for next season, then you must be a sad, depressed individual.

Overall, I would say that this season has been disappointing in its tangible return, but encouraging in its intangible progress.
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Post by McAgger Fri Jul 19, 2013 1:18 am

SEASON Review uploaded to Youtube. I'd say watch it as soon as you can because it'll be deleted from youtube



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Post by stevieg8 Fri Jul 19, 2013 7:54 am

Reminding me how badly I wanted that Carra shot to go in... Mad Mad 
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Post by Nishankly Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:01 am

I noticed how bad our our defense was during the first 2 months, The goals we conceded were straight forward mistakes by Reina or Skrtel.

Another year of ups and downs. :/

Thanks for sharing this Swagger. Enjoyed it thoroughly even though the initial months were cringe-worthy. :bow:
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Post by stevieg8 Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:10 am

Nishank wrote:I noticed how bad our our defense was during the first 2 months, The goals we conceded were straight forward mistakes by Reina or Skrtel.

Another year of ups and downs. :/

Thanks for sharing this Swagger. Enjoyed it thoroughly even though the initial months were cringe-worthy. :bow:

Agreed, the early months were painful to watch. It was interesting to get a refresher on whose mistakes led to goals (and who scored on the other end too) after the debates we've had in this section recently. Skrtel really did have a difficult season, but Enrique was poor at the beginning and Glen was poor at the end as well, and Agger had his share of mistakes as well, not to mention Reina's several months off form (and who can forget 10+ games of Brad Jones?). I hope a full preseason with BR and his staff can tighten up the backline and new additions can help us strengthen as well.

Sad seeing Shelvey score so many in the beginning of the year... if only he could've grabbed that place with both hands and held on... Sad to see him go.
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Post by McAgger Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:50 am

I think Mignolet could've prevented 90% of those keepers mistakes by Pepe and Brad in the first half of the seasons especially.
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