30 minutes of fame

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Post by Art Morte Mon Sep 16, 2013 10:35 pm

So pretty much in all of our league games now we've started well, played well for the first 20 to 30 minutes, but then been on the back foot for the rest of the game. This is getting worrying as it's no winning formula in the long run. So does anyone have an idea what's causing it? Why we're able to dominate for 1/3 of the match before falling back so drastically?

Can't help thinking that we're being out-worked in midfield, because let's face it, Gerrard & Lucas combo have not got the most legs in them. Plus they both remain too deep, imo; Lucas has always stayed back, but nowadays Gerrard's style is very similar, too, gathering the ball from deep to start our attack. That both of our most central midfielders have a tendency to fall deep results in that there's too much left to do for the rest of the guys to keep our attack going.

Or maybe I'm wrong, might well be. Your thoughts on this emerging problem of us blowing cold for the last 60 minutes of our games?
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Post by RedOranje Mon Sep 16, 2013 11:33 pm

Against United and (to a lesser extent) Villa the shift was tactical. The first match of the season was just that... the first match of the season. The shift in today's match was not so much after 30 minutes but after Swansea's second goal/Coutinho's injury. I do not see any definite trend yet, to be honest. The shifts have largely happened for completely explainable and differing reasons (and not at the times you've suggested) and it's too early to really say anyway.
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Post by Fahim89 Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:20 am

I would agree with Red to a large extent. For the Swansea game i would credit most of it to the injury of Coutinho & resulting Aspas coming on. After that we had no movement forward & almost no control in Midfield. The role of Coutinho which was then rested upon Aspas is to channel the play through to the front players! & Aspas lost the ball all to often! Thus losing control in where we should have capitalized going forward. . .
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Post by Red Alert Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:12 am

I'll find it massively concerning Rodgers went into the summer transfer window thinking Coutinho would be enough. The fact that we have to rely on a 21 year was worrying enough. We also spent a decent fee for Luis Alberto, who can play as a CAM. Why didn't he not even make the bench? Aspas as a CAM does not work. We have a large squad but we lack personnel in a number of positions. We need to address that in January.

We should attempt to loan Eriksen from Spurs. Sad
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Post by ExtremistEnigma Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:59 am

It has been tactical, definitely. BR is now drifting more towards result oriented performances and he perhaps felt that we could see out the game after getting in the lead.
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Post by Art Morte Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:02 am

I'm not sure if it's been a tactical decision in most matches to drop deep after leading one-nil, I mean, when and why did Rodgers adapt such an approach? Deciding to try to protect a one-goal lead for 60 minutes isn't a winning formula in the long run either, imo. We'll see how this develops.

As for the Swansea game and Coutinho's influence: He got subbed off in the 55th minute and we had been doing poorly for 30 minutes by then. Aspas was poor, but that wasn't the sole reason to our performance.
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Post by RedOranje Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:46 pm

It hasn't been for 60 minutes though... it's usually been for a half at most. At Villa we only really sat back as the second half ticked by, and were still getting forward on the counter (much as we did in the tale end of last season) and against United we didn't sit really deep until the last 15 minutes or so. Before that we comfortably pressed and defender in the midfield third and at the edge of our defensive third, not in the box. Given that multiple times last season people were complaining about Rodgers' supposed naivety at NOT shutting up shop in the latter stages of 1-0s and us then conceding, and the fact that we've done so effectively for three of four matches I think these complaints are either A) premature or B) unfounded or a bit of both.

And if you look at the statistics for the Swansea match it becomes perfectly clear that Coutinho's exit had a massive influence on our play. Leading up to his injury the team had more than 40 passes in the opposition's area while after his injury that dropped to 4. His exit was massive in terms of removing an outlet for the deep midfielders and defenders and hurting our ability to hold and pass the ball in Swansea's half.
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