Author Topic: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1  (Read 2981 times)

Offline Yorkykopite

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Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« on: August 30, 2016, 11:22:21 PM »
Round Table: Tottenham 1 Liverpool 1

There were times when this was more like a schoolyard scrap than a football match, but it was entertaining stuff nonetheless. Would we be so surprised to find these two clubs fighting, at the end of the season, for a Champions League spot? I think that highly likely.

Most Liverpool fans will believe we should have won this one - and they'll be right. We were the better team. Not significantly better maybe, but the more enterprising and the more coherent. We also carved out the best chances. Only the second best goalkeeper in the Premier League - though apparently not the best at Tottenham - stopped us coming away with the three points.

Neither side was set up to build sweetly from the back. Both Dier and Henderson are weak on the turn and not anxious to get on the ball in the deep and therefore the early exchanges were all about long balls and aerial duels. Joel Matip got an early taste of the strangest league in world football. He remained gratifyingly unflustered, turning in the most accomplished centre-back debut for Liverpool since Glen Hysen's in the Charity Shield many moons ago. Hysen ended his Liverpool career a nervous wreck, there simply being too much defending to do in English football. Matip, I trust, is made of sterner stuff. He's from the Bundesliga for one thing where the best centre forwards live. That bodes well. The lad certainly looked really good on Saturday, but centre backs need judging after 12 months at least and not after 90 minutes, no matter how accomplished those first 90 are. 

We should probably have scored after 5 minutes. Lallana smashed into Eriksen (legally), Sadio Mane picked up the loose ball and threaded it through to Firmino. Firmino passed up the chance to shoot, and released Coutinho instead. His shot was improbably saved by Vorm's extended foot, but I'm not sure Phil made the right choice going for the bottom corner. It was the top corner that was required. Check out Woodburn's second goal against Arsenal in the Under 23s - similar position, completely different strike. (How good is that kid by the way?)

Sadly Coutinho was a peripheral figure for most of the first half. But their best player was too. Lamela. These are two teams who like to smother the opposition and who are fit enough and coached enough not to give an inch, at least for 45 minutes. Later the energy dropped a tad and the game opened up enough for craft to come to the fore. But the first half hour or so was among the most frantic I've seen for a long time. On 12 minutes Harry Kane made his single contribution to the game and out-muscled Lovren to set up Dele Ali. Just as he was about to unwind his shot Adam Lallana slid in from nowhere to block it. Great stuff from Lallana who was busy at both ends of the pitch.  Incidentally if you need to know why we need a Lucas or a Can in defensive midfield here was the perfect illustration. Henderson was all over the place - busy, as you'd expect, but unable to predict the simple movements of the Tottenham players on the ball and through the madness of his own running effectively making up their minds for them. First he chased Kane on the wrong side and then went barrelling across the pitch to allow Rose to simply step inside and set up Dele Ali. Hendo had his best game so far this season but he's surely not the man we need back there - neither when we have the ball or when our opponents have it.

That was the one big hiccup in the first half. Otherwise it was the boys in Red asking the questions. A minute later Winjaldum, with a lovely bit of two-footedness, slipped Mane through for a decent chance. Soon after that a gorgeous reverse pass from Lallana appeared to have released the same player only for Vorm to produce the game's outstanding tackle. The same Lallana-Mane combo repeated the trick in the 21st minute only to see Vorm, yet again, use anticipation and a perfectly-timed slide to deprive the Senegalese winger. I couldn't help thinking what the score might have been now if Spurs had Mignolet in goal instead of Vorm? There again would they have been playing such a high line with such a slow goalie? 

A word on Mane. He was fortunate to stay on of course - a poor decision by the ref. But in the first half, at least, he was wonderful. The amount of work he got through was frightening. He defends as diligently and as vigorously as he attacks. This was no speculative buy. Klopp knew his man clearly.

And then the goal that brought some sense of justice to the scoreline. Firmino, who was clearly in some sort of personal skill duel with Lamela in the course of the afternoon, out-witted the Tottenham player and ended up on his arse next to the byline. Replays showed a clear 'ankle-tap' on our player and therefore a good decision by the ref. Milner was allowed to use his right foot for once. Klopp turned away and looked at the Liverpool supporters. The ball was smacked into the corner. Good time to score a goal.

We almost got another at the start of the second half. Wijnaldum this time: a perfect body shape as he hit the ball from the edge of the box. Vorm was motionless, a testament to the hopelessness of his cause rather than any complacency about the ball's trajectory. The damn thing curved and dipped savagely, as it was bound to do after being struck so sweetly - all the information the ball needed being imparted by Winjnaldum's shape on impact. But it didn't quite dip enough.   

At this point I began to think 'easy' - we're going to win this. A Matip header grazed the bar. And then a clever build-up from the back, some superior movement and a searing run from the deep from Lallana led to a precise cross for a Mane tap-in at the far post for number two. Tottenham were simply undone by better players. Of course the linesman flagged for offside (it wasn't) and the goal was scratched off. But it looked as if Liverpool were about rekindle the bushfire we'd started at the Emirates three weeks ago. The sheer mobility of our front men compared to leaden-footed Kane and Janssen was a joy to behold.

But it was if the disallowed goal stopped our momentum and injected some belief into the home side. On 61 minutes Spurs created their first open chance of the game, Eriksen spooning over before a retreating defence. A few minutes later Mignolet saved expertly from an Alderweireld header. And a few minutes after that reprieve Lallana and Clyne repeated their mistake at the Emirates and attacked the same ball. Last time Oxlade took advantage of the double-up. This time the ball slid off Lamela's head to Rose at the far post. Moreno was nowhere. Rose sliced it in.

The last 20 minutes were thrilling with Klopp's team stronger and more committed to getting the full three points. The pitch opened up and although Lamela began to prosper so did Firmino even more. Liverpool would have won if only Origi had found a way of getting into the game. A flurry of decent chances came our way in the last 15 minutes. Rose blocked Firmino's effort after Lallana had put him through, Firmino had a decent shout for a pen after his shot struck a defender's hand, and at the death a sharply constructed counter-attack saw Firmino and Lallana breaking at speed against a severely stretched Spurs defence. If Hendo's square pass had had any heft then Vorm would have been faced with a two on one. As it was the home side escaped with a fortunate point.

It was tough on the boys. They deserved better. We had four candidates for Man of the Match. Lallana, Matip and Milner all had good shouts. But Firmino takes the prize. His second half performance, in particular, was truly outstanding.

A final comment. 'To Do is to Dare'. 'This is My Club, My One and Only Club'. There are some wretched club-made banners and signs at Premier League football stadiums. But I reckon Tottenham's are the worst. The first is a meaningless piece of drivel. The second shouldn't need saying and therefore when it is said strongly suggests that a second club is about to command everyone's allegiance. Truly, the White Hart Lane mob shall always be the Drury Lane Fan Dancers. 
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 11:37:36 PM by Yorkykopite »
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Offline SerbianScouser

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2016, 12:35:06 AM »
I was dreading this game as losing two games in a row so early in the season would have been very awkward for us. I would have taken a draw before the game but at the end it was really frustrating as we were so much closer to 3 points which in a way is a testament to our progress since the last time we went to WHL.

In that October game we never competed as well as we did on Saturday. Our much criticized midfield fared so much better in these two games than what the general perception was. We had a fraction more possession than Spurs and 49% against Arsenal, we saw a lot more of the ball in these two games than what usually happens when we go away to Top 4 teams. The major reason for it is not just a well organized pressing but also having two archetypal pass and move players like Lallana and Gini.

There were many instances where Spurs were just about to turn the screw on their pressure when you see Lallana turning away from it or Gini wriggling away in a crowded area and we get out. This is the kind of midfield I`ve been dreaming about for ages, two guys who are on the same page, incredibly skillful and always on the move -- defensively it was even more impressive, generally Spurs apart from the odd instance never carved us open through the center and always had to go sideways because the central area was protected so well - unfortunately that`s how they ended up scoring by penetrating in the wide area and having all the luck in the world with their ricochet but in the long run this kind of defensive compactness will yield a lot of clean sheets for us.

There were so many question marks before this game. How will Matip fare on his debut? Considering it couldn`t have been a tougher venue for a debut against two strikers as physical as anything in the league Joel was tremendous and it gives me so much encouragement that there might actually be hope for our defence this season as our fate will depend on them in the most part as I have no worries about our attack scoring 70-80 goals this season. Then, how will Milner fare at LB? Hendo at DM? Will our midfield 3 cope physically with them? All these questions were answered with resounding well done.

These two performances in London should give us a lot of confidence going forward as I`d rather we be solving the problem of breaking down parked buses rather than how do we compete with Top 4 teams. That would have been a much bigger problem.

Offline killer_heels

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 07:59:20 AM »
I had the utmost belief that we would get a good result against Spurs and whilst it wasnt the win we deserved, a point is not bad in the grand scheme of things. Defensively we were solid apart from the first 10 or so minutes and coped well with a variation of attackers that Spurs put out.

Going forward we showed plenty of inventiveness as well which illustrated how dangerous we can be in space. Mane was a threat as well and you could see how difficult the opposition will find him should they choose to push up. Not bad considering we were up against the best centreback partnership in the league.

I thought the midfield did well when out of possession. They worked their backsides off and it was probably why we tired at 60. I thought Henderson was much better and liked that he was more positive with his passing. Was a good long pass to Coutinho as well.

The negative for me however were the other two in midfield when in possession. Lallana for me wasnt good on the ball and he lost the ball high up the field far too much includingonce when Matip ventured up field.

I also am still looking at Wijnaldum and hoping to know what he does in that role? His stats suggest he does play more forward passes rather than backwards but if he good on the ball then he is clearly doing something that a clueless fan like me doesnt see. For me he doesnt do enough and his passing is very risk adverse. His timing of pass is odd as well. He should have played the pass to Lallana a split second earlier and there was an instance on the right later in the match where he held onto it and played it badly and got a massive bollocking from Klopp.

I thought also in possession we held onto it a bit too long at times in the second half and didnt pass at the right time. For me thats why we couldnt get Origi into the game. We couldnt stretch the play enough to use his pace as he was clearly keen to run into the channels. I actually felt our centrebacks played better passes up to the striker but couldnt do so later in the 2nd half because they were pushed back.

Overall a good performance and a much deserved point.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 08:02:27 AM by killer_heels »

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2016, 11:04:39 AM »
The front three is still a concern for me, we are playing with two attacking midfielders in there, players who are looking to play the final pass rather than receiving the final pass and putting it in the back of the net. We haven’t had a recognised forward playing through the middle and it is starting to show. We look at little toothless up front, no cutting edge or focal point. In this league, the teams competing at the top of the league are often the ones who score the most goals and it’s difficult to see where the goals are going to come from at the moment unless Mane steps up.

A lot of our passing is nice and we show some good combination play at times, Lallana and Mane seem to have developed a really good understanding straight from the off, Henderson was spreading the ball well while Coutinho continues to play nice passes, but the chance he missed in the first five minutes is inexcusable for someone playing in a forward position. It was a good save but it was a save he should never have been able to make, with the whole goal to aim for you don’t shoot within a stretched leg of the keeper and further underlines our lack of cutting edge.

I was encouraged by Coutinho’s second goal against Arsenal as that was the run and finish of a grown up forward, you make that run from back post to front often enough and you will get 10-goals a season from it. Against Burnley he regressed to the old Coutinho, shooting from the edge of the box, trying to curl one into the top corner of the net, with no success. It was interesting to see Chelsea put Burnley to the sword at the weekend, their first goal coming from Hazard running at the Burnley players on the left hand side of the pitch before coming inside and placing a lovely right footed curler round the keeper and into the bottom corner. He wasn’t trying for the spectacular into the top corner and didn’t try and burst the net, it was a beautifully placed shot. Coutinho needs to stop shooting so often from outside the box but when he does, he needs to look at placing it more often (and he can do it as his goal against Dortmund at Anfield showed).

Firmino as a centre forward continues to raise as many questions as answers. It seems to be his best position, he has a greater influence on the game when he plays there, but he’s not looking to get into the six yard box to score that tap in, he’s often deep and looking to score from outside the box or create a chance but this is the area that Coutinho, Lallana and Wijnaldum are operating in and it becomes congested and slows us down. Origi started the game against Burton in the EFL cup and our first goal is scored from him getting into those positions in the six yard box and getting on the end of something. Firmino doesn’t have pace to get in behind a defence and doesn’t have an aerial ability to score from crosses. If we’re to play Firmino in that position I’d liked to have seen another ‘Mane’ on the other side so we have two players looking to exploit that space he leaves. Mane is brilliant at this and we saw it to great effect against Spurs when he makes that outside to in run but Vorm’s reading of the match is superb and got to the through balls before Mane on every occasion.

I’ve seen it said that this system is designed to get the best out of difficult away games and has been successful against top teams in the past but when you look at the teams at the top of the league, they regularly beat and score heavily against the lower position teams. That’s where your easy points are and that’s where you should be targeting from your system. I believe this team is close to being a challenging team, in the second half of last season we were one of the leading scorers but regularly played with either Sturridge or Origi up front. Get one of them in the team now and I think it will transform the team.

Out of the two teams I saw play, we looked closer to the finished article. For all the talk prematch about how that Spurs team looked better balanced and how their midfield would walk through ours they ended up looking slow and cumbersome and couldn’t live with our fast, intricate passing.
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Offline BabuYagu

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2016, 02:25:06 PM »
A platform for Yorky to slag off the club skipper

Attack the post, not the poster.

I actually agree with what he says. My other problem with Henderson in that sitter role is he doesn´t compete aerially. I don´t mean he isn´t great in the air, I mean he rarely even challenges aerial balls at all. Which in his position in midfield will be an issue.

None of what Yorky or I are saying is to say Henderson is a bad player, he just isn´t the right player for that role in Klopp´s side. You don´t want your sitter running out of position. The reason that role in midfield (in German) is sitter - is because he just needs to sit in front of the defence and make sure we stay spatially compact in one of the most crucial positions on the pitch.

Yorky looks at football more technically. I look at it more tactically. Therefore we won´t always agree on players (e.g. Kuyt). However, he always supports his opinions with some evidence or explains his opinion. You are just attacking someone because you don´t like what they said about a player you like.

There is a very strong pro-English players bias in your posting. It´s great you want British players to make up the spine of our team and succeed here. However, I think it is clouding your judgement. Henderson does have weaknesses to his game. All players do. The question becomes then - is that weakness a problem for that role in Klopps system? If so, can this be solved with coaching.

For Henderson, I think turning on the ball in the sitter role isn´t as much of a problem. Klopp tends to end up with someone who looks like a CB in that role and there won´t be any with low centers of gravity there. Players like Kehl and Bender. However, they were very competitive in the air and tended to have similar numbers to the center backs in terms of aerial duels. This is because our pressing, particularly of the full backs, results in lots of rushed long balls into Henderson´s zone of the pitch or in the space between him and the full back (which is why Klopp likes 1 explosive full back who can win a short footrace into that area). The fact that Henderson is not only weak in the air, but doesn´t even compete, will be an issue.

Likewise the role further ahead which in german is the "runner" - this tends to be the guy who can turn on the ball, link play, create, has some passing range. Your Sahin, Gundogan type players. This is where Henderson´s technical problems will be a larger problem.

Can coaching help here? Well he won´t grow any taller and competing for aerial balls tends to be a mental thing more than anything else. Lucas is as competitive as anybody in our squad and yet is under 6 foot. He is 2 or 3 times more competitive than Stewart who is taller than him. Lucas is our Ayala in that sense. He doesn´t give a shit that he´s a shortarse, nobody is winning a header in his zone. And if they do, it certainly won´t be without a serious fight.

Technically, Henderson can probably improve here but I don´t think you can coach a player to be able to twist and turn like that. In Dortmund they used that passing machine (name escapes me) to encourage players to play this way. So improvements can be made but I imagine all players have  a glass ceiling. Someone like Dahoud with a naturally lower center of gravity and naturally plays on the half turn already is doing this on a level that a player like Henderson can probably never achieve.

To take an extreme example - no amount of coaching could ever have Carroll playing like Messi. Physically, Messi´s height, balance, agility and that little burst of acceleration means that, we can twist, turn and weave out of trouble. You can coach Carroll to play the same way, but he could never have reached that level simply because of the physical gifts both players were given.

Henderson doesn´t have a low center of gravity, doesn´t possess great balance or agility and is an endurance runner rather than a sprinter. Dahoud naturally possesses these qualities (although he can run forever too). Gini does also. Lallana too. Coutinho has it in spades.

Gonna stay behind at work and wait to see what happens.

I am betting some split arse and crying.

Offline killer_heels

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2016, 02:30:14 PM »
I thought Henderson was the best of the midfield 3. He was the most ambitious with his passing and that was in a controlling role. Lallana and Wijnaldum were arguably two of the poorest performers in the side.

Offline Frizzo

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2016, 02:38:33 PM »
Attack the post, not the poster.

I actually agree with what he says. My other problem with Henderson in that sitter role is he doesn´t compete aerially. I don´t mean he isn´t great in the air, I mean he rarely even challenges aerial balls at all. Which in his position in midfield will be an issue.

None of what Yorky or I are saying is to say Henderson is a bad player, he just isn´t the right player for that role in Klopp´s side. You don´t want your sitter running out of position. The reason that role in midfield (in German) is sitter - is because he just needs to sit in front of the defence and make sure we stay spatially compact in one of the most crucial positions on the pitch.

Yorky looks at football more technically. I look at it more tactically. Therefore we won´t always agree on players (e.g. Kuyt). However, he always supports his opinions with some evidence or explains his opinion. You are just attacking someone because you don´t like what they said about a player you like.

There is a very strong pro-English players bias in your posting. It´s great you want British players to make up the spine of our team and succeed here. However, I think it is clouding your judgement. Henderson does have weaknesses to his game. All players do. The question becomes then - is that weakness a problem for that role in Klopps system? If so, can this be solved with coaching.

For Henderson, I think turning on the ball in the sitter role isn´t as much of a problem. Klopp tends to end up with someone who looks like a CB in that role and there won´t be any with low centers of gravity there. Players like Kehl and Bender. However, they were very competitive in the air and tended to have similar numbers to the center backs in terms of aerial duels. This is because our pressing, particularly of the full backs, results in lots of rushed long balls into Henderson´s zone of the pitch or in the space between him and the full back (which is why Klopp likes 1 explosive full back who can win a short footrace into that area). The fact that Henderson is not only weak in the air, but doesn´t even compete, will be an issue.

Likewise the role further ahead which in german is the "runner" - this tends to be the guy who can turn on the ball, link play, create, has some passing range. Your Sahin, Gundogan type players. This is where Henderson´s technical problems will be a larger problem.

Can coaching help here? Well he won´t grow any taller and competing for aerial balls tends to be a mental thing more than anything else. Lucas is as competitive as anybody in our squad and yet is under 6 foot. He is 2 or 3 times more competitive than Stewart who is taller than him. Lucas is our Ayala in that sense. He doesn´t give a shit that he´s a shortarse, nobody is winning a header in his zone. And if they do, it certainly won´t be without a serious fight.

Technically, Henderson can probably improve here but I don´t think you can coach a player to be able to twist and turn like that. In Dortmund they used that passing machine (name escapes me) to encourage players to play this way. So improvements can be made but I imagine all players have  a glass ceiling. Someone like Dahoud with a naturally lower center of gravity and naturally plays on the half turn already is doing this on a level that a player like Henderson can probably never achieve.

To take an extreme example - no amount of coaching could ever have Carroll playing like Messi. Physically, Messi´s height, balance, agility and that little burst of acceleration means that, we can twist, turn and weave out of trouble. You can coach Carroll to play the same way, but he could never have reached that level simply because of the physical gifts both players were given.

Henderson doesn´t have a low center of gravity, doesn´t possess great balance or agility and is an endurance runner rather than a sprinter. Dahoud naturally possesses these qualities (although he can run forever too). Gini does also. Lallana too. Coutinho has it in spades.
What are Henderson's technical deficiencies exactly? I always see him as a player with a great range of passing.

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 03:23:53 PM »
I think some of the criticism of Hendo is a bit overstated.
I agree he is limited in what we want or expect in the role he is playing,let's not forget that he is playing out of his best position-if you put Milner,Gio,Lallana or Grujic in that role we'd have a similar outcome-all players who are better advanced on the front foot.
Hendo is in there doing a job pretty much because he is better than any other fit/available player to do it.
He is club captain too,you would expect your captain to be starting every game,that is another debate entirely.
Give the lad some slack.

Regarding the game,I predicted a draw & would have took it pre-game.
Afterwards I was fucking gutted not to come away with all 3pts,we should have won & deserved to win.
On another day we'd have got the nod on Manč's 'goal' it was that close & their equaliser wasn't much in it too.
I thought the referee was an absolute bottler,the amount of times he blew coz of crowd (crying c*nts) pressure incensed me & the decision he gave when Matip was hauled down AFTER the corner was taken had my blood boiling.
Add Matip's header which shaved the bar,Phil's sitter too & we could have had another chorus of Boo's from north London at the final whistle.

Firmino who I have been a bit critical of his ball retention,I thought had a great game-worked his socks off-intelligent movement & link up play top notch & what a great run to get that penalty.
Our front 5 were quite remarkable when you consider how strong the opposition was.
Lovren & Matip maybe we have a great CB future pairing,with time they can surely only get better.
Matip..early doors,seems to have a gangly Jocky about him,you think he may struggle/lose possession..then ping,it's gone..good distribution too.

Final thing I must add is to those fucking clowns who visit Rawk questioning or thinking Klopp isnt the right man etc..Fuck off,fuck right off & then fuck off some more.
Support the team,Trust & Believe.

Offline The Corinth

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 05:25:06 PM »
Just messin, lids (at least until I get my old mod job back at which point you will both be instantly banned)

Saw the game for about 10 mins before had to take my nephews to the beach (I do hope they make it to Lampedusa but the inflatable dolphin doesn't fill me with hope). We were murdering them on their own turf, which is a hugely positive sign as I think Spurs will be top 4 again as they've retained their core from last year. Can't understand why people think they'll drop out of the top 4 just cos other sides have been flashing a bit of cash. They're the team to beat for me unless they have a bad set of injuries e.g. Kane for a month or more.

So that's a win at Arsenal, a should-have-won at the Lane, and a game at Turf Moor in which we had over 80% possession and probably would win 9 times out of 10 if we played them again. Not exactly the stuff of crisis, but a Leicaster win would narrow the differential between points won and points deserved. I'd love a nice dirty undeserved win, just to piss the oppo off, but that can wait for the game after.

And now, pencil and graph paper and calculator and youtube at the ready, not forgetting a protractor to measure that infamous turning circle, for a critical eye 90-minute Hendersoncam...

until next time, Alf Wiedersehen (good player him)

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 06:12:19 PM »
Great synopsis - as ever Yorkie lad. Beautifully written, beautifully weighted. Ta for that.

However, the Hendo reservations I do take issue with.

I never come on here and slag any player although there have been more than a few occasions when our Jordan has sorely tempted me to do so if not to actually seek the bastard out and throttle the life out of him. Yet on Saturday I thought the lad was absolutely superb in all aspects - including turning with the ball and delivering a pass [Yorkie] and - for the most part  :) - competing for headers [Babu]. Indeed I'd go so far as to say it was his best ever game for us. A proper midfield dynamo performance - dare I even say a real captain's performance - and that surely augurs well for the future.

Of course, there's no rule to say any performance is above criticism but in my book when you play as well as Hendo did criticism of any sort surely falls into the category of refuge territory for curmudgeons - and a curmudgeon you are certainly not my West Riding?  :) cyber friend. So let's be grateful that in the space of a week Hendo's performance level improved beyond recognition and that it also seemed to inspire his Dutch midfield partner to a pretty decent and certainly greatly improved performance too.

 

Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 06:29:19 PM »
Great synopsis - as ever Yorkie lad. Beautifully written, beautifully weighted. Ta for that.

However, the Hendo reservations I do take issue with.

I never come on here and slag any player although there have been more than a few occasions when our Jordan has sorely tempted me to do so if not to actually seek the bastard out and throttle the life out of him. Yet on Saturday I thought the lad was absolutely superb in all aspects - including turning with the ball and delivering a pass [Yorkie] and - for the most part  :) - competing for headers [Babu]. Indeed I'd go so far as to say it was his best ever game for us. A proper midfield dynamo performance - dare I even say a real captain's performance - and that surely augurs well for the future.

Of course, there's no rule to say any performance is above criticism but in my book when you play as well as Hendo did criticism of any sort surely falls into the category of refuge territory for curmudgeons - and a curmudgeon you are certainly not my West Riding?  :) cyber friend. So let's be grateful that in the space of a week Hendo's performance level improved beyond recognition and that it also seemed to inspire his Dutch midfield partner to a pretty decent and certainly greatly improved performance too.


Cheers Timbo - and, yes, West Riding.

Probably I wasn't totally fair to Hendo. I did say it was his best game for us this season, but I immediately cast some shade over that comment afterwards. He did play well. He actually turned on the ball a few times too. But I can't join you on him being "superb in all aspects". His defensive work was iffy, and I'll stick to what I said about that harum scarum moment when he went hurtling after Kane, and then Rose, with maximum enthusiasm but zero nous.

I'd feel better with Lucas or Can in that deep position. Lucas, for me, is probably still the number one - though Emre Can promises so much for the future. I'd even prefer Kevin Stewart who is a fantastic prospect and has the intuitive sense for playing the deep-lying role that Hendo simply....lacks. Sorry.

Where does that leave the skipper? I don't know. I've always thought that in certain games he can be excellent playing behind the forwards - games where we are already up and the opposition is taking risks and playing a high line. But that's a pretty qualified endorsement I admit. The problem is he's the skipper and skippers tend to be on the team sheet. Rodgers made him skipper and Klopp inherited him and, for the moment, is stuck with him. I can't pretend I don't find that a problem. If he's not playing defensive midfield then where does he start and who drops out? Lallana? Coutinho? Wijnnaldum? Firmino? Mane? We're already blessed with a problem in the more forward positions because Origi and Sturridge are champing at the bit. We might even see Ojo given some serious play time this season. And Hendo? Yeah, maybe, but he doesn't scream " you got to play me!" up there does he?
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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 06:55:48 PM »
Great synopsis - as ever Yorkie lad. Beautifully written, beautifully weighted. Ta for that.

However, the Hendo reservations I do take issue with.

I never come on here and slag any player although there have been more than a few occasions when our Jordan has sorely tempted me to do so if not to actually seek the bastard out and throttle the life out of him. Yet on Saturday I thought the lad was absolutely superb in all aspects - including turning with the ball and delivering a pass [Yorkie] and - for the most part  :) - competing for headers [Babu]. Indeed I'd go so far as to say it was his best ever game for us. A proper midfield dynamo performance - dare I even say a real captain's performance - and that surely augurs well for the future.

Of course, there's no rule to say any performance is above criticism but in my book when you play as well as Hendo did criticism of any sort surely falls into the category of refuge territory for curmudgeons - and a curmudgeon you are certainly not my West Riding?  :) cyber friend. So let's be grateful that in the space of a week Hendo's performance level improved beyond recognition and that it also seemed to inspire his Dutch midfield partner to a pretty decent and certainly greatly improved performance too.

In terms of performance, I would say Henderson was in our top 3 performers personally. However, I counted 0 challenges for aerial balls. I counted a few times where Kane or Janssen actually won the ball or just brought it down in his zone of the pitch with no contest from him. I went to see some numbers for the season and indeed it says he made 0 aerial challenges against Spurs. 1 (which he lost) for the season so far. 7

I suppose this thread is more to objectively look at just this performance whereas my post was more about why long term I don´t believe we will see Henderson in this role that often.

To answer another question of where technically Henderson can improve. One thing he does is stand square when receiving the pass and he doesn´t move his head enough either. Good example is receiving the ball off Migs against Arsenal. His body is facing Migs instead of being on the half turn to enable him to see more of the pitch. Also standing square as he is means even if he moves his head, he can only see a small proportion of the pitch. He cannot see behind him or the entire Arsenal half of the pitch. He didn´t see the player in this instance closing him down - and probably thought there was nobody or else Migs wouldn´t throw it to him.

Compare and contrast this to Coutinho who will always position himself to be able to escape the player closing him down. He also angles his body so the only people he won´t see would be pitch invaders from the crowd. Plus his head is always moving so he has a good picture in his head of where everyone is on the pitch.

This all may seem hypercritical, but it´s actually the difference between a midfielder good at linking play and one who isn´t a lot of the time. And that has been a weakness to our game for a while.
Gonna stay behind at work and wait to see what happens.

I am betting some split arse and crying.

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 07:27:13 PM »
Great responses fellas - and to be fair I was just mixing the pot a bit - but I did sense something a little bit different about Hendo in that game. A more steely and determined trait than I've sensed before, one from which his game steps up a notch or two and certainly something I've always felt he only ever hinted at previously the season when he was a support act to Suarez & Co.

Time will tell - but it certainly cheered me to see it. The leicester game will be really interesting in that regard. And for Winjaldum as well.

As for the West Riding - I wish now i'd have backed my hunch without the question mark!!!

 ;D

Offline RedMichelFerri

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Re: Round Table: Tottenham 1 Reds 1
« Reply #13 on: September 1, 2016, 09:22:53 AM »
Great responses fellas - and to be fair I was just mixing the pot a bit - but I did sense something a little bit different about Hendo in that game. A more steely and determined trait than I've sensed before, one from which his game steps up a notch or two and certainly something I've always felt he only ever hinted at previously the season when he was a support act to Suarez & Co.

Time will tell - but it certainly cheered me to see it. The leicester game will be really interesting in that regard. And for Winjaldum as well.

As for the West Riding - I wish now i'd have backed my hunch without the question mark!!!

 ;D

I agree that Hendo looked more determined in this game and had really good game. My problem with Hendo is he is not aware of the play when receiving ball from keeper/CB. Most of the time he immediately passes it back most of the time (this kills any option we have to surprise the opposition by wuickly turning the tables). He can't turn on the ball and also he has very heavy touch which can be intercepted by opposition attackers. Contrast that to Lucas who knows exactly where he wants to place the ball when he receives it and its very smooth touch. I think Kevin has similar qualities and think ejaria will be perfect for that position in a season or two.
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