Author Topic: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3  (Read 46185 times)

Offline Corkboy

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Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« on: May 5, 2014, 11:50:58 pm »
So that was...eventful.

When a match like that is still swirling around in the after-eddies of the vortex that consumed Selhurst Park tonight and scattered all reason, it's hard not to indulge in some hindsightery. I will not indulge in such low pursuits. I will go lower, by adding some fetid "I Told You So"'ism. I watched this game on the tv and when Glenn Murray came on in the 70th minute, the camera followed him as he swapped instructions with someone, maybe Gayle. He clearly made it known that they were going two up front. I turned to my son and said, he'll bring on Agger or Touré now and go three at the back, he'll spot that. It would be the sensible thing to do, Palace were obviously going for it, stopper up the back and lance them on the break. When your full backs are already hugging the touchlines, two v two is a risk.

Now, with a classic appeal to authority, I say Carragher was right in his analysis, we are awful fuckers for dropping deep when we get spooked. And to do even worse to you poor souls, I present my view that Gary Neville was, again, entirely spot on in his view that we should have chopped down Bolasie before he got to the half way line and sucked up the yellow. You may hear a lot of chat about game management over the next few days but that is the sort of nous, the sort of know how that we are missing.

If City pick up three points on Wednesday night then this week will have been the microcosm of the season. Chelsea, unable to score and dropping points. Us, spitting out goals at one end, coughing them up at the other and dropping points. Manchester City will turn out to be the outfit with balance, the team who managed to defend well and attack well, to concede few and score lots. We've let in ten goals in the last five games. We clearly need to score a few more goals.

So, we go into the last game of the season with a very slim shot at the title (come on, the Villa!) and guaranteed Champions League Moneyball. Poor old us. I caution you, Rawkites. Do not indulge in what-iffery and if-only'ism. The league table is what it is. Tonight's result was no more significant than any of the other games this season where we've dropped points. Go back to the supporter you were last August and be proud. It is unlikely we will win the league but it's great being back at the business end. Onward and upward.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #1 on: May 6, 2014, 12:06:02 am »
Thank you for the oasis of calm in the desert storms of tonight. Personally its clear to me we are knackered and faltering. And probably going 3-0 up so quick did us no favours. At 2-0 we're careful, probing, one eye on the back. At 3-0 we're carefree and crazy. It was the back midfield that opened up tonight, not the defence, although they have to tighten up too. But still, we'd all have bitten off that proverbial hand for a 2nd place and champions league. We'll beat Newcastle and who knows, meantime it was what it was and no-one's surprised. Pulis has that indian sign over us and we should've watched out. Football eh said some historical figure.
Yep.

Offline BabuYagu

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #2 on: May 6, 2014, 01:59:58 am »
Speaking of "I told you so's" --- RAWK's Resident Mancunian representative, Jonno White, predicted while caught up in the euphoria of signing Wan Matter and actually winning a game that they would win something ridiculous like 13 from their remaining 15. He predicted we would drop an absurd amount of points and they would finish 4th. I know... we laughed back then as well.

I predicted we would win all but 3 games and win the title in the process with 84 points. It made sense then and it makes sense now. Of course when we drew the very next game against West Ham I felt concerned, maybe a little ;)

Of course, on paper, Man City will smash anybody that roles up to The Bank of Etihad. Yet Wigan beat them there less than 2 months ago. Agüero played that day; he probably won't again this season. Even if he does it will certainly be with one eye on making it to Brasil. So while winning the league seems improbable it is far from impossible. Aston Villa are possibly the best sucker punch team in the league away from home and Fat Sam would love nothing more than to piss in Pellegrini´s soup. Both are more than capable of doing a Wigan. We just need 1.

And as I said in the embarrassment that was a post-match thread - worst case scenario is we will finish 2nd which is a Premier League tradition for the team who will win it next year. Hopefully Villa &/or West Ham won't make us wait that long.
« Last Edit: May 6, 2014, 09:34:42 pm by BabuYagu »
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #3 on: May 6, 2014, 11:12:21 am »
So many emotions.

First a sobering reflection that just goes to underline just how fickle the game of football can be. Glen Johnston was outstanding throughout the game. Best player on the pitch. Few other Reds and not a solitary Palace player deserved to be on the same pitch...and yet 1] he missed as easy a headed opportunity as you could pray for in a sweep, 2] he failed to properly close down for their opening goal, 3] he was caught dreaming/out on his feet for their equalizer and possibly 4] he may also have been the attacker who lost possession high up the pitch for their second [not sure on that without watching it back].

Incredible ironies that the game's outstanding performer by a country mile may have contributed so much, so adversely to the final result not falling in our lap despite so hugely outstripping everyone else [bar Joe allen] in terms of overall performance levels. Such are the foibles and inexplicable margins of footy.

And so it transpired that a team that could and should have lost a game by a scoreline greater than the 9-0 of years gone by somehow ended up on level terms.

This morning my desolation of the night before has metamorphed into a warm inner glow of pride that no matter what now transpires, whether we [highly unlikely] still win the damn thing or [90% likely] not,  we will have been treated to what I'd unashamedly herald as my favourite ever league season. I do not say that lightly. I know the mantra of this club is mythologised in the notion that first is everything, second is nowhere. Well to fuck with that mantra. If we do not win through in the end then I'm sure even Bill Shankly himself would join with me in ditching it on the evidence of the transcendent and glorious footballing experience that has enriched the players, manager and fans of our amazing football club throughout this incredible season.

We have always been the club of high emotion and right now the emotional bond I feel with our club is as strong and heightened as it has ever been in the umpteen years since I was born a red.

 :)
« Last Edit: May 6, 2014, 11:22:57 am by Timbo's Goals »

Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #4 on: May 6, 2014, 12:02:12 pm »
One day we'll laugh at this. That might be as soon as Wednesday when Villa beat Man City. But it might take 30 years for the memory to even elicit a smile. There's no getting away from it - it was one of the biggest blows I can remember as a Pool fan.

I like your post Timbo. Johnson had been magnificent. But as a team we went to pot once they'd scored and none more so than our right back. Gayle meanwhile helped himself to his third goal against us this season - all from the bench.

We're meant to think about sex every 7 seconds (well the blokes are anyway). At the moment I'm thinking about last night every 7 seconds. The football I mean. I keep thinking I can alter the score by warning Brendan to send on an extra defender at 3-1. Then I realise I can't. It's awful.

No bitterness though. If I'd been at Selhurst Park I'd have joined that awesome chorus of 'Attack, Attack' when it was still 3-0 to us. I can't turn around and point the finger now, knowing that. This coach has got us believing in the impossible and after 58 minutes it seemed to me we might grab another 2 or 3 goals. We were absolutely all over them and playing the best football since the Tottenham game.

It's been a monumental season. It's not quite over yet. We can finish off in style at Anfield by pummelling a demoralised Newcastle. There's still a faint possibility too that in doing so we'll finish as Champions.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #5 on: May 6, 2014, 03:28:04 pm »
You brought a tear to my eye there Tim. Having said that, I left my phone in my car this morning and when I realised 20 yards away what had happened, I had a tear in my eye then too. It smarted, this one.

Honestly, the football we were playing after that 2nd goal went in. That's as good as any side in Europe's played for a very long time I'd argue, save for the finishing touches. One touch stuff, with genuine swagger. It was like Brazil 82. And then the capitulation was too.

What a team. I'm with you in that affection for this side, just like that Brazil side is still imprinted upon me all those years later. In another 32 years I'll remember this one.

Offline The Cobbler

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #6 on: May 6, 2014, 10:01:24 pm »
I was one of the mob chanting attack attack attack at Selhurst last night. At 3-0 with 35 minutes left, we all thought this is going to be 6 or 7. For 25 minutes it was breathtaking and the only debate was how many?

The moment they scored I said to my son, OK the dream is over let's take 3-1 and fuck off home with the win. I think Brendan thought it too ( having seen MOTD at about 2AM !) but he was convinced it was a blip and normal service would continue. Yes he should have locked the door but what if we'd won 5 or 6-1? The media would have hailed him a genius. Our crime was being too brave and throwing caution to the wind.

I've had taken 4th place in a heartbeat last August, but we have been spoilt this season and I am so grateful to have seen it happen.

Keep a sense of proportion and take this for what it has been - an ode to joy and food for the soul. Thank you Brendan for giving me a season, I thought I'd never see again.

By the way a big hand for Pulis and Palace . What pride and integrity they showed. They could easily have just given in and rolled over . I loathed Pulis at Stoke but what a job he has done to keep them up.

Offline CHOPPER

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #7 on: May 6, 2014, 10:06:45 pm »
Bump
More of a massive big fuck-off kick to the goolies, than a bump.


I'll be glad when its all over and I can review the season without all the stress, anguish and worry that seems to have been part and parcel of our last 5 games.

Its not just about arriving, but how you get there - reverse the last 13 games and put these gonad volleys at the start of the 14 game run and we're over the moon. Now, now its sort of bitter sweet. Teams games are like that, too many variables and laws of averages that dictate.....Oh to be a snooker or darts fan.

Di-sect that game? You don't need to be a RAWK paragraph purveyor to explain last night. 75 minutes of why we are the best footballing team in the league and 15 minutes of all our chickens coming home to roost on why, in my humble opinion, we won't win the league - this! season.


Thinking of taking up Rambling or Twitching over the summer, the last 5 minutes of a ramble or a twitch can't be this stressful, can they?........



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Offline rossipersempre

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #8 on: May 6, 2014, 10:40:16 pm »
Honestly, the football we were playing after that 2nd goal went in. That's as good as any side in Europe's played for a very long time I'd argue, save for the finishing touches. One touch stuff, with genuine swagger. It was like Brazil 82. And then the capitulation was too.
A nice analogy mate, even if it is one that casts Dwight fucking Gayle as my namesake, a ruthless opportunist and world class executioner-in-chief, rather than the slightly more accurate impression given of a fairly shite version of Michael Thomas.

Such a game warrants no analysis. There's maybe a discussion to be had about the subs and the mysterious case of Danny Agger, but that's really best left for now. Suffice to say at 3-1, I felt that unease. The one at whispered "that's no consolation". At 3-2, it was as palpable as my throbbing pulse. That same sense almost forgotten. The dread of inevitability.

I last felt it in '89. Palace did us in the FA semi a year later, so they have form in that respect. Even Athens, as resigned as I was to us returning the "better team lost" favour (might have had something to do with a certain lone striker, the footballing equivalent of trying to pick a lock with a wet fish), it never felt quite like this. Sickening.

In 2009 also, it was different. Failing to capitalise, as opposed to succeeding to capitulate. This time, we had one firm hand on the trophy. Now we have a buttery fingertip at best. To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. To choke. To do a Novotna. That is what will be remembered in the years to come, and will be accompanied by that involuntary shudder, the pain from an old wound.

And that would be a crying shame. Because this season deserves so much more than that memory alone. It deserves recognition not recrimination. A century of goals. An attacking style many of us thought we'd never see anytime soon. And barring divine intervention (not sure even God could stomach Damien Comolli claiming the credit if Andy Carroll scores the winner on Sunday), we need to look back at what we've achieved against all the odds (and let's be honest, all our expectations) and be grateful. Football, like life, isn't about getting what you want or even deserve. It's about appreciating what you have.

Let the so-called "neutral" peasants snigger on Twitter at Gerrard's ironic slip, of both tongue and step. Let the English media fuckwits continue to fellate that anti-football arch specialist in failure as some sort of tactical genius. As our captain said in that centre circle rallying cry "we go again". And that we will. Next season. In the Champions League too, lest we forget.
« Last Edit: May 6, 2014, 10:43:54 pm by rossipersempre »
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Offline Yorkykopite

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #9 on: May 6, 2014, 10:43:44 pm »
Well done Rossi.

(Who was the lone striker you mentioned?)
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Offline Mighty_Red

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #10 on: May 6, 2014, 10:44:50 pm »
The moment they scored I said to my son, OK the dream is over let's take 3-1 and fuck off home with the win. I think Brendan thought it too ( having seen MOTD at about 2AM !) but he was convinced it was a blip and normal service would continue. Yes he should have locked the door but what if we'd won 5 or 6-1? The media would have hailed him a genius. Our crime was being too brave and throwing caution to the wind.

Well this is the thing, Brendan came out and thought we should've managed the game better, so did he really want them to push forward for that corner (before the corner) or not?

Was it that the players did not heed his instructions and lost their heads? From his subs, it didn't seem like he was intent on just holding the lead.

Quite hard to do this since I didn't pay close attention to MOTD and I didn't really want to live through it all again! In some ways, we can put the last two results and performances down to the relative lack of experience in the team and in the manager. A lot of the lessons to be learned will be how to cope with these situations better, and to have better composure when it matters.

I would say that the 1st goal is fairly typical for us, a goal out of nothing when many goals up. It's happened so many times this season and needs to be cut down on. The way we play to open up teams means that this will always be the risk but with better concentration the opposition don't get a sniff.

The 2nd and 3rd were disasters of epic proportions and have been done to death already.

Just a shame about the last 15mins because otherwise we were fantastic if a little wasteful. Watching this team is still awesome and I'd rather this 3-3 than the drab 0-0 The c*nts from Chelsea played out on Saturday.
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #11 on: May 6, 2014, 11:15:28 pm »
The toughest losses to take have to be the most impactful learning experiences. We're ahead of the curve, and in many ways, Rodgers as a developing manager is well ahead of the curve, but what he is not is a manager with over 20 years of title competing experience like Ferguson or a manager who has a previous decade of elite title winning credentials like Mourinho. Rodgers' legacy is only just beginning, and there are still going to be bumps along the way, they're just getting less and less.   

Of course we're not out of it yet, but let's speak long term anyway. Rodgers and our team under him will be better for this. This is a young team who are going to benefit from this title run-in. This doesn't have the makings of something that's just going to "fade away".

I just feel so incredibly gutted for Stevie, barring a miracle. It's not our last chance under Rodgers, certainly, but is it Gerrard's? I suppose it depends on how long Gerrard's career can truly be prolonged. I'm not saying we can't compete for the title next season, in fact with a good summer I really don't see why not, but part of the long term plan has to be prioritizing progress in Europe next season. 
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Offline Trendisnotdestiny

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #12 on: May 6, 2014, 11:18:24 pm »
Okay, so I am still in emotional pain over what transpired last night and I am watching the American football show, ESPN FC, discuss the game (as if I was undergoing a second heart surgery with an adjacent urinary catheter because the first ones did not take). 

Worried about another infected and sleepless night, I try to put the picture of Moses whiffing in front of the goal at the end of game out of my mind and tell myself that it will get better (do not avoid it, embrace it as we only have one game left).  No sooner did the host pass gas on the Man U victory over Hull did they leap into a segment on last night's game.

Getting to crux of why I am writing this, the major analysis was on Glen Johnson.  Now, I was already half way in the camp of excommunication because of goals #1 and #2 (having only watched the game once).  However, after reading the RAWK post-game thread (an exercise not dissimilar with catching a marlin with a toaster), I became more sympathetic of the players and all of ourselves who are clearly hurting with this result.

During ESPN's analysis, Craig Burley discusses how GJ needs to have more spine at taking criticism and then he goes to the highlight board ---> showing how high Johnson got in 71' minute in 3-0 (commenting on how much space Jedinak found) before any of the goals had been scored by CP. 

It is as this point, where I wondered if I should turn off the fucking television, but I ignored this impulse in favor of splitting my soul in two (creating the mother of all American based horcruxes). Instead I watch embittered as he simply forwards to the three goals.  Now, it must be said that I abhor taking my football cues from sofa experts, as I enjoy game analysis and have  my coaching badges here in the US).  Nevertheless, here were his points:

1.  Glen was getting forward too much for his position given the score, time, and energy already expended
2.  Goal #1: occurred for two reasons (GJ did not close down Delaney's space and he turned his body allowing for the deflection goal-ward
3.  Goal #2: occurred for two reasons (GJ jockeying position was flat (easily beaten), and he did not close down Bolasie at 14yd mark
4.  Goal #3: occurred because GJ did not tuck in - he could see the ball, its flight, the play and Gayle, but did not react until too late

All three goals scored on his side, in under 10 minutes.   This brings me to a few questions I have for Round Table readers.

A. Is this what Rodgers means by individual mistakes and not managing the game well (his post-game statement)?
B. Am I wrong to have expected Johnson to have admitted his part instead of childish tweets aimed at exoneration?
C. Next time what should Rodgers do? Kolo or Agger (Flanagan switching) have been a better substitution?
D. After reading Timbo's post, I wonder if I am not seeing things clearly about GJ.  Please talk me down.

Usually, I am one of the first ones to espouse, it takes about five individual mistakes for a goal to occur (as it is a team game), but I am so aggrieved with what I saw (from where we were up 3-0) that someone has to take responsibility.  Someone please talk me down off the ledge of wanting a new right back. 

Lastly, Liverpool were brilliant for a significant duration of the game, and I realize we cannot excise 10-11 minutes of it and paint a large generalization to suit our conversation, but how did no one see this and fix it?  I think this is where Carra might have grabbed someone by the scrotum and said ----> No more.   Thanks for tolerating this rambling blemange of disappointment.  I think the term "little ball of hate" should now be put up on Dickipedia with my picture.   

The shithouse/roundtable combo - apologies to those who did not want to dredge up any more angst.
« Last Edit: May 6, 2014, 11:31:26 pm by Trendisnotdestiny »
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Offline Garcepticon

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #13 on: May 6, 2014, 11:25:01 pm »
I keep thinking I can alter the score by warning Brendan to send on an extra defender at 3-1. Then I realise I can't. It's awful.

I've done this a few times too.

My big takeaway from the game is we completely evolved vis-a-vis Chelsea. We picked up some valuable skills yesterday. Skills which are going to need to be second nature if we are to replicate this season in 14/15.

Offline DonkeyWan

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #14 on: May 6, 2014, 11:53:36 pm »
I'm probably more interested in the reaction to this match than the match itself. The match itself can be seen as the result of the Chelsea game, over-reaching to try and get a big tally and getting caught cold. The match itself hardly deserves the acres of print and legions of despairing posters that it has generated. It was a shit or bust move by Rodgers and eventhough it wasn't quite bust, they are barely hanging in.

No, what interests me was the outpouring of grief and heartache that followed the result both in the stands and on the pitch. There is a sense I feel (and no one can deny I also believe) that many view this season as one last shot at redemption for Gerrard, that somehow, next year, all the good work of this year will somehow disappear into the ether and Liverpool will be 'found out'.

Even in the media, what was a month ago being described as scintillating attack football is now being seen as hubris and arrogance. Naive is the word I have seen bandied about most, with unfavourable comparisons being drawn with Keegan's Newcastle, i.e. a flash in the pan. Apprently the limitations of Rodgers approach has been found out after an 11 match unbeaten run was stopped by the best defence in the league parking two buses and then followed by a tricky draw to a difficult venue that left Liverpool on top of the table.

However, I have also seen this attitude amongst the Liverpool supporters. Understandable in some ways, since the influx of monied Chelsea in the early 2000s (and latterly Man city) the stakes have risen higher than ever before. In the last 6 years 4 teams finished 2nd with 84 points or more (a total Liverpool can still achieve). Before that you have to go back to the early 90s when money bags Blackburn were doing the same thing. Before that again it was 1985 when the two best teams in Europe were duking it out. Its clear, since petrodollars have skewed the top of the league, winning it has become harder and harder.

I think then its worth reiterating the immensity of the achievement this year. Liverpool are currently jammed between the team that spent 1/2 billion on its squad over the last decade and the team that has spent 1 billion its squad in less than that (and is currently being censured for financial fairplay). Liverpool are no spending slouches themselves, but this is on a whole different (and unfair it seems) level. I would hate to lose sight of that eventhough the likely second place finish is so hard to take (especially after taking 34 points from 39 over the last 13 games).

What interests me more is the total breakdown of some fans and team players alike (a sobbing Suarez is not a sight I wish to see again). It stems, I feel, from the fear that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that the team will be unable to replicate next year. Having come so close to the summit and seeing how difficult it was it would appear such an opinion has some founding. Throw into the equation the clear deficiencies in the side and the added challenge of CL next season (as good as it is to be back) and it will clearly be harder to achieve the same momentum again. But pause for a moment and consider;

a] Liverpool are not Newcastle. For a start their economic base is much stronger than Newcastle's, getting better all the time and will doubtless be augmented by a redeveloped stadium in the next few years. The added lure of CL will also entice better sponsorship, as will the swashbuckling style of the team. Liverpool are still one of the richest clubs in Europe and doesn't need petrodollar injections to artificially boost that.

b] The rest of the competing clubs are also meeting their natural limitations. Chelsea are second partially down to their decision to try to meet FFP requirements. City thought they had a tremendous whizz (namely they thought everyone else was too stupid to see through their transparent lie) and despite the best efforts of Manchesterblue have been pinged by UEFA. Though the penalty wasn't great, they can't keep re-offending or risk even greater censure. United, for all the talk of Moyes, need serious surgery and have already blown a substantial amount of money in an hilariously inept manner. Arsenal and Spurs could still be challengers, but no more so than Liverpool, while Everton are just too limited in their base to ever compete for a full season at the top.

c] The squad is young and has tremendous growth potential. Anyone who watched the reserves (and I do) know there is a tremendous amount of talent in the pipeline. Additionally, the likes of Cody, Ibe, Ilori, Sinclair, Alberto, Kelly etc are all coming through the squad, while its easy forget how young the likes of Sterling, Henderson, Allen, Sturridge, Sahko, Coutinhio, and Flanagan actually are. All of those 7 are first team starters. All of those are 24 or less. We also have Borini and Assaidi coming back after very succesful loan spells, both young players.

D] Our transfers and transfer targets are getting better all the time. Not just the players that have been brought in (Sahko, Sturridge, Coutinhio etc) in the last year and a half have proven excellent value; but also the ones brought previously are starting to mature and show their true potential (Allen, Henderson, perhaps even Borini). Sure, not all have been successful, but now the committee is more often right than wrong. Additionally, it is gratifying and irritating in equal parts to see the ones that just got away last summer and in the winter are now performing to a very high level, albeit elsewhere. The hope is with the added lure of CL and exciting attacking football, a la Arsenal in the 90s, perhaps Liverpool can attract similar quality players and potentially land them this time, e.g. Pjanic at Roma.

To sum up then, I was more surprised by the post match reaction to the Palace game, than the actual game itself. From one perspective a draw or a win was incidental, it still required an unlikely performance from City. The alternative was an all out attack that subsequently fell short. No shame in that, though there was some shame in the gnashing and wailing of some fans post match. But I understand that, so near, so far. But I believe that an optimistic appraisal of the situation contextualizes that performances. Sure, you could take the lead of United fans and say 'that was our best chance in a generation and it will be another one before we get a chance again' or alternatively, cross your fingers, hope for the best, but see this season as the start of a bright new dawn rather than a sputtering candle at the fading of the light. 
Beatings will continue until morale improves...

Offline Zippy

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #15 on: May 6, 2014, 11:56:11 pm »
On the in game management thing have a look at this quote from Paul Scholes talking about Arsenal:

“Sometimes, as a midfield player, when you’re up against it you have to say: ‘look, just come in here, sit beside me for five or 10 minutes and just try to stop the flow of attack’.

Am I alone in thinking we don't have much of this type of communication in our ranks during games?

It doesn't even have to mean a massive change in tactics but just a taking the sting out of the game and killing the opposition momentum can be enough and then if needed you can change back a little after this.

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Offline BrandoLFC

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #16 on: May 7, 2014, 12:00:15 am »
At least we're not seeing arguments like Sakho causing Gerrard to slip this time so there is some improvement.  Overall I think our issue was a mixture of tactics and mentality. 

1. Bolasie had his way with whoever was supposed to be covering him on our right had side, whether it was Johnson, Gerrard or Lucas it didn't seem to matter.  He had the beating of all of them and as soon as the first goal went in it just seemed to get worse.  This resulted in Skrtel getting pulled way out of position on numerous occasions and generated constant defensive instability.  We need better cover for Hendo than Lucas it seems as a start as he's just not a box to box midfielder anymore, this isn't a slight it's just a fact.

2. Johnson basically ruined any positives he did in going forward with some really horrendous defensive decisions.  If we're going to keep Johnson and he clearly can't keep up the pace anymore then we need to adjust our tactics for that fact as this isn't a new thing that occurred.

3.  As far as mentality, even at 3-1 you figured the team would just keep attacking and I think that's what everybody expected.  When Palace got the 2nd goal you could tell just from watching on screen, I can't even imagine what it must have felt like live, that the bottom had just dropped out and we were in real trouble.  We needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, hold up the ball and give everybody time to clear their heads.  Instead nothing of the like happened and we just kept giving away the ball until after the 3rd goal when we created one more chance but that was basically it.  Hopefully we learn from it but I don't know that this can be coached or scouted for in transfer targets, definitely need to find a new Carragher though one way or another.

Offline Jaron

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #17 on: May 7, 2014, 12:07:29 am »
Life is a journey of forking paths.
A destination unknowable.
Who can say where footsteps lead.
Who could have known
That those three episodes of joy
When belief was at its height
Would be the harbinger
Of the deepest crushing sorrow
Yet was it a nightmare
Or just a fairytale
Whose glorious ending
We haven't encountered yet.
Walk on. Walk on.
Let's find out.

Who would ever want to lift the veil
And live a life with no surprises?
Sometimes we have to gamble on our choice of path.
Take a risk.
Be brave and bold.
Tread precariously.
Even though there's a safer route.
Vamos muchachos!
We have sturdy boots, and a trusty guide.
And companions that bring joy to our hearts.
Let's walk.

I can not promise an easy stroll.
There will be storms.
And pain and tears.
Punishing crags and weeks of hurt.
I don't even know where we're going.
Or what we'll see along the way.
Only that adventure beckons.
That's enough to keep me walking.
And I must confess
I hope it never ends.
Perhaps you'll join me.
"We go again."

Offline redmark

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #18 on: May 7, 2014, 12:08:23 am »
Well this is the thing, Brendan came out and thought we should've managed the game better, so did he really want them to push forward for that corner (before the corner) or not?

Was it that the players did not heed his instructions and lost their heads? From his subs, it didn't seem like he was intent on just holding the lead.

There was quite a sustained shot of Rodgers with Pascoe and (I think) Inglethorpe in discussion at 3-1 in what can only be described as a state and expressions of indecision. I've not seen Rodgers' comments, but if 'we' failed to manage the game at that point was directed at the team, rather than team plus manager and coaching staff, it seems disingenuous.

We were, similarly to the Chelsea game, quite patient in the first half. The difference was that we, rather than the opposition, scored. We stepped things up in the second - and at 2-0/3-0, the eagerness to get the game restarted (not suppressed from the bench) indicated that the possibility of a heavy victory had certainly been discussed - 'unrealistic' or not.

As seems to happen bizarrely frequently in football, the turning point seemed to be a break in play when a Palace player was treated for a knock, at a time when we were rampant and it seemed 5-0 was likelier than 3-0, let alone 3-1 or... Palace took a throw in, shifted it across field while we watched, hit a hopeful shot that Johnson... Well. They scored.

And then we - players and coaches - were in a state of indecision. Palace started running at us. We pushed forward for a corner and were slow to get back. One point Rodgers perhaps must learn from, is to trust his instincts and react quicker to an unfolding situation (and perhaps have subs warming up more proactively, just in case). But by the time the decision to bring on Agger was made, it was 3-2. By the time he'd warmed up, 3-3. And - without the benefit of hindsight, if the RAWK hive mind is to be trusted - it was the change every fan knew needed to be made before we'd even kicked off at 3-1.

It bears remembering though, that despite easy criticism of our swashbuckling naivety, that only 2 of the 5 goals we've conceded in the last two games (and one of those in the final, desperate moments) was really the result of being caught out in a counter with players over committed up the pitch - the only meaningful one, we had a corner. The other goals were a slip, a collective switch off following a break in play, and a long ball not dealt with.
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Offline The Playmaker

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #19 on: May 7, 2014, 12:11:47 am »
I, like so many others have had a chance to reflect on last night and I still can’t quite believe what I witnessed. The comeback kings had been shown how it really felt. Yesterday was definitely difficult on all of us and it capped off what had been a somewhat disappointing week in our bid to win the league title. Even though we got sucker punched, last night was a reminder of what makes football such a fascinating sport at times.

This week has replicated what happened to Manchester City recently. They lost to us and went on to draw at home against Sunderland in a game which many expected them to win. After our recent run it was always going to be hard to maintain that but the belief remained there. We have come undone to moments of misfortune and some moments of individual brilliance. The game last night was about trying to just put some extra pressure on Manchester City.

For the best part of seventy eight minutes the team controlled and dominated the game. They played with purpose and poise. The team played intelligent, aggressive attacking football which reflected in the chances that were created. We had more possession which was something we expected anyway but our team also created over twenty chances. It was possession with purpose. The team also defended relatively well during that time too.

We opened the scoring from a set piece (which we’ve seen a massive improvement on this season) and in truth it had been coming. I was delighted that Joe Allen had got a goal with a nice header after evading Joe Ledley. He looked almost embarrassed at the fact that he of all players had managed to score in a situation like that.

Going in at half-time one nil up was a nice welcome indeed. Early in the second half we pushed on. Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge both found the net in quick succession and you felt that we had the potential to push on and score a couple of others. Sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way. After they scored their first goal our team looked like a fox trapped in the headlights. It only got worse. It almost felt like we lost our structure after their first goal. They looked rejuvenated and had a belief that they could get another goal themselves. It was a huge ten minutes or so for us and I think Brendan was right in saying that we didn’t manage it very well.

They bypassed our midfield with ease and decided to target Glen Johnson. I am not criticising or blaming Johnson; he had actually played relatively well and alongside Flanagan he had been covering a lot of ground throughout the match. He had spent a lot of time in their half during the match. What he needed was a bit more protection and what we lacked during those ten minutes was some leadership and control. We also saw some poor decision making during that spell; perhaps because we carried on in our pursuit to get more goals. Either way, we didn't manage the pressure particularly well.

We may well be known for being one of the cleaner teams in the league but I felt that in a couple of situations we should have possibly been more cynical – which may annoy some people but it was probably needed in all truth. I know that it is very easy in hindsight but we needed to stop their momentum and try to kill the game and try and see it out. Anyhow, we didn’t and we paid the price and it is easier said than done I guess.

The option of beating Manchester City to the title on goal difference was always going to be tough – but you could tell that the players wanted to try and chalk up as many goals as possible. I don’t even think that we were gung-ho in our approach. I think Crystal Palace had a spell that most sides in any given game will have and they proved to be very clinical. We couldn’t deal with them during that spell. And yet, we still had a couple of decent chances. That Victor Moses chance might just stick in our minds for a while yet.

During the game, we also had a couple of decent penalty appeals and I just remembered the Sturridge chance which hit the post. There was just too much going on in this game. The last ten minutes clearly covered up a few things for sure. Despite this disappointing week for us you have to look at the bigger picture. Brendan Rodgers has found a formula that clearly works. We’re hurting right now but you can’t let these two particular games blind you from the bigger picture. I have felt this season that the best form of defence for us is attack. There is no doubt that there is an element of risk that comes with the way that we play but there is equally no doubt that risk has rewarded us kindly for the most part.

Before the recent defeat against Chelsea we went sixteen games unbeaten – winning fourteen games in the process – with that fantastic eleven games that we won in a row. We practically witnessed our side go half the season unbeaten and when you think back not so long ago our team struggled to win two or three games in a row. So yes, it has been a disappointing week but they’ve not happened too often under Brendan Rodgers.

The mentality has improved massively at the club and there is a real show of unity, character and ambition that we hadn’t really seen for a couple of years. It had been missing. Of course, that isn’t everything and I feel that our team is still growing. Don’t forget that Brendan Rodgers is only in his second season at the club. This team is still being developed and we're still seeing the system evolve. There is more to come I feel.

The most important thing is that our team grows stronger from this experience and I am not just talking about last night. A lot can still happen in the Manchester City games. It is up to them to take the initiative and win the title. Everyone expects that now for sure. As for us, there seems to be a suggestion that next season that we’ll be struggling as the other teams around us grow stronger. My hope is that we will rise again and go out and play attacking aggressive football. We will have good days and bad days again but I think we’re in a position to simply build on what we have and progress even further. So, where are we going now? I don’t know for sure but what I do know is that I’m going to enjoy this journey.

Offline forrest1980

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #20 on: May 7, 2014, 12:24:59 am »
^^^^^^^^^^ Great read. Thanks.
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Offline MobileBayRed

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #21 on: May 7, 2014, 12:49:21 am »
Honestly, the football we were playing after that 2nd goal went in. That's as good as any side in Europe's played for a very long time I'd argue, save for the finishing touches. One touch stuff, with genuine swagger. It was like Brazil 82. And then the capitulation was too.

What a strange game, as pointed out already by writers better than I.

The first half was such a tense affair.  We should have scored at least one, maybe more, before Allen's header.  We were dominating possession and our attack looked so much cleaner than against Chelsea.  But yet, Palace had some chances.  A good shot by Puncheon and one shortly after, I forget by whom.  It was clear that there was plenty of space behind our midfield and in front of our CB's.  Here in the states the NBC feed kept highlighting how far up Johnson and Flanagan were pushing.  That 1-0 halftime lead didn't feel quite solid.

And then, the first 20 minutes of the second half happened.  We played with a verve that touched on poetry.  As Roy stated, that stretch was as good as any football in many years.  It was dynamic.  And then, you could see the legs starting to go.  Johnson, Allen, Lucas, Sturridge, Sterling, Gerrard.  One by one they started to fade, but yet we were ascendant, borderline transcendent. 

The first goal seemed flukish.  Sure Johnson didn't close out strong, but still, a deflection from long range against the run of play.  But it was a warning shot, one that would not be heeded in time.

By the time the second goal was scored, the outcome seemed predestined.  Fate had made her grand entrance into the stadium, called forth perhaps by the brilliant home crowd who managed to stay insanely positive even as we were punishing them in the second half. 

A lesson to be had?  Did we fly to close to the sun?  Time will certainly tell.  It was a hell of football match.
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Offline rickardinho1

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #22 on: May 7, 2014, 12:51:40 am »
I've done this a few times too.

My big takeaway from the game is we completely evolved vis-a-vis Chelsea. We picked up some valuable skills yesterday. Skills which are going to need to be second nature if we are to replicate this season in 14/15.

This.

Pre-game most of the Rawk shiteheads were fretting another frustrating game against a packed and well-organised defense. What has been largely overlooked and forgotten is how well Brendan had the team set up to penetrate them time and time again throughout the game, even at 0-0 and 1-0. He even conjured up not one, but two set-piece variations in the first half to get a totally free header (Sakho's miss is inexcusable, especially for a centerback who should be dominant aerially) against a team who hadn't conceded a single set-piece goal all season under Pulis.

The way our fullbacks were constantly making diagonal runs across their last line was impressive as well. Glen Johnson was kicked in the box for what should have been a penalty, then he headed over shortly after (so agonizing to see that float over!), and then both Suarez (x2) and Flanagan were both adjudged to be very narrowly offside on similar good runs that pulled their entire defense apart. No team, not even City, had opened them up with so much ease this season. None of us will be as scared of Tony Pulis as we were prior to the game next time we face him that is for sure.

That first half for me was a perfect example of how Brendan and the team learnt from their limitations against Chelsea to devise a brilliant strategy against another tight defense. We could have been 3 or 4 up before half time already. Yes, the team collapsed defensively, yes that should not happen, yes it was ridiculous. But what has been completely ignored is how excellent the performance until then was. Brendan's team were patient and controlled in possession when drawing Palace out and looking for openings, and when we found them we repeatedly carved open their defense every single time we got into the final 3rd. In all we had 26 shots and 9 on target which would usually result in more than 3 goals. 3 clear pen shouts to accompany all those chances suggest that there should only have been one winner yesterday, by a large margin. On another day (with a fit SAS) we could have won that game 8-0, and I'm serious (or 8-3, if you will ;))

The team will be devastated, but this is the sort of gut-wrenching loss (yes, I mean a loss) that moves a team forward. Before winning the CL in 2005 we agonizingly lost to Leverkusen in the 2nd leg QF in 2002, got picked apart by Valencia in 2003, and lost against Celtic and Marseille in the 2003 and 2004 Uefa cup knockouts. Brendan's team already learnt some harsh lessons from Zenit last year and will have learnt a huge amount from the Chelsea and Palace games. You don't learn how to win until you have tasted losing. This team will learn and come back stronger from it.

Lets all get behind Rodgers and the team for the game tomorrow. Even if we don't win the title the massive support shown from at Anfield will stay with the players throughout the summer and remind them that we will be behind them, in good times and bad. Regardless of the league result the players will be buoyed going into next season knowing that they have an army of fans behind them where ever they go.
« Last Edit: May 7, 2014, 01:04:57 am by rickardinho1 »

Offline woof

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #23 on: May 7, 2014, 01:21:44 am »
I'm probably more interested in the reaction to this match than the match itself. The match itself can be seen as the result of the Chelsea game, over-reaching to try and get a big tally and getting caught cold. The match itself hardly deserves the acres of print and legions of despairing posters that it has generated. It was a shit or bust move by Rodgers and eventhough it wasn't quite bust, they are barely hanging in.

No, what interests me was the outpouring of grief and heartache that followed the result both in the stands and on the pitch. There is a sense I feel (and no one can deny I also believe) that many view this season as one last shot at redemption for Gerrard, that somehow, next year, all the good work of this year will somehow disappear into the ether and Liverpool will be 'found out'.

Even in the media, what was a month ago being described as scintillating attack football is now being seen as hubris and arrogance. Naive is the word I have seen bandied about most, with unfavourable comparisons being drawn with Keegan's Newcastle, i.e. a flash in the pan. Apprently the limitations of Rodgers approach has been found out after an 11 match unbeaten run was stopped by the best defence in the league parking two buses and then followed by a tricky draw to a difficult venue that left Liverpool on top of the table.

However, I have also seen this attitude amongst the Liverpool supporters. Understandable in some ways, since the influx of monied Chelsea in the early 2000s (and latterly Man city) the stakes have risen higher than ever before. In the last 6 years 4 teams finished 2nd with 84 points or more (a total Liverpool can still achieve). Before that you have to go back to the early 90s when money bags Blackburn were doing the same thing. Before that again it was 1985 when the two best teams in Europe were duking it out. Its clear, since petrodollars have skewed the top of the league, winning it has become harder and harder.

I think then its worth reiterating the immensity of the achievement this year. Liverpool are currently jammed between the team that spent 1/2 billion on its squad over the last decade and the team that has spent 1 billion its squad in less than that (and is currently being censured for financial fairplay). Liverpool are no spending slouches themselves, but this is on a whole different (and unfair it seems) level. I would hate to lose sight of that eventhough the likely second place finish is so hard to take (especially after taking 34 points from 39 over the last 13 games).

What interests me more is the total breakdown of some fans and team players alike (a sobbing Suarez is not a sight I wish to see again). It stems, I feel, from the fear that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity that the team will be unable to replicate next year. Having come so close to the summit and seeing how difficult it was it would appear such an opinion has some founding. Throw into the equation the clear deficiencies in the side and the added challenge of CL next season (as good as it is to be back) and it will clearly be harder to achieve the same momentum again. But pause for a moment and consider;

a] Liverpool are not Newcastle. For a start their economic base is much stronger than Newcastle's, getting better all the time and will doubtless be augmented by a redeveloped stadium in the next few years. The added lure of CL will also entice better sponsorship, as will the swashbuckling style of the team. Liverpool are still one of the richest clubs in Europe and doesn't need petrodollar injections to artificially boost that.

b] The rest of the competing clubs are also meeting their natural limitations. Chelsea are second partially down to their decision to try to meet FFP requirements. City thought they had a tremendous whizz (namely they thought everyone else was too stupid to see through their transparent lie) and despite the best efforts of Manchesterblue have been pinged by UEFA. Though the penalty wasn't great, they can't keep re-offending or risk even greater censure. United, for all the talk of Moyes, need serious surgery and have already blown a substantial amount of money in an hilariously inept manner. Arsenal and Spurs could still be challengers, but no more so than Liverpool, while Everton are just too limited in their base to ever compete for a full season at the top.

c] The squad is young and has tremendous growth potential. Anyone who watched the reserves (and I do) know there is a tremendous amount of talent in the pipeline. Additionally, the likes of Cody, Ibe, Ilori, Sinclair, Alberto, Kelly etc are all coming through the squad, while its easy forget how young the likes of Sterling, Henderson, Allen, Sturridge, Sahko, Coutinhio, and Flanagan actually are. All of those 7 are first team starters. All of those are 24 or less. We also have Borini and Assaidi coming back after very succesful loan spells, both young players.

D] Our transfers and transfer targets are getting better all the time. Not just the players that have been brought in (Sahko, Sturridge, Coutinhio etc) in the last year and a half have proven excellent value; but also the ones brought previously are starting to mature and show their true potential (Allen, Henderson, perhaps even Borini). Sure, not all have been successful, but now the committee is more often right than wrong. Additionally, it is gratifying and irritating in equal parts to see the ones that just got away last summer and in the winter are now performing to a very high level, albeit elsewhere. The hope is with the added lure of CL and exciting attacking football, a la Arsenal in the 90s, perhaps Liverpool can attract similar quality players and potentially land them this time, e.g. Pjanic at Roma.

To sum up then, I was more surprised by the post match reaction to the Palace game, than the actual game itself. From one perspective a draw or a win was incidental, it still required an unlikely performance from City. The alternative was an all out attack that subsequently fell short. No shame in that, though there was some shame in the gnashing and wailing of some fans post match. But I understand that, so near, so far. But I believe that an optimistic appraisal of the situation contextualizes that performances. Sure, you could take the lead of United fans and say 'that was our best chance in a generation and it will be another one before we get a chance again' or alternatively, cross your fingers, hope for the best, but see this season as the start of a bright new dawn rather than a sputtering candle at the fading of the light. 
Thank you for rescuing us from the depths of deadly and lamentable self-pity. The emotions are still raw. I reckon it'll take some time for us to get over this. The truth is: we lost the title at Anfield against the monied Russian triple-decker bus. And it was an unfortunate loss, nothing down to tactics or personnel. You can't legislate against a slip. It's that one game which we needed a bit of luck but alas, the rub of the green which has been present in our incredible 11-match winning run deserted us.

As painful as it is, I think the Palace match will serve to teach Rodgers an important lesson. Not in a negative vindictive way that Mancunians, the Russian Londoners (or even the perennial underachieving Spurs) and our bitter neighbours purport but in a way that is constructive and will hopefully serve Rodgers in his long term career as a Liverpool manager.

It's quite possible that we will be 'found out' next season, where teams will park the bus in the first half and hit us in the second half where we seem to have run out of steam this season. That's true but our manager is a smart man and he will adapt too. Well, he has. This season, we have been more direct and pragmatic. This goes to show he's willing to change things to win. What's important is to have a firm philosophy which can be filtered through the ranks. Not some wishy washy ideas and chopping and changing constantly.

If FFP rules were implemented to the fullest extent today, I'm sure we'd be in a very good shape. We have most of the key ingredients required to succeed. Now is not the time to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Offline rickardinho1

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #24 on: May 7, 2014, 02:10:44 am »
A fabulous post above by Donkeywan, thank you very much for the enlightening and "back to earth" comments. You're absolutely right that we are in a fantastic position, and 11 minutes of madness doesn't change that. For all we know we could have won 5-0 and still seen City win the title and it wouldn't be any easier to take after all. At least this way the team can look at the game and say that they gave it their best shot and were unlucky not to have scored more prior to their first goal.
It's quite possible that we will be 'found out' next season, where teams will park the bus in the first half and hit us in the second half where we seem to have run out of steam this season. That's true but our manager is a smart man and he will adapt too. Well, he has. This season, we have been more direct and pragmatic. This goes to show he's willing to change things to win. What's important is to have a firm philosophy which can be filtered through the ranks. Not some wishy washy ideas and chopping and changing constantly.
If anything the way we carved Palace open shows that the park the bus approach won't work regularly against us. We completely annihilated Norwich at the start even when they parked it, and against Palace we showed a willingness to go direct with a clear tactic to hit the long diagonal ball to someone making a quick darting run. That was mixed together with calm possession play at the back as we gradually moved forward into their half and slowly but surely invited them out of their shell to open up space behind their first row of defense, from which point the front 3 created regular openings. Even when we missed our chances in open play we had carefully-planned set-pieces to score from. Once we got ahead we hit them on the break after winning the ball back in midfield quickly and efficiently for our two goals in the 2nd half.

There is so much variety in our play and Brendan is so flexible in his approach that opponents will struggle to nail down an approach that works. Even if they stumble upon something that works for one game (like Chelsea did), Brendan and his staff learn very quickly from it and don't allow it to happen again (the lone exception being the defending, though it could be argued that it hadn't harmed us until now). Palace are the 2nd best defensive team since Pulis took over, and if their bus can't stop us, then there's no sign that any other team would be successful with that approach either. Chelsea just happen to be the exception to that rule because they've perfected that approach with years and years of negative football. I'm sure Brendan and the team will learn from these games though so that next time he meets Jose (if Jose doesn't get the sack soon for a trophyless and dull season) he'll have some tricks up his sleeve to demolish those blue double-deckers.

I for one wouldn't want to be in Palace's shoes when the big angry red machine comes steaming back to Selhurst Park next season with vengeance on its mind. Hopefully the fixture computer spits that game out nice and early in the season so we can put those demons to bed with the resounding thumping that they deserve.
« Last Edit: May 7, 2014, 02:17:10 am by rickardinho1 »

Offline Gegenpresser

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #25 on: May 7, 2014, 02:23:43 am »
It's quite possible that we will be 'found out' next season, where teams will park the bus in the first half and hit us in the second half where we seem to have run out of steam this season. That's true but our manager is a smart man and he will adapt too. Well, he has. This season, we have been more direct and pragmatic. This goes to show he's willing to change things to win. What's important is to have a firm philosophy which can be filtered through the ranks. Not some wishy washy ideas and chopping and changing constantly.

I don't think there's anything to be found, to be honest. Teams have been parking the bus against us for years. They did it against Kenny, and they did it during Rodgers's first season. When we were in relegation form in 2012, we weren't being outplayed, we just couldn't break teams down and the players didn't have the right mentality to deal with the frustration. Rodgers has been successful mainly because he turned the team into a bus-wrecking machine that's happy to pick apart a team like Palace, and while we do need the depth to ensure we don't look like first-time marathon runners at 70 minutes, that's a question of bringing the right people in as opposed to needing some sort of tactical reinvention.

Offline Bobinhood

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #26 on: May 7, 2014, 02:29:39 am »
The thing is, with the whole team putting in a pretty much legendary performance, heart and soul and effort for nearly the whole thing and then that crazy deflection and suddenly, instantly, its all for nought.....it was pretty much like smashing into a brick wall at full speed. We took a game-changing mentally crushing blow we didn't deserve, and we were already physically exhausted. We fell off a cliff.

We did it as a team though. If we weren't trying to write a legendary story we wouldn't have fallen down so hard. These guys are my heroes. Couldn't be prouder.

Edit: and the thought occurs also that its a damn good lesson about Champions League football for next year. If we simply must have these "growth" moments as we grow, once the passion cools and we realize that everything simply went to hell for 10 mins because we cared too much, next time the manager and players will recognize that scenario and deal with it better.

Plus were gonna win it anyway.
« Last Edit: May 7, 2014, 03:08:50 am by Bobinhood »
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #27 on: May 7, 2014, 03:56:11 am »
/snip

Just on the question of what will become of Glen Johnson - I have already accepted he won't be here next season simply because it would be his final year of his contract and his salary is too high for what he gives us. Also he is (allegedly) unwilling to negotiate downwards as this will probably be his last big contract. I think we'll sign 2 full backs in the summer with Flanno offering cover on both sides plus one of Enrique, Kelly, Wisdom, Robinson also pitching in. This has nothing to do with last night, I figured this would be the case regardless of his performances for the remainder of the season.

As for Rodgers - he isn´t the type of manager to put the blame on the players. The cavaet I would add is - when they are following his instructions. We have seen it with Skrtel, Touré and even back at Swansea when they were caught playing around with it at the back. He shouldered the criticism and I liked that about him even then. The fact he is now put the blame on the players can only lead me to believe they were not following his instructions. His substitutions were not clearly defensive but we don't know what tactical instructions were given to accompany them.

From my perspective, Rodgers wouldn´t change the man he is because of 1 bad result. However, if these players didn´t do as he instructed from the bench then there has to be accountability for that. More worrying is if he lost faith/trust in certain players last night then he may feel a clearout is needed to take us to the next level... which in turn would mean another year of transition.
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #28 on: May 7, 2014, 08:17:03 am »
There is so much variety in our play and Brendan is so flexible in his approach that opponents will struggle to nail down an approach that works. Even if they stumble upon something that works for one game (like Chelsea did), Brendan and his staff learn very quickly from it and don't allow it to happen again (the lone exception being the defending, though it could be argued that it hadn't harmed us until now). Palace are the 2nd best defensive team since Pulis took over, and if their bus can't stop us, then there's no sign that any other team would be successful with that approach either. Chelsea just happen to be the exception to that rule because they've perfected that approach with years and years of negative football. I'm sure Brendan and the team will learn from these games though so that next time he meets Jose (if Jose doesn't get the sack soon for a trophyless and dull season) he'll have some tricks up his sleeve to demolish those blue double-deckers.

And not least, because they do so with a much higher level of quality than any other such defensive team; rather, no other team with that level of quality plays so defensively, so effectively. As we've seen of course, their problem is breaking out of their negative mindset to put away inferior opposition.

We've mastered that pretty successfully this season. A key question for next will be whether we see any change in shape or style to rebalance defensively, or whether we fallback on the pursuit (and development) of 'better individuals'.

There's been an interesting tendency, including some distinguished contributors to this thread, to take the statistics of which centre backs generate clean sheets, take it as correlation and conclude that Agger is more effective for us than Sakho; that despite a lack of specific individual errors for the latter, there is a breakdown in communication and understanding between him and Skrtel.

I suspect though, that Rodgers' inclination (judged on signings, selection and comment) is to focus on a defender winning his individual battles - and then let a partnership, communication and understanding develop between his best two individuals. Sakho's signing (at a borderline marquee price for the position) appears to be the clearest indicator of what is wanted at at least one of the CB slots.

This principle of winning your individual battles and avoiding error when isolated one-on-one also informs the fullback debate. Johnson's most frustrating tendency for me isn't the occasional defensive switch off, to not close down a cross or shot or the somewhat more regular lack of attacking end product, but the moments of indecision around halfway, where he shuns a couple of easy passes, hesitates and turns into trouble. The difference between c. 2010-13 Johnson and this one is that the former had recovery pace and endless stamina.
 
Rodgers (and going back to the point about Chelsea defensive qualities, this may have some root in his formative spell under Mourinho) likes athletes. That's not to say he doesn't want skill, intelligence, touch and creativity, because clearly he does. But his defensive signings (even Cissokho on loan) have been quick, big, strong. Henderson's energy has overtaken the subtler and greater abilities of Lucas and Allen.

As others have said, I can see that resulting in Johnson being on his way. We certainly need a new, high quality left back. On the right, we might give Flanagan a shot, with Wisdom and McLaughlin as athletic/defensive and attacking alternatives respectively. Equally when it comes to Sakho's partner, whether we spend big now seems likely to be based on whether we see Ilori as a viable starter in the next year or two - and an immediate option.
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Offline rossipersempre

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #29 on: May 7, 2014, 08:28:43 am »
Well done Rossi.

(Who was the lone striker you mentioned?)
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #30 on: May 7, 2014, 11:37:20 am »
I enjoyed reading those posts; Donkey Wan's in particular had resonance for me.

Did we get "found out"?

In a way, I think we did. In a way, that result has been coming for a while.

The sheer audacity of our play and results during that purple patch tended to mask the fact that we were always susceptible to the counter. From memory, we either conceded late goals that failed to dent our big lead much, or looked decidedly uncomfortable but hung on. There was a pattern.

Add to this pattern the tiredness - mental and physical - that had been evident for a while, plus the sheer emotional rollercoaster the team had endured in real time, and finally the notion that with 15 minutes to go we might just be in with a chance of bridging the goal gap with City, and the final fifteen minutes do not seem so bizarre.

Redmark has highlighted the indecision that followed their first goal - "stick or twist"? I think he's right. It exacerbated the situation; we dithered, they suddenly found some energy. Throw into the mix the fact that our front two were far from their imperious best, and that such a small first-team pool actually missed Henderson's energy more than we though possible, and there it is.

The balance in Donkey Wan's post, the perspective it provides, was comforting and apposite. I don't fully share the optimism about our loanees and youngsters - many of the names he mentions are for me not good enough to bridge the gap, and high quality recruits are a must if the club is to build on this season.

It's going to be a very interesting summer; the transfer thread could break all records - for quantity...
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #31 on: May 7, 2014, 11:37:28 am »
Who really is this Bolasie guy? He looked good - could have been that he was just playing the game of his life.... He was the player who needed to be watched/guarded.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #32 on: May 7, 2014, 11:51:46 am »
Just on the question of what will become of Glen Johnson - I have already accepted he won't be here next season simply because it would be his final year of his contract and his salary is too high for what he gives us. Also he is (allegedly) unwilling to negotiate downwards as this will probably be his last big contract. I think we'll sign 2 full backs in the summer with Flanno offering cover on both sides plus one of Enrique, Kelly, Wisdom, Robinson also pitching in. This has nothing to do with last night, I figured this would be the case regardless of his performances for the remainder of the season.

Don't want to hijack the thread but I would be disappointed to see Johnson leave this summer despite the mistakes in his game. Bringing in two new FBs represents risk and that fact that they will require time to settle (even if they have CL experience). We don't know what state Enrique will come back in and then you are relying on Flanno who is still learning his way.

Unless we were to get an unbelievable offer then for Johnson then he should stay for one more season to allow us to bed the new guys in, even if that means losing him for free next year. As we've seen in the past, we don't tend to save that much when getting rid of players whose contracts are running down.

Pre-game most of the Rawk shiteheads were fretting another frustrating game against a packed and well-organised defense. What has been largely overlooked and forgotten is how well Brendan had the team set up to penetrate them time and time again throughout the game, even at 0-0 and 1-0. He even conjured up not one, but two set-piece variations in the first half to get a totally free header (Sakho's miss is inexcusable, especially for a centerback who should be dominant aerially) against a team who hadn't conceded a single set-piece goal all season under Pulis.

Exactly, what the pundits forget is no team really has a plan B when faced with a parked bus unless you count lumping the ball to a big man as being a new plan. What beats a organised defence is to stay patience to your approach and take the chances when they come. In this respect, set-pieces ARE our plan B since it is a chance to score when the oppositions match strategy is somewhat negated. We created chances against Chelsea but just didn't take them.

Against Palace we saw that if the delivery was decent, we created 3 or 4 clear cut chances but unfortunately we only took one of them. It's a shame they fell to unlikely scorers rather than the usual ones (including Skrtel!).
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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #33 on: May 7, 2014, 12:06:07 pm »

Did we fly to close to the sun?


That's a lovely line mate.

Personally I'd rather feel the warmth of the sun than peer at it from the shadows.
Yep.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #34 on: May 7, 2014, 12:25:49 pm »
A nice analogy mate, even if it is one that casts Dwight fucking Gayle as my namesake, a ruthless opportunist and world class executioner-in-chief, rather than the slightly more accurate impression given of a fairly shite version of Michael Thomas.

Such a game warrants no analysis. There's maybe a discussion to be had about the subs and the mysterious case of Danny Agger, but that's really best left for now. Suffice to say at 3-1, I felt that unease. The one at whispered "that's no consolation". At 3-2, it was as palpable as my throbbing pulse. That same sense almost forgotten. The dread of inevitability.

I last felt it in '89. Palace did us in the FA semi a year later, so they have form in that respect. Even Athens, as resigned as I was to us returning the "better team lost" favour (might have had something to do with a certain lone striker, the footballing equivalent of trying to pick a lock with a wet fish), it never felt quite like this. Sickening.

In 2009 also, it was different. Failing to capitalise, as opposed to succeeding to capitulate. This time, we had one firm hand on the trophy. Now we have a buttery fingertip at best. To snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. To choke. To do a Novotna. That is what will be remembered in the years to come, and will be accompanied by that involuntary shudder, the pain from an old wound.

And that would be a crying shame. Because this season deserves so much more than that memory alone. It deserves recognition not recrimination. A century of goals. An attacking style many of us thought we'd never see anytime soon. And barring divine intervention (not sure even God could stomach Damien Comolli claiming the credit if Andy Carroll scores the winner on Sunday), we need to look back at what we've achieved against all the odds (and let's be honest, all our expectations) and be grateful. Football, like life, isn't about getting what you want or even deserve. It's about appreciating what you have.

Let the so-called "neutral" peasants snigger on Twitter at Gerrard's ironic slip, of both tongue and step. Let the English media fuckwits continue to fellate that anti-football arch specialist in failure as some sort of tactical genius. As our captain said in that centre circle rallying cry "we go again". And that we will. Next season. In the Champions League too, lest we forget.
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Offline Hank Scorpio

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #35 on: May 7, 2014, 12:34:52 pm »
My big takeaway from the game is we completely evolved vis-a-vis Chelsea. We picked up some valuable skills yesterday. Skills which are going to need to be second nature if we are to replicate this season in 14/15.
In some aspects the performance over the 90 minutes was similar to Chelsea.  Things were going well, as in the Chelsea game, although a lot better here, but we were unable to adapt to the game changing.  The reaction to Gerrard's slip was an emotionally-driven 2nd half performance.  The reaction to the unlucky deflected goal was also an emotionally-driven attempt to rectify the GD.

Crystal Palace deserve a lot of praise for coming back but they didn't do anything spectacular in terms of football.  Deflected goal, counter attack and long ball.  At each attempt we let them in.

We need to have cold heads.  It's something which is undoubtedly linked to how young the side is, but you'd expect more from the seniors.  There was enough there last night to avoid conceding 3 goals in 10 minutes.  Maybe the Chelsea one a bit beyond the maturity of this team.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #36 on: May 7, 2014, 01:11:45 pm »
Expectations pre game were high, we were up for it, the glint in Gerrard's eye as they stood in the tunnel meant business.

We didn't disappoint on the pitch either, at least not for 79 minutes. Totally controlled the flow on the game, it was bemusing we didn't create more chances or score more up until that point. We wanted 5 or 6 nil, give us a real shout on Sunday for the title ..

What happened next will haunt me for months (not years but until next season for sure). The crowd was roaring, you really have to be impressed by the atmosphere, wish id have been there! They got their goal and from that point my heart sunk underground, I really did think we would cave in and had a horrible feeling about it. We didn't plug the defence well and really should have. Its behind us now, totally out of our control.

From Xmas onwards it felt like we had the upper hand, didn't think we would go on such a run but we did and it felt great! The Palace game is the first time it has been 100% out of our hands and that's what hurts, let alone the manner we did this in.

Hope springs eternal, the same sinking feeling I had at the weekend is now replaced by that hope and belief that City, still under some pressure to win both games, may, just may make the mistakes we did. If they get complacent who knows.

We cant give up, but am braced for the runners up prize, which if you had offered at the start of the season, id have chewed your hand and probably that entire side of the body off for.

We are definitely back, we didn't fluke it, we earned it. To top it all the club is in good hands and that will put us in good stead for years to come. We are Liverpool and our football is amazing to watch.
« Last Edit: May 7, 2014, 01:15:02 pm by Anfield Mob »
- all in my opinion of course -

Offline walshys_mullet

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #37 on: May 7, 2014, 01:15:53 pm »
I kind of shrugged at the end, whilst my old fella and my two mates were going potty. The only time i lost it a bit was with the second goal as you could see it a mile off.

But you know what i'm not unhappy. I grieved all last week after the Chelsea loss which cut through me to be honest. The manner of the defeat to a souless gang of mercenaries with no flair for having a go and with a man in charge you'd happily kick all day. I knew then that the task had become impossible, almost over as there was no way Everton would do us a favour, so i never doted on it. We had to win 14 of the last 14 in my opinion which is a tall order for anyone and we almost did it, its been a monumental effort.

Of course tonights game and sunday may go for us, but theres no point in stressing any longer. I am calm.

On to the match, well yeah, it was panning out as i expected. We were all over them, scored a few more than i thought we would, got ripped off by the ref, who all now suddenly dont want to give us a pen after all the moaning weve had at us this season, funny that.

Palace were unimpressive for me, in fact i thought it was just the usual overhype that follows anything in the media. So Tony Pulis saved Palace from the drop? What an acheivement considering the dross that was already down there, they all seemed to WANT to get relegated at one point.

So to the last ten minutes...i think it was just a culmination of tiredness, mental fatique and a feeling that fate is against you. ive certainly felt that way the last few weeks. Citys late equaliser against Sunderland, Chelsea smash and garb at our place, Stevies slip, Atkinsons poor timewasting management, palaces deflected goal, even Murrays chest pass was unbelievably absurdly overdone and fell right into Gayles path.

Sometimes you just have to wonder if everything is against you. i wont mention Howards terrible goalkeeping here.

Best way to look at it, is it has been far and away a more successful season than we ever imagined and we now have to kick on, bring in the right palers, move swiftly and match what weve been doing on the pitch.

Also, if City are to lose a game im hoping it will be Sunday, i think if Villa win tonight the pressure on the boys Sunday will be too much to bear, and for the fans. It would be better for us to go into the match, pressure off and maybe only find out towards the end the tides turned in our favour. but then im a bit of a coward, and ive found it hard to get to grips with this title run in, i cant remember feeling like this in the 80s anyway, maybe we were just too accustomed to success.

Anyway fabulous job done by all this year.
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Offline ANFIELDGATES

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #38 on: May 7, 2014, 01:40:31 pm »
not sure if anyones covered this but i was a bit surprised that brendan seemed to blame the team for the last 10 mins of madness.i know he tried to clarify his comments later by explaining that the whole club needed to look at what happened in those final moments but am i right in thinking that ultimately the manager has to manage not the players?surely when it got to 3-1,nevermind 3-2 that brendan should have been roaring instructions to the team to fall back even so far as a bank of 1-5-5,and just scrape home with the win.now b4 you start giving me shite,im totally behind rodgers,i havent seen us play this type of swashbuckling football since roy was manager (evans that is!!),but i just didnt think brendan covered himself in glory when we really needed him to settle the lads down in that mad atmosphere.

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Re: Round Table: Crystal Palace 3 Liverpool 3
« Reply #39 on: May 7, 2014, 02:06:34 pm »
not sure if anyones covered this but i was a bit surprised that brendan seemed to blame the team for the last 10 mins of madness.

He's right. Good teams always contain players who show initiative and who are sensitive to the ebbs and flows of a game. Good managers are leaders who leave room for the actual players on the pitch to show that initiative. Rodgers isn't an autocrat. He doesn't micro-manage in ways that some coaches do. It's a way of working that - allied with other stuff he does on the training ground - has made Liverpool brilliant to watch and potential League Champions. I think he was right to imply the players didn't do well in the last fifteen minutes. It was said gently and without recrimination too. All round a perfect comment. 
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