Author Topic: Liverpool's Midfield  (Read 1786558 times)

Offline lionel_messias

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19080 on: January 11, 2023, 01:17:51 pm »
The failure to replace Gini before the start of last season cost us the league imo. The home draw to Brighton when from 2-0 up we had a fair few midfield injuries and they just started walking through us, as well as the aways to chelsea/spurs  where the lack of options/depth/legs in midfield really cost us. [you could argue the toss about the west ham loss and brentford draw too in the same context too fwiw].

I agree with you. We are not looking to buy midfielders because we need them now; we needed them 2 years ago!

We've all gone over it so many times, it's just a real shame we have been so negligent and made mistakes in this key area of the team.
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Offline El Lobo

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19081 on: January 11, 2023, 01:35:37 pm »
League challenging is nothing. Did we win it? Nope. I distinctly remember Tyler Morton and James Milner starting for us away at Spurs which indicates depth was a problem too.

I think we wrung the last legs out of Henderson last season and possibly broke Fabinho - admittedly this is unexpected.

It is when you’re answering a question that specifically says that :thumbup
If he's being asked to head the ball too frequently - which isn't exactly his specialty - it could affect his ear and cause an infection. Especially if the ball hits him on the ear directly.

Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19082 on: January 11, 2023, 02:13:33 pm »
We were incredibly reliant on Thiago last season. Results with and without him were very, very different.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19083 on: January 11, 2023, 02:42:50 pm »
Surely Tielemans could be a viable option for our midfield?
A premier league player, experienced enough , but not too old at 25, can be both holding and attacking in midfield?
 

He does not run or tackle effectively. 
Just a tamer, less mobile, less offensive, less talented Thiago.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19084 on: January 11, 2023, 02:47:46 pm »
Surely Tielemans could be a viable option for our midfield?
A premier league player, experienced enough , but not too old at 25, can be both holding and attacking in midfield?

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Offline lionel_messias

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19085 on: January 11, 2023, 02:53:54 pm »
It is when you’re answering a question that specifically says that :thumbup

The point I'm making is it is best not to hold up the challenge for all four pots as some sort of paragon, translating that not much is wrong this season. We were knackered, running on fumes by the end and possibly some easier draws helped us in the domestic cups.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19086 on: January 11, 2023, 02:59:35 pm »
Surely Tielemans could be a viable option for our midfield?
A premier league player, experienced enough , but not too old at 25, can be both holding and attacking in midfield?
 
I've seen asthmatic sloths move with more speed and purpose than Youri Tielemans.
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Offline El Lobo

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19087 on: January 11, 2023, 03:01:54 pm »
The point I'm making is it is best not to hold up the challenge for all four pots as some sort of paragon, translating that not much is wrong this season. We were knackered, running on fumes by the end and possibly some easier draws helped us in the domestic cups.

You seem to have got yourself a little muddled. The question was 'What do we need to become a dominant, league challenging team again?'.
If he's being asked to head the ball too frequently - which isn't exactly his specialty - it could affect his ear and cause an infection. Especially if the ball hits him on the ear directly.

Offline Realgman

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19088 on: January 11, 2023, 03:11:00 pm »
so a resounding
"Tielemans, are you for fucking real?"... then...
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19089 on: January 11, 2023, 04:44:50 pm »
Well whatever you'd class the midfield as last season was dominant and league challenging.

No the midfield wasn't dominant Diaz came in and gave everyone a lift whilst Ali was brilliant at keeping us in games.

You are confusing games with being dominant. Real Madrid got dominated in the CL most games but still won it
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Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19090 on: January 11, 2023, 04:48:40 pm »
League challenging is nothing. Did we win it? Nope. I distinctly remember Tyler Morton and James Milner starting for us away at Spurs which indicates depth was a problem too.

I think we wrung the last legs out of Henderson last season and possibly broke Fabinho - admittedly this is unexpected.

Brighton at home was a killer (from 2-0 up). We ended up with Jones and Ox in midfield and Bissouma running rings around us. This was a week after winning 5-0 at Old Trafford.

Ultimately couldn't beat City, Spurs or Chelsea.
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Offline El Lobo

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19091 on: January 11, 2023, 04:50:19 pm »
No the midfield wasn't dominant Diaz came in and gave everyone a lift whilst Ali was brilliant at keeping us in games.

You are confusing games with being dominant. Real Madrid got dominated in the CL most games but still won it

Explain how we only lost four games all season
If he's being asked to head the ball too frequently - which isn't exactly his specialty - it could affect his ear and cause an infection. Especially if the ball hits him on the ear directly.

Offline killer-heels

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19092 on: January 11, 2023, 04:53:16 pm »
League challenging is nothing. Did we win it? Nope. I distinctly remember Tyler Morton and James Milner starting for us away at Spurs which indicates depth was a problem too.

I think we wrung the last legs out of Henderson last season and possibly broke Fabinho - admittedly this is unexpected.

To be fair we got really unlucky that December. After that West Ham loss and international break, we started to motor and did our very best late Autumn/early winter thing which was being tough to score against (let in 2 goals in 6 games) and winning games (6 in a row). But then we got hit hard with Covid and game postponements which led to the loss to Leicester. Don't think depth was a problem at all.

If Covid had not struck the squad, I fully believe we go and beat Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester and the rest would have been history.

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19093 on: January 11, 2023, 04:57:32 pm »
To be fair we got really unlucky that December. After that West Ham loss and international break, we started to motor and did our very best late Autumn/early winter thing which was being tough to score against (let in 2 goals in 6 games) and winning games (6 in a row). But then we got hit hard with Covid and game postponements which led to the loss to Leicester. Don't think depth was a problem at all.

If Covid had not struck the squad, I fully believe we go and beat Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester and the rest would have been history.

I agree with that. The Christmas period killed us and was where City built up too much of a cushion. It meant we needed to win every game after new year and we near enough did and it still wasn't enough. That week we lost to Leicester while City were battered at Arsenal and won in the last minute was decisive.

There was key games where the midfield was an issue where we dropped points though. Spurs was one but it was really unfortunate that we had our first choice midfield out with illness and then the next week you've got clubs calling off matches for one Covid case.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2023, 04:59:43 pm by Fromola »
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19094 on: January 11, 2023, 05:12:12 pm »
That Spurs game was due to Covid. We could have asked for a postponement but it would have added to our fixture congestion so decided to play it anyway even though as noted we had to play just the absolute bottom of the barrel in midfield in Milner and Morton to go with Keita.

That's actually a really good example when you think about it. With our tactics and a non-functional midfield we were just completely open on the counter and Spurs could have scored half a dozen. Reminds anybody of anything this year?

As far as this and the Klopp Template thread overlapping, should probably lock the Klopp Template thread. We had our WC break and reset and we're still using the same tactics generally since the 20/21 season with some minor tweaks for personnel. Unless Klopp goes back to the 4-4-2 or something else happens the only real thing to discuss is who Klopp is playing in midfield and how they fit together and why someone might be a good fit in going forward. Though I suppose you start overlapping with the Transfer thread but either way certainly no need for two similar threads on the board at the moment.

Offline Sharado

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19095 on: January 11, 2023, 05:15:04 pm »
Explain how we only lost four games all season

Towards the tail end of the season we rode our luck and always had enough firepower to dig us out of a tricky situation. We had decent draws in the champs league, in particular, that definitely helped not just in that competition but also in the others.

We were a brilliant side last year, that should go without saying, but that doesn't mean we were dominant particularly between March and the end of the season. If you want to see a Klopp team that was truly 'dominant' for a period look at march 2019 through to feb 2020. I could count the games we played badly on the fingers of one hand during that period, we crushed teams by force of will alone at times.

Last year we were obviously pretty bloody good, but there were plenty of times it felt we 'got away with one' particularly down the stretch.
3 midfielders minimum in the next window. And probably another young CB to boot.

Anything else is negligent.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19096 on: January 11, 2023, 05:18:18 pm »
Towards the tail end of the season we rode our luck and always had enough firepower to dig us out of a tricky situation. We had decent draws in the champs league, in particular, that definitely helped not just in that competition but also in the others.

We were a brilliant side last year, that should go without saying, but that doesn't mean we were dominant particularly between March and the end of the season. If you want to see a Klopp team that was truly 'dominant' for a period look at march 2019 through to feb 2020. I could count the games we played badly on the fingers of one hand during that period, we crushed teams by force of will alone at times.

Last year we were obviously pretty bloody good, but there were plenty of times it felt we 'got away with one' particularly down the stretch.

Which games were these? There were the Spurs and ManC games that were coin flips but then I"m at a loss here.

Offline Sharado

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19097 on: January 11, 2023, 05:24:37 pm »
Which games were these? There were the Spurs and ManC games that were coin flips but then I"m at a loss here.

We went behind against Wolves, Southampton, Villa and Villareal. Against Southampton and VillaI  did't think we looked that great. The first halves against Wolves and Villareal, villareal in particular, we were bloody awful. In those latter two games we saw a lot of the issues we are seeing this season - teams exploting the high line, cutting through midfield blah blah. We were poor against Tottenham too as you note, in that game I'm not sure we created a chance I can remember and we needed a heavy deflection to get us the draw.

Yes tiredness was a factor and all the usual caveats but it felt more like we were stumbling over the line rather than building up to something [in 2019 it felt differnet]  Perhaps this is all just hindsight now, if Villa could have held on for 10 more minutes against city perhaps I'd feel compltely differently, but some of the games I've listed there feel not a million miles off some of the games I've seen this season.
3 midfielders minimum in the next window. And probably another young CB to boot.

Anything else is negligent.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19098 on: January 11, 2023, 05:31:59 pm »
We went behind against Wolves, Southampton, Villa and Villareal. Against Southampton and VillaI  did't think we looked that great. The first halves against Wolves and Villareal, villareal in particular, we were bloody awful. In those latter two games we saw a lot of the issues we are seeing this season - teams exploting the high line, cutting through midfield blah blah. We were poor against Tottenham too as you note, in that game I'm not sure we created a chance I can remember and we needed a heavy deflection to get us the draw.

Yes tiredness was a factor and all the usual caveats but it felt more like we were stumbling over the line rather than building up to something [in 2019 it felt differnet]  Perhaps this is all just hindsight now, if Villa could have held on for 10 more minutes against city perhaps I'd feel compltely differently, but some of the games I've listed there feel not a million miles off some of the games I've seen this season.

So we showed tiredness by giving up the first goal but generally dominating the game and winning? I don't think those two go together. Spus under Conte to end last season had the 3rd best stats in the league, there's no shame in struggling against them same as ManC.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19099 on: January 11, 2023, 06:01:38 pm »
So we showed tiredness by giving up the first goal but generally dominating the game and winning? I don't think those two go together. Spus under Conte to end last season had the 3rd best stats in the league, there's no shame in struggling against them same as ManC.

I'm not sure we dominated those games listed, but whatever. We are where we are.
3 midfielders minimum in the next window. And probably another young CB to boot.

Anything else is negligent.

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19100 on: January 11, 2023, 06:40:26 pm »
Which games were these? There were the Spurs and ManC games that were coin flips but then I"m at a loss here.

Villareal first half away was as bad as Napoli this year but we bounced back second half and managed to limit the damage going into half time as we could have lost the tie there. A performance like that in a CL semi (against a team we'd battered in the first leg) was a concern but you hoped it was just the games catching up with them or perhaps a bit of complacency in taking them lightly. Instead it's set the template for this season. Wolves on the final day as well. A decent striker and they could have took us to the cleaners.
« Last Edit: January 11, 2023, 06:44:14 pm by Fromola »
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Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19101 on: January 11, 2023, 07:00:16 pm »
Drop offs like these don’t come out of nowhere and there were concerning signs last season. The midfield was dysfunctional in several games for a start.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19102 on: January 11, 2023, 08:39:37 pm »
As discussed previously it's one thing to have a bit of a drop-off but a complete different thing to be where you aren't even functional. To say that 45 minutes here and there last season gave enough cause for concern to where this massive change was clearly indicated I think is a bit much. I also think if you believe this as well then what your left with is the ones that would know this better than most, Klopp and his staff, Ward, etc, then did nothing to address this after losing out on Tchouameni. I have a hard time believing that's the case.


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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19103 on: January 11, 2023, 10:06:03 pm »
As discussed previously it's one thing to have a bit of a drop-off but a complete different thing to be where you aren't even functional. To say that 45 minutes here and there last season gave enough cause for concern to where this massive change was clearly indicated I think is a bit much. I also think if you believe this as well then what your left with is the ones that would know this better than most, Klopp and his staff, Ward, etc, then did nothing to address this after losing out on Tchouameni. I have a hard time believing that's the case.


Yeah I think some of it is the signs were there in hindsight and I don't think this huge drop-off was 'clearly indicated'. I do think though that plenty of people were desperate for us to sign a new CM in the summer and couldn't fathom why we didn't. And that was in part because of the way the season went, and what happened to the midfield without Thiago in particular. As for Klopp etc doing nothing to address this... well they're seemingly doing nothing to address it now the colossal drop off has actually happened. So given that I'm not surprised they failed to address it before it happened.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19104 on: January 12, 2023, 01:14:35 am »
We just spent all our physical and mental energy last year and recovering from the last week of the two final games and losing mane was just too much to ask.

Remember Milly roasting virg for not even trying to get out to the ball early doors? The malaise is rampant its not just the mid. But, the last 3 years was spectacular, one of the best similar runs in history.

Now klopp rebuilds with younger players and we go again  wont take him long.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19105 on: January 12, 2023, 01:27:51 am »
Is this the first week the full squad has trained together for ages without games? What with with 63 games last season and Covid and end of season stuff and Henderson and Fabinho being away at the world cup

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19106 on: January 12, 2023, 02:02:42 am »
Is this the first week the full squad has trained together for ages without games? What with with 63 games last season and Covid and end of season stuff and Henderson and Fabinho being away at the world cup

We had weeks to train due to the royal funeral, with 2 games postponed and were just as bad thereafter.

We have done a great job with transfer in general, but we have let ourselves down in a few areas

I don't particularly blame management for not investing in midfield last summer, I blame them more for the contract renewals and the overall long term midfield planning over the last 4 yrs,  in 2019, our 4 most used m'f players were milner/gini/hendo/fab : whose average age in 2019 was 29, we did well to last until this season when it "suddenly" "out of nowhere"  blew up in our smug faces.  By 2019 Keita/ox had struggled badly with injury, we needed a proper long term option in the 6 transfer windows leading upto last summer, we may have had more money for that if had managed renewals and transfers a bit better.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19107 on: January 12, 2023, 05:07:11 am »
Jurgen is shifting the teams style away from counter pressing and intensity to a more possession based ‘death by football’ playbook. Many ways to skin the cat.

It is a vision that collectively will take time to implement especially as many of the older squad are used to playing in the old intensity-based press. But he’s shifting away from it to be more expansive. It was always a transitional season in that regard.

We would need athletic physical midfielders if we were trying to play the old pressing way, but it doesn’t look like we are do maybe such midfielders aren’t required anymore.

It’s speculation of course because only two or three people here actually have insight into what he wants. But circumstantially the evidence is compelling. Look at Pep’s book! No way that would’ve been allowed to be released unless it was a bait and switch to deceive teams into formulating a strategy against how Klopp teams used to play as opposed to how they will be playing.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19108 on: January 12, 2023, 07:41:16 am »
Look at Pep’s book! No way that would’ve been allowed to be released unless it was a bait and switch to deceive teams into formulating a strategy against how Klopp teams used to play as opposed to how they will be playing.

Yep because that is what has happened so far this season; caught every team off guard and have sucker punched them to victories…

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19109 on: January 12, 2023, 08:03:59 am »
Am i the only one that thinks one midfielder would transom our midfield?

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19110 on: January 12, 2023, 08:17:40 am »
Jurgen is shifting the teams style away from counter pressing and intensity to a more possession based ‘death by football’ playbook. Many ways to skin the cat.

It is a vision that collectively will take time to implement especially as many of the older squad are used to playing in the old intensity-based press. But he’s shifting away from it to be more expansive. It was always a transitional season in that regard.

We would need athletic physical midfielders if we were trying to play the old pressing way, but it doesn’t look like we are do maybe such midfielders aren’t required anymore.

It’s speculation of course because only two or three people here actually have insight into what he wants. But circumstantially the evidence is compelling. Look at Pep’s book! No way that would’ve been allowed to be released unless it was a bait and switch to deceive teams into formulating a strategy against how Klopp teams used to play as opposed to how they will be playing.

You know it is possible to be athletically capable and physically up to the task AND be possession based right? It's literally what we've been for the last few years - check the possession states. We used to dominate the ball all game. Check Man City, it's what they've been for years. I can understand the desire to add some creative ability in CM, I've been pro that for ages. But what is this bizarre idea that it's a trade off between the two? It's only a tradeoff if you don't have the right players. When people were asking for more progressive passing, more press resistance and perhaps more goals/ assists from midfield they were asking for that in addition to endurance, strength and pace, not instead of it.

As for the bait and switch idea... we've moved a long way past the Athletic puff pieces proclaiming us as next level geniuses operating on a higher plane to other coaching staffs, analytic teams and decision making directors. The reality is we're a dysfunctional organisation at most level right now, and the dysfunctional midfield is a symptom of that.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2023, 08:19:45 am by Knight »

Offline Red_Mist

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19111 on: January 12, 2023, 08:23:42 am »
Am i the only one that thinks one midfielder would transom our midfield?
When you frame it like that, maybe.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19112 on: January 12, 2023, 08:36:27 am »
When you frame it like that, maybe.

Well say if we did sign Bellingham, he's a young lad with bags of energy which should more than make up for Thiago and Fabinho not being so quick?

You replace henderson with bellingham and suddenly its a world class midfield

Offline Ma Vie en Rouge

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19113 on: January 12, 2023, 08:43:47 am »
Yep because that is what has happened so far this season; caught every team off guard and have sucker punched them to victories…

Exactly! Take that, you fools! We left you an easy route to our goal time and time again, but behold! 'twas a cunning trick and now we will beat you with our wily possession-based football. What? We're 2-0 down again? Damnation.

It's bollocks, I think. We're not transitioning to a different style, we're just fucked in midfield and making bad decisions all over the club.

Offline JRed

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19114 on: January 12, 2023, 08:49:58 am »
Am i the only one that thinks one midfielder would transom our midfield?
I agree, if we also signed 2 others to go with that one.

Offline lionel_messias

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19115 on: January 12, 2023, 09:00:44 am »
To be fair we got really unlucky that December. After that West Ham loss and international break, we started to motor and did our very best late Autumn/early winter thing which was being tough to score against (let in 2 goals in 6 games) and winning games (6 in a row). But then we got hit hard with Covid and game postponements which led to the loss to Leicester. Don't think depth was a problem at all.

If Covid had not struck the squad, I fully believe we go and beat Spurs, Chelsea and Leicester and the rest would have been history.

Hard to say isn't it but I would suggest when your depth is based on Naby Keita and AOC, there is a bit of a problem there. Covid was very unlucky but also it was poor to see James Milner in central midfield, even last season.

Anyway, it's all in the past now. We have to build a new unit and Klopp has to take responsibility for managing Thiago, Fab and Henderson's minutes.
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Offline Stockholm Syndrome

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19116 on: January 12, 2023, 09:40:44 am »
You know it is possible to be athletically capable and physically up to the task AND be possession based right? It's literally what we've been for the last few years - check the possession states. We used to dominate the ball all game. Check Man City, it's what they've been for years. I can understand the desire to add some creative ability in CM, I've been pro that for ages. But what is this bizarre idea that it's a trade off between the two? It's only a tradeoff if you don't have the right players. When people were asking for more progressive passing, more press resistance and perhaps more goals/ assists from midfield they were asking for that in addition to endurance, strength and pace, not instead of it.

As for the bait and switch idea... we've moved a long way past the Athletic puff pieces proclaiming us as next level geniuses operating on a higher plane to other coaching staffs, analytic teams and decision making directors. The reality is we're a dysfunctional organisation at most level right now, and the dysfunctional midfield is a symptom of that.

There's absolutely a way to have both, but it is changing the balance of the system that brought us so much success and needs refining. Changing the midfield to more possession and progressive (but still athletic) would still need a tweaking of how we attack with the middle growing in prominence and positions in transition changing. It will also need to change how we set up to nullify counters. It also means we have to change how we defend through the middle.

Also while I appreythe sentiment that you can have both, a midfielder who possessed world class technical ability along with remarkable athleticism tends to cost lots and lots of money. To be fair we seem to want to buy a midfielder like that in Bellingham, but naturally a team like us without unlimited budgets has to compromise. And in midfield that would generally mean leaning one way or the other ever so slightly with athleticism vs technical skill, or it would mean a jack of all trades unspectacular but quietly great midfield (like a Gini for example)

Offline TepidT2O

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19117 on: January 12, 2023, 09:46:20 am »
A had a dream last night.

We were playing the match against Real and had so many injuries that we had to play Rise in midfield and Kewell up front.

Rise scored the winner on the break and Kewell had a late goal disallowed for hand ball.

There you go
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Offline grenny158

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19118 on: January 12, 2023, 10:07:09 am »
He does not run or tackle effectively. 
Just a tamer, less mobile, less offensive, less talented Thiago.

Tielemans is not good enough for us and we really need to get some proper quality in there, not stock up on more sub par players in that area.

We need Caicedo in, right now. Why we haven't pulled the trigger on him already is beyond me. Quality, young, versatile - what are FSG / Klopp waiting for?

Offline grenny158

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #19119 on: January 12, 2023, 10:09:09 am »
so a resounding
"Tielemans, are you for fucking real?"... then...

 ;D