Author Topic: This season’s Defence – an Attack  (Read 75757 times)

royhendo

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #120 on: March 23, 2009, 02:43:41 pm »
For the first time in  a long time I'm not envious of the full backs of the other top teams. Arbeloa was simply brilliant yesterday in the way he overlapped and supported attacks (even if he did get a serious nose bleed towards the end of the first half). Fabio Aurelio, too, is playing majestic football. It's almost as if he's crossed a psychological barrier and he's sure, for the first time in his Liverpool career, that his superior technique can be converted into a Premier League weapon. Possibly it's something to do with feeling truly fit for the first time in years. But the movement off the ball of both players, the crispness of their passing and the adventure they showed (certainly against Villa) is making the pitch so much bigger for Liverpool than a few weeks ago.

Of course the greatest sight yesterday for anyone looking for an attack-minded defence was the introduction of Agger. Sure, Villa had been humbled by the time he came on and there was precious little defending to do. But the two forward runs he made in the last quarter were - hopefully - a taste of things to come. Is there anyone else - apart from Torres - who carries the ball so quickly at Liverpool? It's notable that our other centre backs are reluctant to carry the ball between opposing forwards even when those forwards are standing 20 yards apart from each other. Agger seems happy to go for the gap when the same forwards are a mere 5 yards apart. And by the time he's committed he's in full acceleration mode which means a stationary midfielder in the first line of four has no chance. I think we'll be needing more of this in the next weeks.    

Spot on by the way Yorky! :)  It's been reassuring to hear that Rafa wants Agger tied down - we need to make it happen now.

Are we giving Pepe his due rispek for his vision by the way? Two assists in quick succession...

Offline BazC

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #121 on: March 23, 2009, 02:53:01 pm »
Are we giving Pepe his due rispek for his vision by the way? Two assists in quick succession...

I'm pretty sure that a couple of months back I included Pepe in the attacking football from our defence analysis! Nothing new here- Pepe was doing this assist thing last season for Torres (think it was Fulham at Anfield) and remember Bolton at Anfield this season? That Robbie Keane counter attack- Pepe- quick as you like sets that up. And he's been doing it for the last 4 seasons with us- as soon as he gets the ball he's looking to offload it. In the last 2 seasons though he's always looked to be pick Torres out with those balls. Last couple of games though, it's fallen to our LM and they've put it away fantastically.

Wouldn't swap him for any keeper in the world.

As ever under Rafa, even the goalkeeper is fucking versatile as fuck!

Love watching him smile as well! His face after his assist yesterday was great to see.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #122 on: March 23, 2009, 03:28:31 pm »
We could improve on both perhaps- bit more pace is the big one. I wouldn't though. I think they're good enough. We do need cover for Arbeloa though, but for the first team, at the moment, I wouldn't swap either of them for anyone. Sure you could put forward names like Alves, Ramos, Bosingwa, Clichy, Evra, Lahm etc. but I truly think that the defensive edge that our fullbacks will need means that actually, Aurelio and Arbeloa are pretty much perfect for our team. The likes of Alves et al would be much better in attacking football than our 2, but in terms of defensive solidity, they're nowhere near. We've got a great- perhaps perfect- mix of defensive solidity and attacking ability in our 2. Watching Aurelio is like watching Alonso at left back at times- but one that prodominently uses his left foot. Watching Arbeloa's like watching Riera- he has a great indirect effect on our attacking football- links well with whoever's in front of him or next to him and allows us to move forward. Not like Alves or Evra who are almost like wingers- whipping the ball in at every opportunity and showing that blistering pace- but they do the job well in our side.
LOL Baz!

A few good results changes everything.

I still think this is one area of our we can improve, or perhaps improve the players in front of them, although they are doing very, very well atm.

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #123 on: March 23, 2009, 03:32:16 pm »
I'm pretty sure that a couple of months back I included Pepe in the attacking football from our defence analysis! Nothing new here- Pepe was doing this assist thing last season for Torres (think it was Fulham at Anfield) and remember Bolton at Anfield this season? That Robbie Keane counter attack- Pepe- quick as you like sets that up. And he's been doing it for the last 4 seasons with us- as soon as he gets the ball he's looking to offload it.

I distinctly recall you saying that Baz. I sort of said it too - back at the start of the 2006 season when he was stupidly penalised by a linesman at Bolton who wasn't aware of Reina's advanced techniques:

Pepe Reina is another defensive player who has the ability to think aggressively ahead and buy his forwards that extra second, regardless of the fact that he was so abysmally punished on Saturday for this very skill.

I particularly love the way Reina's first action, on seizing a ball after a set piece, is to run swiftly to the edge of his box. He knows that if he can release it quickly he'll have taken 3 or 4 of opposition players out of the game just by running past them with the ball. In other words, the equivalent of an amazing dribble.

He and Agger are similar in that respect. They are both genuine 'attackers' as well as defenders. They understand how disorientating it can be for the oppo if you bypass their front line while keeping total control of the ball.     
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Offline Dr Cornwallis

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #124 on: March 23, 2009, 03:33:19 pm »
So what's the gist of this now our defence is brilliant?

I still think Arbeloa needs back-up or a rival, and I would like to think that Dossena is hanging around after this season. 
Arby is great but he's succeptable to form and injury as much as anyone else, he needs someone to help him out there.
If Dossena goes, I still don't trust Aurelio and his injury nightmare to be fully behind him.  If we have no Doss and Aurelio gets injured, then we're down to Insua and no cover.

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #125 on: March 23, 2009, 03:41:48 pm »
So what's the gist of this now our defence is brilliant?

I still think Arbeloa needs back-up or a rival, and I would like to think that Dossena is hanging around after this season. 
Arby is great but he's succeptable to form and injury as much as anyone else, he needs someone to help him out there.
If Dossena goes, I still don't trust Aurelio and his injury nightmare to be fully behind him.  If we have no Doss and Aurelio gets injured, then we're down to Insua and no cover.
I don't think it's brilliant. Jamie's game has definitely dipped since 2005 and yet he's the mainstay of the defence. Agger, the best player, is still not assured a berth and there's no guarantee he'll be here next year. If he'd been bossed in the air like Skrtel and Carra were yesterday by Carew and Heskey we'd have a hundred posters on RAWK ignorantly complaining that he was skilful but lightweight.

Arbeloa has a had a grand season however. He's had to of course because there's absolutely no one else who can play right back at that level - including Carra. Imagine how good he could be with a really excellent right midfielder ahead of him. Fabio Aurelio has always been admired by all 'lovers of good football'. The only doubts with him were (and still are) his durability. However I'm not so worried about that now because I'm a big fan of Insua and believe we're well covered on the left. The days of John Arne Riise coming into the team and cocking everything up are over.   
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Offline BazC

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #126 on: March 23, 2009, 04:00:02 pm »
LOL Baz!

A few good results changes everything.

I still think this is one area of our we can improve, or perhaps improve the players in front of them, although they are doing very, very well atm.

Indeed it does change everything- mentally. I mean I have been the one harping on about how good our squad is and we just needed to prove it to ourselves! That's being shown right now- the immense quality this lot has.

Look at Man U and their midfield the last 2 seasons- doesn't look great on paper in my opinion- Giggs, and Scholes playing there, Carrick (good player) and Anderson... a bit makeshift if you ask me. But it's been good enough and with that mental edge they've had over the whole of Europe, they've made it work big time- 2 league titles, an European Cup and that World Club Championship in 2 seasons. Pretty damn good. 

I think our fullbacks are a bit like that- they're good enough for our team and have shown it ever since they were here- not just in the last few weeks- Aurelio and Arsenal a couple of seasons back, Arbeloa against Messi and Barca in his first game for us! But now, they've developed into that zone of confidence in their abilities and the ability of our team- as have other players, the fans, the manager...

As you said in the other thread- more than half the match is played in the head. At the moment that's why we're on top form. That goes to our fullbacks too!

I distinctly recall you saying that Baz. I sort of said it too - back at the start of the 2006 season when he was stupidly penalised by a linesman at Bolton who wasn't aware of Reina's advanced techniques:

I particularly love the way Reina's first action, on seizing a ball after a set piece, is to run swiftly to the edge of his box. He knows that if he can release it quickly he'll have taken 3 or 4 of opposition players out of the game just by running past them with the ball. In other words, the equivalent of an amazing dribble.

He and Agger are similar in that respect. They are both genuine 'attackers' as well as defenders. They understand how disorientating it can be for the oppo if you bypass their front line while keeping total control of the ball.    

Brilliant technique isn't it? I have to admit everytime I see Pepe run to the edge of the box and unleash a kick I always think back to that Bolton freekick that resulted in us losing a goal (and actually, we lost that game 2-0 I believe with that being the 1st goal). But he was well inside the box when he let it drop from his hands. Idiot linesman.

Good point about releasing it quickly- it's one of the reasons we're so accomplished at counter attacking football- all across the defence we have the ability to spring a quick pass to our attackers.

Agger bringing the ball out of defence is an amazing skill to have too- did it twice yesterday and he was barely on (although it was easy for any of our defensive players to come out and go for Villa at that point- the point I made about Lucas playing so well from holding midfield).

In terms of our defence- I'd put it as our weakest area! I'm not overly confident with Skrtel or Carra I have to admit. Skrtel needs to calm down a bit and take a leaf out of Hyypia's or Agger's book and take more of a measured approach. Carra- defensively can't fault him most of the time, but when he needs to play the ball forward, it's not that great. I don't think it's brilliant, but then I do think it's more than capable enough when they're not being hassled by a strong target man (at which point I get nervous).

Arbeloa definitely needs another RB in the squad to keep him going and to come in when he's injured. Degen isn't that player and I hope Rafa let's him go- no point in him being here if he's barely able to play 10 minutes over the whole season. Waste of wages and waste of a place in the squad. Swap him for a RB who can play, and who is good cover and a good option for the squad and it's set.

As for Aurelio- he stays fit, he's unquestionanly in the team. But that's the crux of it- how long can a rich run of fitness last for him? Jury's out on Dossena (I don't think he's shown a great deal of defensive ability- something we do need to have in a fullback) but Insua, for me, should be the 2nd choice. We're covered on the left as yorky says.

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royhendo

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #127 on: March 23, 2009, 04:00:46 pm »
I distinctly recall you saying that Baz. I sort of said it too - back at the start of the 2006 season when he was stupidly penalised by a linesman at Bolton who wasn't aware of Reina's advanced techniques:

I particularly love the way Reina's first action, on seizing a ball after a set piece, is to run swiftly to the edge of his box. He knows that if he can release it quickly he'll have taken 3 or 4 of opposition players out of the game just by running past them with the ball. In other words, the equivalent of an amazing dribble.

He and Agger are similar in that respect. They are both genuine 'attackers' as well as defenders. They understand how disorientating it can be for the oppo if you bypass their front line while keeping total control of the ball.    

That's right - it's not just the long passes either - the simpler involvement in our transition is always positive - remember the Robbie Keane (remember him?) goal against West Brom on the break? It all stemmed from Pepe.

Offline redmeanmachine

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #128 on: April 13, 2009, 06:57:06 am »
Another great run and goal from Agger. I really hope he starts against Chelsea.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #129 on: April 13, 2009, 11:08:48 am »
Another great run and goal from Agger. I really hope he starts against Chelsea.
The goal was wonderful but there were a number of things he did against Blackburn that were of a different class than we've been used to. There was a moment in the first half where he had the ball on his right foot with two Blackburn players closing in. For all the world it looked like he was going to make a conservative square pass across to Carragher but instead he feinted and hit the ball hard between the two attackers to Benayoun (I think). He also followed it. Then there was the slightly reckless cross-field ball from Mascherano in the second half where Agger, under pressure, pulled down the ball and again slipped it forward and followed it.

It's this desire to follow his own pass that kills opponents. By the second half Blackburn were being constantly out-numbered on the left because of Agger's (and Insua's) desire to move forward with the ball. His goal came from another 3 on 2 situation. In the modern  game it can be just as destructive to take the ball past an opponent in your own half as it can in the opposition's - and Agger does this a helluva lot. People will say "ok, it was only Blackburn". But think of all those bloody 0-0s against teams of equal stature. One of the reasons for those stalemates was our inability to attack from the back.

How good is Agger? Well there isn't a team in the world that he wouldn't improve by being in it.   Long live his Liverpool career.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #130 on: April 22, 2009, 01:23:14 am »
Looks like this area of the team could be highlighted for improvement more than we thought.

Offline Loz81

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #131 on: April 22, 2009, 01:12:35 pm »
Looks like this area of the team could be highlighted for improvement more than we thought.

I think it is a little difficult to assess at the minute. Many of the goals conceded recently, especially last night, were due  to individual errors rather than being continuously outmaneuvered by an irresistible attacking force (that's us, no one else!!). I would be more inclined to say errors such as the lapses that led to some of the goals last night and Reina's mistake for Drogba's goal at Chelsea are due to tiredness at the end of the season or the intensity of the match at the time. I wouldn't have expected the treble winning team in 2001 to have conceded 4 goals in a final if they had played for 2 weeks but the frenetic nature of the game, like last nights meant that mistakes were made were you wouldn't normally expect them to be made.

Some people have said that Carra has been below par but i haven't seen enough live games this season to really comment. Skrtel-Agger seems to be the partnership of the future, does anyone see this pairing appearing more often next year?

Back on to topic, certainly a team that has Agger and Reina in it has that extra dimension in attacking terms. Just need someone to take over Sami's role of scoring from set pieces.

royhendo

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #132 on: May 7, 2009, 05:27:06 pm »
Carragher's praised in the chalkboards this week for his build-up play, would you believe...

http://www.guardian.co.uk/football/blog/2009/may/07/chalkboards

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #133 on: May 20, 2009, 03:23:31 pm »
Did it happen? Did the defence become the first line of attack this season? Did we improve in an area where - according to the OP - were we weak compared to our rivals? Well Pepe may well win the Golden Gloves again so our defensive soundess - again - is not in question. But I'd say we have only half solved this question of attacking from the back.

On the flanks we have definitely got better. Arbeloa, mystifyingly, still has his critics but there's no questioning the quality (and consistentcy) of his contribution this season. Much of Kuyt's improvement on the right is down, I think, to Arbeloa's willingness to support him in attack and get beyond him too. It's not always the easiest of tasks because Kuyt is not a master of the early ball and consequently an overlapping Arbeloa is often caught for space or forced into contending for a ball that could have been delivered to his feet. But as an attacking pair they've had some good times in the last two months.

The other flank is fine. Aurelio and Insua are such a cosmic improvement on Riise that the reckless squandering of possession that characterised much of our build-up play on the left is now just a bad memory.

The central defence though did not attack this season (at least until Agger was allowed a few games near the end). The same problems referred to in the OP are still there. In particular another few inches of turgid paste have coagulated around Jamie's ankles - or so it sometimes seems. Too often this season we have dithered with the ball at the back when a quicker delivery or an ability to move smartly in possession would have unseated opponents who were disorganised, tiring and starved of possession. The result is that inferior opponents, all too often, have been allowed to slip into something more comfortable while our central defence decides what to do with the ball.

The main problem is that Jamie now spurns every single chance to move forward with the ball. The giveaway hopping, stuttering run that degenerates into him using the sole of his boot to nudge the ball forward is getting more pronounced all the time. The tedious, pressure-releasing passbacks to Reina are becoming more frequent, not less. I really hope, next season, we see what Agger and Skrtel can do together. Not all the time, perhaps, but at least once. OK, maybe twice.   

« Last Edit: May 20, 2009, 03:30:08 pm by yorkykopite »
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #134 on: May 20, 2009, 04:03:30 pm »
In training matches, Carragher shouldn't be allowed to pass to the keeper.

He delays possession because he knows that he always has this option

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #135 on: May 21, 2009, 09:46:31 pm »
Brilliant stuff again, and spot on. :wellin

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #136 on: May 21, 2009, 10:10:31 pm »
The main problem is that Jamie now spurns every single chance to move forward with the ball. The giveaway hopping, stuttering run that degenerates into him using the sole of his boot to nudge the ball forward is getting more pronounced all the time. The tedious, pressure-releasing passbacks to Reina are becoming more frequent, not less.

This bit stuck with me, Yorky, and I got to thinking about Carra as a player. I'm inclined to think he is mentally one of the best we've ever had, but technically as limited as we've had since Henchoz. Frankly, he's been so brilliant for us that you don't realise how surprised you are when he shows a bit of skill, or a dashing forward run that ends in something. He's been so dependable and vital for us in defence that we forgive him his lack of other things.

I'm not talking about screw ups, by the way, as Carra is one of those invaluable players who you can rely on to be in the right place and do the right thing. You feel reassured when he's playing, but you sure as hell aren't looking for creativity. Also, he seems to be a little insane, which is an excellent quality in a sports person. You need that almost psychotic desire to get to the top of a game like football. Carra is a bit like Roy Keane, in that they were both technically limited but obsessed with challenging and winning and commitment.

I have mixed feelings about all of that. The guy has done so much for the club that it feels sort of disloyal to be saying this stuff. Nonetheless, it's true and we all know it. Carra is a great player to have on your team but he doesn't give much going forward.

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #137 on: May 21, 2009, 10:56:39 pm »
I'd agree with that Corky. The psychological aspect especially - how Carragher's presence, alone, comes with its own guarantee. I just think it's now got to the point where his weaknesses outweigh his strengths. The idea of dropping him though remains a taboo, even when this means that excellent performances by the other two centre backs have to be rewarded by a spell on the bench. That's not right.

Rafa has contributed to his own problem as well. Life without Carragher remains unimaginable because we haven't even been given a glimpse of what it might involve. The result is that you get people on this webiste freaking out at the prospect of Agger and Skrtel lining up together. It's never happened and therefore it's inconceivable. 'Inconceivable' then becomes a synonym for 'disastous'.

Who's going to shout? Who'll yell when things aren't right? Who's going to work the offside trap? We're all doomed! etc etc.

Ridiculous really, unless you believe Agger and Skrtel are still kiddies.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #138 on: May 21, 2009, 11:55:10 pm »
Who's going to shout? Who'll yell when things aren't right? Who's going to work the offside trap? We're all doomed! etc etc.

Ridiculous really, unless you believe Agger and Skrtel are still kiddies.

Not sure I'd go that far. When you've had a guy bossing everyone for that long, there will be an inevitable period of adjustment. You think either of Agger or Skrtel will decide to take orders from the other?

I agree, though, that Rafa has made his bed by not blooding the two.

Ha, we just complained about Rafa not rotating enough!

Offline lomokompakt

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #139 on: May 22, 2009, 06:58:57 am »
Not sure I'd go that far. When you've had a guy bossing everyone for that long, there will be an inevitable period of adjustment. You think either of Agger or Skrtel will decide to take orders from the other?

The season after the Mancs got rid of Keane, they won the league having replaced him with a clearly inferior player(Carrick)

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #140 on: May 22, 2009, 11:01:54 am »
The omission of Carragher from the starting XI needs to be handled carefully.  He is a legend in all fans eyes and this is emphasised by the fact that he is a local boy.  Benitez is in a difficult situation because Carragher still has much to offer but what he has to offer may not be what we need for 80% of the league campaign.  Carragher, like Hyypia in recent years, needs to accept that his role in the squad will change, not his importance to the team, because, playing or not, Carragher can play a vital role in determining the team's success.  But even big Sami left for pastures new in search of first team football.


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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #141 on: May 22, 2009, 12:59:02 pm »
This bit stuck with me, Yorky...

The bit that stuck with me is the opposing side slipping into something more comfortable. ;D

I've been expecting you, Meester Alonso...

Anyway, I reckon the bust up at West Brom, right or wrong (personally I didn't see the problem with it per se but hey - modern life is rubbish), has made the transition a little easier in the eyes of a lot of fans. There wouldn't be the same degree of backlash I don't think.

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #142 on: May 22, 2009, 01:03:32 pm »
The season after the Mancs got rid of Keane, they won the league having replaced him with a clearly inferior player(Carrick)

Technically that was Keane's replacement, but United's failure to find an apt replacement for Keane whilst he was in decline was a crucial factor in them being of the pace for a few years and a major part of Keane's grievences with Fergie. Djemba Djemba, Kleberson and Liam Miller weren't  quite up to it ;D.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #143 on: May 26, 2009, 08:55:22 am »
Nice through ball from Agger (to Gerrard) on the edge of the oppositions box the other day.

I guess thats more than just building from the back.  That is final third playmaking football.  What a threat we have in Agger; the opposition can get touch tight on Alonso, Mascherano and Gerrard, but let Agger stroll through the middle ready to strike on goal or play through balls to the attackers.

Do they mark Agger as well? Subsequently leaving space for the attackers?

What do they do?  WHAT DO THEY DO??


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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #144 on: May 26, 2009, 09:27:07 am »
What do they do?  WHAT DO THEY DO??
'Tis indeed a conundrum for the poor bastards.  I pity them.
« Last Edit: May 26, 2009, 10:35:20 am by Raul. »

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #145 on: May 26, 2009, 10:31:06 am »
'Tis indeed a conundrm for the poor bastards.  I pity them.

;D

To think we were, apparently, about to sell him to Milan for a few million.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #146 on: May 26, 2009, 11:43:34 am »
What was astonishing - again - about Agger's forays upfield is just how few steps it takes him to move from the classic deep-lying centre back position with everyone in front of him to the edge of an opponents' box with just two or three of the back line to beat. It's the most incisive move we have got.

Very few teams in the Premier League have a centre back capable of moving swiftly upfield with the ball. Most don't even try. But at the risk of sounding greedy I'm wondering now what the effect would be of having two centre halves who are prepared to carry the ball forward at speed? The presence of Agger in our team already forces the opposition to do things it would prefer not to do - mainly stretch themselves when they don't have the ball for fear he'll gobble up empty space and set off on a forward surge. The impact of Skrtel doing the same would stretch the bus-parkers further. If he could do it, or at least pose a credible threat, it would unhinge opposing teams even more. There'd be even less time to 'relax' and regroup when our defence had the ball.

Question is, can he? 
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #147 on: May 26, 2009, 12:54:52 pm »
How many games against the park-the-bussers did Agger start this season?

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #148 on: May 26, 2009, 01:23:44 pm »
Question is, can he? 

I think he can (I have the Real Madrid game in mind here), but he'd need to be encouraged - there's the rub.

And then there's talk of new centre halves entering the equation. I've not seen enough of Wheater to make a judgement, but he's never struck me as a Rolls Royce footballer.

Offline liverbnz

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #149 on: May 26, 2009, 01:43:35 pm »
How many games against the park-the-bussers did Agger start this season?

Don't think Agger started in any of our 0-0 this season. Skrtel was injured against West Ham and Fulham but I think Hyypia started both of those. Note sure if Agger was injured away at Stoke either, Skrtel was just back from injury the week or 2 before and he played there. Could have played Agger on his own at the back that day for the little attacking that Stoke did.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #150 on: May 26, 2009, 02:41:15 pm »
And then there's talk of new centre halves entering the equation. I've not seen enough of Wheater to make a judgement, but he's never struck me as a Rolls Royce footballer.
That's because he is not mate.

Wheater is a big, strong lad but technically he could be as limited as Carragher.

Skrtel most definitely can become a capable ball carrier.  His touch is assured and he covers the ground well with the ball.  I don't think playing with Carragher regularly has helped him with developing his ball playing skills.   

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #151 on: May 26, 2009, 03:00:22 pm »
What do I know... who can argue with MLT, after all!?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wheater

Quote
Wheater was named in an understrength Middlesbrough side away to Bristol City in the FA Cup third round, when he saved his team with a goal as he burst forward from the back and scored the winner in a 2–1 at Ashton Gate. Matt Le Tissier was reporting the match on Gillette Soccer Saturday and made the following comment about the goal; "Wheater carried on his run and he came in with a right foot finish - a great finish for a centre back - it was Beckenbauer-esque!"

;)

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #152 on: May 26, 2009, 06:23:15 pm »
What do I know... who can argue with MLT, after all!?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Wheater

;)

From when I've seen Wheater he's no Roller but he isn't a Metro either. He's reasonably tidy and has OK passing and general ball ability - I'd say he's a lot less hesitant than Carra is at least, if not perhaps significantly technically better he seems more prepared to trust what technique he does have, if that makes sense.

Mind you, anyone would look technically gifted after playing games next to Robert Hoof.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #153 on: June 30, 2009, 05:29:48 pm »
That's because he is not mate.

Wheater is a big, strong lad but technically he could be as limited as Carragher.

Skrtel most definitely can become a capable ball carrier.  His touch is assured and he covers the ground well with the ball.  I don't think playing with Carragher regularly has helped him with developing his ball playing skills.  

Not sure how you can say Skrtel is technically more gifted than Jamie as while neither are any Aggers, Skrtel is definitely weaker than Jamie when it comes to calmness on the ball / in defense. He has been playing top level / international football for the past 5 plus years but what you see today at 24 / 25 is pretty much what you will see for the next 5 years. Good in the air, hard in the tackle but is more of a Row Z guy than anything else as he will not take any chances with the ball. Its not his job to do that but honestly we need someone in the Sami mode alongside Agger and I am not sure Skrtel has it, ie a certain calmness when the pressure is on and the ability to strive forward when the ball is at feet & there is room to do so. I much prefer Jamie to keep the slot alongside Agger for now while Skrtel is a great back up. He will hopefully prove me wrong but I do not think he will be in our defense 4 or 5 years from now.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #154 on: June 30, 2009, 07:15:43 pm »
Not sure how you can say Skrtel is technically more gifted than Jamie as while neither are any Aggers, Skrtel is definitely weaker than Jamie when it comes to calmness on the ball / in defense. He has been playing top level / international football for the past 5 plus years but what you see today at 24 / 25 is pretty much what you will see for the next 5 years. Good in the air, hard in the tackle but is more of a Row Z guy than anything else as he will not take any chances with the ball. Its not his job to do that but honestly we need someone in the Sami mode alongside Agger and I am not sure Skrtel has it, ie a certain calmness when the pressure is on and the ability to strive forward when the ball is at feet & there is room to do so. I much prefer Jamie to keep the slot alongside Agger for now while Skrtel is a great back up. He will hopefully prove me wrong but I do not think he will be in our defense 4 or 5 years from now.

Skrtel is far better on the ball than Carra.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #155 on: June 30, 2009, 09:13:13 pm »
You think? One lad is like a fish out of water when he plays out of position while the other has played all over the defense (& even in midfield) over the years even to the point of doing the same internationally.


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Offline abhred

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #156 on: June 30, 2009, 09:55:48 pm »
You think? One lad is like a fish out of water when he plays out of position while the other has played all over the defense (& even in midfield) over the years even to the point of doing the same internationally.


Skrtel played at right back for the first time in his life probably against Boro in a competitive game. How can you even base their ball playing skills in that? Skrtel's showed me enough with his passing, his speed, and willingness to carry the ball forward that he's much better than Carra on the ball.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #157 on: June 30, 2009, 09:56:23 pm »
You think? One lad is like a fish out of water when he plays out of position while the other has played all over the defense (& even in midfield) over the years even to the point of doing the same internationally.

Skrtel is much better than Carra with the ball. Being able to play in different positions is irrelevant. That has more to do with positioning and knowing whats around you.

Carra is pretty horrible with the ball at his feet, especially facing  2 banks of four men. He'll usually roll the ball forward to the half-way line then turn on his heel and look to pass it back. He hits the odd decent long ball (vs Blackburn for Torres' wonder goal) but with the amount he hits, one or two are bound to come off, law of averages, shit on the wall and so on. His lack of comfort and ability on the ball stuck out like a sore thumb in our 0-0ers last season,

Skrtel on the other hand is much more comfortable and will look to stride forward through the midfield and have a shot (vs Man U Sep 08 and West Ham Feb 08) or he can ping a decent ball to the winger (vs Man City Oct 08). Unlike Carra, he will always show for the ball in the midfield area, and while he is not as accomplished as Agger he can certainly be another option that 10 men defences have to deal with, which is vital to disrupting their rhythm and set-up. This has never been and never will be the case with Carra, despite his many other fine attributes.
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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #158 on: June 30, 2009, 10:14:07 pm »
How can you say Skrtel is better with the ball and then in the next sentence state Jamie is better in knowing what's around him? If you know what is going on around you then you have more options thus better with the ball when it comes to you.

Neither are geniuses with the ball but Jamie seems a lot more composed (the old head gives him that composure I guess) as several games last year Skrtel did look very rushed when he was under pressure. Thats just an observation, nothing against the lad as between them both opposing defenses are never worried about our central back line when they play. Different kettle of fish when Agger starts and if Danny is a must pick from here onwards Jamie gets my nod to start alongside him. 
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Offline liverbnz

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Re: This season’s Defence – an Attack
« Reply #159 on: June 30, 2009, 10:43:01 pm »
How can you say Skrtel is better with the ball and then in the next sentence state Jamie is better in knowing what's around him? If you know what is going on around you then you have more options thus better with the ball when it comes to you.



because they are totally different attributes. Skrtel knows he has ability on the ball and that gives him the confidence. Carra knows he isn't which is why he turns and passes it back or lumps it upfield. Knowing what's around you doesn't automatically mean you'll be good on the ball! How can it?  One is a mental attritbute while the other is a physical talent. Carra may feel more comfortable but it doesn't take away from the fact that he hasn't got the ability that Skrtel does on the ball.
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