Author Topic: End of season round table debate (*)  (Read 65953 times)

Offline walshys_mullet

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #160 on: May 30, 2015, 11:47:05 AM »
A brief throwaway paragraph within that piece yet the one thing in that article that's most worthy of real examination if anybody truly wants to understand why we've ended up with so much post season wailing and gnashing of teeth to go with all the same wailing/gnashing that has happened throughout the season.

Indeed, a real journalist would be scrutinising the impact of what happened or rather what didn't happen as a consequence of the contents of this paragraph.

But as they're not, I'll oblige once again

 ;D

In essence the manager was ultimately compelled to field a team without a striker for virtually an entire season, a team whose entire attacking strategy/momentum constituted Coutinho and Sterling for whom the demands ultimately proved too much and saw them run out of steam from the time they took the field against United resulting in the collapse of our season and a manager who'd already been put through the mill reeling like a drunken sailor from that moment on.

But even drunken sailors deserve the loyalty of their fellow crewmen.

Gumbo I agree with lots of your stuff. However a good manager makes the best of things for the club. A good managers solves his situations the best way he can.

Rodgers way suggest making everyone suffer to make a point. Yes the strikers wernt as standard but we are now linked with Benteke, so are we sure he didn't want balotelli and lambert? He certainly wanted borini.

Personally I think he's a bit of a coward and will attribute blame to anyone bar himself. He could have tried two up front for instance rather than a lone striker or none! He didn't even try to make it work. At standard it's lack of ability at worse it's cowardly.

This guy can't afford to lose a preseason game as it stands because of his mismanagement of the team this year.
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Offline walshys_mullet

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #161 on: May 30, 2015, 11:47:37 AM »
Gumbo!!! Ha ha bloody iphone! Sorry Timbo! :D
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #162 on: May 30, 2015, 12:27:46 PM »
Gumbo!!! Ha ha bloody iphone! Sorry Timbo! :D

 :lmao

I do have a few gaps at the back [like our defence :)] but fuckinell Walshy you do realise you've just destroyed for all time my hitherto debonair and sophisticated image with one feckin word!!!

Feckin Gumbo!!!

 ;D
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 12:40:02 PM by Timbo's Goals »

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #163 on: May 30, 2015, 12:47:49 PM »
Really!

Balotelli, Lambert, Borini

He chose to field a team without a striker for virtually an entire season.

Absolutely - like I say "compelled"

Even when those lads played we still never had a forward on the field [other than Sterling] in the sense of the term I'm intending it to be interpreted - in contrast to EVERY other team that played at Anfield last season all of whom boasted at least one, sometimes two and occasionally even three front players each of whom would have significantly improved our attacking/pressing from the front capability/momentum.

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #164 on: May 30, 2015, 01:06:32 PM »
Gumbo I agree with lots of your stuff. However a good manager makes the best of things for the club. A good managers solves his situations the best way he can.

Rodgers way suggest making everyone suffer to make a point. Yes the strikers wernt as standard but we are now linked with Benteke, so are we sure he didn't want balotelli and lambert? He certainly wanted borini.

Personally I think he's a bit of a coward and will attribute blame to anyone bar himself. He could have tried two up front for instance rather than a lone striker or none! He didn't even try to make it work. At standard it's lack of ability at worse it's cowardly.

This guy can't afford to lose a preseason game as it stands because of his mismanagement of the team this year.

There are certainly elements of truth in what you say. But, Hully Gully me arl fruit  ;D, you're cherry picking a bit to suit your agenda.

Yeah - the whole Borini fiasco was/is a fuckin farce and has Rodger's dna is all over it.

Yeah - he could have mixed it up a bit more

Yeah - he does stand in one hell of a precarious position as far as a large swathe of our fans are concerned and if he does manage to hold onto his job anything less than a positive pre-season/initial games will very possibly see unprecedented reaction at Anfield.

Yeah - he possibly [understandably to an extent] was sulking at the hand he was dealt and saw not playing that hand [lambert, Mario and for that matter his own recruit Borini - perhaps he blamed Ayres & Co as much as Borini for not sealing the 14 million deal with Sunderland] as a means of making the point.

However, maybe like me and more than a few others he could see the futility of selecting those players and genuinely felt the team performed far better with Sterling in the central front role with Coutinho feeding him.

That selection certainly looked like the right one for the period around january/February until as I say the two young lads burnt themselves out and with the only other attacking weapon [Jordan Ibe] injured the teams attacking prowess/pressing ability fizzled out to zilch and left us at the mercy of every fuckin team we played starting with United at Anfield.


Offline Twelfth Man

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #165 on: May 30, 2015, 01:10:54 PM »
Yeah - he possibly [understandably to an extent] was sulking at the hand he was dealt and saw not playing that hand [lambert, Mario and for that matter his own recruit Borini - perhaps he blamed Ayres & Co as much as Borini for not sealing the 14 million deal with Sunderland] as a means of making the point.

I detected that too. Not a mature way of handling the situation though.
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 01:12:49 PM by Twelfth Man »
The courts, the rich, the powerful or those in authority never lie. It has been dealt with 'by the courts' nothing to see here run along.

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #166 on: May 30, 2015, 01:16:32 PM »
I detected that too. Not a mature way of handling the situation though.

I'd be a complete hypocrite if I condemned sulking by anyone no matter whether its right or wrong.

Forinstance, Walshy's Mullet is dead as far as I'm concerned now. Nobody calls me Gumbo without some mega fallout!!

 ;D

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #167 on: May 30, 2015, 01:34:02 PM »
I detected that too. Not a mature way of handling the situation though.

Seriously - if there was any sulking that detracted from what we might term proper responsible football management then he deserves a good shafting. But we'll never know for sure especially because as i say the Sterling central forward role saw us playing far better than anything else he did try with the three 'proper' strikers.

Offline JackWard33

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #168 on: May 30, 2015, 02:20:13 PM »
A couple of things which influenced our poor showing that haven't been discussed a huge amount....

1) Luck
People don't want luck to be a factor in anything because it implies a lack of control or in this case blame
But fuck me we were consistently unlucky this season
You can actually measure it analytically (PDO) and we under achieved for most of the season based on our shot differential etc
You can also see it in several games - how different would the season have been for Mario and us if his chance to make it 2-0 in the derby hadn't clipped Howard's shoulder? Little things matter sometimes... Maybe it would have gone the same way but really who knows.

Coupled with this Man United got exceptionally - ridiculously - lucky in the first half of the season. They scored with a really high percentage of their shots on target. They also had a keep who was a ball magnet. Don't get me wrong De Gea is very good but not as good as he looked in the first half of the year when his save rate was totally unsustainable (and it did revert a lot in the second half)
This meant they picked up way more points in the first 1/2 of the season than they normally would have which meant we were always struggling to keep in touch, and then they 'clicked' when it matters

And of course losing Sturridge for the season (which it basically was). It's funny how people want to after time and say 'he's always injured we should have seen it coming' - well not like this he hasn't been. Bar Aguero he's probably the best striker in the league - any club would have struggled without him.


2) The Gerrard problem
Not sure enough has been written about this in this thread - which may be fair enough as he's just left and we're all feeling his absence.

However he was one of the major reasons for our struggles in the first half of this season. It became apparent pretty quickly in the first games of the year that his psychical ability (maybe his emotional appetite?) had fallen off a cliff (you could see it in his numbers very early). Teams were targetting him as the deep lying midfielder and when we played him in a 2 we really struggled to control games or stop attacks through midfield
Honestly he had an absolutely wretched season capped by the stamp in the critical game vs United.

I'm not interested in blaming him but I don't think you can objectively look at our season and not point to his decline and the issues surrounding it as a factor.
I have a lot more sympathy with Rodgers than most over this.
The situation was ridiculously political and difficult. Early in the season the calls on here for him not to start gathered pace but it's just not that simple with Gerrard at Liverpool. Every time he was left out it was an issue in the media or tv coverage and, given his desire not to stick around and be a 'squad player', clearly the man himself.


None of this is meant to write off the obvious mistakes we made this season. I also don't think I'd use these factors as overwhelming reasons for Rodgers to stay but they're probably part of the thinking
I do think it was a difficult season for all sorts of reasons
Unfortunately top 4 will be harder in the coming season than it was in this - this one was a missed opportunity; some of it our fault, some of it not.

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #169 on: May 30, 2015, 02:25:21 PM »
For me this was the right call, we need a striker who can carry the ball, has pace, good in the one on one, has excellent movement,  can hold on to the ball, and can has the energy to pressurize, and is intelligent with the final action.

Without those qualities it we struggle to create and play to the talents of our creative talents. Our best run of the season came with Sterling or Borini up front. Borini offers the movement but has limitations, he cant hod the ball up . Sterling has some of the qualities but at the moment lacks the goal output, and intelligence with the final ball.   

Sterling upfront whilst not being ideal was our best option.
The signing of Ballotelli is the most bizarre, if we are willing to build a team around him he may work, or upfront as part of two,  but frankly he is not good enough to justify building a team around it as this season he was poor with his finishing.

Sturridge has these qualities and excels in our team, and may have worked well with Ballotelli up front but we will never know due to the injuries.

Signing a striker with the above attributes is a must due to Sturridge's injury blighted career. Is Benteke that man? Have not seen enough of him, enlighten me if he is, but there must be a player out there who ticks those boxes and for me ticking those boxes is the key.

   

Spot on. Right to the heart of what went on.

And just to be clear here

What you're saying is - because believe it or not there are those evil souls on these boards who will try to misrepresent you or even worse completely ignore what you say  ;D - he was right to choose to field a team without what may be loosely termed as a recognized striker for virtually an entire season because the strikers in question who were available to him - namely Balotelli, Lambert, Borini - meant he and we were better served with Sterling as his best though far from ideal front man.

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #170 on: May 30, 2015, 02:36:55 PM »
A couple of things which influenced our poor showing that haven't been discussed a huge amount....

1) Luck
People don't want luck to be a factor in anything because it implies a lack of control or in this case blame
But fuck me we were consistently unlucky this season
You can actually measure it analytically (PDO) and we under achieved for most of the season based on our shot differential etc
You can also see it in several games - how different would the season have been for Mario and us if his chance to make it 2-0 in the derby hadn't clipped Howard's shoulder? Little things matter sometimes... Maybe it would have gone the same way but really who knows.

Coupled with this Man United got exceptionally - ridiculously - lucky in the first half of the season. They scored with a really high percentage of their shots on target. They also had a keep who was a ball magnet. Don't get me wrong De Gea is very good but not as good as he looked in the first half of the year when his save rate was totally unsustainable (and it did revert a lot in the second half)
This meant they picked up way more points in the first 1/2 of the season than they normally would have which meant we were always struggling to keep in touch, and then they 'clicked' when it matters

And of course losing Sturridge for the season (which it basically was). It's funny how people want to after time and say 'he's always injured we should have seen it coming' - well not like this he hasn't been. Bar Aguero he's probably the best striker in the league - any club would have struggled without him.


2) The Gerrard problem
Not sure enough has been written about this in this thread - which may be fair enough as he's just left and we're all feeling his absence.

However he was one of the major reasons for our struggles in the first half of this season. It became apparent pretty quickly in the first games of the year that his psychical ability (maybe his emotional appetite?) had fallen off a cliff (you could see it in his numbers very early). Teams were targetting him as the deep lying midfielder and when we played him in a 2 we really struggled to control games or stop attacks through midfield
Honestly he had an absolutely wretched season capped by the stamp in the critical game vs United.

I'm not interested in blaming him but I don't think you can objectively look at our season and not point to his decline and the issues surrounding it as a factor.
I have a lot more sympathy with Rodgers than most over this.
The situation was ridiculously political and difficult. Early in the season the calls on here for him not to start gathered pace but it's just not that simple with Gerrard at Liverpool. Every time he was left out it was an issue in the media or tv coverage and, given his desire not to stick around and be a 'squad player', clearly the man himself.


None of this is meant to write off the obvious mistakes we made this season. I also don't think I'd use these factors as overwhelming reasons for Rodgers to stay but they're probably part of the thinking
I do think it was a difficult season for all sorts of reasons
Unfortunately top 4 will be harder in the coming season than it was in this - this one was a missed opportunity; some of it our fault, some of it not.

Good shouts there Jack.

It's always hard to bring in the 'luck' agenda as the intrinsic argument is that it always evens itself out. Clearly it doesn't. I'd also add in the refereeing aspect. Even in the Stoke game we had utterly ridiculous decisions go against us. Not sure what it is about us these days with referees/linesmen but I can't ever recall decisions going so regularly and consistently against us as I've witnesssed these past few seasons. Also whilst we're on it it's not just those given against us but it's the at times almost blatant refusal of many of the refs to see any foul play in some of the blatant pushing style challenges against the likes of Coutinho, Sterling and lallana. You see at leasy a dozen of such unpunished challenges in every game yet some what I'd term innocuous challenges by our players are pulled up on the spot.

Some may say I'm blinkered in this view. I'm not. The reason I can say it is in all the years I've been watching the Reds I've never once felt anything akin to it. It's become so fucking blatant it's embarrassing.

Agree on the Stevie G shout too. Extremely difficult situation for Rodgers to manage. Impossible actually.

Offline wah00ey

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #171 on: May 30, 2015, 02:49:53 PM »
:lmao

I do have a few gaps at the back [like our defence :)] but fuckinell Walshy you do realise you've just destroyed for all time my hitherto debonair and sophisticated image with one feckin word!!!

Feckin Gumbo!!!

 ;D
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Offline LiverBirdKop

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #172 on: May 30, 2015, 02:53:23 PM »
Yes. And we sent Aspas on loan and decided to have Origi away on loan. We're talking six options and often we try and make it all about Sturridge. Now, everything here is not Rodgers' fault. Others are to blame as well. We know who they are. But few things describe us better than this. Options aplenty, we try and convince ourselves this is the right way. And then we don't play them. We don't throw them out there to try and make it work. Instead we go with no-one, or we play Sterling up front. So really, after another season we don't have a clue about what those players can offer, because we haven't been prepared to trust them. Or,  it could be, and this is my stance, it could be we have all the answers we need. Just a small matter of correcting those problems.
Or "we" single them out publicly *cough* Balotelli *cough*. Cut your nose to spite your face comes to mind with Rodgers.

Offline red mongoose

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #173 on: May 30, 2015, 02:53:41 PM »
A brief throwaway paragraph within that piece yet the one thing in that article that's most worthy of real examination if anybody truly wants to understand why we've ended up with so much post season wailing and gnashing of teeth to go with all the same wailing/gnashing that has happened throughout the season.

Indeed, a real journalist would be scrutinising the impact of what happened or rather what didn't happen as a consequence of the contents of this paragraph.

But as they're not, I'll oblige once again

 ;D

In essence the manager was ultimately compelled to field a team without a striker for virtually an entire season, a team whose entire attacking strategy/momentum constituted Coutinho and Sterling for whom the demands ultimately proved too much and saw them run out of steam from the time they took the field against United resulting in the collapse of our season and a manager who'd already been put through the mill reeling like a drunken sailor from that moment on.

But even drunken sailors deserve the loyalty of their fellow crewmen.

You've been on this for 9 months now and I've been right behind you every step of the way. I would be lying if I said I had no new-found doubts about Brendan after the past several months, but there's also no need for me to add my 2 pence to the cacophony on that score.

Looking at that team that drunkenly stumbled into sixth place and trying to evaluate much of anything is a fool's errand. It was a patchwork of pieces stitched together, taken out, and stitched into a different pattern again and again - all the while missing a third of the picture. We had no functioning strikers to call on. None. That's not a football team - that's, at best, 10/11ths of a football team. In short, a miasma.

For those who say he should have used Balotelli and Borini more, I can only say this: the good lord only gave you the two eyes (with a possible third eye whose mystic properties will do sweet fuck all for your considerations on football). If you can't see what those two lack on every single level by any reasonable criteria, you are doing your sense of sight a sore disservice. One of them has a workrate that grandfathers would mock - the other runs around as if he's in a track and field squad, having seemingly forgotten the need to get on the actual ball at any point.

This season was all about last summer. I didn't see how badly we fucked up at the time - I was full of pie-eyed excitement over most of the signings (bar Balo, whose capture I was never in favour of). More fool me, but it's neither the first nor the last time I'll be completely wrong about something. We can't truly evaluate this season because we weren't playing with a full deck, literally and figuratively. We can't afford to do that again.





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Offline thejbs

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #174 on: May 30, 2015, 03:10:01 PM »
Ballotelli was given a bit of a chance by Rodgers but didn't perform - largely due to the system he was playing in.  I felt that Borini and Lambert weren't given the same chances.  I do feel that Rodgers was given a rough blow through effectively losing Sturridge as well as Suarez, but you must judge a manager on how he adapts to that loss rather than letting them fall back on the excuse.  Teams lose players through injury, that's why squads win leagues. 

If neither Lambert nor Borini were deemed good enough to start ahead of not actually having a striker, both should've been sold (they tried to sell Borini, admittedly) or never bought in the first place.  While others are certainly complicit in this season's failures, Rodgers has been a shadow of the manager he was last season.  Some of his decision making and selections have been lamentable.

I still have respect for him in reserve, based on seeing some of the best football I've ever seen Liverpool play during last season, and wouldn't be completely adverse to him getting another season.  But the problem is Klopp is available.  Rafa is available (until Madrid get him). Ancelotti could potentially be available.  Those three have proven themselves to be better managers than Rodgers is, presently.  To not investigate their availability and financial viability would be negligent of FSG - just as we would sound out a player that was better than the one currently playing in a certain position. 

Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #175 on: May 30, 2015, 03:12:44 PM »


Gumbo

Don't you feckin start!!!

 ;D


You've been on this for 9 months now and I've been right behind you every step of the way. I would be lying if I said I had no new-found doubts about Brendan after the past several months, but there's also no need for me to add my 2 pence to the cacophony on that score.

Looking at that team that drunkenly stumbled into sixth place and trying to evaluate much of anything is a fool's errand. It was a patchwork of pieces stitched together, taken out, and stitched into a different pattern again and again - all the while missing a third of the picture. We had no functioning strikers to call on. None. That's not a football team - that's, at best, 10/11ths of a football team. In short, a miasma.


For those who say he should have used Balotelli and Borini more, I can only say this: the good lord only gave you the two eyes (with a possible third eye whose mystic properties will do sweet fuck all for your considerations on football). If you can't see what those two lack on every single level by any reasonable criteria, you are doing your sense of sight a sore disservice. One of them has a workrate that grandfathers would mock - the other runs around as if he's in a track and field squad, having seemingly forgotten the need to get on the actual ball at any point.

This season was all about last summer. I didn't see how badly we fucked up at the time - I was full of pie-eyed excitement over most of the signings (bar Balo, whose capture I was never in favour of). More fool me, but it's neither the first nor the last time I'll be completely wrong about something. We can't truly evaluate this season because we weren't playing with a full deck, literally and figuratively. We can't afford to do that again.

Okay so hands up I had to look up what miasma was  :) but, my god, that was one hell of a paragraph RM.

The 'fools errand' encapsulates the entire thing so beautifully. Nothing actually made sense so why even go there. The season was a disaster waiting to happen from the moment the stupid fools planted the seeds in the summer. As I've said the thing which angered me most was seeing every team arriving at Anfield - even the lower league teams - equipped with more attacking armoury than the team that had almost won the league and had a Champions League carrot with which to entice anyone they wanted but at least they could have snared a Diouff or a Sahko or a Bolassie or a Puncheon or just one of the Southampton quartet of forward signings. Fuck me.



Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #176 on: May 30, 2015, 03:14:20 PM »
Please Mods, do something custom with this comedy gold :-)

Piss off you

 ;D

Offline wah00ey

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #177 on: May 30, 2015, 03:24:03 PM »
A couple of things which influenced our poor showing that haven't been discussed a huge amount....

1) Luck
People don't want luck to be a factor in anything because it implies a lack of control or in this case blame
But fuck me we were consistently unlucky this season
You can actually measure it analytically (PDO) and we under achieved for most of the season based on our shot differential etc
You can also see it in several games - how different would the season have been for Mario and us if his chance to make it 2-0 in the derby hadn't clipped Howard's shoulder? Little things matter sometimes... Maybe it would have gone the same way but really who knows.

Coupled with this Man United got exceptionally - ridiculously - lucky in the first half of the season. They scored with a really high percentage of their shots on target. They also had a keep who was a ball magnet. Don't get me wrong De Gea is very good but not as good as he looked in the first half of the year when his save rate was totally unsustainable (and it did revert a lot in the second half)
This meant they picked up way more points in the first 1/2 of the season than they normally would have which meant we were always struggling to keep in touch, and then they 'clicked' when it matters

And of course losing Sturridge for the season (which it basically was). It's funny how people want to after time and say 'he's always injured we should have seen it coming' - well not like this he hasn't been. Bar Aguero he's probably the best striker in the league - any club would have struggled without him.


2) The Gerrard problem
Not sure enough has been written about this in this thread - which may be fair enough as he's just left and we're all feeling his absence.

However he was one of the major reasons for our struggles in the first half of this season. It became apparent pretty quickly in the first games of the year that his psychical ability (maybe his emotional appetite?) had fallen off a cliff (you could see it in his numbers very early). Teams were targetting him as the deep lying midfielder and when we played him in a 2 we really struggled to control games or stop attacks through midfield
Honestly he had an absolutely wretched season capped by the stamp in the critical game vs United.

I'm not interested in blaming him but I don't think you can objectively look at our season and not point to his decline and the issues surrounding it as a factor.
I have a lot more sympathy with Rodgers than most over this.
The situation was ridiculously political and difficult. Early in the season the calls on here for him not to start gathered pace but it's just not that simple with Gerrard at Liverpool. Every time he was left out it was an issue in the media or tv coverage and, given his desire not to stick around and be a 'squad player', clearly the man himself.


None of this is meant to write off the obvious mistakes we made this season. I also don't think I'd use these factors as overwhelming reasons for Rodgers to stay but they're probably part of the thinking
I do think it was a difficult season for all sorts of reasons
Unfortunately top 4 will be harder in the coming season than it was in this - this one was a missed opportunity; some of it our fault, some of it not.
Many good points in this.  I do think we're not a very lucky team - there are two types of luck, luck you make yourself and luck you have no influence over.  An example of the former is Suarez anticipating that Stevie might not get full contact on that header against England in the WC last summer and making that run accordingly.  The Balo example given above is a fair example of the luck you cannot influence.  If we talk purely about luck you cannot influence then United had far more of that on their side all season than we did.

I got a ban for suggesting that the second half of the season would become something of a Stevie roadshow but I stand by those statements, I think it did to an extent and cannot possibly have been beneficial to our form.  Personally, I'd give Rodgers another season although I'd hope for some sort of structural change around perhaps a DoF and certainly changes to the way we determine transfers.
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Offline End Product

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #178 on: May 30, 2015, 03:27:54 PM »
Spot on. Right to the heart of what went on.

And just to be clear here

What you're saying is - because believe it or not there are those evil souls on these boards who will try to misrepresent you or even worse completely ignore what you say  ;D - he was right to choose to field a team without what may be loosely termed as a recognized striker for virtually an entire season because the strikers in question who were available to him - namely Balotelli, Lambert, Borini - meant he and we were better served with Sterling as his best though far from ideal front man.

Yep, that's what i mean, my criticism of Rodgers is that we did not work this out sooner. We tried it 2nd half at home to Madrid and we should have stuck with it.   
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Online Gnurglan

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #179 on: May 30, 2015, 03:56:18 PM »
A couple of things which influenced our poor showing that haven't been discussed a huge amount....

1) Luck
People don't want luck to be a factor in anything because it implies a lack of control or in this case blame
But fuck me we were consistently unlucky this season
You can actually measure it analytically (PDO) and we under achieved for most of the season based on our shot differential etc
You can also see it in several games - how different would the season have been for Mario and us if his chance to make it 2-0 in the derby hadn't clipped Howard's shoulder? Little things matter sometimes... Maybe it would have gone the same way but really who knows.

Coupled with this Man United got exceptionally - ridiculously - lucky in the first half of the season. They scored with a really high percentage of their shots on target. They also had a keep who was a ball magnet. Don't get me wrong De Gea is very good but not as good as he looked in the first half of the year when his save rate was totally unsustainable (and it did revert a lot in the second half)
This meant they picked up way more points in the first 1/2 of the season than they normally would have which meant we were always struggling to keep in touch, and then they 'clicked' when it matters

And of course losing Sturridge for the season (which it basically was). It's funny how people want to after time and say 'he's always injured we should have seen it coming' - well not like this he hasn't been. Bar Aguero he's probably the best striker in the league - any club would have struggled without him.


2) The Gerrard problem
Not sure enough has been written about this in this thread - which may be fair enough as he's just left and we're all feeling his absence.

However he was one of the major reasons for our struggles in the first half of this season. It became apparent pretty quickly in the first games of the year that his psychical ability (maybe his emotional appetite?) had fallen off a cliff (you could see it in his numbers very early). Teams were targetting him as the deep lying midfielder and when we played him in a 2 we really struggled to control games or stop attacks through midfield
Honestly he had an absolutely wretched season capped by the stamp in the critical game vs United.

I'm not interested in blaming him but I don't think you can objectively look at our season and not point to his decline and the issues surrounding it as a factor.
I have a lot more sympathy with Rodgers than most over this.
The situation was ridiculously political and difficult. Early in the season the calls on here for him not to start gathered pace but it's just not that simple with Gerrard at Liverpool. Every time he was left out it was an issue in the media or tv coverage and, given his desire not to stick around and be a 'squad player', clearly the man himself.


None of this is meant to write off the obvious mistakes we made this season. I also don't think I'd use these factors as overwhelming reasons for Rodgers to stay but they're probably part of the thinking
I do think it was a difficult season for all sorts of reasons
Unfortunately top 4 will be harder in the coming season than it was in this - this one was a missed opportunity; some of it our fault, some of it not.

You create your own luck. I know there are things you simply can't control, but over the length of a season, I believe we get what we deserve.

Gerrard, this is a real disappointment for me. That we couldn't find a way to use him. Like we did when SAS were playing. Gerrard had a rather poor season by his standards, but was our top scorer in the league. I find that so depressing. A legend has an off season and is still our best goalscorer. And now he's off.

        * * * * * *


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Offline Le_Mot_Juste

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #180 on: May 30, 2015, 04:16:27 PM »
Rodgers on Borini - He's a big talent, 21 years of age, he scores goals, and his passion, focus and concentration is a very important part of his game - and a big part of what you want from a player. I think the supporters will love him.

Rodgers on Lambert -  I am so happy I have got him here. He is a good guy. He works hard and his role will become more prominent throughout the season as we play...He is here to do a job and I trust him to do that job. He will do a great job for us

Rodgers on Balotelli - He is a world-class talent and it is an area we need to strengthen. It is a calculated risk but one where we believe we can help him as a player

Rodgers on transfers - The principle idea when I first came in was that like any manager you will have the first call on a player and the last call. That’s the call on whether he’s good enough to continue to look at and try to organise a deal and the last call to say yes or no. We will never bring in a player here who the manager doesn’t want in. That’s a great credit to the owners and the other people at the club.

But yeah. He was COMPELLED not to play a striker all season. He brought in shit, and then acted as though having shit in our squad was just a completely unavoidable circumstance we couldn't have foreseen.

If Benteke and Ings flop, it'll be the same "we didn't even have a striker!" nonsense. I don't understand how he is absolved of his own transfer fuck ups. They are the principle reason behind the failures of last season.
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Offline Cork Red

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #181 on: May 30, 2015, 04:49:21 PM »
There are certainly elements of truth in what you say. But, Hully Gully me arl fruit  ;D, you're cherry picking a bit to suit your agenda.

Yeah - the whole Borini fiasco was/is a fuckin farce and has Rodger's dna is all over it.

Yeah - he could have mixed it up a bit more

Yeah - he does stand in one hell of a precarious position as far as a large swathe of our fans are concerned and if he does manage to hold onto his job anything less than a positive pre-season/initial games will very possibly see unprecedented reaction at Anfield.

Yeah - he possibly [understandably to an extent] was sulking at the hand he was dealt and saw not playing that hand [lambert, Mario and for that matter his own recruit Borini - perhaps he blamed Ayres & Co as much as Borini for not sealing the 14 million deal with Sunderland] as a means of making the point.

However, maybe like me and more than a few others he could see the futility of selecting those players and genuinely felt the team performed far better with Sterling in the central front role with Coutinho feeding him.

That selection certainly looked like the right one for the period around january/February until as I say the two young lads burnt themselves out and with the only other attacking weapon [Jordan Ibe] injured the teams attacking prowess/pressing ability fizzled out to zilch and left us at the mercy of every fuckin team we played starting with United at Anfield.



Re the bolded bit:  Is that not a huge flaw in Rodgers managerial armour?  He seems too willing to cut off his nose to spite his face.  Similarly I feel he was making a point by repeatedly playing Can at right back in a back 4, when it was clear after 1 game that he just wasn't up to it i.e. you didn't buy me the right back that I wanted last summer so I'm going to play a midfielder there instead.

There's also huge question marks over whether players like Markovic are getting a fair crack of the whip?  Yes, he's been poor in certain games and certainly £20Million was too much to pay for him, but there's been times when there's been much worse performers on the pitch than him and yet he gets subbed.  Similarly Brendan seemed to be very reluctant to give Sakho a fair go, to the extent that he was willing to spend a large portion of last year's transfer budget on a direct replacement for him, who in turn has proven to be a much lesser player.

Both sides, Brendan Rodgers and FSG, need to ask very tough questions of each other in these forthcoming meetings.  Personally I think FSG either need to appoint a Director of Football or else give Rodgers direct control of transfers.  It's pointless us pissing away millions of our scarce transfer resources (scarce in comparison with our rivals) on players that the manager has seemingly no intention of trying to make work. 

Equally, if FSG don't rate Rodgers' eye for a player then they need to make clear to him that he's being employed in a Head Coach role only and it is his job to make the signings work.  Such signings should be made by an experienced, highly regarded Director of Football, not some chancer like Comolli or a Transfer Committee, a fudge of such proportions that it wouldn't look out of place as one of Ollie Reader's half-baked policy initiatives form 'The Thick of It'.

Offline Hinesy

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #182 on: May 30, 2015, 11:07:43 PM »
Some great posts in here, and a massive thank you to Gumbo's Toals ;)

Bump.
Yep.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #183 on: May 30, 2015, 11:24:31 PM »
This thread is RAWK at it's best. Some excellent contributions in here and even the ones I don't agree with are put forward in a manner that at least makes you think alternatively.


Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #184 on: May 30, 2015, 11:50:25 PM »
 
Some great posts in here, and a massive thank you to Gumbo's Toals ;)

Bump.

Ha ha

Wait till Walshy sees his new name

Great fun MH

 :lmao


Offline Hinesy

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #185 on: May 30, 2015, 11:53:26 PM »
That's transfer chat Johnny mate. Can we keep that to the right board ta.
Yep.

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #186 on: May 31, 2015, 12:10:04 AM »
Are you surprised to see us linked to Benteke, who doesn't fit that mold either?

Ooops - Edit - MH - just seen your post to Johnny - posted before seeing it.

I'll be honest Johnny. Yes I am a bit if he is a definite target - though you can never really tell what the intention is until its signed and sealed.

It does look to me if the paper rumours are accurately representing the intended targets that we're aiming for a more physical presence than the season just gone. We did tend to get bullied in a lot of the games last season. There's few sides we ever seemed to outmuscle or overrun. The season before last we overran almost everyone. This season we've struggled. We've outmuscled nobody and overrun very few. So Milner, Ings and benteke may be thought of as the sort of players who can galvanize us in that physical and/or hard running aspect.

Just on Benteke - he's not purely a target man. He has got some mobility about him though he's clearly also not the mobile type that I've been banging on about. That said, he's a powerful unit and I've seen him dominate opposition defenders - mainly ours. Today he was certainly owned by Mertesaker but I think it can be misleading to read too much into that.

I guess with Ings being quite mobile and Origi very mobile and Sturridge on his way back in the late autumn [fingers crossed] plus Ibe and Sterling [presumably] the thinking may be that we'll have a fair bit of mobile attacking outlets so against that backdrop perhaps the physical strength of and power of Benteke might actually provide the right balance. If Lambert or balotelli possessed that sort of physical presence allied to the same mobility then there'd be no need but neither have shown any glimpses of the sort of presence that benteke seems to offer.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 12:14:24 AM by Timbo's Goals »

Offline danwarb

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #187 on: May 31, 2015, 12:22:29 AM »
Many good points in this.  I do think we're not a very lucky team - there are two types of luck, luck you make yourself and luck you have no influence over.  An example of the former is Suarez anticipating that Stevie might not get full contact on that header against England in the WC last summer and making that run accordingly.  The Balo example given above is a fair example of the luck you cannot influence.  If we talk purely about luck you cannot influence then United had far more of that on their side all season than we did.

I got a ban for suggesting that the second half of the season would become something of a Stevie roadshow but I stand by those statements, I think it did to an extent and cannot possibly have been beneficial to our form.  Personally, I'd give Rodgers another season although I'd hope for some sort of structural change around perhaps a DoF and certainly changes to the way we determine transfers.
The second half of the season was when results picked up. We shipped a lot of goals last season, the difference this is that we had no decent forward available throughout. Using Gerrard in a more advanced position, even if that meant more sparingly, could only have helped. For reasons unknown to me, Rodgers persisted with him in a role that prevents him from firing in crosses and getting to the edge of the box. Could've gotten more from Gerrard while our attacking options were so limited. The "roadshow" had no effect. We had few options, poor planning, and clearly didn't make the best of what we had.

Gerrard still finished up top scorer.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 12:24:29 AM by danwarb »

Offline TSC

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #188 on: May 31, 2015, 12:33:00 AM »


Gerrard, this is a real disappointment for me. That we couldn't find a way to use him. Like we did when SAS were playing. Gerrard had a rather poor season by his standards, but was our top scorer in the league. I find that so depressing. A legend has an off season and is still our best goalscorer. And now he's off.

It's heartbreaking the way his career here panned out.  Manna from heaven of course for any non-LFC fans.  But it's telling he still ended up top scorer.  This says more about the incompetence of the rest of the team as opposed to Gerrard being something different.  Gerrard merely chipped in with his usual tally.

One of the things I hate about the club this term is the fact we're letting him go.  He's still so much to offer.  And is still comfortably our best player.  Which some on here won't like to admit.  But he's streets ahead of some of the clowns on our team right now.

Offline alvaro

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #189 on: May 31, 2015, 03:12:43 AM »
Another thing that needs to be talked about is getting our transfers right. Its almost a cliche now but there is some truth to that buying premier league proven. Why do we keep getting linked to these players when its clear its just not a good strategy? Who is in charge of making those decisions? Why arent we looking in the german league that has already surpassed the premier league in its cofficient?  Who is accountable for this mess?
The club is going nowhere at the moment, I have never felt so pessimistic in a preseason. The biggest issue here are the structural flaws of the  overall organization of the club, the manager situation is only the tip of the iceberg.

Offline ScouserAtHeart

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #190 on: May 31, 2015, 05:48:25 AM »
Watching Arsenal win the FA Cup pissed me off. I would've preferred Tim Sherwood to win it so much more. For years we consoled ourselves with "At least we're not Arsenal, they haven't won shit in 9 years." Now they've won 2 back to back, are consistently in the top 4 like they've always been, and we're just drifting further and further away from even them, forget the top 3. They were the ones who were catchable, they were the ones who we could realistically replace in the top 4, and now even they look a million miles away.

We need huge changes around here. Massive. It's almost like everyone's accepted that we're only expected to challenge for top 4, if we get it great, if not, oh well, we can't be expected to achieve it when teams are richer than us. Rodgers got a lot of flak for saying he took off Gerrard to get an ovation from Chelsea fans, but should've been more upsetting should've been is statements about 5th being par. That that's where we should finish if all things are considered.

I hate what we've become. We need that ruthlessness back, players who had a nasty streak, players who hated losing, a manager who makes the most of what he has, who leads and inspires from the front, and a team that does not lose 6-1 to Stoke on Gerrard's final game! Seriously, what the fuck were they and/or the manager thinking at even 3-0? They should've closed ranks and made sure they don't concede another till halftime like their lives depended on it. You don't need a manager telling you that from the sidelines. Have some pride FFS!!

Anyway, rant over. But yes, clearly something has to change if we're to consistently challenge for the title, not just top 4 and the odd cup run. Whether that's the owners, managers, or the players, I'll leave that up to smarter minds to decide
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Offline wah00ey

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #191 on: May 31, 2015, 07:53:26 AM »
The second half of the season was when results picked up. We shipped a lot of goals last season, the difference this is that we had no decent forward available throughout. Using Gerrard in a more advanced position, even if that meant more sparingly, could only have helped. For reasons unknown to me, Rodgers persisted with him in a role that prevents him from firing in crosses and getting to the edge of the box. Could've gotten more from Gerrard while our attacking options were so limited. The "roadshow" had no effect. We had few options, poor planning, and clearly didn't make the best of what we had.

Gerrard still finished up top scorer.
I don't disagree at all that we could have used him much better.  Why, for instance, not use him on the right midfield to try and ping some crosses in for someone like Lambert?  He played there years ago and did exactly the same thing for us.
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Offline RedKenWah

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #192 on: May 31, 2015, 09:13:49 AM »
A couple of things which influenced our poor showing that haven't been discussed a huge amount....

1) Luck
People don't want luck to be a factor in anything because it implies a lack of control or in this case blame
But fuck me we were consistently unlucky this season
You can actually measure it analytically (PDO) and we under achieved for most of the season based on our shot differential etc
You can also see it in several games - how different would the season have been for Mario and us if his chance to make it 2-0 in the derby hadn't clipped Howard's shoulder? Little things matter sometimes... Maybe it would have gone the same way but really who knows.

Coupled with this Man United got exceptionally - ridiculously - lucky in the first half of the season. They scored with a really high percentage of their shots on target. They also had a keep who was a ball magnet. Don't get me wrong De Gea is very good but not as good as he looked in the first half of the year when his save rate was totally unsustainable (and it did revert a lot in the second half)
This meant they picked up way more points in the first 1/2 of the season than they normally would have which meant we were always struggling to keep in touch, and then they 'clicked' when it matters

And of course losing Sturridge for the season (which it basically was). It's funny how people want to after time and say 'he's always injured we should have seen it coming' - well not like this he hasn't been. Bar Aguero he's probably the best striker in the league - any club would have struggled without him.


2) The Gerrard problem
Not sure enough has been written about this in this thread - which may be fair enough as he's just left and we're all feeling his absence.

However he was one of the major reasons for our struggles in the first half of this season. It became apparent pretty quickly in the first games of the year that his psychical ability (maybe his emotional appetite?) had fallen off a cliff (you could see it in his numbers very early). Teams were targetting him as the deep lying midfielder and when we played him in a 2 we really struggled to control games or stop attacks through midfield
Honestly he had an absolutely wretched season capped by the stamp in the critical game vs United.

I'm not interested in blaming him but I don't think you can objectively look at our season and not point to his decline and the issues surrounding it as a factor.
I have a lot more sympathy with Rodgers than most over this.
The situation was ridiculously political and difficult. Early in the season the calls on here for him not to start gathered pace but it's just not that simple with Gerrard at Liverpool. Every time he was left out it was an issue in the media or tv coverage and, given his desire not to stick around and be a 'squad player', clearly the man himself.


None of this is meant to write off the obvious mistakes we made this season. I also don't think I'd use these factors as overwhelming reasons for Rodgers to stay but they're probably part of the thinking
I do think it was a difficult season for all sorts of reasons
Unfortunately top 4 will be harder in the coming season than it was in this - this one was a missed opportunity; some of it our fault, some of it not.

I think there are some things you can point to a club/manager/players when it comes to any form of end of season review, however i don't think Luck is one of them. Imagine flying over to Boston (why?) and the first thing FSG go is "well you weren't very lucky this season... how come la?" any person would have the right to say "?".. as has been mentioned you make your own luck or you do things whereby you ensure you win games. If we were unlucky to have a shite ref on the day, then you do things to ensure having a shite ref doesn't have an influence on the game... i.e. put the ball in the back of the net when you have the chance... if talking about the manager, i don't think he can control luck, but he can certainly control a lot of the other aspects that would affect the team.

The Gerrard issue is an interesting one. Most i would assume would at this stage of his career, would use him in a more sparing manner. He wouldn't be someone who would play 90 minutes every single game, and just by the fact that he was is a testament to his ability and his personal fitness, a lack of thinking of a plan without Gerrard, and/or a sense of Gerrard somehow still being considered un-drop-able. I can imagine trying to manage Gerrard's game time is pretty much a bit of a nightmare as you have a player who has undoubted ability and as he proved still that occasion whereby he can change the course of a game for the better... but he was simply not able to do it for such long extended period's of time. Again can you pull up a manager on this though.. i don't know, you could possibly pull him up on it for the FA Cup semi final game whereby we were playing with 10 men and carrying him... but well you'd ask it in a more general way in terms of "are you selecting the players that are going to be the best team for this club each week" and if the answer to that had been "well no i could have played Allen & Henderson more but chose Gerrard" or whatever then that is something that is a mark against a manager?

I dunno though, however i think if the reports of the review not taking place for at least a fortnight are true.. then that is bad business... i can understand giving it a week after the stoke game, let the dust settle and then look at the season in a more objective manner, but well 2 weeks later, 3 weeks later, all you do is delay things and puts us further back if we were to make the decision of changing the manager. Or if we are going to keep him, then again uncertainty surrounding him doesn't help the team out at all...


Online FlashingBlade

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #193 on: May 31, 2015, 11:13:12 AM »
The 'Gerrard issue' isn't the Gerrard issue at all. its the " Lucas , Henderson, Allen issue' a painful fact in the foreseeable natural decline of Gerrard that none of those three remotely done enough all season to make it a no brainer not to include Gerrard ( as poor as Gerrard played at times).  Can could and should have been promoted to a more central role in the season , if for nothing else to prepare him for the coming season.

And despite to paucity on the pitch a significant factor of this season has been not making Anfield a difficult  place to come to for teams and their fans...on and off the pitch . the football is well covered in this thread  , but the pathetic , pitiful, impotent 'atmosphere' was a fucking embarrassment and a disgrace to the legacy passed down. Even when it was in decline over the Houllier/Benitez years. Last year reached a new low, or more worringly, a new direction. And the reason why I'm positing in this thread is because it had a direct impact on games at Anfield. United being the nadir.

I know there are  many posts about singing etc...but this is different, its not about people 'not being arsed' to sing ...its about a different set of people being encouraged to come to Anfield  by FSG. This is something the 'traditional '  fans need to address somehow. This isn't about Scouser or OOTS , its about having Liverpool fans ( shite atmosphere or not) who 'need' Liverpool to win and can , when needed , make Anfield a place to fear.... now we have too many  Dilenttants!

Everything that is great about this club was laid down over forty years ago. Some have built upon it in their own way. But since David Moores made the suicidal decision to sell club we've been on spiral of decline, we have the trappings of success, 'the brand' delivers that but the reality is  the winning aims of our  football and  culture of our fans  is being dismantled from within. Ive seen some shite seasons over the past 25 years..with occasional spikes of excitement and glory, but nothing like last season, the football was erratic as it has been in the past, but in the past it was still Liverpool and being at Anfield you could still feel the hearbeat of the club on and off the pitch.This Season it felt that heartbeat has stopped....is Rogers the man with the defibrillator?

Offline The Playmaker

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #194 on: May 31, 2015, 11:23:57 AM »
I think there are some things you can point to a club/manager/players when it comes to any form of end of season review, however i don't think Luck is one of them. Imagine flying over to Boston (why?) and the first thing FSG go is "well you weren't very lucky this season... how come la?" any person would have the right to say "?".. as has been mentioned you make your own luck or you do things whereby you ensure you win games. If we were unlucky to have a shite ref on the day, then you do things to ensure having a shite ref doesn't have an influence on the game... i.e. put the ball in the back of the net when you have the chance... if talking about the manager, i don't think he can control luck, but he can certainly control a lot of the other aspects that would affect the team.

The Gerrard issue is an interesting one. Most i would assume would at this stage of his career, would use him in a more sparing manner. He wouldn't be someone who would play 90 minutes every single game, and just by the fact that he was is a testament to his ability and his personal fitness, a lack of thinking of a plan without Gerrard, and/or a sense of Gerrard somehow still being considered un-drop-able. I can imagine trying to manage Gerrard's game time is pretty much a bit of a nightmare as you have a player who has undoubted ability and as he proved still that occasion whereby he can change the course of a game for the better... but he was simply not able to do it for such long extended period's of time. Again can you pull up a manager on this though.. i don't know, you could possibly pull him up on it for the FA Cup semi final game whereby we were playing with 10 men and carrying him... but well you'd ask it in a more general way in terms of "are you selecting the players that are going to be the best team for this club each week" and if the answer to that had been "well no i could have played Allen & Henderson more but chose Gerrard" or whatever then that is something that is a mark against a manager?

I dunno though, however i think if the reports of the review not taking place for at least a fortnight are true.. then that is bad business... i can understand giving it a week after the stoke game, let the dust settle and then look at the season in a more objective manner, but well 2 weeks later, 3 weeks later, all you do is delay things and puts us further back if we were to make the decision of changing the manager. Or if we are going to keep him, then again uncertainty surrounding him doesn't help the team out at all...
Yep. Why does it need to take so long? It should be easy to review our season and to review what went right and what went wrong. Given the recent speculation over transfers, everything points to Brendan staying. If you have watched us over the season, it is easy to see where we made mistakes and what we can improve on. The thought of us delaying it, and then removing the manager, is equally as worrying. If the club wants a change, then make it sooner rather than later.

I agree with yourself about luck. I’m not going to buy the whole excuse of luck. We were presented with numerous chances to get into the top four after the defeats to Arsenal and Manchester United – and we didn’t take them. We were only in the top four once this season and that was after matchday one. For the money we have invested, there should be no excuses of luck. There are plenty of clubs who would love to have invested the money that we have over the years.

Some people talk as if we can’t invest money in the squad when we clearly can. We made several signings over the £15M mark (Markovic, Balotelli, Lallana and Lovren all joined for big fees). We just spent poorly but that doesn’t mean that some of these signings are done here. They just didn’t have the desired impact that we had hoped for in the season just gone.

The management of Steven Gerrard this season wasn’t particularly good – but I do have sympathy with the club and Brendan over it. The problem for them and for Steven was that he has been such an important player for us over the years; the option of sitting on the bench, possibly not getting on the field or the sheer possibility of not even making the squad was too much to handle after years of being a regular.

In an ideal world, we’d be keeping Gerrard next season and using him as impact player from the bench. In the last few games he managed to weigh in with goals and his goal in the Stoke City game, in particular, made me think about how we could have used him in advanced positions next season for the last 15-20 minutes of games. Gerrard is still a fantastic finisher - be it from open play, free-kicks or from the penalty spot. He didn't score as many goals from longe range as he used to - but that didn't matter. He is still clinical inside the penalty box.

Many of us were critical of the management of Steven Gerrard, particularly at the start of the season when he was playing practically every single minute in the same role that he had played last season. He was also often playing three games in seven days. It was clear that Gerrard was fading in games and not having the influence that he wanted to have. The need for rotation was clear but Brendan did seem to ignore it and arguably placed too much trust in Steven Gerrard. It was also clear, at the start of the season, that teams had found a way to nullify him – this was largely down to us no longer having Luis Suarez or Daniel Sturridge. Gerrard didn’t have that outlet for his fantastic long range passing.

The majority of the team did underperform this season for one reason or another. I am still pretty frustrated that we were tight on the striker front. We signed Rickie Lambert (£4M), Mario Balotelli (£16M) and Divock Origi (around £10M – before loaning him out). Around £20M was spent on the first two and they were supposed to be in the squad etc. Origi went out on loan but bumps it up to just £30M spent, and that is on three players - not one. The sheer fact that Brendan gave up on our strikers (and rightfully so, if you ask me) shows you just how wrong we got it last summer. Sterling was our best option as a striker and complemented the people around him far more than Balotelli or Lambert ever did. The only thing you can say about Borini is that he is mobile, and works incredibly hard. But he isn't a top quality footballer - and over the course of a season, I wouldn't expect him to score more than Sterling in that role.

Our policy does need to change. We should never be putting our hopes on Daniel Sturridge staying fit, not when we had over £100M to play with. That is inexcusable for me. Nobody could have predicted that he would be out for as long as he was. But even so – we should still have decent enough options to step in and replace his goals. We didn’t have that because we invested poorly in such an important area of the pitch. I'm all for signing potential and what not. But when you have £100M to play with, and you have just finished second, then you should be aiming to sign people to come in, compete, and even replace people like Daniel Sturridge. Otherwise – what is the point?

Offline slidez

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #195 on: May 31, 2015, 12:23:15 PM »
I think there are so many related things that it makes analysing the season quite difficult..

The signings were obviously one problem but was it down the targets, the negotiations, the valuations, the strategy?  If sanchez had signed, would the season have been different?  Did he not sign cos he wanted london regardless or could he have been signed if the club had pushed harder and got it wrapped up sooner or just offered him more money? 

What was the transfer strategy?  Why do so many signings seem kneejerk?  They couldve signed lovren a year earlier if theyd actually been looking at him, for half the price, instead the sign sakho (a better player by far imo) only to then spend 20 on lovren to replace him on the back of half a decent season.  Lallana was the same, clearly bought cos of his season at shampton.  Too often they seem to buy simply cos of a one off season and its just never a good idea, its like buying someone cos they had a good world cup.

Was lambert bought for depth or as a different option?  Regardless, when it was clear they were struggling to score, why was he not given a few games?  If you sign someone surely its because you think they have value to the team so why would they not get a chance?  Borini was also never used, probably cos they wanted to sell him, but again, they thought he was worth signing in the first place.  If they werent played cos they didnt fit the system.. why buy them at all?  Balotelli had chances and was obviously signed cos it was him or nothing and he just didnt fit or take his chances, but the fact it was him or nothing is another indictment of the strategy.  Why were they not prioritising a scorer?  I dont accept the oh they couldnt have expected sturridge to be out - not as much as he was maybe, but he's always missed chunks of the season so they shouldve expected him to be missing for a third of it and catered for it.

Then we have the overseason market.  Why spend so much on marko only to play him out of position then be sidelined.  Manquillo comes in, does reasonably well, then ends up being a procession of players being played out of position ahead of him.  And why does the common theme seem to be if theres another club actually interested in a player, he wont be signing, if theres no other club involved the player will be signed at a premium?  Has there been one player signed when there was competition for them?  Something is very wrong, either the scouting is picking up players with no thought as to what the manager wants, the manager doesnt know what type of players he's asking for, the negotiation team is unrealistic or a combination of them.

The only players used as would be expected were moreno (young player, given a chance, used in his best position and it accepted when he makes a few mistakes rather than being dropped) and can, tho even he was really only in due to fitting in the back 3.  I dont think theres any point in a mass clearout of last seasons signing.  They should all get another go, but the things that caused them to fail need to be addressed.  Get a destroyed in the middle who will protect the defense and fill in when someones out of position.  dont want a destroyer?  Then youre gonna need a john terry who will marshall the defense and doesnt really get out of position.

Then on to rodgers.  The season starts slowly and he trys it for a while, fine, but then neglects to fix the things that a glaringly obvious.  Gerrard was able to play dm last season due to suarez.  With him and sturridge teams were not able to push as far up so gerrard had less to deal with but even then it didnt work as the defense was leaky.  Without much attacking threat, teams can line up with more in forward mid positions and then they dominate mid.  The only player capable of doing that role was lucas and its no accident that once he was in the team started winning, but then it reverts back to the system that failed at the start of the season?  He also seems to protect some players while calling out others for small mistakes, I dont think its ever a good thing to critiscize players to the press.  Which is another thing, why is so much as the club done in the press?  With chelsea (who have the biggest mouthpiece in football) they never shut up, but they rarely say anything that relates to the football.  If theyre after a player, there will be a story about it, then they will have signed, none of this 2 months of being linked the another month of offers being submitted and turned down.  Currently I have doubts that rodgers has that last 10% that is the difference between doing okay and winning because he hasnt shown much ability to identify what isnt working and change it appropriately.

Leadership and player reputation.  When rafa was there, there was a lot about the team of captains, now its a team of no captains.  Who do the players look to, who has the prescence to sway referees (right or wrong, a player with high reputation will get the benefit from refs sometimes)  This is something that shouldve been considered when players are signed.  As it is now it seems that the senior player is toure who rarely actually plays.  Hendo will be the next captain and he's probably the best option - but he will have to step up to the next level to be anything greater than the player whos got the armband.  A bigger problem is that there are now no world class/top level players at the club.  Who will potential signings see and want to play alongside?  Who will they look at and think they can learn from?  Its just a collection of similar level players, and what teams actually win anything meaningful without a go-to guy?

Currently theres no sign that the club is learning at all.  The targets this season are basically the same as the last few seasons, just different names.  Not a single target thats been leaked so far will address any of the actual problems and until they recognise that Im not sure how it will improve.

Offline DanA

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #196 on: May 31, 2015, 12:38:45 PM »
Personally I don't think two weeks at the end of the season is too long a review. IMO there is a lot to process.

The obvious thing to look at is Rodgers performance but for me that's barely scratching the surface. I'm firmly in the "keep him" camp but I still think it's appropriate to assess his role and performance. My take is that Rodgers, in his maiden Champions League season, failed to cope with the amount of turnover in the squad, the sheer number of big games and the travel. Obviously a big part of the poor performance was the failure to replace Suarez/Sturridge's goals but I strongly suspect Rodgers if he had his time again could do better. Perhaps it's through delegate more to coaches, perhaps taking a more pragmatic game style at times or address things that we didn't have time for with the busy schedule. I feel a lot of these mistakes by Rodgers were essentially teething problems that with more top flight/Champions League experience will disappear. My opinion is that if we were unwilling to accept this type of season then we should never of hired him in the first place. He's a develop manager, development involves mistakes and giving him time to learning from them.

I don't think the review is or should or be limited to Rodgers either. We need a solution to this poor pitch (hard with redevelopment), we need to look at why we selected the players we did, our ability to get deals done and the leadership/squad makeup in general. I firmly believe the first step towards doing that is getting the transfers right this summer. I don't want to buy anymore of these Premier League players coming off a purple patch (Mignolet, Lallana, Lovren, Downing, Adam) and I don't want a target man striker anywhere near this squad at all (Carroll, Balotelli, Lambert). I still think we should keep buying the best 19-22 y/o players we can find, keep investing in the academy and look to bringing in one or two expensive players that we haven't seemed to be able to land since we got Suarez. How different would this side be if we landed Costa, Willian or Sanchez!

 
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 12:40:47 PM by DanA »
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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #197 on: May 31, 2015, 12:43:01 PM »
Looking at that team that drunkenly stumbled into sixth place and trying to evaluate much of anything is a fool's errand. It was a patchwork of pieces stitched together, taken out, and stitched into a different pattern again and again - all the while missing a vital and huge element of the picture. We had no functioning strikers to call on. None whatsoever. That's not a football team - that's, at the very best, 10/11ths of a football team. At worst infinitely much less than that as we've seen many times during the season

Can I just say that this paragraph from Red Mongoose constitutes quintessential reading for every Liverpudlian privileged to view its insight not because it detracts from what anyone else has got to say on last season's debacle but because whatever it is they do have to say needs, by definition, to be wrapped within the context of this paragraph's sobering reality.

Offline Bold Warrior

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #198 on: May 31, 2015, 12:50:11 PM »
I still have respect for him in reserve, based on seeing some of the best football I've ever seen Liverpool play during last season, and wouldn't be completely adverse to him getting another season.  But the problem is Klopp is available.  Rafa is available (until Madrid get him). Ancelotti could potentially be available.  Those three have proven themselves to be better managers than Rodgers is, presently.  To not investigate their availability and financial viability would be negligent of FSG - just as we would sound out a player that was better than the one currently playing in a certain position.
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After weeks of being unsure,i think this sums it up.There are mitigating circumstances to this season,we would probably have walked 4th had Sturridge been available all season and we wouldn't be having this conversation had we made top 4 AND lost 6-1 to Stoke at the end of the season.Mourinho and Van Gaal both god dumped out of cups in even more reidiculous circumstances than our Stoke deficit but these are forgotten now as they have met there respective targets.
In my eyes BR ought to get till Xmas BUT if you have opportunities to get a proven manager should you be passing that chance up?NO.

The be all and end all to it all ultimately is if he has lost the dressing room.If I was the owner id be making a confidential call to Gerrard and asking his opinion..Im sure his love of the club above everything else would give the right answer.

Even with Klopp,Rafa or Ancelotti at the helm I still think we would struggle to win the league without massive investment. We believe we have a god given right to titles because of our record through the 80s and 90s.Would those sides have had the record they did with sugar daddy owners at other clubs? I doubt it.

Offline JustAnotherRedman

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Re: End of season round table debate (*)
« Reply #199 on: May 31, 2015, 01:42:33 PM »
So I'm one of those who never posts. Just passes by and gleans whatever is appreciable off of what is a cacophony of discordant voices. No hurt feelings please. But I had to put in my $0.02. I'm a wool yes.

When Ged left I wished he'd stayed. I'd only started following our club but I kept hoping he'd turn another corner and we would be right there at the top. However, when Rafa came in I was not apprehensive. Here was a twice champion of Spain, Uefa Cup winner coming in. Rafa had pedigree. He led an alright team to the top of Europe. He beat one of the best teams ever in club football at the highest stage. There is no doubt in my head he had a tougher hand dealt to him than Rodgers. With what he had, he built a spine that is the best I've seen as long as I have watched our club. He regularly won games merely by out thinking the other manager. Last season was a difficult season but where were the tactics from Rodgers? He says we lacked goals. We lacked a dominant midfield too. Our defense was letting in goals like a sieve trying to keep out the monsoons.

When Rafa left I was distraught, here was a man (a legend) who needed support from the board and didn't get it. Rodgers is not that man. He's had more support in his three years than Rafa ever did and millions of quids later we are absolutely no where. He's repeatedly said he has the final say in the TC. What reasons could he then possibly have of complaining about the lack of a striker or fault any of the playing personnel. I never wanted to see the King go. NEVER. What I wanted even less was to see him replaced with a manager with zero pedigree. One who said his biggest achievement will be his championship playoff win. One who would pull players of the caliber of Borini, Allen, Lovren et. al. However, I was ready to give him a chance. But I've been let down massively. The only reason we did well last season (and all of you might disagree with this all you want) was because we had the best player I've ever seen put on a red shirt, one of the very best players in the world of football ever, playing like a footballing nicolas cage and Sturridge in the form of his life, Brendan just had to pick the other 9. Suarez lifted the whole team to another level. I remember reading an Coutinho interview about how watching the crazy Uruguayan in training made him train harder. The other team would have had to score 3 - 4 goals every game to beat us. Half the teams were beaten before they got to Anfield knowing Suarez and/or Sturridge would find a way to score except if they played not to win. Half the defence (if not half the team) in every team was busy trying to control Suarez. It wasn't even Brendan's style of football. This season he set us up for his style and we were shite. We are still one of the biggest names in world football (thanks to Shankly, Paisley, Kenny and the Boot Room) and we need, nay deserve a big name.

Some one like de Boer, Klopp or Ancelotti. So when the phone rings and Alexis Sanchez picks it up he's talking to a Champions League winner who's won titles in Holland and Spain and been arguably one of the best players to put on the orange jersey, or a 2 time Bundesliga winning coach who's led his team to a Champions League final, or one of the best midfielders ever who played with Baresi, Maldini, Rijkaard, Gullit (whoa!) and won everything there is to win in club football as a player and a coach, and not hey my name is Brendan I think Allen is the Welsh Xavi. So when Shanchez' woman whines about wanting to live in London he turns around and asks her to shut it and close the door behind her when she leaves. That is where we start. You think Sterling would have the balls to stand up to an Ancelotti or a Klopp? And all of them have worked with transfer committees or similar setups. They have contacts at the highest levels in club football.

Whenever we've had a change in manager I've always been positive about it. I've always supported a Liverpool manager until he isn't managing the red men any more. However, I've never ever wanted a manager gone. Until now that is. Brendan Rodgers is not the answer.

I never had the good fortune of watching Shankly's teams for various reasons: no cable TV, no premier league, and the small detail of me being only a sperm cell in my pop's balls. However I have heard David Peace's "Red or Dead" being called quite accurate. So last year when I read it, I couldn't help but think Klopp is like a modern day Shankly (no he's not Shankly, nobody is Shankly, there are gods and then there are mortals). His fans adore him (did you see that send off after what has been BVB's worst season in recent years?), he's eccentric almost a little crazy, he speaks his mind, he takes defeats personally, he wants his players to be fitter than the oppostion, he wants to out train them so they can out-run and out-last their opponents, he observes the opposition to out-think them, he understands the connection between the fans and the club, Klopp even has a sort of boot room with Watzke and Zorc. FSG should throw everything they have at convincing him to come to Anfield. If they do not bring in a change at this junction it would be downright criminal of them.

If someone still needs a convincing argument that Brendan Rodgers isn't the right man for the job, I give you Brendan Rodgers: "Judge me at the end of three seasons". Three seasons are done Brendan, we are right where we started, arguably quite a bit worse. There's the door and can you please take Lovren and Allen with you. Thanks.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2015, 01:50:03 PM by JustAnotherRedman »