Author Topic: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool  (Read 13716 times)

Offline The Piss-artist Formerly Known As Trendisnotdestiny

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #40 on: November 25, 2017, 03:30:35 AM »
Holy crap, PoP is back!  Babu and PoP in the same thread?  Shit, I am going to have restart my education again.

Cheers! Everyone, the season is looking up.
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Offline PhaseOfPlay

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2017, 03:32:03 AM »
So, second half as I watch it - 54th minute, headed clearance by Lovren, bit of back and forth on the LFC right side, one more chipped ball in, Lovren heads it out, it lands at Coutinho who has space to turn - but he clears it. Then, 59th minute, Lovren heads a clearance out, lands at Coutinho, Coutinho plays it back to Moreno, Moreno miscontrols, contacts Sevilla player, penalty. The fine margins of football - if Coutinho had just switched those two decisions around, and cleared the second ball but played the first ball back - it might have stayed at 3-1 a lot longer.

But I stand by my initial impression - the midfielders weren't really to blame. We played too many hit-and-hope balls and too many clearances, and the attackers couldn't make it stick up front, so the midfield were at odds and ends. To add to that, Sevilla were REALLY good with their solution to the press - they played quick triangle-pattern one-touch football, their fullbacks had two patterns of play (the long ball down the line or the big diagonal switch) and unlike Liverpool who attacked from wherever they won the ball, Sevilla often won the ball and played it all the way back to their defenders, which gave their attacking players time to find position while we pushed up looking for the pressing triggers. They were consistently able to get their wingers free behind our fullbacks, with through-balls, and they really worked the counter to the counter-press very well. It's actually impressive.

On the other hand, we had two gilt-edged chances to make it 4-2 at one point (Salah got in, and Can's one at the near post that could and should have found an open Mane at the back post)

Game of fine margins. I don't think it's something we can pinpoint on "mentality" or "lack of midfield composure" or such like. There were definitely technical mistakes, but it was a game of two halves in pure cliche form - We exploited their first-half patterns for our own gains, and they switched it up and figured out how to exploit our strategy for their gains in the second. We still need to be better on set-pieces, and the penalty was something you'd hope to not see again (although the free kick also comes from Moreno again engaging with an attacker running away from goal, with his back to the play. He really isn't a smart player at all), but overall I don't think it would be unfair to say that Sevilla earned something from that game, if for no other reason than they figured out how to Gegen the Gegenpress :)
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Offline kevlumley

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2017, 05:00:10 AM »
I really agree with phase of play analysis, especially this:-

We lost the lead because of the growing trend over the past number of years in football to leave the near and back posts uncovered

It's a system we play, but one man on the far post, where Karius has the entire goal to cover. It just seems, like basics, one man on the post.

I was too busy focusing on us conceding the first two goals, to really see what happened with the substitutions, but did Can and Milner offer us protection? Clearly we kept it at 3-2 til 93 mins, so probably, yes, they did. But I certainly remember Can being late to a lot of ball winning/clearing opportunities.

After the final, it was clear how Sevilla were able to play right through our midfield, I think the only option we had at the time, was to bring on the Welsh Pirlo. Not sure we have addressed the problem really. We prefer an attack minded midfield, not one that seems to be able to easily break up an oppositions attack. It seems to me like you cannot have everything in players, so you either go for a defensive midfield or an attacking one. Players like Coutinho, Firmino and Lallana all similar in that final.

So looking back at this game, things have changed, but Sevilla have clearly got a good plan to counter us. A big part of it was knowing Moreno and good first half analysis. As with the final, they knew how to beat us.

Offline God's Left Peg

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2017, 07:04:10 AM »
"The socialism I believe in is everybody working for the same goal and everybody having a share in the rewards. That's how I see football, that's how I see life."

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #44 on: November 25, 2017, 07:23:11 AM »
Wide words. It always seems to me that, bar one exception, we're constantly looking for an amalgam of our previous managers to get us to where we want to be, because extreme possession and resting on the ball would have been perfect against Sevilla, which is what Rodgers brought; Klopp's way got us in front; and Rafa's tactics would have changed the game once the first goal went in.

Instead of investing in transfer committees, analytics, and moneyball, maybe they should be throwing their money into building a management cyborg. A Voltron of football coaches, if you will.

I know this post is a bit tongue in cheek, but... Would it not suggest that we lack tactical flexibility?
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Offline goalrushatgoodison

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #45 on: November 25, 2017, 08:46:23 AM »
Babu and PoP in the same thread? 

For exactly this reason, I have long surmised that Babu and PoP might be the same person 😉. Like Michael and La Toya we never actually seen them in the same place at the same time!

Of course this could be a cunning ruse to throw me off the scent!

Welcome back PoP and keep up the good work Babu.



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Offline Timbo's Goals

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #46 on: November 25, 2017, 10:08:16 AM »
Just to reaffirm what others have said about having both Babu and PoP to provide us with these superb forensic scrutinies of our games. Also a special mention to Klippity klopp for his painstaking contribution to the analysis.

We have these sort of unfathomable games from time to time where it becomes so difficult to pinpoint precisely what went on. The rather fortuitous [fortuitous until around the 65th minute that is whereafter we could have scored another 5 goals] 1-4 victory against West Ham is another recent game where it was so difficult to nail the true picture of how the game was going until that 65th minute when we seemed to be able to create opportunities at will.

As for Tuesday night's game, I think there has already been so much wonderfully informative analysis, so I'm only going to offer my thoughts on one aspect which I don't think has been oversubscribed in here. Namely home advantage.

On Tuesday night despite all the unfair and quite significant advantages bestowed upon them by an absolute c*nt of a referee who bought every fake dive of the Seville players  I felt Seville were the superior team by some margin for the entire 90 minutes [bar the closing 5 minutes of the first half wherein we seemed to at last find some fluency and momentum]. As such,  a draw was the minimum they deserved - however begrudgingly I say it as I so intensely despised the manic unsavouriness of their approach right down to the 'love to smack him right in the fucking gob' arrogance of their fucking gruesome ball youth.

And yet month or so ago the corresponding game at Anfield had seen the complete reversal of game ascendancy with the Reds as the superior team by an equally great margin - without so much as a modicum of Seville's unsavouriness it needs also to be said.

And so I do think that at times for all the tactical and game management intricacies that can most certainly impact upon the proceedings, there are instances where the more simple explanation of home advantage can actually be more of a deciding factor than many might think. In my own supporting life two instances of this stick out like sore thumbs in supporting this notion. One is from 1963 - we beat Spurs 5-2 at Anfield on easter saturday and on Easter Monday lost 7-2 at white hart lane. the other is 1965 when we murdered Inter Milan at Anfield 3-1 which should have been 4-1 because of lawler's disallowed wonder goal and could easily have been 5 or 6-1. Then a week later we lost heavily 3-0 in the second leg at a manic San Siro, where again despite the subsequently proven bias of the referee in favour of Inter we were in truth well beaten.   
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 10:11:40 AM by Timbo's Goals »

Offline Medellin

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #47 on: November 25, 2017, 10:41:04 AM »
overall I don't think it would be unfair to say that Sevilla earned something from that game, if for no other reason than they figured out how to Gegen the Gegenpress :)

Sevilla defo deserved their point,no doubt.
The change at half time bringing on Vazquez for me made a big difference.
We seemed to come ot 2nd half quite content for Sevilla to dominate possession,we also spent more time closing spaces than tracking the opposing player offering for the ball.
The thing I'd question was the gegenpressing..whether it was tiredness,a tactical switch or whatever it was..it wasn't there 2nd half,with the quality Sevilla possess they will tear apart a half arsed gegen or one which isn't effectively operated.
Reading thro a lot of post match comments there should have been a lot more credit to Sevilla for their performance.
Having said that..take the individual errors & the shockingly sheepish performace from that twat of a referee & we could easily have come away from there 4 goals to the good!
« Last Edit: November 25, 2017, 10:43:52 AM by Medellin »
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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #48 on: November 25, 2017, 10:43:12 AM »
On a similar theme, i was wondering why we didnt get someone to sit on Banega. He was the player they wanted to get on the ball and from my memory he sat a bit deeper (could be wrong). Was wondering why Firmino didnt just shadow him.

Cracking analysis in here from everyone who’s contributed so far.

You would of thought we’d learnt our lesson from that faithful night in Basel with regards to Banega, but clearly we didn’t. However, Banega has alway been a strange player in the sense he possesses the intelligence to play all over the middle, and can seemingly transition between different roles even during a game, so I’d imagine he’d be difficult to pin down for 90 minutes. Such an outstanding player, one I always enjoy watching even if he’s on the opposition side.

Offline BabuYagu

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #49 on: November 25, 2017, 10:52:18 AM »
For exactly this reason, I have long surmised that Babu and PoP might be the same person 😉. Like Michael and La Toya we never actually seen them in the same place at the same time!

Of course this could be a cunning ruse to throw me off the scent!

Welcome back PoP and keep up the good work Babu.

I also would like to say a big welcome back to PoP also.

I don't think many people remember me from before PoP's hiatus but I was a matchday commentator - or more a colour commentator given I always seemed to be the commie with a dodgy stream that was unreliable for commentary purpose. So those in the commie team at the time like Chakan (recruited me) and RAWK staff like 24/7 (boss) will know me.

It was knowledgeable reds like HBHR, Lanky, Royhendo - but principally PoP - that inspired me to read more and properly study football as you would with any other subject to acquire knowledge. That would allow me to properly digest the brilliant writing we had on here and actually properly participate. I have realise, again like any other subject, the more you read and study, the more you realise you don't actually know.

So welcome back PoP and thanks again for opening up my mind to a whole new way of thinking about and appreciating the game I love.

Anyway back to the game. Finally remembered which side this Sevilla reminded me of on Tuesday - Bielsa's Bilbao against United. Which makes sense as Berizzo is a Bielsa coach. I cannot find any highlights of the game other than those recorded on someones phone (why?). However, I did find a match report for the game in which you could easily substitute the Bilbao and United references for those of Sevilla & Liverpool counter parts and it would likely describe pretty well the tactical problems we encountered with them.

One thing I would say is that Bielsa sides are great at their use of pressing traps. Henderson is not a player you want receiving a pass in a pressing trap - as we saw first half. Coutinho perhaps has the best chance of playing through/out of a pressing trap - but had a bad game and so as PoP highlighted above on two examples - he simply moved the ball onto someone less technically gifted than himself which saw us lose the ball.  Gini is also a player who can play out of a pressing trap - and his numbers (and my recollection of the game) suggests he was the one in midfield who fared the best of the three in that sense. However, I do think trying to get the ball down and use the midfield more, particularly Henderson, would have caused us even more problems. Again, referring back to my OP, if we don't have the right midfielders to play the system, the system is invariably going to break. That #6 role and getting the rest of the spine of the team right, after 2+ years, is crucial to Klopp's success here in my opinion.
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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #50 on: November 25, 2017, 11:00:10 AM »
Just to reaffirm what others have said about having both Babu and PoP to provide us with these superb forensic scrutinies of our games. Also a special mention to Klippity klopp for his painstaking contribution to the analysis.

We have these sort of unfathomable games from time to time where it becomes so difficult to pinpoint precisely what went on. The rather fortuitous [fortuitous until around the 65th minute that is whereafter we could have scored another 5 goals] 1-4 victory against West Ham is another recent game where it was so difficult to nail the true picture of how the game was going until that 65th minute when we seemed to be able to create opportunities at will.

As for Tuesday night's game, I think there has already been so much wonderfully informative analysis, so I'm only going to offer my thoughts on one aspect which I don't think has been oversubscribed in here. Namely home advantage.

On Tuesday night despite all the unfair and quite significant advantages bestowed upon them by an absolute c*nt of a referee who bought every fake dive of the Seville players  I felt Seville were the superior team by some margin for the entire 90 minutes [bar the closing 5 minutes of the first half wherein we seemed to at last find some fluency and momentum]. As such,  a draw was the minimum they deserved - however begrudgingly I say it as I so intensely despised the manic unsavouriness of their approach right down to the 'love to smack him right in the fucking gob' arrogance of their fucking gruesome ball youth.

And yet month or so ago the corresponding game at Anfield had seen the complete reversal of game ascendancy with the Reds as the superior team by an equally great margin - without so much as a modicum of Seville's unsavouriness it needs also to be said.

And so I do think that at times for all the tactical and game management intricacies that can most certainly impact upon the proceedings, there are instances where the more simple explanation of home advantage can actually be more of a deciding factor than many might think. In my own supporting life two instances of this stick out like sore thumbs in supporting this notion. One is from 1963 - we beat Spurs 5-2 at Anfield on easter saturday and on Easter Monday lost 7-2 at white hart lane. the other is 1965 when we murdered Inter Milan at Anfield 3-1 which should have been 4-1 because of lawler's disallowed wonder goal and could easily have been 5 or 6-1. Then a week later we lost heavily 3-0 in the second leg at a manic San Siro, where again despite the subsequently proven bias of the referee in favour of Inter we were in truth well beaten.
Good post mate and thanks for the walk down memory lane.

Perhaps a more recent example is the crazy games between PSG and Barca last season. I agree though, in footballing terms there are ways to turn up the pressure on the side. Klopp, Bielsa, Pep - they are masters at this. However a vocal home crowd can turn the pressure up far more, including on the referees. Coupled with tactically turning up the pressure, as Berizzo's side did, it can be too much for sides to handle.
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Offline PoetryInMotion

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #51 on: November 25, 2017, 11:48:35 AM »
Considering all the good points in this thread, as I can only nod along as I read through them in my mind, there are few random points that I would like to throw in to the discussion. As PoP said, it was a game of fine margins.

1) The reaction that we had after the game is unjustified and full of knee-jerk which is often the case in these times. The order of the goals could very well have been swapped. All it was, was a well contested game from both sides and we were playing against a side that has not lost at Home for more than an year. We're six months into our Home run and we're fairly confident in most games at Anfield, so you have to consider how good they must have been at their place. Yet, we had our moments to win the game, at one point we might even have been sure of it, says that we were not at all as bad as it is tried to make it out to be in general.

2) We did lose control of the game in the middle of the park and conceded a lot of possession and I was one of those who was hugely frustrated by that. I was frustrated by that even against West Ham, so it's clearly a weakness for our side but only at specific periods in the game when we're pushed back. We've controlled games against several top opposition in recent years. Retrospectively, the xG map shows we were comfortably ahead of Sevilla (including the penalty from that we panicked and gave away out of nowhere). For all the talks of leadership, slowing the game down and so on, had we not under-performed at both ends of the pitch, we would have won - regardless of the control we conceded. This is something Ferguson's Man United were good at - they conceded control to the opposition in midfield, especially to the strong sides, but were always ruthless at both ends of the pitch. They won the important duels at the back, they made the crucial saves, they finished off the important chances and they focused on getting the players who were supremely confident with those qualities in these positions. Our players are consistently good in controlling games, this was one of the off days, yes - but we need to step up at both ends of the pitch.

3) We're scoring goals, a lot of goals, yet we're behind our overall xG this season. Why? Our quality of chances are way better than we're managing to score, that's how well we're playing. We missed three clear-cut scoring opportunities on top of the three we already scored (only two as far as Opta out of those as Can did not technically shoot), two one on ones - Firmino and Salah and one cut back that was laid for a tap-in from Can, we score one of those and the game as going to be buried that moment. About the defense, not much needs to be said. We don't concede the first two goals, or even one of it, we're never losing the lead. We need to seriously focus on filling up our defense with supremely confident players. This is essential if Klopp can achieve anything above just CL qualification. If we stop the soft goals, we'll be a serious team to reckon at every level. Improving at the ends of the pitch, especially at the back is the next step that we need to take. We need to build our spine in these important positions.

4) This brings into the discussion about our spine and second chances. Moreno was totally nervous and it translated on the pitch. When having a nervous crowd and a team that has not been winning recently, including a PL title long overdue, we cannot afford players who spread panic across. He has been having a good turn around, but he has been given 4 years (3 years technically - dropped for one) and comparison with the mistakes of Gomez is not helping us. Gomez is a youngster who has only come back from a long term injury and his best position is still being debated upon/he has not settled in it. He is in his development years. Moreno is no longer in his development. Can we afford one of our senior players to keep helping the opposition in big games? A question to ponder, maybe? Or maybe not? I still think he can be a good player in certain types of games, he can be a part of a squad, and so can most players in our side, but the regulars and our spine should be full of reliable players.

5) Talking of nervous crowd, I can imagine why it could be times to be difficult for any Liverpool player to express their games. The crowd wants the GK to boot when the ball comes to him, the crowd gets nervous when the ball is passed to him, but when he starts booting, then we have calls for passing from the back. I don't at all think this is helping the team. I may not deserve to say this, as I'm not geographically anywhere near to attend games, and in certain games our lads provide some of the best atmospheres, but during times of lull or panic, we need to try and raise the spirits and support the team. Having said all that, I'm fully confident of us going through to the next round, we know what we can do in these games - for me it's got to be similar to what we did to Villareal in the Europa League in the return leg having had a deficit of one goal. But we never gave them a chance and the atmosphere totally rocked them. Let's hope all ends well.

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #52 on: November 25, 2017, 11:51:17 AM »
Baba - I think your analysis is spot on. And yet:

Nearly 3 xG vs just under 1 xG. We definitely didn't play particularly well - in either half - yet arguably we deserved to win, and comfortably so.
Moreno was clearly a culprit for individual mistakes, and so was Henderson. I thought, weirdly, he had a good first half, winning a lot of possession high up the pitch. But he plays the #6 role in a strange way. He's at his best winning it high up the pitch, he can cover the flanks really will and win a lot of possession with his sheer stamina and not inconsiderable ability to tackle and harry, but his ability on the ball melts completely under pressure and, as was really well put in a post in the 'best posts you may have missed' thread, he has no real taste for defending in the way that Mascherano did, or Suarez did. Arguably our best defender in that sense is Firmino - well him and Lovren - players with an almost psychopathic pleasure in taking the ball away from attackers. You could see that Mascherano lived for that, Keita will add another one.

You could see it in the first and the third goals. For the first, it's the player nearest to Hendo who makes a simple run to the near post to score. Why wasn't Hendo in front of him in the first place? He's taller than the other guy. If he's in front of him, that corner doesn't get to him. Regardless, why does he make no effort at all to hinder his run? I'd put it down to that taste for defending - he likes running and harrying, but he's not a 'stopper' in any way, and I don't think Can is, either. It's kind of similar for the 3rd goal - this time he half follows his man, realises he's getting nowhere near it, then completely loses track of the ball when he's in a position to follow it and anticipate where it will land. I genuinely thought we were a little unlucky there - we still haven't seemed to had the real run of a ball in a game for the whole game in terms of rebounds etc - in that the ball falls straight to the feet of a player who didn't exactly intentionally control it, and who hit a relatively scuffed shot (that Karius maybe could have done better with, although he definitely had a confident and decisive game overall - I loved his punch that took out a Sevilla attacker) that went in. We've had so many moments like that this season for us - yet have only seemed to score from them recently with balls finally falling to our feet - yet it seems like every single time there's some kind of rebound in the box it falls to our opponents feet. See also the Moreno miscontrol - that could have just as easily gone under his foot or bounced ahead of him, but it went instead pretty much exactly where the attacker would have wanted it to go.

And, finally, we had a stonewall penalty shout on Mane - far more contact than there was for ours (which I agree might have been a tiny but harsh but not one you could really complain about), and for an offence in shirt-pulling that the ref and co had actually been pretty diligent about penalising for the rest of the game. Mane goes down, should have been a penalty, it's 4-2, and the xG once again tells the true story of the game and we come away talking about how Moreno's was perhaps an understandable meltdown, about how we deservedly won despite playing poorly in some ways, and how we've qualified top of our group and can rest players for the final match.

Fine, fine margins in football - and the difference between us and a team like Spurs hasn't been the underlying numbers, just more like random chance - we haven't quite had the goals our numbers deserve and have conceded more than we deserve. Yes we need better individuals, but, just like with our attack, there's an element of statistical anomaly there too which should, *should* come back into our favour again if we don't lose our heads completely - just like it has been at Anfield.

I guess the thing I'm most worried about is how we can't seem to conceded just *one* goal. 3-1 should have been our cue to either kill them with possession or kill them on the break, but with this being Liverpool we're talking about, it was instead our cue to shit ourselves and inevitably concede another through another series of daft, preventable mistakes to gift the opposition a goal that their pressure hadn't actually really justified (IE our fear of the pressure was larger than the pressure itself - we put Sevilla under at least as severe pressure in that 5-10 mins after Can and Milner came on).

As ever, though, the frustration doesn't come from us being shit - it comes from us being so damn close. I'm still so excited by the potential for this team.

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2017, 12:35:43 AM »
Welcome back PoP. The notion that we didn't play as well as we could in the first half and were not as bad as it appeared in the second half is a sound one. Two set pieces and a penalty did for us whilst I thought we played some good stuff at 3-2 and appeared to have weathered the storm. European nights in Seville are as intense as at Anfield and with their pedigree, if it had gone 3-3 earlier we could have lost. A lesson learned on our way to the semi's.

I look forward to reading high quality analysis and opinion with PoP and Babu in the mix. It appears the wonderful Timbo has rejoined the fray and that is to be welcomed also. Others will raise their game too now and I hope those renegades who look to cause mischief will be hunted down, torn to shreds and their mutilated bodies left out for the vultures and hyena's to feast on.. Peace, out.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 12:47:24 AM by vivabobbygraham »
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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #54 on: November 26, 2017, 07:18:08 AM »
Btw looking at the 1st goal conceded,should Karius have done better?Doesn't dive and seems unsure of where the ball is going.

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #55 on: November 26, 2017, 07:53:56 AM »
Not going to try to add anything. Just to say welcome back PoP. Will be great for RAWK to have you and BabaYagu sharing your insights.
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Offline So... Howard Phillips

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #56 on: November 26, 2017, 11:42:34 AM »
Just one comment on he's bigs excellent contribution.

Agree it was a good penalty shout on Mane but given our recent history of penalty taking who would have the nerves of steel to take it?

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #57 on: November 27, 2017, 01:40:42 AM »
snip

Ah... What's your bank account details? I need it to send over my tuition fee.   :)

Thanks for a wonderful answer. I hope we do end up signing Ruben Neves! He looks mighty exciting.

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #58 on: November 28, 2017, 11:23:30 AM »
The player we sign to replace Can will be the signing I am most interested in for the summer. I think the success we have in implementing Klopp system and competing for trophies is almost entirely dependant on getting that signing right - no pressure :D

To answer your question, I should probably first be very specific what Handerson & Can lack making them the wrong "type" of midfielder.

Imagine everything a footballer does falls into one of three categories - Technical, Tactical or Physical. British footballers tend to excel physically because for a long time the top academies would cut players because they weren't big enough, strong enough, fast enough, etc. The academies were then building up the technical side of the game. The result is a good physical &/or technical players coming through who are poor tactically. We don't, or very rarely, produce players who excel tactically in this country. Even now you look around some of the top prospects that have come through and if you ranked their games in terms of those three categories, more often than not it's the tactical side that is least developed in the likes of Barkley, Alli, Henderson, Chamberlain, Stones, Sterling, Rashford. It is why I believe the English side struggles so much at international level because physically and technically they can hold their own against most sides. Which means if they can make the game be played on their level at a high pace or physical battle, they can beat anybody. If it becomes a more tactical, patient, methodical game, they get picked off.

Italian, German & Dutch football would be the opposite. They will churn out players who are tactically great who are weaker either physically (Aquilani) or technically (*cough* Kuyt *cough*) than what we would be used to. Then you have latin countries who are good at spitting out highly technical players.

Btw this is where the comparison of Dier and Xabi come into play here which left everyone scratching their heads. Because physically Dier is everything Xabi wasn't. Technically few can even dream of doing the things Xabi could, and certainly not Dier. But tactically, they both excel - which makes him a rare breed for English players. His movements as a DM are similar to Xabi. He isn't hammering around the pitch like Kante nailing everything that enters the final 3rd. He's closing up spaces and pushing play away from dangerous areas.

Can probably breaks the mould here somewhat for German midfielders as he is a beast of a player and is technically good but for a center midfield, he is tactically very poor. You look at the players who played CM for Bayern after he was sold - the likes of Xabi, Kimmich, Vidal, Lahm - they all had excellent 360 awareness of the game. Xabi, in particular, his head never stops moving, making micro movements to correct his position to close up spaces before they have a chance to open up. They are players who excel at making sure they are in the right position whereas ours are runners - players who get caught in the wrong positions often and then need to run to solve it. When you are an excellent runner, and are likely praised for that energy up to the point you are a pro, no opportunity comes up to have them improve tactically rather than rely on running to get them out of the problems it causes.

The exception to that is Gini who is tactically very good and is constantly moving around trying to plug those gaps before they appear. The problem is, in a midfield that is so tactically poor - there are so many gaps that he is fighting an uphill battle. However, put him beside Lallana - who is excellent tactically as well, likely due to needing to be smarter to survive in academies again all the physical beasts and we have a nice screen in front of Henderson that doesn't allow gaps to appear. A similar thing happened against Hoffenheim, Arsenal and Bayern earlier in the season with Firmino dropping into midfield. We would have Firmino in front of Henderson, Gini behind Can. We were harder to play through once more. Which makes the decision to use him more as a focal point striker even more frustrating. The closest we had to that tactical stability in midfield this season was perhaps Milner & Gini in front of Henderson against Palace. Unfortunately it's a midfield which did little to link play, create or support the attack.

Then you look at all the midfielders Klopp used for Dortmund and the tactical side of their game stood out first. Kehl & Bender (Tactical & Physical), Gundogan & Sahin (Tactical & Technical). Which makes me wonder why he persists with midfielders who are not at the level tactically that he would normally require. Which leaves me with some possible suggestions:-
1. He is making best use of what he has to give important players at the club time to fight for a position before making changes.
2. He believe trying to adapt players he has to the roles is a preferable solution than trying to adapt players signed for those roles to the club/league/country.
3. He saw Sahin's struggles here as a problem in terms of players who were not physically inferior to the rest of the league. This made him question signing similar to what he had in the past and believing he perhaps needs more runners here than in Germany. Gundogan's inability to stay fit here more than a few games may support this idea.

So back to your question of what "type" we need if not Henderson or Can - we basically need a player in that role who excels tactically. Then you can go in either direction. You have the tactical/technical players like Jorginho, Verratti, Ruben Neves, Weigl and of course, Xabi in there. Or tactical/physical players like Fabinho, Dier, Saul, Matic.

Given our system, and the lack of height we have in the side in general, I suspect #6 in one of the few positions Klopp can add height to the team without losing anything in terms of the pressing side of the game. Therefore we can probably eliminate those quarterback types like Jorginho would would probably end up as #8s in Klopp's system rather than #6's. However, with Keita coming in plus Lallana & Gini already here, we don't need to stock up on more #8 type options. So I suspect whoever we target will look a lot like Weigl, Fabinho, Ruben Neves, Saul even if likely not those specific players. All players who are 6'0 - 6'2, excellent tactically, good-excellent technically and decent-excellent mobility. Read any interview with Ljinders and you will hear him name drop Ruben Neves at least once I'm sure. Then watch him for Wolves running the show in midfield against Leeds last night - I personally would have him high on the list of potential candidates and something of a Mascherano signing perhaps in his strange path to the top of the English game?
Some excellent points on academies and development here. 

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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #59 on: November 28, 2017, 02:03:55 PM »
Baba - I think your analysis is spot on. And yet:

Nearly 3 xG vs just under 1 xG. We definitely didn't play particularly well - in either half - yet arguably we deserved to win, and comfortably so.
Moreno was clearly a culprit for individual mistakes, and so was Henderson. I thought, weirdly, he had a good first half, winning a lot of possession high up the pitch. But he plays the #6 role in a strange way. He's at his best winning it high up the pitch, he can cover the flanks really will and win a lot of possession with his sheer stamina and not inconsiderable ability to tackle and harry, but his ability on the ball melts completely under pressure and, as was really well put in a post in the 'best posts you may have missed' thread, he has no real taste for defending in the way that Mascherano did, or Suarez did. Arguably our best defender in that sense is Firmino - well him and Lovren - players with an almost psychopathic pleasure in taking the ball away from attackers. You could see that Mascherano lived for that, Keita will add another one.

You could see it in the first and the third goals. For the first, it's the player nearest to Hendo who makes a simple run to the near post to score. Why wasn't Hendo in front of him in the first place? He's taller than the other guy. If he's in front of him, that corner doesn't get to him. Regardless, why does he make no effort at all to hinder his run? I'd put it down to that taste for defending - he likes running and harrying, but he's not a 'stopper' in any way, and I don't think Can is, either. It's kind of similar for the 3rd goal - this time he half follows his man, realises he's getting nowhere near it, then completely loses track of the ball when he's in a position to follow it and anticipate where it will land. I genuinely thought we were a little unlucky there - we still haven't seemed to had the real run of a ball in a game for the whole game in terms of rebounds etc - in that the ball falls straight to the feet of a player who didn't exactly intentionally control it, and who hit a relatively scuffed shot (that Karius maybe could have done better with, although he definitely had a confident and decisive game overall - I loved his punch that took out a Sevilla attacker) that went in. We've had so many moments like that this season for us - yet have only seemed to score from them recently with balls finally falling to our feet - yet it seems like every single time there's some kind of rebound in the box it falls to our opponents feet. See also the Moreno miscontrol - that could have just as easily gone under his foot or bounced ahead of him, but it went instead pretty much exactly where the attacker would have wanted it to go.

And, finally, we had a stonewall penalty shout on Mane - far more contact than there was for ours (which I agree might have been a tiny but harsh but not one you could really complain about), and for an offence in shirt-pulling that the ref and co had actually been pretty diligent about penalising for the rest of the game. Mane goes down, should have been a penalty, it's 4-2, and the xG once again tells the true story of the game and we come away talking about how Moreno's was perhaps an understandable meltdown, about how we deservedly won despite playing poorly in some ways, and how we've qualified top of our group and can rest players for the final match.

Fine, fine margins in football - and the difference between us and a team like Spurs hasn't been the underlying numbers, just more like random chance - we haven't quite had the goals our numbers deserve and have conceded more than we deserve. Yes we need better individuals, but, just like with our attack, there's an element of statistical anomaly there too which should, *should* come back into our favour again if we don't lose our heads completely - just like it has been at Anfield.

I guess the thing I'm most worried about is how we can't seem to conceded just *one* goal. 3-1 should have been our cue to either kill them with possession or kill them on the break, but with this being Liverpool we're talking about, it was instead our cue to shit ourselves and inevitably concede another through another series of daft, preventable mistakes to gift the opposition a goal that their pressure hadn't actually really justified (IE our fear of the pressure was larger than the pressure itself - we put Sevilla under at least as severe pressure in that 5-10 mins after Can and Milner came on).

As ever, though, the frustration doesn't come from us being shit - it comes from us being so damn close. I'm still so excited by the potential for this team.

It was classic possession vs counter attack in many ways. Bit like Mourinho's Inter vs Pep's Barca. Difference being Inter have defenders who can defend their box and tactically clever midfielders who can disrupt play when defending deeper - we didn't. On the balance of chances, we were the slightly better team. On the balance of football played, they massacred us. Because at no point did we actually have control over the midfield and, by extension, the opponent.

Agreed. As mentioned in the OP, Lovren is our only "in the box" defender. Players like Carra, who come alive in those areas but look suspect they further away from the box you make them play. The beauty of van Dijk is he is aggresive in dealing with threats in the box, especially in the air, but looks even better when playing further up killing threats early before it has a chance to build into an attack. There was a highlights package of him against Lukaku for Holland that showed well how he handles attackers high up the pitch. I actually think in your list of players who have that taste for defending you mention, Flanagan & Moreno are two others, although Flanagan's time at the club s certainly at an end as soon as his agent can find him a good home. Allan, the Brazilian kid on loan, is another who is very aggressive in teh tackle and is good at ambushing players from their blindside in the way Lucas would do often under Rafa, using superior balance to win the ball rather than strength. I've also heard good things of Adam Lewis for the U18 side in this sense. He sounds like a continental full back who is extremely aggressive in both defence and attack.

That first goal bothers me. Moreno was stupid giving away the free kick. I've seen him blamed for letting the player run across him near post. Also seen Karius take some blame for not doing better, IMO neither of them can do anything about the goal. It's the runners in our box who need to block/track their runners that have to deal with that. Moreno needs to be watching the ball, not the runners and won't do much from a standing start about someone cutting across his face between him and the ball. Likewise, Karius can likely do nothing about a ball glances near post to the far post there. We can't give away a free header there. Whoever lets the runner get the header is responsible. For me it's Moreno's fault for giving away the foul, but there is nothing he can do after that.

I also note PoP mentioned about putting people on the posts but I believe most pressing sides want to clear their box quickly and also sides with keepers who are weak(er) in the air like to leave the posts clear to allow the keeper some space and freedom in there. So undoubtedly a player on the back post stops that goal, but would it cost us others in having less men in zones in the box, therefore more spaces to attack and players roughing up our keeper more often? I guess that is the trade off?

As for that luck/rub of the green - I don't think we should be wanting it there. Klavan surely has to know where he put his header is the most dangerous position in the box to put it. Every single attacking side on a corner will have a man attacking the penalty spot for second balls. If you head the ball there, you will get fucked. It also indicates his one focus is winning the ball, not clearing it. Not surveying the scene and having a idea where he wants to head it to for his own people to mop up. No, it's like he closes his eyes, heads it anyway and thinks he did his job as he won the first ball. Frustrating. van Dijk likely heads that up the right wing for a throwin. Lovren would head it 100 foot in the air straight up and time would run out before it has a chance to come back down. Matip would likely duck - no idea why he tucks his head into his shoulders when challenging for headers in the box sometimes, it's weird. Klavan seems to close his eyes and lets the ball bounce off him wherever.

One of those in europe, you get them at home and don't away. As someone else pointed out, who would take it though? :D

The us v Spurs thing - I agree the underlying numbers look similar but as I pointed out in the pre-season roundtable Q&A thing we did, in Lloris they have a keeper that outperforms xg year on year by a large margin. In Mignolet we have one who underperforms it by a large margin year on year. Then in Kane, Son & Alli they have three attackers who massively outperform XG and seem (on average) to be doing so again this season. If you win the battle against the numbers in both boxes, you'll concede less and score more than you perhaps deserve. We are losing that battle of the boxes this season, just as Klopp did on his final year in Dortmund for the first half of the season.

Agreed. In terms of the squad we have built, and based on what Ljinders said, we have built a squad designed to defend the midline, not the box. However, this season, the weak tactical level in our midfield makes them easy to play through high up the pitch. We haven't been compact, therefore defensive access has been poor, therefore pressure on the ball has been poor, threfore the high line is badly exposed. So we have to drop off. Which means bigger spaces to cover or the entire team has to retreat to defend the box rather than the midline. Our defence isn't really equiped to defend the box, our midfield isn't equiped to defend the midline. Catch 22?

Yes, we are not far off having a squad that can compete how we need it to. We are a few key players in our spine away from being a menace in all competitions. We still are now really, just massively inconsistent. Every top side will want to give us a swerve in europe as we are capable of dumping any of them out on their arse. The worry for me is that we are changing systems rather than personnel at the moment. I'm hoping that is only a short term thing until we get the players we need because I think our current system has a very low glass ceiling. Coupled with the fact we don't have the resources to match United, City or Chelsea not to mention a host of clubs in Europe - we really need to get the right players for the system Klopp knows how to implement best rather than trying to make a series of concessions to fit players into his system which ultimately limits it's effectiveness. Our build up play since we switched to conservative full backs has looked extremely limited until the game opens up, similar to how United looked earlier in the season. You get a goal from a set piece or counter on a mistake and then the game opens up and you smash in 3 more. The difference being we lack the physical players to win the set pieces battle to get ahead and we are just as likely, if not more, to be the side making the defensive mistakes for the first goal than the opponent. A conservative (or pragmatic as some like to call it) approach won't work for us.
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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #60 on: November 28, 2017, 07:32:04 PM »

I also note PoP mentioned about putting people on the posts but I believe most pressing sides want to clear their box quickly and also sides with keepers who are weak(er) in the air like to leave the posts clear to allow the keeper some space and freedom in there. So undoubtedly a player on the back post stops that goal, but would it cost us others in having less men in zones in the box, therefore more spaces to attack and players roughing up our keeper more often? I guess that is the trade off?



Just on this - the time it takes to run from the goal line to the 6 yard line is less than a second, so I'm not sure the transition angle holds up; on top of that, a weak aerial keeper might benefit from having less space to defend, especially as they will be expected to step out into the path of the ball to collect or deflect. As it is now, Mignolet has to worry about 3456 cubic feet (24 ft of goal width x 8 ft of goal height x 18 ft of depth for the 6 yard box) of space to defend. With men on the posts, that gets reduced to (if we take the width of a person's torso to be 1.5 feet ) to 3024 cubic feet of space.

But having said that, we worry WAY too much about corners. They don't yield a huge amount of goals, so even I don't have a problem with how we are doing things. As you say, there are trade-offs to every strategy, and men on the posts might mean an imbalance elsewhere on transition (although with how slow Mignolet can be to release the ball sometimes, it might not even matter :D )
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Re: Roundtable: Sevilla 3 - 3 Liverpool
« Reply #61 on: November 30, 2017, 05:33:32 PM »
For the long balls, I would agree, Babu. But sometimes players get ideas into their heads, and all the shouting and instructing in the world won't stop them. The clearances, though, were on the players. I can't believe that Klopp would tell his players to just clear the ball anywhere, when Sevilla weren't really giving us reason to for the entire first half. I think it was more a case of panic at the back, and midfield being caught between two ideas as a result, which then isolated the attackers.
This really reinforces the concern about leadership on the field. I agree that  Klavan and Lovren were panicking, you can see it in the posture and movement that they aren't giving themselves any time to review options, they aren't looking at all frankly, its all instinct.
That's when you need a leader to step in and switch them out if instinct mode, and into thinking mode. And this is the difference between a great player and a player. The great player is always in thinking mode.  We are an inconsistent team defensively because we largely have inconsistent players.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2017, 05:36:15 PM by Miltonred »