Author Topic: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4  (Read 14093 times)

Offline Yorkykopite

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Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« on: August 15, 2016, 07:32:36 PM »
ROUND TABLE: ARSE 3 REDS 4

It's not often you hear 'Show them the Way to Go Home' at the Emirates. It's not often you hear it at any match as early as the 63rd minute. As it turned out Arsenal weren't quite tired enough to go to bed, let alone have a wank. Two quick goals meant that we were left with an unnecessary endurance test in the last twenty minutes of the game. But we passed it handsomely. Almost as satisfying as that purple spell on either side of half time was the clever way we controlled the game in the last quarter. Liverpool were pretty sensational on the opening day of the league season - and that is one of the happiest sentences I've written for a long time.

Three important lessons were learnt on Sunday. 1. Mane is frighteningly good. 2. Klavan is the steal of the summer 3. Jurgen Klopp is going to need spectacles made of titanium this season.

It was a pretty scrappy start in truth. Both teams struggled to find space, both looked a bit sluggish on the ball. The most exciting thing to happen in the first ten minutes was Mignolet treating us to a Cruyff turn which, for those who've ever wondered how it's done, he helpfully broke down into at least 5 component parts. Please don't do that again Simon. Other than that we gave the ball to them, and they gave the ball to us. The only player who looked capable of imposing any rhythm on the match was Aaron Ramsey who constantly got on the wrong side of Henderson and looked set to bring his Euro 2016 exuberance in to the Premier League.  Alberto Moreno obviously thought he should be given a chance to shine and so headed the ball right into Ramsey's path, before thinking better of it, moving smartly across the box and timing a sliding tackle to perfection. The best and worst of Moreno in 5 seconds. 

A few moments later Mignolet produced the best punch of his Liverpool career - a sign, surely, that there's been some major corrective surgery undertaken at Melwood over the summer on this diabolical weakness. If this problem has indeed been fixed - and the evidence is as yet slim - then Mignolet will have taken a big stride towards preserving his Liverpool career. A goalie who can punch through a crowd not only clears his lines; he makes opposing forwards think twice before attacking aerial balls with abandon. Here's hoping.

There still wasn't much coherence to our outfield play though. Winjaldum looked indecisive, Henderson showed his traditional reluctance to turn on the ball and surrendered possession too easily while Coutinho remained peripheral. But then a couple of really encouraging things happened. Hendo started spreading play intelligently, bringing in our full backs, and on 20 minutes Mane produced a breathtaking turn of acceleration as he moved in a diagonal towards the Arsenal box. When you get players carrying the ball at that speed things will open up. And they did. Lallana hit a cunning ball to put Firmino in, his miscued shot cannoning off the legs of Ramsey, and Coutinho jinked in from the left setting off a chain reaction of bewildering movement from the men in black. Nothing came of that particular move but a storm signal had been sounded. Here's a pretty safe prediction: there is so much creativity around little Phil these days that it's inconceivable we won't be among the top scorers in the league this year.

Then Arsenal got their pen. And it was messy from our point of view. Hendo's wild penalty-box clearance, modelled somewhat on the one Momo Sissoko trademarked several seasons ago, came down to Earth on the left-hand side of the box, Coutinho unaccountably backed off Walcott and Moreno lunged in. Yes he scraped the top of the ball, but these days that ain't enough. His follow through took the winger out. A soft pen, but a pen nonetheless. Fortunately it was the opening day of the season and therefore Mignolet saved from the spot.

Then the Arse scored a couple of minutes later. Moreno will probably get the rap, but it wasn't his fault. As soon as Coutinho turned so beautifully on the ball and opened up the entire pitch he did what his manager surely wants him to do. He saw the chance for a goal and he attacked. Unfortunately two bad things happened. Mane chose, mystifyingly, to head for the centre of the pitch rather than the wings, so leaving Lallana with no one to pass to, and then Lallana failed to protect the ball from Coquelin's (admittedly excellent) challenge. Some player Coquelin by the way. The ball was quickly shuttled into the vacant left back spot and Walcott redeemed himself with a well angled shot into the corner.

For a couple of minutes after the goal Arsenal were like the Arsenal of old and attacks came from all directions. But nothing materialised, not least because Klavan read the plays so well. The Estonian looks good. And how fantastic it is to have a two-footed centre back. A player who can actually pass crisply with both feet and do it quickly. He calmed us down, Wijnaldum shook the lethargy out of his play, Mane came in search of the ball, and Liverpool began to find the sweet spot. From here on in we were the better team. The build up to Coutinho's free kick was nice, Mane featuring heavily again with only Coquelin, evidently, willing to test his strength against him. I don't blame the Arsenal players for keeping their distance. The lad is a bloody handful.

Others will describe Phil's free kick. I don't know how you produce that much top spin on a dead ball. And of course it was needlessly, almost boastfully, accurate. Two Petr Cechs on stepladders would not have stopped it. Not even Ray Clemence would have stopped it.

The second half, we were exhilarating. Mane kept his width better, Henderson stopped retreating when we had possession, Lallana made more incursions and Firmino profited from the increased amount of space. In short we started playing between Arsenal's lines. Klopp style. What followed was the best 15 minutes that Jurgen has seen since he left Dortmund. It was mind blowing, not least because was against Arsenal. On their patch.

Lallana scored a peach, the purity of the strike giving the goal an air of simplicity that belied its technical excellence.  The build-up to the 3rd, performed to 'Poetry in Motion, was simply....poetry in motion. And then Mane scored goal of the season. In between 3 and 4 Phil had another effort wonderfully saved by Cech - an act which provoked the usual avalanche of booing from the ungrateful Emirates crowd. They pay good money to watch good football and we were giving them good football. What was the problem?

In fact it was a crying shame that we didn't go on and score a 5th. The stadium was an inch away from mutiny by that stage. I would have liked to have seen a full-scale rebellion from the most moany crowd in England and the flipping of 40,000 seats.

As it was the home side did salvage some pride. Lallana got too close to Clyne and allowed Oxlade-Chamberlain the easy task of squeezing between them. Chambers's header was all about the quality of the cross. But after that we got our act together, stiffened by Can (who was very good) and Origi (also very good). The sight of Coutinho chasing down a 60 yard pass by Klavan and winning a corner was greeted by the travelling Kop like a goal. And rightly so. There are still some misguided souls who think of Coutinho a a 'luxury player'. I don't think he ever was that, but there's no doubt that under Klopp he's become among the hardest-working men in show business since James Brown. Same swagger as James Brown too.

For the last 5 minutes we had Kevin Stewart (price: nothing) coming from the bench to add some sinew. They had Granit Xhaka (price: 35 million) who found time to commit three fouls in as many minutes.

So a hugely satisfying victory on the opening day. There was power and grace there, as well as grit and, hopefully, it will have produced a major injection of self-belief into the squad. I'm pretty sure the last time we defeated Arsenal on their own patch on the opening day of the season, we went on to produce an excellent run of unbeaten games. Mind you, we didn't get to play at Anfield for a while that season - stadium reconstruction and all that.

         


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Offline John C

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2016, 10:21:59 PM »
Grab a beer or a cuppa for yorky's wonderful season opener. Please contribute thoughtfully.

Online DanA

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2016, 01:50:14 AM »
Can't be anything but delighted with a win at the Emirates, it's our bogey ground. And that 15-20 minute period was some of the finest football we've played in a long time. There was a noticeable shift in intensity and the whole thing clicked into gear nicely but the biggest positive for me was the variety of threats we had and the way we attacked the box.

Coutinho is unplayable at times and that free kick adds another class tool to his locker, we've seen him developing it for a while but for me that was a whole new level.  But it wasn't just the free kick, the way he attacked the box for his goal, it's the type of run I don't think he's always made, and that probably goes for the whole team. In general helping Coutinho was the pace and movement around him and it's most aptly highlighted by the second goal. Firmino dragged wide from his central striker position and fired a quick pass into Coutinho, Coutinho used the pace of the ball to flick on to Wijnaldum who had attacked the box with a terrific run. But once Wijanldum looked up he had Mane, Coutinho, Lallana in the box with Firmino arriving late. A nicely chipped pass, beautiful take and finish for Lallana saw us take the lead but it was the number of options all making good position that impressed me most. Lallana's skill and poise was phenomenal but it's the attacking intent and movement of the group as a whole that's going to pay dividends over the course of the season.

In three of the four goals we saw the guile and skill of Firmino, Coutinho and Lallana link up nicely with the pace and power of Wijnaldum, Mane and our fullbacks. Mane's goal was super impressive fed to him by Lallana and exactly what was missing from out side the past couple of seasons. He might not always score a worldie like that but he's always going to ask questions of the defence and it's going to be a nightmare for them.

It's early doors for the team, hard to know how we will do but at the very least it's going to be an exciting season.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 01:54:06 AM by DanA »
Quote from: hinesy
He hadn't played as if he was on fire, more the slight breeze cutting across New Brighton on a summer's day than El Nino, the force of nature.

Online DanA

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2016, 02:43:10 AM »
The defensive side of the game was perhaps more concerning. There was a few red flags.


Mignolet was reasonably good, no complaints about his game and Klavan for me was quietly one of our better players, the standout defender. But The other three and perhaps Henderson were less impressive defensively. Harsh on Henderson who overall had quite a good game and defensively he was actually quite sound but his positioning could have been better for both Walcott and Oxlade's goals.

In a short seconds, after Lallana's turnover I think a more organised defensive unit, having spent more time together would have sorted things out better. Hard to blame Henderson but he could have covered the man to his left, pushing Klavan over to cover Walcott and things would have been more difficult for Arsenal. We're asking for the exceptional here from a makeshift holding midfielder but it's the type of thing that could reoccur with Henderson where a guy like Lucas might do better.  With the Oxlade's goal, he'd made good position but I think a lack of defensive nous allowed him to be beaten where he should have pushed Oxlade down the line instead of on his preferred right foot. Neither case was a significant mistake and extremely harsh to assign blame but i'm wondering if a more accomplished defensive mid specialist wouldn't have done better. The body of his work for the game was pretty darn good but i'm of the opinion he's better further forward or at least as part of a double pivot. Going forward if he is to continue playing this role I could see similar sorts of things potentially costing us goals.

Clyne on the Oxlade goal made an uncharacteristic mistake showing him onto his right foot before Lallana was completely in position. But long term I don't think it's a mistake he repeats and with an effective game in attack including the assist I'm inclined to say he pretty well overall. Lovren a bit like Henderson I felt could have done better but didn't really make any glaring errors. It was his man that scored from the free kick, he could have blocked Oxlade's shot better but in both case it's being picky.

Moreno to me is the worry. The penalty was the type of rash tackle we've seen before and a big concern, he executed a good one on the other side of the pitch but I don't want our defenders being so rash because while he might getting it right more often than not, over the course of the season going to ground like that will cost us goals or red cards.  I'd rather him make good positions and play and bit more conservative. The actual Walcott goal, it feels harsh to assign him blame, but I do think he went a little early. But the bigger concern was I felt several other times he didn't have Walcott covered off and those weren't because he'd pushing forward, he just took up bad positions and ball watched. Arsenal obviously weren't able to find the ball to take advantage this time but over the course of the season other teams on occasion will.

The pressing from the attacking players was too passive in the first half, remedied in the second and that's going to be a major part of our defensive play but overall I feel like that will get better and better. Maybe it's confirmation bias but I felt DM specialist and LB long term are the concerns that were born out in this game. I want Henderson further forward and a better alternative at LB. The rest as Klopp seems to somewhat inappropriately say was perfect.
Quote from: hinesy
He hadn't played as if he was on fire, more the slight breeze cutting across New Brighton on a summer's day than El Nino, the force of nature.

Offline Alonso_The_Assassin

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2016, 06:49:49 AM »
Some good points from DanA and as always, Yorky’s posts are a delight to read.

Having had time to mull over the match and I have to say, Mane’s performance was fantastic. Many will talk about his goal and yes, I think many of us will look back on it as one of the great opening day goals for Liverpool Football Club.

The thing that made me go to sleep with a smile on my face was the fact that he fits our system so perfectly. For years on end, we have wasted so much money on square-peg-round-hole type players. This kid has all the tools to be very very good for us. Great, even. I remember Jurgen saying how he’d been speaking about Mane to his coaching staff for the last six months. That says all we need to know. He wasn’t a fall back option after Gotze. I also think the price we paid is an absolute steal.

Mane opens up a lot of things in our attacking third, not least Phil’s abilities in front of goal. Notwithstanding his exquisite free kick (really, how good was it?), the run he made for his second goal will prove to be more common throughout the course of this season. With Bobby Firmino dragging defenders across the pitch with epic fervour as well as Mane’s searing pace and equally brute strength (pound for pound, I’d wager that he’s one of the strongest in our squad), in the final third we will be some sort of juggernaut this season. And that’s not mentioned Sturridge and Origi. It’s rather frightening, all told.

Without sounding like too much of a cynic, the defence still concerns me. Although winning at the Emirates is about as rare as rocking horse shit, our shortcomings at the back were still very much illustrated.

That’s not to say there were some bright moments. Ragner Klavan looks like a real solid player. His ability to read the game appears to be his major attribute. At 4-3 the ball broke to Walcott and the big Estonian just strolled across the pitch and nudged him off it with consummate ease. It was almost like stealing candy from baby.

I don’t want to talk too much about young Alberto. The lad has been the subject of many a rant and agenda over the past couple of months and it’s sad to see. Having said that, it is what it is and he does need to cut out these mistakes. It really is as simple as that. Given the front three play narrow resulting in our width coming from Clyne and Moreno, we may lose some of that should Klavan or Milner be called upon as potential alternatives. Will it be worth sacrificing this for a more solid back four? Will it prove to be a solid alternative, given the aforementioned players will be playing out of their preferred positions? Will Moreno actually improve his defensive qualities? Or will some help from a specialist defensive midfielder such as Emre Can remedy the situation? There is much to ponder.

All in all it was an extremely satisfying day at the office. Lallana’s goal. Mignolet’s save. Henderson’s energy. It was fantastic to see us topple a rival and throw down the gauntlet so early on. We may lose some games this season, but Klopp has hardened this team up quite considerably and should we ever lose, we won’t be going down without a fight. 

Roll on Burnley.

Offline Alf

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2016, 07:54:26 AM »
I thought show them the way to go home at 3-1 was a tad premature. Clearly the players lost their way a little when we went 4-1 up as we all did & we gave Arsenal a cheap goal. One of the more pleasing elements for me was the fact we took minutes out of the game through good ball retention and a bit of gamesmanship when fouled to see us over the line. I know we conceded another goal from a set piece but other than that Arsenal didn't really pose a threat at goal after Chambers effort. A draw would have felt like a defeat from 4-1 up & it was crucial that we begun this season under the right narrative.

Good effort Yorky.

Offline 5BigCups

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2016, 08:06:30 AM »
That first 20 minutes of the second half was brilliant. If we're able to sustain that for longer periods then we'll be some team. Granted, we conceded 3 goals, though if you break them down then they were all pretty avoidable. The set piece for obvious reasons, a sloppy give away during transition and the OxC goal, which you'd really hope wouldn't be happening after a few games in, not least with Karius coming back in who probably wouldn't be beaten so easily/regularly at his near post.

Offline RedKenWah

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #7 on: August 16, 2016, 09:01:07 AM »
I must admit, when I saw the line up and knowing what issues Arsenal had at the back, I would have betted anything that Origi would have been a guaranteed starter... but i was surprised to see him on the bench. However it proved not to be an issue in the end and also proves that when it comes to team selection, i know bugger all compared to our Jurgen Klopp.

The first half was slow and took an age to get going. I was for some reason expecting a fast explosive opening and for us to have gotten right in there with 'em, but that shows how disrespectful that is to Arsenal, especially at their own gaff, and they more than proved that they could not only live with it, but do more than what we appeared to be doing.

The penalty... we can't really analyse it any more than it has been done and I think it's safe to say that it was a reckless challenge to make in that area and any player who does that would be deemed reckless, not just Moreno. The save from Mignolet was massive, and it helped that the penalty taken was absolutely shite. But you can only save what is put to you so fair dos

The goal. I can't blame Moreno for it as such. We either have full backs who are bombing up the field at any chance for the counter attack, or we go all out defensive and they don't cross the half way line. It's clear for us we are the former. When we break, we break out in numbers. Who should be under the microscope a bit more for that incident is Adam Lallana. He wasn't pressed particularly well, he just got intercepted by one player after either failing to control the ball and get it out of his feet, or trying to turn to look ahead, and it cost us. Moreno to be fair to the chap did try his best to get back, and he almost did, but personally i'd be looking at Lallana than Moreno for that. he could potentially look at the pass received, but Lallana could have kept the ball moving. (p.s. apologies if it wasn't Lallana who was intercepted and if it was someone else)...

Our goal.... that free kick. Just that free kick... amazing. Showing Alexis Sanchez how to take free kicks from what i believe was virtually the same position, same angle - dead on centre. The curl, the spin that our lil magician got on it... absolutely magnificent. It did give us a lift going into half time, and it did knock the stuffing out of Arsenal... I do think though that the talk, whatever talk Jurgen Klopp gave at half time... it had to be said and whatever he said got them playing.

The second half... doesn't need to be talked about or analysed too much because it was fantastic. just watching what we did to Arsenal in those 20 mins of that half... absolute brilliance. absolute dominance, absolute perfection.

I've heard from the Anfield Wrap about there being something about the fitness levels being greater than that of Arsenal. I can believe that played a big part. I also think though that the squad as a whole played much more like a team, something just clicked. Gigi went from a midfielder whom was too deep in the first half working hard, to being further up the pitch, working hard and doing damage. Coutinho, whom before the free kick, had no where near enough touches of the ball, being much more involved in the game and in how we were dictating the play. Firmino, again coming more to life, more touches on the ball and being able to play in players and do stuff that he does best, which is just be a general pain the backside to opposition with his trickery and skills. Sadio Mane... damn what a player, he was working hard in the first half and the second half, he was just unplayable. The pace, the skill and that goal from him... just pure class.

If we had kept onto the 4 - 1 lead for more than a minute, then we would have had a rout on our hands. However sloppiness and a lack of concentration gave Arsenal a way back in. In some ways it was good for the slip up to happen, for us to lose that cushion, if it gives Jurgen Klopp the idea that he will need some more reinforcements for the defence, or he will look to work them harder in training and let them know that any lack of concentration needs to stop.

The future for us looks positive and if we can do what we did to Arsenal for 20 mins... then imagine when the players get fitter as the season goes on and imagine against "lesser" opposition that we will face and what we will do to them. All looks really good.

Offline SC04OCT

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #8 on: August 16, 2016, 10:07:47 AM »
I knew we'd beat them. Arsenal are notoriously slow starters and their squad was depleted, whereas we boasted the likes of Origi, Firmino, Mane, Coutinho, Wijnaldum and Lallana as attacking options. Easiest prediction I will make this season.

However, I did not expect it to take until the 2nd half for us to start putting them away. I'll put that down to the jitters that come with playing the first game of the season.

Considering how the game went, I was a little disappointed that it ended 4-3. Our performance definitely deserved the headlines of destroying Arsenal 4-1. But I also recognise that Arsenal got a bit lucky with a deflected goal and an offside goal.

Coutinho is magic. His free kick was probably the best we'll see this season and it's only game 1. He shinned his 2nd goal, but I don't care. I loved seeing him run into the box like that and the build up to that goal was beautiful. We out Arsenaled Arsenal.

Firmino is also magic. He may not have scored, but I got plenty of joy from watching him twist Chambers on the edge of the box with his feet. That bit of skill deserved for Coutinho to score his 3rd, but it was not to be.

Mane. Wow. I'm normally a calm celebrator when it comes to goals, but that one had my off my seat. That one made me shout "WHAT A GOAL!". We finally have a player the big teams are going to be shitting themselves about facing, which is something we've lacked since Suarez. Just imagine him running at United, Chelsea, Spurs and City. I can't wait.

Burnley away next. If we can start the game like we started the 2nd half at the Emirates, then it'll be 6 points out of 6.


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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #9 on: August 16, 2016, 10:14:04 AM »
Great piece of writing from yorky, as ever. Feels redundant for me to poke the ashes but one thing unmentioned was Klopp taking the blame for the lapse of focus after the 4th. We're clearly (still) a very naive side and the manager is going to have to work hard during games to keep battering the basics (concentrate!) in to them as well as reminding them to put into practice what they've been doing in training. I'm fascinated by this Klopp team, this stage of their development, and looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the next year, whether we win something or not, qualify for CL or not; the season is going to be both interesting intellectually and emotionally intense. He needs and deserves our patience and support, including for any decisions he makes regarding transfers - or non-transfers.
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Online redmark

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2016, 10:23:12 AM »
Great piece of writing from yorky, as ever. Feels redundant for me to poke the ashes but one thing unmentioned was Klopp taking the blame for the lapse of focus after the 4th. We're clearly (still) a very naive side and the manager is going to have to work hard during games to keep battering the basics (concentrate!) in to them as well as reminding them to put into practice what they've been doing in training. I'm fascinated by this Klopp team, this stage of their development, and looking forward to seeing how it evolves over the next year, whether we win something or not, qualify for CL or not; the season is going to be both interesting intellectually and emotionally intense. He needs and deserves our patience and support, including for any decisions he makes regarding transfers - or non-transfers.

I remember thinking when Arsenal scored their 3rd that "we should have kept it at 3-1, we've annoyed them". A later thought was that the crowd's reaction may have spurred their players to make some renewed effort - mention of Klopp's admission of that celebration being a mistake makes me wonder if that itself got Arsenal backs up a bit.

Great OP by Yorky, as ever.
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Offline Medellin

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2016, 10:34:00 AM »
An excellent OP Yorky!
Not much to add or disagree with so I'll swerve to other areas.
It would be easy to suggest we gave the Arse far too much respect in the opening exchanges,maybe we did somewhat-but you have to give them credit for their pressing & forcing a rushed pass or dwelling on the ball in that first half.
Wengers team selection was baffling to say the least,Kocielny,Giroud,Ozil & Xhaka should have started and seen an hour or so at least-it was too big a game & ultimately cost the gunners.

A few things I will point out..

1 - Henderson needs to be in a more advanced role.
2 - Manè-worth every penny & we may have seen the goal of the season on day 1..wow!!
3 - "He can't beat Cech from there"..fucking get in!  Don't ever underestimate Phil ever ever again.
4 - Migs stepped up,healthy competition finally!
5 - Klavan,I picked up on his distribution in the obligatory YouTube vids-very impressed & looks to be an absolute steal-reads the game well & does the basics right.
6 - That move..for Phil's shinito finish,poetry in motion!
7 - Klopp..why shouldn't he celebrate with the players? Disrespectful? Nah,not in the slightest-go large or go home!
8 - Moreno,Klopp see's something which is enough for me-his confidence was shot & the 3 or 4 passes straight into touch proved that. I have been vocal like many regarding his frailties,apologies Alberto..you wear the red shirt,you give your all,desire & commitment aplenty. Time to get behind the lad 100% & get a decent song for him too.
9 - Big shout for the lads & lasses who got to the game,fucking superb-loved the BOSS THA! banner!
10 - Who is the lad on the bench? Is it Klopps son? Doppelgänger! Same bins too!

Overall,taking 3 pts at the Emirates was on a few of our cards,finally-lots of confidence in the team.
Onwards & upwards!

Edit Q10 - Andreas Kornmayer
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 11:22:20 AM by Medellin »
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Offline Ratboy3G

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2016, 10:35:21 AM »
That first 20 minutes of the second half was brilliant. If we're able to sustain that for longer periods then we'll be some team. Granted, we conceded 3 goals, though if you break them down then they were all pretty avoidable. The set piece for obvious reasons, a sloppy give away during transition and the OxC goal, which you'd really hope wouldn't be happening after a few games in, not least with Karius coming back in who probably wouldn't be beaten so easily/regularly at his near post.

Harsh on Migs, before the deflection it was going straight at him. I'm not sure many keepers out there would adjust quickly enough to stop that one. 

Great OP Yorkie
« Last Edit: August 16, 2016, 12:46:54 PM by Ratboy3G »
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Offline Butcher Knife Roberto

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2016, 12:45:40 PM »
An excellent OP, fantastic work and a great one to set up the debate.

Firstly, following this paragraph this post will be a Moreno-free zone. Enough has been said already and if it was any other player who did the tackle and, god forbid, found himself a couple of yards out of place when another player lost the ball then it would be a mere footnote. Moreno will be demonised in the press and continually by pundits who played the game in a different era - as fans, we have a responsibility to support him every time he puts on the shirt, until such point that Klopp decides otherwise. Anyway, enuff said about Albie...

For 20 minutes we saw a glimpse of the future. Klopp's future, our future as a team, the misery that opposing fans can look forward to. We heard it after the Barca match at Wembley - it's only a friendly, it means nothing, they'll not do that in the Premier League. Well we did. Let us not also forget, Arsenal are no mugs. Who cares that they didn't spend much in the summer, they didn't need to. They had their 2 regular centre-backs missing, yes, absolutely. But they also had Alexis Sanchez et al on display. Oh, and did anyone mention Arsenal finished runners up last year?

As usual, the tired pundits we suffer in the press (*cough* Lawrenson *cough*) will continue to say we're shite, we're gonna finish nowhere near the top 4, haven't spent enough money, blah blah blah... But one glance into the forums of opposing fans will tell you all you need to know. They're afraid of what we're becoming. The 20 minute glimpse into the future was evidence of that, and there are enough fans out there who are not stupid (a surprising amount of which I found on Red Cafe). Yeah, the first half was shite - most of the games this weekend were shite. Clearly you could see both teams trying to feel their way into the match, and the standard of play up until the 45th minute reflected that. But once Coutinho reminded the 60k in the stadium that he just needs one chance, the mood clearly changed. The goal was a relief, and reassurance that we're ok, we can score, we don't need to worry about teams scoring against us because we can just go out there and score more than them. The fear on the faces of the Arsenal players - seriously fucking good players, I should add - was clear to see.

The carnage of the first 20 minutes of the second half will live long in the memory, and has been written about extensively by others. But we need to look forward now, to write the new memories over the next 37 games. The ones Klopp said we'll be looking back on next May. I listened to Neil Atkinson talking on the Pink on The Anfield Wrap, describing us as Champions-Elect. He might be onto something you know...

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2016, 01:49:25 PM »
Great stuff, Yorky.

Here's a pretty safe prediction: there is so much creativity around little Phil these days that it's inconceivable we won't be among the top scorers in the league this year.
I agree and I think think one of the key factors in whether we have a successful season this year is going to be how well we build a platform for our attack to flourish. If we get it right, there's the potential for big things to happen. It's just a case of sorting out our structural issues and making sure we're not so reliant on having territory in the final third.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2016, 02:36:54 PM »
Thanks for the OP.

Wow that was some opening game.

In the first half we were slow and it was obvious that the players hadn't developed an understanding. We gave the ball away too easily when pressed. It was frustrating to see us being outplayed by a poor Arsenal team.

Phil's goal came out of the blue just as we were all looking for a halftime cuppa. It was a brilliant strike and suddenly the whole atmosphere changed.

We came out in the 2nd half as a much better team and we completely destroyed Arsenal. At 4-1 down all the gooners in the pub left as did many at the Emirates. What sort of supporter gives up with 30 minutes to go? They are good-time-charlies who love it when their team is playing well but as soon as they hit a bad patch they all turn into professional moaners having a go at Wenger.

At 4-1 up we should have either gone for 5 or 6 or else closed the game down. However we appeared to ease up which gave the game back to Arsenal. We gave away two soft goals which is something that we are going to have to stop doing.

Mane and Klavan had good debuts and both impressed. Phil showed how good he can be.

However we also saw too many weaknesses. Mignolet played ok but I think he should have saved their 3rd. Moreno had a poor 1st half; he improved greatly in the 2nd half but he needs to cut out the silly lunge tackles. Henderson looked poor and I think he needs to be played further forward.

We have a lot of attacking options but we need to tighten up in defence (that also includes our midfield holding the ball better under pressure).

Good entertainment and a great start to the season. Klopp will work on the defensive side of the game and I don't think he needs to worry too much about our attack.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2016, 03:56:20 PM »
We've seen it before, absolutely crushing good teams last season or just scoring quite heavily under Jurgy but also conceding many - usually teams that played attacking style. The challenge is to back it up in the next game(s) and how often can we do it to teams adept at playing the low block.

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2016, 04:04:47 PM »
I wouldn't worry about the goals conceded too much. The second one was lucky and the third was unstoppable. Arsenal are one of the teams I expect to cause us problems as they are so comfortable on the ball which limits the effectiveness of counter pressing so it was a good victory in that sense. If we don't dominate the teams that aren't so good on the ball then we will have problems.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2016, 04:35:53 PM »
Great stuff, Yorky.
I agree and I think think one of the key factors in whether we have a successful season this year is going to be how well we build a platform for our attack to flourish. If we get it right, there's the potential for big things to happen. It's just a case of sorting out our structural issues and making sure we're not so reliant on having territory in the final third.

Do you think the third goal (Coutinho's second) shows that we can give the platform for really well structured attacks? The way we moved the ball around midfield and attack (for what seemed like 100 passes!), pulling the opposition from side to side before creating the 1v1 for Clyne to power past his opponent and put in the great cross where we had 4 people in the box was really well organised and seemed like the sort of thing you see them practicing in the warm up before a game. It was probably one of our most impressive team goals in a few seasons and hopefully something we have been working on, it could be very useful against teams who park the bus.

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2016, 04:45:32 PM »
Do you think the third goal (Coutinho's second) shows that we can give the platform for really well structured attacks? The way we moved the ball around midfield and attack (for what seemed like 100 passes!), pulling the opposition from side to side before creating the 1v1 for Clyne to power past his opponent and put in the great cross where we had 4 people in the box was really well organised and seemed like the sort of thing you see them practicing in the warm up before a game. It was probably one of our most impressive team goals in a few seasons and hopefully something we have been working on, it could be very useful against teams who park the bus.

It was awesome. Most of the passing was done with purpose too which meant that Arsenal weren't just tired chasing, they were thrown into a bit disarray. The best four moments of the move, when the passing assumed something more than just routine circulation of the ball, were 1. Coutinho turning and shimmying away from a marker to open up the left. That sent the entire Arsenal defence in a direction it didn't want to go.  2. Wijnaldum dropping between the lines to receive a good Lovren pass, turning and opening up the right. 3. Clyne deciding to drop a shoulder and use his pace to take on his man. 4. Coutinho's proactive surge into the box.

The whole thing was effing brilliant. The longer the move went on the more alternatives there were for the team on the ball. We've all seen teams pass themselves into a dead end. One weak link in the chain - a Dirk Kuyt say - and the momentum of the move can go. This wasn't like that.

Yes, I hope to see more.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2016, 04:57:36 PM »
It was awesome. Most of the passing was done with purpose too which meant that Arsenal weren't just tired chasing, they were thrown into a bit disarray. The best four moments of the move, when the passing assumed something more than just routine circulation of the ball, were 1. Coutinho turning and shimmying away from a marker to open up the left. That sent the entire Arsenal defence in a direction it didn't want to go.  2. Wijnaldum dropping between the lines to receive a good Lovren pass, turning and opening up the right. 3. Clyne deciding to drop a shoulder and use his pace to take on his man. 4. Coutinho's proactive surge into the box.

The whole thing was effing brilliant. The longer the move went on the more alternatives there were for the team on the ball. We've all seen teams pass themselves into a dead end. One weak link in the chain - a Dirk Kuyt say - and the momentum of the move can go. This wasn't like that.

Yes, I hope to see more.
Loved the OP by the way, always a pleasure to read your posts.

Just wanted to comment on the Coutinho run towards the front post and finish inside the six-yard box as this is something that has excited me. Coutinho has always been the type of player who likes to hang around outside the box, beat his man and shoot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Usually they are good goals, often important goals but they're low probability and when you see the number of goals he's scored at the end of the season and look at the amount of shots he's taken there's a massive shortfall.

That goal is hopefully a step towards him getting between the frame of the goal and applying the type of finishing touches to moves that a 20-goal striker would be proud of. With Firmino playing the false 9 there's going to be plenty of room for the likes of Coutinho and Mane in the six yard box and if Coutinho starts making those 'strikers' runs it could see him reach the next level.

(ps I thought you'd have mentioned the Lallana back-heeled 1-2 in the build up to that goal)
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2016, 05:07:06 PM »
Loved the OP by the way, always a pleasure to read your posts.

Just wanted to comment on the Coutinho run towards the front post and finish inside the six-yard box as this is something that has excited me. Coutinho has always been the type of player who likes to hang around outside the box, beat his man and shoot from the edge of the 18-yard box. Usually they are good goals, often important goals but they're low probability and when you see the number of goals he's scored at the end of the season and look at the amount of shots he's taken there's a massive shortfall.

That goal is hopefully a step towards him getting between the frame of the goal and applying the type of finishing touches to moves that a 20-goal striker would be proud of. With Firmino playing the false 9 there's going to be plenty of room for the likes of Coutinho and Mane in the six yard box and if Coutinho starts making those 'strikers' runs it could see him reach the next level.

(ps I thought you'd have mentioned the Lallana back-heeled 1-2 in the build up to that goal)

I should have! I adore Lallana's back-heels. They catch everyone out except - ideally - the players he trains with day-in, day-out. He did another good one in the first half too, which wasn't read unfortunately. 

As for Phil's run, yes, you're completely right. The thing is, he's done it now and it paid off. The memory is there. It works.

So he'll do it again.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #22 on: August 16, 2016, 05:35:54 PM »
Do you think the third goal (Coutinho's second) shows that we can give the platform for really well structured attacks? The way we moved the ball around midfield and attack (for what seemed like 100 passes!), pulling the opposition from side to side before creating the 1v1 for Clyne to power past his opponent and put in the great cross where we had 4 people in the box was really well organised and seemed like the sort of thing you see them practicing in the warm up before a game. It was probably one of our most impressive team goals in a few seasons and hopefully something we have been working on, it could be very useful against teams who park the bus.
I was going to discuss this actually. Part of the reason I mention territory is that there's a difference between the positional play (off the ball movement) required to build from the back and the positional play required to penetrate the opposition in their half of the pitch. One of the reasons we struggled in the first half on Sunday, mainly in the first 15 minutes, was because of our limitations at the former - Henderson really struggles when receiving the ball facing his own goal and neither him nor Lallana and Wijnaldum knew how to position themselves to help us play our way into the game. That caused a knock-on effect where we started going long but without a target and without any width from the front three to open space up. We carried more of a threat as the first half went along but it was only really in the second half when Mane and Coutinho squeezed Arsenal further forward and our midfield became more compact that we had a base to build our attacks off.

As you say, the opening to the second half and the build up to our third goal (and second goal actually) was outstanding. Our attack matches any team in the league if we continue to be clinical in front of goal. It's just about being able to play well when the game is being contested in our half of the pitch. If Klopp can do that then we're two or three steps closer to becoming real title contenders over the next few years.
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Offline The Corinth

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2016, 06:24:57 PM »
Have watched it twice, one in wondering-where-I-put-that-life-insurance-policy mode, and one in more relaxed fashion.

Henderson had a good game for us; influential. As 'Number 7' pointed out in the Jordan Henderson thread:

"72 passes which was about 30 more than anyone else in midfield from both sides"

That's 72 passes against a team that love to keep the ball themselves. That sounds like a lot to me.

I cannot understand people's issues with the lad, whether positionally or just good old per se. Claims that he was better when he moved forward don't wash when considering he was our notional holding mid during the three-goal blitz period in the second half. He's got a deft touch on the ball, largely uncredited. As for this supposed almost criminal inability to turn with the ball, I've seen us win 11 league titles and 5 European Cups and never once heard anyone standing on the Kop going "Eh, that Souness, he's alright like but he can't play on the half-turn you know". Same goes for Terry Mac, Whelan, McMahon, Molby, Alonso, Gerrard or anyone else you could care to mention. The one time one of our mids did try was when Lallana lost the ball by half-turning straight into trouble and before you knew it we were 1-0 down. Playing on the half-turn just in front of your own box is potential suicide and if Henderson hasn't got a shout of "turn" or "time" and wants to lay it back to the centre backs and recycle possession until his teammates are in a better shape to receive the ball then that's alright by me, and I'm sure by most football coaches whose lives depend on results. Yes, Wijnaldum is particularly adept at it, and yes, Zielinski looks to have the same skillset, so yes, maybe it is something that Klopp likes in ONE of his midfielders sufficient to target it in this transfer window, but I doubt he's looking for it in his holding mid. Henderson has many attributes that should enable him to play the role. He's a lot more consistent in his performance level than Emre Can, whose form match to match and even intra-match is pretty erratic in my book. I think people's issues with Henderson are exactly that, their issues, not his, not the least him being Engiish. I do wonder why people support an English club if they hold English footballers in such low regard. Anyway...

Said enough on Moreno in the Moreno thread. No point repeating it all here but he is a liability that needs sorting and fast, even if just via the return to fitness of Milner.

Re some of Yorky's other points:

Sadio - explosive finish, sure, reminded me of some old Kenny goals cutting in from the right and curling in with his left (one for us, and an almost exact replica in a Scotland shirt), only Sadio displayed pace and power rather than the Dalglish swan-on-a-river demeanour. Sadio looks like an individual playing in a team though and Klopp will need to work on integrating him into teamplay. Early days and it's understandable he's still getting to know his teammates and how they play but I can't help feeling this lad will show flashes of individual brilliance but will find working patterns with his teammates harder - a player that relies on his instincts rather than excellent coaching if you will. I'm looking forward to Ingsy getting back up to speed as these two can really push each other for the right-sided front three spot and I wouldn't assume Ings will be the one to lose out long term; he's a man, blooded in second-tier football, and that's what this club has been lacking. For too long we've played too many 'kids' (physically and/or mentally) and not enough men's men, thus can regularly get bossed out of games by absolute yard dogs. I doubt Klopp will want his Liverpool side to reflect that image.

Klavan - yep, early days but for a supposed 4th choice centre back - which in reality might just mean 2nd choice left-sided centre back - and for the sake of a few million quid, he looked as cool as we could expect a player making his competitive debut at Arsenal. Reminded me of Henchoz: the good years. As someone pointed out, Arsenal did seem to switch their attack to Clyne's side later on. There are various possible reasons: Wenger sides seem to love to play down that side, particularly during the Cashley-Thierry years but generally so it seems to me; Lovren was a bit sloppy at times and Wenger may have been targeting the space between Clyne and Lovren, rather than targeting the players themselves; Walcott's fitness may not have been up to the task second half while Oxlade-Chamberlian was clearly chomping at the bit; or it could just be that Klavan was playing well so they changed the focus of their attack. Who knows.

Mignolet's punching - I'm glad Klopp has (supposedly) identified the necessity for our keeper to dominate his 6-yard box and Mig has improved a bit in that regard, but for their third he steps forward, then moves back on his line, and is flatfooted for the glancing header. The header is from about the 6-yard line and a keeper of Mignolet's height, with arm length that an Orang Utan would be pleased with, should be punching that clear. I have seen little of Karius but I sense he would have been more assertive in that situation. He might even have saved the second too, though that was a stunning goal from Oxlade-Chamberlain which deserves more credit that people putting it down to poor defending. Sometimes you just need to take you hat off to brilliant play.

Watching back I noticed that Arsenal really were positioned in "banks of" at times in the second half, which really helped us control possession. I don't think their young centre back pairing had been under any duress first half, Firmino failing to impress me (yet again), but then he started dropping off and pulling wider leaving us with no central striker and the centre backs not knowing who to mark. The result was absolute chaos, Wijnaldum bombing on, Lallana too, and three rapid-fire goals before they knew what had hit them. I don't like Firmino up front; I like him even less in behind a lone striker (where you'd think he would flourish) or out wide, but as the notional central striker he can sometimes be effective IF (big if) he gets his arse in gear and gets about the pitch AND we have off the ball runners from midfield prepared to hit the box, like Wijnaldum. I will always prefer us to play with a striker who has the pace to go in behind though. This false nine mullarkey can work on occasion, as it did here, sometimes even to devastating effect, as it did here, but over the course of a season a good pacy striker capable of going in behind (oo er missus) will always pay dividends in my book. Get well soon, Daniel.

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2016, 07:08:18 PM »
That OP was nearly as good as that Coutinho free kick. Bravo.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #25 on: August 16, 2016, 07:32:55 PM »
Terrific stuff Yorky lad.

Just wish it had been longer to prolong the delight of savouring it.

Haven't read all the follow up posts yet but have we ever had a more satisfying opening day. I can't recall but there's certainly not been one with a quartet of such fantastic goals.

 ;D

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #26 on: August 16, 2016, 10:57:51 PM »
Great OP, Yorky. Thank you.

Nothing to add except that I hope we continue to capitalize on the momentum we create with our first goal and win matches in 15-20 minute periods. I've seen Utd and Arsenal mount title and top 4 challenges so many times over the years doing it, and us in the second half of 13/14, that I hope our team learns to consistently score in bunches, too. It's such a great habit and we have the requisite firepower.         

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #27 on: August 17, 2016, 05:37:41 AM »
Our performance has been dissected by the experts so I am not going to talk about it. I just want to spur a debate on Henderson and his best position in the team.

Do you think playing as a pseudo DM is the best use of his abilities? I am huge fan of Henderson and what he brings to the team, but I also think he is best utilized as a box to box central midfielder, alongside one or two other CMs.  The shielding midfield position requires a lot of discipline and spatial awareness and playing Henderson there is negating his primary strengths. Henderson is great while making runs from midfield and creating chances for others. His long range passing is also excellent, especially if you give him a bit of time. Basically, I think we will get the best out of him by playing him as box to box midfielder flanked by one or two other CMs , especially in terms of his contribution to our attack. 

As a DM, he is hindered in terms of his overall contribution, despite his solid performance against Arsenal. Does anyone else agree?

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #28 on: August 17, 2016, 06:14:06 AM »
Our performance has been dissected by the experts so I am not going to talk about it. I just want to spur a debate on Henderson and his best position in the team.

Do you think playing as a pseudo DM is the best use of his abilities? I am huge fan of Henderson and what he brings to the team, but I also think he is best utilized as a box to box central midfielder, alongside one or two other CMs.  The shielding midfield position requires a lot of discipline and spatial awareness and playing Henderson there is negating his primary strengths. Henderson is great while making runs from midfield and creating chances for others. His long range passing is also excellent, especially if you give him a bit of time. Basically, I think we will get the best out of him by playing him as box to box midfielder flanked by one or two other CMs , especially in terms of his contribution to our attack. 

As a DM, he is hindered in terms of his overall contribution, despite his solid performance against Arsenal. Does anyone else agree?



I agree that his best position is one of the more attacking central midfielders. He's an energetic and enthusiastic tackler/presser, but those qualities shine through more when it isn't one of his primary roles. The problem with Henderson is that as one of the more attacking central midfielders, he probably isn't as incisive and as quick on the transition as someone like Wijnaldum or Lallana.

On the other hand, I think he did exceed a lot of expectations in his Arsenal performance as a single-pivot. One of the most common criticisms leveled at Henderson is that he isn't proficient at turning on the ball. I recall at least one or two occasions where he received the ball on the half turn against Arsenal and passed the ball forward. Promising to see. Moreover, he made five tackles and two interceptions over the 90 minutes. That's not a peak-Lucas or peak-Matic level performance, but at least it demonstrates that he is capable of doing a decent job in a primarily defensive midfield role, against what's one of the better attacks in the league - even accounting for their injuries.

I've been very skeptical about the prospect of Henderson having an extended run in the deeper role. The Arsenal performance hasn't changed my views. He still doesn't look like a natural fit there. But he did okay, and I'm curious how he'll do in future matches - particularly against the less dangerous teams where his long range distribution will be more important.

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #29 on: August 17, 2016, 07:29:07 AM »
I agree that his best position is one of the more attacking central midfielders. He's an energetic and enthusiastic tackler/presser, but those qualities shine through more when it isn't one of his primary roles. The problem with Henderson is that as one of the more attacking central midfielders, he probably isn't as incisive and as quick on the transition as someone like Wijnaldum or Lallana.

On the other hand, I think he did exceed a lot of expectations in his Arsenal performance as a single-pivot. One of the most common criticisms leveled at Henderson is that he isn't proficient at turning on the ball. I recall at least one or two occasions where he received the ball on the half turn against Arsenal and passed the ball forward. Promising to see. Moreover, he made five tackles and two interceptions over the 90 minutes. That's not a peak-Lucas or peak-Matic level performance, but at least it demonstrates that he is capable of doing a decent job in a primarily defensive midfield role, against what's one of the better attacks in the league - even accounting for their injuries.

I've been very skeptical about the prospect of Henderson having an extended run in the deeper role. The Arsenal performance hasn't changed my views. He still doesn't look like a natural fit there. But he did okay, and I'm curious how he'll do in future matches - particularly against the less dangerous teams where his long range distribution will be more important.


Agree with your assessment of Henderson and his attributes. I was referring to playing him as a box to box CM, ala Marchiso for Juventus circa 2013-14, rather than playing as an outright AM.  The second pivot if you will, for the lack of a better term.

I am also interested in seeing how Klopp uses him through the course of the season. In any case, he should definitely be there in the final 11, wherever he plays.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 07:31:19 AM by 21stCenturySchizoidMan »
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2016, 09:44:55 AM »
ROUND TABLE: ARSE 3 REDS 4

SNIP
Apologies that I'm not adding anything, just wanted to say thanks for that smashing write up and give this thread a bump ;) :wave
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Offline The Corinth

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2016, 10:53:50 AM »
One of the most common criticisms leveled at Henderson is that he isn't proficient at turning on the ball.

This isn't aimed at you, as you are only reporting a "common criticism", but it really doesn't matter. It's like criticising him for not being able to run upfield with the ball balanced on his head. Turning upfield with the ball is not something you want your defensive midfielder doing unless he's 100% confident it's safe to do so. See Lallana getting robbed blind on Sunday right in front of his own box. Even if it were important, which it isn't, he's as proficient at it as anyone else. It's really not difficult. He just chooses not to do it when it's safer not to do so, and that would have come from how he's been coached over the years. In their own half, players need to get into shape so that when they receive the ball they're pretty much facing forward, not back to goal. That goes for his teammates, not just him. Klopp was bellowing "Movement!" at his players first half. That's the key. As long as Henderson, or Can, or Stewart, or Lucas, don't dwell on the ball facing their own keeper but ping it off again that's fine, the ball's moving, we've still got it, and we can recycle it until players have got into better shape to receive it and move forward. Sides like Barcelona do this constantly, passing, passing, passing, until the shape's good. We don't need to get the ball off a centre back and turn it into Charge of the Light Brigade. Leave that sort of stuff for the likes of Palace.

I think Henderson can play def mid. He's quicker over the ground than Lucas, better passing range, can go through different gears than Lucas who plays at the same ponderous pace all the time, he's taller, he's got a better engine, he can spot danger, and in the season we nearly won the league he was impressively consistent, and had we had him for those missing three games I think we might have gone on to win the title. If Lucas can play there, despite not having possessed any obvious credentials for the job other than the ability to find a teammate within a fairly short proximity, and if Can can (der, de de de de, der, de de de de der, de de de, dededededededede), then Henderson can.

Is it his best position? No, right now possibly not, but could it be, possibly given time. We've always collectively seen Henderson as the archetypal British box-to-box midfielder contributing little other than heart and lungs, and maybe he was when he arrived but Brendan did a real job on Henderson, adding finesse, passing range, and a huge dollop of tactical awareness. Nobody I've ever seen in a red shirt can play those little "pointless" 1-2s to slow a game down and see a game out in a winning position like Jordan can, and I think he learned that off Brendan. Rodgers did some good work on game management that should not be written off in a black and white world where managers are depicted either as gods when they're with us or fuckwits when they've gone. Is that what's in store for Klopp if he doesn't bring the title home? It seems unlikely right now but history suggests otherwise.

Henderson's best position right now probably is as the middle of a midfield three, in terms of being midway between our goal and theirs. He doesn't possess the goal threat that he should, so shouldn't be the most advanced of a three. That should go to Wijnaldum by the looks of it from Sunday. I know Lallana scored but he doesn't do it regularly enough for me. If we were looking for a centre mid to grab 10+ goals I think Wijnaldum would be shorter odds than Lallana, which is why Klopp's signed him presumably.

A lot of people seemed to be assuming we would play 4-2-3-1 this season, and possibly foreveremore, because that's what Klopp "has always played", but we've been setting up in a Barca style 4-3-3 (or 4-1-2-3) all pre-season so it was no surprise that's what we put out at the Emirates. It's marginal anyway, how you play with the numbers; if one centre mid advances forward he effectively becomes the middle of a 4-2-3-1 anyway, and if he bombs past the striker the numbers become meaningless. Players do not stay in fixed zones. If they did, they'd be easy to defend against. The more advanced of the three, whether it be Wijnaldum, Lallana, Henderson, Can, whoever, needs to be a real dynamo, breaking forward out of a notional zone to suddenly overload/outnumber the opposition in dangerous areas. If two do it, Wijnaldum and Lallana, say, then havoc can be wreaked as we saw on Sunday.

As a sidenote, I know he scored two so it almost seems daft to criticise, but I think Coutinho is wasted on the left of a front three. He effectively becomes a one-trick pony out there, jinking onto his right and firing in, wide or over. Yes, he gets a few worldies as a result, but that glosses over the fact that he is not a wide player. He's a cracking little player but I don't feel he sees enough of the ball out there; he becomes peripheral. If we're playing a middle three, I'd like to see him moved back as part of the cohort of three mids, as a sort of red Iniesta. Let's get him on the ball and in the game. Please. Jurgen. Would you mind being so good as to. I'd love to see Ojo really brought on this season wide left. He's got as much in his locker to play that position as anyone in the squad, so now it's just whether he is ready. Has he looked out of place at this level? Not for me. Some(one) once said on the Youth/Reserves thread that Ojo would make it here, and I just laughed at the time because he was the laziest player in that side and would never have got anywhere if he'd carried on in that vein. Fortunately the coaches must have got through to him and those predicting a first team future for Ojo back then might just be proved right. Jurgen will have a feel for when he's ready i.e. capable of playing well week in week out. Sooner the better for me though. Round pegs, round holes.

Anyway, returning to topic, rather than criticise Henderson and try to nitpick supposed weaknesses in his game, we should be celebrating the fact that we have one of the most versatile midfielders in the league, who can do a quality job in a number of positions, and a manager that looks to have the ability to move players from one position to another (e.g. Milner) with successful results.

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2016, 11:01:04 AM »
Amazing pluses from the game as to score 4 goals and look like scoring more at any of our Top 4 rivals has to be applauded and considering it was the first game of the season the attacking side of the team did not take long to get going.

Obviously the negatives is we still are as leaky as a sieve in defence with personal mistakes, inability to deal with crosses and the midfield gave up control in large portions of the game. Plenty to take from the game which I am sure Klopp will be over the moon with but also have still some concerns that were apparent last season as well.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2016, 11:26:36 AM »
The quality of every goal we scored was outstanding,  and all different from one another. The free kick was outrageous,  opposite corner but reminded me of Gerrard at Villa on the opening day. As great as it was you can't expect to score goals like that every week which is what was so pleasing about the other three.

One slick exchange of one touch passes around the box allowing Wijnaldum time to pick out Lallana, one longer controlled passage of possession that pulled them all over the place and then Mané's individual brilliance that is going to have a lot of teams worried before they play us.

Real positives there that we can score goals against any opposition,  not just on the break or from the counter pressing but also against teams who want to sit a bit deeper.
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2016, 12:18:11 PM »
This isn't aimed at you, as you are only reporting a "common criticism", but it really doesn't matter. It's like criticising him for not being able to run upfield with the ball balanced on his head. Turning upfield with the ball is not something you want your defensive midfielder doing unless he's 100% confident it's safe to do so. See Lallana getting robbed blind on Sunday right in front of his own box. Even if it were important, which it isn't, he's as proficient at it as anyone else. It's really not difficult. He just chooses not to do it when it's safer not to do so, and that would have come from how he's been coached over the years. In their own half, players need to get into shape so that when they receive the ball they're pretty much facing forward, not back to goal. That goes for his teammates, not just him. Klopp was bellowing "Movement!" at his players first half. That's the key. As long as Henderson, or Can, or Stewart, or Lucas, don't dwell on the ball facing their own keeper but ping it off again that's fine, the ball's moving, we've still got it, and we can recycle it until players have got into better shape to receive it and move forward. Sides like Barcelona do this constantly, passing, passing, passing, until the shape's good. We don't need to get the ball off a centre back and turn it into Charge of the Light Brigade. Leave that sort of stuff for the likes of Palace.

I disagree on several counts. I know this whole question has been a bit 'done to death' but I'm surprised by how many fallacies this paragraph contains and so I'm joining the debate! 

The first point to say is that Henderson is not proficient at turning on the ball. You portray him as someone who can do it but wisely favours caution and doesn't do it. I think he favours caution because he's sometimes unaware of how much time and space he has to turn. There's evidence of that aplenty, including one flagrant example in the first half against Arsenal.

The implication in your argument is that Liverpool players should completely cut out turning on the ball in their own half, or at least within 10-15 yards of their own penalty area. It's "not important" you say, "not something you want your midfielder doing" and about as useful as "balancing the ball on your head". The evidence you cite is Lallana being dispossessed by Coquelin.

I want to ask you whether you've ever seen Alonso, or for that matter Lucas and Can, play in defensive midfield? And whether you think they also eschew 'turning on the ball'? But the answer is obvious. What I'll ask instead is whether you think Coutinho made a mistake turning on the ball on the edge of his own box before he passed forwards to Lallana (who was subsequently robbed)? Secondly, if not, what should Coutinho have done with the ball when he got it? Pass it back? For that matter what should Lallana have done instead of turning on the ball? Pass it back? And do you think the likes of Lallana and Coutinho should cut this turning on the ball out of their game in future when they are in their own halves?

Perhaps your answer to these questions is already contained in the above paragraph. You want the midfielders not "to dwell on the ball facing their own keeper but ping it off". But what does this mean? Should it be "pinged off" the way they are facing? And if they are facing their defence, does that mean that all passes should be returned to the defence? What then? The defence presumably launches the ball forward out of the danger area (ie into the opposition's half) where the 'fancy stuff' can start to take place.

Of course plenty of teams do play like this. Probably Burnley will do something along these lines on Saturday. They play cautiously which means they play long.

I'll admit that you raised one good point above, but I'm not sure it amounts to a capable defence of Henderson. And that's about the importance of a player's shape when he receives the ball off the defence. He really ought to be on the half turn and allow the pass, if possible, to travel across his body so that he's already on the front foot when he controls it. That's to say he ought to be turning as the pass is delivered, not after it arrives. That skill - one Lallana has in abundance - buys a player time of course. But to be able to do this you need to be aware what is happening around you. You need to be certain that you are not turning 'blind'. You need to be a 'head up' player, constantly taking stock of the movement of the opposition as well as your own colleagues. Some players are absolutely brilliant at doing this. Again Alonso leaps to mind. Or Pjanic now. Others are very good. Lucas, Can and Stewart can do it for us. Others are simply not very good at all. Hendo, sadly, is one.

His skills lie elsewhere. I thought he had a decent game on Sunday, especially in the second half where he covered a lot of ground to help his full backs. But I would hope to see less of him in defensive midfield as the season progresses, and more of him as an option in attack.





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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #35 on: August 17, 2016, 12:20:22 PM »
Great write up lads, watching the Phil goal and rewinding a little; we had 47 passes before the goal with arsenal 'touching the ball' 2 or 3 times in that period, basically a header, and a toe poke here and there in between 47 passes. That to me is the level of control Klopp talks about, poking and prodding, looking for the right time to have a go and get in behind while controlling the game.

Great stuff reds!
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #36 on: August 17, 2016, 02:26:37 PM »
Great op Yorky, despite my modest number of posts I'm a long-time lurker and admirer of your writing.

There are far more eloquent posters on here than myself so I'll keep it brief, but I wanted to touch upon our third (and Coutinho's second) goal. Judging by our first half performance I could not have imagined that we would have such good ball retention, I think for the first 45 minutes we could barely string 2 passes together nevermind 19! The pass that really stood out, though, was Lovren's into Wijnaldum just before it was laid out to Clyne. A perfect example of passing between the lines and cutting through a midfield. An excellent spot by Lovren and terrific movement by Wijnaldum to take up the position.

As for Clyne, I'd like to see him do that a LOT more often. At times, since he has signed, he's done the old Glen Johnson trick of running a few yards, hesitating, then passing it back to the centre-back. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't swap Clyne for any other RB in the league but he needs to do this more often because he's certainly capable of it. Monreal has developed into a very good LB for Arsenal despite a wobbly start so it was good to see him win this match-up.

As for Coutinho's finish. I read a stat the other day that nearly 50% of his goals for us have come from outside the box. A player of such intelligence should be making more of these darting runs into the box as he's a step ahead of nearly anyone else on the pitch. I'm not asking for him to become our Lampard or anything like that, but getting onto more cut-backs should be a target for him this season.

All in all, a brilliant goal and I'd like to see more of the same please!

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #37 on: August 17, 2016, 03:09:05 PM »
I cannot understand people's issues with the lad, whether positionally or just good old per se. Claims that he was better when he moved forward don't wash when considering he was our notional holding mid during the three-goal blitz period in the second half. He's got a deft touch on the ball, largely uncredited. As for this supposed almost criminal inability to turn with the ball, I've seen us win 11 league titles and 5 European Cups and never once heard anyone standing on the Kop going "Eh, that Souness, he's alright like but he can't play on the half-turn you know". Same goes for Terry Mac, Whelan, McMahon, Molby, Alonso, Gerrard or anyone else you could care to mention. The one time one of our mids did try was when Lallana lost the ball by half-turning straight into trouble and before you knew it we were 1-0 down. Playing on the half-turn just in front of your own box is potential suicide and if Henderson hasn't got a shout of "turn" or "time" and wants to lay it back to the centre backs and recycle possession until his teammates are in a better shape to receive the ball then that's alright by me, and I'm sure by most football coaches whose lives depend on results. Yes, Wijnaldum is particularly adept at it, and yes, Zielinski looks to have the same skillset, so yes, maybe it is something that Klopp likes in ONE of his midfielders sufficient to target it in this transfer window, but I doubt he's looking for it in his holding mid. Henderson has many attributes that should enable him to play the role. He's a lot more consistent in his performance level than Emre Can, whose form match to match and even intra-match is pretty erratic in my book. I think people's issues with Henderson are exactly that, their issues, not his, not the least him being Engiish. I do wonder why people support an English club if they hold English footballers in such low regard. Anyway...

Just on the issue of midfielders and turning on the ball. Henderson´s problem (and all our other CM´s last season really) is that none of them can do it at the level he requires. Like Sahin (pre injuries) or ideally Gundogan. Klopp has ALWAYS played with one who can. His runner. Now.... if you cannot do that, it means you are not ideal for Klopp in that position and therefore he needs to tactically solve this problem or solve it using coaching or even a replacement. Coaching here is tricky. Klopp used that passing machine to encourage better passing, awareness, anticipation and playing on the half turn (amongst other things) in his players. But unless you have a low center of gravity naturally, there is a limit to how much you can improve here.

Pointing out that players of old didn´t need this to succeed is really irrelevant simply because Klopp believes this is needed in his system to succeed. Therefore, I suspect when we succeed we will have a midfielder who can do exactly that. Because for Klopp - the system is king.

Where that leaves all our midfield options is tricky. Milner seems to have ended up a full back. I suspect Can and Grujlic will be sitters as they are the right physical build and competitive in the air to meet the main criteria Klopp has for the role. Henderson doesn´t though. Neither does Stewart or Rossiter or Allen. Which makes me wonder where that leaves the two from that four that are still here as I don´t think Klopp would ideally chose any of them for either midfield role.

What Henderson does have is a tireless work ethic, very good understanding of how to press opponents to block passing lanes making him great against teams who like to circulate the ball (Arsenal?), and a desire to attack the box. None of those fit the sitting midfielder very well at all though. In fact I would argue those skills are things Klopp might deploy most in the attacking 3.

If we play with a 3 in midfield, and play 2 runners in the half spaces, it somewhat negates the need for a midfielder who can play on the half turn. And this was the tactical solution to this that Klopp used last season. However it means having less attacking movement ahead of the midfield. Which is why ideally Klopp wants a midfield 2 and a front 4 long term and no matter what way I look at it, I don´t see how Henderson works in a midfield two as he lacks the crucial element to his game to fit either the sitter or runner in a Klopp midfield.

I can see him ending up either as a right full back or one of the attacking 3 longer term. Given that one of our 3 AM´s drops into midfield during our defensive phase most of the time anyway, Henderson playing that position doesn´t seem out of the realm of possibility. However, he wouldn´t offer as much in a creative or attacking sense further forward than what we have and really doesn´t seem 1st choice in any role in a Klopp side. And that has to be a worry for a club captain and one of our highest earners I am sure.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 03:20:03 PM by BabuYagu »
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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #38 on: August 17, 2016, 03:41:48 PM »
This isn't aimed at you, as you are only reporting a "common criticism", but it really doesn't matter. It's like criticising him for not being able to run upfield with the ball balanced on his head. Turning upfield with the ball is not something you want your defensive midfielder doing unless he's 100% confident it's safe to do so. See Lallana getting robbed blind on Sunday right in front of his own box. Even if it were important, which it isn't, he's as proficient at it as anyone else. It's really not difficult. He just chooses not to do it when it's safer not to do so, and that would have come from how he's been coached over the years. In their own half, players need to get into shape so that when they receive the ball they're pretty much facing forward, not back to goal. That goes for his teammates, not just him. Klopp was bellowing "Movement!" at his players first half. That's the key. As long as Henderson, or Can, or Stewart, or Lucas, don't dwell on the ball facing their own keeper but ping it off again that's fine, the ball's moving, we've still got it, and we can recycle it until players have got into better shape to receive it and move forward. Sides like Barcelona do this constantly, passing, passing, passing until the shape's good. We don't need to get the ball off a centre back and turn it into Charge of the Light Brigade. Leave that sort of stuff for the likes of Palace.

This part in bold makes me think you know Barcelona pass the ball but have never actually watched them actually move the ball from back to front. Xavi is widely accepted to be the player in football who is best at playing on the half turn. One of him or Iniesta would drop into midfield when under pressure and then turn their marker and move the ball forward effortlessly time and again. Busquets isn´t great at it, but uses his frame to draw fouls instead (or dive). Either way, the ball would end up in the final 3rd with Barcelona in their attacking phase. Then they would pick sides apart.

You need players who can link play and that means needing players who can turn on the ball in a tight space under pressure. If you don´t have that, sides who have their pressing games on point will just pin us into our own half and force us to hit long percentage balls. But then given what you said about wanting a pacey striker to run in behind rather than a false 9, maybe that´s what you want. Houllier´s Liverpool?

I think rather than taking everything you want from a side and applying it to this squad - you may be better served thinking about how Klopp looks at a game, what he wants from the side and understanding that better. I genuinely believe it will help you resolve some of the misunderstandings you have about why certain things are important to Klopp and what others are not. Then his selections and the profile of players he targets will make a lot more sense.

One last thing - all your posts indicate you are incredibly averse to risk, particularly in our own half of the pitch. Which means I think heart problems may lie ahead for you. Klopp wants a risk taker in goal.... someone playing off his line. This isn´t Migs and that´s why he looks unsure doing it. The one time he did at the weekend, Ramsey almost caught him out. He stopped trying then. Guardiola also needs the same. The focus in the media is Harts ability with his feet but that isn´t really it. He is a safe goalkeeper. Stay on his line, make saves, simple distribution. When what they want is someone who will release the ball quickly to catch sides while they are still out of shape in their transition, to allow better counter attacks. Someone who plays off his line protecting his half of the pitch rather than just the goal. That is Karius. And as a pure keeper, he may not even be better than Migs, but he is pro-active rather than reactive.

Moreno (who you hate) is also a proactive full back. Great for a manager who wants to hit teams on the transition, who wants to play pressing traps. Terrible for a fan who hates risk. Now I am not saying he is perfect or without fault. That would be mental. But.... and this is important..... when Klopp replaces Moreno, we will see another risk taking full back. So for you, the problem will still remain. It will just be someone new to unload on instead of Moreno.

Lovren is also a risk taker. He will attack the ball. His partner´s job is to cover him and so he is paired with someone with pace and looks better next to the positional sound Clyne. Skrtel - the risk averse defender - would back off just allowing players higher % success shots in our box. Deflections and own goals increase. He doesn´t deal with the threat - just runs from it and hopes he can block the shot or the keeper will save it from almost point blank range.

Klopp wants brave, confident, risk takers in his side. This is the mental profile of players he will be looking for. For each role there will also be tactical, physical and technical qualities they will need - but it should explain why he is will to persist with someone like Moreno, Lovren, Lallana, Sakho when many fans had written them off.

There are times when risk doesn´t pay off. Lallana will lose the ball. Moreno will be ahead of the ball betting on Lallana to turn his man like he does 99 times out of 100. The solution isn´t not to take risks. Because then you end up watching a Tony Pulis team.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2016, 03:57:46 PM by BabuYagu »
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Offline E2K

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Re: Round Table: Arsenal 3 Liverpool 4
« Reply #39 on: August 17, 2016, 03:49:01 PM »
An old nugget of pundit wisdom (as opposed to the other kind of nugget which a lot of pundits are) has long stated that the sign of a good team is one which can grind out results when it’s not at its best. In this age of reboots, Sunday’s performance and result may necessitate a similar reimagining of that logic.

On the one hand, Liverpool, although it remains to be seen whether Jürgen Klopp’s team can be “good” across an entire season and beyond, were far from impressive for large portions of that game and still managed to take all three points. Yet the manner in which they did it wasn’t by nicking a goal after a tough defensive display against superior opposition on the day, the more traditional interpretation of a “good team”, it was by plundering four in as dominant a twenty minutes as you will ever see in a game of football. Perhaps, then, if these kind of results continue across Klopp’s stay as Liverpool boss, the likes of Danny Murphy and Jermaine Jenas will one day be heard to philosophise that the sign of a good team is scoring four goals in twenty minutes when it’s not at its best.

Arsenal, for their part, were certainly without some key players on Sunday although, regardless of the result, I can’t be alone in wondering what impact the likes of Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Emre Can, James Milner, Joël Matip, Loris Karius, Mamadou Sakho, perhaps even Joe Gomez and Sheyi Ojo, might have made had they been picked and/or not been injured or considered unfit. Would it have been even worse for Arsenal? Without the bones of what would be a quality XI in and of itself, Liverpool were nonetheless able to go 4-1 up in little over an hour. That’s impressive.

For all the talk, much of it valid, about the club not competing in the transfer market over the past number of years and certain positions needing to be addressed (one in particular), Brendan Rodgers launched a title challenge with less as recently as two seasons ago. Not less in the first-team necessarily, not with departed talent like Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling and Luis Suárez to call upon, but certainly less in terms of a squad that regularly saw names like Luis Alberto, Iago Aspas and Victor Moses as the only attacking options available on the bench. Go back a little further and Rafael Benítez was depending on David N’gog and Andriy Voronin to deputise for Fernando Torres.

This is not to say that a title challenge should be expected or will materialise this season – unlike Rodgers, Klopp has to contend with Guardiola and Mourinho (instead of Moyes) in Manchester and Pochettino at Tottenham (as opposed to Tim Sherwood). The squad being assembled, however, certainly looks to be on the right path. For example, it can be argued that, potentially, not since the days of Robbie Fowler (later replaced by Nicolas Anelka for a brief spell), Emile Heskey, Jari Litmanen and Michael Owen have Liverpool had depth upfront to compare with Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, Origi and Sturridge (should they all stay fit). And how long has it been since the club had the kind of raw pace on the flanks that Sadio Mané and Ojo could yet bring in tandem?

Like many of us I’ve been guilty in the past of getting ahead of myself (another win in north London two years ago immediately springs to mind), so I’ll leave the future-talk there for now.

As for the game itself, I can only agree that the team is crying out for an upgrade in the left-back slot. To set up at one of the toughest venues in European football with only one player providing dedicated defensive cover in the shape of Jordan Henderson, who himself is less than accustomed to the role, is gutsy and brilliant (in that it worked) and Klopp certainly got his reward. The flipside is that Alberto Moreno, a vastly inferior defender to his colleague on the opposite side (Nathaniel Clyne), was effectively stripped naked as a player with all of his flaws once again exposed.

Without claiming to be a tactical expert, the success of the kind of system that Liverpool utilised on Sunday, defensively at least, would appear to be predicated on individuals holding their own on their own. Clyne can do that. Based on Sunday’s evidence, so too can Ragnar Klavan and, unbelievably given his early performances in a Liverpool jersey, Dejan Lovren looks increasingly comfortable doing it as well. None of them are without fault but they manage. So does Sakho for the most part.

When Moreno is left to his own devices, however, things tend to happen. Bad things, Djimi Traoré-bad things. In Rafa’s 4-2-3-1, Moreno would be protected by the wide player in front of him and a Javier Mascherano, Xabi Alonso or Momo Sissoko prowling nearby. For the first goal on Sunday, for example, Mascherano would have sniffed out the danger before the leather of Walcott’s boot even got within the vicinity of the ball. On this occasion Moreno, who had prematurely burst forward, perhaps following Klopp’s instructions to support the counter but effectively putting all his chips on black, had no cover behind him when it came up red.

It’s difficult to know whether this is simply a natural consequence of having Henderson anchoring midfield by himself instead of Mascherano and Alonso as it would once have been, or if the focus on counter-attacking (and there were five primarily attacking players in the starting XI on Sunday in the shape of Coutinho, Firmino, Adam Lallana, Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum) took precedence over defensive duties to the extent that Coutinho was told not to drop back too far (he was on the scene on Moreno’s side when Coquelin dispossessed Lallana but made no real effort to get back), or if the goal was simply down to players not covering as they should have.

What cannot be denied is that Moreno was about ten yards higher than he needed to be when the move broke down, so much so that one pass took him out of the game, and that’s reckless, a word that sums him up pretty well. I would also have to disagree with Klopp and argue that his earlier foul on Walcott was a stonewall penalty.

It was somewhat similar to a foul by Adrián of West Ham on Jon Flanagan a few seasons back when Liverpool were pushing for the title, where the ‘keeper similarly brushed the top of the ball as he dived at Flanagan’s feet but, crucially, the ball was still there for the Liverpool player to slide towards an open goal had his opponent not crashed into him on the follow-through. Similarly, Moreno didn’t get nearly enough on the ball to take it away from his opponent – had he not taken the Arsenal player’s legs from under him, then Walcott would have been able to pick out a cross or cut inside and try to beat Mignolet himself. In practice, he wasn’t able to because Moreno floored him.

Moreno certainly has ability but he’ll never be protected enough in Klopp’s system in its purest and most potent form (we got a taste of it on Sunday) to offset the frequent brainfarts to which he is susceptible. Milner will at least be solid, dependable and attacked to good effect when he moved to that position in the League Cup final, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll be happy or effective playing there on a semi-permanent basis. For this reason, it baffles me that Flanagan (who would have often been similarly exposed under Rodgers but did a good job) was allowed out on loan. It’s a small complaint for now after such a fantastic result but it could well be a major problem as the season goes on.

Oh, and the goals were magic. All four of them. That ability to swarm and score in bursts (e.g. 3 goals in 25 minutes away to Manchester City last November; 3 goals in 25 minutes against Dortmund in April; 4 goals in 20 minutes against Arsenal on Sunday) is downright frightening and marks this team out as a very dangerous animal indeed.
@e2klassic