12 Mar 2018 17:48:06
Now that the storm has died down a bit it looks safe to post again! Here's my constructive analysis.

Whilst our midfield clearly had more quality on the ball than Mourinho's side, United gave them a lesson on how to play without it. Do you know who I think we missed on Saturday? Lucas Leiva.

Someone intelligent enough to double up on Lukaku so the long balls were ineffective. Anybody else remember Lucas and Lovren bullying Lukaku last season? It was embarrassing for the big striker because Lucas was too clever for him and stopped him getting a good run/ jump on Lovren by standing on his toes.

Unfortunately none of Can, Milner or Ox are defensive minded (nor are any of them our first choice midfielders) . We really miss the Henderson, Lallana and Gini of last season. As a midfield trio they work perfectly together. It's just a shame 2 of them are injury prone and Gini is useless away from home.

Midfield will soon need a major rebuilding in my opinion. Keita is inbound, Lemar would be a dream to help break down quality defences like United, and hopefully we can snare some kind of Lucas replacement to cover Henderson, or even partner him in particularly tough games. A player who is ugly to watch but does a job. I had my heart set on a powerhouse like Doucoure or Ndidi who can get forward, but now I think I just want an agressive destroyer. And yes I know Klopp doesn't want one in his primary system, but I think he needs to consider opening his mind to a different way of playing from time to time.

Fingers crossed it can be Grujic who has really surprised me on loan at Cardiff in the holding role. His physicality and height would've cut the supply line to Lukaku in theory. He just needs to develop the intelligence to spot danger because there is no guarantee he wouldn't have buggered off into no man's land like Can did. If it isn't Grujic, Klopp needs to go and find us one!

Sorry for the long post.

1.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 17:59:27
Good post mk I mostly agree.

2.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 18:17:37
Yeah, great point about lovren and lucus. It's pretty shocking really that lukaku wasn't doubled up on. People were talking about how ineffectual captains are these days but I think Hendo would have spotted the trouble with lukaku and done something about it. I totally agree about a dark arts midfielder. I didn't used to but I have seen reality. I understand klopp philosophy and I admire the way he sticks go it but there has to be plan b, plan c and plan d. A tall striker, very strong in the air wouldn't be a bad idea, I thought we might go for lorente last summer. It has to be someone content to be the super sub and also, like mk says, a destroyer in midfield.

If Can keeps playing like he has been in the last few matches I won't be sad to see him go. That's the first time I've said that.

3.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 18:26:49
Can't disagree about our midfield. For me it's our major problem area currently. I'd prioritise it over a center back and definitely over a goalie given Karius' recent upturn in form.

In terms of Klopp not wanting someone like Doucoure or Ndidi, I can live with that. I personally think that the way some defensive midfielders play, ie. basically as a slightly more advanced center half, is a waste of a player anyway. But even if we don't have a 'natural' defensive midfielder sitting in front of the back 4 all the time, the midfielders we have still need to be able to do at least some defending when required. Things like being able to read the play, spot danger, know when not to get ahead of the ball, and being able put in a few tackles. There are midfielders who aren't pure defensive midfielders who can do those things, but none playing for us at the moment. Only Henderson is any good at reading the play and no midfielder we have is particularly good at tackling.

And aside from more defensive solidity there, we need more controlled possession. Milner and Ox are admirable in the sense that they're honest, whole hearted lads who give everything and do a lot of running. And they have shown a capacity for creating goals with that running too. But they haven't got the head to play central midfield at a high level. Neither are good defensively, and they struggle to strike a balance between retaining possession and trying to get the ball forward. Can's too inconsistent and Gini just seems have retreated into his shell this year. Even at home he's generally been anonymous more often than not. It's frustrating because he's very good on his day. It's just his day comes around one game in five of late.

Even on top of Keita, I genuinely think there's room to bring in a further two center mids at the club. I'd let Gini and Can go because I just don't think they've been good enough for us, and because he's been such a good pro, I'd give Milner the option to stay as a squad player or leave to be first choice somewhere else if he wanted to. I'd keep Ox, but I'd primarily use him as a winger.

4.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 18:53:20
Would be great to see to see Grujic play the deeper role next season.

He's still new to it though and if he's not ready for the new season I think he might want to leave in the summer. Midfield is one area that will probably change a lot over the summer and I fear Grujic may be one of the players to drop out, especially if we do buy another player to play deeper.

Fingers crossed he turns into a powerhouse for us though!

5.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 18:59:17
MK - I agree with just about all of the post.

Something Red - agree Gini and Can should be upgraded if possible.

6.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 19:26:39
I'm not sure about gini. He is probably the one midfielder who does dabble in the dark arts, he is very good at breaking up play and retaining possession. Sometimes it looks like he is missing in games when in fact he is making a major nuisance of himself and probably sacrificing part of his creative game to do so. I don't see the need to get rid of any midfielders, Can is leaving with keita coming in. Maybe we sacrifice milner or grujic for a midfield enforcer.

7.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 19:11:32
MK, I agree with your points overall BUT I will say that Mou focuses on his midfield being behind the ball as soon as they lose it and not getting past the half-way line while with Klopp, our midfield press as soon as they lose it so it is not about them teaching anyone a lesson. It is just a clash of styles, really. I do agree that why no one put a mid ahead of Lukaku like Lucas did last season vs Everton, I will never know. This is something Klopp or other players should have done on the bounce BUT alas, this was not to be. As for the game, Mou set up to take advantage of any mistakes we made and to me, that is not a game plan cos what if we made no mistakes? They can't win? They would have parked the bus and gotten a point. If that is a tactical masterclass then pls, I want none of that crap at Anfield, thank you very much.

Games like this are based on fine margins. VVD shoulders the corner on a free header and 60 seconds after that, thy score a second. Also, don''t forget that we had at least 2 penalties not given esp. the Fellaini one which was blatant and even some pundits said so while the Valencia handball should have been given as the cross was coming to Mane's path. On this point, we can propose solutions to issues and have honest debates about our team BUT if a ref is going to ruin the game for you, it's not going to matter and we have been on the wrong end of some shocking decisions that have cost us points this season and that should not be ignored. Up Da Pool!

8.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 20:27:38
Grujic may become the defensive-minded mid we are craving. though that will stifle his forays forward.

Anyone considered Joe Gomez as a possibility for defensive mid? Tends to read game quite well and often plays closer to the centre halves than TAA. he can tackle and is good in the air. plus it doesn't look like he will be playing centre half any time soon.

9.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 20:13:28
Henderson would never bully Lukaku or any tall striker. Had VVD marshelled Lukaku things would have been different. He stood still and did nothing and watched Lukaku bullying Lovren all afternoon.

You can’t buy a midfielder to win headers! Can is tall enough to do while Lucas isn’t. It’s about winning the second ball when you loose the first.

No issues if Lukaku or any striker win the first ball, Our issues has been winning the second ball!
Mourinho showed you can control a football match without possession.

You have missed a very critical point why we couldn’t beat the bus! Our full backs offer nothing upfront! Go and check Dani Alves or Alex Sandro on how they stretch the opponent! Or you could see how Walker and Mendy will do it for Spurs.

Even if you add 10 more CM’s Mourinho wouldn’t care a damn! But had we opted for two wing backs who could peg both Valencia and Young then Jose would have lost the battle!

Their weakness is same as ours! Poor full backs! You cannot run at a brick wall of 2 sets of 4 players through the middle no matter how many midfielders you have got with you!

10.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 20:48:20
Can was just as much to blame, he should have been tighter to Lukaku.

11.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 21:42:39
MK - good post mate. 100% right.

12.) 12 Mar 2018
12 Mar 2018 22:38:27
Mourinho watched the Swansea game. Carlos Carvalhal said that Liverpool hurt you most when you have the ball. So they conceded possession.

13.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 10:42:34
Couldn't agree more, but I do wonder if the issue is less who have and more what they do. I was screaming at the TV for their second goal 'Why didn't Can take him down?! ' because it is so obvious that's what he should have done. I don't think we miss Lucas because he was so good, or defensively minded. I think we miss him because he was committed - he knew what needed doing and was willing to take the card, or take the blame if something still happened from the free kick etc. Right now only Hendo is willing to take responsibility in our midfield and our whole structure suffers without him, but he cannot play two games a week at 100%. Aside from Chamberlin who is still finding his role in the team, everyone else in the midfield just won't do their best job - it's like their so paralysed by fear of being told they did the wrong thing that they would rather do absolutely nothing when things get rough.

14.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 10:46:59
I had always thought that Can had been brought to take over from Lucas, one day. It turned out differently. In fact I see Klopp has a tendency to turn players into multi-role, multi-tasking ones and I'm not sure if it has always worked out well.

I'd bring Jorginho in and alternate him with Henderson, but in a much more forward position for both. I think Henderson's talents are wasted in being placed just above the back 4. Keita will come in and do the box to box thing that Klopp likes so much. We need a true AM to support the front 3. Either bring in Lemar or Meyer or even try Wijnaldum there (why not? -it's all about training and coaching) . And I would bring in a defensive midfield destroyer. MK is very right and I've said it here before. Klopp needs to change his mindset about this. We need a brutish, thuggish guy who'll make opposing forwards think twice before running at the back 4. Someone like a Thompson or a Souness (not easy to find, I know) . I thought Can had the attributes (he's a feisty, aggressive player) but things went differently. Maybe Grujic can play that role but I'm not sure about his readiness for the spotlight.

Can is leaving. I'd let Milner leave if he wants to. I'd let Lallana leave too because I really don't see any pluses in his game anymore. The Lallana of last year was great, but with Mane and Salah up front, and his inability to be a really good AM, I think his days with LFC are numbered. I'd keep Wijnaldum. I think he still has a lot to offer.

And, I'd try really hard to bring in Batshuayi. He's doing very well with Dortmund on loan. With Sturridge leaving (and possibly Ings too) we need a finisher on the bench or to alternate. How many seasons can you play Firmino in every game, with his work rate? It makes sense to have a contingency if either Mane or Salah leave also. And we haven't done badly with ex-Chelsea players, either.

15.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 11:24:55
Oops. I made a mistake. I was thinking of Smith and I wrote down Thompson. Sorry.

16.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 12:35:45
Baby driver, the attacker (lukaku in this sense) targeted lovren, it wasn't that Vvd couldn't be bothered. If virgil had gone to the right then lukaku would have gone to the left. Vvd plays on the left, utd attacked the right, Vvd is the main reason they did this. It wasn't Taa's fault, it wasn't even lovren's fault. It certainly wasn't vvd's fault. If you want to lay blame then look to can for the first and sadly Karius for the second. I'm not getting on Karius's back, he has been playing well, he made a silly mistake.

17.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 19:45:34
I agree with you, Super Salah BUT mentioning Karius as one to blame makes little sense to me. When Sanchez plays the ball into Lukaku, VVD deflects it. Before the deflection, Karius tries to come out and anticipate the cross before VVD deflects it. The deflection goes to Rashford and Karius scampers back in position at the near post. Rashford shoots and it takes a deflection of TAA and wrong foots Karius. I don't think he can be blamed for that. There were many things that went against us on that play alone that there is a lot of blame to go round, none of which belong to Karius and you are the only one I have seen anywhere, try to blame him for any of the goals.

18.) 13 Mar 2018
13 Mar 2018 20:37:30

You are partially right! Can is guilty of not winning the second ball! While CB’s has to win the first ball! It’s no midfielders job! Long kick reaches CB’s.
I won’t blame TAA one bit, but would blend Klopp is not buying a top class RB last summer gambling it on a 19 year old kid to see us all season!