Liverpool’s Horror Show Tactics

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From a very early age we’re all exposed to the ‘happy ever after’ theory.

Beast gets the Beauty. Pinocchio ends up being a real boy. Rocky Balboa defeats everybody. Danny Ocean and his 10 friends get away after robbing the Bellagio Casino, and a random player winning a jackpot at Red Flush online casino. Liverpool beat AC Milan in Istanbul. Hard work, bravery and a bit of luck and you can achieve anything.

We all harboured hope that Steven Gerrard would bounce back from the slip against Chelsea and equalise, sticking one Scouse hand on the Premier League trophy in the process. We all hoped Steven Gerrard would step up, once again, against Basel and send us through in the Champions League. We all secretly thought Liverpool would win the FA Cup in 2014/15, the luck of the draw and the final falling on Gerrard’s birthday seemed like fate.

Liverpool Horror Show Tactics

We’re all kind of expecting a fairytale finish after everything that’s gone before and It really is the hope that hurts. Against United we hoped Liverpool would show more. We hoped Brendan Rodgers would come to his senses and go at United like he did in his most successful season at the club. The line-up fooled many into believing we’d see the return of the diamond. It made a lot of sense. Lucas as the deepest midfielder, Emre Can and James Milner on the sides and Roberto Firmino behind Danny Ings and Christian Benteke. We didn’t though. Brendan Rodgers is currently like the cowardly Lion in the Wizard of OZ and he’s lacking much needed courage to take this Liverpool side forward. The lion is brave enough to go on the quest and his bravery is rewarded. This is a trend in many of this happy every after stories. The characters take a risk. Why isn’t Brendan Rodgers brave enough to attack teams?

Has Cinderella not disobeyed her family and not gone to the ball she wouldn’t have met that fella she married. In Independence day had Will Smith and Jeff Goldberg not flown into the mothership, knowing full well they could die, then Earth wouldn’t have been saved. If The Avengers hadn’t have trusted The Vision then Ultron would still have them all on strings. You get my point.

We won’t know much about this Liverpool side if we’re so reserved.

How things are currently Liverpool are like a horror movie. You know the ones you watch even though they’ll be predictable and boring like every other movie yet you persist with it on the off chance you’re surprised? It starts and you think this has potential and then you see the cliche scene of the young girl hearing a noise in her empty house but instead of ringing the police or tweeting about it like any normal person would she decides to investigate and inevitably gets stabbed. That’s how it feels watching Liverpool lately. Line up shows potential and then you quickly realise it’s the 4141 formation and Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino are playing as your wide midfielders.

You can’t draw your eyes away from it though can you? You watch the whole thing expecting it’ll get good at some point and maybe, just maybe, we’ll see Liverpool remember how to play football. Similarly to how you continue watching the horror film because you have a pretty good idea on who the killer is but on the off chance you’re wrong you keep watching. Before you know it the film is over, you’re disappointed with how it ended and you’re even more disappointed in yourself for wasting 90 minutes of your life.

You can’t tell me that doesn’t feel like watching Liverpool?

Sticking with the movie theme for a moment, playing Roberto Firmino as a right-midfielder is like whatever went through the minds of the casting agency when they decided on the actors for Batman and Robin. You’ve seen their past performances, you know what they’re good at and you know what doesn’t suit their strengths. Plenty will judge him on this performance when in reality those that should be criticised are the casting agency, or in the case of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers. We paid £21 million upfront for a player that is a pressing machine, loves to drift and carry the ball forward and we stick him in a side that doesn’t press, is fairly rigid with their formation and carrying the ball is a foreign term to this Liverpool side at the moment. It’s like it’s a hot potato. We’re nullifying him ourselves and saving the opposition a job. In a supporting cast we have Danny Ings and Christian Benteke. Both new players to the Liverpool side and need to bed in but instead of playing to their strengths and letting them in at the deep end. Danny Ings was expected to help Joe Gomez at left-back, track the runs of Darmian but at the same time support Benteke when the Liverpool defence hoofed it forward? It’s impossible for him to be in two places at once. Christian Benteke was a monster for Aston Villa when he had support around him, so for his baptism of fire we play him 30 yards away from any support and just hit aimless balls in his proximity.

I spoke to Tim Lees last week on players being comfortable and he said had this to say –

“I was discussing systems with Roberto Martinez a few years ago and he said ‘any time the players are comfortable, change the system, change the depth of the block, tell them they have to defend deep for 15 minutes, tell them they are defending with 5 players for 10 minutes; I want players who are tactically flexible with game management’.”

I’d understand Liverpool shifting Ings to left-midfield if we were defending a lead or under pressure. I’d get if we went long to Benteke to relieve the amount of the work the defence has to do. After-all you need to chip in with team work and help out. This shouldn’t be our primary tactic though and the fact it is, well it’s worrying to me and it’s wasting the talent we have at our disposal, again.

We all hoped for a fairytale but nothing in fairytales is predictable. Liverpool are predictable. It’s currently a horror show and a rewrite is required to save this season.

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  1. Spot on! We have talented players but they’re being wasted with the current tactics. After a rrcord defeat to stoke and another record broken against west ham and the manner of the loss at utd means a change is required asap. Hopefully, although i hate to say it, a change in management.

  2. I think Lovren and skirtle should give way to Gomez and sakho in heart of defence Moreno return to his normal position,we should not sight of the fact that our players are young and they need more game time to improve and tiago illori should be returned .lovren or skirtle can be loaned,the young players can’t wait anymore I rest my case

    • Mid field was the problem. Without Henderson and Coutinho there was no one to pass ball. Skrtel had ball and none sufficiently opening. I wished at least Lallana was there to receive ball and run at defenders. Midfield was the worst. Defense had to deal with wave after wave of attack coz no one was holding ball long enough.

    • Should never have loaned out Ilori to Aston Villa I would have him and Sakho as our CB they are the best 2 at LFC along with Gomez ,Rodgers is clueless,

  3. I take everybodies point about the 2 central defenders being piss poor, but everyone is overlooking the fact Mignolet is the worst goalkeeper with the ball at his feet that anyone has ever seen. Here’s some things to ponder. We have a goalkeeper behind them that can’t kick the ball, that they can’t pass back to when their passing options are closed down. A defensive midfielder that has no legs, who drops in between the 2 centrebacks, everytime the centrebacks have the ball and does not create angles for a forward pass. It’s no wonder we are so poor in defence.
    Don’t get me wrong I think both of our central defenders are clowns and Sakho and Illori would have been my first choice centrebacks, this season, but I would have signed a goalkeeper first and foremost this summer.
    Think about it, if you are a fair to middling central defender and you have a goalkeeper who you can’t pass back to and a link man in midfield you comes flat with you to recieve the ball, then all you can do is pass they ball amongst the backline until someone makes a mistake or someone hoofs the ball up the pitch.
    This is why liverpool can’t build the play from the back, for the last 4 months.

  4. Jeff Gold…BERG?? For shame, Sam…for shame

    Also, another good ‘un from The Machine. You have assumed the mantle, young padawan

  5. How can FSG be happy with Liverpool sitting at 9th place in the table. This is last season all over again. Difference for 2015 is that teams like Crystal Palace, Leicester, Swansea, Southampton will all take points from us. BR has turned LFC into a laughing stock for opposition fans and a horror story for LFC fans.

  6. I have said this before I believed that Rogers has run out of ideas. He hasn’t got a clue what he do after spending lots lots of money on nothing. I wrote to him sometimes ago about buying Quality defenders, Because I believe that if your defenders are solid your opponent would find it impossible to score you have a good chance to win the match. Why he then he is married to Lovren when the whole World knows that this man is bad news, pass me.Mr Rogers Lovren is your killing heels.

  7. The potent front line for Liverpool was Sterling, Suarez, Sturridge with Countino, Gerrard and Henderson coming right behind. To reach this level again, Liverpool should consider having a front line of Countino, Benteke and Sturridge. They should have Firmino, Henderson and James Milner following behind. Then Emre Can, Skyrtle, clone and Lovren finishing the end. Retain present goalie. Substitutes, Ibe, Origi, Lallana, Toure,lucas.

  8. Is FSG really happy abt this performance?are they scared of £10m they ll Rodgers if they sack him.Enough is enough,Liverpool has to be back on its feet again


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