Observations from the bottle job against Southampton

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Liverpool’s first loss inside of 90 minutes since the start of February was hard to swallow. It’s hard to really put into words how disappointing that second half performance was after such an impressive first half.

The second half was shit. A big pile of steaming shit with a Martin Skrtel on top.

Observations from the bottle job against Southampton

For Liverpool fans it must’ve felt like déjà vu when Philippe Coutinho curled the ball home from 20 plus yards for the second consecutive season at St Mary’s. It set the tone for an energetic first half in which the away side could’ve been three or four nil up, but *sadly* had to settle for the 2-0 scoreline. These missed chances came back to haunt the Reds as Southampton rallied and scored three quick second half goals to complete and impressive turnaround.

Jurgen Klopp hot and cold tactics. The German isn’t renowned for being a tactical master but he’s changing this perception of him as of late. He’s tactically outclassed Manuel Pellegrini, Louis Van Gaal and for 45 minutes Ronaldo Koeman had no response for what Liverpool offered.

Klopp is going into games with a plan on how to not only negate the opposition’s threat but expose their weaknesses. As opposed to the one fits all approach many managers adopt for tactics these days.

His game management in the second half was poor. He was reactionary instead of proactive. As soon as Southampton dominated the midfield Klopp should’ve switched it up to halt their momentum, instead he let the game slip away.

  1. The modern game is ruled by the tactical innovators and yet it’s the 442 that’s still effective when used properly. It’s a simple tactic and yet it causes so many problems for teams when you have an energetic and mobile team and this is exactly what Liverpool had today and Southampton couldn’t cope. Daniel Sturridge could drop deep and roam knowing Divock Origi would occupy the centre-backs and vice versa, this enabled Liverpool to win the midfield battle and could translate from defence to attack in seconds.

Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge’s blossoming partnership. Daniel Sturridge looks better with a partner. He flourished alongside Luis Suarez and looked like the Daniel Sturridge of 13/14 when he started alongside Mario Balotelli against Spurs in 14/15. In recent weeks he’s looked on the peripheral of everything and hasn’t been the influential Sturridge fans expect to see. Against Southampton it was as though the Sturridge of old had awakened. The presence of Divock Origi seemed to really spur the no.15 on and the two combined really well for the Liverpool second goal.

Joe Allen’s claim for a midfield start. Allen has been unfortunate with injuries throughout his Liverpool career. Whenever he impresses he inevitable picks up an injury and he’s then back to square one with question marks over his position within the squad. Against Southampton he really showcased why he should start more often. Tenacious in the tackle, forward thinking when on the ball and influential throughout the pitch. He won the ball back for the first Liverpool goal. He could’ve added a third in the first half and he was always looking to get Liverpool forward.

Martin Skrtel is a melon. Four minutes into his comeback and he gives Southampton the opportunity to get back into the game by gifting them a penalty. Liverpool had looked assured with the Dejan Lovren and Mamadou Sakho pairing, those two were the foundations of a new resilient, compact Liverpool side that looked strong defensively. It only takes one player to bring it all crumbling down, and that’s just what happened. The Slovakian had a role in all three goals that Liverpool conceded and the penalty.

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  1. if klopp and his coaching team don’t see that skrtel isn’t up to the mark at anfield, then they should just pack their bags and leave…any manager that don’t see that skrtel is a liability will not be able to match the expectations at anfield…skrtel’s a liability since the day he managed to sign on at anfield…his constant retreats into the box and inviting opposition attackers to shoot at free will is proving to be a nightmare for our keeper…even his partner at centreback suffers as well…that’s how “influential” skrtel is…if klopp don’t show this fella the exit door at anfield come this summer, then klopp and his coaching team could just walk out of the exit door themselves…that’s just how bad and terrible skrtel is…he has no right to even put on the red shirt of liverpool…he’s a total disgrace to the shirt…klopp…please sell skrtel…!!!for the sake of the club…

  2. totally agree with you Jerry. this guy Skrtel has to leave. am having a strong headache right now because of this loss. wish we could have continued with loveren.

  3. In the second half Allen was put out of the game by Wanyama et al. Unfortuantely his lack of physique dsiadvantages him. It is important to have someone skillfull and physically capable of battling. For me, he needs replacing.

  4. Grant it, Skrtel has had a horrific debut since he injury lay off. But I think we may be quick to jump the gun in showing Skrtel the exit.
    We may be forgetting that maybe 4 yrs ago or so, Skrtel was our player of the season and that’s with Gerrard in the squad.
    Up until last season, everyone was screaming for Lovren’s head. Look how he turned it around.

    Martin just got back from a lengthy injury. It’ll take a bit of time to get into the swing of things.

    • Disagree. Skrtel was 27 4 years ago. The injury affected him, but it’s nothing new and is more of a fit issue than necessarily the player’s quality. Skrtel’s not a front-foot, high-line player. Lovren and Sakho are. So is Matip and Joe Gomez. We hemmorhaged goals when Skrtel was partnered with others, including Lovren. The defense has been so well-organized since he’s been out of the squad. The nature of the goals that Skrtel played a part in vs Southampton didn’t look related to him being out of form, but rather Skrtel being Skrtel. Klopp mentioned that we weren’t as compact in midfield in the second half. What I think he actually meant by this is that Skrtel doesn’t play a high line and therefore there was a ton of space and that’s part of the reason we lost the control in midfield (obviously the subs played a part too). Bottom line, Skrtel and Benteke are decent to good players, but not for Klopp’s system. Skrtel’s on his way out.


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