Tag Archives: Mamadou Sakho

In Liverpool’s Defence

3 Oct

In Liverpool’s Defence

Brendan Rodgers has strengthened Liverpool’s defence with the summer signings of Tiago Ilori, Kolo Toure, Aly Sissokho and Mamadou Sakho. Liverpool have looked more solid at the back this season as a result of their signings.

Liverpool have had to do quite a bit of defending in games this season and they have coped pretty well with only leaking four goals in six league games. Brendan Rodgers now has the option to change his defensive formation which he has done already this season.

Rodgers played four centre backs in defence against Southampton the other week and he has also played just two centre backs and three centre backs in certain games to combat the opposition threat.

The injury to Daniel Agger forced Rodgers to change his centre of defence but it gave Skrtel a chance to re-establish himself in the team and he has grabbed the opportunity with both hands with commanding performances.

Sakho has also been given the opportunity to get a run of games and he is looking better with every game and is looking to be a great signing.

With competition for places in the centre of Liverpool’s defence so tough now, it’s going to be difficult for Agger to return to the line-up.

Glen Johnson’s injury has created a problem on the right side of Liverpool defence and Andre Wisdom deputised initially but he did struggle especially in the Swansea game but more recently Toure has been installed at right back and as Martin Kelly has continued to struggle for fitness after recovering from his long term injury, Toure has looked far more solid although not in the same bracket as Johnson as an attacking right-back.

Jose Enrique has been selected as the regular left-back for Liverpool this season and this is a position that Liverpool are short of options for. Injuries to Sissokho, Agger and Glen Johnson have left Rodgers with little alternative but to play Enrique although the Spaniard has problems with his knees too. Rodgers tried to rest Enrique against Southampton by using Sakho at left-back but Liverpool’s new signing looked out of place on the left and was wary of venturing forward.

Liverpool’s defence looks far more capable of dealing with high balls with Sakho, Toure and Skrtel very strong in the air, where in the past Liverpool have struggled against teams who like to play the ball up to a big physical striker.

Liverpool have lost a couple of goals from corner kicks this season, one against Southampton and the other against Manchester United but I think overall Liverpool’s defence will lose far fewer goals from those situations this season.

A defence is vitally important for any team to be successful and Brendan Rodgers is now beginning to build his own team the way he wants it with each passing transfer window and Liverpool’s defence is the latest department of the team to be transformed under Rodgers.

If there is criticism then it must be the left-back position as I’m not convinced Enrique is good enough. Yes, he is very quick and strong but he is prone to giving the ball way dangerously in his own half mostly caused by his reluctance to use his right foot. Enrique likes to get forward and his industry gets him to dangerous attacking positions but far too often he is wasteful when in a good position.

Cissokho might be the man to fill the left-back role in the future but his unfortunate injury has prevented us from seeing his talent.

Liverpool’s defence has been complimented superbly this season by new goalkeeper Simon Mignolet who has been very impressive in his short spell between the sticks. Mignolet is a great shot stopper and very commanding when coming off his line, Mignolet is also very vocal and constantly instructing his defence. A good goalkeeper also gives his defence confidence and you can see this with Mignolet at Liverpool.

Liverpool have a good base to build on success with their solid defence this season and it will be interesting to see how successful Liverpool can be as the season unfolds.

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Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

17 Sep

Swansea City 2-2 Liverpool Match Report

 

Liverpool returned to the top of the Barclays Premier League with a 2-2 draw at the Liberty Stadium. Former Liverpool player Jonjo Shelvey put Swansea in front in the second minute before making a poor back-pass which Sturridge capitalised on to bring Liverpool level. New signing Moses scored on his debut before half-time to give Liverpool the lead but Swansea equalised through Michu in the second half to give the hosts a share of the points.

 

The Team

 

Brendan Rodgers gave debuts to new signings Victor Moses and Mamadou Sakho in place of Daniel Agger and Aspas. Andre Wisdom also returned to the side deputising for the injured Glen Johnson at right-back. The rest of the team included Mignolet, Enrique, Skrtel, Lucas, Gerrard, Coutinho, Henderson and Daniel Sturridge.

 

The Match

 

Liverpool were stunned by former player Jonjo Shelvey who fired Swansea into an early lead in the 2nd minute.

 

Liverpool replied instantly when Shelvey’s pass-back was pounced on by Sturridge who then fired past Vorm to make it 1-1. The game started to settle down after the hectic start with Liverpool dominating possession.

 

Good work from Moses down the left flank resulted in a Sturridge header being saved by Vorm. Swansea continued to look dangerous on the counter-attack and one such attack led to Bony seeing an effort saved by Mignolet.

 

Liverpool took the lead on 36 minutes when Moses collected a wayward Shelvey pass before surging towards the Swansea penalty area and shooting low into the bottom corner past a standing Vorm.

 

Swansea almost equalised immediately when Michu’s drive was parried by Mignolet into the path of Bony but Skrtel produced a brilliant goal-line clearance to ensure Liverpool held onto their advantage at the break.

 

Liverpool started the second half in a positive fashion and Wisdom came close to adding to Liverpool’s lead only to be denied by Vorm. But Liverpool lost Coutinho after a nasty challenge by Williams, Aspas replaced the Brazilian.

 

Swansea started to dominate possession and their good play was rewarded when Michu shot low past Mignolet after headed flick by Shelvey.

 

Liverpool were pegged back for the remainder of the game as the lively hosts put the Reds under severe pressure with Mignolet producing a great save from a de Guzman free-kick with minutes remaining to give Liverpool a share of the spoils.

 

Summary

 

Good to see our first sight of Moses and Sakho. Moses looked electric and scored a great debut goal but understandably tired in the second half. Sakho played well considering the pressure Liverpool were put under in the second half apart from a few rash challenges. Sturridge looked as dangerous as ever and score a great goal. I don’t think Wisdom is just ready yet for the first team after another shaky night. But Martin Skrtel was my man of the match I thought he defended brilliantly highlighted by his goal-line tackle on Bony. Once again Liverpool ran out of steam in the second half and had to hang on a bit but I like the way we are grinding out results when under pressure. Overall, a good point after being under so much pressure in the second half.

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Big Decisions For Rodgers

15 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

 

Big Decisions For Rodgers

 

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has some big decisions to make over the coming weeks as he looks to ensure Liverpool’s good start to the season continues. Daniel Sturridge has grabbed all the headlines but Liverpool’s resurgence has been built on their defensive foundations with the Reds having kept eight clean sheets in their last ten league matches.

 

New Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has yet to concede a league goal and he has showed impressive form in this young season highlighted by his match winning penalty save in the final moments of the match against Stoke. But the Belgian is the first to acknowledge that he has benefited from the efforts of those in front of him.

 

Glen Johnson, Daniel Agger, Kolo Toure and Jose Enrique snuffed out the threat of Stoke and Aston Villa before Martin Skrtel deputised for the injured Toure in a the hard-fought victory over Manchester United.

 

However, with Glen Johnson sidelined for around 5 weeks with an ankle injury picked up during the victory over Manchester United, Brendan Rodgers will have to replace the England right-back who has started the season so brightly.

 

Martin Kelly is still struggling to find his match fitness after such a long injury lay-off, so the right-back position appears to be a two-way battle between Toure and Andre Wisdom.

 

Toure has played there in the past and it would be a clever way of accommodating the return from injury of the Ivorian as it would be harsh to drop Skrtel after his man-of-the-match performance against Manchester United.

 

Rodgers has to choose between the experience of Toure and the athleticism of Wisdom, who did nothing wrong when he came on against United but struggled against Notts County and the pre-season match against Celtic.

 

The other dilemma for Rodgers is how to find a place in the team for Mamadou Sakho. Liverpool’s form means there is no pressure on Rodgers to throw the big French centre-back straight into action. Sakho is still working on his fitness since arriving at Anfield so it would be a surprise if he featured against Swansea.

 

But over the coming weeks Sakho will be staking a claim for a place in Liverpool’s defence and there is no way the Reds paid £15 million for him to warm the bench. You only pay that kind of money for a starter but who will make way for Sakho ? Not Agger, that’s for sure, as long as he stays fit Agger’s name will be one of the first names on the team sheet.

 

One solution to Rodgers’ defensive dilemma would be to switch to playing three at the back, which Rodgers tried at times last season.

 

But now Rodgers has the players capable of making 3-5-2 a viable option. A back three of Agger, Sakho alongside Toure or Skrtel , could be installed with Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson as wing-backs. Until Johnson is fit, Jordan Henderson would be an alternative on the right.

 

That would allow Rodgers to play Coutinho in the central role where he’s at his best in front of Gerrard and Lucas. Sturridge would then lead the line alongside Victor Moses or Aspas until Luis Suarez has served his ban.

 

There is now plenty of options for Rodgers with his summer signings but he has to make some big decisions regarding his team over the coming weeks to ensure his team continue their good start to the season.

 

 

 

 

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Liverpool Strengthen Defence

4 Sep

The Kopite View Season 2012-13 Part 2 is now available on kindle format, buy it here at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kopite-View-Season-2012-13-ebook/dp/B00DP7UIGQ/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1372521782&sr=1-2&keywords=the+kopite+view  All the money from the sales of both books will be going to help http://hfsg.co.uk/ please help them by buying my book JFT96

Liverpool Strengthen Defence

Liverpool made some shrewd acquisitions to their squad during the summer, and especially in defence. Liverpool looked vulnerable in defence with the loss of Jamie Carragher to retirement in the summer and with the recent news of Sebastian Coates suffering a season ending injury while on international duty. Liverpool looked short of central defenders with only Martin Skrtel, Martin Kelly and Andre Wisdom able to partner Daniel Agger in central defence.

But the addition of Kolo Toure on a free transfer from Manchester City has added quality and experience to Liverpool’s defence. Liverpool added another two defenders on the last day of the transfer window with the signings of Tiago Ilori from Sporting Lisbon and Mamadou Sakho from Paris St. Germain.

Ilori is only 20 years old but is 6 foot 3 and very quick, he might not go straight into the team and be one for the future, but Sakho could go straight into the team. He is a French international having made 14 appearances for his country and has played 151 times for Paris St. Germain.

Sakho is only 23 years old but very experienced, he plays primarily as a centre back, but can also play as a left back if necessary. Sakho is renowned for his leadership and hard-working attitude and he is very strong in the tackle. Sakho is an intimidating sight and stands 6 foot 2 and usually has an eccentric hair style.

Sakho made his debut for Paris St. Germain in October 2007 when manager Paul Le Guen gave the defender his chance. On his league debut, he became the youngest ever player to captain a Ligue 1 club after wearing the armband in the club’s 0-0 draw with Valenciennes.

Sakho’s playing style has brought comparisons to former French international Lilian Thuram. Sakho has earned caps and captained France at every youth level before being capped at senior level.

Sakho helped Paris St. Germain to the 2008 Coupe de la Ligue when he played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 win over Lens. The victory earned Sakho his first major trophy of his career as he made 16 appearances during the season.

The following season Sakho made 34 appearances and helped Paris St. Germain to 2nd in the league. Sakho has a wealth of experience for someone so young and Liverpool have targeted him as the ideal player for their defence by paying the sum of £18 million for his service.

Liverpool are quite a small team which can leave them vulnerable at set-pieces, so Sakho’s physique and height will help Liverpool in these situations.

The leadership that Jamie Carragher gave to the team was so important as most of Liverpool’s defenders are quiet, so Sakho will be a great replacement for Carragher’s leadership skills, as he is very good at organising his defence.

Liverpool have looked struggled against big powerful strikers during the last couple of seasons so Sakho’s arrival will help deal with that problem because he is a big physical defender who is not scared to put his foot in.

Liverpool’s squad is looking stronger this season with the additions that Brendan Rodgers has made. There is a good mix of youth and experience in the squad and plenty of competition for places in every position.

During the summer it looked like Liverpool were going to be very short of defenders and strikers, although the midfield department looked strong. Liverpool looked like they were going to lose their star striker Suarez, so to keep him has been massive for the club as he tried to manufacture a move away for most of the summer. But Brendan Rodgers and Liverpool’s owners dealt with Suarez superbly and it seems like he is now happy to stay and continue his career at Liverpool for at least another season.

Liverpool added Moses from Chelsea on a season’s loan which will help Liverpool’s attack and the development of youngsters like Sterling, Ibe and Morgan to name a few is another option for Rodgers.

But Liverpool’s defence suddenly looks very strong with Johnson, Kelly, Flanagan and Wisdom all competing for right-back and Wisdom, Kelly, Ilori, Sakho, Agger, Toure and Skrtel all competing for the 2 positions in the centre of defence. Liverpool also have options at left-back with Enrique and new signing Cissokho when he returns from injury, there is also the option of switching Glen Johnson to left back too.

Liverpool don’t have the added fixtures this season that inclusion in European competition creates, so that will help Liverpool concentrate on challenging for a top 4 place.

In only Brendan Rodgers second season in charge his team is now starting to take shape as he has moved players out who doesn’t suit his style of play and he has brought players in that he wants to take Liverpoool forward and Sakho will play a major role in Liverpool’s success.

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