Tag Archives: Rodger

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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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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Smells Like Team Spirit

11 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

 

Smells Like Team Spirit

 

Bill Shankly’s 100th anniversary of his birth has recently been celebrated by Liverpool Football Club and it is a tribute to Liverpool’s greatest manager that Liverpool are playing with a hunger and passion that he demanded from his players.

 

Shankly demanded 100% from his players and current manager Brendan Rodgers has his players singing off the same hymn sheet as Bill Shankly’s men.

 

Brendan Rodgers has taken over Liverpool with a few similar circumstances that Shankly faced. OK, so Liverpool are not in the second division and Anfield is not the “biggest toilet in Liverpool” anymore,  but Anfield Stadium is in need of modernisation and Liverpool have fallen from grace in recent years after the disastrous ownership of Gillett and Hicks and Liverpool’s current American owners are striving to bring back the glory days.

 

Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and even Tottenham Hotspur have overtaken Liverpool nowadays and Rodgers has the tough task of bridging the gap that has widened between these clubs to make Liverpool a top four club again.

 

Liverpool can’t compete in the transfer market against these clubs until they get back into the Champions League and Liverpool have had to alter their strategy and buy young players with potential or players like Sturridge who need the chance to prove themselves.

 

Liverpool’s new transfer policy has impressed so far with players like Coutinho, Sturridge and also free transfer, experienced defender Toure coming in who brings great experience alongside Liverpool’s youngsters. Liverpool and Brendan Rodgers cleverly reduced the wage bill along with bringing in new faces.

 

Moving high earners like Carroll, Downing and Reina during the summer was a clever piece of business although Liverpool still paid big money for players they felt would take the team forward under Rodgers’ plans. Signing Mignolet and Sakho did cost a lot of money but Liverpool have learned their lessons from the past days of overspending on Carroll, Downing and Henderson.

 

Shankly moved many players on who he knew were not good enough to play in the Red shirt and shaped his team with his own signings and Rodgers is doing the same with his team.

 

Like Shankly Brendan Rodgers had a difficult start to his career at Anfield by only winning two of his first ten league games in charge. But over the course of last season Liverpool have showed signs of improvement and now with this summer’s transfer dealings Liverpool look to have a stronger squad with players that Brendan Rodgers wants in his team. The mix of youth and experience looks like the perfect combination along with the emergence of youngsters breaking into the first team from the youth set-up.

 

Liverpool have enjoyed their best start to a season in many years and although only three games in Liverpool find themselves top of the league with three wins in three games. But the victories have shown how the team is growing under Brendan Rodgers with some great football being played in the Stoke and Villa wins and many goalscoring opportunities being created. Then there has been the steely determination shown and great desire to battle for the victory when under pressure witnessed in the Manchester United game and also in the second half of the Aston Villa victory.

 

There have been some tremendous examples of commitment shown already in this young  season  highlighted by Gerrard flying into tackles against United and the crunching challenge by Glen Johnson on United’s Patrice Evra which led to Liverpool’s right-back having to leave the field, Sturridge played the ninety minutes against Manchester United with an injury and his determination to play paid off as he proved to be the difference on the day with the only goal of the game. This is only a few examples of commitment that Liverpool players are showing under Brendan Rodgers’ leadership but it shows how much the players are playing for their manager.

 

In similar games Liverpool would have lost goals and drew or lost these type of closely contested matches but there is a collective will to win within this group of Liverpool players Rodgers’ has assembled. This group of players are showing the type of determination and spirit that Bill Shankly installed in his team and this quality is vital in any successful team.

 

You can have the best players on the planet but without “team spirit” you won’t win anything and Liverpool seem to be heading in the right direction with a talented young squad complimented by a determined attitude that Bill Shankly would have been proud of.

 

 

 

 

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Liverpool’s Expectations

16 Aug

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’s Expectations

 

As another new season gets under way, every supporter gets excited about their team’s hopes for the new season, Liverpool supporters are no different. Liverpool had a horrendous start to last season’s campaign with only 2 wins in their first 10 games, and it left them well off the pace in the race for a top 4 place. Liverpool had a good finish to the season with only 1 defeat in their last 13 games, but the damage was done at the start of the season.

 

In fairness to Liverpool last season was a transitional period with Brendan Rodgers taking over from Kenny Dalglish and Rodgers needed time to implement his footballing style of play to his players, but this season there is no excuse, the players are now familiar with Rodger’s ideas and need to move the club forward.

 

Brendan Rodgers has had time to shape his team by bringing in his own players now, with Mignolet, Alberto, Aspas and Toure arriving this summer along with Sturridge and Coutinho in January. Rodgers has moved a lot of players out that he didn’t think would take Liverpool forward, like Carroll, Downing and Reina to name a few. Rodgers has also been shrewd in reducing the wage bill with his transfer dealings.

 

It is difficult to judge how well Liverpool will do this season until the transfer window shuts at the end of the month. The conclusion of the Suarez saga will have a huge say on Liverpool’s chances this season, there is also the chance that Brendan Rodger’s might add to his squad.

 

At the moment Liverpool look very young in squad members with only Toure, Gerrard, Johnson, Agger, Enrique, Lucas and Suarez as what you can call experienced players. Liverpool are asking a lot of their youngsters to step up to the plate in a very tough league, and I fear this could hamper their bid for a top four finish.

 

Brendan Rodgers is certainly putting a lot of faith in his youngsters and it will be interesting to see if they can rise to the challenge.

 

I think Liverpool have a class keeper in Mignolet, although I was sad to see Reina leave. I am a bit worried about Liverpool’s defence because I feel that is a department where you need experience, yes Toure has experience, and Agger and Johnson and Enrique, but if we get injuries then we have a problem. But then again we have Kelly back from injury and Wisdom did a good job last season too, Skrtel is experienced but has been out of sorts recently and hopefully he can find his form again, but Coates looks too slow and Sama has no experience to step up when needed. Flanagan is another option who could do a job at full-back.

 

Midfield looks really strong with Lucas, Gerrard and Coutinho being my pick to start every week, but we also have Allen, Henderson, Sterling, Alberto and the young Jordan Ibe will be a name to watch this season.

 

I don’t think Liverpool have enough up front even with the likes of Borini, Sturridge, Aspas and hopefully Suarez, I would like to see Adam Morgan feature more too this season as he looks like the poacher Liverpool have been looking for.

 

So overall I think Liverpool look vulnerable at the back, very strong in midfield and ok up front if we keep Suarez, but if we lose him then I wouldn’t want to rely on Sturridge as our main striker because I fear he is a player who picks up injuries.

 

Looking towards where Liverpool will finish this season, then I will have to say 6th behind Chelsea as League winners, then Manchester City, United, Spurs and Arsenal. But if we keep Suarez then I think his goals could take us to 4th.

 

Let the season begin.

 

YNWA

 

 

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