Tag Archives: Tiago Ilori

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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Liverpool Strengthen Defence

4 Sep

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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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