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WineForMyMen
12-5-11, 10:35
The suggestion that we might need to add a player in this department over the summer has already proved too much for some in the Lucas thread, so given all that came up there I fear this could be the biggest OP of all these threads. Really though for starters, is there anyone sensible that genuinely thinks we won't strengthen in this area over the summer?

It's difficult to discern our formation at times because we play with such better movement at the moment, but it would seem for the time being at least we play with 3 central players of varying attacking mentality. So maybe first of all we have to establish that.

Is Kenny going to go to the 4-4-2 that many have suggested, thus restoring something of a managerial hallmark? I personally hope not. Not too rigidly anyway. I still think it is a limited formation in terms of both movement and squad flexibility. Our squad is also still not really geared to it and will take more work to get it there. And right through the reserves and academy the sides are drilled in the 5-2-3-1 way. I'd also argue that few of the top teams play flat 4-4-2s these days and that it's all very well bringing up the 1988, or 1995 Blackburn teams, but they were 16 years ago. It's almost akin suggesting the sweeper is coming back.

Poulsen, Lucas, Spearing, Shelvey, Gerrard, Meireles. That's the list of options in a very rough line of defensive/attacking intent. To me, it is clear that the imbalance is with the 3 more defensive of the options. Poulsen being the obvious fall-guy. Surely we all agree he should go at least? Aside from a major dressing room bust up I think it's fair to say that none of the others will be leaving. That would leave 5 players for 3 positions. How anyone could then say the position is not a priority, I don't know.

At one stage our more defensive/holding options were Mascherano, Alonso, Sissoko. I've seen people in other threads making out that we almost have the matching of that now. Nonsense. Despite undoubted progression we're a mile off. The other great thing about that former trio is the balance and variety of styles. Where as now we have Poulsen as the inferior Lucas (pivoting the play, breaking things up, fetching and carrying) and Spearing who perhaps offers more going forward but is no deep-lying playmaker or all-action athlete.

In the Lucas thread I listed only some of the names of players that fitted our profile in terms of age, availability, ability. Many we've already been linked with (adding another proof that we will definitely be in for such a player in the summer) or other big, big clubs have been reportedly monitoring. It threw up the question over the exact limits of the DM term. So let me make it clear before we get into semantics. DM is a lose term. There is a gap perhaps between the capitalised sense Defensive Mid (hinting at a set definition akin to Centre Back) or defensive mid, with the stress on the general adjective. Because such players are surely relative to what is around them. All clubs make up their midfields or players that have more attacking roles and those which, relative to the former, are more defensive. Sometimes such players can do both. To other clubs they might play far further up the field (compare Mascherano for us to say Carrick or Fletcher at United), but it is relative to what's around them.

That opens up a huge variety of styles on offer from the athletic (Momo Sissoko: Moussa Sissoko etc.), the deep-lying playmaker (Alonso: Banega etc.), the deep, tenacious tackler (Mascherano: Medel etc.). It will ultimately come down to availability of individual names, but I'd make the first type our primary need. Someone pacier, who will add raw athleticism and energy. Two major reasons: 1) Poulsen, Lucas, Spearing probably most dissimilar to this style. 2) The sort of style that fits as a squad player better. Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition.

On the other hand I really don't want Adam and hope we don't go back there. The individual player debate is something for elsewhere, but do we really need such a style or an even more attacking option? I've seen it suggested, so waiting to hear the arguments. Out of the water if we go 4-4-2 surely? And Aquilani? Is there anyone that thinks we won't let him go/be able to get rid in the summer? Then there's the two reports of Shelvey going on loan to Bolton and Lucas being seen as a more attacking CM in the future which complicate things further. Of course Gerrard is coming into his latter years and these increasing injuries are a concern.

Coady, Pacheco, Suso are worth a mention too. With the latter two it's debatable whether they'll play much of their senior careers so deep, but they have for the reserves, so wouldn't rule it out.

Not an easy one to resolve, so finally: LLS ;) & Co....over to you.

Ganymede
12-5-11, 10:36
Sell Poulsen and Aqua and sign Barton and Parker! :scarf

LLS
12-5-11, 10:39
:D

Scrams
12-5-11, 10:41
Keep hearing that we'll be signing Blaise Matuidi from ASSE

AlessoAfrojackAvicii
12-5-11, 10:43
We don't really need another Centre Mid, and if we get one it should be somebody young who won't except 1st team football every week.

However if we were to get another Centre Mid, I'd probably look at..

Banega
Pjanic
Canales

I'd love to make a sneaky move for Luka Modric!

naturalskill
12-5-11, 10:45
Charlie Adam looked to be our target in January
I wonder if we'll pursue him in this summer?

Scrams
12-5-11, 10:46
Charlie Adam looked to be our target in January
I wonder if we'll pursue him in this summer?

Heard we might drop the interest and pursue james Mc'carthy from Wigan.

Matuidi's agent has been approached apparently.

naturalskill
12-5-11, 10:49
Heard we might drop the interest and pursue james Mc'carthy from Wigan.

Matuidi's agent has been approached apparently.

Not seen Matuidi play

Anyone give us the low down on this guy?

Heighway501
12-5-11, 10:49
It seems clear the Poulsen will be on his way. Or at least he should be so.

Also, there's Aquaman. I know the story, but he is creative and is well suited for the pass and move style. If we sell him for what we want, then Perhaps Defour might be worth the money. Admittedly very different than AA, and perhaps too much like Jonjo. My impression is that Defour is better defensively and, at least pre-injury, quicker than Jonjo (who frankly looks quite slow to me).

I am also not convinced by Adam.

T34
12-5-11, 10:51
I think our center mid will look like this next year:

..................Lucas/Spearing

.....Gerrard/JonJo..........Raul/Adam

I put in Adam because we were going for him in Jan and thus is probably considered a safer bet than Aqua who can still be considered unproven in the prem, despite the promise he showed at the back end of 09/10. Personally I have not seen enough Blackpool to say if Adam is better, or Juve this season to see Aqua, but I know I was excited about seeing a fully fit Aqua (thanks Roy) at the start of last season.

Due to this I expect these players will be sold:

Aqua, Cole,

Loan players:

Pacheco

Heighway501
12-5-11, 10:53
I'd love to make a sneaky move for Luka Modric!

It won't happen. But Modric is outstanding. Everytime I see the spuds he's the one that I'd love to see in our team. I love the way he plays.

AlessoAfrojackAvicii
12-5-11, 10:55
It won't happen. But Modric is outstanding. Everytime I see the spuds he's the one that I'd love to see in our team. I love the way he plays.

Yeh I know the sad reality is we missed out on him and will probably never get the chance to bring him here.

Skip Bayless
12-5-11, 11:00
We need another defensive midfielder.

If Lucas gets injured i'm not sure any of the others could fill the role he plays.

Liverdinner
12-5-11, 11:01
Lucas is a good player but combative he is not and though Spearing has done very well, id love us to get a Viera type player-physical yet technical.


We also have nobody creative.


I could accept us not signings centre midfielders this summer, but it certainly isnt an area we dont need to improve.

Bewdleyfan
12-5-11, 11:04
Lucas is a good player but combative he is not and though Spearing has done very well, id love us to get a Viera type player-physical yet technical.


We also have nobody creative.

I could accept us not signings centre midfielders this summer, but it certainly isnt an area we dont need to improve.

Meireles, Gerrard, Shelvey?

Liverdinner
12-5-11, 11:06
Meireles, Gerrard, Shelvey?

Meireles is a box to box player, Shelvey is a kid and Gerrard can pass and create at times but he isnt a Fabregas/Sniejder etc. Also very injury prone.

OLI1879
12-5-11, 11:13
Its a a tricky one because we have been playing so well recently but I would say, in the same way that we want wingers to mix it up/give us options, it would be good to have a deep lying playmaker.

I think more importantly though, we need a proper defesive Midfielder to replace Masch. It just worries me a bit not having one in the squad for the future(apart from Poulsen). Those type of players aren't too important when everything is going well and were scoring loads of goals but in the periods when you are up against it, I think they are very important. Think Hamman in Instanbul or Mascherano in those countless big games.

Stoney79
12-5-11, 11:20
Heard we might drop the interest and pursue james Mc'carthy from Wigan.

Matuidi's agent has been approached apparently.

Yeah according to the twittershere we have approached Matuidi with a very low opening bid. He's out of contract in 1 year so I guess Comolli is doing his hard ball tactics. Genoa are the other team interested in him.

People are also saying that Adam and James McCarthy are possibilities. Apparently McCarthy has let it be know that he is interested in joining us now (perhaps due to Dalglish putting faith in the youngsters) and it seems that deal could be quite likely.

All that info is from reliable people on twitter so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some truth in it. Personally I don't really think we have enough room for 2 new CMs.

MaradonaJunior
12-5-11, 11:23
Yeah according to the twittershere we have approached Matuidi with a very low opening bid. He's out of contract in 1 year so I guess Comolli is doing his hard ball tactics. Genoa are the other team interested in him.

People are also saying that Adam and James McCarthy are possibilities. Apparently McCarthy has let it be know that he is interested in joining us now (perhaps due to Dalglish putting faith in the youngsters) and it seems that deal could be quite likely.

All that info is from reliable people on twitter so I wouldn't be surprised if there is some truth in it. Personally I don't really think we have enough room for 2 new CMs.

Well if two good signings are coming in, maybe this could mean that Spearing will be used as makeweight in the Enrique deal (unlikely with Spearings new contract) or that rumours of a year long loan for Jonjo to Bolton is true. Neither has let us down, but I wouldn't be too sad if it happened.

JediTomo
12-5-11, 11:25
i think if aquilani does move to Juve permanent we will be back in for Adam, if the move doesnt come off then im not so sure

MaradonaJunior
12-5-11, 11:27
i think if aquilani does move to Juve permanent we will be back in for Adam, if the move doesnt come off then im not so sure

Haven't Juve just signed Andrea Pirlo on a free transfer? Can't see them needing Aquaman in that case.

Edit: Sorry my bad, I should have seen that my friend used goal.com as a source :rolleyes:

RojoRedRed
12-5-11, 11:31
Its a a tricky one because we have been playing so well recently but I would say, in the same way that we want wingers to mix it up/give us options, it would be good to have a deep lying playmaker.

I think more importantly though, we need a proper defesive Midfielder to replace Masch. It just worries me a bit not having one in the squad for the future(apart from Poulsen). Those type of players aren't too important when everything is going well and were scoring loads of goals but in the periods when you are up against it, I think they are very important. Think Hamman in Instanbul or Mascherano in those countless big games.

Personally I think that Lucas and Spearing are stepping up to fill that role. Breaking up attacks and chasing down oppo players, while covering in wide areas like Masch did.

A bit of guile and vision needs to be added to our central midfield, Gerrard can provide this but we need to give him some support. Aquilani could do it, but his heart is clearly elsewhere, Adam is often mentioned but how would he cope with the pressure of being at Liverpool? Suso is one for the future and Modric, while I would love him here, is probably beyond our reach.

This is where we need Comolli to justify his position and reputation by finding someone to add that bit of cleverness in the final third.

webby911
12-5-11, 11:33
Great OP.

Completely agree with a lot of what you're saying but the club wont have a bottomless pit of money, also the fact that spearing has signed a new contract shows a signal of intention for new center mid options. as you so rightly say, Poulsen is the obvious choice to get the boot which means we should either be promoting from the academy (which for me is a little too soon for some of them) or we should be buying someone at the peek of their football career so that they can move on when the youngsters start to come through.

Personally I would love to see someone come in who can sit in front of our defense and pass the ball 20/30/40 yards to the feet of our runners or stands in midfield to do the same thing. I also have the opinion that Charlie Adam isn't worth signing, yes he can pass a ball, but when it comes to defending for the team he is one of the laziest and most uninterested people on the pitch at times which is not what we need necessarily.

Could do with a Xavi or Alonso, which unfortunately is out of the question without CL football and the willingness to spend a shedload on 1 player for 1 position.

This then comes down to if we are to promote the youth as quickly as possible, we have some fantastic talent coming through the ranks and would love to see them get some real game time. people like coady, Ince etc. but again they would only be given serious game time once after the first team players currently so wouldn't actually give a different option to the first team, they would be back-up which isn't exactly going to help us.

A pickle we appear to be in but I'd much rather concentrate on getting our LB, LW, RW sorted and maybe a new CB before I would worry about adding yet another option to center/defensive mid. At any rate this is going to be one of the best LFC transfer windows in a long long time and cannot wait for it to get started once we secure European football that the players want so much.

Alpha Papa
12-5-11, 11:37
Its a a tricky one because we have been playing so well recently but I would say, in the same way that we want wingers to mix it up/give us options, it would be good to have a deep lying playmaker.

I think more importantly though, we need a proper defesive Midfielder to replace Masch.


Agree with first bit and not the second.

With Lucas playing most games, and Spearing as back-up, I think we have two terriers in there. Not quite the same as Masch, but they can play a similar role for me. And Lucas is good enough (still improving).

I think we will keep with two deep-sitting CMs, so that means I would like a deep-lying playmaker too. On the Xavi, Alonso, Carrick mould. Gerrard could maybe do it, but he would need to really reign himself in and adapt his game.

I think we should also seriously consider Meireles for the role. He plays pretty defensive CM for Portugal, and is a terrier in there as well as starting attacks. Not sure why he acts like such as p***y in England...

Alpha Papa
12-5-11, 11:40
sell poulsen and aqua and sign barton and parker! :scarf

wum.

Stoney79
12-5-11, 11:43
Personally I think that Lucas and Spearing are stepping up to fill that role. Breaking up attacks and chasing down oppo players, while covering in wide areas like Masch did.

They are looking good together but would Spearing be able to do it on his own alongside an offensive CM like Gerrard or Meireles? It's hard to say until we see him in that position. That's the worry if Lucas got injured.

TAFFYFROG
12-5-11, 11:49
In most of the games under Kenny we have played 2 central "holding" midfield players, with one player (usually Meireles) slightly more advanced but with licence to roam wherever he was needed to support the play. Even the 2 holding players have been encouraged to support the attacks and that is what has been so excitng about watching the team recently, however they have retained their shape as this is what has given the full backs licence to attack also.

We haven't played a traditional defensive Midfielder in say the Makele mold that often, if at all. Poulsen is the nearest we have to this kind of player but he has looked very poor at times this season and offers very little going forward so i don't think he will be here next year

I think we need 2 players for every position so if we accept that we have 3 central midfield positions that will give us the following players:

Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles, Spearing & Shelvey. I think our weakness is a left sided holding midfielder to provide cover. Adam would have been that player in January but i think his chance may have gone. I expect Matuidi to be signed as he is the player Comolli has talked about, although I would prefer Benega as he offers more of a threat with his range of passing. We may hedge our bets and go for one more creative player. This could be Aqualani or we may just cash in on him and go for someone like Defour as he has an ability to provide creative passes whilst also able to be far more versatile and play anywhere in central midfield

Earlier in the thread someone said Shelvey looked slow. i think that is deceiving because he is a big lad and has an awkward running style - but in reality he doesn't half shift and opposition players have strugged to track him back because he out sprints them

nuggs
12-5-11, 11:53
A good OP WFMM

It's interesting for me to note that from last season we lost Aquilani and Masch and gained Shelvey, Poulsen and Meireles which IMO made us weaker.

However we have seen Lucas improve and Spearing also. Does this compensate entireley? I'm not so sure.

I think think we need balance and agree it doesn't necessarily mean we need a makelele/mikel/De Jong type DM. A player like Viera or Essien, someone who has the physical attribiutes but can also contribute in an attacking sense could be the type for us.

However this will also very much depend our Kennys preferred shape, Stevies role and fitness etc. Are we going to play 4.3.3/ 4.2.3.1? or 4.4.2? Or a bit of them all through the season?

We've been great of late but with relatively little pressure and no midweek european distractions. I do believe that another player is required to replace Aquilani in terms of value as in ££'s Someone of stature who will enhance our first team and bring competition to the CM area.

As has been said it's not a major priority but I do believe that to win games you generally need to control central midfield and so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we do see at least one addition here in the summer. CM/wide areas/LB/CB are all positions where we could improve however the key is quality now not quantity.

Hillmountain
12-5-11, 11:57
I think that the OP makes most sense regarding this matter. I like the idea of bringing something different to central midfield and Wineformymen is spot on with this:

"Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition."

Matuidi makes sense; probably wont cost alot, tackles well and often apparently and Comolli has even commented on him in public.

An Alonso-type of midfielder is not really necessary altough it would be nice. In fact I think its funny that some people ignore the fact that Lucas really has improved this aspect of his game and quite often provides superb throughballs behind the opposition (Just watch the first two goals against Fulham for example).

PurpleKoala
12-5-11, 12:18
I think that the OP makes most sense regarding this matter. I like the idea of bringing something different to central midfield and Wineformymen is spot on with this:

"Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition."

Matuidi makes sense; probably wont cost alot, tackles well and often apparently and Comolli has even commented on him in public.

An Alonso-type of midfielder is not really necessary altough it would be nice. In fact I think its funny that some people ignore the fact that Lucas really has improved this aspect of his game and quite often provides superb throughballs behind the opposition (Just watch the first two goals against Fulham for example).

To be fair as soon as the ball leaves the ground it's not so good lol
Someone who can float a ball onto Carroll's noggin would be ideal.

LLS
12-5-11, 12:23
The reason I’ve been looking forward to this thread so much is because I feel that I have a slightly alternative view to what we could or should do to improve the central midfield. Before I explain why I’ll just get it out early; I think we should go with an attacking midfielder, rather than a defensive midfielder or deep playmaker.

Some other stuff first though; largely 4-4-2, Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard. When I say 4-4-2, I don’t mean diamonds or anything like that, I mean 2 central midfielders, 2 wingers and 2 strikers. I’m not a fan of this 4-4-2 as good managers will easily beat it. 4-4-2 could be an option for us with Carroll and Suarez here, but it would mean that we have to buy TWO wingers, and it would render the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Shelvey, Meireles and our entire youth programme useless to us. Its just not going to happen.

As for Charlie Adam, I wanted him in January too, but no longer wanted him. The OP states that we currently have 5 midfield options as Poulsen is a goner, Lucas, Meireles, Spearing, Shelvey and Gerrard. I don’t think many will disagree with that, although you could arguably add Maxi if you use a three man midfield. Anyway, those options weren’t the choices we had available to us in January; Spearing had not come good at that point so we only had Lucas, Meireles, Shelvey and Gerrard, with Meireles seemingly not trusted in a deep role, Gerrard often injured, and Shelvey still too raw. Adam would therefore have been an excellent solution for less than £10million. But things didn’t work out, and now Shelvey has 6 months more to develop, Spearing looks a lot better, and Kenny seems to be developing Gerrard into a new role.

I have posted on Gerrard’s new role elsewhere, but despite his goalscoring season of 2008-09, his best 2 performances of the last 2-3 years for me have been against Chelsea away and Utd at home this season. Thoroughly disciplined in his role, holding his position deep when needed and rotating attacking and defending duties with Lucas excellently. Playing the simple passes to keep the game ticking and on the edge of the box for a shot at the right time. The more he plays in this current team, the more I’m sure we’ll see him picking out Suarez early and bursting into the box at the right times, rather than with every attack. The tactical training provided by Clarke and the mental guidance of the King, added to the Renaissance of Giggs means that Stevie could be a very good CM for us for a while yet.

And lets face it, no-one is really going to dislodge Lucas on current form, even if theres still one or two things he could add to his game. As I’ve posted elsewhere, he’s been in the top 5 midfielders in the League this season, possibly even top 3.

So our central midfield is likely to be Lucas and Gerrard.

We now know that Spearing can be a good back up choice. Although he has been outstanding recently, I still wouldn’t like him to be a long term option. Meireles has also played most of his career as a central midfield doing what Gerrard did in those games I mentioned above. He also likes to get stuck in looking at his past career so if he can start doing that then we then have 4 options for 2 central midfield positions.

If Meireles is used for this deeper role, it means theres a vacancy further up the pitch where he Raul currently plays. Despite his run of goals and good performances in that position, I personally think we can do better. Imagine the damage someone more dynamic and skilful can do if he were in Raul’s current position, especially with the likes of Suarez, Dirk and possibly another marquee attacking signing making runs and movement. Shelvey can continue to develop as an understudy to this position as he looks to have exciting potential, but looking for a starting XI attacking midfielder to play Raul’s current position opens up a wealth of exciting options.

Pastore and Coutinho could be options considering their ages, and even the likes of Modric and Kaka could be options if they were willing enough. I’m sure people could add many more names to this too.

It would give us ridiculously good options:


Meireles/Gerrard ------- Lucas/Spearing

Pastore/Shelvey

With Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt, Maxi and possibly Young and a big signing providing the movement ahead of this midfield.

The likes of Pastore himself could also prove to be that marquee signing, able to operate in the more attacking positions and making use of Meireles if Gerrard stays fit.

I’m personally excited at this idea; not only just because of the possibility of the players we could sign, but also because of the small tasters we’ve been given of what Gerrard may be able to, and also of what Shelvey can develop into.

I do see a weakness in this however, and that is Spearing. I mean no disrespect to him at all because he has been great recently, but I would give him one more season and then start looking at the strong, energetic, Moussa Sissoko types that the OP talks about. While Spearing has been good, I’m still not convinced as to his long term quality in a Liverpool that will now be fighting for the top 4 and soon even the League. His recent performances and signing of a contract have certainly put his value above £5 million, which is very useful money.

Aquilani? He could certainly play this attacking role. But I’d rather take the £10 million and wages and put it on a youngster whose heart is in it and can develop into a world class talent.

LLS
12-5-11, 12:49
I'd like to add to my post that I think that a Mascherano type player is not the sort of midfielder we should be going for.

Mascherano for us was in no way a "holding midfielder", he would go wherever the opposition was to win the ball, with the other central midfield covering the gaps.

Under Kenny the great thing about us is now is that whenever we do have the ball we look dangerous. Therefore lets keep the ball as much as we can. Use midfielders that can keep the ball rather than midfielders who just chase down the ball.

Please note that I also distinguish between chasing down a player and making a tackle (which is what Mascherano would do) and chasing down a player and forcing them into a mistake and surrendering possession (as Barcelona do). The latter is something we should be doing.

Terriers in midfield can be useful when you're playing in big matches where the opposition are better than you, but as we've seen this season, that isn't very often at all. Even with this current squad I think we might be highest in a top 6 mini League, so lets get midfielders who can batter everyone else. We're only likely to lose Poulsen afterall, and he was hardly key to our successes against our closest opposition.

Raphaelthe2nd
12-5-11, 12:54
It was always a very fluid 4-4-1-1 in the good old days in my book.

With a striker running right across the oppositions defensive line always looking to be put through and a second striker/attacking midfielder playing across the line in the hole, with players making well timed runs from right, left and centre through midfield or full back also looking to be put through as we shifted the opposition about and bemused them with quick one or two touch pass and move football.

I think it's patently obvious to everyone that Kenny will play a variety of tactics to get games won, he will line up largely 4-4-1-1, 4-3-3 pr 4-2-3-1 but with each player being adaptable and versatile so he can employ a number of different formations throughout the game to achieve the desired result.

I'd imagine that Kenny ideally wants 6 centre mids (7 including one developing youngster) of varying ages and abilities.

2 defensive/holding - but who through the development of the fluidity of our pass and move game will also make their share of forward runs, but in general far fewer than the other midfielders, who protects the back four and plugs any gaps but who also has great long and short passing and the ability to release players from deep.

2 box to box midfielders - who are incredibly versatile, have the strongest combination of defending and attacking skill sets and incredible stamina and energy to support the attack and defence over the length and bredth of the pitch throughout games

2 attacking midfielders - who have the best ability at releasing the striker(s), wide players or full backs with through balls, timing runs to get beyond the strikers and/or wide players to be released themselves, timing runs to arrive late in the box unmarked to tap in simple pull backs and the ability to work half a yard and drill one home from the edge of the area. He'll also want these players to cover a lot of ground and press throughout and do their fair share of getting their foot in as he will with all the other midfielders.

I expect that as our pass and move game develops all of the midfielders all round skill sets will improve, looking at the players we have now and with Aqua possibly returning I can obly see us signing a defensive midfielder/holding player

JonahTakalua
12-5-11, 13:05
I think that the OP makes most sense regarding this matter. I like the idea of bringing something different to central midfield and Wineformymen is spot on with this:

"Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition."

Matuidi makes sense; probably wont cost alot, tackles well and often apparently and Comolli has even commented on him in public.

An Alonso-type of midfielder is not really necessary altough it would be nice. In fact I think its funny that some people ignore the fact that Lucas really has improved this aspect of his game and quite often provides superb throughballs behind the opposition (Just watch the first two goals against Fulham for example).

Well said. my thoughts exactly.

Henrycoffin
12-5-11, 13:13
Lucas is a good player but combative he is not and though Spearing has done very well, id love us to get a Viera type player-physical yet technical.


We also have nobody creative.


I could accept us not signings centre midfielders this summer, but it certainly isnt an area we dont need to improve.


How can the leagues top tackler not be combative??

Londonred123
12-5-11, 13:23
Funny - used to think that Adam would be a good addition. But that was under Hodgson when none of our current midfielder were playing that well and Spearing had not broken into the first team on a regular basis.

I still think we need to strengthen (Poulsen was on the bench Monday night) but it has to be real quality and sorry Adam does not represent that for me. He has a cultured left foot make no mistake but he is way too slow.

Part of our recent success in dominating matches and controlling the midfield has been due to the speed and athleticism of Spearing, Lucas and, to a lesser extent, Raul pressing and closing down our opponents. Just don't see Adam helping out here. He is good enough to be a playmaker/set piece specialist for Blackpool but not for us. Sorry. If we sign Adam I will eat my hat.

Kloppette
12-5-11, 13:28
I think when you are talking about a new midfield player you have to look at the way we are going to be playing rather than the way we did play. Rafa had a very European line up in this regard so Masch fitted in well. Under Kenny I see him playing a more pass and move localized midfield where every player does his part with regards to defend and attack. Gerrard will not be the Box to Box midfielder we have had in the past but has a few years left in him to dominate the center circle and around that area as well as the edge of the box play. Lucas will always do a lot of running and covering but under Kenny I think he will need to develop his attacking game as well. Mierles is another player who will work around the central area but also likes to make runs into the box similar to Gerrard. Spearing is similar to Lucas in the sense that he plays the ball easy and presses the opposition ( although he is not the finished article ). Shelvey is more of a laid back player that can make runs into the box but he seems to prefer the ball at his feet playing balls into the box. We also have Maxi and Cole who are not touchline wingers, they tend to work deeper and move into the channels rather than hug the touchline. If we bring in a quick winger that gets down the line and another striker then Suarez is an option as a quick Winger also. So in Terms of bringing in a new Midfielder I wouldn't go for the player similar to Lucas as a defensive option as Gerrard is capable of this and Spearing. I think we should go for a player that can go past players and has the ability to work the edge of the area and play the killer ball with Shelvey as back up to this role. This would give us the biggest options especially with the style of play under Kenny which is more fluid than Rafa. If next season we qualify for the Champions league then we could look at bringing in players for a more rigid style for them sort of games. Although if you look at Man Utd they have a fluid midfield and they are in the final so it can be done.

Just noticed Pastore mentioned in another post, This is the sort of player I would add.

Hillmountain
12-5-11, 13:29
To be fair as soon as the ball leaves the ground it's not so good lol
Someone who can float a ball onto Carroll's noggin would be ideal.

Are you talking about crossing? If not, it was in fact the lofted balls by Lucas that that caused the most problems for Fulham. Remember the one that Meireles failed to control apart from the set-up to the second goal?

The floaters for Carroll can be provided by Gerrard (and Young?) who I would prefer in a slightly more free role further up the field, altough he can be an option besides Lucas as well.

LLS
12-5-11, 20:16
Bumped for the evening crowd :)

tefflonman
12-5-11, 21:57
I think we should try to get back alonso he's the best at the holding midfield role and can cross the ball onto a 10p:scarf piece and he would love to play for us again I'm sure

LucasAintDancin
12-5-11, 22:28
Bumped for the evening crowd :)

Superb post you wrote earlier and I gave you a rep. :)

The points raised are varied and quite interesting considering they're quite contrasting to the views of WFMM.

Personally, Poulsen's replacement has to possess atleast 2 things.
1: Athleticism.. Think Momo with a little more guile.. &
2: Excellent work ethic.. we all have seen what can happen when a player becomes stroppy..

WineForMyMen
12-5-11, 22:28
Completely agree with a lot of what you're saying but the club wont have a bottomless pit of money, also the fact that spearing has signed a new contract shows a signal of intention for new center mid options. as you so rightly say, Poulsen is the obvious choice to get the boot which means we should either be promoting from the academy (which for me is a little too soon for some of them) or we should be buying someone at the peek of their football career so that they can move on when the youngsters start to come through.

Personally I would love to see someone come in who can sit in front of our defense and pass the ball 20/30/40 yards to the feet of our runners or stands in midfield to do the same thing. I also have the opinion that Charlie Adam isn't worth signing, yes he can pass a ball, but when it comes to defending for the team he is one of the laziest and most uninterested people on the pitch at times which is not what we need necessarily.

Could do with a Xavi or Alonso, which unfortunately is out of the question without CL football and the willingness to spend a shedload on 1 player for 1 position.

This then comes down to if we are to promote the youth as quickly as possible, we have some fantastic talent coming through the ranks and would love to see them get some real game time. people like coady, Ince etc. but again they would only be given serious game time once after the first team players currently so wouldn't actually give a different option to the first team, they would be back-up which isn't exactly going to help us.

A pickle we appear to be in but I'd much rather concentrate on getting our LB, LW, RW sorted and maybe a new CB before I would worry about adding yet another option to center/defensive mid. At any rate this is going to be one of the best LFC transfer windows in a long long time and cannot wait for it to get started once we secure European football that the players want so much.

I'm confident we might have a bit more money to spend than you could be imagining there. If we managed to sell all of our fringe players then we could raise £30-40m for starters. And I'm sure the budget would be £20m at an absolute minimum.

Take your point on holding spaces open for youth. And I'm really keen to do that too, but Coady's a good 6-12 months off us even having a proper look at him yet and Spearing isn't a guaranteed Liverpool player over the next 10 years for me. He's done well, surprised me a bit, but I'm still not sure how far he can go.

Certainly agree on at least one RW/LW being a priority, and of course a LB, though at a stretch we could get by without another CB or another RW/LW on top of the first (far from ideal of course, but just indicating where I'd place CM on the priority list). Using the youth argument you could say that 4 or 5 CBs are pushing for a first team chance and two or 3 wide-men over the next year or so.


In most of the games under Kenny we have played 2 central "holding" midfield players, with one player (usually Meireles) slightly more advanced but with licence to roam wherever he was needed to support the play. Even the 2 holding players have been encouraged to support the attacks and that is what has been so excitng about watching the team recently, however they have retained their shape as this is what has given the full backs licence to attack also.

We haven't played a traditional defensive Midfielder in say the Makele mold that often, if at all. Poulsen is the nearest we have to this kind of player but he has looked very poor at times this season and offers very little going forward so i don't think he will be here next year

I think we need 2 players for every position so if we accept that we have 3 central midfield positions that will give us the following players:

Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles, Spearing & Shelvey. I think our weakness is a left sided holding midfielder to provide cover. Adam would have been that player in January but i think his chance may have gone. I expect Matuidi to be signed as he is the player Comolli has talked about, although I would prefer Benega as he offers more of a threat with his range of passing. We may hedge our bets and go for one more creative player. This could be Aqualani or we may just cash in on him and go for someone like Defour as he has an ability to provide creative passes whilst also able to be far more versatile and play anywhere in central midfield

Earlier in the thread someone said Shelvey looked slow. i think that is deceiving because he is a big lad and has an awkward running style - but in reality he doesn't half shift and opposition players have strugged to track him back because he out sprints them

Agree with your points on the analysis. Maybe not so much on the names. Really like Banega but not sure he's the right player right now. Not keen on Adam. Matiudi I've seen a bit of, but of the 4 french Ms we've been linked to I've been most impressed by Moussa Sissoko so far.

Defour, because of his versatility as you say, is definitely interesting too.

Really agree on Shelvey. Big fan, and a lot of his game is deceptive actually. He has the same languid approach and balance of Zidane (NOTE: am absolutely NOT saying he is the next ZZ though ;)).

WineForMyMen
12-5-11, 22:33
A good OP WFMM

It's interesting for me to note that from last season we lost Aquilani and Masch and gained Shelvey, Poulsen and Meireles which IMO made us weaker.

However we have seen Lucas improve and Spearing also. Does this compensate entireley? I'm not so sure.

I think think we need balance and agree it doesn't necessarily mean we need a makelele/mikel/De Jong type DM. A player like Viera or Essien, someone who has the physical attribiutes but can also contribute in an attacking sense could be the type for us.

However this will also very much depend our Kennys preferred shape, Stevies role and fitness etc. Are we going to play 4.3.3/ 4.2.3.1? or 4.4.2? Or a bit of them all through the season?

We've been great of late but with relatively little pressure and no midweek european distractions. I do believe that another player is required to replace Aquilani in terms of value as in ££'s Someone of stature who will enhance our first team and bring competition to the CM area.

As has been said it's not a major priority but I do believe that to win games you generally need to control central midfield and so I wouldn't be at all surprised if we do see at least one addition here in the summer. CM/wide areas/LB/CB are all positions where we could improve however the key is quality now not quantity.

Entirely agree. Excellent stuff.

And just to emphasise that last bit: Please, please get it right this summer in terms of quality not quantity Damien et al.

Our squad has been too flabby for years. FFS, it's why the likes of El Zhar are still on our books and we have/have had almost a whole team out on loan.

Jones, Degen, Darby, Ayala, Konchesky, Amoo, Aquilani, El Zhar, Ince, Pacheco, Ecclestone

Sub: Insua


I think that the OP makes most sense regarding this matter. I like the idea of bringing something different to central midfield and Wineformymen is spot on with this:

"Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition."

Matuidi makes sense; probably wont cost alot, tackles well and often apparently and Comolli has even commented on him in public.

An Alonso-type of midfielder is not really necessary altough it would be nice. In fact I think its funny that some people ignore the fact that Lucas really has improved this aspect of his game and quite often provides superb throughballs behind the opposition (Just watch the first two goals against Fulham for example).

Agree on the Matiudi type. But prefer Moussa Sissoko as I said above. That said, I'm easily willing to be convinced on any of them except probably Adam.

Jam0
12-5-11, 22:35
great OP, just glad nobody saw McGugan's performance for forest tonight! :rolleyes: everybody would want him

Raphaelthe2nd
12-5-11, 22:46
Not Charlie Adam

JohnBarnesJnr
12-5-11, 22:49
Scott Parker would be ace, good value and creative

WineForMyMen
12-5-11, 22:52
The reason I’ve been looking forward to this thread so much is because I feel that I have a slightly alternative view to what we could or should do to improve the central midfield. Before I explain why I’ll just get it out early; I think we should go with an attacking midfielder, rather than a defensive midfielder or deep playmaker.

Some other stuff first though; largely 4-4-2, Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard. When I say 4-4-2, I don’t mean diamonds or anything like that, I mean 2 central midfielders, 2 wingers and 2 strikers. I’m not a fan of this 4-4-2 as good managers will easily beat it. 4-4-2 could be an option for us with Carroll and Suarez here, but it would mean that we have to buy TWO wingers, and it would render the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Shelvey, Meireles and our entire youth programme useless to us. Its just not going to happen.

As for Charlie Adam, I wanted him in January too, but no longer wanted him. The OP states that we currently have 5 midfield options as Poulsen is a goner, Lucas, Meireles, Spearing, Shelvey and Gerrard. I don’t think many will disagree with that, although you could arguably add Maxi if you use a three man midfield. Anyway, those options weren’t the choices we had available to us in January; Spearing had not come good at that point so we only had Lucas, Meireles, Shelvey and Gerrard, with Meireles seemingly not trusted in a deep role, Gerrard often injured, and Shelvey still too raw. Adam would therefore have been an excellent solution for less than £10million. But things didn’t work out, and now Shelvey has 6 months more to develop, Spearing looks a lot better, and Kenny seems to be developing Gerrard into a new role.

I have posted on Gerrard’s new role elsewhere, but despite his goalscoring season of 2008-09, his best 2 performances of the last 2-3 years for me have been against Chelsea away and Utd at home this season. Thoroughly disciplined in his role, holding his position deep when needed and rotating attacking and defending duties with Lucas excellently. Playing the simple passes to keep the game ticking and on the edge of the box for a shot at the right time. The more he plays in this current team, the more I’m sure we’ll see him picking out Suarez early and bursting into the box at the right times, rather than with every attack. The tactical training provided by Clarke and the mental guidance of the King, added to the Renaissance of Giggs means that Stevie could be a very good CM for us for a while yet.

And lets face it, no-one is really going to dislodge Lucas on current form, even if theres still one or two things he could add to his game. As I’ve posted elsewhere, he’s been in the top 5 midfielders in the League this season, possibly even top 3.

So our central midfield is likely to be Lucas and Gerrard.

We now know that Spearing can be a good back up choice. Although he has been outstanding recently, I still wouldn’t like him to be a long term option. Meireles has also played most of his career as a central midfield doing what Gerrard did in those games I mentioned above. He also likes to get stuck in looking at his past career so if he can start doing that then we then have 4 options for 2 central midfield positions.

If Meireles is used for this deeper role, it means theres a vacancy further up the pitch where he Raul currently plays. Despite his run of goals and good performances in that position, I personally think we can do better. Imagine the damage someone more dynamic and skilful can do if he were in Raul’s current position, especially with the likes of Suarez, Dirk and possibly another marquee attacking signing making runs and movement. Shelvey can continue to develop as an understudy to this position as he looks to have exciting potential, but looking for a starting XI attacking midfielder to play Raul’s current position opens up a wealth of exciting options.

Pastore and Coutinho could be options considering their ages, and even the likes of Modric and Kaka could be options if they were willing enough. I’m sure people could add many more names to this too.

It would give us ridiculously good options:


Meireles/Gerrard ------- Lucas/Spearing

Pastore/Shelvey

With Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt, Maxi and possibly Young and a big signing providing the movement ahead of this midfield.

The likes of Pastore himself could also prove to be that marquee signing, able to operate in the more attacking positions and making use of Meireles if Gerrard stays fit.

I’m personally excited at this idea; not only just because of the possibility of the players we could sign, but also because of the small tasters we’ve been given of what Gerrard may be able to, and also of what Shelvey can develop into.

I do see a weakness in this however, and that is Spearing. I mean no disrespect to him at all because he has been great recently, but I would give him one more season and then start looking at the strong, energetic, Moussa Sissoko types that the OP talks about. While Spearing has been good, I’m still not convinced as to his long term quality in a Liverpool that will now be fighting for the top 4 and soon even the League. His recent performances and signing of a contract have certainly put his value above £5 million, which is very useful money.

Aquilani? He could certainly play this attacking role. But I’d rather take the £10 million and wages and put it on a youngster whose heart is in it and can develop into a world class talent.

What a post!

I read the first bit and initially though - nah, he's going to struggle to convince me on that one - but you make a very appealling case.

Sound logic on our January dealings and I'm inclined to agree. I think Spearing was slightly forced into selection because we couldn't get Adam (despite trying) and the combination of Jay's improvement and Adam's decline from then on has changed the thinking going into the summer. (Hope that's the case anyway).

I don't share all your confidence on Gerrard. I still think (understandably after years of its reality) that he is partly stuck in the Roy of the rovers mentality and could struggle to adapt to a more selfless, disciplined role consistency. The injuries aren't helping that continuity either, and are becoming as big a concern as they were at the beginning of his career.

Your suggestion then on the AM is mouth-watering, but I'm just not sure we'll see it after this summer. It effectively stifles Shelvey and Meireles a little - i.e. one player in, two players playing time cut. Compare that to us selling Poulsen and replacing him with a DM
1)Continuity of system would be kept
2)Poulsen is a non-entity as a DM squad option right now
3)Spearing is the player most challenged by it (therby probably our weakest remaining CM)
4)If you're talking about a world class hole player then why not utilise Suarez there, and instead add the real quality out wide? Pacheco, Suso, Maxi, Kuyt, Gerrard, Adorjan, Meireles, possibly even Shelvey can all play there too. Probably actually our most versatile position (as tempting as some of the potential transfers there are). Of course we may not be able to sell Aquilani fairly either.

We agree on Spearing but I just think get that DM in now. Let's project it onto this season as a basis for availability:

Gerrard has missed half the campaign. Meireles and Shelvey have picked up niggles. We've mostly played 2 holding/deeper midfielders.

So there'd still be space for everyone to get a game.

If Meireles, Shelvey don't develop or Gerrard's injuries get worse, then we can look at attacking central options.

SweetCarrollNine
12-5-11, 23:00
Rumour is Shelvey goes to Bolton on loan next season, how true it is I dont know but would be an excellent roll.

The improvement of Lucas and Jay has been key. Stevie back in the mix next season and Raul there too, not sure how desperate we are for cm's.

Charlie Adam may provide something but not bothered either way about him.

Raphaelthe2nd
12-5-11, 23:08
I think a combative, mobile DM with all the qualities I listed in my earlier post on this thread is the one midfielder we're short of, we have cover and good cover and rotation options for the other 2 types of midfielder, but we only have one Lucas.

LLS
12-5-11, 23:11
What a post!

I read the first bit and initially though - nah, he's going to struggle to convince me on that one - but you make a very appealling case.

Sound logic on our January dealings and I'm inclined to agree. I think Spearing was slightly forced into selection because we couldn't get Adam (despite trying) and the combination of Jay's improvement and Adam's decline from then on has changed the thinking going into the summer. (Hope that's the case anyway).

I don't share all your confidence on Gerrard. I still think (understandably after years of its reality) that he is partly stuck in the Roy of the rovers mentality and could struggle to adapt to a more selfless, disciplined role consistency. The injuries aren't helping that continuity either, and are becoming as big a concern as they were at the beginning of his career.

Your suggestion then on the AM is mouth-watering, but I'm just not sure we'll see it after this summer. It effectively stifles Shelvey and Meireles a little - i.e. one player in, two players playing time cut. Compare that to us selling Poulsen and replacing him with a DM
1)Continuity of system would be kept
2)Poulsen is a non-entity as a DM squad option right now
3)Spearing is the player most challenged by it (therby probably our weakest remaining CM)
4)If you're talking about a world class hole player then why not utilise Suarez there, and instead add the real quality out wide? Pacheco, Suso, Maxi, Kuyt, Gerrard, Adorjan, Meireles, possibly even Shelvey can all play there too. Probably actually our most versatile position (as tempting as some of the potential transfers there are). Of course we may not be able to sell Aquilani fairly either.

We agree on Spearing but I just think get that DM in now. Let's project it onto this season as a basis for availability:

Gerrard has missed half the campaign. Meireles and Shelvey have picked up niggles. We've mostly played 2 holding/deeper midfielders.

So there'd still be space for everyone to get a game.

If Meireles, Shelvey don't develop or Gerrard's injuries get worse, then we can look at attacking central options.

I understand your scepticism towards my idea, as I concede myself that it is dependent on a fair few things: Gerrard staying fit and adapting to that new role and Meireles being used deeper are the big concerns for me.

I'm optimistic that Gerrard can adapt because he quite simply has to if he wants to stay in the team. I also hope that Kenny and Clarke of all people can rein in his Roy of the Rovers attitude, and I'm sure they've got him watching videos while he's out of what we're doing as a team and what he'll be expected to do when he returns.

Not so sure about Meireles being used deeper however. Despite the way he plays for Portugal and did for Porto, he suddenly seems a bit more cowardly, for wont of a better word, over here. His work rate has been up there with Dirk too, and if anything he looks a lot slimmer these days, probably as a result of that work rate.

I chosen Pastore as my particular example because I think we could see a slightly adapted style of play, and he could be a marquee signing. While he can play in the hole, he can also play as a midfielder-***-forward, as Maxi has been doing recently, so I doubt he would be blocking playing time for Shelvey too much.

It does still leave a hole in midfield though, and we'd need luck with injuries I suppose, as our options would be left with Gerrard, Lucas, Spearing, and maybe not even Meireles. Pastore probably wouldn't be so effective with Carroll in the attack either.

You have managed to talk me out of my own proposition haha! But I think the idea was borne out of my feeling that we could replace Meireles with an even better player in the attacking unit we currently have. Harsh I know, but I think there can be more to come from us attackingwise, in addition to the wingers we crave.

MickeyLove
12-5-11, 23:15
Sounds crazy to say this after some of our recent performances, but I still do worry about a lack of drive and bite in the middle of the park. If Lass is going cheap in the summer I'd be happy bringing him in.

SweetCarrollNine
12-5-11, 23:16
I think a combative, mobile DM with all the qualities I listed in my earlier post on this thread is the one midfielder we're short of, we have cover and good cover and rotation options for the other 2 types of midfielder, but we only have one Lucas.

Tiote.

Bombay Money Lender
12-5-11, 23:46
What may be forgotten by some in their tactical analysis is that Kenny also likes 3-5-2 particularly away from home. Therefore, a ball carrying CB will be a priority along with an attacking LB. Enrique seems likely as he has premier experience and will walk straight in. A left sided CB is being scouted I'm sure and I am open to suggestions there. Further forward versatility is key. Players who are comfortable both sides of the pitch like Young, Hazard and Gervinho will be considered. CM is not a priority for me. Gerrard will be busting a gut to play and has the ability to play anywhere. His idols influence will improve him still and he will do as ordered as he has all his career tbf. He may sometimes play right of a front three where he had much success under Rafa, who knows. Lucas is now no1 in CM. For those - and I was one - who do not believe he is creative enough, look at his game on Monday, nuff said. Raul will be better next season, Spearo, great back up and is still improving, hence the new contract. Jonjo needs more time but will become a major player. Left side of midfield needs a look as well as right and when we are playing narrow with full backs playing wide we have enough cover at CM imo.

RyanBabylon
13-5-11, 04:20
The reason I’ve been looking forward to this thread so much is because I feel that I have a slightly alternative view to what we could or should do to improve the central midfield. Before I explain why I’ll just get it out early; I think we should go with an attacking midfielder, rather than a defensive midfielder or deep playmaker.

Some other stuff first though; largely 4-4-2, Charlie Adam and Steven Gerrard. When I say 4-4-2, I don’t mean diamonds or anything like that, I mean 2 central midfielders, 2 wingers and 2 strikers. I’m not a fan of this 4-4-2 as good managers will easily beat it. 4-4-2 could be an option for us with Carroll and Suarez here, but it would mean that we have to buy TWO wingers, and it would render the likes of Kuyt, Maxi, Shelvey, Meireles and our entire youth programme useless to us. Its just not going to happen.

As for Charlie Adam, I wanted him in January too, but no longer wanted him. The OP states that we currently have 5 midfield options as Poulsen is a goner, Lucas, Meireles, Spearing, Shelvey and Gerrard. I don’t think many will disagree with that, although you could arguably add Maxi if you use a three man midfield. Anyway, those options weren’t the choices we had available to us in January; Spearing had not come good at that point so we only had Lucas, Meireles, Shelvey and Gerrard, with Meireles seemingly not trusted in a deep role, Gerrard often injured, and Shelvey still too raw. Adam would therefore have been an excellent solution for less than £10million. But things didn’t work out, and now Shelvey has 6 months more to develop, Spearing looks a lot better, and Kenny seems to be developing Gerrard into a new role.

I have posted on Gerrard’s new role elsewhere, but despite his goalscoring season of 2008-09, his best 2 performances of the last 2-3 years for me have been against Chelsea away and Utd at home this season. Thoroughly disciplined in his role, holding his position deep when needed and rotating attacking and defending duties with Lucas excellently. Playing the simple passes to keep the game ticking and on the edge of the box for a shot at the right time. The more he plays in this current team, the more I’m sure we’ll see him picking out Suarez early and bursting into the box at the right times, rather than with every attack. The tactical training provided by Clarke and the mental guidance of the King, added to the Renaissance of Giggs means that Stevie could be a very good CM for us for a while yet.

And lets face it, no-one is really going to dislodge Lucas on current form, even if theres still one or two things he could add to his game. As I’ve posted elsewhere, he’s been in the top 5 midfielders in the League this season, possibly even top 3.

So our central midfield is likely to be Lucas and Gerrard.

We now know that Spearing can be a good back up choice. Although he has been outstanding recently, I still wouldn’t like him to be a long term option. Meireles has also played most of his career as a central midfield doing what Gerrard did in those games I mentioned above. He also likes to get stuck in looking at his past career so if he can start doing that then we then have 4 options for 2 central midfield positions.

If Meireles is used for this deeper role, it means theres a vacancy further up the pitch where he Raul currently plays. Despite his run of goals and good performances in that position, I personally think we can do better. Imagine the damage someone more dynamic and skilful can do if he were in Raul’s current position, especially with the likes of Suarez, Dirk and possibly another marquee attacking signing making runs and movement. Shelvey can continue to develop as an understudy to this position as he looks to have exciting potential, but looking for a starting XI attacking midfielder to play Raul’s current position opens up a wealth of exciting options.

Pastore and Coutinho could be options considering their ages, and even the likes of Modric and Kaka could be options if they were willing enough. I’m sure people could add many more names to this too.

It would give us ridiculously good options:


Meireles/Gerrard ------- Lucas/Spearing

Pastore/Shelvey

With Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt, Maxi and possibly Young and a big signing providing the movement ahead of this midfield.

The likes of Pastore himself could also prove to be that marquee signing, able to operate in the more attacking positions and making use of Meireles if Gerrard stays fit.

I’m personally excited at this idea; not only just because of the possibility of the players we could sign, but also because of the small tasters we’ve been given of what Gerrard may be able to, and also of what Shelvey can develop into.

I do see a weakness in this however, and that is Spearing. I mean no disrespect to him at all because he has been great recently, but I would give him one more season and then start looking at the strong, energetic, Moussa Sissoko types that the OP talks about. While Spearing has been good, I’m still not convinced as to his long term quality in a Liverpool that will now be fighting for the top 4 and soon even the League. His recent performances and signing of a contract have certainly put his value above £5 million, which is very useful money.

Aquilani? He could certainly play this attacking role. But I’d rather take the £10 million and wages and put it on a youngster whose heart is in it and can develop into a world class talent.
What a brilliant post, mate. You never disappoint when you take the time to post.

And I agree. I think that, in addition to suiting Lucas' and Stevie's strengths right now, it will give us the best platform to help our youth players into the first team, as the youth wingers we do have right now are more ideal (to me) as forwards in a 4-3-3. It also gives us a platform to propel Shelvey and hopefully Pacheco, and even Conor Coady/Suso/Adorjan next season.

If we saw a front 6 of

Lucas Gerrard
Pastore?/???
Young??? Carroll Suarez

I'd be overjoyed. That said, we do have lots of options, and my opinion seems to change slightly by the day. I wholeheartedly agree with you, though, and have repped you as such.

I personally remain unconvinced over Raul, though I do really like him, and think we could/should look for better players. Same (possibly) with Spearo. Too bad Sahin's off the market. Would have been a perfect long-term replacement for Stevie. And that's the other thing we need to worry about-- if Lucas is to be his successor, we need to either be truly convinced over Shelvey and Spearing, or we need to buy a replacement for Lucas (or Stevie if the new lad will be his successor essentially)

AlessoAfrojackAvicii
13-5-11, 05:15
I would like to see that Phillippe Coutinho here, he's only 18 and looks very promising. Brazilian, so could be Lucas's understudy.

Keegan7Suarez
13-5-11, 05:38
Just to throw another name in the mix, how about Steven Defour?? I rate this kid, seen him play many times and impressed me hugely.

Age: 23
Abilities: - Great passing range
- 19 was appointed captain, shows huge leadership.
- Excellent vision
- Can shoot, great placement with both feet.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxQMiBnPk88

Talks: Commoli is in discussion, 10mil? http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/10m-midfield-star-in-contact-with-comolli-over-sum

AlessoAfrojackAvicii
13-5-11, 05:40
Just to throw another name in the mix, how about Steven Defour?? I rate this kid, seen him play many times and impressed me hugely.

Age: 23
Abilities: - Great passing range
- 19 was appointed captain, shows huge leadership.
- Excellent vision
- Can shoot, great placement with both feet.
Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxQMiBnPk88

Talks: Commoli is in discussion, 10mil? http://www.givemefootball.com/premier-league/10m-midfield-star-in-contact-with-comolli-over-sum

He recently signed a new contract, or agreed to sign a new contract, one or the other

Keegan7Suarez
13-5-11, 05:42
He recently signed a new contract, or agreed to sign a new contract, one or the other

Signed a contract in May 2010, that lasts till May 2015.

AlessoAfrojackAvicii
13-5-11, 05:45
Signed a contract in May 2010, that lasts till May 2015.

He signed a new contract last month that keeps him at Leige until 2016

http://lfz2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/defour-signs-new-contract-with-leige-reports/

Keegan7Suarez
13-5-11, 06:01
He signed a new contract last month that keeps him at Leige until 2016

http://lfz2010.wordpress.com/2011/04/29/defour-signs-new-contract-with-leige-reports/

Not good news at all.
But when money is thrown around, im sure Standard liege will take it.

Hillmountain
13-5-11, 09:08
Agree on the Matiudi type. But prefer Moussa Sissoko as I said above. That said, I'm easily willing to be convinced on any of them except probably Adam.

Sissoko might be the better prospect, but I think he will be slightly more expensive. It is all depending on our funds really, but I would be happy with either. Someone also mentioned Lass. He is a good player but I would prefer if we went for one of the up and coming ones instead. Resale-value etc.

As for midfielders further up the field I think we are looking for players who could play in any of the three positions behind Carroll, hence the recent speculation of Mata, Young and Costa. The current fluent system we got going depends on players being able to pop up here, there and anywhere..

LHunter
13-5-11, 09:43
Its about what we are looking for if we need some one to jump straight in then i would go for adam or park.

If you have time for some one to get use to the uk and a new way of life then
i would go for the likes of yann m'vila or steven defour.

i think we can do with some one to take time with and if they are that good it be easy for them to look like they have been playing for the club for year so i would go for the likes of m'vila or defour.

Nova9
13-5-11, 09:45
I don't think at this moment in time this is what we should be looking at.

We need 2 decent wingers and a LB. We already have a quite a few players in the middle Gerrard, Raul, Lucas, Shevely, Aqua and Spearing.

WineForMyMen
18-5-11, 12:07
I understand your scepticism towards my idea, as I concede myself that it is dependent on a fair few things: Gerrard staying fit and adapting to that new role and Meireles being used deeper are the big concerns for me.

I'm optimistic that Gerrard can adapt because he quite simply has to if he wants to stay in the team. I also hope that Kenny and Clarke of all people can rein in his Roy of the Rovers attitude, and I'm sure they've got him watching videos while he's out of what we're doing as a team and what he'll be expected to do when he returns.

Not so sure about Meireles being used deeper however. Despite the way he plays for Portugal and did for Porto, he suddenly seems a bit more cowardly, for wont of a better word, over here. His work rate has been up there with Dirk too, and if anything he looks a lot slimmer these days, probably as a result of that work rate.

I chosen Pastore as my particular example because I think we could see a slightly adapted style of play, and he could be a marquee signing. While he can play in the hole, he can also play as a midfielder-***-forward, as Maxi has been doing recently, so I doubt he would be blocking playing time for Shelvey too much.

It does still leave a hole in midfield though, and we'd need luck with injuries I suppose, as our options would be left with Gerrard, Lucas, Spearing, and maybe not even Meireles. Pastore probably wouldn't be so effective with Carroll in the attack either.

You have managed to talk me out of my own proposition haha! But I think the idea was borne out of my feeling that we could replace Meireles with an even better player in the attacking unit we currently have. Harsh I know, but I think there can be more to come from us attackingwise, in addition to the wingers we crave.

With difficulty I'd actually give Meireles my player of the season nod. Why? Because he's come to a foreign country for the first time in his career, to a club in uncertainty, to a midfield that lost a major player (Mascherano) and has seen its captain struggle with injuries, and he has given everything in terms of work rate and commitment. He's played LM, RM, DM, CM, AM when called on, went through his own impressive scoring spell, and has made goals too.

That said, I do tend to agree with your assessment that he has lost weight and may not be best suited to DM in the PL. I also agree that ultimately, in a great squad, his role is that of versatile bench option (and a very good option in that sense, like Kelly who can play anywhere across the backline). Whether we can really achieve that great squad in one summer I doubt, but this time next year with two transfer windows past and the youngsters kicking on, then we might be there.

Acornhead
18-5-11, 13:17
If we play 4-3-3, then I think we only really need five players who are ready to be regular first team players with a few youngster on the sidelines, so that would be Lucas, Gerrard, Meireles, Spearing, and Shelvey at the moment. We basically need a hard ball-playing midfielder, someone who can control the tempo of the team, when to play it simple, play it long, break up play and order the rest of the midfield to press and when not to. I don't think we need a really strong defensive mid like Masch or Sissoko, if we can get the rest of the mid to press ala Barca do, you don't really need that kind of player.

BAlmeida
18-5-11, 14:16
The suggestion that we might need to add a player in this department over the summer has already proved too much for some in the Lucas thread, so given all that came up there I fear this could be the biggest OP of all these threads. Really though for starters, is there anyone sensible that genuinely thinks we won't strengthen in this area over the summer?

It's difficult to discern our formation at times because we play with such better movement at the moment, but it would seem for the time being at least we play with 3 central players of varying attacking mentality. So maybe first of all we have to establish that.

Is Kenny going to go to the 4-4-2 that many have suggested, thus restoring something of a managerial hallmark? I personally hope not. Not too rigidly anyway. I still think it is a limited formation in terms of both movement and squad flexibility. Our squad is also still not really geared to it and will take more work to get it there. And right through the reserves and academy the sides are drilled in the 5-2-3-1 way. I'd also argue that few of the top teams play flat 4-4-2s these days and that it's all very well bringing up the 1988, or 1995 Blackburn teams, but they were 16 years ago. It's almost akin suggesting the sweeper is coming back.

Poulsen, Lucas, Spearing, Shelvey, Gerrard, Meireles. That's the list of options in a very rough line of defensive/attacking intent. To me, it is clear that the imbalance is with the 3 more defensive of the options. Poulsen being the obvious fall-guy. Surely we all agree he should go at least? Aside from a major dressing room bust up I think it's fair to say that none of the others will be leaving. That would leave 5 players for 3 positions. How anyone could then say the position is not a priority, I don't know.

At one stage our more defensive/holding options were Mascherano, Alonso, Sissoko. I've seen people in other threads making out that we almost have the matching of that now. Nonsense. Despite undoubted progression we're a mile off. The other great thing about that former trio is the balance and variety of styles. Where as now we have Poulsen as the inferior Lucas (pivoting the play, breaking things up, fetching and carrying) and Spearing who perhaps offers more going forward but is no deep-lying playmaker or all-action athlete.

In the Lucas thread I listed only some of the names of players that fitted our profile in terms of age, availability, ability. Many we've already been linked with (adding another proof that we will definitely be in for such a player in the summer) or other big, big clubs have been reportedly monitoring. It threw up the question over the exact limits of the DM term. So let me make it clear before we get into semantics. DM is a lose term. There is a gap perhaps between the capitalised sense Defensive Mid (hinting at a set definition akin to Centre Back) or defensive mid, with the stress on the general adjective. Because such players are surely relative to what is around them. All clubs make up their midfields or players that have more attacking roles and those which, relative to the former, are more defensive. Sometimes such players can do both. To other clubs they might play far further up the field (compare Mascherano for us to say Carrick or Fletcher at United), but it is relative to what's around them.

That opens up a huge variety of styles on offer from the athletic (Momo Sissoko: Moussa Sissoko etc.), the deep-lying playmaker (Alonso: Banega etc.), the deep, tenacious tackler (Mascherano: Medel etc.). It will ultimately come down to availability of individual names, but I'd make the first type our primary need. Someone pacier, who will add raw athleticism and energy. Two major reasons: 1) Poulsen, Lucas, Spearing probably most dissimilar to this style. 2) The sort of style that fits as a squad player better. Because they rely less on rhythm and continuity, more on their individual energy. I'd much rather bring on this type of player when we're trying to close a game out, fresh legs, making the pitch seem smaller to the opposition.

On the other hand I really don't want Adam and hope we don't go back there. The individual player debate is something for elsewhere, but do we really need such a style or an even more attacking option? I've seen it suggested, so waiting to hear the arguments. Out of the water if we go 4-4-2 surely? And Aquilani? Is there anyone that thinks we won't let him go/be able to get rid in the summer? Then there's the two reports of Shelvey going on loan to Bolton and Lucas being seen as a more attacking CM in the future which complicate things further. Of course Gerrard is coming into his latter years and these increasing injuries are a concern.

Coady, Pacheco, Suso are worth a mention too. With the latter two it's debatable whether they'll play much of their senior careers so deep, but they have for the reserves, so wouldn't rule it out.

Not an easy one to resolve, so finally: LLS ;) & Co....over to you.

No wonder we are doing so well at reserve and youth team level with 12 players on the pitch!!:D

LLS
23-5-11, 14:10
Bumping this thread for a specific reason.

I had been won over by WineForMyMen’s argument that the pressing need for our central midfield is dynamism; someone who is more than just a passer, and more than just a tackler, ideally someone who can do both, but still toughen up our central midfield with a bit of power and do so for the entire 90 minutes.

However since the link with Diego surfaced, and since after yesterday’s game, I’ve seen more people commenting on a need for more creativity in our midfield.

So why don’t we go for both?

Its also pretty obvious what tactics defenders are going to employ against Suarez (ie. They’re just going to kick him from behind and 90% of refs are going to do nothing about) so its even more important that we find someone that give him the ball while he is facing goal.

So with that in mind, I’d like to see if anyone else agrees with my earlier post in this thread, about signing an attacking midfield, perhaps as a replacement for Meireles.

I would like to do a “Lets sign Pastore thread” but I’ll leave it in here instead for now:

My nomination is of course Pastore. Can play ahead of Gerrard and Lucas in midfield giving us the creativity that lots have started asking for, but can also be effective as a forward anywhere across the line of 3 that we usually see, so we could play something like:

------Suarez--------Meireles--------Pastore------

-------------------Kuyt---------------------------------

Which could be very fluid and deadly, just as we have seen recently with Meireles, Suarez, Kuyt and Maxi all interchanging.

Would be very expensive, but if we were to buy a cheap winger in Young, Pastore himself could be our “marquee signing” rather than Mata or Hazard, etc. Certainly a player with much potential than Diego as well...

Outside of Pastore, has anyone got any new thoughts on getting ourselves a creative, attacking midfielder recently?

-SilkySkills-
23-5-11, 14:30
is it just me or are people making sly threads having a dig at lucas ?

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 14:46
Bumping this thread for a specific reason.

I had been won over by WineForMyMen’s argument that the pressing need for our central midfield is dynamism; someone who is more than just a passer, and more than just a tackler, ideally someone who can do both, but still toughen up our central midfield with a bit of power and do so for the entire 90 minutes.

However since the link with Diego surfaced, and since after yesterday’s game, I’ve seen more people commenting on a need for more creativity in our midfield.

So why don’t we go for both?

Its also pretty obvious what tactics defenders are going to employ against Suarez (ie. They’re just going to kick him from behind and 90% of refs are going to do nothing about) so its even more important that we find someone that give him the ball while he is facing goal.

So with that in mind, I’d like to see if anyone else agrees with my earlier post in this thread, about signing an attacking midfield, perhaps as a replacement for Meireles.

I would like to do a “Lets sign Pastore thread” but I’ll leave it in here instead for now:

My nomination is of course Pastore. Can play ahead of Gerrard and Lucas in midfield giving us the creativity that lots have started asking for, but can also be effective as a forward anywhere across the line of 3 that we usually see, so we could play something like:

------Suarez--------Meireles--------Pastore------

-------------------Kuyt---------------------------------

Which could be very fluid and deadly, just as we have seen recently with Meireles, Suarez, Kuyt and Maxi all interchanging.

Would be very expensive, but if we were to buy a cheap winger in Young, Pastore himself could be our “marquee signing” rather than Mata or Hazard, etc. Certainly a player with much potential than Diego as well...

Outside of Pastore, has anyone got any new thoughts on getting ourselves a creative, attacking midfielder recently?

Can Pastore play wide? That adds another dimension to things.

As with most positions apart from perhaps FB and GK, I want to see us have variation in squad options. That's why I suggested someone like Moussa Sissoko for CM because he's a monster. Strong, athletic, energetic, dynamic. Unlike Spearing, Poulsen, Lucas who are all more anchoring fetcher-carriers (of varying levels of ability).

I just hope we don't go flat 4-4-2 next season. Don't think that is the way to go either with the squad we have or with modern football in general. 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 can seamlessly adapt into one another though.

But I think the idea of signing an attacking central-orientated player largely depends on where we fit Suarez in.

--------------Carroll-----------------
-Suarez-------****------------Kuyt
--------Gerrard-----Lucas-----------

for example, becomes a 4-3-3 easily when on the attack as Kuyt and Suarez push inwards, the FBs overlap and the attacking CM drops around the box whilst Gerrard and Lucas anchor things, pick up loose balls and intercept breakaways.

But my concern with that is that when we are under the cosh, Suarez gets isolated in a too defensive role.

I definitely agree on your idea of versatility and switching of play, but that's part of the reason I think Mata is the absolute ideal candidate of all that have been mentioned because he is that very rare player who is equally adept at using pace and crossing out wide but then switching centrally, getting his head up, picking passes and scoring goals.

Now, if Pastore can do that he becomes a major option too, but I thought he was largely a central player?

The Ayew suggestion is an interesting one because he offers something entirely different and could be a fantastic alternative. On the basis of filling every position at least twice:

Carroll + N'Gog/or other

6 x attacking 'mids': Suarez, Kuyt, Maxi, Pacheco +Mata/Hazard/Pastore? +Sanchez/Hulk/Ayew/N'Zogbia?

Gerrard + Shelvey
Lucas + Sissoko

Meireles providing versatile back-up (which will be absolutely needed) for any number of positions and Spearing back-up for both CMs.

RogerHuntelaar
23-5-11, 14:48
--------------Carroll-----------------
-Suarez-------****------------Kuyt
--------Gerrard-----Lucas-----------

Bit harsh to call Diego a ****, already.

I'll get my coat.

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 14:54
Bit harsh to call Diego a ****, already.

I'll get my coat.

I knew it. I knew if I used asterisks instead of throwing a name out there then someone would be onto it.

I didn't expect it to be Rodge that stooped so low :FP:

:D

RogerHuntelaar
23-5-11, 14:55
I knew it. I knew if I used asterisks instead of throwing a name out there then someone would be onto it.

I didn't expect it to be Rodge that stooped so low :FP:

:D

Hahaha :D, sorry mate couldn't help it.

Stoney79
23-5-11, 14:57
Banega being linked with Inter for 8m in Gazzetta. He'd be a great signing.

starburst
23-5-11, 14:57
Our main problem is not our CM!
I really feel that there are other positions we need to discuss first :)

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 15:10
Banega being linked with Inter for 8m in Gazzetta. He'd be a great signing.

As I've said elsewhere:

Heart says absolutely yes, head says it's not what we most need.

But if he goes for £8m then it's a steal I'd wince at.

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 15:12
Our main problem is not our CM!
I really feel that there are other positions we need to discuss first :)

After LB and one wide player I think it is the 3rd priority.

Spearing and Poulsen are not reserve options that fill me with confidence.
Gerrard is picking up more and more injuries.
Shelvey is still young and raw.
Lucas and Meireles have been good but still aren't world class, or probably ever going to be.

Bewdleyfan
23-5-11, 15:15
Can Pastore play wide? That adds another dimension to things.

As with most positions apart from perhaps FB and GK, I want to see us have variation in squad options. That's why I suggested someone like Moussa Sissoko for CM because he's a monster. Strong, athletic, energetic, dynamic. Unlike Spearing, Poulsen, Lucas who are all more anchoring fetcher-carriers (of varying levels of ability).

I just hope we don't go flat 4-4-2 next season. Don't think that is the way to go either with the squad we have or with modern football in general. 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 can seamlessly adapt into one another though.

But I think the idea of signing an attacking central-orientated player largely depends on where we fit Suarez in.

--------------Carroll-----------------
-Suarez-------****------------Kuyt
--------Gerrard-----Lucas-----------

for example, becomes a 4-3-3 easily when on the attack as Kuyt and Suarez push inwards, the FBs overlap and the attacking CM drops around the box whilst Gerrard and Lucas anchor things, pick up loose balls and intercept breakaways.

But my concern with that is that when we are under the cosh, Suarez gets isolated in a too defensive role.

I definitely agree on your idea of versatility and switching of play, but that's part of the reason I think Mata is the absolute ideal candidate of all that have been mentioned because he is that very rare player who is equally adept at using pace and crossing out wide but then switching centrally, getting his head up, picking passes and scoring goals.

Now, if Pastore can do that he becomes a major option too, but I thought he was largely a central player?

The Ayew suggestion is an interesting one because he offers something entirely different and could be a fantastic alternative. On the basis of filling every position at least twice:

Carroll + N'Gog/or other

6 x attacking 'mids': Suarez, Kuyt, Maxi, Pacheco +Mata/Hazard/Pastore? +Sanchez/Hulk/Ayew/N'Zogbia?

Gerrard + Shelvey
Lucas + Sissoko

Meireles providing versatile back-up (which will be absolutely needed) for any number of positions and Spearing back-up for both CMs.

Mata is the player i'd most like to see us sign, he'd fit comfortably within our pass and move ethos, and for the reasons you have stated.

Ayew looks incredibly talented as well. I hadn't watched him since the World Cup, in which he excelled for Ghana. He's matched his performances there at Marseille this season and I definitely think we could bring him in.

LLS
23-5-11, 15:19
Well he (Pastore) is largely a central player, and he is certainly not a player that will get to the byline with pace and whip in a cross. He is not a player that is at his best “out wide”, definitely best in the middle of the 3 of the 4-2-3-1 but I have seen him play well as a forward, eg. as part of the 3 in a 4-3-3, if that makes sense?

But I’ve put him forward as an option because I do anticipate that we will be getting a more traditional winger like Young or N’Zogbia anyway.

If we are working on the premise that we’ll be signing 2 attackers, one of them a good one and the other a marquee signing (which seems to be the consensus as well as a sensible popularity move by FSG), then we can get a winger, and use Pastore as such a marquee signing, leaving us free to get a midfielder such as Sissoko.

If we were to go for 2 wingers and a midfielder (again lets assume its Sissoko), it COULD leave us short of creativity in the middle of the park and leave the likes of Mata and Suarez with their backs to goal having to work even harder.

iamnottian
23-5-11, 15:24
if we play 442 :

One of the CM will be box-to-box - Gerrard or Meireles.
The other CM will have to be all rounder, able to provide cover for our back 4 and dictate play (play maker) at the same time - someone like Alonso.

The advantage is : We will have at least 5 man attacking the opposition defence, giving the play maker more options.

Disadvantage : if the play maker is stopped by the opposition, the flow of play will be interrupted and individuals will have to stepped up.

===============
if we play 451 (wif 3 CMs):

In this situation, the team can afford to play 3 CMs of with different qualities.

1 CM - Box to Box
1 CM - Purely defensive, e.g. Masch type.
1 CM - deep lying play maker, the role alonso took up.

Advantage : Provides more cover for the back 4 because there are 2 CMs protecting them and it is easier to find CMs who has specific abilities (like Masch very good defensively and useless in all other areas) rather than someone who is an all rounder.

Disadvantage :
With fewer man in attack, the team will have to play with more skillful players upfront, especially skillled wingers.

LLS
23-5-11, 15:51
This is Pastore’s performance a few weeks back against AC Milan that really impressed me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDKQW9g8LhQ

Play him with Suarez and Carroll and a fast winger and we’ll be laughing.

GordonBennett
23-5-11, 16:10
Parker,Diego, M'Vila.

Sorted
:)

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 16:18
This is Pastore’s performance a few weeks back against AC Milan that really impressed me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDKQW9g8LhQ

Play him with Suarez and Carroll and a fast winger and we’ll be laughing.

A very elegant player, nice on the eye, but he doesn't half get a lot of time and space on the ball in Italy, and actually reminds me of Aquilani.

He's also talked up Real and Barca in the past and I'd fear another Mascherano situation: using us as a stepping stone.

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 16:19
Parker,Diego, M'Vila.

Sorted
:)

M'Vila's just signed a new contract.

Doesn't definitely mean he'll stay, but he will be expensive.

Watched the highlights of him vs England again last night. Exceptional performance.

KoppityKloppity
23-5-11, 16:33
Bumping this thread for a specific reason.

I had been won over by WineForMyMen’s argument that the pressing need for our central midfield is dynamism; someone who is more than just a passer, and more than just a tackler, ideally someone who can do both, but still toughen up our central midfield with a bit of power and do so for the entire 90 minutes.

However since the link with Diego surfaced, and since after yesterday’s game, I’ve seen more people commenting on a need for more creativity in our midfield.

So why don’t we go for both?

Its also pretty obvious what tactics defenders are going to employ against Suarez (ie. They’re just going to kick him from behind and 90% of refs are going to do nothing about) so its even more important that we find someone that give him the ball while he is facing goal.

So with that in mind, I’d like to see if anyone else agrees with my earlier post in this thread, about signing an attacking midfield, perhaps as a replacement for Meireles.

I would like to do a “Lets sign Pastore thread” but I’ll leave it in here instead for now:

My nomination is of course Pastore. Can play ahead of Gerrard and Lucas in midfield giving us the creativity that lots have started asking for, but can also be effective as a forward anywhere across the line of 3 that we usually see, so we could play something like:

------Suarez--------Meireles--------Pastore------

-------------------Kuyt---------------------------------

Which could be very fluid and deadly, just as we have seen recently with Meireles, Suarez, Kuyt and Maxi all interchanging.

Would be very expensive, but if we were to buy a cheap winger in Young, Pastore himself could be our “marquee signing” rather than Mata or Hazard, etc. Certainly a player with much potential than Diego as well...

Outside of Pastore, has anyone got any new thoughts on getting ourselves a creative, attacking midfielder recently?

Mata can play as a creative attacking midfielder, hes played in the hole plenty of times for Valencia, plus he can play out wide too.

I do think Diego would be a good buy though if he was under 10 million. If he gets that pre Juventus form back he is an exceptional talent and could end up being one of the buys of any season.

Diego and Blaise Matuidi would be great signings for me, one skillful and creative the other a tough tackling hard working player who can also pass the ball very well.
We could maybe get both for around 20 million.

WineForMyMen
23-5-11, 17:05
Bumping this thread for a specific reason.

I had been won over by WineForMyMen’s argument that the pressing need for our central midfield is dynamism; someone who is more than just a passer, and more than just a tackler, ideally someone who can do both, but still toughen up our central midfield with a bit of power and do so for the entire 90 minutes.

However since the link with Diego surfaced, and since after yesterday’s game, I’ve seen more people commenting on a need for more creativity in our midfield.

So why don’t we go for both?

Its also pretty obvious what tactics defenders are going to employ against Suarez (ie. They’re just going to kick him from behind and 90% of refs are going to do nothing about) so its even more important that we find someone that give him the ball while he is facing goal.

So with that in mind, I’d like to see if anyone else agrees with my earlier post in this thread, about signing an attacking midfield, perhaps as a replacement for Meireles.

I would like to do a “Lets sign Pastore thread” but I’ll leave it in here instead for now:

My nomination is of course Pastore. Can play ahead of Gerrard and Lucas in midfield giving us the creativity that lots have started asking for, but can also be effective as a forward anywhere across the line of 3 that we usually see, so we could play something like:

------Suarez--------Meireles--------Pastore------

-------------------Kuyt---------------------------------

Which could be very fluid and deadly, just as we have seen recently with Meireles, Suarez, Kuyt and Maxi all interchanging.

Would be very expensive, but if we were to buy a cheap winger in Young, Pastore himself could be our “marquee signing” rather than Mata or Hazard, etc. Certainly a player with much potential than Diego as well...

Outside of Pastore, has anyone got any new thoughts on getting ourselves a creative, attacking midfielder recently?

Mata can play as a creative attacking midfielder, hes played in the hole plenty of times for Valencia, plus he can play out wide too.

I do think Diego would be a good buy though if he was under 10 million. If he gets that pre Juventus form back he is an exceptional talent and could end up being one of the buys of any season.

Diego and Blaise Matuidi would be great signings for me, one skillful and creative the other a tough tackling hard working player who can also pass the ball very well.
We could maybe get both for around 20 million.

No doubts Matuidi is a nuisance for the opposition and therefore a very effective DM, but he does seem incredibly one-footed. And one-footedness is one thing when you are out wide, but as a central player who is going to be put under pressure often and will need to move from side to side, it's a worry.

GordonBennett
23-5-11, 17:09
M'Vila's just signed a new contract.

Doesn't definitely mean he'll stay, but he will be expensive.

Watched the highlights of him vs England again last night. Exceptional performance.

Just saw he signed a new deal,probably
Means his head hasnt been turned, yet.

SweetSilverSeven
23-5-11, 17:12
I would go for Mata and Nzogbia (pace and width) out wide - i believe we can still use the wingback system to get those crosses in to carroll

And have Diego and skillful/attacking player as an option in the hole!

And and aguero (he can play the number 9 role better than suarez - and play all across the forward line) and Enrique!

Liverdinner
23-5-11, 17:30
Never seen anyone nutmeg players so often as Pastore.

LLS
23-5-11, 17:42
A very elegant player, nice on the eye, but he doesn't half get a lot of time and space on the ball in Italy, and actually reminds me of Aquilani.

He's also talked up Real and Barca in the past and I'd fear another Mascherano situation: using us as a stepping stone.

Valid concerns, but this is where Comolli must earn his money.

He gets a bit more space, but that game he also got some hard tackles from behind but still looked great. I've seen him on days where it hasn't come off, but the potential is amazing and maybe Kenny can get him to explode like Suarez has.

As for leaving, if he goes to Barca or Real after 3 years then that means he's done a good job for us. We also have a much more sensible management team than when we got ********** by Masch and Owen.

Comolli and FSG should ensure he leaves with us profit.

Oakryrch
23-5-11, 19:39
Never seen anyone nutmeg players so often as Pastore.

Suarez?


This is Pastore’s performance a few weeks back against AC Milan that really impressed me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDKQW9g8LhQ

Play him with Suarez and Carroll and a fast winger and we’ll be laughing

I've seen a little of Pastore, but you can just from watching that clip, that he looks to be the main instigator and initiator in all of Palermo's attacks. Seems an intelligent player - has good movement and always look to move into the right places more often than not to create something. Also looks to play the pass and move game - similar to Suarez, as both look to keep the game moving with quick moving passes and both know when to pass at the right time too. The pass-and-move goal looked simplistic enough, but the execution is always that bit difficult. A nice goal nonetheless and an excellent finish.

Some of his long-range passes didn't quite come off there, and some of his passing sometimes weren't too clean off the ground, but to be fair to him, he looked to have improved as the game went on, and his through-ball to Abel Hernandez again showed what he’s all about.

Liverdinner
23-5-11, 19:41
Close but not even him Rixta. Good shout though.

Oakryrch
23-5-11, 20:09
I posted this in another thread, but I've edited accordingly to try and fit it in with this thread.

I think we need a muscular presence in midfield - but we also need someone creative too.

I can't help but compare Moussa Sissoko to Yaya Toure because they do seem very similar in style, albeit slightly different. If Sissoko is anything like Toure, then I say get him. He's a big domineering presence in midfield. He can win the ball back and tackle, but he can also play too. He has excellent vision when it comes to passing and he can do it with consumate ease, but you wouldn't think so when you consider his frame, but he can do it - even if it is with a languid style and sense. He can pass short and long and knows when to pass the ball too - plying his trade at Barcelona will have obviously helped him. With regards to him being able to go foward, he can do that too. He has the stamina and energy to box-to-box, and also the athleticism that Sissoko all looks to have aswell. You only have to look at Toure's performance in the FA cup semi-final and final wins.

Moving on to formations. The formations we seem to play are varied, and it can change from a 4-2-3-1 to either a 4-4-2 to maybe a 4-2-1-3 with the "1" maybe taking turns with the two "2" to make box-to-box runs and support the foward line. Gerrard/Sissoko/Aquilani/Shelvey and Lucas too, are capbale of playing this position, behind a interchanging front "3".

Here I've included a few players of who'd I'd like to see come here. I think Vertonghen could replace Agger, both similar players albeit Jan is less injury-prone and more versatile. Enrique I like too, I've seen him play a few times, including against United, where he kept Nani at bay. It stopped him going foward during the game but when he had to tackle, he did, and he has pace too, which is only going to help him not only support the attack on counter-attacks, but also in his recovery when defending either from sudden counter-attacks or from mistakes.

This may sound contradictory, but after reading this thread, I just feel that we may have too many midfielders, and that it may not be possible to supplement them all. Gerrard may have another stop-start season and if Shelvey/Spearing go out on loan, we're then left with Gerrard, Meireles, Lucas, Aquilani and Sissoko too. Strength in depth there even when injuries ans suspensions crop up too. Maybe one of the best midfields in the league soon.

Acquiring someone like Sanchez would be great. I think we need a speed merchant on the flanks to complete and complement the foward line. Sanchez is on the same wavelength as Suarez and I think both would work in sync - swapping and interchanging positions with one offering pace and penetration on one side, combined with one tricking and slaloming his way through challenges on the other. Both would help Andy a great deal and both are big goal threats even when on the wings.

If not Sanchez, than maybe someone like Mata. I like smart players who know how to play the game and what to do with the ball, and Juan fits the bill. Like as already been mentioned in this thread, he can play as a diminutive winger, getting to the by-line and almost always picking out the right ball, again showing his game-intelligence. He can also play in middle of the park, playmaking and dictating the game. I've noticed some don't talk about Mata's finshing skills, and that's another one of his great qualities, to add his already exisiting dribbling, pace and skills he has. Everytime when I've seen him get in the box, he looks so cool and composed when finshing and he doesn't let himself get flustered or frustrated if misses a chance - he'll just try again, and that's another good trait he has - a good mentality.

Maybe a team like this could work: (with the ball)



Reina
Johnson ----- Carragher ----- Vertonghen ----- Enrique
Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey* ----- Lucas/Sissoko/Spearing*
Sanchez/Mata ----- Meireles/Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey/Lucas ----- Suarez
Carroll

* = May go out on loan to get games which they might not get enough of here, and also to help continue their development.

I know Meireles is a CM by trade, but I just can't somehow feel that he's better deployed as an AMF. His off-the-ball running and movement would mean he could support Carroll further up the field, with either Sissoko or Aquilani moving into space he'd vacate, and feeding the foward players infront of and around them. Also, what with Raul being a little weak and lightweight as a DMF, it would mean we would rely less on him doing defensive duties, although he's more than capable of doing it. I just wish Raul was more consistent because sometimes he looks good there, and other times he doesn't. I want Suarez close to goal, but in a 4-2-3-1 with Carroll playing, it could mean that he has less chances on goal, however, he cuts in from the left hand side very well, and would create chances for Carroll, and the other onrushing midfielders who would be supporting. For this formation, the two midfielders could work as two volantes, one being a destroyer (doing the nitty-gritty), and one a creator - feeding the players in front.

Then this side when without the ball:



Reina
Johnson ----- Carragher ----- Vertonghen ----- Enrique
Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey* ----- Lucas/Sissoko/Spearing*
Meireles/Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey
Sanchez/Mata ----- Carroll ----- Suarez

This formation could be adopted when playing the bigger teams. It's almost like a 4-3-3 in essence, but with the wide players pushed up as strikers of course. You'd have any two of the midfielders (formerly the two volantes) moving alongside the "trequartista" - if you like - and thereby surrounding the spaces either side of of the midfielder in the hole, and therefore having a rotating and interchanging midfield 3, with just one perhaps taking turns to push up and support the foward three. The other two behind can fill the gaps left behind and could; cover the flanks when the full-backs are on the attack and on the counter, and also to shore up the midfield when the team starts to build up attacks. It's all more fluid than a 4-2-3-1, but of course, it all depends on how we shape up without the ball.

Without the ball, we could change our shape into a 4-5-1, 4-4-2 and even a 4-4-1-1 - all these even if Carroll and Suarez are/aren't in the same team. you could say our off-the-ball formation won't matter as the movement in the side would be good enough. We would defend as one, and attack as one too. It would be just like Kenny's old school ethos.

Thoughts?

Liverdinner
23-5-11, 20:11
Cannot quote that monster but if he is like Toure, yes absolutely. Best dm, in the world Toure and he hardly even plays there for City now.


I like Sissoko from the youtube vids ive seen but I wonder if he can be disciplined and sit.

Oakryrch
23-5-11, 20:24
Cannot quote that monster but if he is like Toure, yes absolutely. Best dm, in the world Toure and he hardly even plays there for City now.


I like Sissoko from the youtube vids ive seen but I wonder if he can be disciplined and sit.

I agree with you about Toure. There is no other like midfielder like him - he can defend and attack both really, really, well. That's why I made the comparison, because they both have a similar style and that's a bit exciting, if Moussa can be anything like Yaya can.

I remember we were having the same debate about a month ago on Sissoko. We agreed that he'd give us a much needed presence in midfield, but would he able to be play like a proper DMF and; tackle, keep his position and be disciplined when required. I haven't seen that to be honest, but I really hope he has that in his game.

Maybe a few Ligue 1 viewers out there can shed some light on him for us?

Oakryrch
24-5-11, 00:40
I can't find any videos of Sissoko on his defensive sides of the game, but I've read some other forums on this guy, and many seem think he may be a defensive box-to-box midfielder i.e Essien. They say that he's a more complete CDM as he can retrieve the ball in midfield and move foward with it.

Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SgGI8UhnBY), he scores from a free-kick a la Gerrard v Newcastle 2007, and scores a class goal after going on a mazy dribble - albeit against lowly opposition. Still a brilliant goal nonetheless.

Might be worth casting an eye over Moussa's midfield partner at Toulouse, Capoue (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mH0ywzaOLaQ), who is also 22 and seems as athletic and energetic as Moussa. From that clip, he looks to have less strength and a lesser physique than Moussa, but compensates for that with this aggression. Also looks comfortable on the ball too.

SGTCMF
24-5-11, 01:16
I posted this in another thread, but I've edited accordingly to try and fit it in with this thread.

I think we need a muscular presence in midfield - but we also need someone creative too.

I can't help but compare Moussa Sissoko to Yaya Toure because they do seem very similar in style, albeit slightly different. If Sissoko is anything like Toure, then I say get him. He's a big domineering presence in midfield. He can win the ball back and tackle, but he can also play too. He has excellent vision when it comes to passing and he can do it with consumate ease, but you wouldn't think so when you consider his frame, but he can do it - even if it is with a languid style and sense. He can pass short and long and knows when to pass the ball too - plying his trade at Barcelona will have obviously helped him. With regards to him being able to go foward, he can do that too. He has the stamina and energy to box-to-box, and also the athleticism that Sissoko all looks to have aswell. You only have to look at Toure's performance in the FA cup semi-final and final wins.

Moving on to formations. The formations we seem to play are varied, and it can change from a 4-2-3-1 to either a 4-4-2 to maybe a 4-2-1-3 with the "1" maybe taking turns with the two "2" to make box-to-box runs and support the foward line. Gerrard/Sissoko/Aquilani/Shelvey and Lucas too, are capbale of playing this position, behind a interchanging front "3".

Here I've included a few players of who'd I'd like to see come here. I think Vertonghen could replace Agger, both similar players albeit Jan is less injury-prone and more versatile. Enrique I like too, I've seen him play a few times, including against United, where he kept Nani at bay. It stopped him going foward during the game but when he had to tackle, he did, and he has pace too, which is only going to help him not only support the attack on counter-attacks, but also in his recovery when defending either from sudden counter-attacks or from mistakes.

This may sound contradictory, but after reading this thread, I just feel that we may have too many midfielders, and that it may not be possible to supplement them all. Gerrard may have another stop-start season and if Shelvey/Spearing go out on loan, we're then left with Gerrard, Meireles, Lucas, Aquilani and Sissoko too. Strength in depth there even when injuries ans suspensions crop up too. Maybe one of the best midfields in the league soon.

Acquiring someone like Sanchez would be great. I think we need a speed merchant on the flanks to complete and complement the foward line. Sanchez is on the same wavelength as Suarez and I think both would work in sync - swapping and interchanging positions with one offering pace and penetration on one side, combined with one tricking and slaloming his way through challenges on the other. Both would help Andy a great deal and both are big goal threats even when on the wings.

If not Sanchez, than maybe someone like Mata. I like smart players who know how to play the game and what to do with the ball, and Juan fits the bill. Like as already been mentioned in this thread, he can play as a diminutive winger, getting to the by-line and almost always picking out the right ball, again showing his game-intelligence. He can also play in middle of the park, playmaking and dictating the game. I've noticed some don't talk about Mata's finshing skills, and that's another one of his great qualities, to add his already exisiting dribbling, pace and skills he has. Everytime when I've seen him get in the box, he looks so cool and composed when finshing and he doesn't let himself get flustered or frustrated if misses a chance - he'll just try again, and that's another good trait he has - a good mentality.

Maybe a team like this could work: (with the ball)



Reina
Johnson ----- Carragher ----- Vertonghen ----- Enrique
Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey* ----- Lucas/Sissoko/Spearing*
Sanchez/Mata ----- Meireles/Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey/Lucas ----- Suarez
Carroll

* = May go out on loan to get games which they might not get enough of here, and also to help continue their development.

I know Meireles is a CM by trade, but I just can't somehow feel that he's better deployed as an AMF. His off-the-ball running and movement would mean he could support Carroll further up the field, with either Sissoko or Aquilani moving into space he'd vacate, and feeding the foward players infront of and around them. Also, what with Raul being a little weak and lightweight as a DMF, it would mean we would rely less on him doing defensive duties, although he's more than capable of doing it. I just wish Raul was more consistent because sometimes he looks good there, and other times he doesn't. I want Suarez close to goal, but in a 4-2-3-1 with Carroll playing, it could mean that he has less chances on goal, however, he cuts in from the left hand side very well, and would create chances for Carroll, and the other onrushing midfielders who would be supporting. For this formation, the two midfielders could work as two volantes, one being a destroyer (doing the nitty-gritty), and one a creator - feeding the players in front.

Then this side when without the ball:



Reina
Johnson ----- Carragher ----- Vertonghen ----- Enrique
Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey* ----- Lucas/Sissoko/Spearing*
Meireles/Gerrard/Aquilani/Shelvey
Sanchez/Mata ----- Carroll ----- Suarez

This formation could be adopted when playing the bigger teams. It's almost like a 4-3-3 in essence, but with the wide players pushed up as strikers of course. You'd have any two of the midfielders (formerly the two volantes) moving alongside the "trequartista" - if you like - and thereby surrounding the spaces either side of of the midfielder in the hole, and therefore having a rotating and interchanging midfield 3, with just one perhaps taking turns to push up and support the foward three. The other two behind can fill the gaps left behind and could; cover the flanks when the full-backs are on the attack and on the counter, and also to shore up the midfield when the team starts to build up attacks. It's all more fluid than a 4-2-3-1, but of course, it all depends on how we shape up without the ball.

Without the ball, we could change our shape into a 4-5-1, 4-4-2 and even a 4-4-1-1 - all these even if Carroll and Suarez are/aren't in the same team. you could say our off-the-ball formation won't matter as the movement in the side would be good enough. We would defend as one, and attack as one too. It would be just like Kenny's old school ethos.

Thoughts?

Good indepth post Rixsta. Although I for one, am getting tired of people saying 'we should get this player or this player' a hundred times, its good you've actually researched how players will fit in without making outrageous tactical failures.

In regards to formation, although Kenny and Steve will have an idea of how they want to play, its always fun to talk about that side of the game. I do like the idea of a 4-2-1-3. There was a good article in Four Four Two a while back actually about the development of the trequartista in the game and how they fit into different systems. I feel we need a proper creative midfield playmaker. I know Suarez can play behind the striker but I'm talking someone ,Schnieder esque, a real number 10.

Oakryrch
24-5-11, 02:01
Good indepth post Rixsta. Although I for one, am getting tired of people saying 'we should get this player or this player' a hundred times, its good you've actually researched how players will fit in without making outrageous tactical failures.

In regards to formation, although Kenny and Steve will have an idea of how they want to play, its always fun to talk about that side of the game. I do like the idea of a 4-2-1-3. There was a good article in Four Four Two a while back actually about the development of the trequartista in the game and how they fit into different systems. I feel we need a proper creative midfield playmaker. I know Suarez can play behind the striker but I'm talking someone ,Schnieder esque, a real number 10.

Good point. I think Aquilani can be our trequartista if given a chance. But I think we may get a specialist for that role i.e. Diego or someone like that, possibly.

Carrolls-Ponytail
24-5-11, 02:30
DM-
Lucas
Blasie Matuidi
Jay Spearing

AM-
Steven Gerrard
Raul Meireles
James McCarthy
Jonjo Shelvey

RedGedinLA
24-5-11, 02:46
There's a lot of talk about McCarthy on this thread and he's promising but if we could prise him away from Chelsea, I much prefer Josh McEachran. He has been played out of position and its hard to get a look in there, so maybe he would come to us. He's a tremendous prospect.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by that Pastore video. He seemed like Jonjo Shelvey Lite to me...sorry.

Another thing that occurs to me about this thread and others like it, is that when discussing transfers we tend to get caught up in discussions about systems KK might play - 442, 353, 32131 etc... - and then conjure up the players who might fit best within these configurations.

I'm not sure that's how it plays out in reality however, because this is an awfully rigid way of developing transfer strategy. I can't help imagining that the boss and Comolli will primarily look for great players in general areas, ie defence, midfield and attack, and see who they can pick up.

When they all get together for pre-season they will then assess who looks best in a certain position, who plays great alongside him and which formations seem the most successful in training. When the season starts this will be fine-tuned as the players gain understanding. The form players emerge, partnerships develop and an amorphous strategy slowly becomes an established pattern.

This is a lot more loosey-goosey than having everything laid down in manual form or marked out military style on a blackboard, (which is the way I fancy Rafa and similar coaches do things,), but I think its more flexible and gives more options. I think KK works more in this fashion.

We will see...

Ludovici
24-5-11, 03:37
We don't urgently need another CM. Spend the money on two good wingers, for argument's sake Young and Hazard, then play this formation:


Lucas Gerrard

Hazard Suarez Young

Carroll

If Lucas gets injured we have Spearing. If Gerrard gets injured we have Meireles and Shelvey. If Suarez gets injured we can play Gerrard or Meireles there. Kuyt for Hazard. If Young got injured move Suarez to the left and bring in Meireles. Kuyt/Suarez for Carroll.

What do i win?

Ludovici
24-5-11, 03:40
There's a lot of talk about McCarthy on this thread and he's promising but if we could prise him away from Chelsea, I much prefer Josh McEachran. He has been played out of position and its hard to get a look in there, so maybe he would come to us. He's a tremendous prospect.

I was distinctly underwhelmed by that Pastore video. He seemed like Jonjo Shelvey Lite to me...sorry.

Another thing that occurs to me about this thread and others like it, is that when discussing transfers we tend to get caught up in discussions about systems KK might play - 442, 353, 32131 etc... - and then conjure up the players who might fit best within these comfigurations.

I'm not sure that's how it plays out in reality however, because this is an awfully rigid way of developing transfer strategy. I can't help imagining that the boss and Comolli will primarily look for great players in general areas, ie defence, midfield and attack, and see who they can pick up.

When they all get together for pre-season they will then assess who looks best in a certain position, who plays great alongside him and which formations seem the most successful in training. When the season starts this will be fine-tuned as the players gain understanding. The form players emerge, partnerships develop and an amorphous strategy slowly becomes an established pattern.

This is a lot more loosey-goosey than having everything laid down in manual form or marked out military style on a blackboard, (which is the way I fancy Rafa and similar coaches do things,), but I think its more flexible and gives more options. I think KK works more in this fashion.

We will see...

Couldn't agree more. I think KK will diagnose both wings as general areas that need strengthening and CM will not be added to. Certainly agree that he won't have next season's starting formation set in stone at this time.

WineForMyMen
8-6-11, 11:40
So not only is Henderson set to join, but the papers have us all linked with a bid for Adam next.

Not the more defensive CM I wanted, and not the more attacking CM you wanted LLS, but where does this leave us now?

Spearing/Shelvey loans?
Meireles to be a shock sale?
4-3-3 looking more likely?

RogerHuntelaar
8-6-11, 11:41
I seriously don't have a clue anymore. :D

Seanosdelgardo
8-6-11, 11:43
So not only is Henderson set to join, but the papers have us all linked with a bid for Adam next.

Not the more defensive CM I wanted, and not the more attacking CM you wanted LLS, but where does this leave us now?

Spearing/Shelvey loans?
Meireles to be a shock sale?
4-3-3 looking more likely?

I think Shelvey will go out on loan and if Adam is signed then Aquilani is gone.

Looking like

Gerrard
Lucas
Meireles
Henderson
Aquilani/Adam
Spearing

That will provide us with enough options in the middle of the park, and give us the ability to vary the play should we need to.

I think its looking 433 too if i'm honest.

SweetSilverSeven
8-6-11, 11:48
So not only is Henderson set to join, but the papers have us all linked with a bid for Adam next.

Not the more defensive CM I wanted, and not the more attacking CM you wanted LLS, but where does this leave us now?

Spearing/Shelvey loans?
Meireles to be a shock sale?
4-3-3 looking more likely?
He will be a back-up CM to Gerrard (gerrard will be playing in a deeper lying role now) in 4231 formation! Sometimes we will play in a 4-3-3 too

I agree with this decision, as that is the sort of player I wanted!

There isn't a player (before henderson) that we had, who had the defensive capabilities/athleticism/passing ability of gerrard! Some had one or two of those attributes but not all! I felt we needed a player who had that, so we could have a Proper back up to him (btw I'm not saying henderson is as good as him - gerrard is something special - but he has the right attributes to back up stevie)

Imagine if we had to rely on Merieles IN CM, who struggles with the physicality, and pulls out of tackles, or shelvey who is more of an attacking midfielder, and someone who has never started a PL game yet! So we needed someone else in to back gerrard up, and I think henderson has the attributes to make that happen! So I'm personally happy with it - that's the midfielder i wanted compared tp the DM you were talking about, and the attacking midfielder LLS was talking about

KK will hopefully nurture/develope him into our team framework, as I don't think he'll be the initial starter in the team! Look at the way he managed to get what he did out of Spearing, and henderson has a lot more talent and will progress with better players and a better manager

I don't think we need Adam aswell! That will just be too much, especially as we have spearing too
I don't think it's worth it to invest money into him either, but if we've got the money, he definitely has something to offer us

Shelvey could possibly go out on loan
And Aqua will hopefully :fc: be sold

LLS
8-6-11, 12:27
So not only is Henderson set to join, but the papers have us all linked with a bid for Adam next.

Not the more defensive CM I wanted, and not the more attacking CM you wanted LLS, but where does this leave us now?

Spearing/Shelvey loans?
Meireles to be a shock sale?
4-3-3 looking more likely?

Glad this thread has been bumped! We could all do with a good debate on what the Henderson deal means and what consequences it could have elsewhere. A new thread would inevitably end up going off on a tangent so perhaps this is the most suitable place.

While not being overly impressed with Henderson (I like McCarthy more) I'm actually a bit excited about the signing. He does have talent, and it seems Kenny and Comolli are impressed enough and Kenny and Clarke must feel that they can mould him into something special given the amount of money we've gambled.

I've also seen some impressive stats around for Henderson too with regards to assists and chances created. I would obviously expect that to improve here depending on what we do with him.

But more than anything, I think that Henderson coming here will have massive consequences for our midfield and obviously therefore the team as a whole, for starters Shelvey will simply have to go on loan to get minutes.

Consequences for tactics

Henderson will, for the most part, be a starting XI player. He played 38 games for Sunderland as early as 2008-09, and last season was a key part of what is a very decent team (although they do go through a period of shockingly bad form). He is not here to be doing Jonjo Shelvey 20-30 minute cameos. So where exactly will he be playing?

Well Gerrard and Lucas will be the two starting central midfielders depending on fitness, so I’m guessing Henderson is here to compete with Meireles. But although both can do a good job, neither Meireles nor Henderson are proper attacking midfielders. This suggests that we are building for a 3 man midfield in a 4-3-3 (which would mean that Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles, Henderson, Spearing and cameos from Shelvey are all very good options), but then again throughout the whole club we are grooming our youngsters for a 4-2-3-1, with Adorjan and Suso our bright prospects in the under 18s and reserves playing in the hole. With the signing of Henderson, we still have no such player in our first team. Neither have we been linked with one, and the cost of signing Henderson suggests we won’t be either.

This suggests a slight contradiction going on somewhere, unless we see Meireles leaving and a number 10 being signed from nowhere. Or maybe even we’ll see Suso and Adorjan moulded into something else over the next season? We’ll have to see how that one goes I suppose.

But as for what the Henderson signing will do to our current options, I have another idea of how our central midfield may operate. I should warn anyone bothering to read my long, rambling post that I may be completely wrong with the following, but does anyone remember the 30 minutes of Kenny’s first match back, the 30 minutes against United when we had 11 men on the pitch?

For those 30 minutes we played 4-3-3, with Lucas holding, and Gerrard and Meireles alternating the attacking duties, and even Lucas getting forward while one of the others anchored. We never saw it again, but maybe Kenny is using the summer to fully implement his initial idea of how our central midfield should work? It certainly compliments all of the current midfielders we have at the club.

Another possibility is a 4 man central midfield diamond, that Chelsea use from time to time. For example, Lucas holding, 2 central midfielders and then one attacking midfielder behind two strikers (Carroll and Suarez). But for this we will need very good full backs that we obviously don’t have at the moment. I don’t think this will be used because it would be very narrow, but then again Henderson has played right midfield...

One other thought I have for now is, without wishing to sound too much like a conspiracy theorist; do the management know something about Gerrard that the rest of us don’t with regards to his fitness? It could be a possible explanation for signing someone like Henderson.

Consequences with regard to personnel

I know some people aren’t big fans of the Henderson signing, but I can see some potential there, and unlike in the past few years I envisage players getting better here rather than the opposite. Our current midfield options are now Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles, Henderson, Spearing and Shelvey.

With those options, its hard to see Shelvey getting the same amount of minutes, because for starters we’re most likely going to be playing three, leaving one of Gerrard, Lucas, Meireles and Henderson missing out whose first team demands will need to be placated. Shelvey will presumably be going on loan, hopefully somewhere good.

Those midfield options are good with the potential to be very good within a year. But it still doesn’t address that lack of athleticism. Sign an athletic midfielder and we could potentially have, not world class midfielders, but a world class combination of central midfielders.

But for God’s sake PLEASE DON’T SIGN CHARLIE ADAM. I’ve long said I’m not his biggest fan, but will obviously support him were he to come, but now that we’ve got Henderson I actually think his signing would be detrimental to us. It would mean Meireles would have to leave for example, and Meireles has far more versatility and a far more complete game than Adam. We could very well be shipping out Portugal’s starting central midfielder after a fine season in his first season in England to accommodate Adam. It just wouldn’t be very smart.

It would also mean that we would have signed two central midfielders without having addressed our most obvious weakness. Its not like we are unaware of this deficiency as Comolli has even talked directly about Matuidi and its not as though this lack of athleticism hasn’t been exposed a number of times already this season, by relegation clubs no less.

If we are to get another central midfielder, it would invariably mean the end of Meireles. And if we’re going to be getting rid of Meireles, we will need to replace his work rate, which is as high as Dirk Kuyt’s. This type of work rate is exactly the kind of thing you will find in the athletic players available, but is Charlie Adam’s weak point. So any more central midfielders coming in HAVE to be athletic imo.

Now that we’ve signed Henderson, I’m somewhere between satisfied and happy with our midfield options.

If we add Adam and lose Meireles from our current list, I’d be unsure about our midfield options.

If we add an athletic midfielder to our current options and send Spearing and Shelvey on loan, then I’ll be very happy with our options.

LLS
10-6-11, 12:13
A few days on I have a few more thoughts with regards to our central midfield.

So far under Kenny (other than that Utd game I mentioned earlier) we've played with the following central midfield:

----------"central midfielder"-------------defensive midfielder--------------

-------------------------attacking midfielder------------------------------

The central midfielder's role sort of comes in between Lucas's defensive role and Meireles's attacking role. When Spearing first came in he typified this role, look to the way he won the penalty away at Sunderland for example. However as time went on and Kuyt, Suarez and Maxi started battering everyone, I felt that Spearing became more and more disciplined, playing a very similar role to Lucas. This wasn't obvious because we were still scoring for fun. This suggests to me that Kenny was perhaps grooming Spearing to be Lucas's back up.

With the Henderson signing, this leaves our current midfield options as thus:

----------Gerrard/Henderson--------Lucas/Spearing------------

-----------------------Meireles/Shelvey-----------------------

It looks quite decent but could do with some strengthening in the back up defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder, but of course this is probably not financially feasible when there are so many other holes in the team.

Add some quality attacking players ahead of that, and that midfield could be good enough. Perhaps Kenny sees Henderson as adequate cover for the lack of athleticism?

Not sure where Adam really fits in there but could be a useful option I agree. If anything he would be most suitable where I see Gerrard/Henderson playing. But if we're going to add a "useful option", we may as well go for that athleticism and a more all round game to cover both of the 2 deeper positions, as Gerrard has shown his quality in the advanced position previously.

TG1234
10-6-11, 12:29
We are constantl being linked with central players, whether mids or defs, this leads me to think we will see the 5-3-2 formation more next season. This oviously needs us to get a good left back (which we need for any formation) but would ideally suit our players. Maybe the real quality wingers are just not out these any more? Even the likes of Ashley Young and Mata we are linked are not touch line runners.

Glenn Johnson is definately more suited to this formation, so too Enrique or Clichy,we have Kelly, Robinson, Flannagan and Aurelio (pay as you play, hopefully) as cover. We have some good central defenders, I would like Kelly to be included as one where possable so 1 more sihgning would give us ample options here. With 3 central defenders it also gives us a chance to play Kelly or Wilson with Carra for learning purposes knowing we still have more experience cover on the pitch.

Moving into the midfield, we have several players now, none particularly outstanding as defensive ones, but with 3 central defenders this isn't an issue as long as one of the 3 holds a little. This frees 2 up to contentrate mainly on attack. Of the mids Henderson could also be cover for Johnson's right back position.

Up front we can keep 2 strikers in this formation, or one with Suarez as 'free' player. We attack with with the full backs wide meaning we get the 2 strikers and at least 2 if not 3 mids running into the box, suiting SG, RM, Henderson and Aqua's (?) style more and getting us more players attacking than we have had for a long time.

Just my thoughts, probably miles off the mark as usual though:o

WayTooSpooky
10-6-11, 12:34
Some good posts in this thread, good to read.

Just to pick up on a point. I keep seeing Spearing listed as deputy for Lucas. Now as far as I am aware Spearing has never played a first team league game as DM, certainly not without Lucas longside him.

Are people really satisfied that if Lucas was unavailable for whatever reason, Spearing would be adequate cover? Personally I would be very worried seeing Spearing as the DM without Lucas, because I don't think Spearing is a DM, and I certainly don't think Spearing is good enough to 'hold' on his own.

Most of the formations mentioned include Lucas, and I would like us sign some quality cover for him

LLS
10-6-11, 12:37
Some good posts in this thread, good to read.

Just to pick up on a point. I keep seeing Spearing listed as deputy for Lucas. Now as far as I am aware Spearing has never played a first team league game as DM, certainly not without Lucas longside him.

Are people really satisfied that if Lucas was unavailable for whatever reason, Spearing would be adequote cover? Personally I would be very worried seeing Spearing as the DM without Lucas, beccase I don't think Spearing is a DM, and I certainly don't think Spearing is good enough to 'hold' on his own.

Most of the formations mentioned include Lucas, and I would like us sign some quality cover for him

That's something I've very briefly addressed in my previous post. I personally felt that Spearing played deeper and deeper as games progressed.

Maybe Kenny was preparing him for a role as Lucas's deputy?

What do you reckon?

WayTooSpooky
10-6-11, 12:45
That's something I've very briefly addressed in my previous post. I personally felt that Spearing played deeper and deeper as games progressed.

Maybe Kenny was preparing him for a role as Lucas's deputy?

What do you reckon?

No disrespect to Spearing, but I think he played as we had no-one else bar Poulsen. He did OK, in a team playing well, but I don't think he has the attributes to be a DM.

He's not big or strong enough, think how many headers Lucas wins;

He's not that quick; you don't have to be really quick, but if you aren't you need to be postitionally excellent (like Lucas) and Jay isn't postionally excellent. He positions himself reletive to Lucas. As Lucas is excellent positionally Jay benefits alongside him

Although Jay is good at harrying opponents, he doesn't often tackle - he doesn't therefore dispossess opponents often.

If Jay was 19, then some of these things could be taught, but he's not young, he's coming up 23 and I just don't see that he is ever going to get the game time he needs to develop fast enough for us.

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 12:48
I think the midfield will be picked in this order at the moment.

Firsty choice 3: Gerrard, Henderson and Merelies

Then Lucas and Shelvey

If we sign Adam it will be in this order:

Stevie, Hendo, Merelies, Adam, Lucas and Shelvey

Bewdleyfan
10-6-11, 12:50
I think the midfield will be picked in this order at the moment.

Firsty choice 3: Gerrard, Henderson and Merelies

Then Lucas and Shelvey

If we sign Adam it will be in this order:

Stevie, Hendo, Merelies, Adam, Lucas and Shelvey

Gerrard, Henderson and Meireles will only play in the same midfield if we're chasing a game with 20-30 minutes to go.

Lucas, Gerrard and one of Henderson and Meireles will take the third spot, if we're playing 4-3-3. If we're playing 4-4-2, it will be Lucas alongside Gerrard.

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 13:13
Gerrard, Henderson and Meireles will only play in the same midfield if we're chasing a game with 20-30 minutes to go.

Lucas, Gerrard and one of Henderson and Meireles will take the third spot, if we're playing 4-3-3. If we're playing 4-4-2, it will be Lucas alongside Gerrard.

Thats an interesting one. When Hendo played for England he played in the middle in a 4 4 2. So you are saying you would play Lucas ahead of him????

Bewdleyfan
10-6-11, 13:16
Thats an interesting one. When Hendo played for England he played in the middle in a 4 4 2. So you are saying you would play Lucas ahead of him????

He did, but it didn't work. Henderson himself stated in an interview that he was very happy to play, despite being out of position. I think yes, Lucas will play ahead of him. Henderson is not a defensive midfielder, he is a box to box midfielder.

LLS
10-6-11, 13:17
No disrespect to Spearing, but I think he played as we had no-one else bar Poulsen. He did OK, in a team playing well, but I don't think he has the attributes to be a DM.

He's not big or strong enough, think how many headers Lucas wins;

He's not that quick; you don't have to be really quick, but if you aren't you need to be postitionally excellent (like Lucas) and Jay isn't postionally excellent. He positions himself reletive to Lucas. As Lucas is excellent positionally Jay benefits alongside him

Although Jay is good at harrying opponents, he doesn't often tackle - he doesn't therefore dispossess opponents often.

If Jay was 19, then some of these things could be taught, but he's not young, he's coming up 23 and I just don't see that he is ever going to get the game time he needs to develop fast enough for us.

I am inclined to agree with your summary of Spearing.

But his new contract indicates that Kenny has a plan for him somewhere.

I would dearly love an all round, athletic central midfielder, but with us also needing a left back, two wingers and a centre back, I can't help but think maybe Spearing is seen as a temporary solution.

SweetSilverSeven
10-6-11, 13:17
Henderson will be a back-up CM to Gerrard (gerrard will be playing in a deeper lying role now) in 4231 formation! Sometimes we will play in a 4-3-3 too

I agree with this decision, as that is the sort of player I wanted!

There isn't a player (before henderson) that we had, who had the defensive capabilities/athleticism/passing ability of gerrard! Some had one or two of those attributes but not all! I felt we needed a player who had that, so we could have a Proper back up to him (btw I'm not saying henderson is as good as him - gerrard is something special - but he has the right attributes to back up stevie)

Imagine if we had to rely on Merieles IN CM, who struggles with the physicality, and pulls out of tackles, or shelvey who is more of an attacking midfielder, and someone who has never started a PL game yet! So we needed someone else in to back gerrard up, and I think henderson has the attributes to make that happen! So I'm personally happy with it - that's the midfielder i wanted compared tp the DM you were talking about, and the attacking midfielder LLS was talking about

KK will hopefully nurture/develope him into our team framework, as I don't think he'll be the initial starter in the team! Look at the way he managed to get what he did out of Spearing, and henderson has a lot more talent and will progress with better players and a better manager

I don't think we need Adam aswell! That will just be too much, especially as we have spearing too
I don't think it's worth it to invest money into him either, but if we've got the money, he definitely has something to offer us

Shelvey could possibly go out on loan
And Aqua will hopefully :fc: be sold

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 13:22
He did, but it didn't work. Henderson himself stated in an interview that he was very happy to play, despite being out of position. I think yes, Lucas will play ahead of him. Henderson is not a defensive midfielder, he is a box to box midfielder.

Where is the defensive midfielder in Utd's best team?

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 13:23
Henderson will be a back-up CM to Gerrard (gerrard will be playing in a deeper lying role now) in 4231 formation! Sometimes we will play in a 4-3-3 too

I agree with this decision, as that is the sort of player I wanted!

There isn't a player (before henderson) that we had, who had the defensive capabilities/athleticism/passing ability of gerrard! Some had one or two of those attributes but not all! I felt we needed a player who had that, so we could have a Proper back up to him (btw I'm not saying henderson is as good as him - gerrard is something special - but he has the right attributes to back up stevie)

Imagine if we had to rely on Merieles IN CM, who struggles with the physicality, and pulls out of tackles, or shelvey who is more of an attacking midfielder, and someone who has never started a PL game yet! So we needed someone else in to back gerrard up, and I think henderson has the attributes to make that happen! So I'm personally happy with it - that's the midfielder i wanted compared tp the DM you were talking about, and the attacking midfielder LLS was talking about

KK will hopefully nurture/develope him into our team framework, as I don't think he'll be the initial starter in the team! Look at the way he managed to get what he did out of Spearing, and henderson has a lot more talent and will progress with better players and a better manager

I don't think we need Adam aswell! That will just be too much, especially as we have spearing too
I don't think it's worth it to invest money into him either, but if we've got the money, he definitely has something to offer us

Shelvey could possibly go out on loan
And Aqua will hopefully :fc: be sold

Total garbage. You are saying we have spent nearly £20 million on a back up!!??

Nonsense, Hendo will play, I feel personally lucas will be surplus to requirements

Liverdinner
10-6-11, 13:26
Im not a fan of Henderson, but to me, he seems a player in a similar role to maybe Raul or Stevie. Runs into the box and looking to get forward.
Therefore I dont know where he will play.

I wouldnt waste our time with Adam, id really be looking into signing Diego.

Bewdleyfan
10-6-11, 13:26
Where is the defensive midfielder in Utd's best team?

Carrick.

Arsenal have Song, we have Lucas, Spurs have Sandro/Palacios, Chelsea have Essien/Mikel, City have De Jong, Barcelona have Busquets, Real Madrid have Alonso/Diarra.

Most big team have a designated defensive midfielder. Do you think we will play Meireles alongside Gerrard next season in the centre of midfield, without a defensive midfielder? It didn't happen last season. Henderson is much more like Meireles than he is Lucas.

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 13:35
Carrick.

Arsenal have Song, we have Lucas, Spurs have Sandro/Palacios, Chelsea have Essien/Mikel, City have De Jong, Barcelona have Busquets, Real Madrid have Alonso/Diarra.

Most big team have a designated defensive midfielder. Do you think we will play Meireles alongside Gerrard next season in the centre of midfield, without a defensive midfielder? It didn't happen last season. Henderson is much more like Meireles than he is Lucas.

Carrick is not a regular at Utd

Ganymede
10-6-11, 13:37
Carrick is not a regular at Utd



Carrick wouldn't play if Fletcher was fit.

Tiggy2
10-6-11, 13:37
Total garbage. You are saying we have spent nearly £20 million on a back up!!??

Nonsense, Hendo will play, I feel personally lucas will be surplus to requirements

:FP:

Bewdleyfan
10-6-11, 13:42
Carrick is not a regular at Utd

He's played 43 games this season for the Mancs. And what about all the other teams I mentioned, or are we going to be narrow minded and focus on one team?

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 13:53
He's played 43 games this season for the Mancs. And what about all the other teams I mentioned, or are we going to be narrow minded and focus on one team?

I think all the players you mention as a defensive midfielder are actually just all around quality footballers who can do everything

Lucas cant very one dimensional, good at what he does but he is not dynamic and athletic like the players you listed

The days of a dm just being a dm are gone thats my point we need more than that like most top clubs have

Bewdleyfan
10-6-11, 13:58
I think all the players you mention as a defensive midfielder are actually just all around quality footballers who can do everything

Lucas cant very one dimensional, good at what he does but he is not dynamic and athletic like the players you listed

The days of a dm just being a dm are gone thats my point we need more than that like most top clubs have

Do you really think Henderson is going to play alongside Gerrard without a holding/defensive midfielder behind them next season? Be honest. I know they've done so for one game, but that clearly didn't work. You can't make Henderson just stay in front of the back four, that's not his game.

Lizboy10
10-6-11, 14:02
Do you really think Henderson is going to play alongside Gerrard without a holding/defensive midfielder behind them next season? Be honest. I know they've done so for one game, but that clearly didn't work. You can't make Henderson just stay in front of the back four, that's not his game.

I agree with this although I believe there is no chance of us playing 4 4 2 next season. I really believe time we are wasting a place in the team picking Lucas when we can pick someone who can do something offensively as well

Home games vs most of bottom half of the table for example

SweetSilverSeven
10-6-11, 14:35
Total garbage. You are saying we have spent nearly £20 million on a back up!!??

Nonsense, Hendo will play, I feel personally lucas will be surplus to requirements
£20m on back up and for the future!!

He'd still get games, as Gerrard simply isn't going to play every game! Under KK we've played a much more higher intensed style in our play which will continue!

We've got three competitions and and the games will be spreaded out between them!

Gerrard is just gonna be a more direct first choice and will get more games! But of course we will will play 4-3-3 at times, but we will stick with 4231 - the formation that worked so well last season and is a strength that we will build on

WayTooSpooky
10-6-11, 15:37
I think all the players you mention as a defensive midfielder are actually just all around quality footballers who can do everything

Lucas cant very one dimensional, good at what he does but he is not dynamic and athletic like the players you listed

The days of a dm just being a dm are gone thats my point we need more than that like most top clubs have

Judging by your description, you are obviously not seeing all of Lucas's attributes and contribution to THE TEAM. Lucas will play a high percentage of games next season, mark my words.

Our first team midfield is Lucas, Gerrard and Meireles (no particular order). Tactics, and or injuries will allow the others to get some games.

WineForMyMen
10-6-11, 16:14
A few days on I have a few more thoughts with regards to our central midfield.

So far under Kenny (other than that Utd game I mentioned earlier) we've played with the following central midfield:

----------"central midfielder"-------------defensive midfielder--------------

-------------------------attacking midfielder------------------------------

The central midfielder's role sort of comes in between Lucas's defensive role and Meireles's attacking role. When Spearing first came in he typified this role, look to the way he won the penalty away at Sunderland for example. However as time went on and Kuyt, Suarez and Maxi started battering everyone, I felt that Spearing became more and more disciplined, playing a very similar role to Lucas. This wasn't obvious because we were still scoring for fun. This suggests to me that Kenny was perhaps grooming Spearing to be Lucas's back up.

With the Henderson signing, this leaves our current midfield options as thus:

----------Gerrard/Henderson--------Lucas/Spearing------------

-----------------------Meireles/Shelvey-----------------------

It looks quite decent but could do with some strengthening in the back up defensive midfielder and attacking midfielder, but of course this is probably not financially feasible when there are so many other holes in the team.

Add some quality attacking players ahead of that, and that midfield could be good enough. Perhaps Kenny sees Henderson as adequate cover for the lack of athleticism?

Not sure where Adam really fits in there but could be a useful option I agree. If anything he would be most suitable where I see Gerrard/Henderson playing. But if we're going to add a "useful option", we may as well go for that athleticism and a more all round game to cover both of the 2 deeper positions, as Gerrard has shown his quality in the advanced position previously.

Responding to both of your posts here mate, but just quoting the shorter one for space reasons. Again, we completely agree on Adam as a player, and obviously his signing now would give us even more headaches so I am hoping more than ever that it doesn't happen.

In terms of set-up I'd firstly say that I do expect us to fluctuate depending on games, but I still think you have to buy and sell to a rough plan. 4-3-3 does seem the most likely adaptation in terms of system and is the one I mind the least. I still most like the 4-2-3-1 though. As you say, it goes right through our academy system and in many ways has become the new 4-4-2 in terms of how many top teams now resort to it as the default setting. I'd like to believe your second post in that respect because it would mean:
1) Meireles/Shelvey still having status
2) Still an ideal need to get a DM in to replace Spearing at some point
Where I'm not so sure is that we've primarily bough a £16m player to be back-up to Gerrard. I don't doubt that Kenny is thinking about the long term succession to Gerrard (and Carra too), and of course injuries have been a real issue of late, but SG is still the icon and is very positive about his fitness at the moment.

The alternatives to 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 all seem to be things I really don't want to see.

4-4-2. Ugh. Hate flat 4-4-2s. They are limited and a bit backwards. Sadly though I can't rule it out. Kenny has had previous success with it, Carroll is the kind of striker that would feed off traditional wing play, and 4-4-2s usually involve two more box-to-box CMs, rather than more rigid anchors, playmakers, destroyers etc. Henderson and Gerrard are certainly in that mould. Shelvey and Meireles have been played with such instructions. There were even reports of Lucas being told to get forward more. Of course, one problem is that it would leave us massively overstocked on CMs.

4-4-2 Diamond Probably even worse when it comes to the Chelsea style diamond (i.e. narrow) than you hint at. Ok we look to be interested in attacking LBs, but that formation still puts a huge amount of pressure on the FBs to get forward and provide the width, whilst still being a bit rigid in midfield.

5-3-2 or 3-5-2/3-2-3-2 Whatever you want to call it, we saw it at times under Kenny, basically the full-backs playing as wing-backs/halfway line midfielders. It alleviates some of the burden mentioned above in that the wide players don't have to defend so much but there's still huge pressure on them to perform, even more in some ways given that the system lacks a really creative, no.10 type in the centre. And we also have to remember that our young FBs may be talented, but none of them are really suitable wing-backs are they? None of them are close to attacking levels of a Johnson or Clichy etc.

Other thing to consider of course is that it's all well and good saying we want rid of Poulsen and Aquilani, but we still have to find a buyer. For the former his age, wages and disastrous PL form might make him a hard sell. Aquilani on the other hand has the problem of being Italian, which, like English players, means it will be difficult to sell him to a non-native club. There are only so many of those that could afford him and none seem particularly keen at present.

WineForMyMen
21-1-12, 20:55
http://love4lfc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/KingKennycrown.jpg

"A DM, a DM, my kingdom for a DM!"

What chance of us getting one in the remaining week of the window?

Daftvader
21-1-12, 21:02
http://love4lfc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/KingKennycrown.jpg

"A DM, a DM, my kingdom for a DM!"

What chance of us getting one in the remaining week of the window?

I'm more concern about creating goals than con seeing them.
If we sign a DM when we so clearly need a striker, winger and creative mid.... Well the lack of ambition will be clearly be shown IMO.

Bewdleyfan
21-1-12, 21:04
http://love4lfc.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/KingKennycrown.jpg

"A DM, a DM, my kingdom for a DM!"

What chance of us getting one in the remaining week of the window?

I'm unsure if we will get one in during the window, I guess it may depend on the fitness of Spearing perhaps.

After today, to me it's clear that neither Charlie Adam or Gerrard should play as a withdrawn or defensive midfielder, as they simply don't have the discipline to play in such a way. I believe one of our central midfielders could fill in there in a more competent manner while Spearing is unavailable, and that is Henderson. When Adam was taken off today, Gerrard played further forward and Henderson took over as the holding midfielder. He was far better in this position, showed composure on the ball and had good positional sense. Also, Jordan has a great engne and shows tenacity in the tackle.

If Spearing is out on wednesday, i'd like to see Jonjo come in in place of Adam. There's no way the youngster could play any worse than Charlie has recently, and the former Charlton man will offer us something in attack most definately. Maxi was anonymous today and and Bellamy was our only real bright spark to be honest, a miserable all around.

LLS
21-1-12, 21:06
Haha seeing this thread has made me think "sheeeet I need to make some more time to post on the boards". How sad :D

Lots of thoughts on this that hopefully I'll find time to post about, but probably best to leave it for now because I don't think I'll give certain players a fair appraisal at the moment.