Last edited by grudge; 20-3-17 at 12:41.
I'd say 2 "destroyers" is luxury, but 1 is definitely crucial for any team that wants to overplay the opponents with their quality, without the risk of backfiring. We don't have anyone who fits that profile - not Henderson nor Can. Both good players, but they are retrained and as much as they try to offer solid basis for others, CDM just isn't their natural forte. Looking on our devastating defensive records for last couple of seasons, it's clear to see that the trend starts from the moment Mascherano left. Fine, Lucas also offered that "destroyer" presence in few spells, but injuries and different coaches didn't help this anyway.
I really cannot blame defenders (centrebacks mostly) anymore for this defensive fragility at Liverpool, during which we have or had plenty of decent players to create a solid defensive unit. Just consider this - if there's a belief you can "re-train" others into different roles, how is it impossible to train natural defenders into defending? Perhaps they weren't or aren't world-class defenders, but they aren't **** either. For me, it is the lack of understanding from coaches that Liverpool need a designated midfielder that will stay and protect the back line against countering opponents.
I really hope Klopp understands that and brings a midfielder that is primarily defensive-minded (playmaker skills should be bonus, not necessity), because the current selection seriously lacks that. We simply have too many similar box-to-box players with versatility, but no special traits. One may say that it bring factor of being "unpredictable", but I'd argue that very few footballers can be just as effective on both ends of the pitch. I think it sometimes creates confusion and meaningless waste of energy among the players. Don't get me wrong, I am all for movement in our play, but perhaps in certain games (especially against lower teams) we should mix it up. Perhaps play simple football with players designated to defend and certain attacking players like Coutinho, Firmino, Mane or Lallana staying up front, not wasting energy levels for whole 90 mins? Perhaps that could be just as effective, refreshing and sustainable for whole season run? Perhaps that could be our "Plan B" as oppose to bringing a big target man which clearly isn't fitting into Klopp's plans.
Last edited by Ephemer; 20-3-17 at 12:49.
That old midfield is not the blueprint.
I agree the perfect balance was the Mascherano-Alonso-Gerrard combo. But that was a different manager, with a different philosophy on how the game should be played. Klopp did not have that style combination at Dortmund, so he's not going to change his philosophy here.
Instead he would argue the perfect balance is a Deep Lying Playmaker ala Sahin. A combative midfielder ala Bender and a number 10 ala Gotze. When Sahin departed he actually even got more extreme with it, and replaced him with Gundogan who many see as a CAM who was converted (remind you of anyone; Gini).
He has never had a Makelele/Mascherano style player, and would never want one imo. Instead what he asks is for the entire midfield to work in unison to win the ball back quickly and efficiently and when his team have the possession he actually has stated that he actually considers his side to be a possession based side, despite what the press would have you believe about him being all blood and thunder regardless of opposition.
As for the lack of width bringing Coutinho central, would allow for a proper winger (ie Brandt who is his number 1 target by all accounts) to operate on the left, thus we have increased width.
Having a CDM in a team for every game is not necessary, but having one in your squad is an absolute MUST! Mind you, I've never ever seen a successful football side that doesn't feature with one defensive midfielder.
And having a CDM in the 'squad' is a different thing, but finding a destroyer CDM who is quality and doesn't mind just being a squad player is next to impossible. We might as well just pursue with Stewart and Grujic as those options.
Sitting defensive midfielder shouldn't be more than two yards 5 yards in front of the central defences and really move from that position
Which then gives you a shield in front of the central defenders which means they don't get isolated by players who play in the pocket
So when we defend we should have one bank of five the second bank of four , leve the lone striker up top
When we attack we should have bank of three second bank of four and third bank of three
When Henderson played as a defensive midfielder for Rodgers he was good but eith Kopp he is far superior and disciplined enough to play the sitting role
Just because they "destroy" attacks doesn't mean the likes of Wanyama, Kante, Matic, whoever else isn't capable of slight creativity. Now, comparing to these names - where the heck do you see similarities with Henderson or Can? In your categories: Henderson and Can fit the Alonso role, while Gini/Lallana/Coutinho the Gotze role. Actually, by naming all of these players you just confirm my argument that we have too many similar players competing for 1 or 2 positions, yet none for CDM.
Now, Can could develop into one, but on current state, none of our players fit the Mascherano "master of protecting the backline" role.
I already mentioned, a CDM is preferable against lesser sides to prevent counterattacking and last time I checked my math the amount of top teams < lower teams. Not to mention the number of games, competitions, etc.
Last edited by Ephemer; 20-3-17 at 14:01.
The system we play is one sitting defensive.
That one sitting player has to be disciplined and doesn't move from the front of the two central defenders.
Other teams employ
one sitting defensive midfielder and one roaming box to box destroyer
Roaming box to box destroyer and box to box playmaker and attacking midfielder in front of them
Two sitting defensive midfielders with attacking midfielder front of them
The list of permutations could go on.
Two questions have to be looked at
Question 1 what type of defensive sitting midfielder should be look at a physical athlete or a technical player
Question 2 would Klipp changes formation and add permutations of different setups how are we would play
Firstly yes Bender is similar to Can. Both physical players, that are average at everything, master of none, so by default they find themselves in a quasi defensive role. But by no stretch of the imagination would I consider Sven Bender an out and out 'destroyer'. As for the names you mentioned, I agree they are 'destroyers' and I also agree they can be creative...what's your point??
My point is those players put out fires first, retain possession second. Imo that is not the way to go. As mentioned in my earlier posts, I believe the way for us to improve our fortune against the lower end/direct sides is to try and control the tempo of the game better, and I have stated that currently we don't possess a player who can do that. If we did this it would limit the number of chances we would concede in those games, putting less pressure on our defence and hopefully in theory resulting in less goals conceded. My issue with simply adding a 'destroyer' is that teams play very very direct against us, as this is the best way to combat the press (something we're not stopping anytime soon, and rightly so). As a result, they actually often bypass our midfield, meaning a destroyer becomes far less relevant.
As for the roles then god knows how you came to conclusion that Can/Hendo were in the Alonso role...when Alonso was actually quoted ffs!!
To spell it out for you my system would be : 'Alonso style player' - The first of the two pivots in the 4-2-3-1 formation as I quoted earlier, with the responsibility of controlling the game.
Hendo/Can - The second of the two pivots responsible for the majority of the defensive work and to maintain the press in the middle, something that Hendo in particular excels at.
Coutinho - When he is on it, he is our most creative player, thus against teams that park the bus, he needs to be central to have more of the ball. Furthermore this would allow for a more authodox . winger which would stretch the play making more room for the number 9 and number 10 (coutinho) to operate in, something that currently they don't have against the lower end teams.
As mentioned this system is solely for lower end/direct teams. We shouldn't change a jot from our current set up against the top teams!
With one disciplined screen deep defensive midfielder
ruled out Can out that position because he hasn't got the defensive skills or the discipline
Two technical box to box pass and move goal scoring creative midfielders Wijnaldum & Lallana
Again I ruled out can out that position because again he hasn't got ncessary skills for that role
Henderson, Wijnaldum, Lallana have gel as a unit and look very functional.
Against City where he played more natural game where he can bursting forward and have a physical scrap he comes out a better player
From that one game I've now confused,
I don't know where we go with Can and whole of central midfield
- Sven Bender not being a natural destroyer, even though the guy is comfortable playing both as CDM and CB. He wasn't a lost puppy which made Klopp decide "oh well, fill that blank space in midfield", but he had a real purpose and important role. He is a pro-defensively orientated player, as oppose to Can who is just disorientated. Your view on Emre reminds me of this summer where people were dead certain he'd be ahead of Henderson for that spot. Now, after God-know how many shocking performances, he showed promising moments and next thing you know - he's our CDM solution for future! How fickle can people be? Besides, if he's "average at everything, master of none", that still isn't promising solution, is it?
- The other "beef" I have with your concept is thinking that we should add more creativity to be formidable challengers. When will you guys understand that our problem doesn't lie with us being not dominant or controling enough in small games, but the fact we sacrifice too many players up front with lack of real quality cover behind them. We don't need more attacking intent (Liverpool is topping the goals scored statistic anyway) nor control or press (we mostly overun and have more possession against those teams), but simple defensive and physical presence in the midfield that will allow certain players to focus onto their attacking game. We'd be having more players in the box too. But your view make me believe you'd want to revert back to 2013/2014, when we had Gerrard-Henderson-Coutinho (Sterling at the tip of the diamond) which was still absolutely shambolic in controlling and keeping other teams from scoring against us. Trust me, "Alonso style player"-Henderson/Can-Coutinho would be a disastrous decision that wouldn't improve our defensive record at all and you wouldn't have Suarez to fish you out.
If every single football person by now knows that defense is more important than attack, as well as the fact that top teams keep using CDM's in their team .... why the heck do we all persist with adding more control or creativity, when the only ingredient to have a really versatile and complete squad is bringing a natural ball-winning defensive midfielder!? And I absolutely refute your arguments of "it's not Klopp's gameplay" when evidently he did use one in his most successful managerial period at Dortmund.
But your still completely missing the point on the second point and I think you are completely underestimating the role someone like Xabi Alonso plays. Xabi was the elite of the elite in his position so it would have been next to impossible to replace him like for like, but what we have always missed since he has been gone, and something that seems a blatant issue for me at the moment with our track record against the smaller teams which is the ability to control a game and game manage.
The way in which he controlled the game is by his fantastic reading of the game, not due to his excellent ability/creativity on the ball. It's something a lot of people misunderstand about Xabi, as they see him and put him in the same bracket as say Pirlo, but they are very different players. Pirlo is on par, if not slightly better than Xabi in terms of the long range passing and vision and plays positionally a very similar role to Xabi...but Xabi is heads and shoulders a better player for me...why? Because what Pirlo can't do as well Xabi is the reading of the game, Pirlo improved as his career went on, but he never reached Xabi's ridiculous levels in his pomp. Xabi used to know when to recycle the ball, he used to know when the ball needs spreading to the other side of the pitch and Xabi used to know when to take the sting out of the game when the opposition was building momentum. These are all things that we lack from all of our midfielders currently and it means that we can't game manage.
You have made the comparison to Rodgers' system with Gerrard, Henderson, Coutinho and Sterling...and I think you have once again confused the difference between that team and the system I am suggesting. As good as that team was going forward, we all know its many, many faults in defensive areas. But this was due to Gerrard not having the same game management ability as Xabi in the same position. He could match Xabi's output going forward; the long range passing, the vision from deep, the set plays etc but he was pretty useless at game management, which meant that our games ended up being like basketball games...not what I am at all suggesting!!
Thus I still agree. Defence is more important than attack to win titles, but for as important as a destroyer may be, there is no coincidence that Xabi Alonso throughout his career has turned up to teams and improved them and helped them win trophies.
But seems so many thought then and think now that balance and attacking mean you play one DM and attacking full-backs "bombing forward", yet with Arbeloa and Aurelio not exactly the most bombing forward of full-backs, Alonso and Mascherano hardly the most attacking (in terms of getting forward) midfielders we still managed 77 goals in 08/09
Bender is different calibre, but there's no point if you can't see it.
I can feel your admiration for Xabi and I am one of his biggest fans too. Never felt so hurt to see him leave this club, especially when knowing he didn't want it either. Top player and everything you say is spot on, but I do have to wonder - where do you think you will find the "next Alonso"? Like you described, he was a unique, one-of-a-kind player and I struggle to see anyone capable of filling his boots.
“I’ve had calf problems for many years and it has been very difficult for me...I play in a different position now and I don’t sprint too much.
When I play at No. 8 I have to go forward and sprint more; when I play at No. 6 I don’t have to sprint too much.
Didn't know about the long standing issues with his calf, is he saying it's that injury that's left him unable to sprint so much, or his more recent injuries? Is that a permanent effect?
Certainly, in his words, it's only recently seen him playing deeper and, at least for the moment, he considers that his best position.
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