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01 Sep 2016 12:56:19
Because everyone has been pestering me for it here is where I think we stand heading into the rest of the season (the first part of this sentence may be a lie) .

We haven't seen enough to to draw conclusions from our first three games, on balance we should probably have six points (which is around the best we could have hoped for giving our fixture list) but we could quite easily be sitting on a single point (the Arsenal game could easily have gone the other way) . Throw in mitigating factors (in particular injuries to Can, Karius and Matip) and it's too early to say for sure how this season is going to pan out. Instead, let's compare the team from last year to this.

Our attack was awesome in the second half of last season and, with the signing of Mane and a couple of goal scoring midfielders, it's improved. I'm still confident that we will be amongst the highest scoring teams this year. What is crucial to our ambitions is improving our defence; Milner, Karius and Matip are our major changes and at the moment I hope they'll be an improvement rather than I expect they will be, my view is if these three guys have good seasons then Liverpool will have a good season. In midfield I think Hendo and Can (I'm assuming he will slot back in) are more than good enough and once we've settled into the three-man configuration we'll be fine.

Finally we have Klopp, we have to accept that he is not a Ferguson or Mourinho type, we are not going to be ruthlessly efficient under him and we will have off days. What we have to hope is that Klopp's ideas work more often than they don't because when he gets it right we're magnificent. It's not luck that we've torn the best teams in the country apart, that's down to Klopp. If Klopp can iron out the niggles then I'm still confident in a top four finish.

muscatred

 

 

12 Sep 2015 19:52:35
Lesson from the game, 1, there's no point containing the other team if you offer no threat at the over end. 2, When we want to we can play. Rodgers, please release the shackles.

muscatred

 

 

 

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05 Oct 2016 11:47:08
Hi everyone, I've missed out on all the fun over the last few days, everyone seems mighty grumpy at the moment. I want to ignore all that and have a look at how we've started and talk about where we go from here.

The fact is, one slip up aside, we've had an great start to the season, we've beaten (or at least outplayed) four of our major rivals, we're in the CL spaces and we're only two points off the top. As it stands we're at least matching our ambition for the season and maybe even outstrip them (Ron, I know your ambition is to win the title but most of us had our bar a little lower) . The one caveat to this great news is our defence, we're yet to keep a clean sheet and we have to look down to 11th to find anyone who's conceded more.

The question now is do we stick or twist? I'm pretty confident that the current team playing the way it is now will make the top four, there's even a chance that we could nick the title but history doesn't really favour high scoring, high conceding teams in a title race. Although I'm sure Klopp will be fine-tuning things for the rest of the season the question is should he look to find that change that takes us from title hopeful to front runner?

To me, these are the areas where we could look to improve the team. First of all I'm going to rule out anything to do with keepers, Karius deserves and will get the chance to demonstrate whether or not he can develop into a world class keeper. Looking at the back 4 I back Matip and Clyne to be starters for years to come. I know Clyne has his detractors but I think a lot of the complaints come with the territory when you're a full back in Klopp's team. As for Matip it's early days but I'm quietly confident that we've got ourselves a gem. It's the other flank where gains can be made, Lovren is OK but we can improve on him and even if Sakho gets back in Klopp's good books I don't think he's the answer. I'm delighted with how Milner's doing on the left but could a genuinely class left back do even better? Milner can maintain his level for a few years yet but I would like us to be looking now for the guy who'll be our starter in two years time.

In midfield I'm over the moon at how Henderson's doing, I like nothing more than a player proving how wrong his detractors were. Lallana's doing the same, he's having his best season for us by a country mile, we need to judge him over a longer period of time but it looks like Klopp's figured out how to turn his undoubted ability into end product, a midfield birth is his to lose. The only area of doubt is Wiji. Don't get me wrong, he's been perfectly decent so far this season and he has plenty of time to be great for us but of all our players he's the one I'm least excited by. We've got Can and Grujic waiting in the wings who both have huge potential, if either of them force their way back into the team I think it will be at Wiji's expense.

As for our forward line I personally think Klopp should be doing more to find a way to include Sturridge, I will always maintain that he's too good to be a support player. I also don't think that Coutinho's best position is cutting in from the left. Having said that our forward line is on fire at the moment and any criticism is churlish. Mane's been brilliant, Firmino's doing exactly what Klopp wants him to do and Coutinho keeps demonstrating just how good he really is, can you believe he's only 24?

So what do you guys think, should the team be left alone for now or should Klopp be striving for another level?

muscatred

 

 

24 Sep 2016 14:17:07
And I was so confident that Klopp would stick with Migs, I suppose I can't be right every time :-)

muscatred

 

 

23 Sep 2016 10:24:18
Tomorrow's really important, if we win then Burnley can be viewed as a one off and we can consider 13 points from our first 6 games an excellent return. If we don't win then all the doubts come flooding back, "we can beat the big boys but not the teams that shut up shop" etc. Momentum and belief is so key to success and Hull at home is just the sort of banana skin we have to skip over if we want to be in this title fight.

muscatred

 

 

27 Aug 2016 16:02:46
Saddest thing for me today was having to wait till the 87th minute to see Studge on the pitch. If you want a player to make a difference you have to give him the time to do so. I would have brought him on for Mane on 55 minutes (I was worried Mane would get another booking) . Game was crying out for composure in front of goal.

muscatred

 

 

25 Jul 2016 17:58:20
There's still a lot of uncertainty ahead of the season, will there be any unexpected departures? Who will be our starting CBs? Who will start in midfield? What formation will Klopp use? How will Wiji be used? How will Ings be used? Will our youth players get any pitch time?

I find it all rather unsettling and I'm now wishing the next three weeks away. I cannot wait for the season to start.

muscatred

 

 

 

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Thanks for replying so reasonably Ed044. I agree the season has been bad but I think context is important. At the start of the season I think we would have wanted 3rd or 4th, 2nd if all the signings worked and 1st in our dreams. 5th would have been disappointing but was par, we have the 5th best squad/money so that's our marker. Even with a disastrous season we still only just missed par.

Why was the season disastrous? The striker situation was one reason but the main reason, I believe, was that the team were carrying Gerrard. Gerrard should have gone last year (it would have been better with a title but that was not to be), the stats clearly show that Liverpool were much better with Gerrard out of the team than in. Arguably it was Rodgers fault that he kept playing Gerrard but the pressure from every side to have him on the pitch was immense. Some will scoff at this, pointing out he was our top scorer, well with Gerrard starting we took just 40% of available points, that went up to 72% with him on the bench or out of the squad.

Next season the striker situation will be better, Gerrard will be gone and I expect (hope) that Rodgers will find the winning formula again. He did it in towards the end of his first season, he did two seasons ago and he did it for just under half of last season (40 points from 17 games). I think he can do it again.

muscatred

{Ed044's Note - As I have stated before, my biggest issue with Rodgers is learning. I have no doubt his much fabled dossier is packed full of merit in terms of formations and tactics, but I don't believe he actually understands them. Every season, after a summer off, he starts again with slow, possession based football. Not once has it worked, yet still he returns to it. It Took a lesson from Bielsa to get last season back on track, but that is all forgotten by the start of this season.
The striker situation is his fault, picking Gerrard over Lucas is his fault, and having not learnt a thing in each of his 3 seasons, I struggle to see why the penny will miracously drop in his 4th....}


 

 

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He did present his argument and he got shouted at. You told him to 'grow up', how much of a hypocrite are you.

Someone called him a person for thinking Rodgers deserves credit for last season. Of course he deserves credit, Liverpool were brilliant and he was the manager.

The thing is every one of you thinks you know best. We could get Klopp and finish 10th, we could get him and win the league. I'd say the same about Rodgers.

If Rodgers stays I'll be glad, my opinion is we'll be better next season, i don't know that but I do think that and my opinion (and Ron's) is just as valid as anyone else's here

muscatred

{Ed044's Note - Of course you are entitled to your opinion Muscat, as is everyone. If we were so good last season, why have we been so bad this season? Signings? tactics? Bearing in mind we were only good last season after Rodgers ditched slow possession based football, how did we start this season? We welcome all opinions on here, even if we don't agree. To me, the facts speak for themselves, but I welcome valid arguements against my viewpoint. To date, I'm not seeing many.}