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      Malfunctioning Midfield

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      HScRed1
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      Malfunctioning Midfield
      Sep 20, 2017 09:55:48 am
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0UdzTeHdNA

      Ignoring some of the slapstick comedy defending by our defenders its surprising that our midfield has been allowed to get away with any responsibility for the number of incidents where they are as much if not more culpable in goals conceded.

      Which brings me on to thinking even though our defence is a bit gash but how much better would they look with a proper DM giving providing more protection than Hendo is managing at the moment.

      We have not had a DM since Lucas was good before his knee injuries, 3 managers later and we still have the same issues.
      You can't have full backs flying forward, midfielders flying forward, without someone to slot in front of the CB's who can read the game, smell the danger and cut it out before it develops. How many times do you just see attackers waltz through our midfield?

      Looking at our current midfielders all decent players but as CM's or attacking midfielders, Milner, Hendo, Gini, Lallana, Grujic etc who of those has the defensive instincts underlined by the first goal last night, Okazaki with his strikers instincts hung around waiting for a mistake, our midfielders all charged up looking for a counter!

      For the deepest midfielder you need someone who is a good tackler, has the ability to control the game, occasionally dribble with the ball.
      Hendo has none of those attributes at a high enough skill level so apart from his stamina and mobility what does he bring to the team?

      A great example of how an attacking team can be transformed into a great team is Real, just need to look at how they have been transformed by the inclusion of Casemiro as the DM, he is arguably they're most important player.
      No great surprise Rafa first started noted his skill set was imperative to making a team so attacking more solid at the back and, hope Zidane sent him a thank you.
      « Last Edit: Sep 20, 2017 11:05:29 pm by HScRed1 »
      Beerbelly
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #1: Sep 20, 2017 10:35:28 am
      I think the team is so unbalanced it's worrying now.

      The midfield of Lallana/Gini/Coutinho with Henderson at the base can look devastatingly good.

      But even with our best players in midfield we're practically always over committed in our opponents half. It looks good and works well when we want to pin our opponents back, but even then it's asking for trouble.

      Remember Swansea at home last season - when we were sucker punched twice on the counter.

      It happens all to often and the coincidence if ever it was one is well and truly over. Jürgen needs to sacrifice his 'electric attack of an entertainment system,' reign in the 'heavy metal football' and show some pragmatic tactical acumen.

      He doesn't even have a competent settled defence, so leaving them with practically 1 midfielder for cover is asking for trouble - and trouble is what we're getting.

      He really should be thinking about changing the system, something like a 4-2-3-1 because Henderson needs way more support than he is getting IMHO. And the captain himself isn't no bona fide DM as you allude. He needs support, none of this interchanging position bollocks (it's beyond these players), and all that hip, fluidity jargon with it's individual decision making psychobabble. You need to be super intelligent in footballing terms to do that - and even then you'd lose your defensive shape. For now, it needs rigid structure and discipline for the time being, with two holding midfielders who know what they're tasked with, and can hold the shape of the midfield together instead of swanning off into no-mans land and leaving a great big f**king hole in which to moor the Titanic.
      Munch101
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #2: Sep 20, 2017 10:46:06 am
      For me it's just ignorance from Klopp to think he can be good enough to coach players that haven't got the attributes to play as a number 6 to do a job.
      Let's look at all the players pros and cons and see who fits the bill. I'll give their attributes a rating out of 10.

      Henderson-
      Strength- 7
      Stamina- 9
      Passing Range- 7
      Tackling- 5
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 4
      Shooting- 4
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 4
      Discipline (giving away stupid foals)-6
      Positioning- 6
      Henderson plays in the No.6 role at the moment, that’s probably because he is the only one with a decent passing range (which still isn’t great), he doesn’t give away loads of fouls around the box but that’s probably more to do with him not actually putting in a tackle. He is also no use going forward so should be played further back.

      Wijnaldum-
      Strength- 6
      Stamina- 8
      Passing Range- 5
      Tackling- 6
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 5
      Shooting- 6
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 6
      Discipline- 5
      Positioning- 5
      Gini doesn’t offer anything defensively other than work rate, he isn’t one to put in last ditch tackles, he hasn’t got a good range of passing. He does have the ability to wriggle out of tight spaces which is helpful but that is all he offers at the back.

      Can-
      Strength- 9
      Stamina- 6.5
      Passing Range- 6
      Tackling- 5
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 8
      Shooting- 6
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 4
      Discipline- 4
      Positioning- 4
      The only player that you’d look at and say he’d be a good CDM. Only IF he learns to control his massive frame and not bowl people over all the time and give away stupid fouls. He can carry the ball out from deep positions and has the power to drive into space. He doesn’t however read the game very well and is often dragged out of position which leaves us very exposed at the back.
      He is a strange one as both Rodgers and Pep Guirdiola wanted to make him a CB. They’re both technical managers and if they can see it why can’t he at least be converted into a CDM? Is he too selfish and wants to go forward? I think so.

      AOC-
      Strength- 8
      Stamina- 8
      Passing Range- 3
      Tackling- 3
      Reading the Game- 4
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- TBC
      Shooting- -4
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 2
      Discipline- 7
      Positioning- 4
      From what I’ve seen so far he shouldn’t be near a pitch until he gets his confidence. Poor. Too attack minded to be a CDM anyway.

      Grujic-
      Strength- 7.7
      Stamina- 7
      Passing Range- 6
      Tackling- 2
       Reading the Game- TBC
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 10 (too much)
      Shooting- 7
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 6
      Discipline- -5 Always gets booked
      Positioning- 3
      So far he has proved he is technically good but tactically bad. Wrong positioning, bad discipline but when he does have the ball he will find his man most of the time. Can’t tackle without getting booked. Was played as a number 10 and sometimes up front for his previous club for a reason.

      Im not going to include Lallana because he couldn’t do a job there as it would waste his creativity in the final 3rd.

      Basically Henderson is the best of a bad bunch in that position. We need someone who will basically sit as a 3rd centre back that steps in when the wing backs and other CM’s bomb on. Someone who would happily sit and let Keita and Coutinho go forward next season.

      Can’t see it happening.
      ruthcity
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #3: Sep 20, 2017 12:16:45 pm

      The clip never ends. Let's see if I can provoke a response from Klopp by emailing this video to all 19 premier league managers with Klopp on the cc list. Message will be Liverpool can never keep a clean sheet. :lmao:
      heimdall
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #4: Sep 20, 2017 12:23:32 pm
      For me it's just ignorance from Klopp to think he can be good enough to coach players that haven't got the attributes to play as a number 6 to do a job.
      Let's look at all the players pros and cons and see who fits the bill. I'll give their attributes a rating out of 10.

      Henderson-
      Strength- 7
      Stamina- 9
      Passing Range- 7
      Tackling- 5
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 4
      Shooting- 4
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 4
      Discipline (giving away stupid foals)-6
      Positioning- 6
      Henderson plays in the No.6 role at the moment, that’s probably because he is the only one with a decent passing range (which still isn’t great), he doesn’t give away loads of fouls around the box but that’s probably more to do with him not actually putting in a tackle. He is also no use going forward so should be played further back.

      Wijnaldum-
      Strength- 6
      Stamina- 8
      Passing Range- 5
      Tackling- 6
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 5
      Shooting- 6
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 6
      Discipline- 5
      Positioning- 5
      Gini doesn’t offer anything defensively other than work rate, he isn’t one to put in last ditch tackles, he hasn’t got a good range of passing. He does have the ability to wriggle out of tight spaces which is helpful but that is all he offers at the back.

      Can-
      Strength- 9
      Stamina- 6.5
      Passing Range- 6
      Tackling- 5
      Reading the Game- 5
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 8
      Shooting- 6
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 4
      Discipline- 4
      Positioning- 4
      The only player that you’d look at and say he’d be a good CDM. Only IF he learns to control his massive frame and not bowl people over all the time and give away stupid fouls. He can carry the ball out from deep positions and has the power to drive into space. He doesn’t however read the game very well and is often dragged out of position which leaves us very exposed at the back.
      He is a strange one as both Rodgers and Pep Guirdiola wanted to make him a CB. They’re both technical managers and if they can see it why can’t he at least be converted into a CDM? Is he too selfish and wants to go forward? I think so.

      AOC-
      Strength- 8
      Stamina- 8
      Passing Range- 3
      Tackling- 3
      Reading the Game- 4
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- TBC
      Shooting- -4
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 2
      Discipline- 7
      Positioning- 4
      From what I’ve seen so far he shouldn’t be near a pitch until he gets his confidence. Poor. Too attack minded to be a CDM anyway.

      Grujic-
      Strength- 7.7
      Stamina- 7
      Passing Range- 6
      Tackling- 2
       Reading the Game- TBC
      Physicality (getting stuck in)- 10 (too much)
      Shooting- 7
      Ball retention (in tight spaces inc dribbling)- 6
      Discipline- -5 Always gets booked
      Positioning- 3
      So far he has proved he is technically good but tactically bad. Wrong positioning, bad discipline but when he does have the ball he will find his man most of the time. Can’t tackle without getting booked. Was played as a number 10 and sometimes up front for his previous club for a reason.

      Im not going to include Lallana because he couldn’t do a job there as it would waste his creativity in the final 3rd.

      Basically Henderson is the best of a bad bunch in that position. We need someone who will basically sit as a 3rd centre back that steps in when the wing backs and other CM’s bomb on. Someone who would happily sit and let Keita and Coutinho go forward next season.

      Can’t see it happening.


      I agree Henderson is probably the best option as DM and that is very depressing but he really is a sh*t DM. So until we can buy one what i would do is play Matip as DM and have Lovren and Klavan/Gomez as the CB's. Matip has a good pass on him and likes to move forwards when needed, he would also offer very good cover for Klavan and Lovren.
      JD
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #5: Sep 20, 2017 02:17:45 pm
      It might be time to consider a Conte style change to our system.  With Mane and Salah likely to be regulars then we now have Lallana and Coutinho to fit into the 'midfield'.

      And anyway the way we play our formation is more like a 2-5-3 at the minute.

      After the graft of being left back for a season I'd imagine Milner could do something either just in front of the back two or as a three - or have Matip/Klavan/Lovren there.  Let's face it when two of them go for the same ball - at least there will be another one free.
      5timesacharm
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #6: Sep 20, 2017 02:28:20 pm
      We're malfuctioning all over the pitch, mate. If our forwards were more clinical and able to take the chances we create, this wouldn't be a thing because we'd be winning games, top of the league and through to the next round. Yes we need a defence capable of defending, yes we need a midfield giving the defence more protection but the only way to win a match is stick the ball in the back of the net and that's not something we're doing right now.

      On the whole though I believe transitioning to a 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 formation would alievate some of the problems. We'd have that extra man in defence whilst our fullbacks - now wingbacks - would still be able to cover the flanks, whilst retaining the front three he seems to want to persist with.

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      WB   CM   CM   WB

      RF   CF   LF


      With the two Central Midfielders, we go with the traditional method of one staying back whilst the other attacks forward. To my mind this preserves our attacking strengths while shoring up our substandard defence. Nonetheless, this is a stop gap measure because until we replace both Center backs with better players, and have a goalkeeper that is capable of bailing them out on the odd occasions were the ball does get beyond them, and sign forwards with an emphasis on clinical finishing rather than pace alone, our problems will continue.
      Munch101
      • Forum Ron Yeats
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #7: Sep 20, 2017 04:38:27 pm
      We're malfuctioning all over the pitch, mate. If our forwards were more clinical and able to take the chances we create, this wouldn't be a thing because we'd be winning games, top of the league and through to the next round. Yes we need a defence capable of defending, yes we need a midfield giving the defence more protection but the only way to win a match is stick the ball in the back of the net and that's not something we're doing right now.

      On the whole though I believe transitioning to a 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 formation would alievate some of the problems. We'd have that extra man in defence whilst our fullbacks - now wingbacks - would still be able to cover the flanks, whilst retaining the front three he seems to want to persist with.

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      WB   CM   CM   WB

      RF   CF   LF


      With the two Central Midfielders, we go with the traditional method of one staying back whilst the other attacks forward. To my mind this preserves our attacking strengths while shoring up our substandard defence. Nonetheless, this is a stop gap measure because until we replace both Center backs with better players, and have a goalkeeper that is capable of bailing them out on the odd occasions were the ball does get beyond them, and sign forwards with an emphasis on clinical finishing rather than pace alone, our problems will continue.

      I think this would work well on the left as Moreno and Robertson would be good enough wing backs but I don't know who would be on the right?
      harrydunn08
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #8: Sep 20, 2017 04:43:16 pm
      On the whole though I believe transitioning to a 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 formation would alievate some of the problems. We'd have that extra man in defence whilst our fullbacks - now wingbacks - would still be able to cover the flanks, whilst retaining the front three he seems to want to persist with.

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      WB   CM   CM   WB

      RF   CF   LF


      With the two Central Midfielders, we go with the traditional method of one staying back whilst the other attacks forward. To my mind this preserves our attacking strengths while shoring up our substandard defence. Nonetheless, this is a stop gap measure because until we replace both Center backs with better players, and have a goalkeeper that is capable of bailing them out on the odd occasions were the ball does get beyond them, and sign forwards with an emphasis on clinical finishing rather than pace alone, our problems will continue.

      While I agree with this in principle, it could be very difficult to shift to a system that requires 3 good CB's when we only have 1... 

      I have held the opinion for a long time that Can's best position would be as a CB, ideally in a back 3. 

      I also think that Gomez would benefit from being a RCB in a back 3.  He isn't reliable enough yet to be used as a CB in a back 4, but I also don't think he has the pace or ability going forward to excel as a RB. 

      You could make an argument that playing (Gomez - Matip - Can) as our back 3 would bring the best out of the two outside CB's, but it would definitely be a gamble.  If it worked, it could open up other opportunities further forward. 

      Milner/Ox could play as our RWB/RM. 

      Moreno (oft criticized for his defensive deficiencies) could be better at LWB/LM.  Also, Ox/Robbo could work in this role. 

      The big question would be how we approach the CM spots.  Would Coutinho/Lallana fit into these places?  Would Gini (a player who is best used as a role player to provide balance) really fit into this type of system?  Would Hendo be better as a box-to-box midfielder than he is as a sitter?

      Another big question is how this change would affect our ability to press in unison.  Our best 11 is pretty well drilled at the high press, but a shift like this would create a lot of organizational problems for us as to where and when we initiate the press. 

      End of the day, I don't see Klopp moving away from the back 4. 
      5timesacharm
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #9: Sep 20, 2017 06:50:13 pm
      I'd argue we don't even have one good center back because I simply do not rate Matip one bit. I think he's mediocre and wouldn't be in any top six club's first choice center back partnership. He'd make a fine number three, Lovren a fine number four and we needed a brand new one and two which we failed to get even one of. Nonetheless, would not having two of three center backs being poor be better than having one of two being poor? The point is the formation provides the protection, not the players. It's self evident that the squad is nowhere near as good as Klopp thinks it is, and as others have pointed out, is a highly unbalanced one.

      Taking this formation you're able to attack with the two banks of three we have now:

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      DM

      WB   AM   WB

      RF   CF   Lf

      Your deepest lying midfielder acting in a defensive role allows you to play a high line without sacrificing either attack or defence. Upon losing the ball your wingbacks drop back thus:

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      WB   CM   CM   WB

      RF   CF   Lf

      Therefore shoring up the midfield, where upon they can also drop further back when needed to provide a five man back line whilst your left and right forwards drop back into midfield allowing them to gather the ball quickly from wingbacks breaking out of defence and setting up an effective counter attack:

      GK

      WB   CB   CB   CB   WB

      RF   CM   CM   Lf

      CF

      In each stage of play you end up with an extra man than you do playing the current 4-3-3 system.

      I'm clearly playing fantasy football here but like I said before, to my mind this provides much better balance given the way we play than having four at the back does. I agree that we have players who aren't good enough but in equal measure I believe, like many do, that the formation also adds to our woes. At the very least it would be worth trying it to see.
      6stringer
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #10: Sep 20, 2017 09:31:27 pm
      Apart from a few seasons ago the last time we finished 2nd was in 08/09 when we lost 2 games all season!*
      I'll repeat that, 2 games all season!
      and what midfield did we have?
      Gerrard,Kuyt,Mascherano,Alonso even Lucas and Benayoun. All brilliant in their positional play and scored over 50 goals between them and had one thing in common,they all moved the ball forward when they got it unlike our present keep ball trio Henderson,Wjnaldyn and Can, too slow in moving it upfield and If they lose possession too slow in tracking back.
      It takes us 10 minutes to move 20 yards up the pitch these days and a lot of that timewarp is spent in midfield.

      DeBruyne is a great midfielder and probably the best in the premier league for me right now, always looking to play the ball forward first instinct, bit like Alonso used to play.He is no doubt one of the main reasons they're taking the piss right now.
      Plus the fact he's got Augero pretty much on the end of every cross he whips in from either side of the pitch.
      That's the way they play.
      and it works.

      Our midfielders have been malfunctioning for a while now, we've just come to accept it because it's Jürgen, but I'm struggling to understand his keep ball philosophy in that central band, back and forth across the pitch.

      Mane,Firmino and Salah are having to come deep to receive the ball from a midfield that can't seem to get over the half way line, constantly.Drives me nuts !!

      NB* I'm not trying to glorify the fact we finished 2nd that year just highlighting a functional midfield. ;)






       


      « Last Edit: Sep 20, 2017 10:05:15 pm by 6stringer »
      HScRed1
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #11: Sep 20, 2017 10:36:12 pm
      Apart from a few seasons ago the last time we finished 2nd was in 08/09 when we lost 2 games all season!*
      I'll repeat that, 2 games all season!
      and what midfield did we have?
      Gerrard,Kuyt,Mascherano,Alonso even Lucas and Benayoun. All brilliant in their positional play and scored over 50 goals between them and had one thing in common,they all moved the ball forward when they got it unlike our present keep ball trio Henderson,Wjnaldyn and Can, too slow in moving it upfield and If they lose possession too slow in tracking back.
      It takes us 10 minutes to move 20 yards up the pitch these days and a lot of that timewarp is spent in midfield.

      DeBruyne is a great midfielder and probably the best in the premier league for me right now, always looking to play the ball forward first instinct, bit like Alonso used to play.He is no doubt one of the main reasons they're taking the piss right now.
      Plus the fact he's got Augero pretty much on the end of every cross he whips in from either side of the pitch.
      That's the way they play.
      and it works.

      Our midfielders have been malfunctioning for a while now, we've just come to accept it because it's Jürgen, but I'm struggling to understand his keep ball philosophy in that central band, back and forth across the pitch.

      Mane,Firmino and Salah are having to come deep to receive the ball from a midfield that can't seem to get over the half way line, constantly.Drives me nuts !!

      NB* I'm not trying to glorify the fact we finished 2nd that year just highlighting a functional midfield. ;)






       




      Great post mate because I only really touched on the defensive issues of the midfield

      You are right so often we are so pedestrian at moving the ball forward and that's even on the counter, usually because,
      1. Henderson needs to take about 5 touches to control the ball treating it like a hot potato.
      2. Gini having played most of his time as amps attacking mid likes nothing more than passing on responsibility.
      3. A slightly better Hendo but at a oil tanker pace so the same result.

      Lallana, Coutinho are excluded, Milner and Ox even though they want to play CM are not good enough and Grujic as seen last night needs more time.

      So for me the ideal midfield is Lallana, Coutinho and a more defensive minded player.

      So Can, Gini or Hendo...........ideally none of them but the position we are in then I would opt for Can.
      bigmick
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #12: Sep 20, 2017 10:50:58 pm
      Good thread this and an excellent opening post.

      One of the bi-products of scapegoats is that often we are so keen to blame them and them alone, everyone and everything else gets away scot free. We see it regularly with Lovren, whenever we concede a goal and he's in the team it's his fault. His only hope of escape is if Migs does something daft, then it's the goalies fault. Previously Moreno had it, Clyne too. The one certainty of our defence though is that it's sh*te, REGARDLESS OF WHO ACTUALLY PLAYS IN THERE. Even the much loved Matip is unable to stem the tide despite playing often (and in truth is every bit as responsible as those around him on many occasions), so could it really be that they are all sh!te and that Jürgen can't coach them?

      I've long thought it not to be the case, Scottbott has done a couple of excellent posts asking "where was the midfield cover" and I think he's bang on. All of our midfielders, Henderson, Can, Wijnaldum, Milner, Grujic etc etc are workmanlike types, and ALL should be able to defend properly. Given we effectively play THREE central midfielders, and NONE OF THEM are overly creative, you should be able to get within a mile of our back four never mind the f****** goalie. We're not talking here about a David Silva not tracking back, a Kevin De Broyne, A Christian Errikkson or a Deli Ali. None of ours are creators like those lads, we're not even talking about the likes of Coutinho or the OX not putting enough tackles in. If we were, someone would say (rightly) "ah but their principle job is to cause damage at the other end, sometimes it's a price worth paying". But no, our midfield trip sit in, rarely score a goal, rarely have an impact on the game going forward, but get f****** overrun each time we lose the ball.

      The topic opener is spot on, Kieta can't come quick enough.   
      PurpleMonkey
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #13: Sep 20, 2017 10:55:44 pm
                  DLPM
         Box-box,  Box-box
      ------------------------------------------
                   DM
       Box-box, Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
           DM,    Box-boxer
              Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
           DLPM,    DM
              Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
             DM      DM
             Playmaker

      Is it really that difficult to balance the midfield with some diversity rather having 6 midfielders (Hendo, Milner, Ox, Can, Grujic & Wijnaldum) that are pretty much the same type?
      LFCSTEVE1984
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #14: Sep 20, 2017 11:04:22 pm
      Henderson needs to take about 5 touches to control the ball treating it like a hot potato.

      Honestly our centre backs are more attack minded and positive with the ball than Hendo.

      It infuriates me when Hendo gets the ball in the middle, knocks it back to Klavan for example and then Klavan makes the kind of adventurous attack minded pass the captain should have made.

      That one pass back makes a massive difference in the speed of our attacks.
      lreland
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #15: Sep 20, 2017 11:21:23 pm
      Can won't be here next season and countinho will what leave l think milner will be move on we going have buy two more midfielder and two new cback next year
      KopiteLuke
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #16: Sep 20, 2017 11:37:34 pm
                  DLPM
         Box-box,  Box-box
      ------------------------------------------
                   DM
       Box-box, Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
           DM,    Box-boxer
              Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
           DLPM,    DM
              Playmaker
      ------------------------------------------
             DM      DM
             Playmaker

      Is it really that difficult to balance the midfield with some diversity rather having 6 midfielders (Hendo, Milner, Ox, Can, Grujic & Wijnaldum) that are pretty much the same type?


      I think we're just getting to see what a massive loss Lallana is right now. As an 8 he fits Jürgen's team like a glove and he is the dovetail with Henderson that neither Can or any of the similar players can be. When Hendo gets himself out of position, which is too regular, then Lallana will do the hard yards and will track in. How often do you really see Gini busting a gut defensively, sure he'll be mega strong in terms for shielding the ball for himself, but where is he winning it back in similar vein, doesn't happen. Same with Emre, they just don't compliment each other at all and the sooner Keita gets here the better because neither of those 2 have a first team future imo.

      Further to that we had conversations about Lucas many times last season and I think the loss of him is only dawning on people now, when the sh*t hits the fan you need some solidarity, you need someone who can take the spotlight off the CBs and put out fires before they spread through the defence. Right now a small fire becomes an inferno for us, we can go through a game sailing along without a bump and then just a little ripple and it sets off a tidal wave of ineptitude, totally bizarre.

      If we had Lucas now we could put him in, shift Hendo into the Lallana role and things wouldn't look nearly as bad, unfortunately that isn't an option. Whether we can use Milly like that, I honestly doubt, so truthfully I think we're stuck with what we have until Jan.

      If we wanted to change system we would have to go to a 4231 but as I've mentioned before that system suits 2 number 6's rather than 2 8s back there and I think we sacrifice more than we gain. Solution is that we have to grit our teeth, concentrate more, reduce the rotation in midfield making Henderson's role more of a fixed 6 and hope Lallana comes back quickly.
      racerx34
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #17: Sep 20, 2017 11:40:56 pm
      I miss Lucas. In deep lying midfielder or CB. Either would be an improvement.
      Beerbelly
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #18: Sep 21, 2017 12:37:33 am
      The Leicester game is a good example of how Henderson copes when someone like Coutinho is playing ahead of him. Jordan had a decent first half and basically had to keep the ball ticking over as we pinned them back - Jordan looked accomplished doing that.

      Second half was a different ball game. Removing Coutinho was the catalyst and change that effected our midfield. Coutinho, no matter how many people will say he was predictable coming into shoot on his right foot, blah blah blah was STILL our best player on the pitch. The difference in play between the first half and second half was night and day, and that was the difference a quality player like Countinho made. His movement, passing and dribbling was enough to keep Leicester guessing and on the back foot, EVERYTHING creative went through him. We were on the front foot and this is where Henderson the water carrier can cope with the game being played in front of him as his job becomes less arduous and complex and he tends to hold his position more.

      The threat is still there against the better teams, with them counter-attacking us, even over running us through the middle. So, it's a set-up that does run a natural risk. Leicester couldn't exploit that though in the first half, second half when our best player who set the tone departed it ensured they could get back into the game via a midfield that had stopped asking them questions. Plus they introduced that Japanese fella at the right time for them and he turned their midfield's impetus and threat right around.


      Breeding-Reds-In-The-434
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #19: Sep 21, 2017 12:49:04 am
      I think we're just getting to see what a massive loss Lallana is right now. As an 8 he fits Jürgen's team like a glove and he is the dovetail with Henderson that neither Can or any of the similar players can be. When Hendo gets himself out of position, which is too regular, then Lallana will do the hard yards and will track in. How often do you really see Gini busting a gut defensively, sure he'll be mega strong in terms for shielding the ball for himself, but where is he winning it back in similar vein, doesn't happen. Same with Emre, they just don't compliment each other at all and the sooner Keita gets here the better because neither of those 2 have a first team future imo.

      Further to that we had conversations about Lucas many times last season and I think the loss of him is only dawning on people now, when the sh*t hits the fan you need some solidarity, you need someone who can take the spotlight off the CBs and put out fires before they spread through the defence. Right now a small fire becomes an inferno for us, we can go through a game sailing along without a bump and then just a little ripple and it sets off a tidal wave of ineptitude, totally bizarre.

      If we had Lucas now we could put him in, shift Hendo into the Lallana role and things wouldn't look nearly as bad, unfortunately that isn't an option. Whether we can use Milly like that, I honestly doubt, so truthfully I think we're stuck with what we have until Jan.

      If we wanted to change system we would have to go to a 4231 but as I've mentioned before that system suits 2 number 6's rather than 2 8s back there and I think we sacrifice more than we gain. Solution is that we have to grit our teeth, concentrate more, reduce the rotation in midfield making Henderson's role more of a fixed 6 and hope Lallana comes back quickly.

      Your post are the best mate. Well done. Like you I think the 4231 doesn't suit us and this is the best we have until players come back from injury or if we can make an upgrade in the January window. Besides, Bobby wouldn't be able to play in a 4231 anyway, so we would have to rely on Studg and Soalnke? No thanks! Again, love reading your stuff dude. Keep em coming.

      Danzel
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #20: Sep 21, 2017 01:14:33 am
      Ignoring some of the slapstick comedy defending by our defenders its surprising that our midfield has been allowed to get away with any responsibility for the number of incidents where they are as much if not more culpable in goals conceded.

      One of the bi-products of scapegoats is that often we are so keen to blame them and them alone, everyone and everything else gets away scot free. We see it regularly with Lovren, whenever we concede a goal and he's in the team it's his fault. His only hope of escape is if Migs does something daft, then it's the goalies fault. Previously Moreno had it, Clyne too.

      Right now a small fire becomes an inferno for us, we can go through a game sailing along without a bump and then just a little ripple and it sets off a tidal wave of ineptitude, totally bizarre.

      I just took out these 3 quotes from you guys (I agree with almost everything else you guys posted too.) Luke put it into words better than I ever could and quite poetic. It's very rare that a team concedes a goal and that there is only one clear error by one specific player. Usually when a team concedes a goal there's a chain of errors leading up to it. This always ends with the defender / goalkeeper and people just pin the blame on them. That's the easiest thing to do, right? Everyone just ignores everything that happens before it actually gets to the defenders and the blame always falls at the feet of the usual scapegoats (Bigmick listed them all.)

      I said it before, our CB's (our defenders in general) have to deal with a lot of uncertainties right now. Imagine us dominating the game (shouldn't be too hard, we do that for 80% of the game and still find a way to lose) and the opposite team manages to break through our press. You're one of our CB's at the halfway line (or really anywhere on the pitch). In front of you, there's as everyone rightly points out, a malfunctioning midfield with Can being the main culprit for me. You're in your zone marking and keeping an eye on the striker. That's the first thing you have to worry about. Then the opposition midfielders break forward and you have no idea if Can (or any of the midfielders) can be bothered to track the runner. Second thing to worry about. Behind you, in Mignolet, you have a goalkeeper who you don't know of that when a ball is played in the space behind you either in the air or on the ground, wether he will come out and clear the ball. Third thing you have to worry about. So there's tons of things happening that they need to keep in their mind while running back trying to get back in our defensive shape. Two out of three of these things, they shouldn't have to worry about. That would allow them to focus on their positioning, the position of the other defenders and the opposition player(s) in their zone.

      Add in Lallana (or next season Keita) who does track the runner, one worry less most of the time, you focus on the attacker(s). Add in Clyne (whose experience we sorely miss) that's an other factor. One other very important aspect for me here is Karius. I think it's time to bin Mignolet and just give Karius a go. I think he's a lot better than he has shown so far and he can ony improve. If he fails this season (give him the full season), we know where we stand and we bring in someone else. If he does well, we finally have our goalkeeper. Everyone noticed (a lot of people mentioned it in the live thread from the Sevilla game) the massive difference he makes with for example starting off quick counter attacks by precise kicks or throws. It's not only that though, in general his starting position is way higher than Mignolet's. A lot of the time when a ball would be played into the space behind our CB's, you can bank on Karius rushing out and clearing the ball. This reduces the space our defenders have to defend, right now it's f**king huge if you think about it, certainly if Mignolet plays. Karius in that situation becomes the last defender (think Neuer). Combine all these things. Our CB's would actually be able to focus on their job and I think we would look a lot better.

      The Leicester game is a good example of how Henderson copes when someone like Coutinho is playing ahead of him. Jordan had a decent first half and basically had to keep the ball ticking over as we pinned them back - Jordan looked accomplished doing that.

      That's also a very good point. When the right midfielders are on the pitch (last season most of the time Wijnaldum, Henderson, Lallana) they look very, very good as a unit because they all compliment each other and allow each other to play on their strong points (water carrier, the creative force / runner and the one who links play). Though when you take them as individuals and replace one, everything falls to pieces. The sum is bigger than its parts certainly applies to our midfield.
      « Last Edit: Sep 21, 2017 01:21:00 am by Danzel »
      5timesacharm
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #21: Sep 21, 2017 01:39:33 am
      Can won't be here next season and countinho will what leave l think milner will be move on we going have buy two more midfielder and two new cback next year

      Well we have Keita coming in as a replacement and probable upgrade to Can, and Coutinho leaving is entirely dependant upon a variety of circumstances, not least Barcelona still wanting him, but I wouldn't hold your breath on us signing a specialist Defensive Midfielder. Klopp shows absolutely no interest in one.
      Danzel
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #22: Sep 21, 2017 02:19:50 am
      On the whole though I believe transitioning to a 3-4-3/3-4-2-1 formation would alievate some of the problems. We'd have that extra man in defence whilst our fullbacks - now wingbacks - would still be able to cover the flanks, whilst retaining the front three he seems to want to persist with.

      GK

      CB   CB   CB

      WB   CM   CM   WB

      RF   CF   LF

      I think that approach would work, but only if Klopp drastically alters his approach to football and asks his team to sit back and only play on the counterattack. While I fully agree it makes us more solid when we are in our defensive shape, we'd get exposed in midfield even more if we'd still try to dominate games like we are doing now. As of now we're struggling to track runners with three midfielders. The solution then isn't taking one out and replacing him by a defender who plays further back.

      We've actually seen Klopp do this a handful times this season when we're ahead late in games. He'd bring on a 3rd CB and play 3-4-3 or 5-2-3 whatever formation you want to call it. This is when we're under pressure and sitting back, where I think the formation would be useful.

      Our attacking shape actually isn't too far off a 3-4-3 anyway if you look at it:



      On the left is our current formation on the opposition half. That looks a lot like a 3-4-3. On the right is the formation you suggest when we're attacking (correct me if read it wrong in your second post.) When we dominate play, you see Henderson dropping in between the CB's, effectively becoming a '3rd CB' to either initiate the attack from deep or to keep things ticking over. In your formation, that would be an extra defender. We would then lose a big part of our ability to win back the ball in midfield and retain possession if you want your 3 CB's to hold their line. If you don't want them to hold their line, there's no point in playing the 3 and you might aswell play a midfielder there. We would also lose a man when playing the ball around the opposition box trying to create gaps in their defence (Usually we'd have Moreno - Wijnaldum - Can - Trent) In the 3-4-3 that leaves Moreno - Wijnaldum - Trent.

      Harry also makes a good point:

      Another big question is how this change would affect our ability to press in unison.  Our best 11 is pretty well drilled at the high press, but a shift like this would create a lot of organizational problems for us as to where and when we initiate the press.

      If you look at the formation, I worry about the zones on the field I marked red. While far up the pitch we might not have any problems with our pressing in your 3-4-3, if the opposition teams manage to get the ball in the red areas, we would have problems to effectively press the ball.

      If for example in our current formation the ball is played in the left red zone. Everything shifts to the left. We immediately have Moreno, Wijnaldum and Henderson counterpressing the player with the ball while, in this case Can, drops deeper a bit to make sure he fills the gap in midfield and cuts off passing lanes into midfield, avoiding the opposition team to be able to easily switch play from one side of the field to the other.

      In your formation, shifting left to press the player with the ball, would leave a massive gap in midfield, in front of the 3 CB's. If the player then manages to play the ball into that zone and their midfield runners break forward, our 3 CB's are on the backfoot with the opposition team breaking forward with acres of space to run in.

      An other worry, we have actually given teams a blueprint of how to play against a 3-4-3. We tore Arsenal and Hoffenheim a new one and they both used this formation or a variation on this formation. Because we're leaving more players behind the ball, we allow the opposition team to leave more players up the pitch (think Mane against Hoffenheim). If they would leave players in the zones I marked and just one striker in front of the 3 CB's, we would be in trouble. They would try to create the situations we tried to create in these two games too (and actually against City aswell with 11 vs 11, Otamendi vs Salah). I don't want to see our defenders high up the pitch or having to run backwards in 1 vs 1 situations. Hoffenheim managed to create a few (Gnabry against Lovren and that resulted in a penalty). As other posters have pointed out, we don't have the midfielders to play that formation. Any team that would play us, would make our midfield look like we made Xhaka and Ramsey look against us.
      « Last Edit: Sep 21, 2017 02:35:09 am by Danzel »
      redkop63
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #23: Sep 21, 2017 11:23:42 am
      Finally, I hope Klopp will sit up and realize that whatever he does, the midfield is still the start of all the problems. I have shouted since Masch left that we needed a similar replacement. Managers came and go but the problem is still there. If we had a Masch and/or Souness like DM, do you think fecking Aguero will score so easily? The DM would make sure that he locked all the doors. We have Hendo, Gini and Can, the trio have all the weakness that you wouldn't want from a midfielder; slow, weak in tackles and doesn't cover the back four and offers nothing going forward and not reading the game well.  Always passing the ball to the wings and putting much pressure on us. Seldom that we see them thrusting pass the opposition midfield and defence. Why? it's always route 1, the safetest route, simply they don;t have the skills to execute a swift attacking move. Why Alan Hansen was such a successful defender, he was not the fastest but he has a strong midfield in front of him and he could read the game well, that's the difference.



      Yes the defence is sh*t but the midfield made them even shittier. On occassions, I saw Matip dribbled the ball so far forward almost into the opposition box as if to tell Hendo, "that's what we expect you to do; not dally in our own half and put more pressure onto us". We certainly need a Souness or Stevie that can make that 1 pass to the forward instead of 5 to do the same. And
      5timesacharm
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      Re: Malfunctioning Midfield
      Reply #24: Sep 21, 2017 09:10:33 pm
      Our attacking shape actually isn't too far off a 3-4-3 anyway if you look at it:

      Our shape is reliant upon Henderson - or whomever - dropping back between the two Centerbacks to act as a makeshift third. It consistently fails because the deepest lying midfielder is too slow to drop back in, leaving them exposed. Having three at the back removes the need for the deep lying midfielder to drop back, therefore removing the exposure because you always have sufficient cover. In essence we're moving that deepest lying defender to a permanent position within the back three.

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