Crystal Palace 2 Liverpool 4

Defence, defence, defence.

How frustrating to watch our non-existence defending. Karius still lacks decision making, nervous, and time is running out for him.I thought against teams who loves playing crosses, Mignolet might have been a better choice.

Moreno. Just by mentioning his name, it pisses me off. Why does he loves to stand off wingers/fullbacks who are ready to whip in a cross? Is it so difficult to close down and block the cross from coming in?

Even before the goal was conceded, Palace already had an opportunity to whip in a cross in which Moreno chose to stand off the provider. Yet, he never ever learns his lesson. Had Carragher been still around, he would have screamed at him on the spot. How I wished we have a vocal player to act as a coach on the pitch.

Sometimes I really wonder if Kloop and his team practise defending crosses and set-pieces at Melwood. Time and again, it has proven that whoever that is coaching them defending, isn’t doing a good job.

Attacking wise, it was easy on the eye, and probably the best performance put in under Kloop. It’s a pity we only put 4 goals past them. And Kloop’s introduction of Origi over Sturridge says the team always comes first. And Sturridge knows it, despite of his lethal left foot, has to change before it’s too late. Ings, with his workmanlike attitude, will sooner or later replace him if he doesn’t adapt and be more of a team player.

 

Liverpool 2 Tottenham 1

Different team, same result.

With a virtually 2nd team, Liverpool won, and progress into the quarter-finals of the EFL cup.

The likes of TAA, Stewart and Gurjic impressed, while Sturridge’s goals gave Kloop a headache on who to start at the weekend against Crystal Palace.

It was good to see Ings back in action against, and he almost scored a goal coming off the bench. I am quite sure Kloop will play roughly the same team in cup games, saving the core to challenge for the EPL.

Trend Alexandra Arnold. Remember the name, because he’s going to be dominating our right back slot for the next 10 years. Fearlessly playing without the fear for the occasion, he was up and down the right flank throughout, and only a ‘debut challenge’ costed him a yellow card. Jon Flannagan might find it hard now.

Kevin Stewart – it is easy to watch him play nowadays. He has come heaps and bounds to become the player he is today. Tactical awareness, he’s right up there, with strong tackles and forward passes. Lucas finally has a more than capable replacement.

Grujic – crunching challenges when needed, eye for the goal (which will improve much more under Stevie G once he’s back coaching I hope), box-to-box playing style. I can certainly imagine the trio of Stewart, Can and Grujic playing in our midfield soon enough. Who knows, they may come close to replicating the Mashcerano, Alonso, Gerrard trio.

Defence, as usual, still needs work to be done, and it is good news to see Joe Gomez back in training, although it might take months before he’s match fit. Let’s not rush him back though.

Mignolet is a more than capable No.2 I would say, and it definitely looks like our bench is strong enough right now, because there will be some who are gonna get pissed just by not making the bench!

Let’s get Benteke’s Crystal Palace on Saturday.

 

Liverpool 2 West Bromwich 1

To close for comfort?

It could have been 5-0 easily, yet again defensive errors and lack of concentration almost cost us the 3 points.

But credit Kloop and his team to work on the counter. Our 2 goals came from quick counter-attacks. Winning the goal high up the pitch, players picking the right pass and movements. Outstanding.

High balls remain a big concern, so do set-pieces. Why can’t they admit they need a defensive coach. It’s been more than 10 years since Rafa’s era, where we had debate on defending.

I could go on and on about this.

Meanwhile, looking forward to midweek’s game against Spurs in the EFL cup. I hope to see new faces, such as Grujic, Ings, Origi, Brannagan, Lucas, Klavan, Moreno, ATA, and maybe Mignolet can start too.

It’s going to be a good game, against a Spurs side struggling to get goals. We might have to watch out for Sissoko though.

Liverpool vs West Bromwich

The only good thing I know having LFC playing on a Monday night is that the week feels faster than expected.

Saturday, we will be taking on Tony Pulis side (tell me why why why), who defended their lives against Spurs to secure a point.

It would definitely be a new test, one in which we have to pass, to secure all 3 points, to challenge for the EPL title, or let’s just say top-4.

Another team who defends deep, and an early goal would change the game for us. However, it is important to be patient to find the right pass at the right moment if we want the 3 points.

I do hope Origi gets to start, his hold up play and running the channels would be essential to help bring midfielders into play, as well as create space for others to run into. Not to mention he has the pace and skills to test centre-backs one-on-one.

Lallana and Wijnaldum returning into midfield will boast our chances, as both of them loves getting forward. It might just be Wijnaldum’s time to get a goal, if he gets to play with a little more freedom in the final third, as his ability to ghost into the box late during an attack to take a shot is crucial.

Moreno’s return (although no confirmed) to replace Milner at left-back might also be a good time as well. Him staying out wide to pump in some crosses can be a useful outlet.

It should be a winnable match, that is for sure.

Liverpool 0 Manchester 0

Boring, dull, toothless.

2 points dropped.

It showed a little bit of Kloop’s weakness I suppose, which is a lack of plan B. At Dortmund, he had a similar style, but not having a plan B might hurt us. Because any plan, no matter how good it is, has its own weaknesses, and Mourinho knows how to adapt, and so will other teams start to learn from it.

Sturridge, again, I have to say, will not be a LFC player under Kloop for long. His selfishness not to run the channels, to play a part in the pressing, and to add to his inability – as a player who has payed in EPL all his career, to hold up a ball, is seriously a joke.

Kloop is only playing him because of his finishing ability. If Origi sorts his head out and regains his confidence, he would certainly be the 1st choice, and I can definitely see him being better a player than he was 2nd half of last season.

With Ings scoring goals for fun in the U23 games, Sturridge would see himself struggling to even warm the bench pretty soon. He knows it himself, that’s for sure, but I can’t see him making a decent effort!

And this match showed the importance of Lallana and Wijnaldum in our midfield, because we lacked their energy in pressing and bombing up and down the pitch non-stop. Lallana’s introduction changed the game towards our favour, but unfortunately, it was too late, too little.

Can admitted he has to improve and rightly so. He’s been a key part under Kloop last season, and this being his first start, he looks very rusty with the ball, and fitness wise not really there yet. It is highly likely to pair up with Grujic and Lucas for the cup games for now, if Wijnaldum and Lallana stay injury-free.

With us not being in Europe, there will be lots of time to sort things out at Melwood, and LFC fans like us should definitely be expecting much better performances come Saturday against Middlesbrough at Anfield because the EFL cup tie against Spurs.

Liverpool vs Manchester United

Finally, we are back with club football. It’s been a long, meaningless international break.

Whew.

And now we have to wait till Monday night. Damn.

And again, LFC players came back injured. Clyne might not be 100%, though he will surely start. Wijnaldum is out, while Lallana is a big doubt.

And that’s 2 of our midfield 3 out, not to mention Henderson played 180 minutes of football, for England. ENGLAND.

It will definitely test Karius, especially with his decision-making of when to come to get high balls and balls from out wide. Zlatan will be eager to score, after having a 2 weeks break.

Meanwhile, Coutinho and Can looked certain to replace Wijnaldum and Lallana. I do hope Kloop switch to 2 deep lying midfielders, with Coutinho giving more license to roam as a specialised No.10 rather than a No.8 alongside either Can or Henderson. We shall see.

Up front, Sturridge should start as well, with Firmino likely to move onto the left flank. I would have start Origi up front to run the channels, as the last few matches when he came on, he couldn’t adapt to the pace of the match immediately. Sturridge might be a better sub off the bench, though it would be interesting to see if Kloop brings Ings back to the bench.

Matip’s composure and coolness will be tested by Zlatan, and I do expect him to do well. If we start on the front foot with the high press, Man U’s midfield will not get a chance. Especially if Rooney starts for them.

Can’t wait for the match. Let’s get the 3 points.

Swansea City 1 Liverpool 2

Whew. Poor by LFC, but 3 points on the way back. Job done.

Again, we conceded at set-pieces. Not looking good. And it was the first corner.

Sometimes I really wonder if they do realise we need a defence specialist at our club to coach the players. Lacking one since years back. Carra, please submit your application.

What a ball by Henderson for Firmino’s equalising goal. To pump that in with accuracy with instinct, that’s not bad at all. He’s growing in stature, I have to say. Might be a decent captain after all. Just need to be much more vocal, and work on his tackling defensively, as well as positioning, to minimise the need for tactical fouls and yellows.

Up front, Sturridge still doesn’t do enough for me, he needs to run the channels, to offer the option for players behind him. And for a striker playing in EPL all his life, he can’t hold up the ball. What makes it more frustrating is his unwillingness to press.

Let’s hope Lallana’s injury isn’t that serious, but hopefully enough to keep him out for England’s games. If he’s out for extended period, we might see Sturridge or Origi playing upfront, with Coutinho dropping into central midfield, which might work for home games where we dominate the possession, but a risk playing away because Coutinho’s lack of defensive awareness.

Will be interesting how Kloop adjust his system without Lallana, as Can still looks a little rusty to me, might need some game time. Wijnaldum seem to be instructed to take fewer risks going forward against Swansea, which affected his performance as a result. Would rather him playing with a little more freedom and pushing forward naturally, but that’s what you get when you put two attacking midfielders in a midfield 3.

Clyne may be the MOTM but I noticed he has a weakness in positioning, especially when high balls from wide areas are coming into our box. It may not be a full-back’s job to clear high balls, but he should be at the very least, try to challenge for it. (Look at the last few goals we conceded)

Karius needs to be more confident in his decision making, almost cost us a late goal, while there were a couple of times he came and didn’t get the ball. Hopefully it gets worked out at Melwood, before better teams punish that.

Good 3 points definitely, but a lot of work to be done. Especially defensively. Can’t mention this enough.