Liverpool’s Unending Defensive Woes

Virgil van Dijk was the name that Liverpool fans were clamoring about before the 17/18 season started as everyone was anticipating his transfer to Liverpool. It eventually pushed through in the winter transfer window and The Reds were given a new breath of life on the defensive end.

C3XDO1KWcAAsqlXThis image of a car pretty much sums up what the current Liverpool squad is all about. Adding Virgil to the equation might provide the rear end a bit more flair right now like a simple spoiler or some paint at least. But still, there won’t make much of a difference if the whole defensive unit is not as solid as it can be.

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On left back, Andy Robertson has been decent for us this season but he still has to mature more and be a bit more consistent. Same goes to Trent as his recent game against United exposed his inexperience to play along with the big lads. He more or less plays right back for us but don’t get me wrong, his future still is definitely bright. Especially with that Klopp magic hanging around on our touchlines.

On to the center backs we go. Perhaps the most important position on the unit are made up of the center backs as they serve as the backbone of not only the defense, but also the eleven on the field in itself. We have a handful of these boys but only a few reliable ones may be handpicked.

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Personally, Joel Matip may be the most consistent defender for The Reds this year. His height provides a steady presence on the line especially when he runs along with van Dijk. That is why it’s a mystery to me why Matip didn’t play a single second on the clash against United.

Dejan Lovren has been the most inconsistent defender for me. At times, when he plays well, he plays really well. When he sucks, he really sucks. He has so much of Klopp’s trust and I hope he gets to turn things around and become an ever reliable center back for LFC. Joe Gomez is similar to Andy and Trent as he still has to mature quickly in order for him to be a vital piece on the Liverpool defense. Ragnar Klavan hasn’t seen much action this season yet he has the opportunity to be a solid defender if he gets to show some consistency as well.

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A defensive unit must not only be a solid unit. It should be a security system that gives opponents headaches and makes them try and try to pick the locks of that system. It must perform that way even if the side is not on a formation that shows that it is parking the bus. *ehem ehem Man Utd*

We still have a long way to go to develop a Sergio Ramos or John Terry type of franchise player that sticks to the Liverpool name in this current generation. Jamie Carragher‘s retirement gave a hole in the club’s defensive unit that is made up of holes in itself already. Nevertheless, WE GO AGAIN!

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Walk on.

YNWA

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Pawson won it for United | Man U 2-1 Liverpool

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool

Old Trafford

March 10, 2018

 

Another game, another loss.

Though I cannot discount the fact that the United defense did its work against the promising Liverpool attack, there were so much breaks in the match that we could have gotten yet evaded us due to the poor officiating.

Nevertheless, those 2 goals by Marcus Rashford were well deserved due to his perfect technique and prime composure during those instances. Something that Liverpool never had a chance at the whole game. These types of games would not only help our young players like Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson mature into better players but also into better Reds. There’s more to come for them in their careers and this game definitely helps them improve their game.

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We had 3 missed penalty calls and 2 red cards that were supposed to be handed out in our favor but was not given (Thank you Craig Pawson *ehem ehem*). Ashley Young had his fair share of dirty tactics as he was bullying Mo Salah the whole time and the referee kept his whistle away from his mouth on all challenges.

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LFC never had a clear chance at goal the whole match. The Mane, Firmino and Salah trio were silenced and it was so depressing not to see them perform their magic. I’m guessing the tight defense played a big part in it and they were never given the chance to score the supposed penalties.

All the goals that were on target went straight to David De Gea and he was never really bothered the whole game except for the own goal by Bailly.

8 games left in the Premier League. We face Watford next weekend and we hope to bounce back from this loss. Heads up Reds!

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WE GO AGAIN.

YNWA

Perfect Way To Come Off The International Break

3-0 win for Liverpool. 2 goals for Mo Salah.

Salah has undoubtedly been the consistent bright spot for LFC this season which makes him the best signing of the transfer window. His resistance from injury proves how effective he is in the Liverpool offense and that is something we have badly been needing.

This game made the offense run like a well-oiled machine with Salah capping off 2 important goals to break the ice and increase Liverpool’s advantage. Philippe Coutinho sealed the deal with another goal in the middle of the second half as the Reds cruised on to the finish.

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Routine

This type of Liverpool play is what is expected of from every game The Kop watches. Sealing these types of wins would determine the good teams from the great ones. This is how teams are able to raise the Premier League trophy at the end of the season. As we all know, the Premiership is a marathon, not a sprint. That is why consistency is always key in every match.

We sure hope the boys keep up this type of form as we head on to face Sevilla once again in the Champions League. Hopefully, we get to beat Sevilla and finish on top of the group as we head on to the knockout stages.

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Keep it up lads!

YNWA

The Troubled Liverpool Defence

After another dismal result we suffered in the weekend against Tottenham, Jurgen Klopp is now fazed with another lineup reshuffle as the defensive woes for Liverpool continues. I, personally, did not watch the match live nor the highlights as well since aside from not being able to find a decent working live stream, I didn’t want to see the team perform at this level since we’ve been pretty much been in terrible form as of late.

It is evident in the headlines that Dejan Lovren was one of the most notable players in the match after being the primary suspect in the 2 conceded goals for Spurs within the first 15 minutes. Lovren was then replaced by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain after just 30 minutes in the first half. That substitution said a lot about Lovren’s form in the game since nobody really gets replaced in the first half if he’s not injured.

Coming into the start of the season, my top picks for the starting CBs were Matip and Lovren as I believed that these were the two that were most effective with the current lot of players we have. Apparently, Joel Matip has been the only one consistent so far and that proves we have a long way to go unless we get to sign van Dijk soon or just any other center back with a good resume.

Nevertheless, we have been getting fair outings from the younger lads of the team namely Joe Gomez and Trent Alexander-Arnold. These two are the top candidates in replacing Lovren in the starting XI since all Jurgen Klopp can do now is hope for the best.

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We face Huddersfield this weekend after they beat Man United 2-1 in their last match. Liverpool sure are known to be vulnerable when it comes to defeating bottom-table teams. I just hope we get to bounce back from our poor loss and get back to our winning ways as we badly need it.

YNWA!

 

*photos not mine

Coutinho is Back, Yet it’s Same Old Liverpool

Liverpool vs. Sevilla

2-2

UEFA Champions League Group Stage

September 14, 2017

Liverpool, England
Champions League - Liverpool vs SevillaI was only able to watch the first half of action as I realized it was already 4 AM when I checked the clock. It wasn’t as smooth as I expected since the streams that I found were going on and off. I wasn’t even able to see Salah’s goal as the stream went offline all of a sudden. I just saw that we were up 2-1 already late in the first half. Luckily, I got to see the first goal and it was quite a sight to see.

Come the second half, we still had most of the possession but it seemed like our attack didn’t have the tactics to go through that Sevilla defense. I’m no football expert but our attack looked lost out there. It was as if they were learning to play football back in their youth. It was either they were really disoriented or that Sevilla defense was tough. However, I would believe that our players are more world-class compared to the opponents’. We had numerous opportunities but we just could not execute.

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It’s the same old story for The Kop. A very unstable defensive line gave up an early goal that could have been avoided if only we had a premier back line. Joel Matip and Alberto Moreno were the only bright spots that game.

It was nice to see Philippe Coutinho and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain get their fair share of playing time. Nevertheless, it was still insufficient for the team to get the 3 points. Hopefully we get to bounce back from this opening match as there are still more games left to be played in the group stage.

Next game is against Burnley in the Premier League.

YNWA!

Disaster at Manchester

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To be honest, I wasn’t able to stream the game live from Manila and it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I was out with my friends when the game was happening and the thought of a Liverpool beat down was far from my mind as the squad was in relatively good form. However, we witnessed a forgettable result from the boys and we surely hope that this won’t happen again anytime soon.

It all went downhill from Mane’s red card late in the first half. A decision that could’ve gone either way which eventually went against our side. These types of breaks in matches are the ones that make or break great teams. We very much hope that the boys learned a lot from this game.

This match proved to be an early test for our new squad. Coming into the match, Liverpool were arguably the favorites. That is why we cannot buckle down under pressure whenever we have odds going against us during the game.

Klopp’s rotation may be questioned once again because of this match as he put Ragnar Klavan on center back replacing the usual Dejan Lovren. Simon Mignolet was back on goal after decent performances in the first matches of the season. Mignolet’s momentum could’ve went away after his good game against Arsenal.

Again, we really hope that the Reds picked up a lot of lessons from this match. Hopefully we get a convincing win once again against Sevilla for our Champions League group stage.

YNWA!

2017 Premier League Asia Tour Champions!

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This year’s Premier League Asia Tour was held in Hong Kong as how it was in 2015. These types of tournaments make it easier for me as a Liverpool fan since these are the rare instances that I get to watch the match properly since the team is in the same time zone that I am in. This was the first time for Liverpool to win the biennial tournament with Arsenal winning the trophy during the last edition that was two years ago. Hopefully I could get to watch the Reds live in action when they visit Asia once again next summer.

It was a true joy seeing our beloved squad back in action as we also got to see the the new signings showcase their wares as they prove to us what they can bring to the table. Hopefully this good start carries over to the beginning of the real test of the Premier League as the club’s main tournament is set to open within the coming weeks.

Player Impressions

Mohamed Salah

Once again, he proved to us all what the fuss was all about when we got word that he was one of the top prospects that we were targeting in the current transfer window. As of now, Klopp likes placing Salah on the right wing in front of Nathaniel Clyne or Trent Alexander-Arnold. He gave the opposing defenders a taste of his skill this pre-season and The Kop is just left wanting more once the team gears up in full force in the upcoming season.

Philippe Coutinho

What else is there to say about the Little Magician? We got to see some good chemistry between Coutinho and Salah especially in that Final against Leicester City. It’s definitely a good thing that we get to examine that they have a mutual connection as early as now. I just hope this continues especially when we face the big teams this season.

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Loris Karius

Correct me if I’m wrong but I noticed that Karius has been the man tending our goal mostly this pre-season. I hope this would  help him get more confidence guarding the Liverpool goal since he possesses quite a good potential. Case in point, the match against Leicester made Karius stop some good chances from the opposing side as Jamie Vardy had quite a few nice opportunities as the match was drawing near to a close. Karius stepping up just makes the competition for being the top goalkeeper better as I have been hearing rumors that third-choice keeper Danny Ward is in quite a good form as well.

Roberto Firmino

RF9, as he will be now known, after his number switch with Mo Salah has been on the low profile this pre-season. He hasn’t scored a goal as of late even he is the designated striker in the formation. Nevertheless, I believe Firmino is reserving his talents for the upcoming season as most of the other players on the pitch has been getting most of the attention.

Jordan Henderson

Captain Hendo has been his old steady self and we sure are glad that he is back with what he does best. After missing out the latter part of the season last year, Henderson has been seen executing his holding midfield role once again; something that is crucial to any formation. Upon the arrival of Andy Robertson, maybe we could see Klopp mix it up and put Hendo and James Milner in the middle with the two captains in charge of holding the middle. Oh wait, isn’t somebody else is missing in this conversation? Right. There’s still Gini Wijnaldum.

Gini Wijnaldum

Gini did wonders for our midfield last season and he was pretty much consistent during the whole duration of it. His most obvious weakness is his finishing power. Something that is very unfortunate given the number of chances he had up top last year. Despite that, he did nail one of the crucial goals in the last match of the season last year against Middlesbrough. This workhorse has been quite on the down low as well this off-season but I bet the boys feel his presence as much as Klopp does and only nothing but good comes from that which is very important.

Joel Matip

Matip was the consistent choice for Klopp last season as he did the best out of all the defenders together with Dejan Lovren. Personally, I like how Matip and Lovren do their defending on the back line. This would all change of course if the deal with Virgil van Dijk pushes through. However, I believe Matip would still be the one of the first options in the central defender position nevertheless.

These are just some of the players that personally caught my attention at this stage of the pre-season.

Our next match will be against Athletic Bilbao in Dublin on August 5th.

Keep it up boys!

YNWA!

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