Are Liverpool moving backwards?


Liverpool have been in patchy form throughout this season. There have been games where Liverpool have looked absolutely dire (the recent Sunderland defeat and two months ago against Bolton come to mind) but there have also been matches where profligacy in front of goal have cost them, for example games against Arsenal and Swansea.  However we only have to look back at the last few months of the previous season, when Liverpool were ending it in good form an it seemed a few summer signings were all the team needed to launch an assault at fourth place.

The club seems to have gone backwards in terms of the way the team set out tactically. In the home match last season against Manchester United Liverpool set out in a very fluid 4-4-1-1, with Gerrard alongside Lucas in a deeper position making less forward runs, Meireles and Maxi on the right and left flanks respectively and Suarez playing in behind Kuyt. Kuyt played his lone role excellently, dragging defenders across the pitch with his movement to the flanks as well as Maxi and Meireles having the license to come inside and combine with Suarez and Kuyt.

Even after such promising performances at the end of the 2010/2011 season Dalglish seemed to have changed tact, players who suited a style of pay different to the one stated above were brought in. Players like Henderson, Downing and Charlie Adam.

During the course of the pre-season games(particularly the one against Valerenga) the coaching staff favoured a 4-4-2 with one pure winger(Downing) and a wide player tucking in more(Henderson). This may have worked in theory however as we have seen this season Downing can be a very predictable player and when the team is under pressure can also pass the buck onto other players instead of taking people on himself and his combination with Enrique on the left flank have seen them both occupy the same space, often being one infront of the other playing one-twos with no chance of penetration .Henderson is wasted on the right wing an seems to struggle making decisions on what to do on the ball.

Adam who was blasphemously compared to Xabi Alonso after his performances for Blackpool, cannot control the tempo of the game and often runs straight through the middle of the pitch when a player may be open in a wide area and subsequently losing the ball. He also has the tendency to give away silly free kicks as he not so much tackles but runs straight into another player in an effort to steal the ball. Henderson and Downing are not very effective wide players but found themselves in the opening game of the season against sunderland, starting in place of Meireles, Maxi and Kuyt, the three players whose intelligent movement allowed the team to dominate against united the previous season.

In the 12th game of the Premier League season Liverpool seemed to of finally found their pomp. They started in a 4-2-2-2 formation with Kuyt and Maxi on the wings, with Suarez and Bellamy partnering each other up top. Liverpool pressed aggressively not allowing Chelsea to build attacks from deep and the attacking quadrumvirate of Suarez, Bellamy, Maxi and Kuyt, with their intelligent movement making Chelsea’s midfield have to assist the defence more and allowing Charlie Adam the time and space to affect the game more than he usually does.

Since then, although squandering many chances has influenced Liverpool’s poor position in the league there has been plenty of chopping and changing of formations and positions with no real philosophy in place. There have been one or two good performances here and there but this is not good enough for a team hoping to get into a Champions league spot.

Keen,Clarke and Dalglish need to decide on what they want to do with this team as there seems to be no cohesion and framework and they have not built on the good aspects of play last season.

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  • Septimus says:

    Yes we have gone backwards.
    What did anyone seriously expect with the money waste on CHAD?

    Kenny will not be in charge next season anyway.
    The table doesn’t lie and the performances speak for themselves

    • Bomber25 says:

      I predicted that Kenny wouldn’t last too long after seeing his signings last summer. He deserves whatever comes his way.

  • Bomber25 says:

    Liverpool have gone backwards since Kenny Dalglish started tinkering with the team and trying to rid the team of all the foreign players.

  • Denzil says:

    I am so disgusted at my teams performance. How can Kenny not see that his formations and selections is ruining our team. Is he stupid or just plain old. I hope there is atleast some one in the club that can get my team buck to winning ways and let this stupid Kenny go back to his old days, since he cannot cope with the modern day football management. PLEASE!!!! do something. Kenny is cle-less and he looks confused all the time – Get some one that can get my time to be creative and that can show them what it is to playing attacking football – I beg Liverpool to Pritty please wake up and think for a change!!!

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