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"Outstandingly good". Are you sure? - by John Brennan - Opinion - The Liverpool Way Jump to content

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"Outstandingly good". Are you sure? - by John Brennan

“Outstandingly good.” Really? In comparison to the defensive naufrage of the previous week against Watford (and to a lesser extent Hoffenheim), it was decent. But “outstandingly good”? Sorry, but that shows how low the bar is for this defence at the moment.

 

Clean sheet?!! TOWN!!!! “Managing expectations”, as Gérard used to call it, when he knew his time was up. And when we do come up against decent sides, y’know, those challenging for League Titles and European honours, rather than what was, in essence, an alehouse team with eight men behind the ball hoping to nick a goal, we’ll see how “outstandingly good” we really are.

 

Still, it would be facetious not to praise some stuff from yesterday – for a few reasons. The first is obviously keeping a clean sheet. Our incapacity to do so and make our front men’s job easier has been the bane of Klopp’s teams (and Rodgers’ before that). Saturday was his 70th League game in charge (just the 85 goals conceded, in case you were wondering). We’ve kept 21 clean sheets in that time.

 

That means we’ve conceded in 70% of our games under this manager! So even though it was only Palace, the clean sheet is welcome. You have to start somewhere. But the acid test will come soon; Arsenal and City will likely have more questions for this defence than did Palace.

 

A second reason to be happy? (I know, I can’t believe it either!). It was only our 7th 1-0 win under Klopp! Winning ugly should never be a goal, but it’s sometimes a necessity. Against Palace, that’s what we did. We huffed and puffed in the first half and things never quite came off for us. When we did eventually score, even that was through luck allied to persistence (Mané never stops running, does he?). That we only needed the one goal to get all three points was a good thing yesterday because it wasn’t happening for us. That just the one sufficed was down to the clean sheet.

 

A third source of satisfaction? Some of the individual performances. When I heard there were three changes in the back four my first thought was, “So he DOES know that there’s a problem then?!”. But that relief soon gave way to trepidation. Klavan? Gomez? Some guy who couldn’t get in ahead of Moreno the previous week? With Palace’s jinx over us and another tough week behind us, you could be forgiven for fearing the worst.

 

And then at 5pm, you’re looking back on Robertson’s performance. Solid at the back. Not afraid to do the ugly stuff. Gets forward. Has a decent cross. Moreno should never get a look-in as long as this guy is in this form. Gomez did well too. Maybe in the full-back areas, we’ll be okay, after all! Robertson, Clyne, Trent, Gomez, Milner. It’s in the middle where we still clearly need to strengthen, despite Klopp’s protestations to the contrary.

 

Up front yesterday, we were less than convincing. The margins are fine and we could have destroyed them on another day. Matip scores from that early chance and it’s a totally different game. But it’s no longer a time for “what ifs?” and “could haves”. We are going to rely a lot on Mané, the real “difference-maker” in this team. Add Salah and Firmino and we’ll score a ton (maybe literally!).

 

But can we keep them fit? They’re going to be called on a lot this season for two reasons: Adam is out for another two months and if Sturridge plays any more than 30 games it will be a bonus. Oh and Coutinho is going to have a strop on him. In addition to that, this team has a disproportionate overreliance on the attack, given the defensive frailties. That added pressure on our front men to score goals means that resting them is a luxury we can’t afford.

 

We’ll probably play over 60 games this season. Do you trust this lot to keep many more clean sheets? Do you think we can keep enough players fit? Do you think our front men can keep producing, every three or four days? Simply put, do you TRUST this manager and this team? I don’t. Yet? Any more? I just don’t know which adverb to choose.

 

Still, at least we’re guaranteed a trip to Wembley this season.

 

John Brennan

@JohnAPBrennan


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I wrote my first article yesterday. I know people don't like it when you have loads of aspiring/wannabe journalists writing word heavy reports on games, so I kept it quite concise...

 

We're fucking shite.

 

Belarus, 2017

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It's almost if you took one word from a non-native speaker and saw an opening to complain, or at least drive in some negativity around a good performance. Matip handled the big boys in a way that we couldn't handle last year. A vast improvement.

 

Next.

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I wrote my first article yesterday. I know people don't like it when you have loads of aspiring/wannabe journalists writing word heavy reports on games, so I kept it quite concise...

 

We're fucking shite.

 

Belarus, 2017

To the point. Accurate. A barnstormer of an article from the debutant.

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I was ok with it until he talked about Stirridge playing any more than 30 games it being a bonus then i knew it was a wind up.

 

That or he knocked the 0 key by mistake...

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I wrote my first article yesterday. I know people don't like it when you have loads of aspiring/wannabe journalists writing word heavy reports on games, so I kept it quite concise...

 

We're fucking shite.

 

Belarus, 2017

sorry fella this was too long winded and you drivelled on for ages. Could have been shortened to "we're fucked".

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Fucking hell, what a miserable piece of writing that is. I think we could take an educated guess at what forum name brennan posts under.

 

While a team under de boer might not be described as an 'ale house' team, they did indeed play that game with 8 and more menbehind the ball and trying to nick a goal.

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That was actually positive for me!

 

Anyhow, if you can answer "Yes" to the three questions at the end, you've got more faith than me.

 

We'll see how much success the season brings.

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That was actually positive for me!

 

Anyhow, if you can answer "Yes" to the three questions at the end, you've got more faith than me.

 

We'll see how much success the season brings.

 

Which 3 questions, I make it 4?

 

 

 

Do you trust this lot to keep many more clean sheets? Do you think we can keep enough players fit? Do you think our front men can keep producing, every three or four days? Simply put, do you TRUST this manager and this team?

 

How can you trust any team to keep more clean sheets in a competitive sport when winning is the aim? I think we will keep more clean sheets.

 

Yes,I think we can keep enough players fit.

 

Yes, I trust our front men to keep producing every 3 or 4 days. That doesnt mean they'll never have off days.

 

Yes, I trust the manager and team. Doesnt mean we wont lose games though.

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"...defensive naufrage..." is the phrase of the season, for me.

I'm not ashamed to say I had to look it up. Naufrage, describing a sinking ship. Top marks Mr Brennan! Repped.

 

Obviously the defence is a concern but the full back positions don't look as bad as we feared, with the emergence of TAA, plus Robertson and Gomez to add to last season's pair.

 

It's all about the middle. It will be an interesting week assuming we get into CL proper. I'm expecting movement, but time will tell.

 

As for the vocabulary, "outstandingly good", I'm not too fussed. Native English speakers say "brilliant" and "superb" when they really mean something like "good" and "OK". So I'm not bothered if Jurgen is effusive in his praise. A clean sheet is a big improvement.

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Which 3 questions, I make it 4?

 

 

 

 

How can you trust any team to keep more clean sheets in a competitive sport when winning is the aim? I think we will keep more clean sheets.

 

Yes,I think we can keep enough players fit.

 

Yes, I trust our front men to keep producing every 3 or 4 days. That doesnt mean they'll never have off days.

 

Yes, I trust the manager and team. Doesnt mean we wont lose games though.

Four, so. The last one was a summing-up of the others.

 

1. Good for you. I don't. Nothing since he's been in charge convinces me we're trustworthy at the back.

2. Ok. I don't. Midweek games are likely to take their toll.

3. Can they be expected to score 2, 3 and sometimes 4?! Which, as long as we concede as many as we do, they may have to do.

4. I wish I had your faith, I really do.

 

We'll know a lot more in a month's time.

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Four, so. The last one was a summing-up of the others.

 

1. Good for you. I don't. Nothing since he's been in charge convinces me we're trustworthy at the back.

2. Ok. I don't. Midweek games are likely to take their toll.

3. Can they be expected to score 2, 3 and sometimes 4?! Which, as long as we concede as many as we do, they may have to do.

4. I wish I had your faith, I really do.

 

We'll know a lot more in a month's time.

 

Well I think nearly everyone knew what your answers would be from your article. But my old mum taught me two things; if you go through life expecting shit all the time, dont be surprised when you get nothing but shit.

 

Also, she said the world is full of glass half empty and glass half full types. You pays yer money and takes your choice.

 

Im a glass half full type myself and dont have a pessimistic outlook.

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Fucking hell, what a miserable piece of writing that is. I think we could take an educated guess at what forum name brennan posts under.

 

While a team under de boer might not be described as an 'ale house' team, they did indeed play that game with 8 and more menbehind the ball and trying to nick a goal.

It ain't me, I don't have the vocabulary, and I certainly don't live in France.
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Well I think nearly everyone knew what your answers would be from your article. But my old mum taught me two things; if you go through life expecting shit all the time, dont be surprised when you get nothing but shit.

 

Also, she said the world is full of glass half empty and glass half full types. You pays yer money and takes your choice.

 

Im a glass half full type myself and dont have a pessimistic outlook.

Which is why you've a glass half full of shit.

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Well I think nearly everyone knew what your answers would be from your article. But my old mum taught me two things; if you go through life expecting shit all the time, dont be surprised when you get nothing but shit.

 

Also, she said the world is full of glass half empty and glass half full types. You pays yer money and takes your choice.

 

Im a glass half full type myself and dont have a pessimistic outlook.

That's fair.

 

I'll stick to realism for now.

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Why do pessimists always refer to it as 'realism'. Realism is about balancing and looking at all the facts. I could write something positive about how good an addition Salah is, and how we are already a point ahead of last season, but that wouldn't factor in that we still haven't addressed a number of weaknesses in the squad. I could talk about how bad we were against Watford, but it wouldn't factor in missing several good players who are out, like Coutinho, Lallana, and Clyne. We are in a period where we have to wait to see who comes in. Whether the future looks positive or negative depends on unknowns. That's realism.

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