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The Case Against the Defence - by John Brennan - Opinion - The Liverpool Way Jump to content

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The Case Against the Defence - by John Brennan

So, one game in and we’re on a bandwagon. How dare we call out Klopp on our defensive inadequacies? We’re only in August, after all. Typical in the era of instant gratification that we expect to come out of the starting blocks and perform straight away, they’ll cry. Except that this isn’t a one-off occurrence. This is endemic now.
 
While things up front are dramatically better than in his first season in charge (from 55 goals in 30 games, an average of 1.83 a game, we’ve progressed to 78 in 38, an average of 2.05 a game), things at the back are only slightly better and are certainly not improving quickly enough to get us where we want to be.
 
Broken down simply, we conceded 40 goals in his first 30 games in charge, an average of 1.33 a game. In his second – full – season, with HIS men, we conceded 42 in 38 games, an average of 1.10 a game.
From 8 cleans sheets out of 30 (26%) in his first season, we’ve progressed to 12 out of 38 (30%). However, last season we conceded one goal in FIFTEEN games as opposed to one goal in NINE the previous season.
 
This is the core argument that his naysayers (I’m a fully paid-up member) continue to trot out: we can’t continue to put that much pressure on our front men. All the more so as we may not have as many goals to share around next season, depending on what happens with Coutinho, as well as Lallana’s injury and Sturridge’s fragility. Essentially, two-thirds of Klopp’s teamtalks have to start with the words, “We’re going to need (at least) two to win today.”
 
And in fairness, last season our front men didn’t disappoint. In the 15 games where we conceded one goal, we took 37 points out of 45 (11 wins and four draws)! That’s remarkable from the likes of Coutinho, Firmino, Mané and Lallana. But they can’t continuously go to the well.
 
Want proof of how hard it is for them? We conceded two or more goals in ELEVEN games last season. Our sum total of points in those games: 9 from 33. That’s fatal to any Title challenge. The front men in this team last year knew that they needed to score three (or more) in every fourth game to win! Chances are that nothing changes this season. If we concede more than 40 goals (only 37 to go!), we won’t win the Title. Who I am kidding? Who thinks we can win it? Nobody, that’s who.
 
Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be, but one quick word on Gérard’s first full season (1999-2000), with HIS men, we conceded 30 goals. We only scored 51(!) but that was enough to win us 19 games as opposed to 78 to win 22 for this lot last season! And in his following season (2000-2001), with a full European and Cup programme, well, we all know what happened…
 
This is something that can only be solved on the training ground. Thing is, two full years into the job, I’m not sure I trust him to find the answers.
 


John Brennan

@JohnAPBrennan


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The attack is much better, so fair play for pointing that out. The defense, while slightly better, is not good enough. Hopefully VVD comes and the thing starts to come together a bit more. If he signs I'd back us to concede at least ten fewer over the course of a season. 

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The attack is much better, so fair play for pointing that out. The defense, while slightly better, is not good enough. Hopefully VVD comes and the thing starts to come together a bit more. If he signs I'd back us to concede at least ten fewer over the course of a season. 

 

And if he doesn't? Hard to imagine things being any better than last year if not, but at least we should score more having added Salah.

 

I'm fine with Klopp's stance over Sakho, but if he doesn't sign another defender this window then he needs to bury the hatchet and welcome him back into the fold, because we're a couple of injuries away from a Klavan / Gomez partnership.

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What is our biggest problem defensively? It's not ball watching. Is it the structure of the team in transition or just plain concentration? We look like we fuck up in quite a few ways and it would help me to understand what everyone else see's as the biggest technical problems that can and must be ironed out. Other teams of coaches/managers make it work with what I see as lesser players so we have to be able to improve.

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I think it is a lot more technical than we appreciate. Maybe a bit complicated for some of the players.

It is all about anticipating space and 1/2 spaces as he describes it. Blocking and anticipating opposition movement and passing. Reducing these options to the option we want them to take and bang off we go.

 

The second goal when Moreno went flying in leaving the space behind him should have been anticipated and covered by Gini according to Klopp it wasn't and they were in.

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3 seasons,(ok maybe 2 and a bit) hardly any buys to make the squad his own? as oppose to adding the few to BR's bollocks?  selling better than he kept? standing by what we all know are shite? FSG not buying what we all know we need? I personally think the owners are fucking any manager we get. the window is closing, and tbh, we aint getting a Klopp squad in this window. Let alone a Klopp team capable of doing anything worthwhile. Too little, too shite.

Who told klopp Moron was like a new signing?

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You can't have eight men bombing forward, leaving 2 centre halves & a goalie exposed time after time. We either need a DM to sit in or an agreement that only one full back at a time can go fully forward at. It's not like they make any goals for us anyway.

 

I am amazed we aren't getting better at defending dead balls as surely this is coaching 101.

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And if he doesn't? Hard to imagine things being any better than last year if not, but at least we should score more having added Salah.

 

I'm fine with Klopp's stance over Sakho, but if he doesn't sign another defender this window then he needs to bury the hatchet and welcome him back into the fold, because we're a couple of injuries away from a Klavan / Gomez partnership.

 

 

Agreed, Sahko has been a prick but he is the second best centre back currently at the club.

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Agreed, Sahko has been a prick but he is the second best centre back currently at the club.

Second best!?

Sahko is a better defender than them two imo.

Lovren is bang average at best and matip gets caught ball watching time after time and is nowhere near aggressive enough for this league

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And if he doesn't? Hard to imagine things being any better than last year if not, but at least we should score more having added Salah.

 

I'm fine with Klopp's stance over Sakho, but if he doesn't sign another defender this window then he needs to bury the hatchet and welcome him back into the fold, because we're a couple of injuries away from a Klavan / Gomez partnership.

I'm probably tripping balls and expecting too much but Salah's finishing hasn't looked all that so far. Hopefully that's because he is still adjusting so this is just a mere observation not a judgement.

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ive felt this since brendans days its our midfield which does not shield our defence we are only top side without defensive midfielder and WHAT does jurgen and to be fair rodgers see in Lovren i dont get it

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Just like that trampy bird last weekend - I'd like to kidnap our entire defence, shove them all in a suitcase and leave them in a remote farmhouse in Italy and then offer a fee of 20 million Lira, that we would pay for someone, anyone, to buy a couple of hessian sacks and some bricks and chuck them all into lake Como and then start all over again. 

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