Quantcast
Liverpool 6 Watford 1 (Nov 6 2016) - FF - Football Forum - The Liverpool Way Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
tlw content

Liverpool 6 Watford 1 (Nov 6 2016)

Recommended Posts

watfordreport1.jpg
 
Please note that this is a FREE offering, and Match Reports are usually only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. If you are not currently registered on the site, sign up for free and receive a one month FREE no obligation trial subscription, which gives you access to all the members only content for one month.
 
For the past month or two I’ve been bracing myself for the inevitable letdown and looking for reasons not to get carried away and fall victim to false hope. Now? Fuck all that noise. Forget caution and worrying about what might happen, the situation is that this team has been tearing it up so far this season and there’s nothing to suggest at this point that they can’t keep it going.
 
Each week has thrown up a different type of test, and each week they’ve passed those tests in pretty spectacular style. Less than a year ago we were losing 3-0 to Watford, and now look? Just look. We're swatting aside these kind of teams now, which is what good sides are supposed to do. The only conclusion to be drawn is that we're a really good side now.
 
When you look at how this team is playing and then look around at the other contenders, how can you feel anything but confident right now? We’re the best team in the country so far this season. Don’t take my word for it, just look at the league table or ask the managers of the ever growing list of teams who we’ve spanked senseless. No-one is playing as well as us, and if we keep this up we’ll not only be top by the time we face City on New Year’s Eve, we’ll have a healthy cushion.
 
Of course there’s a lot of football to be played before then and we can’t take anything for granted, but this is beginning to feel different. It’s not a false dawn, it’s not just a hot run of form, it’s an identity. What the team showed in flashes last season is now becoming the norm, and opposing teams are shitting themselves about facing us now. With good reason too. 30 goals in 11 games has us on pace to score even more than we did in 13/14. Speaking of which…
 
At one point during the second half the Kop chanted “If we still had Suarez, he’d be on the bench”. The chant wasn’t taken up by everyone, but I expect next time it will be. It’s not true of course, the Uruguayan genius would get in any team, anywhere, possibly even in any era (certainly in my still love struck mind he does), but the fact we can even joke about that now shows where we’re at as a team currently. That ghost is finally being laid to rest.
 
I’ve spent much of the last two years moping and pining after Suarez, but recently I’ve barely given him a second thought, largely because of the way the team is playing now. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t want him back given the opportunity, but going the match is no longer a miserable experience because he’s not there anymore. Not gonna lie, for a good while there it was for me. 
 
It’s like you’re married to the hottest bird (or bloke) in the world and they dump you for someone better. You know you can never find anyone like that again and it’s depressing for a while. That was as good as it was ever going to get and there’s no one person out there who can ever replace them. So instead of that “perfect ten” you had, you've now set yourself up with a nice little harem full of "eights and nines" to vill the void. Individually none of them can live up to the "perfect ten" you lost, but now you’ve got loads of them to keep you satisfied and take your mind off what you no longer have.
 
No-one is seriously suggesting that Suarez wouldn’t get in the team, but I’ve been thinking about this since Sunday’s game and I honestly don’t know who I’d drop to make way for him. Obviously it would be somebody, but God knows who because they are all bringing different things to the team right now, and that variety is a big part of why we’re doing so well.
 
I’ve been bemoaning for a couple of years how for the first time in my lifetime we no longer have a true star player who would walk into any team in the league. To a degree that’s still true, there’s no obvious “superstar” but we’ve got a few players who look to be well on the road to getting there, and even if they don’t reach the level of a Suarez or Gerrard it doesn’t even matter anymore, because what we have is more important that any superstar player - we’ve got a superstar manager. 
 
Klopp has taken a team of good - in some cases very good - players and got them playing like a great team. Put any of these players in another team (or in this team under a different manager) and they wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective as they are right now. Basically he has recreated what he did at Dortmund, just as we hoped he would. I don't think he's getting anywhere near enough credit for how he's utterly transformed us in 12 months with mostly the same players, while making a profit on transfers. It's incredible.  
 
Watford became the latest team to be put to Klopp’s sword. It feels like every beaten manager comes out after the game and tells everyone how great this Liverpool team is and how they’re basically impossible to stop when they hit their stride. Watford conceded six and usually when that happens you just put it down to being a bit unlucky and it being one of those days where virtually everything the opposition hits goes in. That wasn’t the case though and Watford should be feeling relieved it wasn’t more than six, because quite frankly it should have been.
 
Apparently we recorded the most shots on target in a game since they started keeping records of that. I had no idea at the time because watching it live it kind of just felt like a typical Anfield performance as we’re doing this most weeks now. We should have had this many against Leicester, Hull and West Brom too. We've created the most chances of any team in the major European leagues this season, which when you consider the cannon fodder teams that Barca and Real are facing most weeks is quite remarkable. 
 
It could easily have been double figures against Watford. By the time we eventually broke the deadlock it should already have been three or four nil as some glorious chances had gone begging and we were murdering the poor bastards. Troy Deeney had said he was "coming to war" against us, but he brought a butter knife to a gun fight. Look Troy, Joel Matip is not going to be bullied like Martin Skrtel, son.
 
Watford weren’t even that bad I thought, they were just completely over matched. I don’t think anyone could have lived with the football we played in that first half. And I mean ANYONE. The stuff we’re playing is out of this world at times and the front three are just too hot to handle. The pace, movement, interchanging and intelligence is just too much. Add the brilliant Lallana to that mix with his link up from deeper positions, Henderson sweeping up every loose ball and keeping us on the front foot, and then the full backs providing us with great width, and it’s just a nightmare to try and stop. It’s coming at them from all angles now. Shit, even Emre Can is scoring.
 
Big Emre played well after recovering from a terrible start in which he couldn’t do a thing right. His performance was good, but it can't be just me who thinks he stands out like a sore thumb in a team that does everything at 100mph? At times he looks ponderous and slow in his decision making, when really he’s probably above average. In another team it wouldn’t even be noticeable, but in this team it’s like he’s surrounded by the fucking red arrows and he’s a big red London bus. How can you leave him out after two goals in two games though?
 
That said, I thought Wijnaldum was brilliant when he came on and it’s significant that he got his first goal because I reckon the floodgates will open for him now. He’s gone close so many times but wasn’t having any luck, but he’s off and running now and you could see how much it meant to him. I’d like to see him replace Can for our next game but if that does happen Emre could feel hard done by.
 
His goal might be my favourite of the lot, for a number of reasons. It actually started with a long clearance from the keeper, which is something I'd happily see us do more if it means not messing around at the back and taking chances. Firmino is surprising good at challenging for those high balls, and even when he doesn't win it he prevents the defender from being able to get a clean header. He won this won though, and from that moment we just flew at them.
 
We had five players in the attack, four of them in the box and Lallana out wide delivering the cross. The reason Can was unmarked was because we had so many players in there it's hard to mark everybody. That's what I loved about the goal. Can had a free header because Watford's defenders were all over the place not knowing who to pick up.
 
Despite all the goals and great performances, the best moment of the entire match for me was something that has hardly even warranted a mention. It was the first touch of Coutinho’s to not only collect a rocket pass from Mané but also completely skin the defender to create a shooting opportunity, which unfortunately he put into the side netting. If that had gone you could close the goal of the season voting there and then because that touch was as good as anything you’ll see anywhere. It was fucking unreal, but because we scored six, went top of the league and everyone played great it will be completely forgotten. Just look at it though, it’s fucking incredible
 
174167a7585309e5e143041710ad83a9.gif
 
There were other great moments too. I loved Firmino’s assist for Mané to make it 5-0. That was just pure class how he kept his cool and waited for the right moment to play the pass through the defender’s legs. Young Ovie Ejaria’s back heel in the build up to Wijnaldum’s goal was nice too, not least because it just shows how confident that lad is. Perhaps the most significant thing to come out of the game though was Karius finally making some saves. He didn’t get his clean sheet, but he pulled off two or three really good saves and seems to be growing in confidence now.
 
The only reason he didn’t get the clean sheet was because we stopped playing for ten minutes when it was 5-0. It’s difficult to criticise them too much for that, but what it showed once again was how vulnerable we can look when we let the tempo drop. When we play at our speed no-one can live with us, but any time the pace of the game drops we’re not the same side.
 

Poor old Sturridge though, it just wasn’t going to go in for him was it? He was on the field for 20 minutes and could have scored four. He hit the bar twice with terrific shots and the keeper pulled off a couple of good saves to deny him. He still doesn’t have a league goal, but there’s nothing wrong with Daniel Sturridge and he’s going to have a big part to play this season. 
 
It’s important therefore that Klopp keeps him involved as much as possible and it was good management getting him on for 20 minutes with the game won. It’s just a shame he didn’t get the goal his performance deserved, but they can’t all score I guess. Or maybe they can? One day they will. If we keep this level of performance up, the law of averages suggests there will be a game when most of the chances we create end up going in. When that happens, some poor bastard is getting hit for double figures. Hopefully it’s Everton.
 
When we do hit ten we'll probably give up a stupid consolation at the other end and have to listen to pundits tell us this is why we can't be successful, or compare us with Keegan's Newcastle (that weird comparison has reared up a few times recently for some bizarre reason).
 
I find it hard to accept this narrative about how the defence is going to cost us. It was fair comment after the Arsenal game, and Burnley obviously, and even after Swansea too. But after this? THIS? Come on. Yes, we had a wobble and gave up a few chances in this game, but it was five fucking nil at the time! I’d rather be winning 6-1 than 1-0 and clean sheets are somewhat over-rated in that context. If you’ve got the firepower we have, conceding one or even two isn’t the end of the word, especially when it was clearly just a result of slacking off with the game already won.
 
Of course we do need to stop conceding so many goals but using Watford’s goal as some sort of evidence as to why we can’t win the title is just lazy. By and large, we’re actually defending quite well even if the goals against column doesn’t back that up. Eventually that should level off if we keep performing like this. Any criticism right now is just nit-picking.
 
As I said in the intro, I’m done looking for reasons why we won’t do it and I’m just going to go with what my eyes and gut are telling me. So I’ll just come out and say it. I now believe we will win the title this year. In a few weeks I may feel differently depending on what unfolds, but as of right now I’m confident we’ll do it and it’s partly influenced by events across the pond this week.
 
Last Wednesday night the Chicago Cubs ended a 108 year wait for a World Series title. I’m not the biggest baseball fan but I do take an interest in the Cubs from afar and it was inspiring seeing what they did this year. We think we’ve got it bad with our 26 year drought, but imagine 108 fucking years? Just try to imagine the pressure that comes with trying to break that streak. Any time the Cubs got close over the years, some sort of bizarre mishap befell them and many put it down to the “curse of the goat” (if you aren’t familiar with it, you should look it up as it’s interesting stuff). 
 
I’ve got mates who think the Reds are cursed (it’s crossed my mind more than once too), and when you think back to that slip by Stevie and how that whole thing played out, it’s hard not to feel sorry for ourselves and bemoan how the football Gods have mocked us at times. The Cubs showed this week that curses don’t exist, but even if they did, they can be broken by sheer will power and talent.
 
They were the best team in baseball and most experts made them big favourites to win it all, but Cubs fans spent much of the year bracing themselves for the inevitable “Cubbie letdown”. It’s how I’ve been with the Reds, mostly since that Europa League final last May. Not wanting to believe in them because they’ve let us down too many times.
 
It’s a defence mechanism; prepare yourself for the worst and don’t get your hopes up, as it’s easier that way. Except it’s not really. It doesn’t hurt any less when the letdown comes, but in the meantime you’re robbing yourself of the joy and excitement of the ride. The Cubs came up against adversity in each of their playoff rounds, and a lot of fans were ready to throw in the towel every time they found themselves down in a series (“you see, they’re gonna blow it like they always do” etc) Others kept the faith by telling themselves “this team is different”. 
 
And they were different. When they lost two home games to find themselves 1-3 down and one game away from more yet more disappointment, they reeled off three games on the bounce, including the last two on the road in Cleveland, to finally end their wait for a title.
 
I see parallels with the Reds here. The pressure on the Cubs players was incredible, but their manager, Joe Maddon, kept them loose all year and the immense weight of expectation didn’t affect them at all. “Don’t let the pressure exceed the pleasure” was one of the things he drummed into his team. Who better to shield players from pressure than Jurgen Klopp? He's been there and done it.
 
No-one knows how this will be looking when we get to April and May, but for now we need to just enjoy what we’re seeing without worrying about whether it will all unravel on us and end in disappointment again. If it does, then so be it. I don’t think it will though. Not this time. 
 
Star man is Coutinho, which I believe is the fourth game in a row I’ve given it to him. Pretty sure that’s never happened before as he’s never strung together four games in a row of such a high standard. He’s found that consistency that he’s always lacked, and right now he’s pretty much unstoppable. He's not the only one though. Let's just hope this international break doesn't derail us with untimely injuries, because that's the only danger I see at the moment.
 
 
Team: Karius; Clyne, Matip, Lucas, Milner; Henderson, Can, Lallana (Sturridge); Mané (Wijnaldum), Firmino, Coutinho (Ejaria):
  • Upvote 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice summary, Dave, and squares well with the way I'm feeling about the team right now.

 

 

 

I was also quite pleased to see the that we were very obviously trying to feed Sturridge to get him a goal. He must still be well liked by the rest of the side and not the dressing room cancer I had feared he might be becoming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It feels good reading your report, Dave. I'll be more cautious than you are for 2 reasons.

 

We might the best team in the league but still only one point ahead of Cheslsea who were supposed to be in crisis 3 weeks ago ...

 

And then, as some one pointed out in the MF, klopp's team seem to often run out of steam in February ....

 

But who cares , top of the league , playing well, let's just enjoy it !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We won't run out of steam because there's no Europe. Next year I'd expect it to be a lot tougher.

 

As for Chelsea, they look good right now but let's see how they do when teams have had some time to study their 3 at the back. Remember when we looked great for a while playing that with Markovic wing back? After half a dozen games or so we got found out.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lucas has started two league matches this season.... resulting in 2 wins and 10-2 goal difference. A coincidence?? Surely he must play every match!

  • Upvote 1
  • Downvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We won't run out of steam because there's no Europe. Next year I'd expect it to be a lot tougher.

 

As for Chelsea, they look good right now but let's see how they do when teams have had some time to study their 3 at the back. Remember when we looked great for a while playing that with Markovic wing back? After half a dozen games or so we got found out.

 

I don't think we looked great but that 3-5-2 set-up stopped us from leaking like a sieve. We were generally grinding out results at that time because we weren't very effective in attack.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think we looked great but that 3-5-2 set-up stopped us from leaking like a sieve. We were generally grinding out results at that time because we weren't very effective in attack.

 

We had no striker, but the football we played was ace for a few games. Remember Arsenal at home when they had Sanchez right wing and he spent the whole game chasing after Markovic?

 

The Mancs eventually put paid to it and Rodgers scrapped it soon after. 

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We won't run out of steam because there's no Europe. Next year I'd expect it to be a lot tougher.

 

As for Chelsea, they look good right now but let's see how they do when teams have had some time to study their 3 at the back. Remember when we looked great for a while playing that with Markovic wing back? After half a dozen games or so we got found out.

You might be right Dave, I hope you are but this Chelsea team is way better than the Liverpool of Markovic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm enjoying it now, but still taking it game by game. We've hit the arbitrary ten game threshold so I'm just about willing to admit that we're serious, but don't think I'll be all in on title talk until the new year.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We won't run out of steam because there's no Europe. Next year I'd expect it to be a lot tougher.

 

As for Chelsea, they look good right now but let's see how they do when teams have had some time to study their 3 at the back. Remember when we looked great for a while playing that with Markovic wing back? After half a dozen games or so we got found out.

I think it's more complicated than just comparing the formations. Of course other teams will find ways to play against Chelsea and their new tactical setup. But they have Conte in charge, we had Rodgers. Also they have far better players than we had at the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We won't run out of steam because there's no Europe. Next year I'd expect it to be a lot tougher.

 

As for Chelsea, they look good right now but let's see how they do when teams have had some time to study their 3 at the back. Remember when we looked great for a while playing that with Markovic wing back? After half a dozen games or so we got found out.

We started with 3 at the back in December when beaten 3-0 by the Mancs but weirdly played well. We went unbeaten in 13 league games with 10 wins (one draw in last 9) until the Mancs hammered us in March and derailed the Champions league push that season. Confidence went to shit and it ended with the shitfest at Stoke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been saying it for a few weeks now, we are the real deal, we've at least as much chance of winning it this season as city, arsenal or chelsea who i see right now as the main challengers.

 

I think our defending is improving each game especially as matip gets more games under his belt. This stuff about set pieces, corners blah, blah, blah. How many other teams have kept a clean sheet in the league when we've played? i think only chelsea kept a clean sheet at weekend and look who they played.

 

What does worry me is the international breaks. It disrupts our rhythmn. Yeah it applies to all team but we've got at least 3 important players travelling long distances for games ie Coutinho, Firmino and Mane. They are all going to be fucked for southampton.

 

But hope springs eternal.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I get what your saying about Emre Can looking slow at times, especially compared to the whizz kids around him, but i feel his sharpness and speed of turn is improving by the games. I think Klopp will favour him in against physical teams and he is an asset at defending set pieces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I stayed up and watched the Cubs win. Apparently the parade was the seventh biggest human gathering in history.

 

Great report Dave. I think we will do it, although Chelsea are looking very good right now with three at the back. It's good to be back, and no matter what happens, we'll be in the conversation. It's not a lucky streak or a hot streak or whatever. We are back under Klopp. And we are serious players.

 

Can't wait to see how the season unfolds.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant read, thought Firminio was motm, his movement was unreal.

 

Hopefully a few more people can see/be reminded of what they're missing by not being members after reading it. £2 a month ?? Not much is it,not when you consider what you're getting for it. Pretty sure if you have WiFi or mobile Internet and are reading this you can afford it.

  • Upvote 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can't believe what a steal Matip is proving to be, he just exudes cool at the back.

 

Previously we'd have been inviting pressure onto ourselves in games like this with our sloppy passing around the back four but that seems to have been eradicated now for the most part (in games like this where we have the lion share of the ball anyway)

 

After the first 10 i was thinking Can would be getting hooked at half time if not earlier but fair do's to him for turning it around. The great thing is he's really going to have to improve to keep his place though, even with scoring twice in two - Wignildum was brilliant when he came on, all over the shop.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a good point about Firmino's headers. There are two things I think we look smarter at this season: Firstly, headers. Players who aren't the obvious candidates to be strong in the air are blocking space better and making sure opponents can't get clean contact.

 

Secondly, dealing with players getting tight. It used to be a way to stop us playing, but it really looks like there's been a concerted effort to school the players in how to counter this by holding their position when they've got their backs to goal, sometimes feinting to take a touch, and letting the ball roll across their bodies goalwards. It's interesting to see it happen once or twice and then the markers start dropping off slightly.

 

We've got a bit of nous. Love me some nous.

  • Upvote 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's more complicated than just comparing the formations. Of course other teams will find ways to play against Chelsea and their new tactical setup. But they have Conte in charge, we had Rodgers. Also they have far better players than we had at the time.

 

Not making a direct comparison, I agree with you in terms of Conte and player quality, the point was more that they look great now but let's see how it goes when teams have had time to figure them out. I'm not saying they'll collapse, just that they won't be looking as impressive as they have in recent weeks.

 

I get what your saying about Emre Can looking slow at times, especially compared to the whizz kids around him, but i feel his sharpness and speed of turn is improving by the games. I think Klopp will favour him in against physical teams and he is an asset at defending set pieces.

 

I think he will too. We're a very small side, having Can in there is important for certain games. I just think Wijnaldum is a better fit for the attacking side of the game.

 

I thought the same thing about the Cubs too. As to who to drop for Suarez, it's obvious - Karius.

 

I never even considered that, but yeah it's pretty obvious really when you think about it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant read, thought Firminio was motm, his movement was unreal.

 

Hopefully a few more people can see/be reminded of what they're missing by not being members after reading it. £2 a month ?? Not much is it,not when you consider what you're getting for it. Pretty sure if you have WiFi or mobile Internet and are reading this you can afford it.

 

Yep, fantastic read as always and reminded me why I needed to be gold again.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×