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Swansea 1 Liverpool 0 (Jan 22 2018)

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There was so much wrong with this performance it’s difficult to even know where to start. With the notable exception of Joel Matip (and the keeper who had virtually nothing to do) it was just varying degrees of shite. Some, such as Emre Can, were only a little bit shite, while others, like Wijnaldum, Salah and Mane, stunk the place out. 
 
Usually I’d have been half expecting something like this, because losing to the worst teams in the league has been a speciality of ours over the last decade. Doing it a week after beating the best team in the league just makes it all the more typical. It shouldn’t have been a shock but it was. We were on an 18 game unbeaten run and I thought we’d put this kind of performance behind us. Sadly not. 
 
I think part of the problem was that the game seemed too easy in the opening stages and that threw some of the players off their game and bad habits crept in and they lost focus. Swansea just fucking turtled up on us and seemed too scared to even come out of their own half. That meant we had virtually all of the possession and it felt like only a matter of time before we made it count. We had a few half chances and it was all going fine, but then we just seemed to lose our sense of purpose after about 25 minutes and the game began to drift. 
 
Swansea had one little spell of about five minutes where they were able to spend a bit of time in our half, and in that period they scored with the only chance they had. It’s easy to over analyse the goal and point fingers, but it was just one of those things. They got the bounce of the ball and we didn't. 
 
Van Dijk was right to try and head the ball away, and the other players we had in the vicinity couldn’t exactly just move out of the way, but that caused big Virgil a problem getting a clean head on it. That was a little unfortunate, but more unfortunate was that his header hit one Swansea player and then fell perfectly at the feet of another, who was able to find the bottom corner. 
 
Maybe there were things we could have done slightly differently but sometimes a goal is just a goal and it’s not really anybody’s fault. That’s how I feel about this one, and rather than focus on that we should be more concerned at how toothless we were at the other end. 
 
Conceding like that was annoying, not least when the goalscorer sounds more like a fucking East End chimney sweep from the 1800s than a professional footballer, but there was so much time for us to get back into it so there was no need to be too concerned at that stage. Worryingly though, the players showed a total lack of composure in attacking situations in the second half.

 

This is just a teaser, click here to view the full report

 

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Got to disagree about Matip the guy is hopless with the ball at his feet except when he is defending. He was as bad as any of the players for aimlessly launching the ball into the Swansea half and sometimes beyond. Yeah he went on a couple of foraging runs but just clogged up the attacking midfield space. Cannot fathom why Jurgen took Chamberlain off Gini should have come off in my opinion but there again, just about anyone else could have been hooked too. After 20 minutes I said to my lad if we conceeded against this lot we were going to be in trouble and so it turned out. The way Swansea were sitting 15 yards deep in their own half was ridiculous but they are entitled to do that I suppose. The performance was utter pants but I think a lot of objectivity is being lost. First defeat in 18 which stretches back to October. We have beaten teams who have sat deep. But you are not going to get a lot of energy and pressing out of Can and Gini. Saw a youtube vid from one fan site who said that was not a game for Can. Really if he cannot perform with all that space and time the sooner he goes to Juventus the better. I would only say van Dijk (despite that header) and Robertson come out of the game with credit. Oh and Lallana should be shot for missing the goal off Bobby's rebound.

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I think instead of talking about changing the personnel once the game started to drift after that opening 20 minutes, Klopp really ought to have changed the team's shape. Doing so would have at least driven home his point about players holding their position for longer.

 

Based on the starting XI, I would have changed it to a 3-4-3, with Robertson and AOC either side of Can and Wijnaldum. AOC is comfortable in that wide role, and it means we wouldn't have needed to rely on Gomez providing width because he is part of a back 3 instead. One of the other 2 members of that back 3 (Van Dijk and Matip seemed to take it in turns to step out with the ball) would have had licence to bring the ball out and help us overload the midfield. We would not have been short of pace, height and strength at the back should Swansea look to counter.

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Agree with that, especially Gomez. I know he has the potential to be brilliant, but as of now there’s hardly a match goes by that he doesn’t have a complete brain-fart meltdown. He did it again last night, diving in for a ball he hadn’t a prayer of intercepting. Ok, unlike City, Arsenal, West Ham etc, it didn’t lead directly to a goal, but there’s no doubt he needs taken out for a few and let Trent have a run. Oh and remember our first choice right back? You know, the guy from the Head and Shoulders ad campaign? WTF happened to him, was he hit by a bus when no one was looking??

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I blame the sunshine break,I’m sure we got beat by a shit team last season straight after a break to Tenerife.

Its just so fuck’n frustrating to lose a really good eighteen game unbeaten run with such a n abject performance,regardless of the opposition

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I thought Robertson was the only player that put a shift in.

 

Matips shooting was dreadful. Yes, he's a centre back, but one chance in particular when he managed to get through was woeful. Professional footballers should be able to hit the target from there, regardless of position     

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Dave, I agree with you about substitutions being a pretty big flaw of Klopp's.

 

I think it stems from this (stubborn?) belief that the players he has picked for a match and put his faith in will do the business, his business... even when they are plainly not and there is no evidence of that changing.  I can't help but sometimes think that he sees making a half-time substitution (when one is clearly needed, like at Swansea) as somehow constituting swallowing his pride, or publicly admitting that he's got something wrong. Dunno. 

 

I find it very frustrating.  One thing - surely the only thing actually - that I like about Mourinho as a manager is that he's not, or wasn't when he was at his peak, afraid to hook someone at half-time if he didn't like what he'd seen up til then. Having said that, his benches were probably more attractive than ours.

 

But, for me, Lallana was a dugout beacon and lay down misere for a half-time change last Monday.

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Good report, cheers Dave. We had all hoped this sort of thing was behind us, but evidently not. The key now is to knuckle down and go on another run. If we are mentally fragile this could eat away and cause a real stumble. We're still top four and still in the FA Cup and Champions League. Loads to play for. Come on you reds!

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The more I think about it the more mystified I am that Gomez was not replaced when we were chasing the game.

 

Trent has three goals this season and can whip a good ball in, Milner would have been a good option and Ox could have ran riot with the space they were allowing out wide.

 

Listen to Barnesy; there's only one way to beat them, get round the back.

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Strange subs. I thought AOC was looking the best of our midfielders whereas Gini was non -existent. And Gomez was hardly needed as a defender.

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I think it might be a fitness thing with the Ox?  Given his past injury record and that he's featured prominently recently, the advice from the fitness geeks may have been to withdraw him on or around the 70 minute mark come what may. 

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I think it might be a fitness thing with the Ox? Given his past injury record and that he's featured prominently recently, the advice from the fitness geeks may have been to withdraw him on or around the 70 minute mark come what may.

If we have a 24 year old professional athlete who trains every day, eats the best food available etc and he can't manage a 90 minute football game after last playing one 8 days before then he is in the wrong job and we shouldn't have bought him.

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If we have a 24 year old professional athlete who trains every day, eats the best food available etc and he can't manage a 90 minute football game after last playing one 8 days before then he is in the wrong job and we shouldn't have bought him.

 

Ok mate.

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You think it isn't a problem if your suggestion turned out to be true?

 

Not really, no.  It's a squad game nowadays and we don't have all the information available from behind the scenes.

 

It would explain why our substitutions often seem predetermined, regardless of the context of the game.  Perhaps they have data available which shows that it's more important to prevent injuries and keep the squad healthy, than make substitutions dependent upon the situation of the game.

 

It's merely a hypothesis, it doesn't mean we shouldn't have bought him.

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Strange subs. I thought AOC was looking the best of our midfielders whereas Gini was non -existent. And Gomez was hardly needed as a defender.

 

Any one of the useless midfield cunts could have been taken off.

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Not really, no. It's a squad game nowadays and we don't have all the information available from behind the scenes.

 

It would explain why our substitutions often seem predetermined, regardless of the context of the game. Perhaps they have data available which shows that it's more important to prevent injuries and keep the squad healthy, than make substitutions dependent upon the situation of the game.

 

It's merely a hypothesis, it doesn't mean we shouldn't have bought him.

I just don't buy this data lark, pal.

 

As I said he is a 24 year old pro athlete and in my opinion should be able to play a 90 minute footy game after last playing one 8 days before without any problems at all.

 

If stats are overriding tactics/what game needs then IMHO it is another one for the shitness of modern footy....

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I just don't buy this data lark, pal.

 

As I said he is a 24 year old pro athlete and in my opinion should be able to play a 90 minute footy game after last playing one 8 days before without any problems at all.

 

If stats are overriding tactics/what game needs then IMHO it is another one for the shitness of modern footy....

 

All I'm saying is that your opinion may not necessarily chime with the advice of Klopp's sports science team.

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