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West Ham 1 Liverpool (Feb 4 2019)

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Report by
Dave Usher

 

Just think, we’ve got three more months of this. I’m not sure I’ll cope. It’s hard watching these games at the moment. The stakes are massive but it’s not just that. The way we’re playing is making it really difficult to stay cool. We’re approaching the most important part of the season and our form seems to have vanished completely. 

 

So much for that warm weather training eh? Half the squad got ill or injured and the rest of them look like they’re running in treacle. Whatever happened to “the Red Arrows”? You know, the forward line that terrorised the whole of Europe last season?

 

That was the thought I had watching this as a memory randomly popped up in my head. It was one of our European games last season. Might have been the City game but I think it was before that. Could have been Moscow. Anyway, who it was is irrelevant. The thing that popped into my head was an image of four or five of our lads charging forward against back peddling defenders who were shitting in their shorts, and Steve McManaman making that “Red Arrows” comment.

 

Remember those days when we were just scaring the shit out of everyone with our speed and devastatingly incisive attacking play? What the fuck happened? Now it’s just ponderous, predictable, toothless. Opposing coaches have obviously had time to come up with ways to slow us down and frustrate us, but it seems like more than just that. 

 

That might seem like a knee jerk reaction to a couple of draws, and yeah there’s an element of that because I’m not gonna lie, I’m pretty fucking despondent today. Clearly we've been doing something right as we’ve got more points than we’ve ever had at this stage of a season and we’ve only been beaten once. What I’m saying is that something isn’t right and in truth it hasn’t been for large parts of the season. 

 

Mané even said something last week about how the attack hasn’t really played at it’s best this season. They had a slow start but then looked like they were finding form, but recently it’s all gone to shit again. And now the defence isn't able to compensate for it.

 

 

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

 

Please note that Match Reports are only available to website subscribers. Subscriptions cost just £2 a month (you need to register first) and can be purchased here. 

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Agree with every single word. 100%. Like I wrote it myself.

All it is, is lack of confidence & belief from fans to players.

 

Dave sir, suspect you are like me, can call a performance within 10 minutes of a game, why, because we have watched and learnt from decades of watching football. That's what I saw last night, despite scoring first, my first comment was we need another, and HOPING we would go for the jugular.

Jurgen, please can we have that Heavy Metal football we were promised, this Radio 3 shit is doing my head in. 

 

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Great report Dave, exactly how I thought the game was including my current mind set. I am not in the doom and gloom camp fully yet but I am almost there and just cannot start to think about the Old Trafford game. My heart just cannot stand it. Unless we start to play flamboyant attacking football I cannot see us getting lots of wins.

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I don't understand how we can be top of the league having the best season at this point in our history, but be playing so badly with players who look like they'd rather be elsewhere.

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Great report DU. 

 

My main gripe at the moment (other than Bobby's dreadful displays) is the lack of fight in the side. West Ham have nothing to play for, same as Leicester, yet they were first to every ball while we were passive and disinterested. This is the fucking title we are going for - why aren't the players battling for every ball, straining every sinew, running the extra yard? 

 

Have they hit the wall and can't give anymore than they are doing? Or are some of them freezing with the nerves? 

 

Surely it can't be the former because we have chopped and changed throughout the season and having gone out of 2 cups early, we have enjoyed more breaks than our rivals. But there just isn't the energy, the drive, the relentless pressure that we have become accustomed to under Klopp.

 

I would love to see the running statistics this year compared to last, we must be way, way down.

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17 minutes ago, beejay said:

Great report DU. 

 

My main gripe at the moment (other than Bobby's dreadful displays) is the lack of fight in the side. West Ham have nothing to play for, same as Leicester, yet they were first to every ball while we were passive and disinterested. This is the fucking title we are going for - why aren't the players battling for every ball, straining every sinew, running the extra yard? 

 

Have they hit the wall and can't give anymore than they are doing? Or are some of them freezing with the nerves? 

 

Surely it can't be the former because we have chopped and changed throughout the season and having gone out of 2 cups early, we have enjoyed more breaks than our rivals. But there just isn't the energy, the drive, the relentless pressure that we have become accustomed to under Klopp.

 

I would love to see the running statistics this year compared to last, we must be way, way down.

We are also top of the fair play table by some distance. The fuckers need to put in the extra effort to make it difficult for the opposition, put themselves about even if it means bit more yellow cards. At the moment when things are not going our way, we are just too soft and honest. 

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I've given up on them. We've gotten away with murder since the start of the season and I believe we are lucky to be where we are.

Ultimately I think we'll fall short for a number of reasons - squad depth, injuries, transfer dealings (Clyne?) and Klopp's team selections and subs. Honestly not being doom and gloom, but it has been fun while it lasted. Realistically we don't look like we have the tools to get over the line.

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Definitely true about the performances this year. We're doing so much better in terms of points than last season and yet there barely seems to be have been any games where we've completely blown teams away like last year. It briefly seemed to be clicking around December, but we seem to just be back to the start of the year now but without the clean sheets to bail us out. I just don't get why the players look so knackered. They always seemed to be a step or two too late to every challenge last night. I'm definitely starting to worry.

 

In terms of the fans being split - this week has reminded me a lot of the week under Rafa where we had back to back draws with, if memory serves me correctly, Fulham and West Ham in December, and Anfield was a mixture of agitation at the dropped points from some and others getting annoyed with them and chanting about being top of the league. If we could get over this long title drought then everyone would probably have a much greater sense of perspective in future challenges, but as it is we just seem to become a tenser and tenser fanbase with each year it continues. 

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The problem isn't the fight imo. Our main concern is (still) dealing with packed defences. We desperately need more of our players to commit their opposing players, and a bit more creativity/ruthlessness in the final third. We're wasting tons of good half-chances, while struggling to get shots in from distance. We're really missing Coutinho or even Ox in that respect. It's not like the players are losing 50/50s all over the pitch, but they are fully aware that if they lose the ball in the opposition half, the other team is just dying to counter on us, as we are pretty open at the back when doing so.

 

Would be funny if we started the next game by just staying inside our own 40-yards, to see if the opposition would have a go!

 

Another small issue is that it seems opposing players have carte blanche in terms of stopping our fast-breaks without consequence (which is what I'm sure Klopp was alluding to last night)

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I’m in the second camp because I never got carried away by being ahead of City, so I’m not throwing a wobbly now.

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1 hour ago, lebron said:

The problem isn't the fight imo. Our main concern is (still) dealing with packed defences. We desperately need more of our players to commit their opposing players, and a bit more creativity/ruthlessness in the final third. We're wasting tons of good half-chances, while struggling to get shots in from distance. We're really missing Coutinho or even Ox in that respect. It's not like the players are losing 50/50s all over the pitch, but they are fully aware that if they lose the ball in the opposition half, the other team is just dying to counter on us, as we are pretty open at the back when doing so.

 

Would be funny if we started the next game by just staying inside our own 40-yards, to see if the opposition would have a go!

 

Another small issue is that it seems opposing players have carte blanche in terms of stopping our fast-breaks without consequence (which is what I'm sure Klopp was alluding to last night)

This is spot on. Even against Brighton and Palace, they sat back and tried to do us on the counter. Leicester and West Ham could have beaten us this way. We need to have Gini back with Fabinio to stop this threat and need our full backs to get behind defences - we miss Trent. Would like to see Mane switched to the right and also get to the byline. This is how City score many of their goals. 

 

The funny thing is that Bournemouth and United will come onto us and so play into our hands - quite looking forward to watch Mo play in a bit of space again at Old Trafford.

 

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Agree with every single word. And how come when we have one of the best ball playing CBs in the world it’s Joel fucking Matip running down blind allays and passing the ball to the other team? There’s no part of that shit right!

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We need to get back to hunting in packs, the front three used to scare the shite out of the opposition defence by quickly pressing them and forcing them into mistakes. We just don’t seem to do this anymore and it’s been a massive loss in terms of chance creation and putting the other team under pressure when they have the ball.

 

Its all gone very static, with and without the ball.

 

 

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I agree about Allison on the goal he did the same thing with the Leicester goal he was just rooted to the spot it doesn't look good.  I'm really worried now we are in a title race it should be enjoyable but it's fucking horrible my nerves are shot already.

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I think by the time the final whistle goes at Old Trafford, we'll have a much much better idea as to whether the title is a distinct possibility or a pipedream.

 

And a great, depressing report, Dave.

 

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6 hours ago, ZonkoVille77 said:

I've given up on them. We've gotten away with murder since the start of the season and I believe we are lucky to be where we are.

Ultimately I think we'll fall short for a number of reasons - squad depth, injuries, transfer dealings (Clyne?) and Klopp's team selections and subs. Honestly not being doom and gloom, but it has been fun while it lasted. Realistically we don't look like we have the tools to get over the line.

Brilliant. We win on Saturday and the pressure is back on City v Chelsea. Worst case scenario will be level on points with a game in hand, and you've given up on them! Blaming Klopp for his team selections and subs when were breaking LFC records in the process! admittedly we don't look great at the moment but nerves were always gonna kick in and/or we were always gonna have a dodgy spell. When/how did you become so spoilt? 

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6 hours ago, RedHeadedRed said:

I agree about Allison on the goal he did the same thing with the Leicester goal he was just rooted to the spot it doesn't look good.  I'm really worried now we are in a title race it should be enjoyable but it's fucking horrible my nerves are shot already.

Mignolet with a beard.

Achterbergs coaching coming to the fore again.

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Feels about like December 2008 when we drew at Wigan. It’s weird. I want to be upbeat and at the match I fucking sang my heart out, but let’s face it there is criticism to be made. 

 

We sre are up against a disgrace of a dictator owned franchise and i’m Massively proud to support this team that’s sticking it up everyone. This team has a lot of balls. I din’t Believe in a jinx and i don’t  Believe that any of the current players are remotely affected by what happened in 2014. Let’s face it, most of them probably aren’t aware of it. 

 

All season we have benefitted from great leadership all over the pitch, from the keeper to Virgil to Milner to Robbo. All of a sudden that seems to have gone out of the window. That is the big worry. Every time we went forward against Leicester and West Ham at 1-1 we were caught between patience and being direct, and we kept taking the wrong option. 

 

I disagree with a lot of what Dave has written above, although there is massive cause for concern. Calm heads prevail and all that. What I do massively agree with is what Dave has said all season about what we have to do to real down negative teams and getting in behind. Our only wide options in the last 2 games have been the full backs. They get little support defensively and even less going forward. It almost seems like an accident if one of our midfielders or forwards overlaps. The game yesterday was crying out for the run to the byline and the cut back. We seemed to realise that at about 65 minutes but everything went to Jimmy M who was by then dead on his feet and couldn’t get on the end of anything.

 

Come what may at Woodison tomorrow, the crowd (of which I will not be a part) needs to treat Bournemouth like a semi in which we are 2 up from the other leg - a celebration. Weirdest thing about West Ham was an apprehensive away end, unlike the usual bunch of fucking nutters we have. The home crowd needs to just get behind the individuals, make them feel Ron Yeats tall,

 

Anyhow, i’ll fuck off back to the Anfield wrap.

 

Cunts.

 

 

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7 hours ago, liverpoolsno9 said:

Brilliant. We win on Saturday and the pressure is back on City v Chelsea. Worst case scenario will be level on points with a game in hand, and you've given up on them! Blaming Klopp for his team selections and subs when were breaking LFC records in the process! admittedly we don't look great at the moment but nerves were always gonna kick in and/or we were always gonna have a dodgy spell. When/how did you become so spoilt? 

 

In fairness you're right. I think I'm just so frustrated with the last 2 games (and my balls are black and blue from beating them with a spatula) that I've just lost the will to care. Knee jerk reaction but it is what it is. 

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