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Thiago Alcantara

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8 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

Not sure one of them really suits us, we normally bypass the midfield when the ball is at the back and the midfield gets involved backing up the forwards from there. 

Well, that's something the team can try to evolve. You're not bypassing the midfield when Thiago is in it. In any case, if the plan was for him to replace Wijnaldum, putting the injury issues aside, it makes sense because Wijnaldum's essential job in possession of the ball is to be press resistant and play high percentage passes. Thiago can very much do that if that's what you need and you can play Fabinho and Henderson next to him when we get centre backs again.

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4 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

Well, that's something the team can try to evolve. You're not bypassing the midfield when Thiago is in it. In any case, if the plan was for him to replace Wijnaldum, putting the injury issues aside, it makes sense because Wijnaldum's essential job in possession of the ball is to be press resistant and play high percentage passes. Thiago can very much do that if that's what you need and you can play Fabinho and Henderson next to him when we get centre backs again.

I'm not sure evolution is what we need right now. We need to get back to what we're good at and get the forwards into goalscoring positions again. I feel the last few games have been all about a change of style.

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3 hours ago, 3 Stacks said:

There were a couple times in the game when he was 1v1 on the edge of the box with United defending in a low block and he just skipped past the defender easily. You can count the midfielders who can do that consistently on one hand. He's also been very present winning headers, second balls and winning the ball cleanly sliding in.

 

Again, other than being a little sharper with the passing at times, which will come because he has the clear ability, what else do people want? Being mediocre as a collective when he's played doesn't make him mediocre by proxy.


This. Every word of it. If I should add something it would be his ability to hit progressive passes first time, through the lines, in many cases where the obvious choice seems to be a short sideways pass.

 

How people fail to see this is beyond me.

 

And suggesting we drop him and play Gini and Henderson in midfield because we lack creativity and goals?
 

I have a lot of respect for a difference in opinion, but this one really baffles me.

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 kuinka paljo voi ottaa päähä? ( how much can I take that kind of shit)  1. injuries 2. var 3. playing style 4. bad luck 5. manager. ps. best regards from my finnish footyplayers sami hyypiä, jari litmanen and so on. 

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26 minutes ago, Joey8FrogsLegs said:


This. Every word of it. If I should add something it would be his ability to hit progressive passes first time, through the lines, in many cases where the obvious choice seems to be a short sideways pass.

 

How people fail to see this is beyond me.

 

And suggesting we drop him and play Gini and Henderson in midfield because we lack creativity and goals?
 

I have a lot of respect for a difference in opinion, but this one really baffles me.

I often agree with a lot of what you post. But I'm not seeing any of this. I see lots of passes where you don't expect them, but neither do his team mates. A few out to the wings like we'd see from Henderson. I'm not seeing any killer balls at all. I'm not saying he hasn't got them, he's just not showing them. As I've posted elsewhere, our best creative player has been our press for years. This isn't my point of view, it's klopps. Our press has completely gone. 

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Just now, Barrington Womble said:

I often agree with a lot of what you post. But I'm not seeing any of this. I see lots of passes where you don't expect them, but neither do his team mates. A few out to the wings like we'd see from Henderson. I'm not seeing any killer balls at all. I'm not saying he hasn't got them, he's just not showing them. As I've posted elsewhere, our best creative player has been our press for years. This isn't my point of view, it's klopps. Our press has completely gone. 


Fair enough, we have a somewhat different view on Thiago. And I do see your point that it may take time for him to get to know his team mates and the way we set up. And probably also for them to understand him, he seems to be a move or two ahead at times.

 

And I definately agree about the pressing. It’s key to both attack and defence for us, and it’s not working properly at the moment. Even if I’d say the first half yesterday was step in the right direction.

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7 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

But I'm not seeing any of this. 

This last game against Utd - he had 5 dribblies (that would lead the league) and his key passes would be in the top 10 of anyone.

 

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He's a world class footballer and i am sure he will add loads for us (fitness permitting, his record prior to coming here isn't the best)

 

Might have to wait until next season when hopefully our problems at centre half and how they currently impact midfield will be gone to see the real best of him though.

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24 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

I often agree with a lot of what you post. But I'm not seeing any of this. I see lots of passes where you don't expect them, but neither do his team mates. A few out to the wings like we'd see from Henderson. I'm not seeing any killer balls at all. I'm not saying he hasn't got them, he's just not showing them. As I've posted elsewhere, our best creative player has been our press for years. This isn't my point of view, it's klopps. Our press has completely gone. 

The press being non-existent is a product of having no centre backs and having to play deeper and more conservatively. Thiago played for a pressing machine at Bayern Munich last season, and at Pep's Barcelona in particular. He's not at all alien to a pressing style. 

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How many full games has Thiago played for us, 2 or 3? Or is it 4?

 

Sure he's going to look a bit slower than his team mates. Im not sure he's the quickest over 50 metres even when he is match fit either. So long as he's a lot quicker in his thought and speed of passing, that'll do for me. He can stroll around the park all day and not break sweat for all I care if he's making space, passes and opening for teammates.

 

I hope he's unpredictable as well. His new teammates must get used to him and what he's expecting of them. If he's too predictable, the oppos will be quick to suss him out and we dont want that.

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26 minutes ago, Joey8FrogsLegs said:


Fair enough, we have a somewhat different view on Thiago. And I do see your point that it may take time for him to get to know his team mates and the way we set up. And probably also for them to understand him, he seems to be a move or two ahead at times.

 

And I definately agree about the pressing. It’s key to both attack and defence for us, and it’s not working properly at the moment. Even if I’d say the first half yesterday was step in the right direction.

I actually thought what helped (and I posted on another thread, not sure which one though or maybe this one!), that I'd hoped in that gap from villa till man united we'd have worked a lot on thiago understanding the press and understanding the runs of the forwards and fullbacks. But my impression of the 1st half the work on the training ground was actually to get us towards the high line we've not really been playing since VVD's injury. I thought it worked well in the 1st half, a lot of their attacks were offside and the defence was higher up the pitch compressing the play a little more.

 

But I think actually a big part of our press is we play a bit of percentage football. We often go from defence to attack and completely bypass midfield, but the midfield follows in and often finds there's a 2nd ball to be won, where they play in the forwards or the fullbacks. I think that is not happening for 2 reasons. Firstly everyone seems to think everything has to go through thiago, a little like if you play with a Carrol or a crouch up front you always seem to hit aimless long balls, now everyone is getting it and instead of releasing it, looking to thiago. So I don't think we are progressing the ball forward as quickly in the 1st instance. Then secondly the passes from thiago are arriving at a point where defenders seem more in position, but because there's no midfield follow up, were not winning those 2nd balls as much. It's like we've become a different team and as yet we don't seem to be exploiting any of the positives thiago brings - our goal return with him on the pitch tells you that. 

24 minutes ago, TheHowieLama said:

This last game against Utd - he had 5 dribblies (that would lead the league) and his key passes would be in the top 10 of anyone.

 

Yeah, but are we a team that thrives off midfielders dribbling or are we a team that relies on the ball being quickly released into the forwards. We've had keita here for ages trying to do the dribble things and it's mostly not worked for us..

8 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

The press being non-existent is a product of having no centre backs and having to play deeper and more conservatively. Thiago played for a pressing machine at Bayern Munich last season, and at Pep's Barcelona in particular. He's not at all alien to a pressing style. 

I agree, I've posted many times out press being fucked is because of the centre backs being further back and sacrificing our midfield to do it. But I don't think we were deeper on Sunday, in fact it's the highest we've held the line since vvd was injured - certainly in the first half anyway. We seemed to get nervous 2nd half (or maybe tired) and just naturally drop deeper. But the solution is have fucking centre backs! 

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He is a very fine technical player, excellent skills, attractive to watch.

 

Our game does seem more ponderous and sideways rather than thrusting at the moment.

 

Is there a correlation with him?  Dunno.  Maybe.

 

One might look at our previous couple of seasons' superstars too, though.

 

Robbo and TAA, for example... those two have played pretty non-stop for two and a half seasons now.  They look right shagged to me, and rightly so.

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, skaro said:

Robbo and TAA, for example... those two have played pretty non-stop for two and a half seasons now.  They look right shagged to me, and rightly so.

 

They are having to defend deeper now as well. Robertson has still been pretty good this season, TAA is really struggling though. With Trent he has been on a huge upward trajectory since his debut, he was always like to hit a bit of a downward turn at some point. 

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8 minutes ago, MegadriveMan said:

 

The issue isn't so much the midfield but its the lack of pace we have at the back. If we played Matip with Phillips/Williams we would still have to defend far deeper as we don't the recovery pace that VVD and Gomez have.

 

Thiago is not the main issue. If we had a midfield of Henderson, Fabinho and Gini in our last few games we wouldn't have been any better creativity wise because that's not where our creativity normally comes from. 

 

Thiago is clearly not at full match fitness yet, but his dribbling and passing are better than any of our other midfielders. He was signed as a first choice player because he's one of the best in the world at what he does.  The injury and Covid and the lack of training sessions due to the amount of matches played haven't helped at all, but I can't see him not starting most of the time when he is fit. I think its unlikely that we will see Fabinho back in midfield again this season.  

I thought I answered this yesterday and just seen it when I sat down in front of my computer this morning.

 

I don't disagree we won't see Fabinho back in midfield, but that doesn't make it a good thing or something that couldn't be solved. 

 

I keep saying it, our most creative player is our press. Its gone completely. Gini looks fucked (he's played 26 times already) and while Thiago isn't the major problem, he's a part of the problem, because the midfield is playing crap and has zero energy and intensity. Jones had a decent start earlier in the season, but he looks a little sapped too and while obviously he doesn't have lots of minutes, he's new to this level and I would bet he's mentally fucked. 

 

Bottom line for me is the injuries to Gomez and Matip were entirely predictable. Our entire system depended on the fitness of VVD. We took a gamble and it failed. But that's OK, we can fix this issue while the window is open because playing our number 1 & 2 midfielders from us "winning everything" is fucking up the midfield every bit as much as we're weakening the defence. Let me be absolutely clear, my solution to not playing Fabinho and Henderson in midfield is not to look to Williams and Phillips. We need those lads in the midfield, we need to allow Thiago time to adapt and get to top match fitness, we need to be able to rest Gini and not rely on Jones. The solution is new players at centre back and get our lads into midfield. We have had months to plan for this - I absolutely can't imagine a situation for a club with the scouting network we have we can't find a player to bring in and a loan to supplement to see us through this season. 

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11 hours ago, skaro said:

 

He is a very fine technical player, excellent skills, attractive to watch.

 

Our game does seem more ponderous and sideways rather than thrusting at the moment.

 

Is there a correlation with him?  Dunno.  Maybe.

 

One might look at our previous couple of seasons' superstars too, though.

 

Robbo and TAA, for example... those two have played pretty non-stop for two and a half seasons now.  They look right shagged to me, and rightly so.

 

 

 

 

Robbo is certainly not quite where he was, but not quite in the same way as Trent. Robbo just seems to have less energy, but I think he's not playing badly, he's just not all over the place quite like he was. Since his return from injury, I think Trent has been pretty poor. I thought his performance on Sunday was interesting. I saw lots of stuff in his game (his passing, the positions he was taking, his touch) to suggest his form is coming back. But defensively (especially with anything through the air), he still looks a bit all over the place. I am wondering if that is just a by product of the centre backs - he's being expected to deal with things he wouldn't normally and on set pieces we're a smaller team (effectively Thiago and Shaq for example on Sunday replacing 2 centre backs), so there is more for him to do on set pieces too. 

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14 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

We have had months to plan for this - I absolutely can't imagine a situation for a club with the scouting network we have we can't find a player to bring in and a loan to supplement to see us through this season. 

 

And so, just as it's reasonable to conjecture that those players "aren't available" or are "too expensive", it's also just as reasonable to conjecture that we simply decided we weren't going to buy in January.

 

Covid, tough times etc etc... oh, and yachts.

 

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9 minutes ago, skaro said:

 

And so, just as it's reasonable to conjecture that those players "aren't available" or are "too expensive", it's also just as reasonable to conjecture that we simply decided we weren't going to buy in January.

 

Covid, tough times etc etc... oh, and yachts.

 

I've absolutely no doubt we don't want to solve the problem because we don't want to spend. Earlier in the window the echo were alluding to the idea that we needed to sell Origi to find anything coming in. Well were haven't and don't look like we're going to. They keep telling us how fucking clever they are, how they know where all the deals and best players are, so the only conclusion I can glean is we are continuing our sell to buy strategy and fuck the outcome on the pitch. 

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12 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

I've absolutely no doubt we don't want to solve the problem because we don't want to spend. Earlier in the window the echo were alluding to the idea that we needed to sell Origi to find anything coming in. Well were haven't and don't look like we're going to. They keep telling us how fucking clever they are, how they know where all the deals and best players are, so the only conclusion I can glean is we are continuing our sell to buy strategy and fuck the outcome on the pitch. 

 

Top 4 will do.

 

Unless Everton decide they're perhaps not going to throw games to fuck our title chances up, in which case it could be Thursday nights in Europe for us.

 

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7 hours ago, skaro said:

 

Top 4 will do.

 

Unless Everton decide they're perhaps not going to throw games to fuck our title chances up, in which case it could be Thursday nights in Europe for us.

 

That's a risky strategy this season though as it wouldn't shock me to see less than 3 point separating 2nd to 6th, maybe ever 1st to 6th. 

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On 18/01/2021 at 11:23, etho said:

Christ, is Thiago getting stick? 

Yep didn't take the dickheads long did it? I expect an article to appear soon by 'you know who' telling us what a cunt Klopp is for signing him.

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2 hours ago, Barrington Womble said:

That's a risky strategy this season though as it wouldn't shock me to see less than 3 point separating 2nd to 6th, maybe ever 1st to 6th. 

 

I know. 

I was being facetious, Baz.

I'm not interested in going from Champions to scrapping for top 4 in the space of 6 months.

 

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2 minutes ago, skaro said:

 

I know. 

I was being facetious, Baz.

I'm not interested in going from Champions to scrapping for top 4 in the space of 6 months.

 

I think we need to accept that at this point as it's a reality. Unless we can win 10 on the bounce (and take a look at the fixtures coming!), then the reality is as far as I'm concerned even if we're fighting for 1st, we're equally fighting for 4th. We've already dropped so much we're back in the pack. 

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