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Liverpool 2 Aston Villa 0 (Jul 5 2020)

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Dave Usher

 

It turned out ok in the end but for a while this was turgid, pedestrian, uninspired shite. Understandable to a degree and we might see a fair bit more of this before the season is out, but in the end they found a way to get it done and it’s three points closer to a potential points record.

 

It’s easy to over-analyse these behind closed doors games and put any below par performances down to the lack of fans, or blame it on the fact we’ve already won the title and our intensity has understandably dropped. There’s almost certainly an element of that, but how do we really know? 

 

Let’s not forget what happened last time we played Villa. It wasn’t exactly vintage was it? We needed two goals at the death to win it. At least this time we didn’t leave it that late. We probably played slightly better at Villa Park than here but until the triple substitution around the hour mark this was poor.

 

The thing is, we’ve had a number of games like this one this season and most of them took place in front of full houses (not many at Anfield though to be fair) so maybe we can’t just put it down to ‘lockdown footy’. It sure feels like it is though, doesn’t it? 

 

The first half was largely a non-event. To be completely honest I was bored stiff watching it. Have we had a half that bad at Anfield this season? I’m struggling to remember one. We’ve had loads away from home, I know that, so this performance wasn’t actually THAT unusual.

 

Villa were resolute and did their jobs well but it was too easy for them. I can only think of one shot we had in the first half, and that was a tame volley from Mo that didn’t trouble Reina at all. We had a couple of penalty shouts too, both when Salah went down after being grabbed. The first one was never a pen, it was more of a coming together than anything else. 

 

I thought the second one was a pen though. The defender reaches out and grabs Mo’s shoulder, pulling him back. He’s got no need to be putting his hands on him there. It would have been soft, but I’ve seen them given for less. I was more upset with our lack of creativity than any refereeing decision though. We offered virtually nothing.

 

You could even argue that Villa posed more of a threat. Not much more, but it was more than us. I can only remember them having one first half chance when Alisson made an easy save to deny Luiz, but if they had a bit more quality up front there were some counter attacking opportunities to be had. 

 

They just weren’t good enough to make anything of them. Big difference to facing a fired up De Bruyne and Sterling, that’s for sure.

 

Klopp had freshened things up a little by resting Firmino, Henderson and Wijnaldum. That made for a more attacking looking midfield which in theory should have been ideal against a deep defending side like Villa. Having Origi up front should have helped too, giving us that penalty box presence and aerial threat.

 

It wasn’t ideal though. In fact, it was only when two of those players were replaced that we actually started to look like ourselves.

 

 

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So, if Villa manage to get out of this mess then good for them, I won’t begrudge them it at all.


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Paulie Malignaggi fought Miguel Cotto in the Garden, on the Puerto Rican independence weekend. Paulie was undefeated at the time, but Cotto fractured his orbital bone in a violent decision victory.

 

Paulie is now retired and a really good analyst for Showtime, and Sky, occasionally. When he was asked to describe his experience against Cotto, he said "it was like fighting the devil in hell."

 

When I see our obscene home record, I wonder if that's how away teams feel.

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Any chance we might ever see Nico tried at right-back with Trent taking Mo's role, purely as an experiment in games where members of the front 3 are being rested?

 

I can't see he'd be anymore shoe-horned in there than Ox/Minamino/Lallana, or Origi is on the left. I know Mo and Sadio cut inside and make space for the full-backs, so it's a different kettle of fish entirely to Trent's current role. But, when we've watched square pegs ineffectually forced into round holes this many times whenever the front 3 aren't playing, I just wonder how much worse a lad with the 2nd most assists in the league from another wide position could really look there. Might be a drop down from Mo playing his own specialist role, but we get that anyway and surely at least our shape would be a degree or two closer to it's usual self.

 

You can't imagine defenders exactly relishing facing a colt sprinting at them with Trent's distribution. When it would provide the opportunity of minutes to a class young lad breaking through at right-back to boot, can it be much worse than watching a central midfielder play out there and blunt the whole team's attacking threat yet again?

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15 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

Any chance we might ever see Nico tried at right-back with Trent taking Mo's role, purely as an experiment in games where members of the front 3 are being rested?

 

I can't see he'd be anymore shoe-horned in there than Ox/Minamino/Lallana, or Origi is on the left. I know Mo and Sadio cut inside and make space for the full-backs, so it's a different kettle of fish entirely to Trent's current role. But, when we've watched square pegs ineffectually forced into round holes this many times whenever the front 3 aren't playing, I just wonder how much worse a lad with the 2nd most assists in the league from another wide position could really look there. Might be a drop down from Mo playing his own specialist role, but we get that anyway and surely at least our shape would be a degree or two closer to it's usual self.

 

You can't imagine defenders exactly relishing facing a colt sprinting at them with Trent's distribution. When it would provide the opportunity of minutes to a class young lad breaking through at right-back to boot, can it be much worse than watching a central midfielder play out there and blunt the whole team's attacking threat yet again?

I've thought this too but the other way as I think Neco has the potential to be better going forward than Trent to be honest

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Not sure Brentford supporters would agree with you about Dean Smith Dave. In fact, given my lad's connections with the Bees, it'd be great (and somewhat poetic) if they passed each other in opposite directions at the end of the season.

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Watford at home was the worst. We really could have been 3 nil down by 60 minutes in that one.

 

To be fair to Villa, they looked as though they'd be happy with a point and try and sneak one if we weren't concentrating.

 

I said after the derby that if we won the title with another 5 draws, Id have been happy. So Im not going to bellyache about some wins now where we havent been at our electrifying best.

 

I thought we had a couple of good penno shouts.Sure, Mo makes them look a bit theatrical but when your shouts are ignored by biased refs, I guess the subconscious mind kicks in to try and make the foul more obvious.

 

In the last few weeks, Ive seen some real soft penalties given and I canonly assume mike riley has sent a note to the refs saying as Liverpool have won the title by a canter, dont bother giving them a pen.

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Every season a player stands out it was Origi last season and was the hero but he's not doing anything of note now at all. Wtf is that hair colour about? I doubt he will be here for much longer. He's just not good enough. 

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This team thrives on pressure and momentum the bigger the pressure the better they are (and driven by the fans). We all know that any break, time off, cup weekends.... the next game they are off colour.

They are driven, but when there is nothing to strive for, no pressure and a lay off we get this. I am expecting we are in ticking over mode then bang off we go for the new season. 

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First half was abysmal. Origi simply isn't good enough, we all know it. Financial restraints or not we can't rely on the front three being fit all next season and we need someone in their league at least. I wish him well but please Jurgen, much as you like to improve players, you have gone as far as you can with Div.

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Great call on the pretend guard of honour, as you said really shows shitteh up for the no mark club they are, rat faced Bernardo especially.

Got to agree also on Naby, just not getting what he brings.

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21 hours ago, Rushies tash said:

Not sure Brentford supporters would agree with you about Dean Smith Dave. In fact, given my lad's connections with the Bees, it'd be great (and somewhat poetic) if they passed each other in opposite directions at the end of the season.

Great ground Griffin Park.

 

Nestled away in a residential zone, watched them just before it all went Covid (2-2 draw with Blackburn). 
 

Only disappointment was couldn’t get a pint at the Tap on the Line by Kew Gardens station.

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4 hours ago, Nunavut Patrick said:

Great ground Griffin Park.

 

Nestled away in a residential zone, watched them just before it all went Covid (2-2 draw with Blackburn). 
 

Only disappointment was couldn’t get a pint at the Tap on the Line by Kew Gardens station.

Well you're spoiled for choice at the ground mate. It famously has a pub at each corner. In fact you dont have to go far in Brentford itself to find an alehouse. Handy place to go out for a pint.

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On 06/07/2020 at 17:34, Dr Nowt said:

Any chance we might ever see Nico tried at right-back with Trent taking Mo's role, purely as an experiment in games where members of the front 3 are being rested?

 

I can't see he'd be anymore shoe-horned in there than Ox/Minamino/Lallana, or Origi is on the left. I know Mo and Sadio cut inside and make space for the full-backs, so it's a different kettle of fish entirely to Trent's current role. But, when we've watched square pegs ineffectually forced into round holes this many times whenever the front 3 aren't playing, I just wonder how much worse a lad with the 2nd most assists in the league from another wide position could really look there. Might be a drop down from Mo playing his own specialist role, but we get that anyway and surely at least our shape would be a degree or two closer to it's usual self.

 

You can't imagine defenders exactly relishing facing a colt sprinting at them with Trent's distribution. When it would provide the opportunity of minutes to a class young lad breaking through at right-back to boot, can it be much worse than watching a central midfielder play out there and blunt the whole team's attacking threat yet again?

If we have one weakness it would be Trent’s defending, particularly positionally, but the way we play maximises his distribution ability. I’d play him right mid and give Nico a go at right wing back.

 

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36 minutes ago, Reckoner said:

If we have one weakness it would be Trent’s defending, particularly positionally, but the way we play maximises his distribution ability. I’d play him right mid and give Nico a go at right wing back.

 

Can certainly see that, mate. I think the issue is one of where we are blessed with depth and where we aren’t, though. In the wide forward positions we aren’t just short of the same quality in reserve, we lose our entire attacking shape and the overall cutting edge of the team.
 

I’d be up for seeing Trent tried out in right midfield once or twice when Mo and Sadio are available. When they’re not, I’d keep the midfield as is and try to mitigate the huge drop-off we experience recycling the same tired old options in their place. Especially for Mo.

 

I actually think Minamino could come to be seen as an incredibly astute signing at £6M, if he’s just used as Bobby’s back-up and apprentice. That’s what he is in reality. Keep shoehorning him into the right forward position when Mo’s out and we risk squandering him. It’s ironically what Brendan did with Bobby when he got here.

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8 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

Can certainly see that, mate. I think the issue is one of where we are blessed with depth and where we aren’t, though. In the wide forward positions we aren’t just short of the same quality in reserve, we lose our entire attacking shape and the overall cutting edge of the team.
 

I’d be up for seeing Trent tried out in right midfield once or twice when Mo and Sadio are available. When they’re not, I’d keep the midfield as is and try to mitigate the huge drop-off we experience recycling the same tired old options in their place. Especially for Mo.

 

I actually think Minamino could come to be seen as an incredibly astute signing at £6M, if he’s just used as Bobby’s back-up and apprentice. That’s what he is in reality. Keep shoehorning him into the right forward position when Mo’s out and we risk squandering him. It’s ironically what Brendan did with Bobby when he got here.


I was listening to an interview with his old manager talking about Miniamino and his best position. 
 

He said wide forward would be his least effective position in our setup, his best position would be Bobby’s and he could do a job in midfield at home against shite. 

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5 hours ago, Dr Nowt said:

Can certainly see that, mate. I think the issue is one of where we are blessed with depth and where we aren’t, though. In the wide forward positions we aren’t just short of the same quality in reserve, we lose our entire attacking shape and the overall cutting edge of the team.
 

I’d be up for seeing Trent tried out in right midfield once or twice when Mo and Sadio are available. When they’re not, I’d keep the midfield as is and try to mitigate the huge drop-off we experience recycling the same tired old options in their place. Especially for Mo.

 

I actually think Minamino could come to be seen as an incredibly astute signing at £6M, if he’s just used as Bobby’s back-up and apprentice. That’s what he is in reality. Keep shoehorning him into the right forward position when Mo’s out and we risk squandering him. It’s ironically what Brendan did with Bobby when he got here.

Wait until you see who’s replacing Mane tonight. Ox cannot play front 3, I just don’t get it.

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