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Lack of pace was the main problem that showed up today. De Bruyne just ran off the back of Fabinho and Thiago far too easily, then has the quality to play killer balls through the line.

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2 minutes ago, Jose Jones said:

Lack of pace was the main problem that showed up today. De Bruyne just ran off the back of Fabinho and Thiago far too easily, then has the quality to play killer balls through the line.

I made the same point just before kick off on the game thread. They are all excellent players, but you cannot have a midfield of Fab, Hendo and Thiago against decent sides with a pacy midfield.

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De Bruyne is a fantastic player as well as a being a big strapping lad.

 

We all know Fab has no pace whatsoever but I think a number of our player are running on fumes a lot. Jota was blowing hard after 60 minutes.

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17 minutes ago, Jose Jones said:

Lack of pace was the main problem that showed up today. De Bruyne just ran off the back of Fabinho and Thiago far too easily, then has the quality to play killer balls through the line.

People are generally obsessed with pace in football but I'm not sure pace in midfield is all that important. Chamberlain would be the answer if it was.

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2 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

People are generally obsessed with pace in football but I'm not sure pace in midfield is all that important. Chamberlain would be the answer if it was.

DeBruyne literally walked the first goal.

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Midfield is clearly an issue for us otherwise klopp wouldn't have spent so much money trying to make it a non issue. 

 

We've bought chamberlain, wijnaldum, fabinho, keita, thiago and I'm sure there's someone else I'm missing. 

 

It's absurd to think the centre isn't an issue for us. Issue may not be the most accurate word, but it's certainly our weakest position, and the one the management have tried their hardest to solve. We're close to having it the way we wanted, but I still feel we're one world class midfielder away from being absolutely perfect 

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47 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

People are generally obsessed with pace in football but I'm not sure pace in midfield is all that important. Chamberlain would be the answer if it was.

Well it’s obviously not just pace is it, and our midfield is normally so positionally good it doesn’t matter at all that Fabinho and Thiago are very one paced.


Just when Man City are smart enough and good enough to work the ball through the midfield there’s no margin for error because once they’re through, we couldn’t catch them.

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I think Hendo needs replacing as a starter. Not got rid of, just having fewer minutes on the field and replacing with someone long-term in the Jude Bellingham mould. There are too many games in which he offers very little except the occasional decent pass. That's not enough at this level. 

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We drew against the best team in the league,away,and all of a sudden the walls are tumbling down! Hysterical fannies abound.

The concern is how tired players look all over the pitch and not just midfield.

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1 minute ago, Redder Lurtz said:

I think Hendo needs replacing as a starter. Not got rid of, just having fewer minutes on the field and replacing with someone long-term in the Jude Bellingham mould. There are too many games in which he offers very little except the occasional decent pass. That's not enough at this level. 

Is that you Stringy?

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45 minutes ago, VladimirIlyich said:

We drew against the best team in the league,away,and all of a sudden the walls are tumbling down! Hysterical fannies abound.

The concern is how tired players look all over the pitch and not just midfield.

I thought the midfield were all poor to varying degrees yesterday, tiredness is certainly part of it. The best teams don't stay the best without evolving and I don't think it's hysterical for us to start thinking about that next step, it isn't far away and I'll be absolutely amazed if it isn't where the biggest upgrade in our squad is this summer.

 

The responses to the "hysteria" are equally as hysterical and tedious.

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1 hour ago, Redder Lurtz said:

I think Hendo needs replacing as a starter. Not got rid of, just having fewer minutes on the field and replacing with someone long-term in the Jude Bellingham mould. There are too many games in which he offers very little except the occasional decent pass. That's not enough at this level. 


Agree. I’m one of his critics as I reckon he doesnt offer enough to the attacking part, and definately not to the defensive part. I do acknowledge that he’s very good positionally, he covers his share of ground and he’s surely a good character to have around. But it isn’t enough to be a starter any more, we need to upgrade.

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There's alot of negative talk about our players. Look at it another way, who in the man city team stood out as having a really good game yesterday and outplaying our players? For me it's only KDB, who is a world class player on his game. 

 

I accept we could add maybe a Bellingham and improve, but fuck me it's hard to improve this team

 

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We like to moan when things go the other way, but we were pretty lucky that neither Thiago or Fabinho saw red yesterday, particularly given our fears about refereeing ahead of the game. 

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Tiredness wasn't the issue, we where nervous and panicked from the beginning. That comes from great players closing you down. We do it all the time, we make great players look shit.

 

We didn't look tired when we controlled the game from 45 to 60 minutes, they did at that point. Luckily we have a game midweek where we can get by with making 5 or 6 changes, they have to go full strength again. And I'll tell you it would be an awful shame if Bernardo woke up this morning with an ankle like a balloon. 

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3 hours ago, Redder Lurtz said:

I think Hendo needs replacing as a starter. Not got rid of, just having fewer minutes on the field and replacing with someone long-term in the Jude Bellingham mould. There are too many games in which he offers very little except the occasional decent pass. That's not enough at this level. 

Agree that we need to find a long term

answer to Henderson he’s been great for us but we need more reliability and to bring the age of the MF down. Our 3 best are Henderson Fabinho Thiago if they are all available and 2 of them aren’t a lot.

 

I would be surprised if Bellingham is the answer though, his price will surely see us out of the running? 
 

<new guy> - Fabinho - Thiago 

elliot - Henderson - Keita / Ox 

then jones and carvalho (no idea if he will actually be further forward though) as back ups assuming we sell one of ox or naby. 

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Fabinho struggled the most yesterday for me, although it did feel like they'd recognised he's our most important midfielder and targeted him remorselessly; they even lined up in more of a 4-2-3-1 formation so they could basically put their best player on him and in a position where he could wreak havoc if it worked. He's also had very few off days since autumn (after a slightly slow start) so I'm prepared to give him a pass. I'm sure he'll be fine.

 

Hendo has had a weird old season. There've been times when he's been very good - in particular recently IMO off the bench: for example we looked much more solid and composed when he came on against Benfica and against Inter whilst we were under the cosh in a crazy period in both games. I wonder if we're moving into a new phase of his Liverpool career, where he's something of a luxury utility man who can cover a few positions in midfield, or come on and calm a game down. He's still our 2nd best number 6 - but with Fabinho undisputed in that position, and it being so important that it's hard to trust it to a youngster like Tyler Morton, maybe his understudy is a specialist role all in itself. He's not finished though.

 

Thiago was mostly good and he's boiled a satisfying amount of City piss because apparently he should have been booked 6 times and tried for war crimes or something. We're definitely a better side with him in it, and he's fucking tremendous to watch.

 

The dream for me is to lose Ox (he's a useful enough player but he's wasted here now) and replace him with Bellingham, but I'd be surprised to see us spend that kind of wedge. And what a wedge it'll have to be - Dortmund will inevitably make a killing this year selling Haaland, having also seen the mancs coming last year with Sancho, so there's zero pressure to sell him for anything but silly money. At the moment, anyway.

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Another thing with the 'lets just get a quick midfielder' in is that there aren't many who are quick but also technically outstanding enough to be able to withstand the man city midfield press, and also the sheer level of tactical knowledge and time you need to play the role in Klopps midfield. Fabinho and Tiago are world class players and Jordan Henderson is a very good one. Hard to improve on that

 

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2 hours ago, etho said:

Another thing with the 'lets just get a quick midfielder' in is that there aren't many who are quick but also technically outstanding enough to be able to withstand the man city midfield press, and also the sheer level of tactical knowledge and time you need to play the role in Klopps midfield. Fabinho and Tiago are world class players and Jordan Henderson is a very good one. Hard to improve on that

 

Exactly. Some folk seem to be searching for the perfect player but does he exist in our price range?

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14 hours ago, 3 Stacks said:

People are generally obsessed with pace in football but I'm not sure pace in midfield is all that important. Chamberlain would be the answer if it was.

Maybe replacing the word pace with mobility could be a better fit. You need mobility and power in the middle of a pitch.

 

3 or 4 years ago we had 3 midfielders in their absolute prime. Henderson was 27, Fabinho 24, Gini 27. We replaced a Wijnaldum with Thiago who is great but he just isn't mobile enough. Pressing the ball with this current midfield is next to impossible.

 

You can maybe get away with having one slower midfielder (fabinho) but when Henderson looks cooked and Thiago can't run it falls down quickly against a top side like City. Hell it's been looking fucked against even weaker opposition this last 4 or 5 weeks.

 

We do miss Gini's ability to run with the ball and keep possession at times too. Definitely need 2 younger midfielders bought in the summer.

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27 minutes ago, Mil-ing Around said:

Maybe replacing the word pace with mobility could be a better fit. You need mobility and power in the middle of a pitch.

 

3 or 4 years ago we had 3 midfielders in their absolute prime. Henderson was 27, Fabinho 24, Gini 27. We replaced a Wijnaldum with Thiago who is great but he just isn't mobile enough. Pressing the ball with this current midfield is next to impossible.

 

You can maybe get away with having one slower midfielder (fabinho) but when Henderson looks cooked and Thiago can't run it falls down quickly against a top side like City. Hell it's been looking fucked against even weaker opposition this last 4 or 5 weeks.

 

We do miss Gini's ability to run with the ball and keep possession at times too. Definitely need 2 younger midfielders bought in the summer.

Yeah, midfield is the area where we could use a new signing or two this summer, just based on the age of our players. 

 

Legs and mobility are important, so is press resistance and tenacity in the duels. If you're going toe to toe with a top team like City, the game will be open and there are lots of dangerous transitions that occur due to the very high intensity and quality of the teams. The De Bruyne breaks behind the defensive line are pretty much all due to losing balls from pressure and 50/50's. So there's not really a right answer, but press resistant players who are mobile and win duels are obviously the gold standard. Fabinho is fantastic in duels, but he was lacking in press resistance and he's not mobile. Hendo has legs and is courageous, but he's not the best in duels or press resistant. Thiago is great in duels and press resistant, but not the most mobile. It's a very good and balanced trio, but City simply have the better one and it shows. All 3 are ridiculously good with the ball and De Bruyne and Silva can run for days. 

 

Gini in his prime was indeed a balanced combination of those qualities, but he's donezo. 

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Thiago can run with the ball and keep possession better than anyone we've had in our midfield for years, and he is plenty mobile enough.  Comparing him with Wijnaldum is absolute nonsense.  He couldn't being any of the creativity that Thiago does every game.  Compare him with Henderson.  

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10 minutes ago, 3 Stacks said:

Yeah, midfield is the area where we could use a new signing or two this summer, just based on the age of our players. 

 

Legs and mobility are important, so is press resistance and tenacity in the duels. If you're going toe to toe with a top team like City, the game will be open and there are lots of dangerous transitions that occur due to the very high intensity and quality of the teams. The De Bruyne breaks behind the defensive line are pretty much all due to losing balls from pressure and 50/50's. So there's not really a right answer, but press resistant players who are mobile and win duels are obviously the gold standard. Fabinho is fantastic in duels, but he was lacking in press resistance and he's not mobile. Hendo has legs and is courageous, but he's not the best in duels or press resistant. Thiago is great in duels and press resistant, but not the most mobile. It's a very good and balanced trio, but City simply have the better one and it shows. All 3 are ridiculously good with the ball and De Bruyne and Silva can run for days. 

 

Gini in his prime was indeed a balanced combination of those qualities, but he's donezo. 

Very good breakdown. Agree with all of it, except the bolded part, unless it means something other than what I believe it means.

 

Edit: I'd also say Thiago is still pretty mobile, but hasn't got the recovery pace to get the ball back once he's been bypassed.

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