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Goalscoring, do we have a problem on our hands?

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To my mind, there were two major weaknesses yesterday. First, the poor quality of the crossing into the box - too often, and it really didn't seem to matter who was playing the ball in - it got dinked across at head height for their two centre-halves to nod away. Either that or it came back into space outside the box to be met with some truly awful shooting from whoever picked it up at range.

 

Secondly, despite the lack of success with the ball across the box, we seemed intent on repeating it over and over again, when it was crying out for a different approach. I think we really needed Yossi to play in and around the box as he works well in little space and it would have been a lot less predictable to defend against.

 

Having said all of that, we made enough chances to score, and really should have done so.

 

Not much wrong there.

 

I think we got just one chance from all those high crosses, Fernando's header that went just wide. In hindsight I think we played well. We created more than enough opportunities to win the game, and Stoke had fuck all.

 

My only gripe is that Gerrard should have been closer to their box, I felt he wasn't high enough up the pitch for large parts of the game. He is lethal in those positions, especially as he has such a fantastic shot on him.

 

It really is difficult creating anything when the opposition has five men patrolling the edge of the box. We still did produce enough, we just couldn't take our chances. Shit happens.

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I've said this for the past two seasons. We've spent money on players we didn't (and still) don't need.

 

Torres and Keane are stuggling because they have fuck all service from the flanks. Full backs are not good enough in getting forward and players in front of them not doing the same. Also Dirk is not the answer on the right.

 

Although we beat the Mancs without Gerrard or Torres, we're still overly reliant on them producing the goods. When they don't, we're asking for trouble.

 

Feel sorry for Torres and Keane, as the service to them so far this season has been utter shite.

 

We have too many flaws in our attacking game in my opinion to be able to sustain a title charge this season.

 

I think Arbeloa may just be better than you are giving him credit for, my MOM yesterday, he looks like he is sorted himself out and his quality into the box has been pretty good. the problem yesterday was we were putting in crosses from too wide a poistion but when we crossed in from around the penalty box line we created decent chances.

 

I think the full back positons will be ok but we desperatel needed a David Silva type of player in the summer. Wigan & Portsmouth will go a long way to telling us how big a fuck up it was. Hopefully it wasnt a fuck up at all. Id have bought Berbatov instead of Keane and we probably would have got him for a lot less than Manu paid.

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We have a problem breaking down stubborn teams who are happy for a draw.

 

The Villa match was different. We were missing Torres (when he went off) and Gerrard and I think it was down to a lack of adventure from Benitez and the players, rather than a lack of threatening options.

 

Teams who sit deep, we struggle to have some imagination or spark in order to win these games. This is why Ronaldo is so good for United, he wins these games for them against the poor teams. We look predictable, control games, swing the ball from side to side, but lack some guile and creation.

 

Garcia used to offer this at times, having the audacity to try things others wouldn't. But Torres is getting less space to hurt teams this season, as they are dropping so deep. Gerrard has more defensive responsibility in the centre of midfield (which is why I think he should be on the right or behind Torres), compared to last season. Keane hasn't clicked yet and if we're relying on Kuyt for goals, then we probably do have problems.

 

I thought we actually played relatively well yesterday. The problem was the final ball or finishing. Most people would have picked that team or very similar. Most people would have brought Babel on (albeit maybe for Kuyt rather than Riera). The tactics were fine, the players are still very good, but we just look a touch predictable in these games and that is where some extra touch of guile, vision or audacity would be nice to see. I think we've got the players to do this with Gerrard playing in a free role behind Torres. However if that occured it wouldn't make Benitez signing of Keane look terribly shrewd.

 

 

With the exception of Keane you couldnt fault any players individual performance and if you did you were very much a scapegoat hunter. However as a team we didnt play well and we didnt have the magic to unlock a defence. Gerrard is the best partner for Torres for sure from what we have. Lets hope Keane suddenly proves me and others wrong and can fill in that Dalglish/Beardsley role I very much doubt it but would loved to be proved wrong

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Torres best position is on his own up-front with an attacking midfielder behind him

That is why he looked so much better for us with Gerrard in that role or with Spain & Fabregas than he ever did with a partner for us,Athletico or Spain.

 

Given that we have probably the best attacking & the best holding midfielder in the world & very little quality on the wings 4-2-3-1 was absolutely perfect for us.

 

Any move away from that is likely to hurt us unless we had got real quality in the support striker role (probably Tevez is the best in the league at the moment)

 

Unfortuantely Keane is far from that. He is 28 & had never played CL football which i) Means all the CL teams had looked at him & said 'no' & ii) He had never played at the highest level as CL is light years ahead of any other football competition on the planet.

 

He is a Britich/Irish player playing PL football & praised by the Sky commentators. That is almost the perfect combination to be vastly over-hyped which he was & is.

 

One of Rafa's great qualities has been that he usually very quickly acknowledges when he has made a mistake in the transfer market & takes an early small loss rather than waiting & taking a larger one. This is in marked contrast to GH's stubborness.

 

It is time to go 4-2-3-1 with Kuyt/Riera & Babel (on either wing) disputing the wide AM roles.

Hopefully we can sell Keane back to Spurs & keep the loss down to £5m.....

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I think it's time for Gerrard on the right personally:

 

When played in that role he won PFA player of the season, scored 23 goals and Benitez finished with our highest points total with 82.

 

Let Alonso and Mascherano control the centre of the field.

 

Keane / Torres are a threat central.

 

Put Gerrard on the right, Riera left and let them create / supply and win the game for us.

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Should do better: Yes.

Will do better?: Yes

Problem?: No.

 

I hope Kuyt does better than his scoring rate the last 26 games.

 

Problem? potentially.

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Torres best position is on his own up-front with an attacking midfielder behind him

That is why he looked so much better for us with Gerrard in that role or with Spain & Fabregas than he ever did with a partner for us,Athletico or Spain.

 

Given that we have probably the best attacking & the best holding midfielder in the world & very little quality on the wings 4-2-3-1 was absolutely perfect for us.

 

Any move away from that is likely to hurt us unless we had got real quality in the support striker role (probably Tevez is the best in the league at the moment)

 

Unfortuantely Keane is far from that. He is 28 & had never played CL football which i) Means all the CL teams had looked at him & said 'no' & ii) He had never played at the highest level as CL is light years ahead of any other football competition on the planet.

 

He is a Britich/Irish player playing PL football & praised by the Sky commentators. That is almost the perfect combination to be vastly over-hyped which he was & is.

 

One of Rafa's great qualities has been that he usually very quickly acknowledges when he has made a mistake in the transfer market & takes an early small loss rather than waiting & taking a larger one. This is in marked contrast to GH's stubborness.

 

It is time to go 4-2-3-1 with Kuyt/Riera & Babel (on either wing) disputing the wide AM roles.

Hopefully we can sell Keane back to Spurs & keep the loss down to £5m.....

 

TBH, that's a pretty damning indictment of benitez there! I for one dont think Keane is going to be dropped anytime soon and at £20m, its clear to see why. And if he doesnt drop keane then we've got to admit benitez is just as stubborn if not more so than houllier (but didnt we suspect that anyway?)

 

And there's no way we'll get £15m or more from Spurs or anyone else for keane. Spurs saw us coming and played us superbly (unfortunately for us!). Make no mistake, if we sell keane (which I doubt) we'll take a massive hit and would probably have to look at £9m - £10m tops for him.

 

Aint going to happen though.

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Keane wasn't the problem we drew at Stoke, the crticisim he's getting is OTT.

 

I just question whether breaking up the Torres / Gerrard combo and spending 20 million on Keane, was the shrewdest (is that a word) decision... when those funds could have been used to get a top wide player.

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Keane wasn't the problem we drew at Stoke, the crticisim he's getting is OTT.

 

I just question whether breaking up the Torres / Gerrard combo and spending 20 million on Keane, was the shrewdest (is that a word) decision... when those funds could have been used to get a top wide player.

 

I like the Riera/Babel combo on the left but we need another option to Kuyt on the Right and it's not Yossi.

 

We had a three forwards attack last season and it was a treat. Buying Keane and playing him up top with Torres just isn't working.

 

They aren't clicking and it doesn't look like they are going to...

 

Keane is quality and everything and the Keane/Kuyt partnership didn't look too bad at all but Torres is our main gun.

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We should sell Keane after 5 games?

 

Fuck. Tough crowd.

 

 

We should never have bought him: he is too old, has never played at the highest level, is over-hyped & doesn't fit our system.

And he cost too much.

 

We have to wait until Jan so he will have had approx 20-25 games by then... Our hope is that Spurs become desperate 4 a striker.

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TBH, that's a pretty damning indictment of benitez there! I for one dont think Keane is going to be dropped anytime soon and at £20m, its clear to see why. And if he doesnt drop keane then we've got to admit benitez is just as stubborn if not more so than houllier (but didnt we suspect that anyway?)

 

And there's no way we'll get £15m or more from Spurs or anyone else for keane. Spurs saw us coming and played us superbly (unfortunately for us!). Make no mistake, if we sell keane (which I doubt) we'll take a massive hit and would probably have to look at £9m - £10m tops for him.

 

Aint going to happen though.

 

 

In general I am a massive fan of Rafa but no-one gets it right all the time.

 

The key is how quickly you admit your error & therefore reduce the loss.

 

GH with Dioff/Salif etc etc never did; Rafa with Morientes/Josemi has done in the past.

 

You may well be right & we'll drop £8m/9m on Keane which I can see the owners over-ruling & us then losing even more... Paul Stewart....

 

 

Redknapp, Gray & Keyes all said Keane was class & a great buy which showed there & then it was a massive error.

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Keane wasn't the problem we drew at Stoke, the crticisim he's getting is OTT.

 

I just question whether breaking up the Torres / Gerrard combo and spending 20 million on Keane, was the shrewdest (is that a word) decision... when those funds could have been used to get a top wide player.

 

Yes i agree with that.

 

He should not be blamed for the 0-0 at Stoke & is trying his hardest so I don't want to be personally critical.

 

It was a wrong move to buy him as it broke up a great partnership & he isn't of the highest standard

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to be fair, if the goal wasn't disallowed, it could have been 5 or 6-0. would have changed the game completely.

 

why didn't Keane blast those shots rather than sidefooting them.:wallbutt:

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Lets say we will need 75 goals to win the league.

 

I think it will have to look something like this, but I`m not sure we have the players to do it.

 

Attack: 45

Midfield: 24

Defense: 6

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I think there is a bit of overreaction on here to Keane. He has had a poor start, no question, and lacks confidence at the moment. There is certainly a case for him starting the derby on the bench. But good players don't become bad overnight. he scored 24 goals last season and in a lot of games was Spurs' best player - more of a hero to their fans than Berbatov. Remember it took Crouch nearly 20 games to get off the mark - if strikers don't score, it can affect their confidence and that is what has happened with Keane.

 

We also shouldn't overreact to yesterday any more than we should have to the Man U win. It was just one of those days that all teams have - just because we have dropped silly points in previous seasons, doesn't mean it will be come a habit this year. On another day, the legitimate Gerrard goal counts and we win 3 or 4 nil. People shouldn't knee jerk to the extent they are - it's one reason why ShareLiverpoolFC would probably end in tears if it ever worked, with managers sacked every other week by the sort of people who visit football forums.

 

Having said that, our best shape remains 4-2-3-1 witrh Gerrard either behind Torres or on the right. I'd start next week with the team that started against Man U, with Torres for Keane and Gerrard for Yossi..

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Lets say we will need 75 goals to win the league.

 

I think it will have to look something like this, but I`m not sure we have the players to do it.

 

Attack: 45

Midfield: 24

Defense: 6

 

More of a lurker than a poster, as I ususally just enjoy reading the various opinions expressed on here and quietly chuckle to myself at the extremist views, however I am so thankful that I don't share your outlook on life.

 

Is it always so bleak? Even when we have a great result you manage to find a negative to draw people into discussion about - Mascherano against Utd is the example that springs to mind.

 

As far as I am concerned we have had a decent start to the season and to date have dropped two points in a game that I would have expected to win - Stoke.

 

Keane is a proven success in the PL - that is why he costs money. Your opinion would be totally reversed on Ngog - "Why buy another foreign youngster" - so where is the balance to your arguments? As far as I can see there isn't one, which is probably a shame as you seem knowledgable and probably on occasion have a valid point. However the constant negativity just means I discount anything you have to say before I even read it and i'm sure the same will apply to numerous other lurkers and posters.

 

In terms of width we have bought a left back that is attack minded and which the team has been crying out for for the past three seasons. If only Aurelio would stay fit it would be great to see what he could acheive as well.

We have signed, who to date, looks like a good left winger who can use the ball well and not give it away and is bound to create chances for our strikers.

I'd expect Babel to step up this season as he seems stronger and showed against Marseille the quality he has.

 

We have at least 3 midfielders who are capable of 10 goals a season - will they get it? I don't know but in Keane and Torres we have potentially 50 goals so i'm sure the midfield can find 25 between them!

 

So, can we score 74 goals? Of course we can - what I'd like is a CB that can chip in with 5 or more as all the top sides have this...but then that is probably a good reason to moan about them.

 

I'm sorry you are just too negative to take seriously.

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Agger is the only defender capable of scoring the odd goal, though I know Skrtel has done it internationally quite a few times. we don't need Carra and Skrtel heroic last min defending against the likes of Stoke, Wigan, Hull, etc. these teams pose no real threat apart from set pieces, certainly not on the ground.

 

the same reason why don't need Kuyt's tireless backtracking, they hardly have world class wingers to 'contain'!

 

These games cry out for faster, technical players who can cut through them effortlessly and make use of all the likely possession. it also requires quick attacking changes at the hour mark if things aren't going to plan, double substitutions and use of a third sub at 75-80 mins, something Benitez rarely does.

 

as for Keane, the reason he was bought was more to do with the fact that he is a UEFA club trained player and one of the best 'strikers' available with that status as Crouch wasn't going to sign a new contract and we need another option in case anything happens to Torres, we can't keep buying foreigners, though i'm generally against any transfer between premier league clubs I can see why it made sense to go for Keane unless we were to recruit and turnover players elsewhere but this takes serious planning and I have said this before, we don't generally plan the transfers properly with long term views

 

the question is will Rafa bench Keane and revert to the 4231 and use him as a sub a lot in the same way he uses Babel and for rotation to give Torres a rest, it's hardly unusual for a top club to do that, look at Chelsea and the Mancs (tevez a £32m player sitting on the bench), i doubt Robbie would be thrilled with that but that's what should happen

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Red-Ed if you think Torres and Keane will score 50 goals in the league you will be disappointed and who are these three midfielders you are talking about who are able to score 10 goals?

 

I can give it a go and try to come up with some sort of prediction.

 

Attack:

Torres- 18 (24)

Keane- 10

Babel- 6 (4)

Kuyt- 6 (3)

N`Gog- 2

Total- 42 goals

 

Midifeld:

Gerrard- 9 (11)

Alonso- 3 (2)

Mascherano- 0 (1)

Lucas- 1 (-)

Benayoun- 4 (4)

Rieira- 4

Pennant- 0 (2)

Plessis- 0 (-)

El Zahr- 0 (-)

Total- 21 goals

 

Defense:

Hyypia- 1 (1)

Agger- 2 (-)

Carra- 0 (-)

Skrtel- 1 (-)

Dossena- 0

Aurelio- 1 (1)

Arbeloa- 0 (-)

Degen- 0

Total- 5 goals

 

This adds up to 68 goals and I dont think anyone can accuse me for being too negative in my prediction.

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why didn't Keane blast those shots rather than sidefooting them.:wallbutt:

 

Probably because there's still some nerves there and he's trying to make sure the ball goes into the net instead of blasting and not being as accurate. That's probably one of the things that people cover when they say he's trying too hard. Once he scores one or two he'll start hitting them with more confidence.

 

I still can't believe that he's being written off with 5 games of the season gone by some people. Rafa payed 20mil for him, do you think he'd actually spend 20mil on someone that couldn't score? Many of us think he makes some wierd decisions, but he wouldn't do something that crazy. He'll score soon, and then he'll score a lot more after that, almost definitely.

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Sami should be one of the first names on the team sheet for home games against shit teams who are clearly going to put everyone behind the ball. If our best bet of a goal is going to be from a set piece then he's the man. At the other end he shouldn't be under too much pressure from counter-attacks, and as the opposition's main threat will most likely come from set pieces then we could do with having him in there to defend against them.

 

He won't be playing in the CL this season, so if he doesn't play in that sort of league game then I don't see when he'll play at all.

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Guest TK-421

I can understand why Rafa is persisting with Carra and Skrtel as first choice centre backs. They're keeping clean sheets and the more they play together the better their understanding will become.

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