Round Table - Palace v Liverpool
Posted by JerseyKloppite on November 23, 2014, 05:06:35 PM
Thought I'd start one as I just got back from the game and don't want to face the post-match thread.
We were poor, they wanted it more and deserved the points.
Far too slow and ponderous in our build up. Lovren and Skrtel looked terrified to carry the ball and neither are good enough passers to link up with Gerrard and move the ball into attack the way we want to. Errors from both of them, several times going for the same ball. Lovren looked better in fairness, made a couple of decent tackles but the system is in disarray.
Manquillo looked bright but was given a torrid afternoon by Palace's forwards, Johnson had a bad afternoon and made several unforced errors. All Palace needed to do was run at us or punt it long and we looked incredibly fragile.
Gerrard is not a holding midfielder. The system worked last year because our attack was so potent that other teams had to sit 10-15 yards closer to their own goal and Gerrard was never put under the pressure he is now. There's none of that fear now (with good reason) so we're constantly pressed and Gerrard cannot cope. He should be moved up the pitch with Can or Lucas behind him. If his legs can't cope with a CM role he needs to play as a second striker or AM.
Lallana was a bright spark today, he and Coutinho (who was our best player) make things happen and his assist was good. We looked much worse when he went off for Borini and we resorted to lumping passes forward for Lambert. His work rate is good but playing in a midfield three, especially one where he needs to do a lot of defensive work, is not his best position and limits his game.
Allen looked so lightweight today against a powerful Palace midfielder, bullied off the ball and given little time to do anything. I don't think he's a substitute for Henderson, and really (like Gerrard) needs the protection afforded by the tenacity and work-rate of Lucas, Henderson or Can. By the time Can came on it was too late. Gerrard-Lallana-Allen was a very weak midfield to play in a game like today. Even if all of them are great passers of the ball, none were strong enough defensively and when Palace attacked at pace we were overrun. System or players? Maybe a bit of both.
Coutinho sparkled and looked the only player likely to create something. Sterling was OK, his pace gave us some threat and we might have had a peno at 2-1 when he was barged over. But he lacks confidence, our whole team does. Always looking to pass instead of shoot, which is dangerous when you only have one forward in the XI.
As for Rickie, he gave it a go and took his goal well. Looked a handful for their defenders but lacked support for most of the game.
The players seem sapped of all energy and enjoyment of the game at the moment. I'm sure the miserable driving rain didn't help, but Palace were up for this and didn't stop for 90 mins. It's like our lot want the season to be over already and it's only late November. The travelling Kop did its very best to keep encouraging the players but I think even they found it hard when there was so little to be encouraged by in return. The second half was the quietest I've ever heard Liverpool's away support and that was made all the more stark by the Palace home fans who were fantastic.
We need something significant, a really big turning point. Every week I think 'it can't get much worse' but then it does. Or at least it doesn't get any better.
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