Pass and move, pass and move, it's the Liverpool groove - Norwich Round Table

Posted by Col on September 29, 2012, 08:10:53 PM

Well that was fun, wasn't it?

Two youngsters made their full League debuts, we passed the ball around like it was a parcel at an 8-year old's birthday party, and Luis carried on where he left off last season with another hat-trick.

So, we all know how boss that performance was, but let's look at some of the other things that may normally get glossed over.

Firstly, Pepe Reina. What is going on? I can't be the only one who's very concerned about his performances over the last 18 months. I know he's a great guy, and I know he loves the club, and I know that at his best he's better than anyone else in the League - but how do we fix him? Is it a case of bringing back Xavi Valero? Or is there something more?

Second, Martin Skrtel - on form, he's brilliant. He won more headers last season than Kompany and Lescott combined. He struggles sometimes when not next to Agger, but overall his level over the past 18 months has been very impressive. My question is, how long will it take him to fully adjust to this system, and to be comfortable enough on the ball to provide an extra outlet and overload, without the nervousness that has led to a few individual mistakes this year? And as a follow-on, should we be altering the system slightly to encourage him to simplify his role until he does adjust, and leave the penetrative stuff to Agger?

Thirdly, Steven Gerrard. He's proved he can play that disciplined role in midfield, distributing the ball then moving into space to receive it again. Can he do it consistantly? Can he become our version of Paul Scholes?

Following on from that, how does our midfield fit together when everyone is fit? Lucas is world-class at what he does, Allen just does not give the ball away, Gerrard is Gerrard and the one most likely to pull something out of the bag when we really need it, and Sahin is steadily looking more and more like Luka Modric with every passing performance. Add to that the undoubted raw talents of Henderson and Shelvey, and we could be set in the midfield for the best part of a decade - but how do we make it work this season?

My next question is about Stewart Downing - have Assaidi, Sterling, and Suso all surpassed him now, or is this a short-term thing? If they have, what do we do with him? In the past, we'd have loaned him out for a pittance. Is Brendan capable of getting his Aston Villa form out of him? If not, do we need to spend even more money trying to replace McManaman? It seems like we've spent a hell of a lot of time and money doing that!

Finally... Luis Suarez CAN play as a number 9. He CAN finish. He just needs mobile players around him, creating spaces for him to spin in to. 5 goals in his last 6 league games, I believe it is. Only Van Persie is in better form - and Suarez hasn't even played well until today! In a system that sees us have so much of the ball, so close to the opposition's goal... exactly how good can Suarez be?

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