Hi fellow Reds, some of you will agree, others will have a go, I don’t care this is my opinion and yours is your opinion! ;) YNWA.
May as well start at the back with Mr Riena. He is still viewed as one of the best shot stoppers in the world and rightly so. He has rescued us and kept us in many games, with great saves, throwing himself full length to get a tip on the ball. My only problem is, he does not come for crosses as often, tends to be in two minds and either leaves it to late or gets caught thinking. Riena’s closing down when opposition attacks get through our back line is improving immensely, countless times he meets the attacker and puts him off or makes a save and he seems to be talking a lot more, which is good as well.
Johnson- A new signing but we knew what to expect, attacking full back number 1, full back number 2. With our Midfield disrupted by Alonso’s departure, I would like to see Johnson picking his moments a little better to get forward and when he does, ask Carra to cover him and as he comes back he take up a central position, (did this very well against Belarus). When attacking, he does not need to beat every player and get into the box, maybe just crossing an early ball will keep those opposition defenders thinking about what’s coming next.
Insua- Well he has impressed me and has obviously taken his chance this season. Two things I would like to see improve, are his defending when confronted out on the wing, stand up and not dive in, force them into over playing by going on to the wrong foot don’t let it get to the byline. Secondly, I would like him to work on crossing the ball when attacking. More often than not, his cross are scuffed and low, practice getting under the ball and wrapping that left foot round the ball.
Carra- Still good in the tackle, but losing pace, so all I ask is he watches for the runs and looks for where the ball is being played to on longer passes. When tight around the box, keep himself goal side no matter what, anticipate one two’s better and keep himself that one step ahead.
Skrtle- Also good in the tackle, but just needs to stay alert, has been guilty of being switched off and getting caught the wrong side of the attacker and having to make ground. Just stay awake my man and I wont push for Agger to replace you!
Mascerano- Seems to be featuring up field to often for my liking. When we are attacking, he should be sitting in and around the center circle, waiting for pass backs or cutting out the clearance, we have enough attacking, we need him helping Carra and Skrtle, then our goals conceded record will improve.
Lucas- I’m glad he has been moved back to a defensive midfield position alongside Masc. I always felt he was more of Masc type player, rather than creator. He just never looked comfortable in that attacking position with less space and he is good at breaking up an attack. Again, I would like to see him staying back in the central areas of the pitch to help support both our attack and defense.
Gerrard- I feel with the new 4-2-3-1 formation he can still make a good partnership with Torres up front, but also drop back and help create and let the guys either side of him get forward and receive his passes. From there he can then make himself available for a return ball as he moves forward himself. Has started okay this season, but would just like to see a little more effort chasing down the space when we lose the ball attacking.
Kuyt- Shoot for god sake when you see the goal, that’s all I ask. Work rate, support and defending as good as ever!
Yossi- Started the season well but not yet up to the standard of last season. Think this maybe because he is trying to hard, as a result of last seasons superb form. All he needs to do is stop running with the ball and leaving it to late, before off loading. More often than not this season, he is running into no space and losing the ball, when a little lay off, one two or switching the play would open up the attack for us.
Torres- Ok start, but to much whinging, ignore the decisions and get on with it, concentrate on your own play, the free kicks will come if he uses his skills. Would like to see him keep his turns around defenders simple sometimes, as well as being more aware of what he maybe turning into. He sometimes turns a player, just find another covering and was there the whole time.
Well that was a review of what seems to be Rafa’s Fav 11, now I’m going to just 4 of the others who we have seen many minutes from.
Reira- We know he has the class to play on the left, great shots, good skills to beat defenders, so a bit puzzled, as to why he has not stepped up so far this season. With Insua coming up to support, he should be able to find space for himself inside to receive a cut back and make a shot. As for him going past players, it still happens but then he does, he does not deliver or lacks confidence and just plays it back. His defending is getting better though, always seems to be getting back and helping Insua, maybe getting a bit tired in games from working harder and needs to work on stamina.
Babel- Well what can I say here, underachiever, but I tend to think this is because he not playing up front where he should be. Babel has an awesome eye for goal and I’m sure given the chance he could be a great striker. When he has come on in central positions, in his last 2 sub appearances, he has looked good, holding the ball playing off Kuyt and creating chances. If he finds himself on the wing, he should only go past players with space behind them, as his control is not that tight and that is when he will benefit from his pace.
Voronin- Just go away, you’re rubbish!
Ngog- Not seen much, but carrying on from last season, and looks more confident, taking shots as well showing some classy possession.
Team- Glad to see 4-2-3-1 formation, very attacking and worked right, can be a good defensive formation as well. Full backs should only be looking to go forward when we are building from the back, not when we are on the counter attack. When we do build, the 3 in midfield can tuck in as the full backs come forward and provide more support for Torres, When we counter, 2 of the 3 can give width while 1 can support in the center with Torres. When building our 2 defensive players can support our attack by providing a option in the central area of the pitch, as well as covering the fullbacks. When counter attacking, the fullbacks are holding there positions as our midfield attacking 3, support Torres, the 2 defensive midfielders can again support in the oppositions half, but only to about 10-15 yards into the oppositions half.
Patience, remember the Braca goal against us at Anfield? Like watching the Liverpool I grew up with, pass, pass, pass, keep the ball, make the opposition run and wait for gaps to open as a result, or the push up field chasing the ball and bingo space in behind to run and pass into. We do it, but not often enough, we try and force it. If the route is closed, go back and try again, keeping the ball is the best defense.