What went wrong at West Brom!

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Before most of you get going and take out your protective shields, I want to make to make it perfectly clear that I am a very pro-Dalglish Liverpool fan and I am behind him being confirmed Liverpool manager all the way. Yesterday however, Kenny and Co got it all wrong from the start, and made matters worse during the course of proceedings. Allow me to state my case!

So we are playing West Brom, managed by our ex-Roy and refereed by what is arguably considered a dodgy referee in judgment such as Martin Atkinson. Mr Atkinson frequently conditions results and the course of games with decisions that often end up under fire by the damaged party and the media. You will all remember what SAf said about this ref, and even though he said this after very dodgy decisions which contributed substantially to Man Utd’s defeat at Stamford Bridge, he was right. This to set the conditions in which we were called to play our fixture!

The initial line-up presented to face West Brom was, in my view, only flawed in that we should have played Cole in place of Kuyt on the right, Maxi in place of Meireles on the left, and Meireles to dictate the game and tempo just behind the two strikers in place of Spearing. Meireles was out of position and it showed, Kuyt was out of puff and it showed, we had a huge void between our defensive midfield and our strikers and it showed!

So we start the game and the back four seem capable of coping with the speed of execution which is the main weapon of West Brom in the person of Cox, Brunt, Thomas and more importantly Odemwingie!

Johnson gets injured and we replace him with Kyrgiakos (and we have Roy already rubbing his hands and face!). We move Agger to the left and he limps off injured a few minutes later. On comes Wilson who takes up the left full-back position. As I said in the previous paragraph West Brom use speed to put their adversaries in difficulty so putting on Kyrgiakos reduced our reactive speed to slow motion! Kyrgiakos would have been the solution should we have been playing the likes of Stoke with Kenwyne Jones or John Carew up front, but not when you have a missile like Odemwingie whizzing across the attacking front. My solution with what he had available: bring Wilson on for Johnson, and when Agger’s game was over bring on Maxi to play with a back four of Carra/Skrtel/Wilson/Maxi. This was the only solution to remain with a speedy set-up at the back. We did not need aerial power at the back this time round.

Now you will ask: Maxi as left full-back? Yes, why not? Yesterday SAF took off Evra during the half time at West Ham and guess he replaced him with? Ryan Giggs! When you consider that Utd went from 2-0 down to winning 2-4 in the last 25 minutes I think we can confidently say that the plan worked.

Moving a bit up-field, we were very uncreative in our midfield because we played with two defensive midfielders. Meireles should have been moved to a more centralized attacking midfield position, Suarez moved to the left (as eventually happened) and seeing Kuyt out of puff and not into it at all, replace him immediately (not in the 80th minute) with Joe Cole, leaving Carroll as a lone striker.

So starting eleven Reina, Carra/Skrtel/Agger/Johnson, Maxi/Meireles/Lucas/Cole, Suarez and Carroll! Following the first half injuries change formation to Reina, Carra/Skrtel/Wilson/Maxi, Suarez/Spearing/Lucas/Cole, Meireles just behind Carroll as lone striker! This would have kept us relatively rapid at the back, it would have take the attention of the central striker area by moving Suarez to the left from where he created one opportunity after the other, and it would have given us a creative advance midfield which was totally lacking yesterday!

I read comments regarding the penalty decisions. On the first I must say that I have the impression that Kyrgiakos did touch the ball, but his challenge was clumsy and inside the box which was idiotic really. The second…well…Kyrgiakos left Reina in a spot and the Spaniard tried to put his experience to good use the interpretation of which was deemed to be a penalty! It ridiculous to debate whether these penalties were either cast in stone or marble for all I care. They were both situations we could have avoided had we not opted to play the big Greek amidst West Brom’s whiz-kids.

As far as commitment is concerned we were not as bad as West Ham. Tactically, the game was not well read in my view and when the course of events went against us we did not resort to the correct counter-measures and practically gifted the game to our adversaries. Notwithstanding the above, we had managed to graft a lead which dissipated because we were just not good enough to control the game and bag the very precious 3 point tally!

Fire away!

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  1. Shearer once said that kenny is very good at man management but rarely does he look into tactical side.

  2. Kenny was poor from start,he could have played lucas and Raul as central mid then kuyt on the r wing and maxi on left

  3. Agreed that we neglected the idea of keeping pace on the pitch by bringing on Krygiakos. However I think it’s our attacking play that is causing us to lose games.

    Our biggest problem is the lazy long ball option. We’re turning Carroll into Crouch, using him as a target to just aim at and knock down for someone else. This might work once or twice but then defenders get wise to it and we don’t have a plan B.

    Our best form was a couple of seasons ago when we had a great midfield. Now, we don’t need one because after Carra and Skrtel have knocked the ball about for a bit, its just hoofed up and that’s the end of our attacking threat. We have Meireles in the middle who was on a brilliant run of form a few weeks ago and what do we do? Stick him out wide out of position and knock the ball over his head in our hit and hope approach.

    Yesterday, Jova would have been a better option and its a shame that we’ve got no Pacheco or El Zhar who would have been better than an out-of-position Meireles and a knackered Kuyt.

    We need to play people to their strengths, improve our midfield and if Carrolls aerial threat is to be utilised, why not get a few crosses in down the wing instead?! I’m surprised of all people Kenny hasn’t encouraged this.

    For the first time I’m looking forward to the season to end so we can look to rebuild in the summer. Hopefully…

  4. If u watch South Park. There is a superhero called captain Hindsight. What he does in the show is what we may be doing nw.
    We are stil gud. It easy to say what we culd ave done, when the game has been played. Esp when we lose. Would it have been a blunder if we had won. We all would be singing praises wont we.
    So yeah we lost, it happens.

    1. @ Waraqah08. Of course we’re good bud, I am not disputing that. Actually we even risked winning it without deserving it. We went in front and did not have the intelligence to hold on the the result.
      But anyway, since it’s all good for everyone, so be it!

  5. Was at the game yesterday and have to say, Carroll was really poor. Scharner and Olsson absolutely dominated him as they did when he visited with Newcastle earlier in the season and as big Championship defenders often did last season. Get the feeling he’s not up for a battle, which is worrying for a player of his size.

    I think he could be a useful player, but not if the ball is hoofed 60 yards from back to front time and time again. Kenny needs to get people to use him intelligently if Liverpool are to get anything near their money’s worth.

    Liverpool would have had a better chance without the injuries. As you point out, the slow, lumbering back 4 that played most of the game were never going to cope with Thomas and Odemwingie, but Johnson and Agger will have had a better chance.

    1. @ Dan from West Brom. Right you are mate! The ball was being hoofed because there was no link between the defensive midfield/back line and the strikers. I really get pissed at times when I know we could have done better and people dismiss this as just having been a bad game.

  6. The main reason Liverpool went out of the Europa Cup to Braga was the penalty Kyrgiakos created. It seems he didn’t learn from this and against WBA he made an exect penalty again. Maybe it’s time to let Andre Wisdom to play as a central defender. It will be better for the future’ or does anybody thinks Kyrgiakos represents the future of Liverpool.

  7. I was absolutely gutted that we lost. I know we shouldnt just blame the ref and I knew we didnt do well enough to deserve a win but I thought we could have escaped after Skrtel scored. But 2 scandalous penalties and it’s gone. So unlucky.

    Nevertheless, I am still firmly behind King Kenny. Look at it that before his majesty came, we even lose to Wolves and played worst than this 3 times and were possible relegation candidate. Just because we beat MU and Sunderland doesnt mean everyone started knowing how to fly.

    This season, I am just gonna enjoy watching football as much as I can without any B*llshit pressure and I suggest the same for others firmly behind the Red. If we get to Europe then it’s a plus. If we dont, cant blame the king. The damage was done by Roy. Look forward to the next season and hopefully Ashley Young will come to us to complete the puzzle. In the meantime, enjoy games like the one that we had with MU. Cheers.

  8. I think with soto & wilson not being up to the mark coady & flanno should get chances.Not that i m saying that wilson is bad.

  9. Dilly – `2 scandalous penalties`?? U r joking arent you. Watch the highlights, they were both stonewall fouls. Get your rosetinted glasses off mate.

  10. the biggest problem is carra n his long balls. thts the reason he should play as a right back, he lacks any creativity. also after the two injuries midfield went n sat in defence leaving the striker isolated. plus we were sluggish probably due to the international games again showing we lack any depth in the squad plus carrol was being manhandled n the ref did wht they always do when crouch played, ignored him. now hopefully we get our act together against man city or we are screwed big time. hope we play ayala instead of soto or play with a 3 centrebacks but we cant

    1. @ scouser. I have said time and again that Agger is our ONLY centre back that knows how to come out with the ball. The other three just hoof it or pass it around until its picked up by one of the midfielders. Wilson would do better at centre back than Soto when there is no serious aerial threat and Wilson is more at home than on the left.

  11. Just to add, it seem that we cant play well against the team with “West” this season for some reasons. Thank God there’s no West Turkey or West Bong. LOL.

  12. Boing – If i was joking, then i would have indicated clearly it was a joke. You can read, can you? It was a penalty for you because you are anti-liverpool. Look, i get it, ok? All the hates.

    1st one. Did you seriously did not think that soto got the ball even watching the replay? It’s you that needs to open your eyes.

    The 2nd one, soft soft penalty. If you dont agree, well I got nothing to say. Cause we can argue on and on but i am sure you have seen this kind of situation with almost 95% not awarded penalty.

    I am sure you will have something up in your sleeves to reply to this, but I aint gonna be bothered. Hope that will pissed you off. LOL.

  13. It looks unfortunate that we may be proving one Mr Torres very right,,, we look a long way from playing in the Champs League. We may not have the depth in our squad at top premier or Euro level but we should have enough to see off West Brom. Yes circumstances conspired against us with quick injuries and with hindsight maybe Gerrard should have have been risked as that looks like the last chance we had to gain 2 points on the 5th spot lost.
    As much as Daglish is the saviour he has to also admit when he may have called things wrong. Sad to have quality up front and no service,,, hope this is rectified ASAP and I am very wrong about getting 5th. Law

  14. Dilly – to be fair, everyone but King Kenny seems to agree they were absolute clear cut penalties.

    1. Dan! Penalty or no penalty these came about because we had Soto marking Odemwingie who is a whiz-kid. The first was a rash tackle inside the penalty area, the second came about because Reina was the last man and he could not do anything except what he did. Atkinson and Co deemed them penalties. Against Sunderland we had one given to us with the foul having started outside the box. Win some, loose some. It’s what caused the penalties not whether they we dubious or not.

  15. Dont worry, Law. The results yesterday did not benefit any teams above except for Man Utd. For Tottenham and Chelsea, 1 point gained on Liverpool. No sweat. LOL. Each time losing to a “West” something, the next thing is we play flawless football and win superbly and then everyone buzzing… LOL.

  16. Dan – That’s not true. Who was everyone? Me, my girlfriend Jane and our Dog named Bo all disagreed. So that makes 4 including Kenny. LOL. Kidding.

    Anyway, congrats to your team, mate.

    1. @ Renny! Thanks mate. Was just how I saw things unfold. Don’t know what Kenny reads and I don’t expect anyone to take my advice. It’s always a different way of seeing things.

  17. Lets play the youngsters on the wings now, for the last 7 games. Nobody know’s them so we have that advantage, why not let them play as we are under no real pressure. It makes sense to blood them now, why is Pacheco having a blinder at Norwich and not Liverpool????????

    1. @ Tgan. I got a better idea! Why not play the players that have been on the fringe and that we intend to part with end of season maybe we can collect another couple of million for them. If anything, they would partly earn the generous salaries they have all been receiving for going to play football at Melwood monday to friday (when that happens).

  18. In response to tonio relegation is a certainty next season because not being in champions league is going to kill us the longer it goes on.Dalglish has no history of bringing through youth.This is too much for him.He doesnt have the fire anymore.He hasnt been the same since Hillsborough.Our title winning ended not so long after that tragic event.The club has never recovered its hunger for winning titles.Tonio its this that all of you constantly overlook.Dalglish was an obsessive winner before it and afterwards look closely at his eyes,the fire has gone.SAD BUT TRUE.

  19. the -problems is midfielder, no creativity and lucas is just not good enough….carra not effective at rightback…and kuyt after international games look tired..

  20. LFC has shown a distinct lack of ambition by giving Lucas and Kuyt (2 absolutely crap players) long term contracts. For this both Comolli and Dalgish should be immediately sacked. Otherwise don’t complain when we play shit.

  21. Jury still out for me on Kenny and Clarke. Heart says Yes but Head is non commital, Would love to know what was the reasoning behind leaving Kuyt on for so long. He was unusually dead on his feet after 60 minutes. Very Tired. I know 60 minutes is early when you only have one sub to make, but when your getting outplayed you cannot afford to carry anyone. Would have put Maxi on instead of Cole (Cole just seems to drift inside too much) and maybe give Carra another option other than long ball to Carroll. As for the penalties, thought the second one was and the first was 50/50. But hey, swings and roundabouts. We got one against Sunderland outside the box. Dont think Spearing is good enough. Raul should have been in the middle.

  22. Typical of the so-called ‘Big teams’ – they just can’t take it when they lose points ‘fair and square’. West Brom deserved their victory. Regarding West Brom please refer this season to the win at Arsenal, draw at Man U (the only points they have dropped at home this season) the draw with Spurs and the win at Everton, all far sterner tests than playing against Liverpool. Besides that there was the Liverpool game at Anfield where West Brom outplayed them for the majority of the game only to lose to a Torres stunner – whatever happened to him? Just accept it – Liverpool are a fading force!

  23. Look. Our squad is poor. We don’t have the players to compete at the top level. END OF. Until we can rectify this massive problem,we are always going to be Top half, not top four or challenging for titles. I feel sick admitting that, but realisitcally it is true. Inconsistency is our problem also. Big headache for the management team. The only players that should be in the FIRST 11 are REINA, CARRA, GERRARD, SUAREZ AND CARROLL. SQUAD players – Kelly,Lucas, Kuyt, Wilson, Shelvey. Meireles. That’s it. The rest should be moved on somehow – OUT – B. JONES. SKRTEL. AGGER (injuries). AURELIO (Injuries). KRYGIAKOS. DEGEN. DARBY. SPEARING. POULSEN. AQUILANI. MAXI. JOVANOVIC. N’GOG. INSUA. I like Johnson in an attacking way, but his defending is shocking sometimes. There will be better out there for less Wages than he must be getting.

  24. In response to TONIO BONE why are people like you lauding new contracts for idiots like Lucas and Kuyt who are at technically at best fourth division standard as is spearing.Ngog is criminally incompetant,cole is catching his breath after ten minutes.I think that our team from the seventies should play the rest of the games left.They might be pushing sixty but at least they knew what they were doing.Our fans need guidance.Tonio you say you have been watching for decades so how can by the standards of souness and terry mac can you be lauding lucas and kuyt.You should be whipping up an internet campaign to rid the club of mediocre players.What would bob paisley think.He must be devastated at the moment when he sees you lauding lucas as a successor to souness.The title is always won by great players.Tonio before you laud rubbish again ask yourself if they compare to our alltime greats.If not dont bother.

  25. Ironically we played as we used to play under Hodgson, hoofing the ball upfield for Torres (now read Carroll), while West Brom played like Liverpool played in recent matches under Kenny, pass and move. If we want to make use of Carroll’s head power, the balls should be played to him from the wings and not from the back, 60 metres away.

  26. I agree with the article, it was an awful display of tactics and management from Kenny Dalglish. I wasn’t happy with the initial line up as I knew the midfield was negative and our best midfielder was stuck on the left wing. But when Johnson went off and he brought on Soto I knew then we would get beat, he is the slowest centre back in the premiership.
    Kenny Dalglish made massive errors in this game and showed himself to be tactically weak and unable to change an already flawed game plan when injuries occured.
    I love Kenny for his passion but maybe he should be assistant manager to someone else who doesn’t just rely on passion & luck to get a result.

  27. Shit happens. This (loss) was one of them. Period. Now, move on and let King Kenny rebuild in the summer.

  28. I am a West brom Fan that has a soft spot for Liverpool. I certainly didnt want Man U to take the title this years thats for sure…and I would love to see Liverpool dominate Europe and the league again much more than Chelski, Man U and Man City.

    I think though…we have to be realistic. Over many years Liverpools resources have been used unwisely. IMHO Carrol is vastly overrated and Lucas and Kuyt are simply not players that one would associate with Liverpool football club. As with the Albion in the late 70s and 80 I feel that Liverpool have been mismanaged of late and it has taken a legend to come in and steady the ship. Although I love the Albion….lets face it one would expect a Liverpool team to beat them usually. I was at the game when Mcmanaman and Fowler decimated us. It was a men and boys situation. Yes we are greatly improved but this is Liverpool we are talking about and I think that the fans should be rightly concerned as, if we are going to be honest….we beat you fair and square yesterday.

    Roy Hodgson is a great manager. He is illustrating that right now at the Albion….again. Was he right for Liverpool? I never thought so. One would think that they would go for a younger, more dynamic manager upon which they could build a legacy again…but saying that you have to question why it didnt work out. It seems that most of the players had respect for him….but in this day and age of player power one wonders whether there was a disruptive force behind the scenes.

    Anyway….I hope you lot get back on form and challenge for the title again. I have found Liverpool fans knowledgable and amiable….. much more than the Mancs who feel like they have a divine right to win. I would , however…like to see a little more honesty from all sides when commenting on the game. They were 2 stone wall penalties and we kept your 35 million pound(my GOD) striker quiet all game. We were a better team on the day….but dont worry…it took us 30 years to beat you so I dont think we really have bragging rights!

    Lets hope whatever is blighting LFC behind the scenes gets sorted. I would much rather see you beating Milan or Barca than the others. You never know….with our form right now we might even be in Europe with you!

    Boing boing!

  29. Just one point on the penalties and the laws of football. Whether the defender touches the ball is irrelevent. It isn’t mentioned in the laws at all. If you crash through the back of a player but happen to get a touch, it is still a foul. If it’s in the box it’s a penalty. For the second one, it is not the striker’s job to try to avoid the keeper. Reina (who otherwise had an excellent game) rolled onto St Pete’s feet. As he would have been 6 yards out in front of goal, there was a strong argument for a red card. Again, the fact that a defender had got back doesn’t change the fact that Reina had prevented a clear goal scoring opportunity.

  30. Liverpool simply lost to a better team on the day.Accept it and move on.Its great for football that some of these so called top teams get beaten like this occassionally.Remember we cant all throw millions around.£35 mill for Carroll ?…:-):-):-0

  31. Dilly – I am not a Liverpool hater. Being a West Brom fan I have absolutely no grudge against your team (other than you whipping our arses every time we have played you for the last 30 years!). I think you were unlucky not to get a draw at the end which I am happy to acknowledge but I just believe you are wrong to argue against the penalites. Even Lawro on MOTD said they were dead certs. Anyway, I know you dont agree so no problem. Good luck for the rest of the season.

    Boing Boing

  32. Didn’t see the game myself, but looking at this, it seems as if our ball retention and defending was not up to par.

    We have a week bench for backup at the back, so why even look at four defender formation, three at the back is fine, with 2 wing backs and also allows for a creative midfield and forward line. Carra/Skrtle/Agger-Carra/Skrtle/Wilson

    Spearing holding on his own in front of the back three (not right on top of them as he has been doing!). Johnson (Kuyt) and Maxi wing(backs). Lucas and Raul central attacking mid with instruction to help wing backs, leaving Spearing to control central midfield defense, Surez playing off Carrol.

    This could of been changed to raul and Suarez playing of Carrol, with Lucas being the link man central, looking for passes to the front three, the wing backs and provided an outlet for the back three and Speraing!

  33. you were outplayed by the baggies, well done to us,
    made roy a very happy ex manager, thanks for roy lol

  34. dont be silly dilly

    One of you mentioned that “king” kenny is your saviour and Roy hodgson ruined your season, well your right about one and Roy just made it a whole lot worse.

    we know how it feels to be a good team (70’s & 80’s)and to watch it all dissolving away, so soz about that, its great to be an improving side with no debt and officially the best manager in the country and a great future in the prem.
    Boing Boing Baggies, I would love to say see you in Europe, but i dont think you’re gonna get there again.

  35. Re; the penalties.

    1. The Greek was the wrong side of a man who had beaten him (as he did all afternoon). Had this scissor tackle been perpetrated by opposition at Anfield, the place would have been screaming for a red card, let alone a penalty. Clear penalty.

    2. Awful defending leads to Reina sticking out a leg. Comedy defending all round. There was also an argument for a red card here.

    Anything else is just red tinted glassed IMO.

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