4 3 3 come 4 5 1

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Let’s be honest the football we have been playing of late hasn’t been enthralling. Under Benitez we were largely defensive, playing on the counter and under Hodgson we have….. Well let’s not go there!!!  For the latter half of last season we employed a 4 4 2 formation in most games but will we continue this next season? Maybe, but I don’t think so?

As much as I love Kenny I do believe that Clarke will play the main role when it comes to tactics and how the team plays. Dalglish is a great motivator and knows his football thus the reason he brought in Clarke. So when did Clarke have his greatest success? we all know the answer to that and it was under Mourinho at Chelsea. The 2004/05 and 2005/06 league titles were won by Chelsea and it was largely down to the effectiveness of the 4 3 3 formation they employed. I have a feeling that Liverpool will look to employ similar tactics come August.

Looking at how Chelsea lined up we saw Didier Drogba employed as the central striker, Big Powerful, Can hold a ball. Then Robben was out on the right and our very own (not for much longer) Cole on the left. So looking at the comparisons so far we have Carroll who pretty much fills the Drogba role. Suarez has been playing down the left for Uruguay and occasionally on the right. The kids that talented he could do either. This leaves a slot spare that we need to fill. Mata has been uttered quite often and I imagine our main (marquee if you like) signing will be to complete the front three. I would love it to be Aguero but all signs point to Downing

Looking at the midfield positions I can pretty much guarantee Lucas will continue to occupy the holding position, Gerrard will play without any shadow of a doubt (when fit) which leaves one more midfield position. With the amount spent on Henderson I would imagine that this slot is pretty much his. If Adam does come in, expect him to be a squad player unless he gets his chance, impresses and ousts Henderson.

The Left Back position has been mentioned often in the press with Clichy and Enrique the main protagonists. I can honestly see this position not being filled by someone coming in and perceive Johnson will pick up where he left off before Kelly got injured and he moved back over to Right Back. The centre back positions are interesting. Carra although a little slow now is still a force and under Dalglish will be a regular starter. Agger needs to start but the if is whether he can stay fit (which I doubt) that being the case we need to offload him and bring in someone else (Zapata mentioned).

In an ideal world we will line up like this:


Suarez                                                                                  Aguero

Henderson                         Gerrard


Clichy                    Agger                    Carragher            Kelly

But I imagine it will be more like this:


Suarez                                                                                  Downing

Henderson                    Gerrard


Johnson               Skrtel                    Carragher            Kelly

There is a lot to be excited about and I feel that by playing this formation will be solid in defence, flooding the midfield and lethal in attack. My mouth waters at the prospect of seeing this formation in action and I hope I have based this article on facts (although not set in stone) rather than my pipedream of how I want us to line up. It makes complete sense to me but that’s my opinion and I would love to hear yours because hey that what footballs all about isn’t it?



    1. Kuyt will be kept on the bench until such time as the game is crying out for someone who rarely scores, can’t dribble, has no pace and can’t cross a ball – but who runs alot. Kuyt will then be brought on as this is a role suited to him.

  1. So, what happens to Kuyt? I think Agger is too overated (Not to mention his injury record) Skrtel may seldom score like Agger but defensively he’s miles ahead.

  2. I think this is the type of formation we will play my only concern is there is no space for kuyt will he become a.squad player or will he cover of one of the front 3 get injured? My point is can we afford to leave him out his work rate is one of the highest in the league. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out i disagree with the left back point you made i think it is vital we fill that space it is something we have struggled with for years a genuine left back will give us just that extra option in attack in my opinion we should try get enrique or else look at baines but i doubt he would move. might get shot down for these points but interested to hear everyone elses opionionsleague

    1. I agree, apart from henderson above adam (if he does come in) By leaving him warming he bench we lose out on a great left foot (not to mention set pieces! Just my opinion, anyone agree?

  3. Most sensible and interesting article on Empire of the Kop for a while. Totally agree a mouthwatering formation. I wouldn’t expect any less from Kenny and Clarke to be honest. Can I ask why you’ve omitted Kuyt though? He’s a must-start player in my opinion!

  4. Well , mostly I agree to the tactics. Its obvious considering the players bought and those continually being linked to lfc. Daglish is keen to strengthen the midfield which means we will play a fancied 451. Formation.
    What I don’t agree or rather question is the Meireles factor. Arguably he’s the most skilled, most versetile CM player lfc have. No way Henderson can start before Raul, Gerard I doubt will be injury free next season -only Raul can fill his slot better than he himself. But I bet agger can atlast shake off his injury problems and our defence will be unpenetrateable.

  5. What about Miereles the best player last year? Kuyt the hardest working player last year? Skertel the most consistent injury free player last year? Carrol is hardly a Drogba. Can dribble,no pace, less passing/crossing ability.
    Personally I think Henderson will be a squad player this season because of his age and long term goals they’ll gradually bring him into games.
    I probably sound negative but I’m not particulary filled with enthusiasm at the thought of relying on Carrol up front or Henderson to supply creativity…I trully hope I’m wrong.

  6. Regards kuyt, do you really think we’ll play kuyt if we drop 20 million plus to provide a proper wide man? You tell me where he fits then. Loyalty and hard work shouldn’t guarantee him a starting berth.

  7. Let me be the first to congratulate you on your first article for EOTK. But the article itself irked me. Firstly the very obvious miss of Raul Meireles is not only shocking but also, frankly, a little insulting to the second best player of last season.
    Meireles was always at the heart of all things creative and positive at LFC last season. Furthermore, contrary to popular belief, imho, Mata is not just a possibility but a serious transfer target for King Kenny and the front three of Suarez, Carroll and Mata will be just as terrifying as that of Henry and Bergkamp!

  8. Kuyt is one of the most comitted and hard working payers we have and he is very underrated. On the subject of agger and skrtel, they are both very professional at what they do and I think that the likes of man u, chelsea and especially arsenal would love to have them.

  9. Raul has the higest work rate of ANY premier league player. Try factor that into your equations.

  10. Why are U̶̲̥̅̊ takin out aquilani out of all this…he should be there instead of Henderson…hendo Į̸̸̨§ to learn this season
    It shud be 442 cos of carrol cos  don’t tink he can hold bal like drogba…we nid to cross more  him
    As of left back…we need a̶̲̥̅̊ natural player there Ὼ̴̩̩̩̥☀̤̣̈̇t someone that can’t play at his best there

  11. The left back position must surely be the number one priority for Comolli and Dalglish. I’m sure we will get Enrique, failing that then possibly Cissokho. Charlie Adam will add some steel and passing ability to the midfield. Henderson and Adam to battle it out for that position. I think Downing will provide width and maybe someone like the youthful Boudebouz to add some pace and trickery, although he would need to be given time to prove himself. Mata would be awesomw but unrealistic at the moment.

  12. We definately need a CB, LB, LW and Fwd.

    LB – We haven t got any left footed fullbacks bar Aurelio who s injured all the time and the inexperienced Robbo.

    My choice – 1 Baines, 2 Enrique, 3 Cissokho

    CB – Carra cant keep on playing a full season at his age, Agger like Aurelio is injured most of the time, Soto has been lacking and Skrtel is the most reliable. If we fail to sign a CB I think that role can be filled by Kelly who played as CB before filling in as RB. With the emergence of Flanno our RB would be Johnson and Flanagan.

    My Choice for CB – 1 Dann, 2 Cahill, 3 Sakho, 4 M Richards

    LW – If we play a 4 3 3 we don t need the out and out winger but a skillful attacking left footed player will do. On the otherhand if we play a 4 4 2 such player won t fit in thus I think that s why we are opting for Downing rather than Mata.

    My choice – 1 Hazard 2 Milner (he can play left and right, 3 Downing, 4 Adam Johnson

    FWD – So far we have Suarez, Carroll, Kuyt and Ngog. In a 4 3 3 with the current players the obvious choice would be Suarez (l) Carroll (c) and Kuyt (r) however in a 4 4 2 we can play Carroll – Suarez, Suarez – Kuyt. I think we lack someone in the Suarez mould, who can play with any kind of striker.

    My Choice – 1 Aguero, 2 Lavezzi, 3 Mata

  13. This is a good article, IF it was talking about a one-off game like a cup final or the like. But everyone knows we’ll change our formation through the season depending on home/away/opposition/injuries. First thing I will emphasise is that Kuyt will be a first team regular, FACT. While it’s all very well naming your ‘ideal’ side, but if it isn’t going to happen then what’s the point? You might as well put Messi in your ideal side. Also Clichy is going city so let’s stop writing about him. What will stand us in good stead will be a strong start and then having a decent fit squad after Xmas. This is when the full squad like Aquilani, Downing?, Lucas, Henderson, Spearing, Maxi, Carroll & Meireles will step up to the plate and perform when called upon. If we have the same team for 10 games then the aforementioned players will get frustrated and go stale. It’s upto KK & Clarke to utilise the squad ALL season, and they will. The other players that will play every game, Gerrard, Suarez, Mata(hopefully), Reina, Kuyt & Carra will hope for an injury free campaign and the top 4 is a real possibility…or even higher :-)

  14. I agree there will be achange of formation and i think we will use this sometime but i think we will go with a 3 5 2. Rumour has it that is why we have not gone for scott dann because he is not fast enough when we play a back 3

    1. I agree that a 4-4-3 would be a great base formation (until the ref notices), but seriously, a 3-5-2 would suit the players we have with loads of midfielders and ashortage of fullback. What’s happened with the zapataapita rumours?

  15. Aguero will never come to Anfield and Clichy is highly unlikely.
    Clarke has been the tactician ever since he arrived at Liverpool, Dalglish has been the motivator!
    A winning team needs to have a base plan of 4-4-3, 4-3-3 or whatever the squad and tactics allow, but it is vital for a team to be able to change the set-up according to the opponent being faced.
    The Reds will get a left-back and probably the two wingers everyone’s been banging on about.
    Still a long way for the transfer window to close and I feel we will be in for one/two surprises.

  16. Yeah, I reckon we’ll play a 4-3-3 aswell next season. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be after so many central midfielders. Unlike you though, I reckon Adam will play deep alongside Lucas. He’ll pick the ball up off the defence and stay passes around while Lucas does the dirty work. Henderson to be used sparingly as he’s Gerards long-term replacement (even though he was sh!t for England, but who isn’t?). I reckon the chiefs are working on a marquee signing for upfront too. Mata would be ideal, bug I’d take Kun also. Left back NEEDS to be filled by quality, someone who can defend and attack. I want Cissokho for there. We also need a centre back as Agger is always injured, Skrtel is a bit of a donkey and Carra’s big getting any younger. Don’t even mention Kryakos. I think Kuyt is a great workhorse and he could easily fill the central/right position in the front 3 if anyone’s injured/tired/still settling in or if we are playing Wigan.

  17. Bloody predictive spelling… You know what I mean, Adam will “spray” passes, “but” I would take Kun Aguero. Damn iPhone (still love it though…)

  18. I have to echo the other posts with the ‘Kuyt?!?!’ Comments, there is no way he wouldn’t make our starting 11, especially considering that the formation you suggest is the one employed by Feyenoord and Holland which saw him score 80 goals in 120 games.

    I wouldn’t refer to Downing as such a booby prize… Very effective midfielder who can produce from either flank extremely well.

    Henderson’s transfer fee is large, but it doesn’t warrant a starting spot. In fact, considering he is only 21, divide it up over 10/12 years if it makes it easier to swallow!

    And there’s still plenty of life left in Carra’s legs! Can’t argue with last post about Agger being over rated, and injury prone. I’d sell him to fund a move for a more reliable dependable centre back like Scott Dann, who could (eventually) succeed from Carra.

  19. Whoaaaa!!!! i know this is just an opinion but it doesnt`t matter what system we play if we have the RIGHT players.Bringing in the right players is more important than systems. I think this is where Dalglish and Clarke may differ. Kuyt not in first 11 is simply not going to happen. Henderson despite the fee will not have a guaranteed place. He has deffo been bought as a future replacement for Gerrard and will be used as such. Glen Johnson , only if we can`t get anyone defensively more soundAdam . Kelly at right back eventually taking over from Carra in the centre and then Flanagan coming in for Kelly at right back. Also watch Adam Morgan. Just been given a 3 year contract he has the right attitude and will be knocking on the door pretty soon.

  20. Hi Michael great job on your formation and line-up, here is my take on it. Left back of solidity and attacking flair needed badly, this position if fixed can add 10 goals more and as many points, remember john arne riise in his early years and christian ziege. It’s no coincidence we had successful teams with these two players in that berth. Next a left winger who hugs the wing and bombs up and down and stretches the opposition and provides aerial supply in the box to big andy carroll, but crucially “width” and how bad we need it. Striker wise we have kuyt who is dangerous in the hole just off the front two and what a combination carroll and suarez will have very akin to toshack and keegan. A new centre half just for competion for places and definetly a playmaker required. So here is my left back and left wing options and centre midfielder who creates precision plays. Left back: fabio contrao, young and devastingly talented as well as tough defensively. Left wing: arda turan, talented and a real wing player. Playmaker: Adam, young and talented fits the dalglish requirements. Centre half: Scott dann, liverpool fan and commanding, replacement for carragher. My team is based on 4-4-1-1 reina,contrao,skrtel,carragher,kelly,turan,meireles,gerrard,johnson,carroll,suarez. Subs: kuyt,lucas,adam,downing,dann.

    Note the options available and the option to choose glen johnson as wide right winger would be shrewd.

    This is a die hard reds fans view. YNWA

  21. Downing is not a marquee signing and he will not play ahead of Kuyt if he comes, and personally I hope he doesn’t come, might as well get someone like Turan for less money and is a better player.

  22. First of all I want to say thank you for taking the time to read my article and to take part in the debat but WOW….. the naivety of some people astounds me.

    1) Raul has a 75% chance that he will leave the club. 2 good months and runs out of steam around the 65-70 minute mark

    2) I love our Dirk but we have been making do and squeezing him into the side for too long. Dalglish knows what he’s on about and will want a more natural player in his position

    3)Kuyt ahead of Carroll….. please

    4)Henderson created the 4th most goal scoring opportunities in the league last season in an average team. Why would he play a bit part

    5)Aquilani does NOT want to play for Liverpool…. he WILL leave

  23. Interesting article. Knowing Kenny’s preference for traditional wingers (ala Barnes at Pool, Wilcox at Blackburn), I never thoumght of a 4-3-3 formation – though it is certainly a possibility given the number of central midfielders at our club. In fact, it may even allow Gerrard to play forward next to Suarez and Carol and lengthen his career.

  24. kuyt will b the third striker(and not downing) and Raul meireles will start anyday above henderson (charlie adam will be second choice)

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