Why Patience is the Key for Liverpool

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By Matt Davies

Liverpool are a team who struggle to score goals when we really should do, whether it is when we are dominating a game and should be ahead, or if we get a chance to score and we panic. I believe that the main thing that we are missing is patience.

Under Rodgers, Liverpool are supposedly playing ‘Tiki Taka’ football, what this essentially means is tick tock football, a phrase used that was supposed to be onomatopoeic to describe the short sharp passing that was performed by the Spanish team in the 2006 World Cup. Since then Spain have gone on to win 2 European Championships and a World Cup and they will surely be the favourites going into the next World Cup.
What the Spanish National Team as well as many of the clubs such as Barcelona do well is play the ball calmly in the opponents half waiting for an opportunity. When you watch Barcelona play they slowly build up the play and bring players forwards until the majority of their team is in and around the opposing penalty box. They then pass from side to side waiting for a gap that they can manipulate, if their opponents shape is out of place for a second then a Barcelona will have filled a hole and be ready to receive the ball to help the attack, if there is no slip up in shape, they will play the ball out and wait again for a chance.

You don’t see the Barcelona team panic when they have the ball, instead they remain calm and patient. Because of this they can gradually apply pressure and bring players forwards, normally what happens is that the opposing players start to feel as though they have to get the ball, they will then run out to try and apply pressure when they shouldn’t do, leaving a weakness. The slow build-up also allows them to bring their wingbacks forwards to help with their attacks, you see this every time Barcelona or Spain play if you watch for Alba on the left or Dani Alves/Arbeloa on the right. Often the wingbacks can push forwards and get in behind the line of defence to the by-line where they can play a ball back across goal, this is a tactic that I definitely feel we should use, especially as we have one of the best right backs in the world in Glen Johnson.

If we have this little bit more patience then we would capitalise on our opponent’s mistakes and create more chances to score. The problem with our lack of goals is that the players feel that they have to score more, therefore pressuring themselves and each other more than is beneficial. If they relaxed more and waited for the right time to ‘pounce’, we would inevitably get more clear-cut chances and score more goals. We need to panic when we have the ball, there is no threat to our goal and there is a threat to theirs, we need to panic when we don’t have the ball and try to get it back quickly so that we can keep applying pressure and forcing mistakes.


  1. This is hardly telling us something we don’t know. Nonetheless all the patience in the world cannot disguise the blatantly obvious that a goal finisher is what we desperately need to strengthen the attack.

  2. great article. The trouble we have is Steven Gerrard. Quite simply in that style of play he’s a liability. Instead of keeping the ball, he wants to play the killer ball every time. When that ball isn’t always on. He’s been a tremendous player for us over the years, but now he doesn’t fit the philosophy, which he admitted himself the other week

  3. Arbeloa plays at Real Madrid not Barcelona.

    Presumptious to assume we are anywhere near the Standard of either them or Spain.
    We are playing possession football in our own third or the middle third.
    We are ineffective in the final third not through a lack of patience but a lack of quality – excepting Suarez overall, who is actually culpable of some appalling finishing as well.
    We have 3 points less than Hodgson had same games, won 2 league games by middle November – nothing to do with “patience” – just quality, that we don’t have enough of.

  4. Am happy with d way we play now but we nid a finisher which wil come by january, i pray. At least i dnt go to matches wid d fear of losing anymore, am more confident. YNWA

  5. I don’t fancy dominating a game without a win. Even barca who’s the master clubs like chelsea & celtic has taught others how to defeat them by parking the “BRT” so this should serve as lesson for RODGES. You can add me on 2go @ Yusabola11. In BRENDAN RODGES I trust. Liverpool 4 life.

  6. Arbeloa plays for Spain, if you look at it I say “every time Barcelona or Spain play”. We are trying to play like Barca and Spain so although it is ‘presumptious’, it is our aim. Thanks for your positive input from the other guys

  7. Arbeloa plays for Spain, if you look at it I say “every time Barcelona or Spain play”. We are trying to play like Barca and Spain so although it is ‘presumptious’, it is our aim. Thanks for your positive input from the other guys

  8. Great article Matt,

    I agree, patience is important to Liverpool’s progression towards tiki-taka football. However, patience isn’t everything.

    Certain players, (Steven Gerrard in particular) do not seem to possess the temperament needed to play this way.
    I am not for one minute suggesting that he is incapable of it, far from it. He does often feel the need to “drag the team up a level” with an individual display, rather than being a cog in a well oiled wheel.

    Lucas Leiva was born to play this football, as was Allen. A lot of people were on Allen’s back during the Chelsea game, which I found unfair. Fair enough, he didn’t have the best of games, but he is here to play “a particular style” and once we revert to plan B football, his talent’s aren’t utilized.

  9. @Alan Kay.

    He mentions Spain as well as Barcelona, a team Arbeloa DOES play for.

    I think you’re a little to trigger happy with you’re negative critique, however I do understand.

    I think your point on quality is far off the mark though. In terms of central midfielders, we’re bursting at the seams with talent. In terms of width, well, at least we have it this year. And our back four is the same as the one last year (Conceded second least amount of goals last season).

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