Evolution not Revolution?

Can the manager see it is time for a change maybe?

We have played nine games in the league now and a few in the Europa League and Credit Card Cup. How would you assess the season so far?

At home: Won 3, Drawn 1, Lost 1 against a bang in form Man United. I’m fairly happy with that.

Away: Won 0, Drawn 3, Lost 1 against a Chelsea team that is resurgent. We are unbeaten apart from that, but need to start turning draws into wins. Not a bad start either

Europa League: Top of the group, yet to concede a goal. Smashing.

Then why do I feel uneasy still? Why aren’t I as confident as I was a few weeks ago? I should be. The injury time winner against West Brom was the most mental I have gone in SJP this season. I should be really looking forward to us pushing on now. Shouldn’t I?

Well yes, but the feeling of uneasiness is purely because we have not played anywhere near the levels we played last season yet. The Europa game at home to Brugge (or however you bloody spell it?) was the most fluent and positive we have played.

The supporters know it. The players know it. The Manager certainly does.

Jonas gave an interview yesterday saying other teams know how we play now and set up against us to nullify our strengths, especially at home. Then surely we change, evolve and force opposition managers to rethink their tactics and how they set up their team?

Curiously it was West Brom away last year that first saw the 433 formation and it clearly rattled Hodgson enough for him to scratch his head. Several times.

We have the players to do it even during the game. Pardew admitted on Sunday that he changed the team during the second half because we looked jaded and one-dimensional.. Shook it up. Threw players with pace on and went at The Baggies. Then why not do that from the start?

We have the perfect opportunity to do this on Sunday at Anfield against their lumbering centre halves and a probably nervous Enrique (unless he is playing in goal again?). I know our record there is shocking. Even last season we went there in good form, scored first and then fell apart.

We have most of the first team back from injury apart from possibly Ba, who is rated 50/50 and the suspended Tiote (more on him a little later).

The back four probably picks itself apart from who gets the nod between Taylor and Williamson. I have given Williamson stick in the past but to be fair to him, he has played very well with Coloccini back alongside him in the last couple of games. I’d still play the stamp collector though.

Cabaye and HBA will be definite starters and let’s say if Ba does miss out then Cisse has to play after his worldy against West Brom. (hehe)

Jonas has had a lot of stick recently, some of it possibly deserved as he seems to be as ineffective as I have seen him for a while. Maybe he is toiling under new instructions from the boss? Maybe he has a niggling injury we don’t know about? But, the fact that the manager has named him vice captain suggests if he is fit he plays.

Perch has to play for me. He has been outstanding in his last few appearances. Especially at the Dark Place (or the Rat Hole as Mr Barton called it. Genius).

We will probably see a midfield of Jonas, Cabaye, Perch and HBA with Cisse and Shola up front.

My first thought is: Are Shola and Cisse a compatible striking partnership?

When Shola plays with Ba he tends to play behind Ba flicking on balls into Demba, as was perfectly demonstrated on Sunday.

Does Cisse play the same way as Ba? Or is he more of a number 10 than a number 9? I’m still not sure. He is an instinctive and deadly predator who is going through a barren spell. It happens to them all. Even the Lion of Gosforth went through them sometimes.

Shola has also played a lot of football recently and maybe could do with a little break.

Is it not time to shake the team up radically, as I earlier implied?

More pace in the team could mean switching to more traditional wingers. Obertan right, Ferguson left? Would that work? Would they track back and help the fullbacks? In my opinion, yes.

Ferguson was poor against Man U but he did play at full back. Free him of that and let him attack Liverpool’s right back, flashing balls across the box. He has already shown he is capable of pin point accuracy from the left wing.

Obertan needs a few games. Maybe for the manager to make a decision about him and decide whether to keep him as a squad player or move him on. The Brugge home game showed the complex character he is. Nervous and unsure before his goal. Positive and direct after. Never have I known a player who must need an ‘arm around the shoulder’ more.

In this 442 formation we could play the wingers with HBA floating behind Cisse with Jonas probably the one to miss out.

Alternatively we could revert back to the 433 system that worked so well last season but with added pace in the front 3. I would like to see at least one of these two players get a game.

We could play 433 with Cabaye/Perch/Jonas and then HBA/Cisse/Obertan or Ferguson.

Or maybe Sammy, who came onto the pitch on Sunday, ‘bought a ticket for the raffle’ and won us the game will see action from the start? I wouldn’t personally, but keep him on the bench to run at the Scousers as they tire.

These are all questions the manager will be pondering in the next few days I hope and it makes for great debate in the pub or on Twitter.

I think if we play with pace, controlled aggression and determination we can win. I really don’t want to see Brendan Rodgers giving a smug interview to Geoff Shreeves after the match. He irritates me immensely.

I hope one of the names in the three envelopes is his.

Oh and one line about Liverpool. Stop Suarez scoring

‘Controlled aggression’ brings me back to the subject of Tiote. I firmly believe his red card in the derby was because of who he is not because of what he did.

But.

He needs to stop picking up these silly bookings. The coaching staff need to get him to alter his game so he is not making Cattermole-esque challenges in areas of the park that he does not have to.

The last few days have brought rumours of a move for Mo Sissoko. Surely it is Tiote’s position in the team he will threaten most (if he does indeed arrive). Personally I don’t want to see him leave and I think his disciplinary record would put off a lot of potential suitors.

Plus the rumoured £20M Mr Ashley wants for him.

Well let me know if you agree with me or if in your opinion I am talking complete bollocks.

Comments and debate are always welcome.

Enjoy the game. Howay the Lads.

Teg

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2 Responses to “Evolution not Revolution?”

  1. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you design this website yourself
    or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz answer back as I’m looking to design my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. thanks

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