Five Things We Learned From The Swansea Game
1) The grey area between a penalty or simulationThe decision to give Daniel Sturridge a yellow card for simulation was an absolute joke in my opinion. After logging on to Twitter at half time it appears some people felt he got what he deserved. For me, he was clearly impeded via the action of a push and while this action obviously didn't warrant a penalty it isn't to say the alternative was to book him for simulation.
It seems at the moment within the penalty box there is no option for the referee to just continue play when something like that happens, either he has to award a penalty or he has to punish the player, despite the fact they clearly didn't dive.
2) James Milner = vital
|Image via theguardian.com|
3) Karius not quite perfectAfter all the uproar about the state of Simon Mignolet it was interesting for me watching Karius a bit more closely against Swansea. I was unable to watch the Hull game so didn't fully analyse his performance but after watching on Saturday it appears he certainly isn't perfect. When coming to collect the ball from corners he displays some of the same faults Mignolet was slated for the only bonus of course is at the moment we can put this down to nerves or settling into the side.
Whatever happens he definitely needs to work on his performance, the Swansea goal was a mess overall including the actions of the defence but I still feel Karius could have reacted slightly better, perhaps with a low dive. Maybe I'm being a bit harsh but lets just say I'll be keeping an eye on him.
4) The Reds have staminaThe main thing I took from this game was the Reds ability to continue on in the face of adversity. After the Swansea goal and even before it Liverpool looked very downbeat, there was no "swarming" to the ball or power pressing that we're used to seeing under Klopp. It was almost like they were expecting to find a goal early on and for the game to be a walk in the park. The Swansea goal sent a real message to the lads and although it did take the half time team talk to spark up a bit of action, the Reds did fantastically well to get back into a difficult game.
In seasons gone by this is exactly the kind of fixture Liverpool would have messed up, to get three points from a game like this is invaluable.
5) The no striker option isn't always perfectFinally, I'm personally not sure playing with no striker is always the best option. The set up with the likes of Lallana, Coutinho, Firmino and Mane is a cracking one how could it not be? However I feel it works a lot better against the bigger sides who have more of a want to get forward. When playing teams like Burnley or Swansea it doesn't work as well in my opinion. I feel we have the options now and Klopp should have the confidence to change things and play a striker, maybe even two strikers when required.
Sturridge and Origi did eventually enter play but the former was only introduced due to an unfortunate injury to Lallana. Even though neither striker scored I just feel it brought greater balance to the game. Again, this could be a bit of bias on my part as I am quite traditional and do like a good 4-4-2 but I just feel we should utilise Sturridge and Origi more often.