Set Pieces Still A Nightmare For Reds | Five Things We Learned

Same old problems, same old Liverpool. The 3-3 draw with Watford has only highlighted our pre-existing issues which don't appear to be anywhere near solved. With a defence looking completely lost and a midfield struggling to pass freely it was a frustrating outing a Vicarage Road on Saturday afternoon for the Reds.

1) Mo Salah looks a good buy

Image via The Guardian
Despite the many, many negatives from that fixture it has to be said that Salah was one of the positives. He put on a good display in his pre-season matches and has proved against Watford that he can tough it in the Premier League. His clever play to force the penalty was quickly followed by a goal of his own (that Firmino shot wasn't going in so it's a good job he continued his run).

He made a real impact I felt, certainly in the second half and if anything, scoring on your debut, whatever the result is going to work wonders for your confidence. Keep an eye on this lad.

2) The midfield three need to stamp their authority

There were several issues during the match and let's face it the main problem came from the defence but I also feel the midfield three have a lot to answer for. Emre Can, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum were extremely quiet. Can was more noticeable but mainly due to sloppy passes or rash challenges.

Henderson is obviously not at his sharpest but it's his responsibility to try and pull the strings and hold his side together, I saw minimal command or vision from him on Saturday. As for Gini, to be fair he always seems to be one of those players that goes unnoticed but in this game, certainly in the first half he didn't appear to be adding anything to the team. Definitely room for improvement but it's early doors and these things happen at the start of every season.

3) We still can't defend

Why on god's green earth can't we defend set pieces? Every team gets nervous when the opposition has a corner but nobody gets as nervous as a Liverpool fan at the moment. All a side has to do is put the big men in the mixer and hey presto - goal.

It's shocking, Lovren and Matip aren't terrible defenders but the set up is just all wrong. Moreno for me shouldn't even be in defence either but then I'm not sure Milner would have made that much of a difference. The discussion post match between Jamie Redknapp and Jamie Carragher was an interesting one about van Dijk, would an influential defender like him make everything better? I'm not sure it would answer all the questions but I do feel that a leader like him could have a significant impact.


4) Sadio Mane the real highlight

I got Mane on the back of my shirt this season and I'm so glad I did. For the majority of the match he was the only player on the pitch for Liverpool, the only one looking for and running in to space and the only one capable of finding the net in the manner in which he did.

He's a quality player and for me, he's going to be a vital cog for Liverpool this coming season.

5) We need to sort out this Coutinho saga and spend spend spend

Will he? Won't he? Who knows. The last post on this blog had me convinced he was going nowhere this season, that there was one more left in him but after unfolding events this week it's looking less likely the Brazilian will still be at Anfield this season.

If that's the case and he does really want to go, we need to get things moving. Get top dollar and spend, spend, spend. Clearly we need to strengthen the defence and clearly without Coutinho the attack needs another starlet. I have no idea why we appear to have been so relaxed in this transfer window when apparently we have money to spend but if Coutinho goes we can't hang about any longer. 

Next up for the Reds is a huge game against Hoffenheim.

What were your thoughts on the game? Tweet me: @LFCKirstyLFC

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