Posts

Showing posts with the label Dejan Lovren

Defensive Frailties

Image
Liverpool lost 4-1 to Spurs at Wembley on Sunday afternoon thanks to a frankly pathetic defensive display. A single goal from Mo Salah fooled us all into thinking there may be a glimmer of hope but the Spurs attack was far too strong and the Liverpool defence far too weak. 

Seriously, it's reached a point where I have actually given up on the back four for a variety of reasons:
Firstly I think Clyne walks straight back into that defence and to be honest adds a whole lot of security. Secondly, some may have changed their minds once again about Moreno but I certainly have not, he's no defender and why buy Robertson if you aren't gonna play him?
Granted Moreno has some sting on the attack but I challenge anybody to suggest that Robertson's crosses are any worse?
Then we have the centre-backs and the goalkeeper. Well, where's the soddin leadership that's what I say? Where's the Carra role screaming yer head off for 90 minutes and making sure everyone isn't stra…

Liverpool FC 2016/2017 Season Review

Image
Yes I know, this post is ridiculously late on the blog but better late than never ay? Below I provide you with a quick rundown of each month of the 2016/2017 season. 

Was 4th place good enough? Why do I think Klopp can often be as stubborn as hell? Why did 2017 contain one of the worst matches I have ever watched as a Liverpool fan? Read on to find out.
AugustLiverpool kicked off Jurgen Klopp's full season as manager in a game away to Arsenal. The Reds have had some interesting fixtures with Arsene Wenger's side over recent years and this opening tie was no different.

Seven goals were scored in the game, four of which came from Liverpool. I was left with a strange sense of disappointment at the result though after I bet 50p on a 4-4 scoreline for a hundred quid haha.
The Reds also picked up a draw with Spurs this month but famously were beaten 2-0 by Burnley.  A 5-0 win over Burton Albion in the second round of the League Cup completed the month of August.
SeptemberLiverpool kicked…

MATCH PREVIEW: Leicester V Liverpool

Image
Finally, Liverpool are back playing football. It feels like it's been an absolute age since the last match, bloody boring! The Reds travel to Leicester on Monday evening to face the managerless foxes. 
As soon as Claudio Ranieri came to Leicester I was immediately on his side. I have a huge soft spot for anything Italian and Ranieri almost instantly worked his charm, it was like he'd never left.
What Ranieri did with Leicester in 2015/2016 is nothing short of a miracle. An unbelievable feat that will never be matched. For him to then be unceremoniously sacked? Well it's a real shame. There's no hiding from the fact that Leicester have been poor this season but is that all Ranieri's fault? I don't believe so. Some of that blame lies squarely at the players door and I don't personally think any new manager will have the time or the magic touch to get enough out of the players now, but I suppose we will have to wait and see.
In bocca al lupo Ranieri! 
Despite the …

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Spurs

Image
Can Liverpool beat Spurs? After a string of disastrous results (bar a pretty decent draw with Chelsea) that is the big question hanging over manager Jurgen Klopp this weekend. The fact is though, the Reds have had a funny old season and despite having lost to the likes of Hull and Wolverhampton Wanderers in recent weeks, they will probably go on to beat Tottenham.
So what do the stats say?Well, Liverpool have amassed a total of 52 goals so far this season, that's eight more than Spurs. On the flip side, the Reds have conceded 30 goals while Tottenham have only let in 16.
The stats show what we all know to be true, Liverpool have a massive defensive issue. A back four consisting of a makeshift leftback and an alternating centre back partnership of Lovren, Klavan, Matip and even on the odd occasion Lucas Leiva creates an unfavourable situation for the Reds. 
Frustratingly, Matip and Lovren who are probably the top partnership when everyone is fit have not had many opportunities to play…

Five Things We Learned From The Chelsea Game

Image
1) Best ever finish with a black eye? Who knew Dejan Lovren had it in him?! Opening up the scoring after 17 minutes, the defender pulled off a finish any striker would have been proud of. Not only this but his positioning and decision to remain up top meant he was in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

I was pretty merry last night after several ciders in celebration but I still found myself questioning at 2am this morning in the taxi home "How'd he do that though? As if Lovren scored that".

I'm going to stick my neck out and say that is the best goal scored by somebody with a black eye. If you have any other entries please feel free to tweet me.

2) Jordan Henderson can get it right I love Jordan Henderson, I honestly do but I find him extremely frustrating at times, none more so than when he tries to have a pop at goal from 25 yards out and ends up sending his effort out the ground. That wasn't the case on Friday night though after the ball splay…

Liverpool: Conte's Toughest Test Yet?

Image
Antonio Conte isn't the type of manager to shy away from a fight and looking back at Chelsea's run of fixtures it looks as though Liverpool are going to be the first real test for the Italian. Up to yet Chelsea have faced West Ham, Watford, Bristol Rovers, Burnley and Swansea.

Conte has steered his side to four wins in the process and one draw in their most recent game against Swansea which ended 2-2. Despite hailing from a country renowned for its defensive capabilities (put on show during his time as Azzurri boss) Conte has been unable to shaw things up at the back with Chelsea only managing to keep one clean sheet so far this season (Burnley 3-0).


Conte may have the answer to some of his back four issues though as he announced in Thursday's presser that David Luiz would be brought in for Friday night's game. Most on Twitter however laughed at the fact the man Chelsea sold and then bought back from PSG is supposed to be the remedy.

It's no secret that I'm eve…

"It's not explainable."

Image
A dejected Thomas Tuchel attempted to describe his feelings on a game his side had somehow just lost 4-3, "It's not explainable" he said. He's right. When you watch a team like Liverpool on a European night at Anfield, there's something in the air, nobody is quite sure what it is, it's unexplainable, but it's there. The fans can feel it, the manager can feel it but most importantly, the players feel it. It's a presence that only Liverpool seem to hold and it's the reason you can never, ever write Liverpool off... ever.

An absolutely unbelievable game against unbelievable opposition.

Before I go into a round up I would just like pay my respects to the 96 Liverpool fans who tragically lost their lives in the Hillsborough disaster. Tomorrow marks the 27th anniversary of the disaster but justice is finally coming. Both fans also impeccably observed a minute's silence before the game. #JFT96

No German side has beat Liverpool at Anfield in 17 attemp…

Three Key Points From The Dortmund Draw

Image
Well, that wasn't half bad was it? If you'd of told me we'd leave Germany with an away goal and a draw prior to kick off I'd have bitten your hand off. The Reds put on a valiant performance at Jurgen Klopp's old stomping ground and should feel confident upon their return to Anfield.
1) Divock Origi is an absolute legend Ok, maybe that's coming on a bit strong but I thought the Belgian utterly justified his selection over Daniel Sturridge. It was a bold decision by Jurgen Klopp to leave Sturridge on the bench but he was rewarded for his bravery after a strong performance from Divock.
I'm guilty myself of perhaps not taking Origi seriously but he deserves nothing but praise for his 84 minutes. He always gives his all in every game he features in and against Dortmund his ability to run behind the defenders appeared to work perfectly. I thought he'd messed up the goal after what looked like a questionable first touch but he remained calm and scored on 36 mi…

MATCH PREVIEW: Watford V Liverpool

Image
Liverpool prepare to face Watford at Vicarage Road on Sunday in the last fixture for the Reds before Christmas Day. Jurgen Klopp's side just about managed to collect a point against West Bromwich Albion last weekend and will be looking for a more convincing result this time out.

Injuries for Liverpool mean Dejan Lovren will be unavailable. Also out is James Milner who has picked up a calf problem and of course Klopp is still unable to call upon Daniel Sturridge. For Watford, both Hoban and Gilmartin are injured long term and there are doubts hanging over Behrami and Prodl who will be subject to late fitness tests.

At present, Watford are 7th in the table on a total of 25 points, Liverpool are sitting just behind in 9th but a win would take them above the Hornets. Form wise, the Reds have won three out of their last six fixtures in the league whilst Watford have picked up four wins over the same period and have not lost in their last three.

The last time the two sides met was in J…

Dramatic Draw At Anfield

Image
Liverpool collected a point at Anfield on Sunday afternoon in dramatic style as it was left to Divock Origi to find an equaliser in the 95th minute. An injury to Dejan Lovren meant close to ten minutes of extra time were played and the Reds ensured they made the most of it.

The first half for Liverpool began in a relatively positive fashion and it was clear as day that Philippe Coutinho was making a difference to the side. Some typical trickery from the Brazilian was on show and he perhaps should have done better when shooting over the bar early on. His efforts however were paid off at 20 minutes when his cross into the box found the head of Adam Lallana. A flick on to a poised Jordan Henderson allowed the captain to net the opening goal of the game.

The Reds may have celebrated but the elation didn't last long when just nine minutes later West Bromwich Albion had found an equaliser. I predicted in the preview that the Baggies would punish on the set pieces and that's exactly…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Southampton

Image
It's Southampton at home for Jurgen Klopp's team on Sunday but will the boss be able to get the better of Ronald Koeman's side? The Reds still have injury worries to contend with and a lack of confidence in front of goal whilst Southampton can recall some top performances of late including a recent win over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Injuries for Liverpool are still creating a bit of a problem as it looks as though Daniel Sturridge may be unavailable. The forward had to undergo another scan on his knee and it's not clear whether he will make the bench. Positively, Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino are back however Danny Ings and Jordan Henderson are both out long term.

For Southampton, they may have to assess the fitness of Jay Rodriguez late on after he suffered a knock. It looks as though Stekelenburg has recovered from a back problem though so Koeman will have his usual keeper in place.

Southampton at the time of writing (Saturday games not finished) find them…

MATCH PREVIEW: Liverpool V Aston Villa

Image
As the plot continues to thicken around the managerial future of Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool simply have to collect all three points in order to take some pressure off the boss and in order to get themselves moving in the right direction in the league.

The Reds have picked up some additions to their injury list recently after Roberto Firmino and Dejan Lovren both came off during the League Cup clash with Carlisle. Also unavailable is Christian Benteke who is nursing a hamstring problem.

For Aston Villa, they have suffered a blow after Agbonlahor picked up an injury against Birmingham. Also potentially unavailable is Adama Traore who may not make the start and a doubt hangs over the fitness of Idrissa Gana.

The last time the two sides met was in the FA Cup semi-final last year. I was so annoyed at the end of this game and I still can't ever support a decision to bring on Glen Johnson when you're 2-1 down in a semi-final?! Villa of course won the game and Christian Benteke was o…

West Ham Record First Win At Anfield Since 1963

Image
Liverpool fell to an embarrassing defeat at Anfield on Saturday as West Ham notched up an historic win at Anfield, their first victory here since 1963. The Hammers put three past a sloppy Liverpool side who failed miserably in their defensive duties and were unable to create any real attacking threat.

West Ham took just three minutes to get off the mark at the Kop End. A relatively poor defensive header from Skrtel allowed the ball to fall into the path of Cresswell who despite being closed down by Clyne was able to assist Lanzini who fired home the first goal of the game.

The goal left the Reds somewhat shell-shocked and we didn't react positively after going 1-0 down. Attacking wise we didn't appear to pose a significant threat and Christian Benteke for me once again looked completely lost. He's wasted in Brendan's preferred formation and it's seriously beginning to do my head in. The sooner Sturridge is back, the better.

The Reds' best hope of getting back …

Benteke Scores In Controversial Liverpool Win

Image
It's two wins out of two for Liverpool after a decent performance and a dash of luck allowed the Reds to collect all three points against Bournemouth on Monday night. Christian Benteke got himself off the mark after scoring a controversial goal whilst The Cherries were left questioning why an early effort was disallowed.

Rodgers started with the same team that he rolled out against Stoke and whilst I was pretty happy with the XI there was a hell of a lot of moaning on social media, mainly down to the missing Sakho and Can. I like Can and I believe we performed better against Stoke once he entered play but some of the vitriol coming from fans last night just because he hadn't started was crazy, we're only two games in and it's widely accepted that Can is still looking for match fitness so it wasn't so much of a surprise for me to see him brought on as a sub.

As for Sakho, I definitely think he's a better defender than Dejan Lovren however I must give credit to …

Lovren Misses Peno As Reds Are Knocked Out

View image | gettyimages.com

It was a long old game for Liverpool on Thursday evening as they traipsed through 120 minutes of football only to crash out of the Europa League with the final kick of the game as Dejan Lovren failed to convert the Reds' all important fifth penalty.

It was a frustrating game to say the least and so this match report may not follow a usually strategic structure.

The first thing to note about the game, apart from the deafening noise from the Besiktas fans was the extremely attacking line up deployed by Brendan Rodgers. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing, as a big fan of Balotelli and somebody who would like to see him be given a real chance in a front two, I was very pleased to see him paired with Sturridge. Not only this but Jordan Ibe and Raheem Sterling were also starting.

The issue though was that there were key names missing from midfield that I would prefer to see in a line up with those previously mentioned attacking players. As the ma…

Balo Scores In Late Swansea Win

Image
Liverpool left it very late to progress past Swansea City in the league cup on Tuesday night but eventually with the help of a Mario Balotelli goal the Reds did enough to squeeze through. Dejan Lovren's goal in the fifth minute of time added on secured the win for Brendan Rodgers' side.

The game got off to a steady yet unproductive start for the home side as Liverpool were maintaining a lot of possession but struggling to create any real danger in the final third. Brendan Rodgers had certainly shook up the side with Fabio Borini getting his first start in a while. The Italian put on a good display in front of the Anfield crowd but his real moment to shine would occur later in the game when his Italian compatriot would enter play.

Philippe Coutinho or "the magician" as many like to call him, was another positive on display for Liverpool. His skill and speed allowed him to crack through the Swansea defence on occasion but there was still no end product for the Reds. I…