Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Liverpool 2, Swansea 1: Seven things learnt

Finally a decent win and a comeback none the less, let's just hope this leads to greater things.  The following points no way reflect a sane person.

1. Coutinho doesn't last.
The Brazilian's quality on attack diminished significantly after 20 minutes in the first half and after about ten in the second.  It may be conditioning or just the pressure of him having to be the creative force, but he went from brilliant to utter rubbish after those times.  Not sure if there is a fix to this, I guess having Sterling on the pitch will allow him some 'down time' off the ball, but he may just be best as a super-sub.

2. Our defence is getting better...
...and it's really about keeping possession, which all great sides do best.  It took Swansea 28 minutes to mount an attack into Liverpool's third.  After that, it became more frequent, but we kept possession well and didn't make many silly turnovers until then.  Also, their goal was more luck then anything.  It was a great finish, but a deflection and a missed-kick were what found the ball to Enmes.

3. Rickie Lambert is a meaningless late match sub at best.
The 32-year-old just doesn't have the physical ability nor instinct to be on the same pitch as some of his teammates and it showed at a near embarassing level in this match.  Coutinho, in particular, was clearly frustrated that Lambert failed to see what the Brazilian was trying to do and stood like a statue during a bomb raid nearly every time the midfielder was trying to feed him.  Even if and/or when we get Sturridge back, we need another striker come January.

4. Markovich was a major catalyst on attack.
I know most fans have no love for the 20-year-old Serbian, but he did things in the match, particularly off the ball, that did wonders on attack.  Mainly, he created space, specifically for Coutinho.  He was disciplined and stayed to the left when it was clear he was not comfortable there.  He also made runs to open space, something Lambert and Lallana could learn from him.  By the way, to all those who worship the disco dancing Lallana, he was absolute rubbish.  At one point, with no one on the left and Coutinho bringing up the ball into Swansea's half, the over-rated midfielder went to his right where everyone else was.  What an idiot.

5. We could do without Hendo's showboating.
Seriously, half the time it was pointless, a quarter of the time it cost possession, and the other quarter of the time a simple, straight forward pass would do.  We get it, you can pass the ball with all parts of your feet, congratulations, now do something worthwhile.

6. Borini can play second striker.
I was actually impressed with the Italian's ability to keep possession and make intelligent passes deep in Swansea's territory, surrrounded by defenders.  He basically made his name as a poacher at Swansea, Roma, and Sunderland, but it seems like he has more to his game than first thought.  He also benefited from a statuesque Lambert and a disciplined, space-hopping Markovic giving him room to work.

7. The goal is inside Anfield, on the pitch.
This something our players need to learn as well.  Seems like they didn't figure that out until four minutes to go in the match.  How many times did our players sky the ball into the stands beforehand?

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