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Hank shoots Skyler

The best 1-4 loss we'll ever play

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Just some summary thoughts from the match;

At half time, I am pleased to report the vibe in the away end was not a reflection of the negativity of the pinkun match thread and 'chants of ‘yellows yellows’ rung out as the players wandered off. There were no grumblings and no finger pointing at individuals (although Hanley did have a stinker...). There was simply so much from us to enjoy from the performance, we had taken the game to Liverpool at Anfield, created excellent chances and played big bolluck football out from the back with no fear. 

The scoreline itself felt like a kick in the stomach, but I don’t think anyone thought 4-0 at half time was a fair reflection of that game. I did wonder if this would become the theme of the season as has been the case in previous years. The ‘proud of the lads’ posts, the plucky underdog moments and all of those what ifs and maybes. I spent halftime pondering all of them. It all seemed so unfortunate yet so familiar. 

That said, I thought offensively we had looked even sharper than last season, considering there were no new additions starting and the huge step up in quality of opposition, we managed to up the tempo and play our intricate football at a pace I have not seen it played at before. 

I was also impressed with the freedom our back 4 were playing with in possession. Particularly Lewis and Godfrey. Liverpool’s press was putting a lot of pressure on us and we generally coped with it well, I don’t recall us stupidly losing possession many times at all in the first half. They made it super difficult for us but when we managed to beat the press - sexy football ensued. Was great to see Cantwell continue his preseason form, he looks a completely different prospect this season.  Krul was also calmness personified on the ball. He seems to have turned a mental corner from where he was at 12 months ago - there were no jitters, he was not to blame for any goal and he looks reassured as our number 1. 

I was really pleased with how things panned out in the second half, without actually playing notably better. The luck appeared to balance out somewhat, with Liverpool missing some great chances, Krul compounding his stable first half performance with some superb saves and a great goal for Pukki to boot. Excellent!

However it did appear that Liverpool had taken it down a gear in this half, understandably so. There were also some really sloppy moments from us in possession that we didn’t concede in the first half, Godfrey and Cantwell both at fault for dallying too long on the ball - fortunately neither chance led to a goal. Buendia had been fairly quiet but grew into the game and capped it off with the assist. I thought Leitner’s introduction really helped us galvanise some neat passages of play, allowing us to apply more prolonged pressure on Liverpool. 

As to the negativity and finger pointing in the match thread, really? Hanley getting some unnecessary stick, other than the stinker I thought he did a decent job. He is about the level I would expect our 4th choice CB to be at. Our midfield pair of Trybull and McLean got overran, yes they did, good spot guys. This PAIR also played in the championship last season and are now playing against Liverpool’s midfield THREE (three is more than two) at Anfield! We let in 4 goals, Krul must be benched! Come on! I am not against constructive criticism at all but this is pathetic to read after just the first 45 minutes of our season against bloody Liverpool. 

I saw plenty of signs tonight (even at half time) that this will be a really special season and I am despondent to see others clearly not on board and showing so much negativity. This team is going to make mistakes, we are a young side making a big step up with very little in the way of financial support. We are playing the best football I’ve ever seen us play; in a more sustainable way than any other team in the league. What isn’t to like? I can confidently say that I will be sticking with this manager and team all the way wherever we finish this season. If you have not bought into this model by now (which I can only presume is the case for some in the match thread), please just don't bother contributing - because it ain’t getting much better than this.

 

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A good read and FWIW I agree with you, unfortunately, we have a load of melts on here who, at the first sight of adversity throw up their hands in surrender. 

Reading through the match thread it's hard to believe that we've only just started the season, makes you wonder what it'll be like after 2 or 3 defeats.

Glad that there's someone else out there with the fortitude to stick with the plan, rather than desert it, glad DF/SW are made of sterner stuff also.

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Result aside, I thought we played as well as could be expected, and maybe even better.

Continue like this and I don't see us getting relegated.

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Very mixed emotions. A lot of pride for how we tried to play and some of the attacking football we produced. We have shown we can open up any team at this level in just our first 90 minutes.

However some frustration that the game pretty much planned out how many of us predicted because we all know that we can’t defend properly and that Hanley against that sort of pace might struggle. If you defend like we did and make mistakes like we did in that first half you will concede against anyone. We absolutely need to cut it out. Hopefully Zimm or Klose back and Amadou will make a big difference.

Plenty to be positive about though. Leitner must start ahead of Kenny but other than that and the obvious at the back we looked a good side. 

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Some Liverpool fans moaning about how much credit we’re getting for the second half.

Top of Europe and second best in England... and they still manage to find a persecution angle

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Lawrenson saying what Lawrenson says this morning. We are going to struggle staying in the league. A view given in his laconic and utterly dismissive style. It gives me confidence. He is so often wrong. One of those footballing dinosaurs.

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Good post. The support was great, and we knew at times we would struggle this season. Gutted for Hanley, gave everything but the ball didn’t break for him all night, and it was the worst possible start.

Some of our football was really good, but defensively we need to sort out defending dead ball situations. Krul was outstanding. It was very brave to try and take the game to the European Champions, but I like that.  As a late convert to the plan, I’ll stick with it.

One downside to the trip - Anfield is now just another ground.  It used to be a proper football trip, to a club with knowledgeable fans. Now they have one song, only sing when they score, have lots of tourist fans, and are incredibly arrogant.  On a practical level, it’s still a nightmare to get to, and I can’t see where anyone will be able to park when Everton leave Goodson.

 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, FCC said:

 

One downside to the trip - Anfield is now just another ground.  It used to be a proper football trip, to a club with knowledgeable fans. Now they have one song, only sing when they score, have lots of tourist fans, and are incredibly arrogant.  On a practical level, it’s still a nightmare to get to, and I can’t see where anyone will be able to park when Everton leave Goodson.

 

 

 

 

Completely agree, I was massively disappointed with the atmosphere from the home fans, I honestly did not hear a song during the match and could only really hear them notably for their goals / substitutions. I know I had a one-sided experience being in the away end but even in periods where we were quiet I still failed to hear them?! While we're on the topic, I also thought our support was fantastic, nothing but positivity all the way through - a fitting match up to our team! 

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On 10/08/2019 at 02:10, Hank shoots Skyler said:

Just some summary thoughts from the match;

At half time, I am pleased to report the vibe in the away end was not a reflection of the negativity of the pinkun match thread and 'chants of ‘yellows yellows’ rung out as the players wandered off. There were no grumblings and no finger pointing at individuals (although Hanley did have a stinker...). There was simply so much from us to enjoy from the performance, we had taken the game to Liverpool at Anfield, created excellent chances and played big bolluck football out from the back with no fear. 

The scoreline itself felt like a kick in the stomach, but I don’t think anyone thought 4-0 at half time was a fair reflection of that game. I did wonder if this would become the theme of the season as has been the case in previous years. The ‘proud of the lads’ posts, the plucky underdog moments and all of those what ifs and maybes. I spent halftime pondering all of them. It all seemed so unfortunate yet so familiar. 

That said, I thought offensively we had looked even sharper than last season, considering there were no new additions starting and the huge step up in quality of opposition, we managed to up the tempo and play our intricate football at a pace I have not seen it played at before. 

I was also impressed with the freedom our back 4 were playing with in possession. Particularly Lewis and Godfrey. Liverpool’s press was putting a lot of pressure on us and we generally coped with it well, I don’t recall us stupidly losing possession many times at all in the first half. They made it super difficult for us but when we managed to beat the press - sexy football ensued. Was great to see Cantwell continue his preseason form, he looks a completely different prospect this season.  Krul was also calmness personified on the ball. He seems to have turned a mental corner from where he was at 12 months ago - there were no jitters, he was not to blame for any goal and he looks reassured as our number 1. 

I was really pleased with how things panned out in the second half, without actually playing notably better. The luck appeared to balance out somewhat, with Liverpool missing some great chances, Krul compounding his stable first half performance with some superb saves and a great goal for Pukki to boot. Excellent!

However it did appear that Liverpool had taken it down a gear in this half, understandably so. There were also some really sloppy moments from us in possession that we didn’t concede in the first half, Godfrey and Cantwell both at fault for dallying too long on the ball - fortunately neither chance led to a goal. Buendia had been fairly quiet but grew into the game and capped it off with the assist. I thought Leitner’s introduction really helped us galvanise some neat passages of play, allowing us to apply more prolonged pressure on Liverpool. 

As to the negativity and finger pointing in the match thread, really? Hanley getting some unnecessary stick, other than the stinker I thought he did a decent job. He is about the level I would expect our 4th choice CB to be at. Our midfield pair of Trybull and McLean got overran, yes they did, good spot guys. This PAIR also played in the championship last season and are now playing against Liverpool’s midfield THREE (three is more than two) at Anfield! We let in 4 goals, Krul must be benched! Come on! I am not against constructive criticism at all but this is pathetic to read after just the first 45 minutes of our season against bloody Liverpool. 

I saw plenty of signs tonight (even at half time) that this will be a really special season and I am despondent to see others clearly not on board and showing so much negativity. This team is going to make mistakes, we are a young side making a big step up with very little in the way of financial support. We are playing the best football I’ve ever seen us play; in a more sustainable way than any other team in the league. What isn’t to like? I can confidently say that I will be sticking with this manager and team all the way wherever we finish this season. If you have not bought into this model by now (which I can only presume is the case for some in the match thread), please just don't bother contributing - because it ain’t getting much better than this.

 

You, my friend, know what you are talking about. 

A welcome read, in comparison to some of the inanities on this board.

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My apologies if I was being negative in my comments, and I really appreciate your extensive report above. 

I think we all knew from last year's campaign we had defensive midfield frailties and that Hanley would be considered our 4th choice CB, and lots of tactical details to be absorbed by everyone, not just our defenders. 

An expectation Klose or Zimmermann will come back in, and our new DM signing will replace either Trybull or McLean as soon as possible still seems probable to me even given DF's loyalty to the person with the shirt.

I'm totally on-board with how we play, and a strategy of playing that way even if we find ourselves back in the Championship, and to hell with the Lawrenson's - they only state the obvious that if we concede 4 every week we'll be relegated; well duh Sherlock, no kidding.

OTBC - lets get the points total rolling with a nice 3-1 win over Newcastle next weekend. 

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On ‎11‎/‎08‎/‎2019 at 08:10, Surfer said:

My apologies if I was being negative in my comments, and I really appreciate your extensive report above. 

I think we all knew from last year's campaign we had defensive midfield frailties and that Hanley would be considered our 4th choice CB, and lots of tactical details to be absorbed by everyone, not just our defenders. 

An expectation Klose or Zimmermann will come back in, and our new DM signing will replace either Trybull or McLean as soon as possible still seems probable to me even given DF's loyalty to the person with the shirt.

I'm totally on-board with how we play, and a strategy of playing that way even if we find ourselves back in the Championship, and to hell with the Lawrenson's - they only state the obvious that if we concede 4 every week we'll be relegated; well duh Sherlock, no kidding.

OTBC - lets get the points total rolling with a nice 3-1 win over Newcastle next weekend. 

I honestly can't remember who specifically it was, but several comments were made which disappointed me. Good to see the apology though so thanks for that - I think we can all be guilty of knee jerk reactions at times.

It always seems to feel like we are one bad result away from total meltdown on here, and you can guarantee that will happen if we fail to beat or lose to Newcastle. IMO, other than a complete annihilation tied with an awful awful performance - there is not need for it this early in the season.

I know we've seen some prem seasons in recent years, but given the massive cost-cutting of our wage bill, lack of direct reinvestment for our transfer sales, and inability to splash out and compete with even the smallest spenders in the premier league - I see us as a bit of a Huddersfield this year. I am happy that we got here, last season was sensational. And if we do happen to go down, we now have the strongest foundations in place of any relegation candidate for a successful championship campaign and return to the top flight once again. However, I do secretly believe we have a special team and I'm hopeful we will overachieve again this season, but I will not be disheartened either way. As long as we are still doing it our way.

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I can’t be the only one that feels people are getting perhaps a bit carried away?

The second half performance was excellent, but during that first half at one point it looked like Liverpool might put way more than 4 past us.

There are loads of positives to take away from that game I agree, but at the end of the day it was still a 4-1 loss. We were absolutely shown up in the first 45mins, some really sloppy defending and naive decision making. I’m glad our supporters weren’t on the players backs about it, but I’m not sure if we’d gone out and played another 45 like the first people would be this complimentary about the performance and result.

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The second half was a completely different side to the first. The first half was full of mistakes, or perhaps nerves, and suicidal defending that gifted pretty much all 4 goals.

the second half was more of what we would hope to see us play like across the season. Cut out the mistakes and we will be okay, just need to not concede silly easy goals like we gave away against Liverpool. Equally, we need to be more clinical up top. Pukki is fine, but Hernandez fluffed a clean chance and Steipermann appeared to be shooting with toblerones strapped to his feet. We will play better than we did on Friday, but there’s no need to panic or equally get carried away. We’ve got enough to beat plenty of sides in this league,  it equally the second 45 effort and quality needs to be evident over a full 90 for us to succeed at this level.

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I actually felt sorry for Hanley. He knew he was down the pecking order but i'll bet he was hoping to himself to have a really good game and push himself into a starting slot. Unfortunately, the own goal really did him, you could see his face after it went in, very unlucky and a real shame.

As for the rest, I think most of them displayed "first night" nerves but grew into the game the longer it went on. Special mention to Tim Krul who I thought had a very good game. Leitner made a real difference when he came on and I think he will start against Newcastle. Our goal was a repeat of some of the championship ones and for me, that is a very encouraging sign.

Overall, despite the scoreline, I think there were plenty of positives, I was proud of the team's efforts and the fans certainly did their bit too.

Onwards and upwards 🙂

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Posted (edited)

Yes a shame for Hanley, seemed to be a similar personal situation for him as with the game against Portsmouth, which went equally poorly. Maybe that's him effectively done with Norwich; that may sound harsh but he will almost certainly be back to 4th choice again, and I wouldn't be surprised to see us define Amadou as our 4th choice CB if needed, and Hanley to leave for a Blackburn on loan if our injuries to Klose and Zimmermann clear up. And if not out on loan now, then leave in January to a promotion contending side. 

Edited by Surfer

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I go along with the nerves being an issue in the first half.  We were full of enthusiasm and energy, but the occasion was as huge as could be, playing at the home of the European champions in the first and only game that night, of the season - and the first two goals were unfortunate rather than careless (Hanley's poor attempt to clear and the richochet off one of our players into the path of the attacker for the second).  No excuses for the third or fourth which were poor, but we were not terrible generally and proved it after half time once the nerves had settled. 

That first 45 minutes was a baptism of fire as a welcome to the premier League and the players will not have to contend with that again.It's done, the players have had the experience and given how they handled the second half, can move ahead with confidence.

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3 hours ago, Monty13 said:

I can’t be the only one that feels people are getting perhaps a bit carried away?

The second half performance was excellent, but during that first half at one point it looked like Liverpool might put way more than 4 past us.

There are loads of positives to take away from that game I agree, but at the end of the day it was still a 4-1 loss. We were absolutely shown up in the first 45mins, some really sloppy defending and naive decision making. I’m glad our supporters weren’t on the players backs about it, but I’m not sure if we’d gone out and played another 45 like the first people would be this complimentary about the performance and result.

Agreed.

Yes there were signs in both halves that going forward we might cause sides problems. Yes there are positives to be taken. Yes, the majority of the sides we’ll play this season won’t be half as good as Liverpool. But it was still a 4-1 loss caused largely by sloppy defensive errors - the sort of defensive errors that will cost us goals against weaker opposition as well if we continue to make them - and all our good football lead to only one goal (even though Liverpool had arguably gone down a gear or two). 

Farke’s comment (repeated/paraphrased on here) that we ‘won the second half’ genuinely made me cringe and it got, in my opinion quite rightly, ridiculed on twitter etc. Take the positives, yes, but I can’t celebrate/be as positive about a 4-1 loss (even if we ignore the first half) as some on here seem to be doing. 

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I thought we mostly showed nerves after conceding the second, for a spell we looked a pretty lost and rather frantic - however more than understandable. That OG after 6 min was a real killer so its hard to say how things may have panned out, perhaps we never would've lost concentration without this early hit to our mentality. Unlikely of course. However, on the whole, I didn't see a huge amount of nerves - other than maybe Hanley and Aarons I thought we played with a lot of freedom in the first half. Its worth thinking about just how much pressure Liverpool put on us in these stages and we generally coped with this and rarely resorted to clearing the ball. It would've been easy to lump it up to Stiepermann in wide areas but we persisted with our style - it was great to see.

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3 hours ago, Monty13 said:

I can’t be the only one that feels people are getting perhaps a bit carried away?

The second half performance was excellent, but during that first half at one point it looked like Liverpool might put way more than 4 past us.

There are loads of positives to take away from that game I agree, but at the end of the day it was still a 4-1 loss. We were absolutely shown up in the first 45mins, some really sloppy defending and naive decision making. I’m glad our supporters weren’t on the players backs about it, but I’m not sure if we’d gone out and played another 45 like the first people would be this complimentary about the performance and result.

 

4 minutes ago, Aggy said:

Agreed.

Yes there were signs in both halves that going forward we might cause sides problems. Yes there are positives to be taken. Yes, the majority of the sides we’ll play this season won’t be half as good as Liverpool. But it was still a 4-1 loss caused largely by sloppy defensive errors - the sort of defensive errors that will cost us goals against weaker opposition as well if we continue to make them - and all our good football lead to only one goal (even though Liverpool had arguably gone down a gear or two). 

Farke’s comment (repeated/paraphrased on here) that we ‘won the second half’ genuinely made me cringe and it got, in my opinion quite rightly, ridiculed on twitter etc. Take the positives, yes, but I can’t celebrate/be as positive about a 4-1 loss (even if we ignore the first half) as some on here seem to be doing. 

I don't disagree with this at all, my post was perhaps more to spite those who were being overly negative in the match thread. That thread was certainly not a reflection of my feelings at the time in the away end, and I wanted to put across my thoughts - it also felt like the whole away crowd saw it the same but perhaps not. It was certainly not a perfect performance, but given the circumstances of the club (only just promoted, little investment, small wage bill), the occasion (1st game of the season, European champions, Anfield, all eyes watching), the starting line-up itself (very young, no new signings) and not to mention the calamitous start with Hanley's mare, it was about as good a performance as we could realistically have hoped for. 4-1 away at Anfield is not a humiliation.

Sure, defensively there is a lot for us to learn, but there is no accounting for Hanley's stinker - it would be interesting to see how would've got on with Klose or Zim in instead. At the other end our attacking play and build up from the back also really felt like a cut above where it was at last season, despite no new signings playing - this is exemplified by Cantwell's transformation - he is an entirely new player!

I'm surprised Farke said that about winning the second half, Liverpool played the second half in second gear, it was not a massive achievement to win those 45 minutes although certainly much nicer than the game ending in a 5/6/7 - 0 defeat. We did save a lot of face there. Still I would agree a bit cringey - he does have a tendency to blanket too much into statistics when reflecting on matches sometimes.

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4 hours ago, Monty13 said:

I can’t be the only one that feels people are getting perhaps a bit carried away?

The second half performance was excellent, but during that first half at one point it looked like Liverpool might put way more than 4 past us.

There are loads of positives to take away from that game I agree, but at the end of the day it was still a 4-1 loss. We were absolutely shown up in the first 45mins, some really sloppy defending and naive decision making. I’m glad our supporters weren’t on the players backs about it, but I’m not sure if we’d gone out and played another 45 like the first people would be this complimentary about the performance and result.

Best we get our defensive issues, nervousness and sloppy defending out of the way at Liverpool. A game that we were going to lose even if we had none of the above.

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My comments weren’t aimed at your op Hank; I thought that was balanced and reasonable.  It is more a wider feeling on this board and elsewhere that the performance should be made into more than it was; particularly bemusing for me are the posts along the lines of “shef Utd got more praise than we did, nobody has mentioned how great we were second half”, which ignore the fact we were 4-0 down by this point already!

Ive also just properly read the comments re Anfield - I went a few years back and was similarly disappointed. I went to the Man City away game the same season (where we lost 7-0) and thought the atmosphere was much better.

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We'll better be able to judge after a few more games, but I don't think people are getting carried away. Yes we lost 4-1 and there are no points for winning the second half or whatever spin the media (and Farke to be fair) are putting on it, but the result doesn't tell the whole story. We created more chances than any other team at Anfield last season and we also restricted Liverpool to fewer passes than anyone bar Spurs and Man City in the last two seasons. People will argue that the only stat that matters is the final score, but while that's true for any individual game the underlying data is a good indication of long term success.

Football is a game of fine margins and more than a little luck and on another night the result could have been very different. It's a little like the start to last season or much of the previous season where our numbers were good but we weren't getting the results our performances deserved. In time and with a little tweaking the results better came to match the performance and we have to have faith that the same will happen this season.

We can see how that might happen based on the Liverpool game; Hanley's own goal was a clear error, as was the (non-)marking of VVD for his goal. It's much easier to fix these errors than it is to change your entire style of play to create enough quality chances to beat a team like Liverpool. We did the hard part, we've shown we can compete and we had enough chances at Anfield to get something from the game.

Villa parked the bus (or were compact, difficult to beat, worked hard etc etc) against a weakened Spurs side and were still soundly beaten. Sheffield United played out a typical championship bore draw against a poor Bournemouth side where both goals were bundled in from set pieces. Both Villa and Sheffield United managed fewer total shots and fewer on target than we did against the Champions of Europe. I'm sure Blades fans will say they would rather have the point, but let's judge the merits of our respective approaches at the end of the season.

If we can reduce our defensive errors (the return of Zimmerman/Klose and the introduction of Amadou should help) and continue to create chances like we did against Liverpool then we will score goals and get results against teams in this league.

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Watched the game live in a foreign field. 4 of us in city colors with a smattering of pool fans, of which virtually all were plastics. One behind us had only ever been to a reserve game but dissected it like a surgeon (boring git) then proceeded to comment on the whole game calling each player by a made up nick name.

he was very quiet second half.

It was purely first night nerves and two very unlucky first goals against us. 

As a couple of the plastics said to us ‘play like that and you’ll have no trouble!’ 

They and I were pleasently surprised. 

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