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sonyc

Long but interesting read

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Posted (edited)

"If you want to go fast concentrate on attack, if you want to go far concentrate on defence" was an interesting phrase.  Defence has been an issue for two seasons for us - mainly through so many injuries to the three established defenders. Godfrey is terrific, but this season he hasn't had a regular partner and for a relatively inexperienced player at the top level, this has been a difficulty for the team.

I think our defence has the potential to be excellent - we have four excellent players for the centre back position - and in Aarons, Lewis and Byram three excellent players too. Injuries have been a real issue. Imagine if we had been able to have the same two CBs the whole season - it would have made a difference, I am sure. Zimm has been a big miss - a huge character and influence at the back, but they have all proved themselves - Hanley was excellent when he came back into the team, but collectively we really need stability at the back.

For a lot of the rest of that article, there are definitely resonances with us, the togetherness - the importance of including the crowd in the journey, the whole unity of the club from youth team upwards, the long term bigger picture etc etc.  We are three years along a similar journey, have gone from zero near the bottom of the championship to a young inexperienced side up against the best at the very top level.

It's been mixed this season but it hasn't been all bad - far from it - and there is hope for next season in the players that remain and the young players coming up through the system.  Daniel Farke is key to our success, he is loved by the fans (99% of us anyway - those that don't have a real issue with themselves imo) and he clearly has the vision and personality to see the project through.

It's a long term project, there IS a bigger picture - just like Liverpool's bigger picture, in so many ways - and I think most of us can see it and are relishing next season, whichever league we are in.   The ride has been brilliant so far and the highlights this season have been brilliant - the cup games, the Man City performance, beating Leicester, several performances where we have over run several brillant teams for large parts of games.......yes, not enough to get the points we need - but enough to show that we have something special at CR - a structure and purpose to the club that is simply top class. 

So if people can ride out the down times - the last two games have been difficult, but then circumstances have been extrordinary - and keep their belief, knowing that the project is still there and in good condition, we can carry on the development and become a very special story in the way Liverpool have.

Next season is going to be another roller coaster ride - a lot to look forward to - and even if this season finishes with disappointment, next season is quite likely going to be very special, whether its in the PL or the championship.

Edited by lake district canary
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Thanks for the link Sonyc. 👍

There are always things we can learn from different clubs to develop our own. While a long term plan is of course important, I feel the key element is that the plan is flexible and can navigate the issues that will crop up along the way - managers/key backroom staff leaving, key player injuries, player retention, development and motivation, financial issues etc etc. So often plans can be blown off course by the latest gust of footballing wind that comes along.

OTBC

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I think one of the weakness we  have is in real time analysis of play and having confidence to make changes to alter the outcome of the game. 

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It’s nothing new at all to say that you have to concentrate on defence, you can’t continually win games at the top level if you are letting in goals consistently.  It has to be there throughout - the number of times we’ve lost the ball stupidly this season and just given sides a run on goal is astonishing (eg Emi v Watford in the first minute, but he’s far from alone); without Tettey in the side there just seems to never be appropriate cover.  We’ve had injuries, but ultimately all sides do, the main issue is that we have the same guys in our defence as last season, apart from Byram.  We needed a bit of an upgrade this season that never came - whichever league we are in next season we definitely need to be far better at the back and have more steel in midfield.

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4 minutes ago, Branston Pickle said:

We’ve had injuries, but ultimately all sides do, the main issue is that we have the same guys in our defence as last season, apart from Byram.

The issue has been one of having a settled defence - they are all good enough - and as you say, some of the goals have been caused by midfielders giving the ball away.

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Simple fact is that PL teams very easily force us onto the back foot and make us defend for long periods. Even the best defence in the world will eventually concede under constant pressure, and we've barely had any natural defenders available all season.

The reasons for our woes this season are twofold; our defenders aren't good enough at defending at this level, but the rest of the team also isn't good enough at protecting them.

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30 minutes ago, lake district canary said:

The issue has been one of having a settled defence - they are all good enough - and as you say, some of the goals have been caused by midfielders giving the ball away.

I'd have to take issue with two of your points. Firstly, our defenders are not all good defenders - they are all good footballers but of the ones we currently have only Zimmermann, Byram and Hanley have really proven themselves as defenders and they are all injury prone. Klose, Godfrey, Aarons and Lewis are not very good defenders which is why opposition teams try so hard to get their better players one on one against them. As an example watch Rashford and Martial against us later today; they will be looking for the diagonal pass to get either of those to run free against any of our back four. 

This "long term" plan of ours. Webber has already said he's off at the end of this contract, which is in just over two years. What happens when he goes? Do we get a new plan?

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1 hour ago, sgncfc said:

I'd have to take issue with two of your points. Firstly, our defenders are not all good defenders - they are all good footballers but of the ones we currently have only Zimmermann, Byram and Hanley have really proven themselves as defenders and they are all injury prone. Klose, Godfrey, Aarons and Lewis are not very good defenders which is why opposition teams try so hard to get their better players one on one against them. As an example watch Rashford and Martial against us later today; they will be looking for the diagonal pass to get either of those to run free against any of our back four. 

This "long term" plan of ours. Webber has already said he's off at the end of this contract, which is in just over two years. What happens when he goes? Do we get a new plan?

It's a great point.

I watched Brentford last night and they commented on how they have been taught to love defending and you can see that, they're nothing special as players but boy do they defend properly both individually but as a unit

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I get what you mean Rich T, but I watch a lot of Brentford and they are a very decent side.  They have several internationals in defence and a good mix of youth and experience.  When you consider the players they’ve lost to PL in recent years in Mepham and Tarkowski, you can see that they seem able to pick out decent and reliable defenders.

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Posted (edited)

@Rich T The Biscuit and @Branston Pickle I have to agree about Brentford. What a team they are to watch. Every single player wants the ball all the time. Against a decent side like West Brom, they just didn't give them a chance even defending a 1-0 lead going into the last 10 minutes. They pressed right from defence and midfield and their attackers produced some exciting interplays with movement, confidence and urgency. The strikers gave away fouls but not the cynical or dirty type, merely that they wanted that ball back. A joy to see football like that and all credit to their coach.

I really hope they go up as one of the automatics. They have been pushing for promotion it feels for years. Perhaps this time they can do it. Unless we happen to stay up, Brentford will be my PL team to watch and root for next year purely for the fact of how they try and play (and are not a team bought ...with multi million signings). I'm guessing if they go up they will keep the players.

Edited by sonyc

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1 hour ago, Branston Pickle said:

I get what you mean Rich T, but I watch a lot of Brentford and they are a very decent side.  They have several internationals in defence and a good mix of youth and experience.  When you consider the players they’ve lost to PL in recent years in Mepham and Tarkowski, you can see that they seem able to pick out decent and reliable defenders.

Agree, I enjoy watching them as they play football the right way.

I wasnt being flippant with my comments, guess what I meant is that they dont have players who's names jump out as 'stars'.

No idea where they got Pinnock from but not does that guy head well and attack a corner in both boxes 

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6 minutes ago, sonyc said:

 I really hope they go up as one of the automatics. They have been pushing for promotion it feels for years. Perhaps this time they can do it. Unless we happen to stay up, Brentford will be my PL team to watch and root for next year purely for the fact of how they try and play (and are not a team bought ...with multi million signings). I'm guessing if they go up they will keep the players.

Agree, of all the teams I've seen this season in the games I've watched in the Championship they have impressed me the most.

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, sgncfc said:

This "long term" plan of ours. Webber has already said he's off at the end of this contract, which is in just over two years. What happens when he goes? Do we get a new plan?

I don’t get this problem people frequently raise about Webber saying he’d stay with us for three years after promotion. At the time, he’d turned around a club with debts, no sugar daddy and a threadbare squad into exciting winners of the Championship, with a promising academy and a renewed training ground. His stock was high, but he committed to stay with us and see through this phase of our development. This can only have been a good thing surely?
 

1) he hasn’t said after three years (two now) he will definitely leave, just that he would stay for at least that long.

 

2) How long do senior management normally stay on in English football? He will have been with us for five years. Without doing any research I would think that’s probably longer than average?

Edited by Nuff Said
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