Frustrating, very frustrating on so many levels. The talk before the game was of the exciting line up with so many attacking players on the pitch, new players, exciting players, creative players but as things turned out nervous players, players who played within themselves, uninspiring players. We didn't play well, we didn't get on the front foot getting that quick start we look for, we didn't seem to get going playing at a very slow tempo, unable to move the ball forward, vert frustrating.
But why were our tricky, funny reds not tricky and certainly not amusing, in my opinion two decisions that were wrong, easy with hindsight I know, but needs to be said. It was the wrong formation as I have said in a previous post "are diamonds our best friend" yes they are, it suits our players to play a diamond formation, it allows us to play the pressing game the suits our midfield, it allows space for our attacking full backs to attack, it allows our front foot defenders to get on the front foot and perhaps most importantly allows us to play two up front, doubling the targets for our creative players to hit and doubling the threat of our strikers, I also believe that non of our strikers are not good at or enjoy the role of sole striker they like partners, they feed of each other, they create for each other, two gives us a threat. Playing with two defensive midfield players Henderson and Gerrard yesterday has Henderson deeper stopping some of his closing down, prevents defenders getting on the front foot as much and basically never works for us we don't like it, the stats show it, I thought we had learnt our lesson with Lucas and Gerrard but for some reason we try this every few games and it doesn't work. Playing two wide men either side of the single striker also doesn't work for us, as I have said non of our strikers are good on their own, when we play wide men they take space away from the full backs who should be providing the width and also the movement is lacking, we end up with three players stood left,right and centre easily marked with a spare defender behind them. Markovic is fine in the wing but it is not the best position of any of the other attacking players we have. We have played four games so far this year and had one good performance with the diamond and three poor using variations on 4-3-3, in the 90 minutes against Man City 3-0 down using 4-3-3 ten minutes with two up front brings a goal, that fabulous run in last year we predominantly used the diamond, why are we changing something that isn't broken.
I know we need to rest players and it's champions league time but why do we feel the need to drop or rest our best player now, we need the points, this game was important, we already had important players missing Sturridge and Allen were injured, with Sturridge missing now was not the time to take out our only other proven threat in the team it was a risk, more than a risk.
New players will need time to settle and we must give them this time but we also as a club must learn from our mistakes, it's not good enough to keep making the same mistakes, yes it was an off day, but I think it was an off day for a reason.