No threat from the striker, let a goal in from a set play, formation did not provide any support for our striker. I feel like i am saying the same thing over and over again but this time I think we played better not great yet, definitely not great but better. Today we were beaten by a better team, they simply have better players than us, ok maybe not better but definitely playing better at the moment and certainly playing better as a team.
Liverpool were better today but individuals in the team are playing poorly, Gerrard, Henderson, Lovren and Balotelli in my opinion were below the standard that i expect of them today but for different reasons, others had varying levels of games but I am going to look at the four named players in an attempt to identify some of the problems with our team.
Lovren in my opinion is simply not good enough, we have given him enough time and I believe we have better defenders at the club, he could need more time to settle and I hate to criticise Liverpool players, I certainly hope I am wrong but he is making mistakes every game that are costing us goals and points, his distribution is very poor, he is lacking pace his physicality is poor he seems to be bullied by anybody who has any strength or power, he looks weak in the air for somebody of his size and we are not getting the leadership and organisation we were promised. All of this may get better with time but we cant afford to keep a player in the team that is costing us points on a regular basis. I believe that Rodgers is picking him purely because he wanted him in the first place and the heavy price tag, time to admit you were wrong before its to late.
Gerrard seems off the pace this year, a little pressure from opponents and he is out of the game, he still has obvious qualities but i think everything is to slow from him and this is effecting the tempo of the team we look slow and ponderous, i don't know the reasons why it could be anything, it could be that time is catching up with him and he just simply isn't the player he was, even last season, it could be tiredness he has played a lot this year and could need a break, maybe coming from the bench, it could be that other teams have simply worked him out in this new deeper role, if so change it, it could be that he is suffering a hangover from last season and that slip, its got to be hard to pick yourself up following such disappointment, is motivation a problem for him this season? Whatever the issue i'm not sure that playing him week in week out is the solution
Henderson seems to be out of form plain and simple, he looks to be struggling to effect games certainly to the level of last season in fact at times he looks to be struggling to get into games at all and when he does he seems to be slowing things down, playing backwards and sideways, playing safe. The work rate is still there but I would like to see a more positive forward thinking Henderson.
Balotelli In my opinion is doing ok, the workrate is there, it seems obvious that the weaknesses that have been pointed out are getting worked on and improvements made but, simply put, he is not scoring goals and this is not good enough. It may be more of a problem with the team we are not creating and everybody knows that Balotelli works better with a partner rather than as a loan striker. The formation needs to change so we can get two strikers into the team to give Balotelli the support he needs and also allow more creative play.
Lots of problems and thats just some of them I noticed from todays game, but I also noticed that there were improvements some individuals Coutinho, Can, Moreno and Mignolet seemed to be playing themselves into good form, we did manage to apply good pressure on the ball, we did defend better in the last two games than most of the rest of the season, we scored a goal and did create a couple of other chances so again better. we now need to win some games, put a run together before its to late. There are signs we are getting it together, just hope it happens soon.