Δευτέρα, 29 Αυγούστου 2016

Tactical Analysis: Tottenham - Liverpool 1-1/Premier League/27-8-2016

After that awful defeat last week against Burnley, Liverpool ended the first month of the Premier League with a draw at White Hart Lane. Many fans feel that Liverpool deserved the three points; They had plenty of chances, they had a (wrongly?) disallowed goal, they hit the bar and overall in many times they seemed like the best team. However, the end result is that once again Liverpool failed to maintain the lead which they got in the 43rd minute after James Milner converted the penalty Roberto Firmino earned. But let’s get into more details.

Negatives

Milner being exposed

As Alberto Moreno has been nowhere near good enough for the first team, James Milner has stepped into his place as a left back. Although Milner is one of the more hard working players, he can’t learn that easily and quickly his new position. In this case after the ball is played behind his back, he doesn’t get close enough to Lamela giving the Argentinian many options. 


Counter attacking flaws


Many times counter attacking has proved beneficial but not this time. Liverpool try to get the ball up front quickly but they are doing this with too many players. Hence when Wijnaldum can’t get the ball through Wanyama there’s too much space and too many Tottenham players who haven’t managed to get back creating a very dangerous situation.

Positives

Geggenpressing mentality


 Last year we saw in a matter of cases geggenpressing in practice, the philosophy of Jurgen Klopp, trying to press high and get the ball immediately after losing it. This year it seems like it has been implemented well into the player’s brain and this is another proof of this. As Tottenham plays from behind, 4 Liverpool players are creating a line difficult to get through and when the mistake is made, two of them rush to take advantage of this. At the same time Firmino (no.5) is sitting high waiting to get the ball after it has been stolen.

Bossing the midfield

 Liverpool have the lead and they try to protect it. Divock Origi presses the Tottenham playmaker as 5 Liverpool players in the middle ensure that noone is getting between the lines. In fact, this type of defending needs someone or something special to get through it. And, unfortunately, that special was the ball played by Alderweireld, getting behind the whole Liverpool defence and ending up with the leveller.

Lallana nailing the new position

 We talked already about a player learning a new position. Another one, is Adam Lallana. The Englishman is proving how effective he can be in the middle of the pitch both attacking and defensive wise. His high work rate and exceptional control of the ball make him the perfect man for the job. In this situation he comes back to defend and blocks a shot by Dele Alli.



Δευτέρα, 15 Αυγούστου 2016

Tactical Analysis: Arsenal - Liverpool 3-4/Premier League/14-8-2016

Liverpool started the season with a very important win against Arsenal at Emirates. Those two have provided the fans some exceptional games over the last years with plenty of goals and this match was no exception. Despite going 1-0 down, Liverpool managed to get back into the game with a stunning free kick from Phelippe Coutinho. In the second half 3 quick goals by Lallana, Coutinho and Manè extended the lead to 1-4. However, Arsenal tried to level things up managing to reduce the difference just to one goal. Fortunately Liverpool was able to hold to their lead and get the tree valuable points.
Despite Liverpool showing some great attacking signs in periods of the second half, there was a lack of communication between the lines which was more evident when Arsenal pressed high. Hence it would be better to give more emphasis on the negative than the positive aspects of Liverpool’s game.


Problem on the flanks -

-Moreno woes defensively
 Alberto Moreno started the new season as he ended the last one, horrendously. Early into the game he intercepts a pass to Walcott with his head only to assist Ramsey. Trying to make up for his mistake he rushes erratically out of position and tackles the Welshman. In this example he got out on top but his lack of discipline was not only highlighted on the penalty which he gave away minutes later but also… 

…here. Moreno is the one to start the counter attack coping well with Walcott. After that his attacking mind makes him go forward, miles away from the player he should be aware of. Moreover, he is nowhere near the defensive line as he should; thus when Arsenal get the ball back, Moreno no matter how quick he is, he can’t catch the equally quick Walcott.

Statistics don’t lie. Moreno ended the game winning just 50% of his tackles and 62,5% of duels. Is it time for a new left back?

-Clyne steps out of position

Clyne was one of the most consistent players last season. However, in the second half and especially after the introduction of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain he lost his concentration at times. In this case, he steps out of position meaninglessly trying to intercept a pass to Cazorla leaving Chamberlain behind him ready to make the run as he is onside. 

Liverpool defend too deep -
As Arsenal attack mainly from the flanks the ball ends up to Santi Cazorla on the edge of the box. The space and the time which is given to him call for an easy try. The shot is made but the Spaniard doesn’t even hit the target. Regardless, at least one of Liverpool midfielders should step out to block his shot. Instead the only one to react quickly is Sadio Mane. 

Attacking trio cooperates well +
Liverpool presented some great pieces of play during the game and the second goal from Lallana emphasized that. Liverpool attacking trio –Coutinho, Firmino, Mane- exchanged a couple of passes wide on the pitch getting most of the Arsenal defense high in order to mark them. As a result, when the ball is played to Wijnaldum, Arsenal’s defense is all over the place with Lallana and Clyne making runs while totally unmarked.

Σάββατο, 13 Αυγούστου 2016

Premier League: The 2016-17 season starts

The 2016/17 Premier League season starts today with a plentiful of games. However Liverpool's season doesn't start until tomorrow when the Reds travel to Emirates in a clash with -hopefully- title rivals, Arsenal.

After a long time without any major game to comment on, the blog is back on track with tactical analysis on every Liverpool game. Stay tuned!