Liverpool Weekly: Defensive frailties and Disastrous tactics

No other team has beaten Liverpool 3-0 at Anfield since West Brom in April 1965, a feat now accomplished by West Ham United last weekend. What is the takeaway from the match? Here’s a detailed analysis from our Liverpool correspondent, Vikram Suresh.

Talking Point

It was a calamitous performance on a Saturday afternoon and Liverpool was outplayed in every part of the pitch by West Ham. To know that this was hammers’ first win since 1962 speaks volumes of difference between the 2 teams over the years. But it was not the case when Slaven Bilic lead West Ham came to Anfield and won it comfortably. Conceding 3 at home, a red card to our team’s chief creative outlet- Coutinho and lack of penetration has made some fans react with rage to the abysmal afternoon.

”Absolute embarrassing loss for #LFC it is not acceptable losing 3-0 at Home to #WHUFC consequences should follow heavily!”— @BillalSkanda on Twitter.

”Subbing off two most creative players on field whil trailing 2-0 clearly clueless by rodgers #LFC”—@WaqasafzalLFC

Takeaways from West Ham’s win over Liverpool

Defensive frailties

It was not the first time that Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool looked shaky at the back, with Lovren starting over Sakho and Gomez over Moreno. Skrtel and Lovren reminded us of some of the most horrific defensive frailties of last season. The Croatian, in particular, was at his awful best after his close to assuring performances in his last 3 fixtures, helping the team with 3 clean sheets. However, Lovren was one of the reasons behind 2 of the 3 goals that the team conceded. After watching his step over that lead to Noble’s goal, every single fan would be asking the same question “Why on earth did we pay 20mil pounds for this player?”

Disastrous tactics

How many times have Liverpool come from behind and won the game, under Rodgers? Rodgers got it all wrong on Saturday from the start, Lovren over Sakho, deploying same tactics that were played against Arsenal against an effervescent Hammers’. (I don’t want to start on the hideous substitutions). West Ham for their part had a disciplined defense protected by a beast of a player in Cheikou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang. It proved criminal to play Benteke high up alone against such a robust defense.

It is high time for Rodgers to understand that Firmino and Coutinho are at their best when they play Number 10 and are not natural wide players. At the moment of writing this, we had let go off Markovic on a season-long loan. Ibe the only match ready winger left with our first team.

Deserving winners

It’s going to be a nail-biting season ahead, as teams like Crystal palace, Swansea, and West ham try to punch above their weight. Westham under the guidance of their new manager Slaven Bilic has already slayed league’s big boys Arsenal and Liverpool away from home. It won’t be surprising if one or two of these teams vie for the European places by March. Lanzini, Kouyate signing will prove to be shrewd business for hammers. To win at Anfield after 42 successive visits deserves a special applause. As Bilic mentioned in his post-match interview

“We played really good and started well. We were well organized. We had a plan, but the boys perfectly did that plan. Their movement, concentration and aggression was 90% of the game.”

But, consistency would be Key!

Refereeing Calls

We’ve been lucky with 2 referee calls this season, one each against Bournemouth and Arsenal. But we were not third time lucky as all the calls went against us. The First yellow to Coutinho was acceptable considering the pressure of the occasion but to draw a second yellow for a less than dangerous but clumsy tackle was harsh. Referee Kevin Friend had a day to forget at the office. He tried to make amends with another heinous Red for Noble.

What’s up next for Liverpool FC?

Liverpool will travel to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United after the international break, one of the most expected fixture every season. Thanks to United’s loss to Swansea on Sunday, it will make this clash with their fiercest rivals, a nail-biting encounter. I will cover up more on that in the upcoming days. On the other hand, West Ham will hope to halt a run of two straight home defeats with a match against Newcastle at Upton Park.

I, like most of the Reds hope we sign someone on deadline day and shore up our defense. We also hope that Rodgers helps us get back to the fluent, marauding, attacking football and keep “Hoof it to Benteke“ tactics as plan B. And obviously, a win against our fiercest rivals will help our Morale.

Liverpool Quote of the Week

”One mistake anyone can do but if you are telling me that Liverpool lost because of Dejan Lovren then no, no, no, no, no. It was a mistake but a lot of Liverpool players made mistakes. He can be a strong person but if you get kicked in the head every day then it’s hard to stay strong”  quoted Bilic.

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