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Football News: Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - A Liverpool Perspective

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: leaf.tv

Liverpool v West Bromwich Albion

 

Another disturbingly bad performance, though this time it was far worse than the recent game against Swansea, where at least the defence never folded so shambolically. While the conversation seems to have boiled down to VAR and whether or not Coutinho would have saved Liverpool, I personally do not think either of those were at all relevant. VAR got the decisions right, just needs finetuning to speed it up and explain what is going on to the audiences at the ground and at home watching on TV. Coutinho would have been as much use as a chocolate teapot in stopping the defence being so abysmal, if anything he would have made the issue worse as he was so lacking in tracking back this season.

This result was not because of VAR or the loss of Coutinho, this was the same old problem that has plagued the club for years, lack of effort, intensity and desire when it is not a big game, all of which were a problem with Coutinho in the team. The players need to prove they are not just big-time Charlies who think they are too good to need to do anymore than turn up against the 'little' clubs. They want to make MOTD highlights rather than just doing their jobs.

 

Klopp - again subdued, again left changes too late. He seemed oddly passive and the team were the same. His decision to bring Mignolet in for the match was a ridiculous one.

 

Mignolet - has great ability in one area of the game, unfortunately that is to make the easiest and most simple task into the most difficult. If he could at least do the basics right then it would be understandable how he has managed to make a career at the top level. As things stand it is bizarre that he has lasted so long in the Premier League. Mignolet even exudes an aura of panic, or so it feels, as each time the ball goes near him my heart is in my mouth. 5 times yesterday WBA hit the target, 5 times the ball ended up in the back of the net with Mignolet doing nothing.

There is only one thing that should be happening with Mignolet and that is him leaving the club as soon as humanly possible. He has shown time and time again that he is not good enough, not confident enough and not vocal enough to be deserving of a place.

 

Alexander-Arnold - had an absolute stinker, was all over the shop defensively and his delivery was poor. Worrying thing is that he was the best of the Liverpool defenders!

 

Matip - I know the backline gets no protection from the midfield but that does not excuse his utter ineptitude when it comes to defending. Positionally he is hopeless, physically weak, makes silly rash challenges he has no need to make in the opposition half leaving him miles out of position (and usually trying to claim the opponent he hacked is playacting while gesticulating at them to get up) and is ridiculously slow when chasing back. In a foot race in his own half I would back my nan on her zimmer frame to beat him, as he strolls back making sure he does not break out into a sweat.

What he does do well is that he usually passes the ball out well from the back and can carry it out on a forward run. However, his job is to defend and he simply is utterly incapable of doing that job. Especially when you look at his contribution for the own goal he scored, where he tried to be clever with his clearance, instead of just using his left foot.

 

van Dijk - I could just repeat what I said about Matip here, except that what he does is worse, he passes the buck constantly. The ball is rolling by his foot and he is pointing at somebody else to deal with it. No, you deal with it, you get hold of it and play a pass or clear your lines, whatever, but take responsibility. Some people were suggesting him as a captain, but a captain is responsible, something van Dijk has shown no signs of being so far.

 

Moreno - reverted back to type. This season he had been more cautious and thoughtful and so much better. However that went out the window and the useless liability Moreno, always out of position as he looks to get forward rather than defending was back. Awful performance, the worst player on the pitch, which took some doing.

 

Can - terrible performance. At the very least you have to track runners when you are the deepest midfielder, not stand and watch. His contribution on the ball was no better, as he offered no incision or quality on the ball whatsoever.

 

Wijnaldum - I just do not get it, why does he coast through game after game and fail to use his ability? He does not get forward and help out the attack by creating or scoring goals. He does not link up the play well and he plays too far forward to protect the defence.

 

Oxlade-Chamberlain - struggled badly to make an impression, switching between right wing and central midfield but unable to really affect the game. Apart from with set pieces, which he made a complete hash of for some reason.

 

Salah - got a goal and won a pen but he struggled as well, by his standards, mainly through a lack of service, but his movement was not at its usual level.

 

Mane - while clearly not fully fit he did at least look to be trying to get involved and influence the game despite a lack of service.

 

Firmino - a beautiful finish for the goal but fluffed the penalty. Overall he worked hard chasing back but his touch was off most of the time. Again starved of service to really show his stuff.

 

Subs:

Ings - was part of a triple substitution in the 65th minute, as Klopp went for it, replacing Oxlade-Chamberlain. Buzzed around, got involved, could have scored and made a difference.

Milner - took the place of Can and took over set pieces from Oxlade-Chamberlain but his delivery was just as bad. At least offered some energy and workrate, just a shame the quality does not match the endeavour and he often ends up just getting in the way. Literally in this game as a couple of passes were aimed past him but he got inbetween to take the ball away from a better placed player.

Henderson - replaced Mane and dropped into the role Can had been trying to play. Immediately made a difference and played a threaded pass that forced Pardew to make a reshuffle to his team. Unfortunately the changes worked well and cut off the avenues to make those passes.

Written by Tris Burke January 28 2018 17:46:36