Football News: Liverpool v Burnley Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective

 

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Liverpool v Burnley Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
Image from: davemartin.org

Liverpool v Burnley


How different this season's Burnley are from last season's version is difficult to tell, they play the same style against the big boys away from home, but this season it is bringing them results. A lot is down to riding their luck, but, before I dissect Liverpool's performance I just want to say well done to them, they worked incredibly hard for that result. They never once allowed their heads to drop and their players never panicked when under immense pressure. It is no wonder they are having such a good season, Sean Dyche has got them very well drilled.

While they were riding their luck, it was once again not with LFC, as another penalty was not given early in the game. Score that and it is a different game. Also blocked shots, I am not sure how many there were (it seems to depend on whose stats you look at as I have seen a couple of different figures given now) but there were a lot. On another day, one of them is a deflection that ends up sending the keeper the wrong way. Luck is definitely not on Liverpool's side right now.

There are problems with communication right throughout the team, not just Klavan not calling, this is a longstanding issue from back to front and we saw a lot of it yesterday as players went for the same balls. That needs to be worked on. The team as a whole also need to be reminded that they are a team, not 11 individuals that just shoot on sight. When there is a better option pass the ball to it rather than whack it from distance.

That performance will have given Klopp a lot of reason to be cheerful, but also a lot of things to work on during the week. Communication being the obvious one, but also set pieces, not defending them this time but attacking them and the delivery into the box. Why was Alexander-Arnold, who has shown he has a good delivery, not given charge of all set pieces? That is something I do not understand.



Klopp - got it completely wrong with his rotation of players, even if they did produce a good performance, it is not helping the teamwork that is needed to pick up points in games like this. Numerous attacking moves broke down due to misunderstandings and the players ended up playing like individuals hitting shots from anywhere and everywhere. What bugs me most of all was his choice to bring back Mignolet. Just why? Rotation does not work. The teams that have won the league in recent years have not rotated. Please just stop doing it!


Mignolet - he should never have been in the squad ever again, but somehow he is getting games in the league! It beggars belief, it really does. While he was not at sole fault for the goal, his dithering ensured he could not save it. If you watch closely, for some unknown reason he runs out of the goalmouth and towards Alexander-Arnold, then Brady jumps over TAA to head the ball and he has to get back into goal. Because of that, he is not set, he is still going to his left when the shot comes in and is unable to leap fully to his right.

Whether or not he would have saved it anyway is arguable, having endured his goalkeeping over the last few years, and watched him at Sunderland for a season or so before that, I do have my doubts he could have saved it, as his shotstopping is not the best. However it has to be pointed out that he is not giving himself the best possible chance to save it, by his dithering and poor decision-making (which could be a theme in this review as every player was guilty of it).

Then there were goal kicks, what on earth was he doing? I understand Burnley pressed up and took out the short option, but that is no excuse for his aimless, brutally aimless, lumps up field to players with little chance of winning a header.



Alexander-Arnold - another defensive error in his game today, no way should he have been beaten in the air by Brady. All helps the learning process though, I would hope he will be more decisive in future. Other than that, he had a decent game, I just do not understand why he was not taking the dead balls? He possesses the best delivery in the squad, why on earth is Milner, who is one of the worst, taking them over him? Corners should always be left to TAA, unless their defensive set up means a left footed taker would be better. I do not care if it affects our chances of keeping Coutinho by giving the set pieces to a kid, it is results that matter and he offers our best chance of getting them.

Going forward TAA is by far and away the best full back at the club, his delivery is mostly excellent and he has a right to question why no one was gambling on getting in the 6 yard box when he had a chance to put the ball in. It was noticeable the difference when Solanke came on and he was able to just put the ball in, knowing Solanke would be making the effort.


Matip - luckily the Burnley forwards did not get much service, as they physically bullied Matip when they did. However, in a game like this, his ability to carry the ball out of defence is an excellent weapon for the team. Just a shame he is not half as good at actually defending.


Klavan - needs to learn that he does not have to go for every aerial ball, that he can leave a header to a man under absolutely no pressure. But, if he really must go and get the ball instead of just taking up a position to cover, use your damn mouth to communicate what you are doing, rather than just colliding with Can needlessly. He is an experienced international footballer, so there is no excuse for basic errors like that.


Robertson - I know people have said he had a good game but for me he was more like the Hull City left back I had watched than he was on his debut. His runs were poor, constantly running inside, when we needed width desperately, when he did get the ball out wide, his delivery was not good at all. Defensively he could not be more suspect if he was in an identity line up dressed in a black striped shirt and wearing a mask. However, just like his debut does not mean he is a superstar, this one game does not mean he is a donkey. It is still early in his career and he is learning the role he is asked to play.


Can - that was much more like it from Can. Not an outstanding game by the standards he himself set, but it was better than his last couple. Rather than him being the one to bottle out of a challenge, his desire made a Burnley player just get out of the way as he realised Can was just going to go in and smash through anything in his way at that point. I personally think the holding role is a better fit for him out of all of our midfielders, even if it does restrict parts of his game. Can is the one that seems to understand it better.



Milner - I just will never get the Milner thing. Yes he runs around a lot but it is directionless. Yes he works hard but it is wasted in the wrong places. I could not even tell what position he was playing yesterday or what he thought he was doing. He is like a 5 year old, he just runs towards the ball most of the time. His set pieces are terrible. His crossing is 90% of the time woeful, his passing not much better. Milner is simply not good enough to have had the career he has had. It is a shame because I love his desire and willingness to play anywhere, but it takes more than that to deserve the shirt or it would be a team of fans.


Coutinho - tried too hard if anything and still does not look ready to be starting games. His touch was off and his shooting was abysmal. He did track back and he did try, but he is just as rusty as an old Rover.


Salah - despite them defending deep to cut down on his space to run behind Salah was always a threat and added a goal. Could have scored more but overall his contribution was key.


Sturridge - well at least he lasted 90 minutes! Other than that, there were flashes of the old Studger, but far too many moments when he was off the pace and missing the chance to get on the end of balls into the box he would have once gobbled up.


Firmino - ran himself into the ground. Always involved, but needs to learn to pass to someone other than Coutinho.


Subs:

Solanke - replaced Coutinho in the 78th minute and provided a threat with his attempts to get at the Burnley defence and looking to get on the end of balls into the box. Unlucky not to score.

Oxlade-Chamberlain - came on at the same time as Solanke in a double substitution, in place of Firmino. Never really managed to get into the game though. Not a bad performance, it was just the game had changed before he came on and he was not able to get as much of the ball as the team got previously.

Written by Tris Burke



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