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Balance


Leo No.8

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Fantastic that tonight - cant help but feel a bit frustrated that the balance hasnt been better in the side more often.

 

Downing and Henderson still played, but the players surrounding them made the whole team a different proposition. Since the New Year Kenny has retreated a bit IMO, I guess when results start going the wrong way caution can creep in and I think that's what caused us to go downhill so fast - poor balance in the side.

 

Tonight you didn't see a single out and out defensive midfielder in our side but we protected the defence well by playing on the front foot. Shelvey and Henderson were both coming deep to get the ball off the defenders but then giving it wide then pushing on to attack.

 

You had goals in Carroll, Suarez, Maxi and Shelvey has shown a real desire to play adventurously and could well have scored a few before now in limited games. The midfield and attack selection was so much more positive than it has been in a long time.

 

Compare to the cup final starting team, the balance and our ability to score goals was totally different. Also when Maxi plays we tend to play well much more often. He has a wonderful understanding with Suarez and makes those around him play better, such a clever little player.

 

Too

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Bloody iPhone kicked me out half way through there!

 

Fantastic that tonight - cant help but feel a bit frustrated that the balance hasnt been better in the side more often.

 

Downing and Henderson still played, but the players surrounding them made the whole team a different proposition. Since the New Year Kenny has retreated a bit IMO, I guess when results start going the wrong way caution can creep in and I think that's what caused us to go downhill so fast - poor balance in the side.

 

Tonight you didn't see a single out and out defensive midfielder in our side but we protected the defence well by playing on the front foot. Shelvey and Henderson were both coming deep to get the ball off the defenders but then giving it wide then pushing on to attack.

 

You had goals in Carroll, Suarez, Maxi and Shelvey has shown a real desire to play adventurously and could well have scored a few before now in limited games. The midfield and attack selection was so much more positive than it has been in a long time.

 

Compare to the cup final starting team, the balance and our ability to score goals was totally different. Also when Maxi plays we tend to play well much more often. He has a wonderful understanding with Suarez and makes those around him play better, such a clever little player.

 

Too often this season you've looked around the team and wondered who on earth is going to score the goals? I really hope Kenny looks at that game tonight and forgets a holder along with Henderson and Downing which effectively means three midfielders who won't score.

 

We need to get more players into the box to work around Suarez rather rhan leaving him isolated. Just hope we try to keep that more positive emphasis instead of going back to passing it across the middle of the park incessantly. Really encouraged by tonight, massively so - but a but frustrated too at the same time about what could have been.

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I think tonight was made easier by a changed Chelsea midfield - no Lampard or Mata to worry about running from deep or between the lines - but we pressed better as a team, and the player in possession usually had an outlet only a few yards away. Too often with Downing left and Henderson right there is little support from midfield. This is one of the noticeable differences when Maxi plays because he supports the striker well, and knows when to drift inside.

 

Shelvey has this too because i think it's instinctive for him to look for the ball. Think both he and Henderson enjoyed having the responsibility in the centre tonight.

 

Suarez and Carroll has been a no brainer for weeks. It's not a sudden development, it wasn't only in the final he looked like the player we hoped we signed, but the last two games have certainly been his best. I've explained why i think he's improved recently in the Carroll thread but there is something else which is down to Suarez :

 

Doesn't he too finally look like the player earlier in his Liverpool career ? The press have had other fish to fry for weeks and the frustrated Uruguayan trying to win everything on his own has gone and our Luis has returned. He's playing with more confidence and with greater trust in Carroll.

 

I think the idea that Suarez and Carroll means we lose the midfield is nonsense, because both players harass and drop deep, thus occupying a midfielder anyway whilst pulling defenders out of position. Terry had a f***ing nightmare.

 

That said, i thought Downing was still the weakest player on the pitch in a match we dominated, and this summer improving on that position should be a priority. A couple of forwards and an adaptable central midfielder.

Edited by Earl Hafler
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We'll have Lucas back next season too and if he can achieve the level of performance he had just before he was injured, we'll see a vast improvement in the team in general.

 

I really like Maxi as a player. We really need experienced campaigners like him and dare I say Kuyt in the squad. I hope both players stay here next season, but looks like Maxi already has his bags packed unfortunately.

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