Football News: Leicester City v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective

 

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Leicester City v Liverpool Match Review - A Liverpool Perspective
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Leicester City v Liverpool


That was an awful performance from start to finish, the only differences in performance level were from Leicester, who were acting like traffic cones in a training match in the first half, static and making no attempt to close the space down, then in the second half they closed down a lot more, which changed the game. It took the arrival of Okazaki to give them some pace and genuine goal threat up front though. As for Liverpool, they looked like a team thrown together to get some players experience and other players some match fitness, which, in essence, was exactly what they were.

Klopp clearly sees the EFL Cup as a chance to use fringe players he wants to look at, players coming back from injury in need of fitness and youngsters in need of a chance. It was always going to be a disjointed performance from a team cobbled together like that, but that is no excuse for it to be quite so bad. However, it is what it is and those players have to get chances somehow or they will never progress, sadly squads are so big these days that it takes a major injury crisis for a youngster to get a genuine shot at first team football outside of cup competitions.

Due to the attitude of the bigger clubs, treating them as almost a reserves competition, like Liverpool did, it is difficult to be any more than disappointed by the team's failure. It is sad to see a trophy which plays such a big part in Liverpool's past being treated with such a lack of respect.



Klopp - he took a risk and it did not pay off. While I disagree with the choice to put out kids and reserves for these cup fixtures, I do understand why a manager does it. I just miss the days when football was not all about money and trophies were the most important thing.


Ward - about time he got a chance. He looked confident and assured, claimed a high ball that I would not have expected either of our other two keepers to come for, let alone catch. His distribution was good and he looked like the ideal keeper for the system. I just hope, though I know it is a waste of time, that he keeps his place for the weekend.


Flanagan - I really like Flanno, his heart is huge and he desperately wants to succeed but games like this really do his chances no favours. He was so far off the pace at times it was worrying. However a lot was down to him being rusty, as he does not get enough first team football. Tough situation as there are very few times when Klopp has the opportunity to give him games, which means he struggles when he gets the chance and moves further down the pecking order.

I personally believe his only real chance at a long term future with LFC is to once more work on retraining him as a defensive midfielder. It is a position the club are lacking in, he could be genuinely useful this season in that position if he takes to it and in the long term.


Gomez - good to see him get a game in his natural position of centre back, even if it was not the best result. What was clear about him, unlike every other outfield player picked, is that he is a natural defender who does the basics right. When everyone else just rushed out heedless of the fact that the guy on the ball was under no pressure, he looked to mark his man. Basic defending. Just a shame no one else thought to defend as well!



Klavan - he was fine in the first half, when he had a target man to mark, someone who would look to outmuscle him. It was when Ulloa went off, in bizarre circumstances, and Okazaki came on that his problems started. The Japanese striker is extremely mobile, a livewire of a forward, like having N'Golo Kante play as a striker, and his pace and movement were just too much for Klavan to handle. As a result he was terrible in the second half and made to look like a Sunday League player, rather than an experienced international.


Robertson - I was very disappointed with him last night, despite people suggesting he had a good game and put in some good crosses. If he had been sprinting down the line at pace with no time to look up and whipped those balls in, then I would agree those were some good crosses. However, he had time to look up, see where his team mates were and then put the ball nowhere near them, in most cases. Defensively I wonder why he did not help out Klavan more when Okazaki came on. Teams play as a team and help out a teammate that is struggling.


Henderson - this season is turning into a real struggle for Henderson so far. He does not look right at all. I have my doubts that his injury has fully cleared up. He did play some good passes in the first half that seem to have been forgotten, but his overall performance was not a good one.



Wijnaldum - another one who looked out of sorts. Understandable as the team was cobbled together but disappointing from one of the senior players who the youngsters should be looking to for guidance.


Grujic - Grujic has always looked like he has something when he has come on as a substitute, but suffered due to rash tackles as he tries too hard to make an impression. Last night he managed to spend 90 minutes trying far too hard to make the right impression and ended up making completely the wrong one as a consequence.


Oxlade-Chamberlain - unfortunately for the Ox, he had a stinker. If Iborra had not been on the pitch for Leicester, he would have been contending for the worst player. However Iborra claimed that prize, by a huge margin. It did not hide the fact that Oxlade-Chamberlain had a mare though, almost nothing he tried came off. Hopefully just because he was trying too hard to impress.


Solanke - overall he was Liverpool's best player on the night, though Woodburn ran him close, despite only playing the second half. Had a decent game and was always a threat, he just needs to get a run of games and some goals now.


Coutinho - not a bad half but still trying to do too much. Still does not look fully fit.


Subs:

Woodburn - brought on for Coutinho at half time and looked good. Definitely looks worthy of more football in the first team.

Ings - just good to see Dings back playing! That is an achievement in itself. Even better that he is the same old hard grafting worker he was before injury, racing everywhere determined to make a difference.

Written by Tris Burke



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