09 Feb 2022 02:36:09
Rather embarrassing - I sat down to watch the Burnley game tonight and accidentally must have rewatched the Boro game.

1.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 11:29:39
The thing is though that 10 weeks ago against both Boro and Burnley we'd have struggled to create 10 chances in each game. With them being teams the would sit deep and compact and we'd have struggled to find a way to open them up.

Yet against them we had 52 shots which shows the improvement we have made.

We should have been 3 or 4 nil up in both games by halftime based on the chances we created.

I see both games as a step forward.

2.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 11:56:50
I think we’ve improved but why after 60-70 mins we look lethargic and knackered
Both games should of been put to bed before half time
Maguire needs to be dropped, he’s a liability and we need another proper central midfielder as both Fred and McTominay are squad players at best
We need to start picking up wins sharpish or top4 will be gone.

3.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 12:13:49
Valid point shappy but points win prizes, and at the minute we aren’t winning the games we should be!

4.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 12:17:35
Agreed Shappy. We have created chance after chance, just haven't been able to finish them. The one thing that worries me though is the fitness of the players. We seem to almost be knackered in the second half and teams get back into the game.

5.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 12:25:00
Blackpool, the assumption is that the players look knackered after 60 minutes or so is because they are knackered. They don't have the fitness to push themselves for 90 minutes. They have had an easy ride and haven't been conditioned to try and play on the front foot for the whole game.

Whether this is true or not only those working in the club with the squad will know.

Maguire I agree has been awful, he seems low on confidence and based on recent performances would have been better off in a Greek prison. Personally I think Jones was miles better in his one game against Wolves than anything I can remember seeing from Maguire.

I said at the time when we signed Maguire that there were at least half a dozen players I'd take before Maguire, most of which were available for less than half of what he cost. Yet many pointed to his leadership and organising abilities needed in our defence. I wonder what happened to those? ??‍♂️

Fred isn't good enough and should be sold as soon as we have better options. McTominay I think could be good enough, but we need to stop trying to make him into a CDM. He isn't a holding midfielder and he will never be a top class one. If played as a roaming box to box player who can put himself about in midfield with the security of a proper CDM behind him then he would be a great asset. While having the license to get forward from time to time means he should get 8-12 goals a season with his excellent shooting accuracy from distance.

6.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 12:27:44
Tim, that they do. But I think focusing on improving performances makes more sense than sacrificing performance for points. That short term vision keeps us trapped in a forever cycle of just trying to get the points without playing well. That is a very inconsistent way of getting points.

However, if you can consistently put in good performances, eventually the results will come.

Then as fans we get to watch good football AND winning. Rather than crap football and sometimes winning.

7.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 13:16:00
Performances were a massive issue under Solskjaer. It felt like most weeks we were fairly abject but getting by with a bit of brilliance or luck. It's something many of us were rightly critical of.

We've improved under Rangnick, especially in the last few weeks where we have played at a more consistent level. Getting the level of performance we showed in the first half yesterday and in the first half against Middlesborough to be the standard is what we want. If we keep playing at that level we will win plenty of games.

We haven't taken chances, we've had a few poor refereeing decisions go against us and we have Maguire. Improving the finishing and dropping Maguire are the two things the club can control and it is what they should aim to do this weekend.

8.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 13:25:55
I'm not saying Ralf will have anywhere near the same impact, but in Klopp's first season at Liverpool they took a little while to get to grips with they new style. They would then play really well going forward and create lots of chances, be suspect in defence and they were all exhausted after 60 minutes.

Liverpool would regularly be 2-0 up at halftime to end up drawing 2-2 or even losing 3-2. Mostly because the players weren't fit enough to maintain that style for 90 minutes.

9.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 15:48:35
Shappy we always look like we are jogging or walking in games with the odd burst- there is no urgency, slight movements off the ball and after 60 mins as you say, we look shattered. These are supposedly prime athletes and stroll around nonchalantly, tippy tappy to each other ala van gaal era. RR came with the backstory of gegen pressing*SP and fit organised style but tbh I just can't see it in this team, not blaming RR.

Therevwere a couple of snippets to hang on to in sancho and PP playing a better game but for all the first half pressing I was never confident of us putting the game to bed. I called it yesterday saying we would probably sneak it but we left ourselves vulnerable to getting 0 points: southampton won't be easy and brighton will cause problems: its simply not good enough from the players.

10.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 16:11:52
Funky, I think it's difficult, almost impossible to go from sitting on your sofa eating chips out of the wrappings to winning a marathon. Especially in a short time period.

It took Klopp most of a season and a whole pre-season to get the Liverpool players into the condition needed to play his high energy style.

We just simply do not have the time to get our players stamina to where it needs to be. We have had two international breaks, a couple of players off at the AFCON, injuries, Christmas, games postponed, and pretty much trying to fit in two games a week in the 10 weeks or so that Rangnick has been here.

Not to mention several players wanting to leave and the who MG debacle.

To get the squad we have to be playing anything like half decent football, even for 60 minutes is a hell of an achievement.

11.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 17:44:44
Whatever you wrote Shappy, I tend to agree with all of your assessments.
We've actually been playing well even though we haven't won the last 2.
McTominay even as a DM is playing well than he did before.
Dalot makes so many progressive passes than with AWB were mostly passes infield.
Bad luck with the referee decisions, handball goal, a clear pen we had last game, and wrongly ruled out offside goal have definitely made us look bad.
Ronaldo is out of form and is missing chances that we was burying at the start of season.
And Maguire is our worst CB, I rate him below Bailly and Jones.
He's slow and doesn't suit us one bit, he keeps losing the ball and tries to go forward with none of the recovery pace.
Lindelof is far more assured than him.
If Rangnick can drop Ronaldo, or Bruno then definitely Maguire can be dropped as he's nowhere near their quality.
Rashford starting again has meant we don't have much from his side, a couple of late runs and finishes fr him has made elanga drop to the bench, who overall in the game has had more impact than rashford.
Sancho, who I feel is uncomfortable on the left, started to show last game what he's capable of, they were quite a few dribbles, he has to take the man on more often even if it means he loses the ball 2-3 times a game.
We are not far away from putting 3-4 goals in a half if things go our way as we've been very unlucky with decisions.
We've seen dross football under solskjaer and this looks like a beginning of something which I can call football, it's nowhere near want we want but it's the right direction.
Top 4 will be something we are very likely to miss out on now, but I feel we are not far away from converting these draws to wins. We are creating chances now instead of that one chance one finish anomaly solskjaer days.

12.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 17:56:19
Don’t compare RR with Klopp, what as RR ever achieved to be warranted with comparing, that’s ridiculous
As is the players not fit enough, have you heard yourselves these are elite athletes like it or not, have you considered they are just not inspired by RR, they maybe don’t believe in what he is trying to do or just not taken in by him, maybe they just see coaching from lower league level and are not interested overly in what RR try’s to put across, maybe he’s coaching methods are antiquated or just downright boring, remember this man not coached in years and never coached elite level. Maybe that’s the problem.

13.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 17:59:08
shappy agree to a certain extent but they have one job, one- train and play football which taken all the things you mention they still fall woefully short of where they should be. let's be honest they are well played, highly pampered should be top of the ladder, athletes: it is bandied about by numerous pros/ ex pros that once the season is on its way then matches keep them at the levels . Afcon, couple players away- not nailed on starters
thats why we have a squad, xmas- same time every year for 2000 years games postponed -ok but we haven't got cup games and 2 games a week - howay shappyour postie works 40 hours a week, plays twice a week, does the school run and has two women on the go and still shows more energy. Final thing is - its the same set of excuses at city, liverpool etc etc etc. I try to cut them some slack but it is hard to sympathise with them in the cold light of day.

14.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 19:09:31
Shappy I think your assessment of Fred, McTominay and Maguire is spot on. I'd be less harsh on McTominay than others for the reasons you say. Maguire on the other hand is a continuing problem that directly impacts our fullbacks and our CMs. His positional sense is very poor so he is caught out far too often. This drags our fullbacks in to fill the gaps he leaves. His speed on the turn is appalling for a professional footballer. As such we cannot play the high line that Rangnick wants. Added to this he focusses on the man rather than the ball at an alarming rate. He really is just not very good. While Lindelof is a decent player I'd love to see Bailly and Varane get a chance. We'd finally have 2 CBs with enough pace to play the high line and to cover the fullbacks if they go forward. Maguire isn't our only (on field ( problem, but I think he's our biggest.

15.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 21:22:30
I’m afraid we are stuck with Maguire for a long time. We’ll never recoup anything for him. Maybe he won’t be second choice CB this time next season but noone else would pay half of that fee for him.

{Ed0666's Note - you’ll be lucky to get half of half

16.) 09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022 21:36:04
Don, I don't think Maguire's positional sense is poor, I think it's completely missing.

I've never seen a top level professional defender who gets caught ball watching even half as much as Maguire.

He doesn't know where his teammates are, he doesn't know where the opposition are and he doesn't actually know where on the pitch he is.

Because he is only watching the ball. Unless he has the ball at his feet he doesn't look up to see where anyone else is.

That's how he has ended up tackling his own teammates at times.

I'm sure if the ball was small enough or his ears big enough that at the right angle and trajectory the ball could pass right between his ears and clear out the other side.

He has one strength, his slabhead is so big that it often gets in the way of crosses and the ball bounces off his noggin.

However, he's often in the wrong place and bowls over his teammates in a desperate attempt to head the ball.

In many ways he defends in the same manner as Smalling, but without the recovery pace and mobility to make up for his poor positioning.