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Stilly
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Typical home performance today. My mate who is also a season ticket (but sits in the Kop) summed it up best in a text sent after the game:

So close to being a great team. Dominated them for majority of match. Hit post twice. Missed pen. Missed 3x sitters. Same old story...

:(

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I'm just so fed up of this shit. All of the talk of us being a clinical striker away from out-scoring teams is misguided. Watch us play and take note of the amount of times one of the scapegoats (Downing and Henderson spring to mind) are in possession in a good position, but only have one or two players making a run. We usually have one person running into the box and the rest check back to the edge. We just make it so easy for the opposition to defend and it is because we are scared to attack in numbers. It's negativity in our tactics, plain and simple.

Dogsout, you and I have certainly discussed Charlie's performance a fair bit in the past, what did you make of him today?

I thought he was quite poor - pretty much the standard performance from him since Lucas has been out. He's playing too deep and he doesn't look confident at all.

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You know, Kenny is probably just as negative in his tactics as Hodgson was in terms of not getting the midfield to push up to support attacks and playing too deep no matter what the score - and this is with us having a better starting 11 - and sadly I don't see it changing any time soon. I wonder how much of this defense-first strategy has been encouraged by Steve Clarke?

Regardless, it's more tolerable to play that way if you can sit on a goal lead, but we seem pretty incapable of doing that (something that is true with or without Lucas) so it's silly to continue to be so defensive. Even today when Carroll came on he was loitering around the half-way line and there seemed to be no greater urgency to push forward. It's true that having a more clinical striker wouldn't in itself be a solution on its own, but perhaps if we had somebody who was proven in the league then it might force a change in formation that benefits the team as a whole - not that I think there is any chance of Kenny getting out of the 'I *heart* Luis' club in order to do that, of course.

Edit - God, I'm fed up with it all tonight!

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How many games this season could we have won if we actually had converted a penalty?!

I just looked at the table, it makes for depressing reading, Newcastle are 4 points ahead of us for fuck sake! We always seem to have loads of chances, but convert few, we have something like an 8% shots to goals rate, which is frankly laughable, but we still fail to change the way we play, or who is on the pitch. It seems Kenny has gone with the attitude that going out and playing these tactics every week will eventually bring results, but has he not noticed we are 2/3 of the way through the season and we still don't win games we should be?!

I'm pretty much at my wits end in watching this load of shite fuck up nearly every week.

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I was disappointed with Kenny yesterday, far too negative - you could see he was happy with the draw and didn't want to change the team. Adam should've been hauled off early in the second half.

Definitely. Adam was poor again. I'm really impressed with Henderson though, he put himself about (something he really hasn't done much of) and he became a threat! Downing did well also.

But to sum up - first substitute at 85 mins? Fuck that. Carra is just not at the races, penalties are something we are seriously shit at and god damnit van Persie.

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I know it's a different situation, but Villas-Boas has been sacked because of a run of 3 wins in 12 league games, because the fans didn't like his negative tactics and he lost the faith of the senior players. We've won 2 in 11 league games, play far too negatively but Kenny is loved and hasn't lost the faith of the senior players yet (that we know of).

Incidentally, Suarez has scored 5 goals from 76 shots this season - a conversion rate of 6.6% - and yet Kenny still thinks he's the best person to lead the line.

While I'm ranting, I'm also getting more and more fed-up with Kenny's blind defence of everything we do - earlier in the season it was that we would put our chances away at some point (still waiting), then it was that opposition keepers always have a blinder (not true, we just don't create that many great chances and give keepers the chance to make a save), now from yesterday's press conference it was that we played some great stuff and that I quote "...if you are going to judge a team by scorelines it will be unfortunate..." - seriously, what? That's real tin-hat stuff. It makes me think that the morale and mental state in the dressing room is extremely fragile and he feels he has to be overly protective, but it's not helping.

To stop me ranting for the rest of the day about Kenny, of the 12 games we have left you'd think that on paper only the matches against Everton, Newcastle and Chelsea would be tricky. What do people think we should be looking at, points-wise, from those 12 games? I reckon we'd need 28 points to secure 5th - or perhaps even 4th only if Arsenal implode and Di Matteo doesn't stop the rot at Chelsea (I don't think Newcastle will have enough in them to challenge for 4th now).

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Sunderland and Swansea away will both be tricky games plus you have a couple of sides that are down at the bottom fighting for their lives, that along with Everton, Newcastle and Chelsea games you mentioned that's going to be a fairly tricky run in. if you get 28 points it will be impressive.

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Sunderland and Swansea away will both be tricky games plus you have a couple of sides that are down at the bottom fighting for their lives, that along with Everton, Newcastle and Chelsea games you mentioned that's going to be a fairly tricky run in. if you get 28 points it will be impressive.

Yeah, to be fair I was trying to be positive and ignore how we've been playing this season - hence the 'on paper' comment :P

In reality I think we'll struggle in at least half the games to get a result. Bah, there goes my positivity!

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I know it's a different situation, but Villas-Boas has been sacked because of a run of 3 wins in 12 league games, because the fans didn't like his negative tactics and he lost the faith of the senior players. We've won 2 in 11 league games, play far too negatively but Kenny is loved and hasn't lost the faith of the senior players yet (that we know of).

Incidentally, Suarez has scored 5 goals from 76 shots this season - a conversion rate of 6.6% - and yet Kenny still thinks he's the best person to lead the line.

While I'm ranting, I'm also getting more and more fed-up with Kenny's blind defence of everything we do - earlier in the season it was that we would put our chances away at some point (still waiting), then it was that opposition keepers always have a blinder (not true, we just don't create that many great chances and give keepers the chance to make a save), now from yesterday's press conference it was that we played some great stuff and that I quote "...if you are going to judge a team by scorelines it will be unfortunate..." - seriously, what? That's real tin-hat stuff. It makes me think that the morale and mental state in the dressing room is extremely fragile and he feels he has to be overly protective, but it's not helping.

To stop me ranting for the rest of the day about Kenny, of the 12 games we have left you'd think that on paper only the matches against Everton, Newcastle and Chelsea would be tricky. What do people think we should be looking at, points-wise, from those 12 games? I reckon we'd need 28 points to secure 5th - or perhaps even 4th only if Arsenal implode and Di Matteo doesn't stop the rot at Chelsea (I don't think Newcastle will have enough in them to challenge for 4th now).

I was about to post "what are you talking about, we have won far more than that in the last 11 games!", but i thought I would check first, before I posted. We have:

Won 3:

Aston Villa, Home, 2-0

Newcastle, Home, 3-1

Wolves, Away, 3-0

Drawn 4:

Wigan, Away, 0-0

Blackburn, Home, 1-1

Stoke, Home, 0-0

Spurs, Home 0-0

Lost 4:

Man City, Away, 0-3

Bolton, Away, 1-3

United, Away, 1-2

Arsenal, Home, 1-2

Absolutely pathetic form. I was really enthusiastic about Kenny last season, but his signings have been dreadful and have taken our team backwards, and his tactics have been way off. Seriously, if you were to pick the top five worst signings of the season, there would be at least a few Liverpool players in there. Downing stands out head and shoulders above the rest.

We need to face facts- we do not have a chance of getting anywhere near the champions league, let alone the title, with the current squad and manager. I expect us to finish 7th. An embarrassment considering the resources at our disposal and the money we have spent.

Will Kenny still be here come August 2012? I doubt it, and I hope not, to be honest.

EDIT: I just checked the table and both Fulham and stoke are only 3 points behind us, admittedly we have a game in hand. West Brom (FFS) and Norwich are only a point behind that. It is highly conceivable that we could even finish eighth! I can't even remember the last time we were that poor.

Kenny Out.

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I don't really agree that the signings have been terrible. I think many of them were incorrectly reported by the media (Henderson for £20m, for example), which instantly placed unwarranted expectations on them. On top of that, I think they've pretty much all shown the potential to do well for the club; although not all of them have shown potential in line with their fees. The likes of Downing, Adam, Carroll and to a far lesser extent Henderson, haven't performed as well as they did in their final season for their respective clubs. That could end up being a positive rather than a negative because it could just be a case of them needing time to gel. People act like we've been spunking money everywhere like City or even Chelsea when our net spend is actually pretty meager under the new guys, and we've also reduced our wage bill.

On the other hand I don't think the current tactics suit too many of our team at all. I've been banging on about 4-3-3 for bloody ages now and the most disappointing thing for me is that Kenny's attitude has changed since last season. Last season we went out and played our football. Many of the attacking players spoke to the press about how liberated they felt, and that he had placed a lot of trust in them and given them the freedom to attack teams. That's gone now. It's not that we set-out too deep; plenty of teams do that up and down the country. It's that in any given attack, most of our players stay deep. The crazy off-the-ball movement and tricky late runs that typified our play under Kenny last season is gone. It's dead and gone. I had hoped that the squad was in transition and we would eventually move back to that style over the course of the season but I've pretty much given up on that now. I've watched us throw away great chances to take points from other teams because of the fear in our tactics for too long. We're like Audley Harrison when he 'fought' David Haye: so scared of being countered that we won't commit to an attack.

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Re Kempstar:

Are you kidding? We finished 7th after our best ever Premiership season, we were terrible that year and the year after wasn't much better either.

I'll admit that some of our signings have been very poor as have some Kennys tactics but were hardly going backwards, we're where we've been the last 3 years but we've actually won something. I don't want us turning into Chelsea, so let's play it out, see where we finish and if we win the FA Cup before completely sacking off our manager.

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Wow. Didn't manage to catch the game on Saturday so I'm watching the highlights now.

Have we already set a record for the most woodwork hits in a season? And is Suarez leading the stats for a single player...?!

That Kelly miss too. Oof.

And the winner from RVP - class hit.

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On the other hand I don't think the current tactics suit too many of our team at all. I've been banging on about 4-3-3 for bloody ages now and the most disappointing thing for me is that Kenny's attitude has changed since last season. Last season we went out and played our football. Many of the attacking players spoke to the press about how liberated they felt, and that he had placed a lot of trust in them and given them the freedom to attack teams. That's gone now. It's not that we set-out too deep; plenty of teams do that up and down the country. It's that in any given attack, most of our players stay deep. The crazy off-the-ball movement and tricky late runs that typified our play under Kenny last season is gone. It's dead and gone. I had hoped that the squad was in transition and we would eventually move back to that style over the course of the season but I've pretty much given up on that now. I've watched us throw away great chances to take points from other teams because of the fear in our tactics for too long. We're like Audley Harrison when he 'fought' David Haye: so scared of being countered that we won't commit to an attack.

I been thinking about the difference between last season and this one, and I think that it's the fact that Kenny could pretty much do what he wanted (so long as he didn't get us relegated) and it would be considered a success. It meant there wasn't really the pressure on him to acheive anything, so we played with more freedom and that worked. Let's also not forget that all the history he brought back to the dressing room did galvanise the players and that certainly helped. But I think it's notable that when it came to the crunch and we actually got ourselves into a position to get European qualification - and so there was some genuine pressure on us to get a result we choked it against Tottenham (and then Villa).

As for this season, well there is already the pressure on the team to secure European football (but the undertone is that really it needs to be the Champion's League) and we bring some new players in that should have some quality about them - but Kenny can't seem to pick a formation that actually benefits the players we have. As you have said many times (and I agree with), we should try a 4-3-3 but he won't. Perhaps he's afraid, because this season was his season to make his mark - as I say, last season he couldn't really lose because Hodgson was always going to be the fall guy if it went bad, but there are no excuses this season. Well, apart from the ones he manages to conjure-up in his ever more bizzare press conferences.

I think the formation choices and lack of aggressive attacking play is most obvious with Downing; yes, he has been poor too often, but to be fair to him he is a winger, but hardly ever has any targets in the box to hit. So it's meant he's had to try and be more creative and link play (see how often he cuts into the middle) - and that isn't really his forte. They've all suffered though to varying degrees but we seem no nearer to actually getting a settled formation and starting 11 that will win us games than we were under Roy and it's just disheartening. We can't even say that we are losing with dignity!

It's certainly a pickle.

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Class hit but utterly shite defending for both goals. The first one is laughable.

Not a great fan of Carra but if it had been Agger getting beaten rather than him would people be so upset or would they be giving VP credit for thinking/moving quicker(and it was a pretty decent ball in too- could easily have been an OG if VP missed it) than the defender ? Crosser should have been closed down quiker IMO too.

Equally so for Reina's position on the 2nd goal- fair enough it had a lot of welly behind it but beaten from that angle (which was reasonably acute from what I remember)- admittedly Carra didn't watch him properly but I don't think he's entirely to blame and being used as a scapegoat.

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It could have been Carragher, Agger, Bobby Moore or Franco fucking Baresi, it was shit defending! He let him get goal side, he didn't react quick enough.

The second goal was poor as well, no one within a mile of him. Reina could have done better, but it was a great strike. Also Reina isn't in the best of form, probably worried about the shit he currently has in front of him.

What annoys me more is any other top 5 team would have had the game won long before that.

On another note, Why didn't we sign Dempsey as well when Hosgson was in charge, I thought that would be the first guy he snapped up.

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To be fair to Reina (and he hasn't been in great form lately) I don't think he was expecting RVP to hit it on the volley - he probably would have been expecting him to take a touch. But yeah, both goals were poor defending and both totally came out of nothing against the run of play.

Incidentally, talking of Reina, did anybody else read that he's been accused of appearing in a TV ad that has been described as racist and homophobic? http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/17215880

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The video was in the football thread where it was briefly discussed. It's not anything ridiculous, just bad taste really, but you've got to wonder what on earth was going through his head saying yes to it.

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Rory Smith made a brilliant yet depressing comment on Twitter - Liverpool are trying to get into the Champions League with a Championship midfield.

I really can't argue with that. I'm not calling for anyone's head but our refusal to do any business in January is utterly mystifying. Praying they've got some stunning signings up their sleeves for the summer.

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