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glb
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Wasn't he essentially bought as a reaction to the home game against Chelsea where we had no plan B? I thought he was here last season for cup games and to offer that option off the bench when our usual plans were running into buses on the pitch. But with Sturridge's injury and Balotelli not working out for whatever reason, we had no plan A. And I imagine we didn't want our plan B to become plan A.

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Yeah, 'a plan B' striker with the added bonus of being a big Liverpool fan, a top pro and an nice guy. It seemed ok for £4m. Problem was..we rarely went 'plan b' last season, and instead when he played...it was in the role of a Sturridge/Suarez/Sterling - which didn't suit him at all, largely down to him having absolutely no pace at all. Probably one of the slowest players I've ever seen play for Liverpool. So, obviously best of luck to him, it really is a shame that it didn't work out.

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Still don't think he would have any regrets about joining, even if he had only played once

The rest of that tough run of aways are all on live, Everton is on a Sunday Early KO, Tottenham Saturday Early KO, Chelsea Saturday Early KO & Man City is on Saturday Evening KO

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Will be good to see Lambert playing more often, little disappointed it never worked out for him with us as he seems a good bloke. According to LiveScore he scored twice for WBA today in their friendly. Good on him.

I'm also disappointed with how Balo, Borini and Enrique are being treated. So long as they are on our books they should be treated the same as the rest of the squad and shown more respect. I'd be happy keeping all 3 (less bothered by Borini) and giving them further chances. Borini and, especially, Balotelli weren't given the right kind of support or chances.

Instead Rodgers opted to favour Sterling instead only for him to leave. ????

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As much as I quite like Balotelli - and agree he was never given the right platform to perform - he didn't help himself. In too many games he drifted around not doing much pressing, not moving into space, not looking like he cared too much. There were times where he did those things and you started to think (hope) he would kick-on, but he didn't - there was little consistency. I suppose the question is whether that would change in a team better suited to his style, but we won't know now, it would appear.

So yes, it's unfortunate, but it isn't solely down on Rodgers.

I don't really feel the same about Lambert, though. Yes, it's a shame he wasn't given the right kind of opportunities, but even as a plan B his arrival was interesting, because we rely heavily on breaking with pace - something I'm not sure Lambert ever had. He also just doesn't have the talent that Balotelli does (though a better attitude and approach, yes). So I'm not fussed about him going. Good luck to him, though. As for Borini - well he has neither the talent nor that little spark of likeability for me to feel anything other than hope that he goes soon.

Even with Enrique I won't be too fussed if he departs. He had a great first 4-5 months when he signed but then his form dropped off a cliff for the remainder of that first season and since then he's been eternally injured. I think he's a much better all-round full-back than Moreno - who needs to be much better positionally - and I think we should ignore Flanno at this point, as who knows when - or how fixed - he'll be when he returns.

That said, I disagree with making them all train away from the rest of the squad.

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Today's line-up is as expected, but with an unexpected player on the bench:

Brazilian teenager Allan Rodrigues de Souza is on the bench - the Reds have secured the Internacional midfielder for the future and he is currently spending time with Liverpool with the permission of his club.

Liverpool team: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Milner, Coutinho, Ibe, Lallana, Ings.

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We're playing 4-2-3-1, with Coutinho as the AM behind Ings - Dogsout will be pleased!

It's a pretty slow game so far. The commentators have spent most of the time talking about the various uses of the stadium throughout the years...

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1 week to go until the summer Christmas day! :D

Thoughts:

- Is Joe Gomez our new 1st choice left back? Wouldn't be surprised if he started against Stoke.

- Lovren and Sakho - what is going on? If Lovren starts against Stoke, I'd be livid, as I'm sure Sakho will be too. There is just no good 'footballing' reason for it.

- Benteke and Firmino won't have played a game with the 'full squad' (Swindon today being their only run out), will they be ready for Sunday? I read that Benteke came back late...was he not in full training with Villa? If so, I'd start him, and bring Firmino from the bench. It's great that we have Ings and Origi as genuine backup too. I think both have huge potential, with Ings edging it at the moment.

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Photos from the games over the weekend:

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My thoughts now pre-season is over, though obviously pre-season isn't the best time to make judgements:

- Defence still isn't sorted.

- Moreno is still dodgy defending.

- Sakho should still easily be ahead of Lovren.

- Joe Gomez looks a brilliant prospect...playing anywhere at the back.

- Milner looks good business.

- Firmino (in 1 game) has excited me greatly. You can just tell with some players, that they're going to be amazing.

- Jordon Ibe continues to rise. May have a big part to play this season.

- Ings and Origi are very promising backups. Both looks young, hungry and well suited to the system.

- Crossing will play more of a part in our game...with the full backs being a major part of that.

- Markovic still isn't the player he could be.

- Coutinho will pick up where he left off. Great.

- Formations: 4-1-2-3, or 4-2-3-1.

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My thoughts now pre-season is over, though obviously pre-season isn't the best time to make judgements:

- Defence still isn't sorted.

- Moreno is still dodgy defending.

- Sakho should still easily be ahead of Lovren.

- Joe Gomez looks a brilliant prospect...playing anywhere at the back.

- Milner looks good business.

- Firmino (in 1 game) has excited me greatly. You can just tell with some players, that they're going to be amazing.

- Jordon Ibe continues to rise. May have a big part to play this season.

- Ings and Origi are very promising backups. Both looks young, hungry and well suited to the system.

- Crossing will play more of a part in our game...with the full backs being a major part of that.

- Markovic still isn't the player he could be.

- Coutinho will pick up where he left off. Great.

- Formations: 4-1-2-3, or 4-2-3-1.

I remember having that feeling with Bruno Cheyrou

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I remember having that feeling with Bruno Cheyrou

played well against Lazio and got compared to Zidane, I remember Cheyrou because he played in white boots when it was still mostly black boots and you couldn't pull off wearing white boots unless you were world class or you looked like a tit
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Pre-season games mean nothing, other than getting fitness sorted. It's why speculating what a player will do over a competitive season based on friendly is pointless. It doesn't matter if you're playing Barcelona or Brighton. The players aren't going to going at it full on.

Stoke away is a tricky opening fixture, but then there aren't too many away games that you wouldn't class as possible slip-up potential. It's a fixture if we want to be seen as doing anything this season we could really do with getting a decent result.

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We were keen apparently but we couldn't agree on the amount that a buy-back clause would be with Barca, so the deal looks to be off.

Not sure if it it isn't just his agent throwing out team names to raise a bit of interest. We'll see. Standard Barca - the buy back clause now too.

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Team for tomorrow: Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren, Gomez, Henderson, Milner, Coutinho, Ibe, Lallana, Benteke.

Disappointed that Lovren is starting ahead of Sakho. I guess Can, Firmino still looking for fitness.

I know a lot if you have said that you don't see Jordon Ibe as a starter yet, and Timmo even questioned his ability. But I'll stand by what I said, Ibe has everything, and will be a big player for us this season....delighted he starts tomorrow.

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