Posts Tagged ‘Joe Allen’

Football

Have Liverpool found their winning midfield combination?

By Stefano on March 8th, 2013

A midfield trio of Lucas Leiva, Joe Allen and Steven Gerrard appears a little too cautious on paper, but their collective performance in last week’s comprehensive 4-0 win over Wigan Athletic will have encouraged Brendan Rodgers, who likes to fill his sides with as many passers as possible.

Rodgers had been using a 4-2-3-1 formation featuring four outright attackers since the arrival of Daniel Sturridge in January; and that seems his long-term plan. Brazilian Coutinho impressed against Wigan and deserves another start, so if he, Luis Suarez, Stewart Downing and Sturridge (injured last weekend) are all used against Spurs, Rodgers will be forced to drop one of his central midfielders.

But Rodgers will be keen to ensure his side aren’t overrun by Tottenham in midfield. Although Mousa Dembele is sitting deeper now Scott Parker (rather than Sandro) is his midfield partner, he still offers directness from the centre of the pitch. Gylfi Sigurdsson, who played under Rodgers at Swansea last season, impressed last weekend against Arsenal by drifting inside from the left, while Gareth Bale will probably again be deployed in a central attacking position. Liverpool need numbers in the middle.

Therefore, the Lucas-Gerrard-Allen triumvirate will probably get another run-out this weekend, with Rodgers keen for Liverpool to dominate possession. It also means there’s the potential for an obvious attacking shift, a fourth attacker replacing Allen, should Liverpool need to get back in the game.

Read more: http://pickourteam.com/premierleague/news/08-03-2013/rodgers-set-for-midfield-trio-v-spurs/820335#ixzz2Mx6rC67d

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally published here.

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Football

Liverpool’s tactics against Arsenal – some interesting decisions for Brendan Rodgers

By Stefano on January 29th, 2013

A peculiar feature of Liverpool’s difficult away games under Brendan Rodgers is his tendency to completely change his side’s formation at half-time: away at Everton, Chelsea and Manchester United he’s dramatically altered his side after an underwhelming first-half performance. Now, especially after the weekend embarrassment at Oldham, he’s under pressure to get it right from the start.

Following the arrival of Daniel Sturridge, Fabio Borini’s return from injury, plus Stewart Downing and Jordan Henderson’s good form, Rodgers has plenty of experienced players to call upon. As a result, Raheem Sterling will predominantly be a substitute for the rest of this season, while Suso is no longer a regular, and instead on the periphery of the squad.

Sterling, Borini and Joe Allen were omitted from the side that convincingly defeated Norwich 5-0 at Anfield ten days ago, and none did anything against Oldham to suggest they deserve a place in the side for the trip to Arsenal. Sterling would be a risk defensively, Borini isn’t yet 100% fit following his injury lay-off, while Allen has been in poor form.

The natural approach would see Rodgers revert to the side that faced Norwich: Lucas Leiva and Steven Gerrard sitting deep, then Downing, Henderson and Luis Suarez behind Sturridge. But will Rodgers be brave enough to play that system at the Emirates, considering Arsenal’s tendency to dominate possession? I can’t help feeling that he’ll will want some extra passing quality in the centre of the pitch, and might start Allen: this is surely a game made for him, despite his recent form.

That would probably mean Henderson dropping to the bench, with Downing on the left and Suarez cutting inside to join Sturridge. With so many versatile options, Rodgers’ tinkering is understandable, but he needs to get things right at Arsenal.

This post courtesy of Pick Our Team is by Michael Cox. PickOurTeam is a new type of football community giving fans an opportunity to have a meaningful say on the formation and selection of their team. PickOurTeam is the voice of the fans – collecting views on who should play where and ratings on how the players, manager, and referee perform each week. Every match the findings are compiled and presented back to the fans. The article was originally posted here.



Football

Why Liverpool can still qualify for The Champions League

By Stefano on December 14th, 2012

After the recent win against West Ham, Steven Gerard emphasised that he is certain that Liverpool can qualify for The Champions League this season. He told The Liverpool Echo…

“We’re building slowly towards where we want to be. We’ve got two home games now against Aston Villa and Fulham. If we can capitalise and make it 12 points out of 12 then we will find ourselves a lot closer to fourth.”

“It’s a platform to build on. We just have to focus on Villa now. Come the end of December we’re really looking to be close to that fourth position.”

I don’t think this is blind optimism on his part, there are quite a few reasons why Liverpool will finish top four and maybe even press Chelsea for third place.

1 They are now on the cusp of a putting a run together. Remember the Reds’ start to the season and games against Arsenal and the two Manchester clubs? Things are going to get a bit easier for them now with the next five opponents being Villa, Fulham, Stoke, QPR and Sunderland all of which are very winnable games. Three or four wins on the spin should get confidence levels up. Rodgers told The Indie

“If we can arrive in January in and around that top four then we can really put our foot to the floor, when the confidence will be improved even more and players will be aligned with what we’re trying to achieve. I believe we can have a good second half of the season.”

2 Their rivals are still not consistent enough – Arsenal are all over the place at the moment, Everton and Spurs keep tripping up and none one, apart from maybe Steve Clarke, believes that West Brom will be in the mix come the end of the season. Fourth place is Liverpool’s for the taking.

3 The team seems more comfortable playing Brendan Rodgers way. It has taken some time for the team to adapt but the Reds are starting to suit the manager’s preference for a quick, pressing game. Key players like Johnson, Shelvey and Allen are hitting form and Gerard finding the net again is great news for the Reds.

4 They will strengthen in the Winter break. Not replacing Andy Carroll was borderline calamitous. Liverpool need at least two forward players, one to play along side Luis Suarez and another for cover. Daniel Sturridge looks like a great buy and Tom Ince could be a very useful squad player.

Pic PA




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