Readers compare Liverpool’s current side to that of 2013/14, while Manchester United’s squad is evaluated, and there is praise for Jonjo Shelvey.
Rodgers Liverpool vs Klopp’s Liverpool
We’re playing similar football to how Rodgers had us playing in ’13-14,and we made great starts with both teams,and obviously it remains to be seen whether we can sustain a title challenge this time,but I’m cautiously optimistic that we can.
Personally,I think we have a much better squad now. Obviously the likes of Suarez and Gerrard have left,but I think we’re much better balanced now as a squad,with a lot of options,which Rodgers didn’t have. On the bench back then,we had the likes of Aspas and Victor Moses,now we have much better options on the bench. Jurgen can rotate his squad,rest players,and it wouldn’t weaken the side. Rodgers didn’t have that luxury.
I think this is the best squad of players we’ve had since Houllier’s treble season. Yes,there could be ‘improvements’ in certain areas (another LB,maybe an out and out DM,another RB to give Clyne competition),but other than that,I’d say we’re in pretty good shape.
Also (just for the debate): If Klopp had been in charge of that side in 13-14,would he have won us the league? How would Rodgers get on with this current squad? Which of Klopp’s signings would be in Rodgers’ first 11?
I’m not sure it’s a fair comparison to make tbh. Rodgers’ side had better individual players going forward. The presence of Suarez cannot be discounted and he was what made that team special. He brought out the best in the likes of Coutinho, Sterling and Sturridge. When he was taken out of the equation along with injuries to Sturridge, the cracks that had appeared had opened into crevasses. Very much a side dependant on 1 or 2 key players. Right now, Klopp may not have a Suarez but what he has got is a team where players can all operate at the same level and wavelength. Klopp’s side is a unit where there isn’t 1 player who stands out but one where each component makes another better. Not to mention now when we lose a so-called key player, we have adequate options ready to come and do a job which was not a luxury we had under Rodgers, who was too incompetent to work with the so-called deadwood. The main difference is, under Rodgers our key man was Suarez whereas right now the key man is Klopp. For me, that’s not an easy comparison to make.
Manchester United’s squad assessed
1 De Gea – Keep the keeper
3 Bailly – Reminds me of Vidic. Let’s hope. – Keep
4 Jones – Sell
5 Rojo – Frustrates me. Sell (Preferably to Liverpool)
6 Pogba – Keep
7 Memphis – Torn. Like the idea of him, but done nothing to suggest it will bear fruit. – One season max, but he needs game time, or sell.
8 Mata – One of my favourite players. Top midfielder for us since arriving. Keep and make sure he plays.
9 Ibrahimovic – Still good. We need a new striker but I would keep Ibra.
11 Martial – Keep
12 Smalling – Has his moments, but ultimately, I doubt he’s good enough. Sell
14 Lingard – Nah. – Sell
16 Carrick – Let him retire here. He’s doing the business still at 35, when called upon. – Keep
17 Blind – Good player. – Keep
18 Young – Sell
19 Rashford – Keep
20 Romero – Keep
21 Herrera – Liked him since day one. He’s got some passion and is a good footballer. – Keep
22 Mkhitaryan – Would like to see him play. – Keep
23 Shaw – Keep
24 Fosu-Mensah – Think he’s overrated on this forum but would still keep him until he gets a good chance at it. Wouldn’t be surpirsed if he doesn’t make the grade though. – Keep
25 Valencia – Keep
27 Fellaini – A lot worse players than him. Adds a different option. Not starting 11 but I would keep him.
28 Schneiderlin – Sell
31 Schweinsteiger – Though he was very calm and cool under LvG. But no place for him and Carrick surely? Carrick > Bastian – Sell
36 Darmian- Think he’s a good player, just needs a run of games. – Keep
Borthwick Jackson- Keep
Pereira – Looks the best young prospect to me, but wondering if he’ll get a fair go. – Keep
Januzaj- Diminished – Sell
De Gea is world class – Bailly, Shaw, Martial and Rashford have the potential to be world class but are not there yet (quite a ways off actually). Pogba needs to be included right up there too – very few players in world football can do the things he does, just has to have the players around him to allow him to shine. Fosu-Mensah is still very raw but has great potential too.
Ibrahimovic was a world class player but age has taken its toll yet he is still a very good player. Likewise Carrick was a very good player back in his younger days (truly underrated), what United would give to have a 27 year old version of him in the team right now! Schweinsteiger too would be a sure-pick if he were 5 years younger.
The next tier of players are good players who just haven’t got going for the club or have been very on/off. Mata, Rooney, Blind, Herrera, Mhkitaryan, Valencia, Schneiderlain, Smalling, Darmian, Young… All players who can do a job yet need to step up and be more consistent.
Then you’ve got the cannon fodder – Fellaini, Rojo, Depay, Lingard, Jones – injuries or just the lack of any real skills mean they will never make it and should just be sold ASAP to invest in other players.
“I’m not asking for tika taka football or any of that nonsense”
I have been very critical of Tony Pulis and still do not think he is the man to take us forward. Sunday was an excellent win and we played well. The performance was however exactly why myself and many others are critical of the manager. We have players capable of playing football and having a go at teams but TP does not set us up that way enough. Yes away at the big 4 by all means defend deep battle hard and try and nick a goal. but at home we have to be taking the initiative and going at teams! if we play fletch and yacob then there should be 3 attack minded players ie, morrisson, chadli, phillis etc and they have to get up and support rondon. I have said all along that i don;t believe the idea that it is a terrible squad and TP is doing what he can.
I am not asking for tika taka football or any of that nonsense. I just want my team to have a go! Win some games, try and score goals.
Please sell Cabaye, Yohan Cabaye
Ok, so Southampton want Cabaye, I’d say let him go. He’s just not performing, however Newcastle fans did warn us that the top players do fail to perform under Pardew… That said, and that may be the case… for me, Cabaye lacks all the passion and determination that Jedinak had… Morgan Schneiderlin I think could be a more aggressive midfielder, and we do need some muscle… What we actually need is the Damian Delaney passion and mentality running through the squad…. We so desperately need some depth… yes we have a 25 man squad, but….
Donkeys to offload: Fraizer Campbell, Chung-yong Lee, Jordon Mutch, Bakary Sako
Long Term Out: Loic Remy, Soare
Inexperienced : Zeki Fryers, Kwesi Appiah and Beteke Jnr
That’s 4 not good enough, 2 unfit and 3 untried… that’s 9 players, add the fact we have too many keepers and in reality we have a first 11 plus 3 subs… that’s it…
I’d happily offload the donkeys plus Cabaye (not sure about Flamini yet) and add a few of the exciting youngsters we have like KaiKai and Ladapo… then add a few decent players to the team.. especially a midfield general as our midfield is being taken apart right now…… seems to me we have done nothing more this season than gain possession a little more and push upfield a bit more with no new tactics at all.. basically meaning we are wide open at the back and too far up-field to protect the back 4… take out the Jedi and we are so easy to break through that we are conceding too many goals….. Also, our style of play is still a counter-attacking style, so why play so far upfield in the first place? Poor tactics Pardew…
Last season, Rafa came in. He gave Shelvey the armband, and the keys of the midfield. It didn’t quite work well. Shelvey was benched. This season, without the armband, the overall contribution of Shelvey has been splendid. Holloway says he is the best championship midfielder he has ever seen. I’m doubtful. But at the moment, along with unsung heroes Lascelles and Clark, Shelvey is one of the first names I pen for the starting 11. What’s even more compelling, he can do better than that. I hope they use the international break well, and we win against Leeds.