August 8, 2018 at 9:16 pm #1663285
Sean the sailorParticipant
Winji can sit like he did in some games last year and keita box to box with Shaqiri the link up man
Only a thought. Don’t think it will happenAugust 8, 2018 at 9:27 pm #1663288
Sean, nice with 2 Salahs. Can’t we make it 3? 😉
My starting XI right now:
Clyne – Van Dijk – Gomez – Robertson
Lallana – Keita – Wijnaldum
Salah – Firmino – Mane
With TAA and Lovren coming back to the back 4 when fit, Henderson and Fabinho in mid with shaqiri being the offensive option to Lallana or in a 4231 alternative.
I’m going for a 3-1 win with Salah, Vvd and Keita scoring.August 8, 2018 at 10:15 pm #1663300
Lallana has been pretty poor in any pre season game so far.
Can’t see him anywhere near starting this game.August 8, 2018 at 10:59 pm #1663315
Ginger I did actually give credit to Lovren in that he does win a lot of headers but as I said he has more than a decent back catalogue of missing crucial headers in key moments. You rarely see VVD losing key moment headers (if ever!?). Whereas last season, even without checking Google/Youtube I can recall Roma at home, Spurs away and Man Utd away where Lovrens heading ability let us down in key moments. We got away with it against Roma but against Spurs and Man Utd you could argue that he contributed to lost points. Oh I just remembered the Everton Match too and his clumsy tackle that gave them a last-minute penalty…
No one is perfect, I’m sure VVD has his fair share of errors but like I said Lovren is always going to cost you points as his errors seem to directly lead to goals more so than any other player.
I know Pax mentioned some may have lost objectivity regarding Lovren but I disagree…to me, he is an accident waiting to happen and you can tell opposition teams target him as they see him as the weak link. Oh well, that’s just my opinion as I’ve said many times, I hope I’m proved wrong this season, I would love nothing more than for Lovren to prove that he is one of the best defenders in the world!August 8, 2018 at 11:11 pm #1663319
You literally said that heading is his weakness.
That’s the opposite of giving him credit.
It clearly isn’t a weakness.August 8, 2018 at 11:28 pm #1663324
Ginger, I see what your saying mate lol…maybe badly constructed by me, but I was just giving some context to my criticism of his heading abilities. In short – wins a lot but loses a lot of KEY headers relative to other defenders. It’s all very well winning headers in non-dangerous areas/situations but when it matters Lovren has a history of either being bullied by bigger strikers or losing concentration in key moments with regard to headers. Thats all.August 8, 2018 at 11:36 pm #1663326
He’s a defender.
He does most of his heading in and around the box…..the danger area.August 8, 2018 at 11:44 pm #1663329
Aerial battles Won: 400
Aerial battles lost 141
Aerial Battles Won: 483
Aerial Battles lost 239
What these stats suggest is that VVD ends up in 6.67 aerial battles per game and Lovren gets involved in 5.2 per game. That’s significant (22% difference)
It’s also shows that Lovren loses 33% (one in 3) whereas VVD is very close to 1 in 4, again not insignificant.
So, on balance, it actually fair to say that VVD is well ahead in terms of aerial duels. He goes in to 22% more than his partner and loses 1 in 4 as opposed to one in 3. That’s not a small gap for professional footballers. It’s massive.August 8, 2018 at 11:52 pm #1663330
Yeah so back to what I said originally.
We agreed that VVD is a monster in the air.
VVD has a 74% rate while Lovren (who’s apparent weakness is heading) has a 67% rate.
Not a massive difference.
I also used these statsAugust 9, 2018 at 3:49 am #1663333
Cheers for the stats Bofa. One thing though, Van Dijk actually is one of the best CBs in the world. Forget what Lovren has said but I think those stats back an opinion that Lovren is a pretty good CB. Winning 66% of aerial challenges isn’t bad for a player that is targeted (and he totally is). Still, there is room for improvement for sure and if he doesn’t have a good season then we need to look at getting in a replacement for him next summer. I am happy with his performances last season, in general. He had some bad game sin there but he showed a lot of improvement and it’s something to build on this term.August 9, 2018 at 8:00 am #1663367
Ginger, his heading stats are average. Centre halves are expected to win that percentage of aerial duels. Last year, from the top four sides, he lost the fourth highest amount of aerial duels as a defender in the PL. The previous year he lost the third highest. Those stats don’t make good reading.
You can’t just pick a single stat out and say use that to say he’s good i.e. by comparing him to VVD
Last season he won 63% of his aeriel duels which is a big step down. This would suggest the opposite of what you’re saying i.e. maybe it is a weakness when those other tall players around him are out performing him in the air?
Matip won 73%
Henderson won 72%
VVD was on 72%
I don’t think anyone can doubt that he had a decent season last year but let’s not fool ourselves. Did he have a great season as he just improved hugely at the age of 29 or alternatively was it because VVD joined him and brought a bit of calmness to the defence. When we wanted him to be a leader, he wasn’t. I don’t dislike the lad but sometimes you have to be a little more objective!August 9, 2018 at 8:16 am #1663375
I agree with Gonger, lovern had a good sesson and some of you people just need to stop this bronging down of our players just because you wont forgive them for mistakes done in the past!August 9, 2018 at 8:36 am #1663390
So I decided to look at this more widely across other centrebacks in the league for a bit of perspective.
Harry Maguire 67%
Eric Bailley 59%
John Stones 68%
So a couple of things stands out immediately for me.
VVD is indeed the beast in the air that we believe he is at 74%
Teams seem to have 1 aerially dominant centreback.
Lovren measure up quite well against the other centrebacks in the league.August 9, 2018 at 9:12 am #1663419
This could be kept up for weeks. I can go off and get as many stats as I like and prove he’s average in the air and you can come back with others that help your case.
I think we’ll both just have to agree, he’s average in the air!August 9, 2018 at 9:17 am #1663425
I don’t agree he’s average in the air.
Evidenced by the above aerial duels won percentages from centrebacks across the top 6 teams in the league.August 9, 2018 at 11:06 am #1663505
It isn’t just van dijk coming in that has helped Lovren. It’s the fact that he’s no longer being completely exposed and pulled out of position by Moreno.
The pundits love to go on about how van dijk has changed everything and of course, in a sense, they aren’t wrong but it’s just lazy to not also look at the Robertson/ moreno situation also. Now van dijk has a great LB next to him, not messing everything up and Trent usually plays well also.August 9, 2018 at 11:19 am #1663516
True that, when Moreno when on one of his many runs forward the left side centre back had to come across to cover him leaving a huge hole in the centre that without a true DM we couldnt plug.August 9, 2018 at 12:41 pm #1663582
Completely agree with that Mak. Robertson has been an incredible addition and at a ridiculous price too. Moreno has killed us there for years and he’s still in the squad!August 9, 2018 at 12:43 pm #1663585
We also now have a new midfield with more aggressive players which will undoubtedly help the defence.August 9, 2018 at 12:56 pm #1663596
Yes the more aggressive midfield will force the other midfielders to up their game plus give the defence better protection.
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