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Iskaral Pust

Football: A New Hope

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Transfers are done and the opening game of the PL season is tomorrow. 

Liverpool have Norwich at Anfield, which is admittedly a kind fixture but promoted sides can be very tricky in the early games while they’re an unknown quantity and still full of piss and vinegar.  Pukki must be the main man for Norwich this season, but hopefully Liverpool will be sharp after the Charity Shield.

Chelsea/United sounds like the game of the weekend, with two unproven managers and a newfound focus on youth.

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I'm happy with Arsenal's transfer window.  However, just a few days ago, I was thinking about the sad state of a defense that needs to use Calum Chambers as a regular starter.

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Posted (edited)

Looking forward to the season starting tonight. Hopefully Klopp goes out nice and positive, with Keita or Ox starting in midfield.

It sounds like Mane will probably be available, so main question is Matip or Gomez?

 

ETA. Nope, Wijnaldum in again, regardless of how bad he almost always is. (Though at least he's occasionally good at home, I suppose) Mane on the bench with Origi starting again, and Gomez ahead of Matip.

Edited by Soylent Brown

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A 2-0 start for Liverpool but the defense isn’t really sharp yet, and we have another opponent successfully targeting TAA.

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Posted (edited)

Norwich have been good but getting into an open game doesn’t seem likely to work out for them. Still, they should be fun to watch this year.

Liverpool still don’t look entirely on their game in defence.

ETA: Shit.

Edited by ljkeane

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, Iskaral Pust said:

A 2-0 start for Liverpool but the defense isn’t really sharp yet, and we have another opponent successfully targeting TAA.

We have him playing further forward and he's the opposite side to VVD, so it's to be expected.

If he plays a full season he'll be a danger to the assist record.

 

ETA- evidenced by the fact that he can even assist numpties like Origi!

Edited by Soylent Brown

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Norwich have had some decent moments so far though, if they play like this they'll get a reasonable amount of joy against a lot of teams.

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Inexperienced defence and you let Grant Hanley lead them. He’s a liability at Championship level.

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Hopefully Alisson’s injury isn’t too bad. If he misses a significant chunk of the season that’s going to be a problem.

Norwich were all over Liverpool for periods of that half and you have to admire bravery to pass out from the back the way they did but they’ll need to be tighter in defence.

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Soylent Brown said:

We have him playing further forward and he's the opposite side to VVD, so it's to be expected.

If he plays a full season he'll be a danger to the assist record.

I wasn't joking about this, I genuinely think TAA can beat Thierry Henry's record of 20 assists in a season.

 

Anyway, hopefully Alisson's injury isn't too bad, but at least Adrian is better than Mignolet.

Edited by Soylent Brown

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Norwich have some defenders out injured.  It’s a bit unlucky for them to be playing this fixture without their first choice defense.  But they obviously expect to play some football and they can create chances.  They’ve stuck to their system and style tonight, which causes some short term pain, but hopefully they’ll do well longer term.  I’d much prefer to watch their games than Burnley, for example. 

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And Wijnaldum has been genuinely awful tonight from beginning to end. My fucking nana could have taken him. Jesus Christ.

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Firmino was class. Best player on the pitch for sure imo. Good start. Just hope Alisson won’t be out for a significant time. 

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Nothing like the new season - fresh paint, the smell of cut grass, and Soylent moaning about Wijnaldum.

 

There are some good signs for Norwich despite the result. They were more than deserving of their goal, and even at the back Godfrey looks like at home in the Premier League. Lewis was decent and Aarons grew into the game. Replace Hanley for Zimmermann/Klose and probably Fährmann for Krul and you have a decent enough defence. Especially when three of them are 21 or younger and will only improve with more exposure to top flight football.

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Posted (edited)

Positives and negatives today for Liverpool.  

The attacking play looked very sharp and could have scored more, they played through Norwich with ease and swarmed all over them for long periods, regaining and recycling possession.  Firmino and Salah were much less rusty than a year ago, and Origi did well as a back-up.  Henderson got into some good attacking positions and should have scored.  Fabinho’s tackling was good too.

Biggest negative is obviously the injury to Allison.  Hopefully Klopp’s mention of a calf injury means it’s not the knee or Achilles.  We’ll hear more soon.  Next negative is the shaky defending, especially with Norwich able to play several through balls behind a high line (Robertson kept Pukki onside for the goal).  None of the defenders were terrible but the coordination wasn’t there, plus Gomez pushes up a lot and Trent doesn’t cover back as much as he should.  Another reason for the bad defending was that we were susceptible to Norwich playing between the lines (just as City like to do to us), partly because Norwich kept numbers forward while Henderson and Gini were roaming.  That meant that both sides had more opportunities to attack, but on balance that favored Liverpool.  A minor negative was that Fabinho misplaced quite a few passes; he needs to be sharper next time. 

Overall a very good victory and there’s no real problem in lowering the tempo at 4-0 up.  It’s smart to save energy ahead of a midweek game in Istanbul.  I’m surprised Klopp didn’t make a midfield substitution though.  Keita or Ox would have benefited. 

Norwich are clearly committed to their approach.  They have good attacking play and just need to be sharper about taking chances.  They also have some talented youth: Cantwell and Lewis caught my eye for their skill and composure on the ball.  And Krul made some good saves.

Edited by Iskaral Pust

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Origi doesn't look too bad on the left wing. The drop in quality isn't as big when he plays on the wing compared to him playing through centre. He is decent 1v1 so it probably works well down the wing than down the centre where he would be swarmed. Still not as good as Mane but definitely serviceable. I expect he will play down the wing a lot more to rotate with Mane, as Shaq will rotate with Salah (or to play Salah centre).

Trouble with our right wing was that both Hendo and Trent are aggressive, which results in good attacking play but also leaves us quite vulnerable to counters on that side. Compared to when Gini plays on the right, where he is good at shielding but does hinder the attacking play as he doesn't make the runs into the box or into space on the right wing or simply passes backwards. None the less, good to have different attacking/defensive options.

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Need to tighten up defensively, but we look really dangerous going forward. Bobby looked razor sharp, and both Mo and Sadio looked lively. Divock showed he can be effective on the wing if he's given space to run into.

Thought Fabinho and Gomez struggled at times, and Trent still needs to work on defensive positioning.

Hoping that Alison's injury isn't serious. Adrian looks great, but Alison is world class, and I think he might have stopped Pukki's goal had he been on. Saved us many points with huge saves and challenges last season, and if he's out for one or more big/close games, could be the difference.

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