Discussion in 'Liverpool' started by liverbird, Sep 12, 2003.
I think one option Gerard Houllier should explore is moving Smicer forward. Smicer has not exactly been prolific in his goalscoring for Liverpool but he plays regularly as a striker for the Czech Republic and too many of his critics are unware that he has scored 21 goals in his 57 caps for the national team.
If Smicer continues to start every game - and there is no reason to think he won't - he could be moved forward by Houllier whenever Heskey does not perform, allowing someone like Murphy or Le Tallec to come in as a substitute and take his place. I don't know what's going on with Murphy right now as he hasn't been playing and wasn't even on the bench for today's match, but surely a player of his caliber has some part to play this season. My guess is that he's being punished for disciplinary reasons unknown to us because there is no way that he would be playing in the reserves otherwise.
As for Le Tallec, I think the better of the French duo is an unusual talent and was pleased to see today that he took his chance to show off his skills very well. It would be beneficial for Le Tallec to have a run of games at this early point in the season and get an opportunity to establish himself in the side. Although I am actually a fan of Smicer since his improved performances toward the end of last season, there is little doubt in my mind that Le Tallec is a more naturally gifted footballer. Based on ability alone, he would easily push Smicer out of the starting lineup.
Since that won't happen, however, I would be more than satisfied if Houllier began using him regularly as a second half substitute in the same way that he did with Baros last year.
***Sorry for the edit. I had written previously that Sinama-Pongolle should be included on the substitutes list, but now I am not sure that he should take away a place on the bench from the likes of Murphy, Riise, and Traore (not because the last is any good but because the team needs cover for the centerbacks - Biscan can replace him when Henchoz returns). Yes, he showed good movement and technique in pre-season but he has yet to score a goal for the reserves and the 1st team includes no less than three players who are capable of fulfilling striking duties if need be. Liverpool need someone who can come in during the last 30 minutes and score, but Pongolle has simply not proven yet that he can do this.
Cracking performance, that. Had it not been for some franlkly quite absurd goalkeeping by Friedel late on we would have won by 6 and Mickey would have got four goals. But we were totally on top, which is encouraging to see as we have often struggled against 10 men. Lucas Neill's tackle on Carragher was an absolute fucking disgrace, he should be banned for way more than the 3 matches an automatic red card gets you.
Baros is likely to be out until Christmas, apparently. As others have mentioned, we can use Smicer and Kewell as split strikers to support/replace Heskey alongside Owen. Although I personally believe we should just recall Mellor from West Ham and give him his chance. And, just to piss Souness off, we should recall Babbel for the duration of Carragher's injury.
Anyhoo ... attacking formation, unchanged team three games on the trot, scored six, conceeded two, seven points. Not bad given that we had the unnatural intermission of international week thrown in too.
What are Biscan’s chances of keeping his place when Henchoz returns? How did he do yesterday?
Both he and Hyypia were at fault for their goal, but other than that, fine.
I think he will give way to Stephane when he comes back. But further injuries cannot be discounted.
Oh crap. Carra out for up to 6 months: http://www.liverpoolfc.tv/news/drilldown/N141850030914-1153.htm
jesus christ this game sucked.
It sounded like a great match--and three points away is a great result. But man, what a price to pay--Carra and Baros are all but done for the year.
Add the injuries to Henchoz, Kirkland, and Hamann, and our squad suddenly seems very small.
what is the deal with Murphy? Goes from club player of the year last season to not even on the bench this season...something's up.
Just for a little interest to the US stat. lovers.
We're in 7th place after 5 games (and climbing)
behind Portsmouth and Southampton..!
We have 1 point out of 6 at home.
and 7 out of 9 away (Familiar?)
And Mikey is in 3rd place with 7 goals.
(Henry 10 and Mutu 8)
Wiltord also has 7.
Must be a nice feeling having 2 strikers 'in one team' who can score goals...!
I guess this is what one would call a Pyrrhic victory. If you had to choose between getting a badly needed win on the road and not losing two starters for until at least the new year, which would you pick? I'm not sure...
So who does Houllier start next game? A 4-3-2-1 with Smicer and Kewell behind Owen, with (r to l) Murphy, Gerrard and Diouf behind them? Or does the midfield remain the same with Heskey taking Baros' place?
"Phyrrhic." That's the word I was looking for.
For next week, my wild-astoria guess is that Riise will play left back and Heskey will return to a starting role as striker. The midfield will be unchanged. Losing Baros and Carra are real shocks to the side, and these replacements are the most experienced of the remaining squad. I'm not crazy about Riise's form as of late, but I think our options are limited. Heskey I can live with.
As for cover at striker, I would suspect that any of the three attacking midfielders--Diouf, Kewell, or Smicer--would fit in OK. Which of the three I'd select, I haven't decided yet. If Owen or Heskey went down or played poorly, you'd move one of those three up top, and bring in Murphy. Again, this might not be ideal; but we don't have much depth to work with at the moment.
Dear Liverpool supporter,
I have mixed feelings about our victory at Blackburn. I'd have preferred to lose the game and keep both Jamie and Milan free of injury.
The bad injuries both players suffered definitely took the gloss off our victory. Milan broke his ankle and had an operation over the weekend while Jamie broke his leg in the challenge with Lucas Neill.
It was a dramatic start to the game and we knew we just had to pass the ball and be patient. We played very well and deserved our victory. I'm pleased we kept our heads up and kept going. I thought Vladimir Smicer was brilliant. It's the third consecutive game in which we have played well. I said to the boys at half-time you've got to do it for Jamie and Milan.
We could have won by more. If Michael Owen had been a bit more clinical we'd have won six or seven one! Brad Friedel kept the score down for them, he played very well and I told him so when I spoke to him afterwards.
It's a hallmark of all great strikers that they can miss a lot of chances and then recover mentally to score the next one. Bill Shankly always used to say that if a striker is missing chances, it is because he is getting into positions to score. I'd be more worried if Michael wasn't getting into positions to have those chances.
It was an excellent team performance and we deserved the victory. Unfortunately it was soured by the two injuries we picked up.