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Tottenham 31-3-19

Warrior is away in Turkey celebrating his marriage with his new wifes family so I will put up this blog. Tottenham are our visitors and i would expect the tam to be


Allisson Trent                  Matip            Van Dijk         Robertson   Lalana              Fabinho           Wijnaldum   Salah         Firmino        Mane 


With city winning again today we have to match them to keep the pressure on, if we can win the next three games Tottenham Southampton and Chelsea on paper we have thne easier run to the line. Tottenham have to win to stay in touch with European qualification so i see an open game. Henderson is not fit enough to start so i put some creativity in with Lalana , i expect the bench to be Mignolet Henderson Milner Lovren Shaqiri Sturridge and Origi. I think a 2 -0 scoreline could be on the cards for the reds . Enjoy the ride


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  • This is a big result for us albeit by a lucky own goal. City would have been hopeful of a draw or worse so pycologicaly it's a blow for them and a big confidence boost for us. When will we have 90 minutes of playing great football, can only think 0f 2 maybe 3 games this season when we've had a complete game like this but still we find ourselves 2 clear in April, amazing.
    It looks like we need either united or spurs to do us a favour, maybe even both, we're so close it's painful, hahaha. Please god Salah has that hunger for goals again as you could see what that goal meant to him on sunday.
  • It may just be me but I thought some of our players looked a bit nervy right from the start of that game. Alisson was not his usual calm presence (it was more like having Mignolet back at times) and most of our team played a loose ball at one time or another. There's something about Spurs that unsettles us somehow as we rarely look comfortable playing them.

    As for why Klopp always plays Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum against the top teams, well, it's a curious one. My own theory is that these three players are the best we have at regaining possession and slowing the opposition down when they have possession. It's like having a second defensive line when there is a turnover of play. Of course, this comes at a cost and that is not having the more naturally creative midfielders on the pitch but the fact Klopp keeps using this combination of midfielders against the top teams suggests he'd rather win something out of the game than risk coming away with nothing. I was surprised Henderson and Wijnaldum didn't play better as they both made positive appearances for their national sides recently.

    The one positive in the game, though, was that we kept pushing right to the end and although the winning goal had an element of good fortune it only goes in because we are still pressuring Spurs in their six yard box. We're going to have to play better than we have in the last two games if we're going to stand a chance of winning the league, I feel, but I think we've earned the bit of luck we're benefitting from at the moment.
    • Fabinho simply has to start every one of our remaining games including the CL, he makes such a difference to our midfield, i also think Keita should be started before Milner/Hendo/Wijnaldum but i can't see that happening for some reason, he's gone down the pecking order along with Shaqiri, very strange as i thought these were upgrades on what we already had or at least serious competition.
      • I read some analysis where they looked at how Liverpool play when Wijnaldum, Henderson and Milner are in midfield together and it turns out there's a pattern. It would appear Klopp is using them in a specific tactic - the three midfielders themselves seem to be told to play quite defensively with their main aim being to hold and control the midfield. The fullbacks, however, are given more possession of the ball and they're asked to instigate a greater percentage of the attacks. This tactic worked against Spurs in the first half where Liverpool got the goal and looked to go on and score more. In the second half Pochettino responded and changed the shape of his team, which worked, but Klopp was a little too slow to respond and Spurs went level. When Fabinho was eventually brought on Klopp switched to a 4-2-4. This makes it a little difficult to identify which had the greater effect on our performance - the introduction of Fabinho or the change in shape. The main point of the analysis I read is that it's not really a case of Klopp choosing Henderson or Wijnaldum over Fabinho, it's Klopp choosing one specific tactic over another and the tactic he chose just happened to use Wijnaldum, Henderson and Milner in midfield. When he changed the tactics in the second half he changed the personel and Fabinho came on. If you think of it in these terms Klopp's actions make a bit more sense.
        • That's an interesting point but if the idea is to have 3 defensive midfielders why not use Fabinho as one of them? He's the best DMF at the Club.
          • I wouldn't say all three midfielders are being asked to play as DMF's, I think one is expected to play in a deeper role, as a regular DMF, but instead of the other two regularly venturing forward to assist the front players there is more of an emphasis on them retaining and winning control in the central third of the pitch, their attacking duties being delegated more towards the fullbacks instead (I must add this isn't a hard and fast rule, there are occasions where the midfielders have joined in attacks, but it does seem to be a general theme of the play).

            Why isn't Fabinho used as one of the three midfielders? That's a very good point and I think there's more than one answer to it. Firstly, Fabinho has shown he is more comfortable in a midfield pair than than a three so when Klopp switches to the more attacking 4-2-4 it makes sense to put the Brazilian on at that point. Secondly, Fabinho is very good at releasing the attackers with his long passes but if he was asked to play in the three he'd be expected to direct his play more towards the fullbacks instead of building the play himself. It makes more sense to let him him play his natural game when the formation changes to the 4-2-4 and ask the older, more experienced players to play in a more disciplined way within the more conservative midfield three system. When the formation changes from a midfield three to a pair Klopp would probably want one of the pair to be the strongest player he could put in that position (as there's now one less midfielder) which supports the idea of bringing on Fabinho at that point rather than playing him from the start.

            Of course, I can't say for certain any of this is definately the case but if you look at the match stats when Klopp plays a midfield three of Wijnaldum, Henderson and Milner it would appear something along these lines is going on.
  • I predicted a narrow win but that was too close for comfort, though it must have been an exciting game for the neutral. I couldn't understand why Klopp didn't introduce changes to the midfield earlier as Henderson and Milner in particular were struggling and when Fabinho came on we started to look a threat again, albeit in our search for a winner we almost let Spurs in on the counter. I have to say we don't look like champions at the moment but if we can keep winning it will put pressure on City who have a more congested fixture list than we do.
    • It's probably the main gripe about Klopp with the supporters, late changes, drives us crazy at times, who's to say we wouldn't be a lot more than 2 points clear if he had made changes earlier in some games this season, suppose we'll never know now.
      Totally agree that we don't look like Champions, more like a team scraping for a top 4 spot or fighting to stay up than a team trying to actually win the Lge but still we're 2 clear, unbelievable really. They say you always need that bit of luck to get over the line and god knows we got a large slice of it on sunday, hopefully it's a good sign of we're the title will end up come may.
  • Apart from the mid-field the team almost picks itself these days. I hadn't heard that Henderson is injured - certainly Southgate was being careful with him last Monday as he was carrying a slight knock but when he came on he looked in good shape. If he is fit I would start him along with Fabinho and Lallana. Spurs have midfield injuries to cope with but will still present a strong challenge. It should be an exciting game and I am confident we will come out on top though probably narrowly.
  • Henderson not fit to start is news to me. Spurs have a couple of injuries of there own but is enough quality in that team to trouble anybody. Seems like we have the usual midfield conundrum with who to partner Fabinho and Gini. It’s going to be a long day and would really prefer earlier kick offs
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Uncle commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"If you look at the results of the last two seasons you'll notice our best run of results always come around December, when the fixtures are the most congested. I don't think this is a coincidence. If there's two things that have become abundantly cl…"
1 hour ago
Warrior18 commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"Nobody said it would be easy Red and yes the next few games can be very tough, we could even lose our unbeaten run in these games but one thing we most definitely will do and that's win 4 of our remaining games and that for me is all that matter's r…"
8 hours ago
Warrior18 commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"I think that winter break definitely upset our rhythm but of course they needed a rest at some stage, catch 22 situation."
9 hours ago
Huytonian commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"I don't think complacency is an issue. I think the current lack of rhythm is more to do with a reaction to the terrific effort the team put in over December and January, which included the World Club Championship. We all wondered whether that comp…"
15 hours ago
Warrior18 commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"Maybe he could start with a mid of Ox, Fab and Wini for the first hour or so, try and get the game won and then bring on the likes of Keita and Minamino for some game time which they both desperately need, Milner is also an option for starting some…"
17 hours ago
Uncle commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"Klopp's got a dilemma now. It looks like he'll use Henderson's absence to give Keita a much-needed run of games but the stats show neither Wijnaldum or Keita are providing a great deal at present in terms of assists and goals (although admittedly Wi…"
18 hours ago
Warrior18 commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"For a team that is just about to win the Lge title for the first time in 30 years the crowd were bloody awful, iv'e heard more noise in a graveyard, it was a bit embarrassing i have to say.
We miss hendo a hell of a lot more than some think, i say h…"
Simply Red commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"The next few games may be a lot more tougher. Playing bottom teams fighting to survive and complacency setting in with other 4 more wins needed. And they all want to be the first to beat Liverpool"
Uncle commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"In the first half West Ham tried to step up to our level while we allowed ourselves to slip down to theirs. The Anfield crowd didn't help either, there was no energy whatsoever. If I have one gripe about van Dyke as captain (and I don't have many) i…"
Huytonian commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"That game was more difficult than it should have been. If anyone doubted the value of Henderson then they only had to look at the lack of intensity for the first hour to realise what he brings us. We did step up once Ox was introduced but I think…"
Huytonian commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"I got the line-up right for once. Had the game been later in the season it would have been ideal to give Curtis Jones a first PL start. He's in great form for the U23s and scored an 8 minute hat-trick this afternoon against Sunderland. The first…"
lanoisseforp commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"The first 11 as predicted: Alisson, Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, van Dijk, Robertson, Keita, Fabinho, Wijnaldum, Salah, Firmino, Mané. VVD is tonight's Captain."
lanoisseforp commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"That could be the actual line up for the first 11 unless the Gaffer puts Milner instead Keita or Wijnaldum. VVD will be wearing the armband tonight if Milner is not selected. The bottom line is the three points regardless what team is being put out."
Warrior18 commented on Huytonian's blog post WEST HAM UNITED 24-02-20 PL (H)
"I'd have Keita to start as well, like you say he needs time on the pitch, i hope he gets a good run now in the absence of Hendo, would also like to see Minamino get a good half hour here as well, another who needs more game time when possible.
Can o…"
Simply Red commented on Jamie (admin)'s blog post Prediction League 19/20
"How did you pick that up Warrior, I usually use the phone so maybe that has limitations"
Huytonian posted a blog post
It seems an age since our last PL home game against Southampton.  Tonight its the Hammers, who are in a spot of bother at the wrong end of the table.  They have some decent players but maybe not the sort who you would want fighting a relegation batt…