THE ANFIELD NOISE

Expectations for the rest of the season

With our most influential player of the last decade out - probably - for the rest of the season…

What are your thoughts and expectations for this season? Can we - and if so - how can we overcome this?

Our backs against the wall. Once again it feels like the whole world is against us. But often those were the times were came out stronger than one would have thought.

Too easy to put all the pressure on Joe and Joel now. Matip is very injury prone and Joes confidence looks gone.

On the pitch the whole squad needs to step up. Everyone needs to help defending. Best case would be to push the opponent in their own half. Get 2 or 3 goals before they even get a shot on ours.

What I’m also thinking:

  • expecting many wild games with high scoring and high conceiding result like we had pre VvD.

  • not only wild games but also more of those high intensity / high pressing games.

  • we should be able to reach the ko stage of the CL without VvD - probably easier than we might think.

  • I believe Nat Phillips will be the ‚big winner’ of the situation. Don’t even rate him that high but I think Koumetio, SvdB and Rhys are not ready.

  • bringing in a new CB in january is a must.

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Expecting players to step up, play in different positions and succeed well and Klopp not making a big fuss of this and carrying on with it.

Play good, work hard, do what the manager asks of you, give your 100% and I don’t care what happens in the end. Personally I’ll enjoy this season again.

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I expect us to battle with far more passion and far less whining than City did without Laporte. I expect Jürgen to motivate while keeping our goals intact. I expect the media to tell us we don’t have a title winning defense. I expect Joe Gomez to return to his best. I expect Thiago and Hendo to set the tone. I expect absolute fireworks from our world class front three.

And I expect to thrash Everton soundly at Anfield.

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Looking forward to seeing how the team play without VVD.
Looking forward to seeing a new CB partnership playing regularly together.
Looking forward to seeing what level Gomez, matip and Fabinho are at over a period of time without VVD beside them. Will they fall apart without him or prove they can play without him.
Before VVD got injured l would have been disappointed if we didn’t win the league. Now I’ll be disappointed if we don’t get top four.

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In open play I am not so worried. We are good enough to control matches and limit opportunities.

Set pieces and corners worry the fuck out of me. This is where Everton looked dangerous, and this is how other teams will play.

VvD gives a dominance in the air. We have now lost that. Expect to see opposition players on our keeper (obstruction), whilst floating high balls in.

This gives extra responsibility to likes of Fabinho, Milner, Henderson, Wijnaldum to support fullbacks even more when they are attacking and also taking responsibility for preventing free headers during set pieces.

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This is a team of winners. They’ll stare this down and go again. Hendo and Mane won’t let heads drop.

I think we’ll look for another centre back in January, but I expect Joe to find his form and become the defensive rock he can be.

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I guess I’ll accept just the League and Champions League double, rather than adding the FA cup and treble.

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Must confess, not much at the moment.

I don’t care which team you are, but can u just plant one on Flappy…every game

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I’m not even thinking long-term right now. We have 17 matches to negotiate (and another international bullshit break for Joe) between now and New Year when we can bring in the new CB we should have signed in the last window. Make no mistake, the failure to do so could have a catastrophic effect on our season.
What are the chances of Joe and Joel seeing out the year without a spell on the sidelines? History suggests there’s as much chance of that as there is me getting my spuds drained by Nigella Lawson (sorry, haven’t mentioned her in a while). I read a stat this morning that said Matip had played 75 minutes of PL football in the last 12 months. That’s quite frankly staggering.
I think JK will have toi play a very careful juggling act with the pair of them. There will be games where Fabinho replaces one or the other, there will be games where one can be subbed off if we’re comfortable with 30 minutes to go and there may even be games in the CL where one can be rested but this will probably not happen given our propensity for last-match qualification anxiety.
I think we may see a change in our play as well. I look back at those games over Christmas and New Year, particularly the Sheffield Utd game at Anfield, where we coasted through large periods by completely controlling the game. This is where the importance of having Tiago and Henderson on the pitch is massive, control the game and keep the pressure off the defence as much as possible.
The form of Salah and Mane also gives me hope right now. Both look bang at it and if Bobby can rediscover his form then we’ll outscore the opposition more often than not. We have good back-up all over the pitch apart from defence so I expect no passengers.
The next 9 or 10 weeks are going to be a roller-coaster but for me it all hinges on those 2 lads at the back - keep them both relatively fit and we might see it out ok, lose even one of them for an extended period of time and we could be fucked…

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I think even with VVD, its a 90+ point season.

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I’m expecting Everton’s goalkeeper to go unrewarded for his ‘efforts’. Either the season will be voided with his team still dreaming of winning the league, or he gets dropped…by Ancelotti… Coady, Lallana, Brewster, Ings :wink:

Totally agree mate. You would have to be the world’s biggest optimist to think those two are going to make it through to January injury-free and not making the kind of silly mistakes that are going to cost us points.

Add to that the continuing absence of Alisson , and the confidence he gives the back line , I think we might struggle.

The City game away at the beginning of November might prove crucial. We need to win our two games before that and avoid defeat there. Do that and we could conceivably get into January in pretty good shape and then get another CB in.

It’d be a miracle if we won the CL or PL from this position tbh.

Because we’re a one-man team, right?

Not just picking on you, by the way, but I see so many people who have almost given up on the season since the extent of Virgil’s injury was announced; yet these same “fans” were saying we would sweep all before us before the Everton game.

Yes, it’s a big loss but I trust Klopp and the coaching team to find a solution.

Edit: @BillyBiskix has already made this point last night in the Virgil thread. I agree with him completely.

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I am fully expecting to challenge for the title and to make another deep run in the CL.

Winning either of them is going to be tough but Klopp, his staff and the players have proven their capacity to get things done time and again. Losing Van Dijk changes nothing, it only makes it more difficult.

On a brighter note, everything that transpired during the last couple of games should provide all the motivation needed for this team to really kick on and start winning games again.

Ok, hopes and expectations are two different things.

My expectation: the square root of nothing. With a bit of luck, we manage to qualify for the CL next season. I’ve already written off the league title in terms of my expectation for the season, or a long CL run for that matter. Consistency at the back is the master word in order to win the big titles, and that’s what VVD was offering us the two last seasons, not only through his obvious qualities, but also because he played every single minute for us.

My hope: we have Klopp at the helm, he’ll do what he can to compensate for big Virg’s absence. As Matip and Gomez can’t be relied on staying fit throughout the season, Fabinho will probably make a permanent switch to center back. He’ll revel himself as a freaking beast and stun everyone. He’ll make VVD forget for this season, we’ll not feel his absence too much, will rack up the trophies, and next summer, VVD’s come-back will feel like a new signing. We have the best manager around, and what has happened is a real challenge for him. If he can’t find a solution, no-one can. But he’s a genius, so who knows, he’ll maybe draw a rabbit out of his hat.

In any case, the players will have to up their game to a new level to make up for the big leader’s absence. They’ll have to fight for every single ball. Every game, every defensive set piece will have to feel as if it was their last. Last season, so-so defensive performances from two or three players still allowed us to win with Virgil at the heart of our defence. Now this won’t be possible anymore. Everyone will have to be focussed as hell. We’ll also need all other key players to remain fit.

Thiago could play a major role. While our defence will be unsettled, at least during the next games, he could help us raising our midfield to the next level, compensating a bit for the loss of quality at the back.

Anyway, the hope is always there, but if everything goes to shit as it could easily happen, I’ll not blame anyone and just patiently wait. These lads have given us so many wonderful moments over the last years, so they deserve our patience, whatever happens. But I brace myself for uncomfortable moments during what will be a long season, that’s for sure. Hopefully, good moments are waiting for us too, fingers crossed!

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That and Thiago out for how long we don’t know that made us less predictable. I’m afraid that we have become the Liverpool of 3 years ago, scoring goals but receiving plenty too fighting to finish top 4.

Null, and Void

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First up, these lads and manager owe us nothing after what they have achieved in the last two seasons. My expectations remain the same as they were before the season started. It will be hard and I expect a dip. Not just because maintaining the levels we’ve been at for a third consecutive season is more or less impossible, but because of the unique circumstances. No crowds. Congested fixture list etc. Losing the world’s best defender hasn’t changed my opinion. It’s going to be a tough old season but it could still be a successful one.

What the Villa game showed us is that getting the tactics right is far more important than any one individual player. VVD played against Villa and it was the single worst Liverpool defensive performance I have ever seen. VVD’s absence should see us focusing on getting the basics right at the back. A more conservative set up. Playing the percentages a bit more. As @ISMF1 has already pointed out we are now going to be vulnerable in the air, but there’s not much we can do about that until January at the earliest.

Above all, injuries are part of football and we just have to get on with it. Whatever the circumstances of VVD’s injury the important thing is that we don’t wallow in the injustice of it all. This is what City do and it creates a negative energy around the club. I thought we were right to at least ask for clarity on the VAR decisions/non-decisions after the game but that should be the end of it. We don’t want to go full Blue Moon here.

The Villa performance was a disgrace and the players and manager needed calling out for it, but we were brilliant against Everton. As long as Villa remains an aberration and Everton is the norm then I am still positive about the rest of the season.

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