Lucas Leiva: The answer to Liverpool's midfield frailties?

Lucas Leiva: The answer to Liverpool's midfield frailties?

Liverpool continued their revival after a dismal start to the season with a 3-1 win against Leicester City at the King Power Stadium and for the second win in a row, their midfield featured Lucas Leiva. The Brazilian was deemed surplus to requirements in the summer, but with no replacement brought in, his stay has proved to be a blessing in disguise. On Tuesday night, as on Saturday against Stoke, he put in an excellent shift in the middle of …
Is Nemanja Matic the Premier League's Best Holding Midfielder?

Is Nemanja Matic the Premier League's Best Holding Midfielder?

The international break is upon us and so we have no more Premier League football to look forward to for another week. At just under three months in duration so far, the Premier League campaign is still in its early stage but even now we can see that Chelsea are going to be the team to beat this season. Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas have been winning all the plaudits so far but it is fair to say, in my …
Reasons for Optimism at Liverpool

Reasons for Optimism at Liverpool

Liverpool heads into yet another international break fresh off an much needed home win over West Bromwich Albion. With the exception of the 3-0 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane, the Reds have yet to rediscover the form that propelled them to second place in the league last season. However, several factors should see Liverpool move quickly back up the table and provide some comfort to fans disappointed with the first seven weeks of the season. Return of Daniel …
Is the Diamond Dying at Liverpool?

Is the Diamond Dying at Liverpool?

Brendan Rodgers implemented the rarely used midfield diamond with great success during the closing stages of the 2013-2014 season. With the substitution of Javier Manquillo for Mamadou Sakho in the 22nd minute of Saturday’s loss to West Ham, Rodgers scrapped the diamond for a 3-5-2. Does this signal the beginning of the end of the diamond or was it just a tactical switch in the face of an early deficit? Loss Against West Ham The starting formation cannot be the …
Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa: Post-Match Tactical Analysis

Liverpool 0-1 Aston Villa: Post-Match Tactical Analysis

Liverpool paid the price for a lack of cutting edge against a hungry, high flying Aston Villa team now firmly finding their feet under Paul Lambert and Roy Keane with a near-flawless start to the season. Aston Villa coming to Anfield remains one of Brendan Rodgers few tactical jigsaw puzzles he is yet to figure out. The Birmingham side have flourished at Liverpool for the last few seasons now with the same mindset and strategy on each visit. It has …
Do Colback and Delph Deserve England Call?

Do Colback and Delph Deserve England Call?

England have given midfield pair Jack Colback and Fabian Delph their first call ups to the national side in the first squad after the World Cup. Given the retirements of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard, Roy Hodgson will be experimenting with different combinations in the middle of the park. Jordan Henderson and Jack Wilshere will be favourites to become key players in the England side, but there is now an opportunity for some of the other English midfielders playing regularly …
Who Could Replace Steven Gerrard as Liverpool Captain?

Who Could Replace Steven Gerrard as Liverpool Captain?

After Steven Gerrard retired from international duty, it has lead me to thinking, who would be the most suitable candidates to replace Gerrard for Liverpool when he inevitably retires from club level football? Loyalty to a club is something hard to come by these days in football, yet after a career spanning 15 years, Liverpool has been Gerrard's one club. Having been through the ups of Istanbul, and the downs of the well documented Chelsea incident last season, he has …
High Drama in Brazil Saves Hodgson's Blushes

High Drama in Brazil Saves Hodgson's Blushes

England went into the 2014 World Cup with a good squad combining youth, experience, and one which was free from the hype that has surrounded previous “Golden Generations”. This might have been partly thanks to Hodgson, who showed as little ambition off the pitch as he did on it, playing down chances from the day England qualified. England were handed a tough group on paper, but were given the chance to play Italy first. Notoriously bad starters when it comes …
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