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Liverpool 1-3 Aston Villa: Back to the Drawing Board

639   //    17 Dec 2012, 12:54 IST

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Joe Cole of Liverpool in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on December 15, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

As the saying goes, “The Ball is Round, Anything Can Happen”. That truly is the fabric of the very game that we know and love. For one week I honestly believed that Liverpool had turned a corner and put their unpredictability behind them, but I don’t think I could have been any more wrong.

Why do I say that? Three wins in a row. An oppourtunity to extend the streak against a team level on points with Wigan Athletic (in the relegation zone before and after this week’s proceedings). It really should have been three points in the bag. It was quite simply the ideal match for us in our current circumstances to extend our good form.

But let me put it into perspective as well. Aston Villa were unbeaten in three league fixtures heading into the game (three draws and a win against Reading). They just came off a morale-boosting Capital One Cup quarter final against Norwich City to land them a place in the semi-finals, and this is an in form team.

I could sit here and continue on about woeful finishing and terrible ‘proper’ chance creation, because the problems are continually there, but there is no point because:

a) I will just talk about it next week and

b) I will just sound like a frustrated Liverpool fan ranting on and on, and here on Two Liverpool Fans, that’s not what we want to encourage.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 15: Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates after scoring the first goal with team mate Barry Bannan during the Barclays Premier League match between Liverpool and Aston Villa at Anfield on December 15, 2012 in Liverpool, England.

For me personally, there are two things that Liverpool quite desperately need to sort out at the moment. First of all, it is their transition defence. For all of their territorial dominance in games, Liverpool have been caught red handed of making terrible defensive errors and bad decisions when opposition teams catch them on the break. Aston Villa exposed this problem of Liverpool, and it is something that needs to be addressed.

This is kinda strange considering their lack of presence in the box…which leads me to Liverpool’s second big problem at the moment. There are too many players in that space between the half way line and the final third of the pitch. Steven Gerrard needs to get forward that bit more – a bit like Nuri Sahin/Jonjo Shelvey when they are deployed in midfield. With Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva around, Gerrard should realistically be given a free role to work around opposition players. Our captain was definitely more effective than as seen in previous matches with a free-er role, however I am suggesting something beyond that. To be relieved of his defensive duties and in a center forward-esque role.

But yeah. A shorter post than usual today. How should we play Gerrard and what are your predictions on how Liverpool FC will do this season? (Realistically, the target should be seventh place)

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SENIOR ANALYST . A semi-casual independent Liverpool FC blog run by three passionate Liverpool FC fans. Albeit originally founded by two avid Liverpool FC fans, the site now boasts three ardent and vehement Kopite writers from Malaysia. The trio of Law Li Ming, Fernando Chow and Andy Tan currently run the site with their share of thoughts and opinions about the Reds week-in week-out.
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