First of all there are a few mitigating circumstances as to why the team are scrapping for 1-0 victories rather than showcasing the free flowing attacking football which you would normally expect from a Dalglish team. The absence of key players such as Steven Gerrard, Glen Johnson, Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez last night always meant it was going to be a tough affair against Sparta Prague. Playing Christian Poulsen alongside Lucas in midfield while leaving David Ngog up front on his own means there is a lack of star quality in the side to really take the game to opponents.
One thing you can take from recent performances though, and a fact that hasn’t gone unnoticed by owner John W Henry and his wife Linda Pizzuti, is the sheer meanness of our defence which has conceded just 1 goal in the last seven games. This is certainly a good development after the defensive troubles suffered under Roy Hodgson, but I dare any Liverpool fan to state that they knew that this was how Dalglish’s team was going to play before the King took over the reins.
There has unquestionably been a change of emphasis under Kenny to Roy Hodgson as we are pressing higher up the pitch and putting the opposition under pressure. Certainly with the ball too there has been a lot more positive attacking intent, shown in away games against Wolves and Chelsea, but going by the stats during Kenny’s short rein in charge, the defensive record is by far and away the most striking change. It is definitely a good thing as while it takes time to develop a “pass and move” philosophy going forward, it takes far less time to coach the basics of defending and organisation into a team.
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