Ok. Everyone gets a go today and spleens are rising. K-Man makes some good points below and this started off as a comment, but got a bit out of hand, and since I like to share my art with the masses... blah, blah, blah....
(4-5-1) I tend to agree that 4-5-1 is a bad thing but dropping the second striker wide left is a tricky one. In my mind that is a 4-4-2 formation with two recognised strikers. The complaint, as I understood it, is playing 5 midfielders and only a lone striker. I actually quite like RVP dropping wide as his delivery is awesome. Its often where RVP plays for Holland. I think this would also suit Walcott, but agree Eduardo struggled with it and has to play in the middle. I also quite like the idea of Ade, RVP and Theo up top in some form of 4-3-3, but I can't work out the midfield.
(Defending) This is where it all went wrong...
Re Gallas and Toure, again I find that a hard one. I have posted before that I think the current formation at the back is our best one available during Sagna's absence. However, whilst Big Phil lost Hyppia for the header last night, there are moments when Kolo looks very fragile at the back. The Gerrard goal in the first leg was poor defending from Eboue and Toure. We expect it from Eboue but not from Kolo.
Second leg, two long balls between Gallas and Toure had our defence in ruins. The first was unopposed by Gallas and Toure, bounced over Senderos who was tracking back, and eventually fell for Torres (el divo) who had time and space to compose himself, come inside Senderos and pick his spot between the four - YES FOUR - arsenal players who had dropped off him and lined up along the six yard box. Good finish but shit defending.
The second was straight from the re-start, straight to Babel, missed by Gallas and Toure, bounced over everyone and Babel goes down in a heap for a penalty. Can we please keep a lead for more than a minute?
Any long balls we pumped to Ade were mopped up by Hyppia and Svcrotum (or whatever his name is), one of whom attacked the ball in the air whilst the other stood on Ade. Good dirty defending that is almost always a foul but rarely given. I cannot think of a single ball we hit that was allowed to bounce outside the Liverpool box (or not collected directly by Reina). Carragher and Hyppia knock nails into wood with their heads for the sheer joy of it.
So, do I agree we need some big ugly centre back? No, not really. What I think is that we need to concentrate on defending as a unit, attacking the first ball like we mean it and getting to the second ball as if it was wrapped in gold and covered in pretty ribbons for the winner.
Think what Keown used to be like. Or Adams. Or Bould. (but not Andy Linegan, he was shit). Those guys loved heading it, loved getting in the face of the opposition and they worked as a pack. Lee Dixon and Nutty were not noted for their subtlety either. If you gave those guys a lead at Anfield there would be blood on the pitch before the Scouse scored.
I've got no problem with Senderos getting skinned by Torres. I just want the 3 other defenders to kick Torres in the face when he tried to shoot, instead of backing off like scared girls. John Terry would have kicked Torres in the face because John Terry is a cunt and he loves kicking strikers. Keown would have removed Torres' head clean from his spindly shoulders.
We haven't had enough red cards this season. Not enough "clever defending". We've missed that Tony Adams 'wincer' when you knew he was just going to take man, ball, linesman and the first three rows of the crowd. You could see it coming from miles. Loved it.
John Terry, for his numerous faults, is so absolutely committed to his defending. As is Carvalho. With those two to pick from, I'm not that surprised that Mourinho stuck Gallas at left back. If Toure played for Chelsea, he would be like Essien, either told to kick people in midfield or play at full back. No chance that Toure would play centre back for Mourinho.
Mourinho made people watch Colin Hendry training videos for hours. There were two of them. The first was called "Nutting Stuff" the second called "Kicking Stuff". A great watch and well worth it if you see them on ebay. Woodgate only watched Casualty and the Flying Doctors. If Woodgate was at Chelsea, Mourinho would have sent him home to play on Winston Bogarde's Playstation.
So what do we do. Well, its quite simple - we need to buy Kolo and Gallas a plank of wood and some nails. We won't get better at the back until those two can put Ikea furniture together just with their heads.
Or we need to ban the long ball in the modern game. Its just not fair on poor little us.
I'm going for a lie down.