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    Benteke £32.5m - can't score v Exeter and misses sitters. Can't see what Klopp sees.

    This week: Mon: Mignolet signs new contract, Tues: Klopp praises Benteke Weds: Enrique captains a match, having only played 2 matches this season for the senior side.
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    (Original post by difeo)
    STRONG hypocrisy

    Dirtybit thoughts
    (Original post by Lúcio)
    Only being 1-0 up is frustrating given our domination but most of the players have put in some good shifts.Benteke getting involved but it's all for nothing if he can't finish chances like that.It's like Lúcio on pro clubs...
    Fixed.
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    (Original post by Dirtybit)
    Fixed.
    Umad
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    Last time out I felt none of the young players really excelled, but this time round they controlled the game and looked pretty impressive.

    On the other hand Enrique was shocking, Ilori bailed him out so much. Stewart struggled in the middle, but everyone else did a good job. It's the first time I've seen Randall actually play well.

    One thing though, Teixeira isn't going to make it here, simple as that. By all accounts he had a good game, he took his goal well and had a few neat touches, but other than that he showed nothing more than any of the other kids. At 23 he can't really be considered in the same category as them anymore. He's the same age as the likes of Coutinho and Firmino, and much older than ibe and markovic for example who have had their fair bit of stick at times playing for us for not making enough of an impact. There's nothing standout about him that makes me think we should be giving him chances in the PL, and so at his age he needs to be moving on.
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    (Original post by cBay)
    Last time out I felt none of the young players really excelled, but this time round they controlled the game and looked pretty impressive.

    On the other hand Enrique was shocking, Ilori bailed him out so much. Stewart struggled in the middle, but everyone else did a good job. It's the first time I've seen Randall actually play well.

    One thing though, Teixeira isn't going to make it here, simple as that. By all accounts he had a good game, he took his goal well and had a few neat touches, but other than that he showed nothing more than any of the other kids. At 23 he can't really be considered in the same category as them anymore. He's the same age as the likes of Coutinho and Firmino, and much older than ibe and markovic for example who have had their fair bit of stick at times playing for us for not making enough of an impact. There's nothing standout about him that makes me think we should be giving him chances in the PL, and so at his age he needs to be moving on.
    Teixiera will end up at some mid table Spanish club like Real Betis. Tidy player but he's not much more.


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    I think Teixeira is like Suso in that he's quite a good player, but I'm struggling to think who you'd start him over. It's not like he's only 18, he should be nearing his peak very soon.
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    Back from Anfield. And a win's a win. We need to improve to beat a West Ham side who have dismantled us and taken three points off us comfortably on two separate occasions this season, but at least we progressed without a hiccup tonight.

    Some very good performances from the youngsters - and a Flanagan return - meant it was a very professional and solid night's work for us.

    Of the senior pros, Allen - who I was delighted to see score again - and Ibe impressed me. The latter has all the attributes and time on his side to become a real key player for us, but he just needs to hone that work in the final third and that final delivery.

    As for Benteke? The lad needs to get in the box. He is clearly a confidence player, but those misses tonight - in the first-half and at the death - just show he is lacking that right now. It can't help that he's being sent out to play with the kids and left on the bench for crunch fixtures against Arsenal and United, in fairness.

    Benteke is obviously the biggest enigma, and I don't have any advice as to how to solve it. We see players like Gestede and Carroll making the difference for clubs like Villa and West Ham - and managers and pundits chastising the death of the traditional centre forward - but we can't seem to figure out how to use ours.

    Elsewhere, Flanagan's warm reception was brilliant to see. God, I've missed him. Cafu's tweet was cracking, too.

    Ojo is some player - and could be a real option off the bench in PL matches with 20 left. He's a front three player first and foremost, and seems at home there. That makes a difference when lads like Lallana seem to be comfortable playing deeper. He put the ball in the net and asked the questions later. Fair play to him.

    Good performances elsewhere from Stewart and Teixeira, too, I felt. The latter was tidy and kept things taking over - and did everything you expect. I don't think there's any player on the pitch for us tonight who will end up lower than League One. They all looked a tier above Exeter.

    Enrique as captain, though. What's that all about?
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Ojo is some player - and could be a real option off the bench in PL matches with 20 left. He's a front three player first and foremost, and seems at home there. That makes a difference when lads like Lallana seem to be comfortable playing deeper. He put the ball in the net and asked the questions later. Fair play to him.
    Nah, he's not just a front 3 player. He does everything. Some people think he'll end up in CM. He is direct as **** though so in our team yeh, best in the front three
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    Just on a side note, I really think Joe Allen deserves a start in the PL.
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    (Original post by cBay)
    Just on a side note, I really think Joe Allen deserves a start in the PL.
    I agree. He has been exceptionally tidy of late and has really improved as a player for us.

    For some reason I assumed he was getting on but I just checked and he's only 25? Must be the hair and beard

    I hope we don't sell him back to Swansea. I'm very content with him as a squad player and I think he deserves that place.
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    (Original post by Lúcio)
    I agree. He has been exceptionally tidy of late and has really improved as a player for us.

    For some reason I assumed he was getting on but I just checked and he's only 25? Must be the hair and beard

    I hope we don't sell him back to Swansea. I'm very content with him as a squad player and I think he deserves that place.
    You wouldn't take £15-20mil for Allen? I'd almost be tempted to sell him this January to Swansea considering they could get relegated and then won't be able to afford him.
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    You wouldn't take £15-20mil for Allen? I'd almost be tempted to sell him this January to Swansea considering they could get relegated and then won't be able to afford him.
    Well it's a little different if they offer 20m. I guess it depends whether it funds a big transfer!

    I mean I'd be fine letting him go for the right price, but the lad is only 25 and he seems content to be a squad player. He always performs during the little game time he gets and you don't see that from too many players.
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    (Original post by Lúcio)
    Well it's a little different if they offer 20m. I guess it depends whether it funds a big transfer!

    I mean I'd be fine letting him go for the right price, but the lad is only 25 and he seems content to be a squad player. He always performs during the little game time he gets and you don't see that from too many players.
    Just going on the basis that Jonjo bloody Shelvey cost £12mil..

    Well I guess our options in the summer for midfield would be Henderson, Can, Lucas, Allen, Grujic* and Milner**
    *if Klopp thinks he's good enough
    ** wants to play midfield but probably not good enough for us?

    Assuming Klopp would want to bring in a CM of his own mold then Allen would be the obvious choice to leave/upgrade on? Guess it could be Lucas too but then we'd need a specialist DM imo.
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    We're after Shaktar's Alex Texiera. €30m offer we made but Shaktar wants €50m


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    (Original post by Pimped Butterfly)
    Nah, he's not just a front 3 player. He does everything. Some people think he'll end up in CM. He is direct as **** though so in our team yeh, best in the front three
    Really impressed by him last night.

    The most exciting thing was the feel of the crowd once he got the ball. They sat that little bit closer to the edge of their seats. To be honest, I'm done with over thinking it all. The kid's got talent and traits - and anybody who sticks the ball in the back of the net without over-deliberating is fine by me.

    (Original post by cBay)
    Just on a side note, I really think Joe Allen deserves a start in the PL.
    (Original post by Lúcio)
    I agree. He has been exceptionally tidy of late and has really improved as a player for us.

    For some reason I assumed he was getting on but I just checked and he's only 25? Must be the hair and beard

    I hope we don't sell him back to Swansea. I'm very content with him as a squad player and I think he deserves that place.
    (Original post by Zerforax)
    You wouldn't take £15-20mil for Allen? I'd almost be tempted to sell him this January to Swansea considering they could get relegated and then won't be able to afford him.
    Allen could be a captain and a very, very good influential footballer at a team below 8th/9th imho. Such a useful squad player to have, but it remains to be seen whether he is comfortable being a clear last resort/break glass option.
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    (Original post by mr tim)
    We're after Shaktar's Alex Texiera. €30m offer we made but Shaktar wants €50m


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    Very positive move - Chelsea fans would be so annoyed if it went ahead based on the amount of talk he gets on that thread :lol:
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    Thing which struck me pretty overtly last night was the poor decision-making of Benteke. He didn't know when to advance into the box and get in the mix, he would regularly hold off when our wide men needed him as a focal point in the centre.
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    (Original post by mr tim)
    We're after Shaktar's Alex Texiera. €30m offer we made but Shaktar wants €50m


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    I thought Chelsea wanted him?

    Nice to see us going for a peak player at 26 rather than another potential..

    Ayre has flown out to Florida where they are doing pre-season so maybe we think we can get a deal done?

    (Original post by Mackay)
    Allen could be a captain and a very, very good influential footballer at a team below 8th/9th imho. Such a useful squad player to have, but it remains to be seen whether he is comfortable being a clear last resort/break glass option.
    I guess my view is that we need one less squad player and one more star midfield player. I'd take Henderson as one but I don't think Can is there yet. We still got to wait another year or two+ before that imo.
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    (Original post by Mackay)
    Thing which struck me pretty overtly last night was the poor decision-making of Benteke. He didn't know when to advance into the box and get in the mix, he would regularly hold off when our wide men needed him as a focal point in the centre.
    He had a number of chances to score in both games. 180 minutes played, no goals against Exeter..

    He does seem to pull back to the penalty spot too often in the box. Might work if we had Sturridge playing who would go to the 6 yard box or front post but at the moment it means no one is close to the goal..
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    (Original post by Zerforax)
    He had a number of chances to score in both games. 180 minutes played, no goals against Exeter..

    He does seem to pull back to the penalty spot too often in the box. Might work if we had Sturridge playing who would go to the 6 yard box or front post but at the moment it means no one is close to the goal..
    While you can't judge a player like Benteke on a game like the first leg, I do agree: that's a damning indictment. I'd actually say that it's just as vital what a player like Benteke brings to his team-mates on nights like last night, and the initial tie, and he did well to set up Teixeira for the first and laid on a lovely pass to Smith to set up Allen down the left for the opening goal.

    Aside from those, though, he could have had a hat-trick and a fit Sturridge - or even Origi and Ings - would have bagged a brace.
 
 
 
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