From our forums:
There is a lot of debate about various players right now, especially Kuyt, Keane, Lucas, Dossena, Babel and Yossi.
Some of the criticism is fair, some of it isn’t and opinion is definately divided on TIA for all of these players. I’m heavily for Dossena and Lucas for example and I think that the critcisim of them is largely unfair while others point blank disagree. Kuyt and Keane is one of the hottest debates around right now.
Therefore, I am seeking the opinion of who you think is being most unfairly criticised and who you personally back the most out of all these lads. Please let me know who you have voted for and why in the following format:
(1) ‘Under Fire’ player you are backing the most:
(2) What particular criticism is being aimed at him that is unjust in your opinion:
(3) Why this criticism is unfair in your opinion:
(4) Anything you think this player could do better / solutions for improvement:
(2) His overall quality
(3) He is a quality, quality footballer. Although I said throughout this season that we can expect some inconsistencies, he has been progressing greatly. People saying he is shite, ineffective, etc. need to look at the facts.
FACT: Since being booed off the field at Anfield against Fulham, he has started 4 games. PSV, Arsenal, Newcastle, and Stoke respectively.
FACT: He had an incredible performance against PSV. In fact, right here on TIA he was MoTM!
FACT: Against Arsenal he had a 90% pass completion rate and pulled the strings in midfield. He overshadowed Masch, but his performance was overshadowed by the number of fouls he committed, some clumsy, some unfair. Yet still, he was nominated for man of the match again.
FACT: Again against Newcastle he was immense. He did everything but find the net, which didn’t happen because he was very unlucky. He was responsible for picking apart the Toon’s team (as easy as it might of been, but give credit where it is due).
FACT: He was poor against Stoke, but so was the entire team. His sloppy passing was inexcusable. However, when the team is exuding such poor energy, do you think it is easy for a player who averages 26.45 minutes a game (he has played 582 Premiership minutes which divides up over 22 games) to take the game by the scruff of the neck? Absolutely not! It would be nice if he could, but when you are getting such few minutes, are competing against 3 of the best midfielders in the world, and are 22 years old it is completely understandable that your performances vary with how the team is playing.
That is 3 of his last 4 STARTS as being Man of the Match worthy. Whoever can question that logic please show yourself the door, because it is impossible to make a logical argument against it. Show some patience for the lad. Jesus Christ.
(4) He could improve his consistency, which he will, but people should not be expecting a consistent youngster coming from a foreign league.
(3) The evidence – not just at previous clubs but in several games for Liverpool – is that he is an excellent crosser. Ok he made a few poor efforts on Sunday but overall he had quite a solid game. As I have said before, he is aggressive, he aint slow, he is not afraid to charge at players, he was a decent wingback and should adjust to leftback over time and he passes nicely. Just watch some of the videos on him, the guy is quality.
(4) Although I wouldn’t currently put him above Riera, I think he would be well suited in left midfield. If he doesn’t get started as a left back then I would definately have him on the bench to bring on for Riera – certainly ahead of Babel. Aside from that, he just has to keep working hard in training and improve defensively (although he aint terrible in that department and besides, players like Riise were never good defenders anyway) and try and hold onto the LB position, especially while Insua is away. I don’t think he is playing under any pressure from himself, he looks confident, wants the ball, doesn’t bottle and charges up and down the pitch. I just hope Rafa will give him a chance in left midfield because I am sure he will open a few eyes.
(2) What particular criticism is being aimed at him that is unjust in your opinion: “lazy”.
(3) Why this criticism is unfair in your opinion: He is just not cut out to defend and he has proven that he is a goal scorer in the past season, rather than a traditional winger.
(4) Anything you think this player could do better / solutions for improvement: Persevere, work hard on his shots and decision making. Raw talent needs to be nurtured.
(2) Attitude problems
(3) He is frustrated and unhappy with the situation he finds himself in. He is a huge liverpool fan and it must hurt him more than any of us that his dream move has gone so wrong already. He knows the manager has little faith in him and Rafa’s management style is not one that he could pull a player aside and say ‘keep the head up and you’ll be fine’. He is at a new club and getting dropped for playing well one day and rubbish other days. People say he has attitude problems because he is annoyed at coming off? I call that commiment and wanting to do well. He hasn’t turned up here to collect his wages, he wants to do his bit for the team he supports!
(4) All Robbie can do is try not listen to the media hype that has built up (Rafa hasn’t done much to stop it). Do what he has done at every club and score goals and create goals. Just hope Rafa ‘focuses on team selections’ and not on internal politics of the running of the club!
2. Not good enough. Not creative enough, too lightweight.
3. In my opinion he is good enough. He’s very creative, and very lively. When Kuyt receives the ball out wide on the right, I never expect anything to happen. When Benayoun gets the ball, I do. He’s scored some goals that Kuyt never would have scored. My biggest criticism of him, is his poor finishing. He’s made some good runs, and been played through, quite a few times. But yet to finish.
4. Take your chances… Take your chances.
(1) Dirk Kuyt
(2) That all he offers is work rate
(3) The main strength to his game is arguably that. We can all sit here and spew “I’d work hard if I played for Liverpool” or ” they all should for Â£x per week” but the fact is that they all don’t. Rightly or wrongly. It should be the bare minimum but anyone who honestly expects it from the XI that take to the pitch every week is delusional.
Furthermore the man has 7 goals this season, primarily from having played RW. Almost twice as many as his opposite number, Riera. As for Assists he has 4 to Riera’s 2 (PL only). The lynchpins Gerrard and Alonso have 5 and 2 respectively. So he clearly offers more than just work rate.
I appreciate football isn’t played on paper and there’s a lot more to it than cold stats but IMO they speak volumes.
(4) I do of course agree that Kuyt is technically lacking. If I was going to propose ways for him to improve it would involve staying wider and not dropping back in deep, central position as often. In these instances when he gets the ball to feet, back to goal he rarely turns and momentum is lost.
I’m sure that in the run in with the ‘big’ CL and PL games people will start to be reminded of the qualities he brings to the team.