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We Go Again - Liverpool Reds

About the blog

Welcome to We Go Again - Liverpool Reds, a blog about Liverpool Football Club with a Swedish perspective written in English. My name is Leif Larsson and I am a Swede living in Sweden. I have been a Liverpool supporter for over 40 years. I will write about all kinds of things that concerns Liverpool FC. Sometimes I will hand out praise, other times it will be the opposite. I will continuously add different categories to the blog.

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Ridicolous to only have one strong foot

Skill or not Posted on Mon, November 03, 2014 14:28:32

Alberto Moreno´s inability to clear his lines against Newcastle led to their winning goal. Why did he fail to do it? A lot of explanations has been put forward, all of them wrong. The reason was a common shortcoming among footballers, they´ve only got one useful foot. And it´s inexplicable why they don´t get rid of this defect.

Just before Newcastle scored the ball was loose in the Liverpool box and a clearence was the obvious choice. Liverpool left-back Moreno got to the ball first and could have smashed out of danger. Instead he tried to control it with his right foot and after that hit it with his left foot, his good one. But he never got the chance because a Newcastle player nipped in between the controlling part of the action and the clearing one and put the ball inte the Liverpool net.

This foot-problem is a very familiar sight in football. Almost every player is unable to use both feet, at least they don´t. The reason is they are afraid to mishit the ball. So a lot of times when a certain foot should be used players constantly take another course of action. This happens when the ball is at their weaker foot. They try to shift the ball to the strong foot and then the shot is blocked or not on anymore or a pass is intercepted or a dangerous pass forward must be changed to a meaningless pass backwards because an opponent has got the time to get in the way.

The same happens in defending situations when an easy clearence is transformed to a dangerous attempt for the opposition or as in Moreno´s case, into a goal.

TV experts, commenators, at least the Swedish ones, and football writers explained the Moreno mistake like this: He was caught napping and didn´t realize the danger. His Spanish roots and manager Brendan Rodgers football philosophy made him try to play the ball out of danger instead of hoofing it. Well, these explanations are not accurate. The simple truth is that he didn´t trust his weaker right foot to clear so he tried to give the job to the left one and we all know the result.

I have trouble understanding how professional footballers can be so poor with one of their feet. Check out a football match and you´ll see that they are using one foot in, I would guess 95 percent, of the contacts with the ball. And if they are pressured to use the weaker foot the ball invariably ends up in the wrong place and never where they wanted it to land.

Have you ever seen a concert pianist only been able to play with one hand? Have you ever seen circus juggler only using one hand? No, and they have of course one strong hand and one weak. But they train and make sure that they can do their job with both hands. And you know what? They earn a lot less than footballers who don´t bother to be strong with both feet.

It´s allowed for football players to train both tools of their trade. But for some odd reason most of them choose not to. They are happy with their one-foot ability and don´t feel ashamed that their weakness is found out week in week out in front of millions of viewers world-wide. They are getting their pay cheque anyhow and are content with that.

An argument sometimes pops up is that players hasn´t got the time. Well, I only say Cristiano Ronaldo. He has trained for hours on end to make sure both feet is strong. And now he shoots extremely well with boot feet. It´s impossible to identify his weaker one. So, to be two-footed can be done, it just takes ambition.

If every Liverpool player showed this ambition then we would walk away with the league. But it won´t happen, players are too lazy and more interested going to the tattoo parlour, buying cars, tweeting or getting fancy hair-cuts. When they could have been practising on their football weaknesses. Sad!

When the Liverpool lads get their act together in the foot-issue then:

We (can really) Go Again.

Stop hitting row Z

Skill or not Posted on Wed, October 29, 2014 16:04:49

Lucas Leiva ballooned the ball over the bar yesterday in the game against Swansea. So did Jordan Henderson and Mario Balotelli. Even Philippe Coutinho. And players hitting row Z is an alarmingly common sight in football. Why is it happening? Simple, the wrong technique is used and for some odd reason players never learn. Despite having all the time in the world and a paycheque telling them they are morally obliged to put in the hours to get the hang of it.

You can see it in every football match all over the world. A player getting a decent shooting opportunity about ten yards out but the execution is more often saved by a spectator high up in the stands instead of troubling the goalkeeper or finding the net.

The mishit is as common as sand in the Sahara desert. And the sad truth is that it could be rectified immediately. But no-one is doing anything about it. It is probably a wee bit embarrassing to address the problem. The argument is that professional footballers doesn´t need to learn how to shoot. They know how. Well, apparently not.

Two things is in need to be corrected. Firstly the angle of the body is almost always wrong. Players invariably lean backwards when shooting and then laws of physics enter the picture. Because if you lean backwards when unleashing a shot the angle of the body and the foot and to some degree the velocity of the strike will 99 percent of the time make the ball clear the bar with a large margin.

The other mistake is that players in these cases often sidefoots the ball. That makes it even more likely for a shot too high.

The right thing to do is to hit the ball on the volley and lean over it when shooting. Then it´s a guarantee for a shot not rising to high and a much harder strike compared to a sidefooted one.

Okay, sometimes there is no time to do the right thing. Opponents is closing in and you have to hurry your shot. But on many occasions there is enough time to execute in the right manner.

It´s funny and depressing that players are unable to do this. It´s a thing you as a footballer learn at a very young age. Practise a lot and it will be an automatic action. Now a lot of players are automatically doing it the wrong way. Strange!

Just for Liverpool players to start training how to shoot. If they learn then the benefit is massive. A lot more goals will be scored, a lot more points amassed and more trophies won.

Get on with it and learn. After that:

We Go Again.