Liverpool FC fans' letters

25 November 2009 12:00
Zonal system is eroding belief

FROM someone who has played and followed football for over 50 years, I am writing to express my disappointment and disenchantment with the way the game is being played so predictably at present by Liverpool.

It is in very sharp contrast to that displayed by Reds' teams of the past - i.e. passion, pass and move, attacking the by-line and a cutting edge in the final third.

Rafa claims to deal in facts. It is a fact that 60% of goals scored in the Premier League are from set pieces and 75% of goals conceded by the Reds are from set pieces.

The logic and persistence in retaining the zonal marking baffles me.

Notice that this defensive strategy involves all 11 Liverpool players being back in their own box marking zones - with nobody on the posts.

This is in sharp contrast to the rather more logical approach of putting a striker on each side of the halfway line. This would occupy four opposition players, as they wouldn't go one-on-one with Fernando Torres.

This would produce six less bodies to clutter up the six-yard line and allow us to put two defenders on the posts.

The approach should also be for the defender to attack the ball at its highest point, the advantage would immediately be with the defending team and each defender would know which opposition player he is responsible for marking.

It would be interesting to know whether the players - particularly Pepe Reina - are in favour of zonal marking.

I feel it erodes the team's confidence. It is confidence, money and quality signings we are in short supply of at the moment and if you add to this the frustration and embarrassment of continuously conceding goals from set pieces, the future appears rather bleak unless changes of ownership, philosophy and practice of the club take place - soon.

John Scott, Eccleston, St Helens

Source: Liverpool_Echo