Same old story? Exactly.
So what’s the root of the problem then?
- Wijnaldum is a weak link
No tactical positioning for a midfielder. There’s reasons why even with 10 goals last season, Newcastle fans doesn’t rate him. It’s the same reason why Rafa played him further up front as a wide man or No.10 where he has the license to roam, because his awareness in midfield is poor, and doesn’t know where to go and be without the ball. And Kloop might be starting him because Can and Grujic are not match-fit yet.
2. Scrambling to media/fans pressure
Milner started ahead of Moreno for a match whereby you know the opposition will sit back deep in their own half, where you know full-backs will be needed to provide the width, to spread the play wider, to open up the pitch so that the forwards have more space to play their game. Hmm… You judge own your own.
3. Front 4 don’t have a clear idea of their roles
Firmino, Coutinho, Lallana and Sturridge. Who’s the No.9? Who’s covering the right and left flank when we don’t have the ball? Of course we all know that Kloop likes his front man to have the freedom to roam, to press etc. But Sturridge wasn’t doing his job defensively, Coutinho too (2 matches in a row), and Firmino doesn’t know if he should be running the channels, or dropping deep to look for that killer pass.
What’s next for Kloop and Liverpool then?
- Grujic and/or Can starting ahead of Wijnaldum in the CM role.
Both provide different qualities, but they are both seasoned central midfielders, they know where to be, whose runs to track, when to attack and when to defend. That’s what Wijnaldum lacks. Wijnaldum should be starting as a No.10 or wide man to get the best out of his ability.
Hopefully, Can would be deemed fit-enough to start next weekend, I would love to see a Can, Henderson and Grujic midfield trio. I believe it is one that is balanced and perfect for us. Can as a holding anchorman, Hendo and Grujic as box-to-box, with Grujic able to get into the final third to join attacks more often. He can score goals, and if given license to run late into opposition’s box, can score a good header as well. Not to mention, he isn’t shy about using his left leg to crack a long range goal.
2. Know when to start Milner, and when to start Moreno
In games where you know the opposition will sit back, Moreno’s attacking prowess will be needed more than Milner’s adaptability. Sounds simple enough.
3. Origi/Firmino over Sturridge
Controversial I must say. But my patience with Sturridge is getting near zero. He as top notch finishing ability, but is never a team player. Decision making is really poor as well. And not to mention he can only play 25% of the time. (He has only started 1/4 of all LFC games since he joined us)
His injuries meant he lost that pace he used to have, and isn’t willing to test a centre-back’s pace one-on-one where he used to do so often. Insistence and dependence of his left leg to fire a shot. All top goalscorers know when to use their weaker foot when given the opportunity. Look at Aguero, Costa, etc. They know when to use their left leg to strike goals. Not to mention Sturridge can’t hold a ball up, like seriously, after so many years playing in EPL. He’s poor at that. Origi took 1 season in EPL to learn that. He can now do it so much better, and gives midfielders time to catch up with the play, to make runs, to relieve pressure for the team in the dying minutes.
Firmino is needed when you face teams that are vulnerable to intricate movement, off the ball diagonal runs to create space for team-mates, and to confuse a well-organised back four. You saw the likes of Arsenal and Man City unable to cope with our front four last season with Firmino leading the line.
4. GET A DEFENSIVE COACH
IE:JAMIE CARRAGHER. I have no idea how many times I have said it. Since I started supporting Liverpool I guess. We really have no idea how to defend properly. High balls, balls from wide areas, set-pieces whatever. Can’t emphasize the importance of this point.
5. Get a Plan B
Kloop’s teams doesn’t have a plan B, lets just face it. Because not many teams know how to handle their plan A.
If pressing doesn’t work, then what? Maybe we can throw on Balotelli. And play with Markovic and Milner/Mane as genuine wingers. So no Coutinho/Lallana and Firmino on the pitch. Just 2 box-to-box midfielders Can/Henderson/Grujic, 2 wingers and 2 forwards. Good old style soccer maybe. The current England manager will certainly agree. And it works.