Liverpool are looking like a new team with the arrival of Jurgen Klopp. Since then, there has been a new style and attitude in the Liverpool team whenever they take to the pitch. The last 5 games for Liverpool, have really started to reflect the Klopp way and they have won 4 games and lost 1 (despite putting in a strong performance). It is also the same team that Rodgers had, as Klopp came mid way through the season and has had no chance to deal with any signings.
So, what are the positives that the Klopp’s Liverpool are showing?
- Attacking Threat
Liverpool are once again possessing an offensive threat. In 2014/15 and the early parts of 2015/16, the Liverpool attack was toothless. The first 11 matches, during Rodgers’ time, the club was able to score more than one goal in a match just once, in a 3-2 win over Southampton.
They took time to find their rhythm and adapt to Klopp but in the last 5 games, Liverpool have opened their offense. The most notable performances were a 4-1 win over Manchester City at the Ehitad followed by a 6-1 win over Southampton in the League cup at Saint Mary’s. Another notable mention has to be a 3-1 win over Chelsea in October. Its also good to see people other than Couthinio score, with Firmino, Sturridge, who has made his return from injury, Benteke, Milner, Ibe and Ogiri all finding the back of the net.
Offense is the best defense sometimes and as long as Liverpool can score more than the opposition, they get the 3 points.
While there have been just 3 clean sheets in the Klopp era, the backline of Liverpool are more sturdy than they were at the start of the season. The backline has made fewer casual errors and are able to nullify threats very well. At Manchester City for example, Skrtel and Lovren were able to tame the city attack well and Moreno and Clyne troubled them on the flanks on both the attack and defence. Its just now a matter of trying to marginally improve their defending, especially with Sakho set to return who enjoyed a good opening few games with Klopp before getting injured.
- Direct Threat
Liverpool are no longer a team that keeps passing the ball around. They press and counter attack, having a more direct approach when trying to score a goal. If they cannot go through the center, they will just pass it and play it through the wings. They rarely string together long passing moves and do not pass back often, increasing the tempo of the game and allowing them to create more chances for scoring, in the classic Gegenpressing style that Borussia Dortmund had become famous for under Jurgen Klopp
- Multiple Attacking set ups.
Klopp can set up the side to produce different attacking set ups. Daniel Sturridge and Ings are strikers that can move quickly and wave their way through players. Benteke is a powerful striker with physical strength to act as a more traditional forward, capable of holding the ball up and presenting an aerial threat. Firminho and Ogiri are two players that are not traditional strikers, but can operate as a False 9 or play at the tip of an offensive midfield.
Klopp is able to now shape a team around the need of the opposition, to try and allow his side to attack on multiple ways. Agaisnt Manchester City, they played without Benteke leading the line-up and scored thrice. Against Southampton, Daniel Sturridge led the Liverpool line and Ogiri also played a pivotal role. So depending on the match, Liverpool can change their attacking patterns.
- Team Effort
If anyone watches Liverpool game, the team plays with a whole new intensity. The forward players try to win the ball back if they lose it up front, and they track back in numbers to assist the defensive players. The defenders are holding the opposition and play the ball out fast. Special mentions have to be made to Alberto Moreno and Nathaniel Clyne who contribute at both ends of the pitch.
Liverpool are now, a threat on the counter attack, able to quickly bring bodies forward in number after a set piece, something previously a rarity when they preferred a slow build up. There is more energy, and with Henderson nearly back at his best after a long injury lay-off, the engine of the midfield is back to lead the team.
Sports is such an amazing passion. A content writer of NBA