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Football News: Team Review - Liverpool

Team Review - Liverpool
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Team Review - Liverpool

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League Position: 3rd


Ins And Outs

Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig

Harry Wilson to Fulham
Taiwo Awoniyi to Union Berlin
Xherdan Shaqiri to Olympique Lyonnais
Marko Grujic to Porto (loan)
Georginio Wijnaldum to Paris Saint-Germain
Rhys Williams to Swansea City (loan)
Ben Davies to Sheffield United (loan)
Ben Woodburn to Heart of Midlothian (loan)
Sheyi Ojo to Millwall (loan)



Alisson Becker
Caoimhin Kelleher
Loris Karius

Unusually Liverpool are a team that are more in need of getting rid of a keeper than bringing one in. Their first three are excellent for their level, though Kelleher could probably do with more regular first team football to aid his development. The problem is the extra body in Karius. Not so much about his ability, he has the potential to be a very good goalkeeper, but his attitude stinks. That is why he will never be the player he could be and players like that are best moved as far away as possible from the club before they infect younger, impressionable players.



Virgil van Dijk
Ibrahima Konate
Joe Gomez
Joel Matip
Nathaniel Phillips
Andrew Robertson
Konstantinos Tsimikas
Trent Alexander-Arnold
Neco Williams

On paper a strong group but they have all missed significant portions of recent seasons through injury, which has to be a worry. Added to that, Klopp seems to rely on Matip, when he can stay fit, despite his utter inability to defend against a player with any kind of pace. Matip seems to think he has become Beckenbauer with his marauding runs, but until he finds an end product that does not immediately kill any space he created with that run, Matip is not helping matters. It is time he learnt to take a shot or pass actually somewhere that a player can run onto it, rather than having to stop and retrieve it to rescue it. To paraphrase Cruyff, a good pass is not one that reaches its intended recipient, it is one that puts it onto the correct foot and in a way that he can use it.



Naby Keita
Curtis Jones
Thiago Alcantara
Jordan Henderson
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain
James Milner

With the flexibility of Elliott and Minamino able to add to this group, it is a strong group, enough in a normal season to push for a league title. With the current situation, and its requirement for so many players to miss matches simply due to being contacts, there simply is not the cover to cope in the way Man City can. Added to that, Keita is a very weak link, offering nothing defensively apart from an ability to shirk a tackle and not track back. It is very reliant on Jones, Thiago and Elliott to provide creativity and that has been a problem with Jones and Elliott missing most of the season through freak injuries and Thiago's fitness unreliable.



Sadio Mane
Diogo Jota
Takumi Minamino
Mohamed Salah
Harvey Elliott
Roberto Firmino
Divock Origi

Normally you would say this is Liverpool's true strength, but right now it seems that only Salah is anywhere near his best and even he is beginning to look like the demands placed on him have taken their toll. Mane is out of sorts, Firmino has been injured most of the season, Klopp does not trust Minamino, Elliott, when fit, was in midfield and Origi is only there for last gasp goals of import. That leaves Jota, who has completely unbalanced the attack by playing in the centre, due to his poor touch, poor passing and inability to link the play. He does score goals, though not at the rate of Salah, but offers absolutely nothing else to the team, which is a problem in the system they play.


Manager: Jurgen Klopp

He has a lot of difficult decisions to make, but he has been simply delaying the inevitable for most of this season. Sticking by Matip, no matter how often he is exposed, when Konate has plainly been bought to be the long term partner for van Dijk, is doing nothing but slowing down the process of those two building a partnership. Jota plays best on the left, has been awful in the centre, but Mane has been awful on the left, clearly Jota has been brought in to take that spot in the long term. Again it is time to put him there and let him develop an understanding with Robertson/Tsimikas. Mane can play on the right or the centre, so why not give him that chance to shake him out of his malaise?



In a normal season you would have Liverpool as potential title winners, but this season is, like last time out, coming down to having the strongest squad depth due to the amount of players having to miss games due to the pandemic issues. The trump card they have to play is Klopp, while he is not perfect, he still has that ability to drag performances out of the team in extreme circumstances. He is going to need to do that a lot over the second half of the season if this team is to win the league.


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Written by Tris Burke December 30 2021 16:25:27


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