Author Topic: Liverpool's Midfield  (Read 1105396 times)

Offline Bjornar

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16520 on: October 29, 2019, 02:55:35 AM »
Most of the conversation whether about Trent or the midfield is that the way they're being used is rather unique in world football so it doesn't fit with the notion of what each player should be doing or why they should be doing it.

Agree, good post.

With Trent we have perhaps the best crosser of the ball in the world, part of what we're doing is using that IMO. And with time he could well become an even more consistent attacking threat for us with those crosses, which could be massive as they're so hard to defend when he gets them right.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 03:11:21 AM by Bjornar »
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Offline mrantarctica

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16521 on: October 29, 2019, 04:43:00 AM »
Happy to be corrected, but to my reckoning, for all this complaint about not enough goals from midfielders, I think about 50% of our last 15 goals have come from our midfielders!

Milner, Lallana, Gini, Ox and now Hendo have all scored in the last 10 games and that seems to have made up about half (or just slightly less) of our goals which is actually not too bad.

I think were all just used to Gerrard belting in goals all the time, even though he wasn't strictly a midfielder in his most prolific seasons anyway
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 04:45:54 AM by mrantarctica »

Offline ThePoolMan

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16522 on: October 29, 2019, 05:41:37 AM »
Agree, good post.

With Trent we have perhaps the best crosser of the ball in the world, part of what we're doing is using that IMO. And with time he could well become an even more consistent attacking threat for us with those crosses, which could be massive as they're so hard to defend when he gets them right.

It should be beyond reasonable dispute that both our fullbacks are integral to the spine of our team and are the world's best at their respective positions. Which other fullbacks in world football are as complete attacking wise and defensively as they are?

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16523 on: October 29, 2019, 06:59:52 AM »
Ahahaha crossing isn't a reliable way to get goals? 

How many assists did Trent and Robbo have last season?

I hate all this comparison to City bullshit. 

We don't play or set up like them.

Stick a "10" in this team, replace the FBs with proper defenders, get Mo and Sadio to get white on their boots?

Wtf for?  So we can play the same as pundits think we should.

Get the fuck out of here!!

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Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16524 on: October 29, 2019, 09:47:31 AM »
They will struggle with low blocks and issues vs the high press? Come on, we are Champions League winners and 6 points clear with just one draw against Man Utd. Our midfielders are disciplined so our fullbacks donít have to be.

I wouldnít change this winning formula.

We can have potential or actual shortcomings when certain combinations of players are on the pitch AND be a fantastic football team. The fact is, we are incredible and we have got very little wrong this season. However it is also a fact that teams have tried to nullify us (with success on occasion) by shutting down our fullbacks. When we have two players in midfield who are offering very little going forward that can be an issue. This is a perfect time to have the conversation too because we beat spurs. There's always a danger that talking about this post points dropped (utd for example), will sound like moaning. Which, given our brilliance, would be a poor look. But post a win, it's an enjoyable way of letting off steam to discuss this weakness. And it is a weakness, no matter what you say about this 'winning formula'. No one should want someone in their team giving it away as much as Henderson did on Sunday when they're offering no penetration alongside it. We potentially have the options available to us to be as solid defensively (which isn't actually that solid thus far this season), AND have more variety offensively. Why not talk about what that might look like.

Offline Magix

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16525 on: October 29, 2019, 10:08:02 AM »
I think we need to temper our expectations of what a more progressive and penetrative midfield could look like. The best balanced midfield on paper is said to be Fab-Gini-Keita, which I agree can be, but that's also putting a lot on pressure on Keita to be that transformative presence almost immediately. He needs minutes to build back his match fitness and fluency.

Offline keyop

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16526 on: October 29, 2019, 03:19:49 PM »
I donít really get why so many are keen to change the midfield. This team has been on an absolute tear lately and having a combative midfield IMO has played a big part. Hendo, Gini and Fab might not be setting the world on fire with goals and assists but are a big part of our defensive record. Obviously VVD and Alisson played a massive part in the improvement as well but I do think our combative nature in the middle of the pitch adds plenty too.

I donít think Keita/Oxlade are improvements. Theyíre good players and we need to rotate but IMO the starters are Fab/Gini/Hendo for the foreseeable future.
I think its mainly about having other attacking options when Trent/Robertson are pegged back (which is rare), or where the front 3 can't make the breakthrough (which is also rare).

I also think we still have vivid memories of a Gerrard/Alonso slide-rule pass to Torres, a Coutinho through ball to Suarez/Sturridge, or a Gerrard 30-yarder, which was so often a key factor in us winning games in 08/09 or 13/14. However, its worth remembering how porous our defence was then compared to now, and how full backs such as Arbeloa, Aurelio, Dossena, Johnson, and Enrique offered nothing like the energy, passing, attacking impetus, or assists that Trent and Robertson do.

Perhaps it all comes down to patience. I think the desire to have a more penetrative midfield (even with our points haul over the last 18 months) is largely due to the standards we need to reach to beat City to the title, and turn draws into wins, and find a way through a defence with a creative spark when needed (the Utd game being a recent example).

I think there's perhaps also a desire to get a midfield that can maximise the talents of our front 3 as much as possible whilst they're at their peak. As effective as our team is at the moment (and there's an argument to say if it ain't broke don't fix it...), there's no doubt that more penetrative balls from midfield for Mane and Salah to run onto could possibly take us up another level, and Keita and AoC certainly have that in their locker.

The argument on here is often that a more attacking midfield won't work in a system where the fullbacks and front 3 do so much of the damage (because in such a system, the midfield needs to be more robust and workmanlike). I certainly think we're quite rare in having two full backs that are so versatile and capable in advanced positions, and even the likes of Alves/Lahm at Barca and Bayern knew they could bomb forward knowing there were 3 defenders covering (not two), plus the defensive midfielder.

However, I think whoever Klopp chooses, its perfectly reasonable to hold two opposing views about our team at the same time - namely that we're champions of Europe, absolutely boss and 6 points clear, but at the same time we do occasionally lack that extra special something through the middle.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 04:39:38 PM by keyop »
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Offline keyop

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16527 on: October 29, 2019, 04:18:24 PM »
It's also worth noting that Henderson is 30 next year and Wijnaldum 29, so regardless of how Klopp adjusts things (either this season or next), it's natural to assume that Keita and AoC could be their successors given that they're only 24 and 26. Fabinho has also just turned 26 last week, so we potentially have a midfield that could all reach their peak together which would be a key factor.

If form and fitness go well then I think over the next 12-18 months we'll see a gradual move from a mostly Henderson/Gini combination to Keita/AoC, which coincidentally would be happening when David Silva will be leaving, De Bruyne will be almost 30, Mahrez 30, Gundogan 31, and Fernandinho 36. Whilst we canít put too much emphasis on what City do (and they can still spend big, of course), it does put us in a healthy position where a lot of key players are either approaching (or at) their peak at the same time between 2020 and 2022 (Alisson, Trent, Virgil, Robertson, Gomez, Fabinho, Keita, AoC, Mane, Firmino, Origi and Salah). And not forgetting James Milner of course...

By contrast, City will be increasingly looking to the likes of Sterling, B Silva, Rodri, and Sane/Jesus for inspiration and leadership, all of whom are still hugely reliant on David Silva (captain), Fernandinho (vice-captain), De Bruyne (third captain), and of course Aguero (who is 32 next year) to dictate and often win the key games. Of course, having lots of players (including the entire midfield) reaching their peak together is a double-edged sword and we'll have to properly succession-plan and reduce the risk of the kind of collapse we've seen at other clubs after a peak, but I'm sure we'll plan for that.

I think therefore a midfield of Fabinho, Keita and AoC may well be Klopp's ideal medium-long term vision, but the latter two aren't quite ready yet in terms of fitness or form (or game time together) to make the risk worthwhile - especially considering what we've achieved with a Fabinho/Wijnaldum/Henderson combination.
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Offline BrandoLFC

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16528 on: October 29, 2019, 04:52:32 PM »
The reason you would get concerned and want more from your midfielder is there is only one Trent and he can't play every game.  Same with Robbo.  You're not buying that level of talent to sit on the bench either.  So when they are tired or injured what are does the team do?  They have to play differently and is it something they even work on that often since Trent will be right back in the next game?  It sounds silly but until the title is guaranteed you have to think you can't afford to even drop a point from now until then.

Offline PoetryInMotion

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16529 on: October 29, 2019, 06:29:07 PM »
The reason you would get concerned and want more from your midfielder is there is only one Trent and he can't play every game.  Same with Robbo.  You're not buying that level of talent to sit on the bench either.  So when they are tired or injured what are does the team do?  They have to play differently and is it something they even work on that often since Trent will be right back in the next game?  It sounds silly but until the title is guaranteed you have to think you can't afford to even drop a point from now until then.

That's why Hoever and Larouci are being developed. Hoever is a mini Trent. We'll suffer in the short term in our full-backs' absence, but we can play around it and secure wins. Milner and Fabinho can play full-back and cross the ball. We'll be fine in the long term, whether or not those youngsters make the step up. We're building a solid foundation for how we play, and we have replacements ready for most positions, I'm sure we will have more full-backs for how we want to play in the future.

Offline BrandoLFC

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16530 on: October 29, 2019, 10:20:24 PM »
That's why Hoever and Larouci are being developed. Hoever is a mini Trent. We'll suffer in the short term in our full-backs' absence, but we can play around it and secure wins. Milner and Fabinho can play full-back and cross the ball. We'll be fine in the long term, whether or not those youngsters make the step up. We're building a solid foundation for how we play, and we have replacements ready for most positions, I'm sure we will have more full-backs for how we want to play in the future.

Maybe what you're saying is true about Hoever and Larouci.  In general though the chances of one of them being as good as Trent is probably close to 0%.

Offline BazC

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16531 on: October 29, 2019, 11:28:20 PM »
https://youtu.be/-FnQCpKz0k0

Thatís a good little summary that I came across on YouTube. Shows why our midfielders are more defensive - they need to be because of the nature of this team; the attacking fullbacks.

One of the interesting things I hadnít realised though was mentioned at the end of the video - the number of crosses that both Man City and Liverpool put in per game.

Kloppís built an aggressive, snarling pack of hungry wolves - he knows when there are loose ball situations, whoís coming out on top. Watching it vs Spurs was awesome at times - especially Van Dijk on Kane a couple of times (never seen Kane be thrown around like that). When it happens from the front 3 great things tend to happen - Mane, Firmino and Salah play in and around the box, Trent and Robertson supporting from deep wide areas. Crosses galore, and pouncing on loose balls. This is also why they put those low crosses into the box from corners! Theyíre not *shit* corners, theyíre trying to ping them in to cause a bit of chaos in the oppositionís defence. And this team preys on that disorder with expert precision. Awesome watching this unfold.

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Offline deFacto

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16532 on: October 29, 2019, 11:44:35 PM »
Something interesting that our Pep was mentioning today, how the front 3 are defending 6 players at once with their movement,positioning and pressure.

Offline DanA

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16533 on: October 29, 2019, 11:48:02 PM »
We can have potential or actual shortcomings when certain combinations of players are on the pitch AND be a fantastic football team. The fact is, we are incredible and we have got very little wrong this season. However it is also a fact that teams have tried to nullify us (with success on occasion) by shutting down our fullbacks. When we have two players in midfield who are offering very little going forward that can be an issue. This is a perfect time to have the conversation too because we beat spurs. There's always a danger that talking about this post points dropped (utd for example), will sound like moaning. Which, given our brilliance, would be a poor look. But post a win, it's an enjoyable way of letting off steam to discuss this weakness. And it is a weakness, no matter what you say about this 'winning formula'. No one should want someone in their team giving it away as much as Henderson did on Sunday when they're offering no penetration alongside it. We potentially have the options available to us to be as solid defensively (which isn't actually that solid thus far this season), AND have more variety offensively. Why not talk about what that might look like.

Weíve conceded the least goals in the Premier League which Iíd rate as defensively pretty solid and since Hendo moved to CM Iíd venture we have the best record in world football considering the opposition weíve played. And I would look at the whole body of work from Henderson rather than turnovers in one game.

Iím all for having options that create alternative avenue to attack from the options we have, Iím just not willing to concede that Fab/Gini/Hendo arenít in our best 11 right now when everything is ticking. Weíve been outrageously successful with them in the team. Thereís obviously going to be a transition at some point as Hendo/Gini get older. They might transition into Milner type roles but for the time being things are going very well.

To me the only change in midfield I think we should make is Lallana out for a young backup to Fabinho (Milner given another year). I donít think we should be looking for no.10ís or any significant changes in midfield because IMO both starters and rotation options have been great.

The changes we need to make IMO are the rotation/successors to Firmino/Salah/Mane. These guys are 27/28 so if we could get a 22-23 y.o to rotate behind them for a couple of years and eventually be successors thatíd be great.
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Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16534 on: October 30, 2019, 07:56:07 AM »
I agree about 10s, we already have our 10 on the pitch. On Henderson, I don't want to turn this into a bash Henderson thread, or for me to be a bash Henderson poster, but the statistics could be laid one on another to show his poor start to the season. Turnovers in one game was just one example. Of course he also scored and offers loads of intangibles that won't show up on any stats page.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16535 on: Yesterday at 06:35:20 PM »
Think that selection in midfield today was the final straw for Klopp.
We have to change from doubter to believer. Now.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16536 on: Yesterday at 06:36:41 PM »
Think that selection in midfield today was the final straw for Klopp.

Itíll be utter insanity if those three ever start a game together again
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16537 on: Yesterday at 06:38:51 PM »
Think that selection in midfield today was the final straw for Klopp.

Can't believe Henderson still gets into the team.

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16538 on: Yesterday at 06:42:14 PM »
Itíll be utter insanity if those three ever start a game together again

There's no doubt that's our go-to midfield at Anfield because our home record is so good. Wijnaldum has that performance in his locker and Fabinho is immense.

I'd say the only issue is when it doesn't work (usually away home where Gini let's be honest can be very ineffective) or we start to flag we need to be quicker to change it and we have the options on the bench to do that.

What we did well in the week was rotate the team midweek so the midfield came into the game today refreshed. That's the key. You can't flog the same three every game but in terms of our main midfield our home record speaks for itself.

Offline Suareznumber7

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16539 on: Yesterday at 06:47:10 PM »
Gini was fucking brilliant today.  Man of the match for me. 

Offline PoetryInMotion

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16540 on: Yesterday at 06:57:02 PM »
How good were Fabinho, Gini and Hendo today. After Hendo was taken off, we lost control of the game. It shows why these three are the preferred midfielders and I'd have them all in the big games where it's open and chaotic. We can afford to rest them in the games against bus parkers and lower sides, but in these big games, they're so crucial in choking the opposition with their press and then keep ticking the ball in simple ways.

Offline duvva

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16541 on: Yesterday at 07:55:10 PM »
Think that selection in midfield today was the final straw for Klopp.
How many final straws has he got?

Donít understand how he gets away with continuing to pick these 3, some correlation with results perhaps? Complete mystery

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16542 on: Yesterday at 08:47:09 PM »
How good were Fabinho, Gini and Hendo today. After Hendo was taken off, we lost control of the game. It shows why these three are the preferred midfielders and I'd have them all in the big games where it's open and chaotic. We can afford to rest them in the games against bus parkers and lower sides, but in these big games, they're so crucial in choking the opposition with their press and then keep ticking the ball in simple ways.

We need the three of them in tough, open games, at least until Keita is fully up to speed. Just wish Gini could play like that away from home.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16543 on: Yesterday at 08:55:29 PM »
We need the three of them in tough, open games, at least until Keita is fully up to speed. Just wish Gini could play like that away from home.

Fabinho indespensible now.

Yep, he's fucking shite.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16544 on: Yesterday at 09:02:00 PM »
We need the three of them in tough, open games, at least until Keita is fully up to speed. Just wish Gini could play like that away from home.

Fabinho indespensible now.

Does it not get tiresome constantly, like literally every time, having to insert a negative into everything you post? Top of the league by 8 points, big win against Man City where our midfield pretty much destroyed theirs and again you just canít help yourself :D
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Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16545 on: Yesterday at 09:15:07 PM »
Does it not get tiresome constantly, like literally every time, having to insert a negative into everything you post? Top of the league by 8 points, big win against Man City where our midfield pretty much destroyed theirs and again you just canít help yourself :D

We can get carried away if we win the league. Need to stay grounded.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16546 on: Yesterday at 09:17:14 PM »
How many final straws has he got?

Donít understand how he gets away with continuing to pick these 3, some correlation with results perhaps? Complete mystery

He only picks them to piss off idiots on Twitter who clearly know better than him.

Offline athreyakb

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16547 on: Yesterday at 09:26:28 PM »
Shouldn't have taken Hendo off for Milly. But what a game those 3 had in the middle of the park today! World class.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16548 on: Yesterday at 09:28:29 PM »
Shouldn't have taken Hendo off for Milly. But what a game those 3 had in the middle of the park today! World class.

Why? Sensible thing to do.

Milly did well as always plus remember Hendo has been ill.

Offline deFacto

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16549 on: Yesterday at 10:18:09 PM »
We can get carried away if we win the league. Need to stay grounded.
No we dont because we arent on the pitch performing. The players are grounded and its one of the reasons they have been  successful.

You would think that a manager would see that Wijnaldum doesnt play well away from Anfield in the 4 seaons hes been here. Oh wait....

Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16550 on: Yesterday at 10:26:19 PM »
What a ball from Henderson for the third.

Offline PoetryInMotion

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16551 on: Yesterday at 10:39:17 PM »
What a ball from Henderson for the third.

He contributes nothing to the attack nor in possession. All he does is pass backwards and run hard at the opposition.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16552 on: Yesterday at 11:04:49 PM »
Its got a fine purr at the moment.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16553 on: Yesterday at 11:05:13 PM »
Good to see them getting some praise on MOTD2.

Offline The Test

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #16554 on: Yesterday at 11:34:27 PM »
We lost control as soon as Hendo left the field. He was everywhere today. The reality is Klopp would quickly sell any player he didn't think was essential to this team dynamic which has won us the CL, the third highest points total in history and equaled the best ever start in the league.  We can bullshit all we want about how much better this team would be with sexy attacking mids but thats just ignoring the real dynamic of this team.

We do what we do better than anyone else in the world right now, and we do it without a james maddison / riquelme / ozil type.  I'd even go as far as to say that the midfields due dilligence is carrying the attack at the moment (manť excluded)