Author Topic: Liverpool's Midfield  (Read 1590212 times)

Offline ScouserAtHeart

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18640 on: September 6, 2022, 04:31:09 pm »
Who's Napoli's coach now anyway
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Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18641 on: September 6, 2022, 04:40:33 pm »

Keita/Ox aren't going to play much / at all it seems
Milner can then be eased out

Carvalho isn't really a midfielder
Henderson, Thiago, Arthur, Fabinho are all injury prone
Jones is a mystery

and the only players we are moving are Keita/OX/Milner

But these players won't be at the World Cup and will presumably be fit by then, therefore will be back involved. Unless Keita has kicked his last ball for the club, Ox is just written off, or we have another bunch of injuries, it'll be hard to facilitate another signing in January.
Could have done with Grujic and even Chirivella to tide us over this season

Offline ljycb

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18642 on: September 6, 2022, 04:46:13 pm »
City should have had the tie done and dusted in the first leg anyway, regardless of dominating the second leg as well. Weren't they 2-0 up early on and all over Real? 3-1 up and getting in behind them at will. They should never have come out of that game with a 4-3.

In regards to 2018 City were 30 points better than us that season but completely wilted at Anfield. Yeah you can credit our crowd for that but like I said they still bottled it. It was only a couple of months earlier we'd scored 3 quick goals against them at Anfield so they should have been ready for that, although in the league game they recovered and nearly came back. It was the lack of so much as an away goal that put the tie beyond them. Obviously Barca bottled it here as well but we were a better side than Barca.

Yeah, the first leg was poor game management from City in fairness. They had done very well in the second leg to take the sting out of the tie, but given how much better they were in the first leg, to not be out of sight by the time the second leg kicked off was not great. Youíve changed my mind!

Offline Redric1970

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18643 on: September 6, 2022, 04:55:48 pm »

Keita/Ox aren't going to play much / at all it seems
Milner can then be eased out
Carvalho isn't really a midfielder
Henderson, Thiago, Arthur, Fabinho are all injury prone
Jones is a mystery

and the only players we are moving are Keita/OX/Milner

Your post is spot on our midfield is a bit of a mess buddy, linked with a £60mil (probably crap sources) jan move for barella apparently he would be my dream signing, if only.
« Last Edit: September 6, 2022, 04:57:30 pm by Redric1970 »

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18644 on: September 6, 2022, 05:08:55 pm »
Your post is spot on our midfield is a bit of a mess buddy, linked with a £60mil (probably crap sources) jan move for barella apparently he would be my dream signing, if only.

If Barella is suddenly available it's a deal we might do (like Diaz last January). I think he's one on our top list of targets, like Bellingham, that wasn't gettable in the summer, at least not without offering what we'd deem well over the odds to tempt the clubs to sell (i.e. Chelsea with Fofana). Caidedo perhaps in the same bracket.

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Offline Dave McCoy

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18645 on: September 6, 2022, 05:24:32 pm »
Nothing has really changed for me. Our best possible season depended on always having two of Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago or Keita on the field in games that mattered. That hasn't happened and explains a lot of why we are where we are. Time will tell if you can replace Keita for Arthur in that list but if not then the odds of us seeing the best possible version of LFC this season are pretty slim as then you're counting on always having two out of Fabinho, Hendo or Thiago available. Odds are we'll have more games then with non-ideal midfield lineups like this past weekend that then effect our results.

Offline Redric1970

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18646 on: September 6, 2022, 05:33:21 pm »
Nothing has really changed for me. Our best possible season depended on always having two of Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago or Keita on the field in games that mattered. That hasn't happened and explains a lot of why we are where we are. Time will tell if you can replace Keita for Arthur in that list but if not then the odds of us seeing the best possible version of LFC this season are pretty slim as then you're counting on always having two out of Fabinho, Hendo or Thiago available. Odds are we'll have more games then with non-ideal midfield lineups like this past weekend that then effect our results.

I had massive hopes when we were first linked with keita, I actually went to the emirates to watch Leipzig play arsenal when we were linked with him, unfortunately injuries have blighted his career with us.

Offline Redric1970

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18647 on: September 6, 2022, 05:34:24 pm »
If Barella is suddenly available it's a deal we might do (like Diaz last January). I think he's one on our top list of targets, like Bellingham, that wasn't gettable in the summer, at least not without offering what we'd deem well over the odds to tempt the clubs to sell (i.e. Chelsea with Fofana). Caidedo perhaps in the same bracket.

Barella is different class if we did somehow get him and bellingham thatís job done for me but that wonít happen.

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18648 on: September 6, 2022, 06:16:20 pm »
Barella is different class if we did somehow get him and bellingham thatís job done for me but that wonít happen.

Not without some sales but because of how poorly we've planned the midfield succession we won't get the sales now to offset a couple of big signings.

The attack was refreshed with Diaz and Nunez this year but we sold Mane and Minamino to help finance that as well as released Origi and we didn't make any other significant signings (Carvalho and Ramsey relatively cheap and younger low risk signings) so could make Nunez our net spend for the year more or less. Had we got Tchouameni (particularly for the price it would have took) it's doubtful we could have got Nunez as well, for example.


Could have done with Grujic and even Chirivella to tide us over this season

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18649 on: September 6, 2022, 06:26:32 pm »

Offline MPowerYNWA

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18650 on: September 6, 2022, 09:48:41 pm »
See Jones has just got injured again.   

Mentally I have written off the availability or otherwise of Jones, Kieta and Ox - so they donít even feature in my thinking about LFC midfield to be honest.

Thiago is injury prone  but you accept it for the talent he is when he does become available - thankfully when he comes back he doesnít take too long to get back up to speed.

Arthur has a reputation as a crock - not sure why we keep doing this to ourselves. Our sports science department often thinks we can physically resurrect a player that other clubs havenít managed to doÖ
« Last Edit: September 6, 2022, 09:50:28 pm by MPowerYNWA »

Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18651 on: September 6, 2022, 10:01:33 pm »
Nothing has really changed for me. Our best possible season depended on always having two of Fabinho, Hendo, Thiago or Keita on the field in games that mattered. That hasn't happened and explains a lot of why we are where we are. Time will tell if you can replace Keita for Arthur in that list but if not then the odds of us seeing the best possible version of LFC this season are pretty slim as then you're counting on always having two out of Fabinho, Hendo or Thiago available. Odds are we'll have more games then with non-ideal midfield lineups like this past weekend that then effect our results.

Thiago will miss 40% of our games, Keita has disappeared off the face of the earth, Henderson is no longer a player you want in your first 11 at 8. If we're relying on this we're screwed.

Offline Jwils21

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18652 on: September 6, 2022, 10:33:46 pm »
Remember there being a lot of clamour around the idea of Alexander-Arnold in midfield a year or so ago. Surprised that shout hasnít resurfaced much lately especially with Gomez having some good games recently and us signing a young RB in the summer. Maybe itís too big a system change atm.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18653 on: September 6, 2022, 10:36:09 pm »
Remember there being a lot of clamour around the idea of Alexander-Arnold in midfield a year or so ago. Surprised that shout hasnít resurfaced much lately especially with Gomez having some good games recently and us signing a young RB in the summer. Maybe itís too big a system change atm.

Unfortunately Ramsay is also injured so our new rb cover is an unknown quantity at the moment.

Offline Dave McCoy

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18654 on: September 6, 2022, 10:51:29 pm »
Thiago will miss 40% of our games, Keita has disappeared off the face of the earth, Henderson is no longer a player you want in your first 11 at 8. If we're relying on this we're screwed.

You say this because of how the season has panned out so far but at the time the plans for this summers transfer window were made, last winter/spring, the club clearly didn't agree with that assessment.

Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18655 on: September 7, 2022, 07:38:34 am »
You say this because of how the season has panned out so far but at the time the plans for this summers transfer window were made, last winter/spring, the club clearly didn't agree with that assessment.

I've been saying something alone these lines for ages but yes the club clearly weren't there, up until the point they, or at least Klopp, very much was, in the last 3 weeks of the transfer window. That said, they were also saying to themselves 'we need to spend £60+ million on a CM' or whatever they were willing to spend on Tchouameni) to upgrade, in the winter/spring.
« Last Edit: September 7, 2022, 08:14:55 am by Knight »

Offline bird_lfc

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18656 on: September 7, 2022, 07:41:28 am »
But these players won't be at the World Cup and will presumably be fit by then, therefore will be back involved. Unless Keita has kicked his last ball for the club, Ox is just written off, or we have another bunch of injuries, it'll be hard to facilitate another signing in January.


Yeah wouldnít count on either of them being fit mate letís be honest :D

Offline Fromola

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18657 on: September 7, 2022, 08:54:17 am »
Remember there being a lot of clamour around the idea of Alexander-Arnold in midfield a year or so ago. Surprised that shout hasnít resurfaced much lately especially with Gomez having some good games recently and us signing a young RB in the summer. Maybe itís too big a system change atm.

Gomez is currently our starting CB. Ramsey yet to be seen.

James Milner came on for Trent the other day (hopefully that doesn't happen again).
Could have done with Grujic and even Chirivella to tide us over this season

Offline SamLad

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18658 on: September 7, 2022, 06:17:54 pm »
Remember there being a lot of clamour around the idea of Alexander-Arnold in midfield a year or so ago. Surprised that shout hasnít resurfaced much lately especially with Gomez having some good games recently and us signing a young RB in the summer. Maybe itís too big a system change atm.
I raised that a week or two back and was greeted with the usual nonsense responses eg "He's an RB!!"  "He's not a midfielder!!"

you'd think moving a player in a time of dire need was a fucking mortal sin or something.

Offline MH41

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18659 on: September 7, 2022, 07:42:59 pm »
I raised that a week or two back and was greeted with the usual nonsense responses eg "He's an RB!!"  "He's not a midfielder!!"

you'd think moving a player in a time of dire need was a fucking mortal sin or something.
I was always of the opinion that why would you move a player who is the best in the world in what he does in that position, but I'm coming round to thinking it might be an option to try, or we will never know.
I think back to Gerrard. He could have been the best RB in the world. Benitez even made him play on the right side of midfield until he was ready to become one of the finest midfielders to grace the game. Beckham is another one perhaps who could have excelled at RB, and was certainly a much better option than the man who actually played there then....
JŁrgen knows best, but it would be interesting.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18660 on: September 7, 2022, 08:32:20 pm »
That wasn't on the midfield was it,Joe is getting rinsed every fucking time
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Offline stoj

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18661 on: September 7, 2022, 08:32:40 pm »
I'll rephrase it, we ain't winning shite with this team

Offline 6BigCups

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18662 on: September 7, 2022, 08:34:08 pm »
The team looks finished

Offline WhereAngelsPlay

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18663 on: September 7, 2022, 08:34:18 pm »
I'll rephrase it, we ain't winning shite with this team

Maybe you should fuck off then mate.
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Offline mattD

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18664 on: September 7, 2022, 08:36:23 pm »
I don't know what the fuck is going on. They're all playing like an assembled retired legends XI, so sluggish, no energy. What the central defence are doing in this match I have no idea.

While there is a squad issue here with a severe lack of options in midfield, it's the lack of intensity that is worrying. Everyone looks run into the ground. Genuinely losing all physical and athletic battles here. This is the thing we pride ourselves on.

Something is not right off the pitch with conditioning and fitness.

Offline stoj

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18665 on: September 7, 2022, 08:39:13 pm »
Maybe you should fuck off then mate.

Tough boy hey? It's bloody obvious from watching tonight, we are getting shredded. Milner should be off before he gets sent off

Offline stoj

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18666 on: September 7, 2022, 08:39:57 pm »
I don't know what the fuck is going on. They're all playing like an assembled retired legends XI, so sluggish, no energy. What the central defence are doing in this match I have no idea.

While there is a squad issue here with a severe lack of options in midfield, it's the lack of intensity that is worrying. Everyone looks run into the ground. Genuinely losing all physical and athletic battles here. This is the thing we pride ourselves on.

Something is not right off the pitch with conditioning and fitness.
Totally agree dude

Offline MonsLibpool

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18667 on: September 7, 2022, 08:40:04 pm »
We couldn't find the "right" midfielder lol. There are 100 out there that are currently better than Milner.

Offline WhereAngelsPlay

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18668 on: September 7, 2022, 08:40:21 pm »
Tough boy hey? It's bloody obvious from watching tonight, we are getting shredded. Milner should be off before he gets sent off


You've given up on everything,so what's the point.
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Offline plura

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18669 on: September 7, 2022, 08:40:43 pm »
There's lot of goals to be scored against this Napoli team, if only Salah was back on the pitch and not his double. Another unfortunate is that there's lot of goals to be scored against us too.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18670 on: September 7, 2022, 08:41:45 pm »
Make 4 subs at half time Kloppo.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18671 on: September 7, 2022, 08:42:07 pm »
Tough boy hey? It's bloody obvious from watching tonight, we are getting shredded. Milner should be off before he gets sent off



Its not obvious at all. Just because our current form is poor it doesn't mean we aren't winning anything this season. There is still a long way to go and lots can change.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18672 on: September 7, 2022, 08:43:24 pm »
Defensive issues aside, our attack looked better for a brief period with Salah up top, Trent actually had room to overlap and Elliot was able to make runs in behind and get at players.

Elliot isn't a midfielder he's a forward, when we play him and Salah on the right they just stand on each others toes and congest that area of the pitch. With some midfielders coming back I hope we can go back to a more orthodox three and hopefully see that right side start to function properly again.

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Our Midfield and the Transfer Window
« Reply #18673 on: January 3, 2023, 10:15:45 pm »
Not sure if this deserves its own thread, if not feel free to merge with the relevant topic.

We as a team have struggled this season after unrelenting march of the previous seasons where we have won it all. It would seem all and sundry have voiced their opinion on whatís gone wrong at the club
Looking at how our midfield functions and how we have operated in the transfer market over Jurgens tenure to meet the needs of his midfield throws up quite a few surprises.

Firstly, we look at the typical Klopp midfield, first and foremost its functional, his gegenpressing system relies on winning the ball back early up the field which relies on physicality and tenacity. Being a technical player is not so important as catching a team in transition as they open themselves up to attack should have any Liverpool level midfielder able to exploit the space available to them on a turnover. Its been the core trait of Klopps Liverpool since he's been here and only being up against a sports washing Guardiola City side has he not won double what he has already.
You would think knowing what we do about what is required of our midfield we would over the past seven years prioritised a certain type of midfielder, a dynamic midfield general in the mould of Keane/Viera/Kante/Makelele, or a hybrid of Alonso/Mascherano if you want to stay closer to home.

The stats however seem to show something entirely different. In Jurgens first season before a player could be signed the first team players at his disposal that I would consider midfield controllers were Henderson, Milner, Allen, Lucas, and Can.
Over the summers of 2016/17/18 we lose the services of Allen, Lucas, and Can respectively. That leaves Henderson and Milner, who are still at the club now, as our controlling midfielders. You would think considering the way we play would focus our recruitment on replacing those we have lost like for like [taking into consideration an increase in quality of course], but looking over the entirety of Klopps reign how many players do you think we have signed over the past seven years who could be classified as a midfield controller? For me its TWOÖjust two, and one of those is a converted winger in Wijnaldum, with the other being Fabinho.

The majority of our midfield signings have been more of the playmaker, creative type which belies the notion that all Jurgen expects of his midfield is to be functional. From his first season he utilised the likes of Lallana and Coutinho in central positions to link the midfield with the attack and in transfer windows since that time he has added midfielders that drive forward and be creative [yes I paint with a broad brush here] in the likes of Chamberlain, Keita, Shaqiri, Elliot, Minamino, Thiago, and Carvalho.

There are those in that list who can put there foot in and dictate play, I just think they are more the playmaker than the midfield general type, Iím sure many will have their own opinion.
Our current options in midfield by type look overloaded towards the more attacking variety of midfielder with the few controllers we have looking like they are past their best. We only have three in my opinion, after Wijnaldum left and two of them were already at the club when Jurgen arrived. Milner at 37 should only be an emergency back up/early round cup player to guide the kids through. Henderson at 32 has played a hell of a lot of football under Jorgenís very demanding tactics, and it looks like the cracks are starting to show. This leaves Fabinho at 29 the youngest of the three but still on the cusp of his thirties. For me he was never the quickest, a Hamann as opposed to a Mascherano but this season he looks to have lost a yard of pace he never had in the first place, hopefully not permanently, time will tell.

There are those who could point to a change of style from the early years heavy metal football to a more controlled possession based system as the reason our transfers for the midfield have focused more on the creative midfield type the last few years.
Regardless of this shift in style both systems need the ball to be won for us to use it, whether that be more directly in the gegenpressing system or more patiently in the possession based system. Lets not forget that yes winning the ball back in midfield sets you up to attack, it also prevents you from being attacked, so a failure of your midfield to perform that ball winning function will indeed blunt your offence, it also shows through as your defence being exposed to midfield runners again and again.
Is this not the exact issue we have seen this season as we have looked overwhelmed and lacking control, which is a core tenet of Jurgenís style, however it is tweaked.
I know I am not the first to point this out and I wonít be the last but it would seem we have persevered to long with players who are just not physically up to the task anymore, compounded with a lack of like for like players to rotate them in and out of the team.

We looked to have identified this issue with the targeting of Tchouamťni in the summer only for him to choose Madrid. Hey It happens, there are plenty of players who have come in rumoured not to have been first choice who have gone on to become club legends. Itís the lack of second and third choice options that have everyone up in arms, and rightly so when an issue has been identified but you limit yourself to one player who could easily decide to go elsewhere, as they did. Jude Bellingham by all accounts is someone we seem to have put a lot of effort into pursuing but it seems to be a thing where we monitor players to the point we are outmatched financially in obtaining them, as could be the case with Enzo Fernandez.
Even then Bellingham for the great player he is seems to be more of a driver through the midfield who creates and scores, although a player like that would be fantastic would he really solve the issues we have?
For me all the issues highlighted here are maybe not the cause of all our woes this season, they are most certainly an aspect of them.

We hear of resignations of our nerds and statisticians who identify players, and next season looks like weíll have our third director of football in as many seasons. There looks to be some turmoil behind the scenes at the club, with the entirety of the club more than likely up for sale as well meaning the foundation of the club looks fragile. I hope these issues can be worked through and more legs added to the midfield, if that happens I would be more than hopeful our fortunes would change, if the players we need are added and nothing changes then Iíd really start to worry.

Offline Dave McCoy

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18674 on: January 4, 2023, 02:00:02 am »
Kloppís system is what it is now. The 18/19 and before tactics are long gone. I think we pine for what got us here without realizing thatís not what Klopp wants anymore. Though honestly I have no idea at times what it is but hardworking and industrious it is not and hasnít been for almost 2 full seasons now.

Really itís just a balance issue in my mind. Weíve badly got that wrong this season for a variety of reasons.

Offline Knight

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18675 on: January 4, 2023, 06:16:53 am »
Milner is not and never was a controller for us though. In reality he was quite a creative CM. He also worked very hard, ran a lot and got stuck in. But just because someone is a Ďrunnerí doesnít mean theyíre a controller. You seem to be conflating athletic ability with controllers. Take Thiago for instance. If he isnít a controller literally nobody is. He controls the game. Heís defensively very good, tactically very astute and his press resistance and progressive passing enables us to take control of games. Henderson on the other hand has been a brilliant runner for us but is very capable of massive 40 yard sprints to close down a CB when heís our 6, leaving us with a big hole where he should be. Controllers donít do that.

What we havenít done is replaced legs (by which I mean pace, endurance and strength) in midfield. We bought Keita and Ox who both had decent athletic ability but not outstanding. And injuries have probably robbed them of a few percent physically. We bought Fabinho whoís not the most athletic. We let Gini go who was athletically a real specimen and replaced him with Thiago whoís brilliant but isnít very quick. We signed 2 youngsters in Elliot and Carvalho to play as midfielders when neither are that quick (Elliot is slow for a PL footballer) and both are pretty lightweight. Theyíre willing but ineffective runners.

Some people have blamed our total loss of identity in midfield on an attempt to add more creativity into midfield. Iím not convinced we have tried to do much of that in the traditional sense of the word. Weíve tried , successfully, to add more press resistance and ball progression into midfield. The move from Gini to Thiago is emblematic of this. Perhaps Elliot and Carvalho are attempts at adding creativity but they feel more like Klopp working with what he has/ has been given to me. The thing is, we donít need to choose between athletic ability, controllers, pass progression/ press resistance or chance creation. Plenty of players offer some of all 4. But at the moment most of our players can only do one, if that.
« Last Edit: January 4, 2023, 06:58:52 am by Knight »

Offline spider-neil

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18676 on: January 4, 2023, 06:58:56 am »
When Klopp first arrived his midfields were based on power, physicality and mobility and we counter pressed the heck out of teams. Over time teams engaged less in the middle of the park and dropped deeper. With most teams dropping deep against us weíve had to adopt a more possession based game and the midfielders used arenít as mobile or powerful but are instead more technical. And now here we hear with a smaller, slower, less powerful midfield. Also, time has caught up with the mobile powerful midfielders still on our books.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18677 on: January 4, 2023, 10:28:29 am »
Kloppís system is what it is now. The 18/19 and before tactics are long gone. I think we pine for what got us here without realizing thatís not what Klopp wants anymore. Though honestly I have no idea at times what it is but hardworking and industrious it is not and hasnít been for almost 2 full seasons now.

Really itís just a balance issue in my mind. Weíve badly got that wrong this season for a variety of reasons.

I've thought about this much of last season and all of this one, and the more I look at it, the less I think it's just an issue of balance and tactics and more that we just don't have the right personnel in there. Any club that doesn't just spend big every year, has to go through periods of team building/transition and then boom periods where everything clicks. We have entered a transition period, and how we negotiate those challenges will have a big say on the kind of success we have in the next 5 years.

The main issues are:
- do we have an understudy for Trent to take him out of the firing line once in a while? Perhaps Gomez?
- who will be in the 3-4 top CBs that we will have in the post- VVD/Matip era? I think Ibou is pretty nailed on to be one, but I'm less sure about Gomez and Phillips.
- who are our 3 midfielders, and what balance will we strike there? i.e. do we want a DM, do we employ runners, do we field a no.10?
- how will Klopp reformulate his tactics to suit the personnel we have, or will he adapt and evolve to find new ways to beat top teams?
- where do the likes of younger players such as Curtis, Harvey, Carvalho, Morton and Bajcetic fit into the team and its continued evolution?

I don't think these issues require solutions in 1 transfer window, but I expect that how we answer these challenges in this season and by the end of the next season will play a large role in how the next 3-5 years look for us in terms of competing for all the major competitions again.

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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18678 on: January 4, 2023, 11:42:09 am »
People underestimate the importance of our forwards pressing from the front to create turnovers in possession. I think one of the key things making our midfield look bad is the fact that our forwards are not contributing collectively to our press anymore, which was the norm with the likes of Mane and a much more hard working Salah.

Saw some stats about our drop in terms of winning the ball higher up the pitch, in the final 3rd compared to previous seasons. Will try to find the exact numbers and post it here. Ultimately I think we are asking too much from our CMs, given their physical decline and limited contribution from our front 3. 

I don't think the midfield would be a problem if we a) had forwards who press like mad the way Mane used to like previous seasons b) deployed a more controlled approach with greater emphasis on ball retention in midfield as opposed to playing speculative passes way too often leading to loss of possession with all our CMs in vulnerable positions.

I don't have the numbers or data to back it up, but I feel Salah's defensive work rate and pressing in general has fallen compared to previous seasons. Essentially, our midfielders used to have a lot of help from the forwards in our most successful seasons, in my opinion.

I could be wrong, but I earnestly feel laying the blame squarely on our CMs is unfair.

As mentioned, I will try to dredge up some comparative numbers to back my assessment.
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Re: Liverpool's Midfield
« Reply #18679 on: January 4, 2023, 11:57:10 am »
When Klopp first arrived his midfields were based on power, physicality and mobility and we counter pressed the heck out of teams. Over time teams engaged less in the middle of the park and dropped deeper. With most teams dropping deep against us weíve had to adopt a more possession based game and the midfielders used arenít as mobile or powerful but are instead more technical. And now here we hear with a smaller, slower, less powerful midfield. Also, time has caught up with the mobile powerful midfielders still on our books.

But who is more technical than before? Thiago, and that's about it. Elliot is "a technical player" I suppose, but only in that he completely lacks the physical attributes that a midfielder needs unless they are truly elite technically, and he's miles away from being that right now (which isn't to say it won't happen). The others have simply declined. Henderson and Milner have been overtaken by age to varying extents, Ox by repeated injuries, Keita by his inability to stay fit for long periods of time whilst playing regularly, and who knows with Fab? Most of that lot had physicality as a primary quality, and Gini too, when he was here. We've added one seriously technical player, Thiago, who now also seems to do most of the hustle and aggression in midfield, which will soon burn him out or lead to injury.

We haven't changed our players, because we haven't bought any midfielder of note, apart from Thiago, since 2018, which is really quite mad. And now we're planning to go another season like this, with a group that can't physically compete and aren't technically amazing either. No wonder we're struggling. We don't unlock deep defences any better than we did when we were all-power in midfield, and we concede chances with alarming ease.