Liverpool 2020-2021: Jurgen's Heroes

Clears Cleaver

Lil' Bill
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At this point you have to be concerned about not only Gini leaving, but Salah and Mane'. If there is no champions League next year, both might bolt.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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So .. what’s the competition for top four? Basically City (a lock for the league as well) , Leicester , Chelsea, Spurs ,and ManU U.

Pretty much see it like this:

City - stone cold lock
Man U - 75%
Liverpool -75%

Chelsea - 50%
Leicester - 40%

Spurs - 10%

Next weekend’s trip to Leicester is obviously huge. They really have to restore their mojo.

Hoping Klopp starts bedding in the new boys .. also really looking forward to Fabinho returning as the Six. Starting to think Henderson’s future .. now and going forward - is a CB.
 

Clears Cleaver

Lil' Bill
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I think your percentages are wrong. I don't see how LFC can make the top 4 with this team. And I suspect that Salah will be gone
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Alisson is officially in his own head. If he doesn’t get out of it quickly he may never be a useful piece again.
Well .. I mentioned this in the game thread .. Allison was very much into sweeper keeper mode today, and was playing very well. Given that Kabak (who looks kind of slow on first observations) was on his debut and up against the likes of Vardy and Barnes that was understandable. On the play in question Kabak looked to be beaten by the pass so I don’t think it was an Allison gaffe to come for it. The error was in not communicating to Kabak that he had the ball. Kabak gets to it and it ricocheted off Allison straight to Vardy.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Getting back to the Thiago discussion. On his debut he looked terrific against Chelsea , acting in the FabI Alonso role ... deep lying mid distributing the ball all over the field. But this was against 10 men who couldn‘t put any pressure on him. He’s looked at his worst when he’s being asked to “get stuck in” and contribute to the press. He’s just too slow and is giving away fouls as a result. He kind of reminds me of Jorginho when he came into the league and seemed to transform Chelsea. But the league adjusted (constantly pressing and hassling him) and his influence faded.

So what to do with him? How can they free him up to have time on the ball? For starters they have to get Fabinho and Henderson back into midfield. The whole team has been ruined by the decline of a once imposing midfield.

I guess it’s a pick your poison scenario .. weakened back line vs weakened midfield. So let’s pretend Kabak and Davies are sufficiently bedded.

I‘d play a midfield double pivot of Fabinho and Thiago. Mix and match Gini and Henderson and hopefully Keita if he’s ever healthy. Against the more defensively minded teams I’d play a 4-2-3-1 getting Jota into the mix.
 

SocrManiac

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You’ve hit on the problem. The Thiago type only works if he has an enforcer compliment with an unlimited engine. Without Henderson or Fabinho alongside Thiago is a liability.

The devastation of the back line is something you can only laugh at. It’s insane. It’s unbalanced the whole side. Anybody looking for Klopp’s head needs their own examined. No club can carry on as normal under these circumstances.

The defensive reinforcements are stopgaps. They didn’t sign a Van Dijk equivalent. Hell, they didn’t sign a Matip. These guys are there to move Fabinho and Henderson into the midfield. Liverpool will still leak goals in situations that would have been a non issue with VVD back there, but they shouldn’t be as toothless going forward.
 

67YAZ

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One plausible explanation is that Thiago is suffering a kind of COVID hang over that is sapping his fitness. I don’t know that this is the case, but hopefully? I mean, LFC broke their own transfer rules to make this deal and it already looks to be a disaster.
 

coremiller

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Perfect storm of injuries, some key players starting to age out of their primes, and massive minutes of high intensity football over the last three seasons catching up to some players.

There are definitely some similarities to Klopps's 14-15 BvB team.
They're also underperforming their xG this season after way overperforming xG the last two years. That's making the decline seem bigger than it actually is. Liverpool were due for some natural regression anyway.
 

SocrManiac

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I have a lot of thoughts I’m having difficulty articulating.

If this team can emerge from this season with anything to show for it, it will be more impressive than the title.
 

67YAZ

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Utterly tragic. And he likely won't be able to travel home for the funeral, which is even more painful. YNWA.
 

Vinho Tinto

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Utterly tragic. And he likely won't be able to travel home for the funeral, which is even more painful. YNWA.
There is no chance he will be allowed to travel to Brazil and return. Arsenal/Benfica are playing matches in neutral sites due to the appearance of the Brazilian strain of COVID in Portugal.
 

SocrManiac

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Great question in The Athletic this morning...

Should Fabinho return to Liverpool’s midfield or stay at centre-back?

With the Brazilian potentially making his return from injury against Chelsea this Thursday, it’s a question Jurgen Klopp and his coaching staff will be addressing — especially after centre-back pair Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak’s clean sheet against Sheffield United last time out.

It was in the game at Stamford Bridge earlier this season when Fabinho was first deployed at centre-back. He was Liverpool’s man of the match in a comfortable 2-0 win.
I'm glad I don't have to answer it. I'd prefer he do both.

Rumors are also swirling that Salah is going to represent Egypt in the Olympics. My immediate thought is "no," but there's a reasonable argument that if he gets to bear his country's flag that the personal honor outweighs the club's preferences. I could be swayed.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Great question in The Athletic this morning...



I'm glad I don't have to answer it. I'd prefer he do both.

Rumors are also swirling that Salah is going to represent Egypt in the Olympics. My immediate thought is "no," but there's a reasonable argument that if he gets to bear his country's flag that the personal honor outweighs the club's preferences. I could be swayed.
Fabinho’s return ..Quite frankly, if he’s going in as a CB I’d prefer pairing him with Phillips. Haven’t been particularly impressed with Kabak. Kind of depends on the opposition I guess. Up against Werner then Phillips might be too slow .. but he’d be ideal against Giroud. But it’s practically impossible to predict who Tuchel will start. I’d go with Fabinho / Kabak to be safe.

Salah .. far too much political pressure to deny him the Olympics .. of course, it may be a moot point given the actual likelihood of them taking place.
 

SocrManiac

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While it's easy (and correct) to shrug off the results under these injury circumstances, the damage that will be done to the club by missing out on CL will be devastating for years to come.

If they're going to do it, do it right and miss Europa, too...
 

coremiller

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The two previous seasons, Mane scored 40 goals on on 29.9 xG. That was never likely to continue. This year he's having a finishing slump. Sometimes you just run cold for a while.

The good news for Liverpool is that his xG/90 stats haven't changed at all, so he should be due for some positive regression.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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It seems to me that the issue isn't really with the forwards at all when it comes to goal scoring. Last year by my count Liverpool got 32 goals from non-forwards, this year they've gotten 8 such goals. I assume its a combination of moving goal-scoring midfielders back into defense, not being able to throw so many men forward in general, and just not having VVD to chip in 4-5 goals on set pieces.
 

67YAZ

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Fabinho in the midfield sure made everybody look good, if only for one game.
Absolutely. It also made Thiago look not as bad? The calculation for Klopp is whether Fabinho shielding Phillips & Kabak is better than Thiago shielding Fabinho & Kabak. I'd pick the former, but we shall see...

Glad they broke their "home" losing streak. Now to stomp all over Wolves and go into the break with some momentum.
 

swiftaw

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There are some leaks of the purported kit for next season. I miss New Balance.

 

67YAZ

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I dunno, the emoji is a surprising design touch and clearly the best part of this jersey.
 

SocrManiac

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For this year, they took a Haines sport undershirt, copy/pasted the required logos, then read the LFC Wikipedia page to find a historic color and vaguely stitched the resulting collar and trim on to it. Next year they’re doing the same thing, minus reading Wikipedia.
 

teddykgb

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Nike is always lazy and template driven. I’m surprised you’re so negative it looks like a classic and straightforward Liverpool shirt. It’s worse when they get all experimental
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Zomp

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He may be brilliant, and in a lot of circles he’s considered better than Upemecano.
But his injury record scares me.

but I think for his release clause you do it, of course.
 

67YAZ

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RedBird and FSG announce that the former has become the 3rd largest partner in the latter - 10% at $735m. In case you were wondering where the Konate money was coming from.
 

67YAZ

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This is fun - Robbo played 270 minutes over the break and of course Tsmikas tweaked a hammy, too.

Isn’t like the one thing Scotland has is a pile of left backs?
 

Tuff Ghost

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This is fun - Robbo played 270 minutes over the break and of course Tsmikas tweaked a hammy, too.

Isn’t like the one thing Scotland has is a pile of left backs?
Yeah, Scotland seems okay with running their star left-backs into the ground. Tierney also got 259 minutes, this after the last international break when he got 300 minutes in 3 games (one went to penalties). Perhaps Tierney and Robertson can consolidate with a single shared injury break at the Arsenal-Liverpool match Saturday after they pull their hammies in the name of Scotland.