Mizgan Ahmed on 9th November, 2015
It was exactly a month ago, a charismatic German Jurgen Klopp signed a three-year deal as the new Liverpool manager. A ray of hope and expectancy revolved around the Merseyside, people of the city actually turned from being a doubter to believer.
Now let’s see how Liverpool have been in terms of performance level so far under Klopp, yeah its only seven games but there have been some significant things that has improved already and some that still needs to be brushed upon.
This has been the general formation of Liverpool under the German, a 4-3-2-1 with Lucas there as the protection for center backs and two wide midfielders(Milner and Can) spreading and helping out the fullbacks in pressing and be a cover for them whenever needed. Coutinho and Lallana behind the center forward, they are actually a bit narrow and look to switch positions whenever possible which enables them to be free from their respective markers. The two fullbacks Clyne and Moreno start little deeper and look for overlaps when possible, whenever Liverpool play out from back the fullbacks tend to be very wide and stretch the opposition from both sides of the pitch.
Performance so far
Well 22 days, 7 matches spreading across England and Europe, coming out with just one loss should be considered a good start provided Klopp barely had time in between the matches to impose his philosophy and not to forget, some very key players are missing from the squad. The first game was a tough one, an away trip to Spurs with no experienced striker and only two days of training under the new manager. Liverpool actually surprised everybody with the performance and deservingly got the point in North London. Then games against Sion in midweek and Southampton at home looked winnable but conceding in crucial moments was still in Liverpool’s faithfulness,so both games eventually ended as a draw, Liverpool registered their first win under Klopp when they squeezed past Bournemouth in a League Cup tie in Anfield. Then came the big one, match against struggling champions Chelsea in London, promised to be a belter as Chelsea were looking to make this match as a marker for improvements in their game, Reds conceded early and it looked like Chelsea have the necessary lift they needed, but after conceding Liverpool looked a different side, as if conceding early pumped them up for the game, they came back and won the game 3-1 eventually. This was the ‘Klopp launch’, a statement victory at the home of the champions made everybody think about Liverpool a touch too hard. The next one was a tricky trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan, a wobbly pitch and extreme conditions but Liverpool played through it and won an impressive game. Final game before the International break against Crystal Palace and it looked like European hangover and playing 7 games all in space of three days took toll of players and they were desperate for the break, a game against the bogey team was just too much of a ask, Palace won a deserved game and Liverpool head into another International break with a loss but lots of improvements and promises to go with.
Let’s just point out certain areas in which Liverpool have improved a bit so far :-
- The pressing game is back at Liverpool which was missing since last season.
- Attacking second balls and pressing opposition high up the pitch has been the feature.
- There has been less side-wise passing, playing back to Mignolet has been least preferred.
- The players are now playing in their own positions which is also a good thing to happen.
- Coutinho, Can, Lucas, Ibe, Lallana, Firmino, Sakho, Moreno, Clyne are all flourishing under Klopp and look a different side in a month’s time.
Some areas to look into
- Decision-making in the final third still needs a brush up, it looks like as if players are in two minds whether to go wide or play narrowly, fullbacks need to cross better to get likes of Benteke in the game.
- Set piece defending as well as attacking needs to improve, zonal-marking is not working, set piece takers needs to improve, too many corners and free kicks are just being wasted and it can be costly when it comes to big away games or when you are struggling to score from open plays.
- Players and fans need to keep their heads up till the final whistle even if they are trailing, this is the most important thing that needs to be taken care, a psychological thing basically but mindset needs to improve if you concede or if you are trailing.