The transfer season is now almost over. No more speculation on who Liverpool are going to or should get. The squad we have is now ours for the season.
There may be the odd minor adjustment in January. The question is who would Jurgen Klopp now chose as his no.1 man to lead the line? Is Firmino Klopp’s chosen one?
There is naturally a lot of people who say it should be Daniel Sturridge. Quite rightly so. His goals to game ratio is superb. However with the opening few games of the season there has been a slight change.
Is Firmino Klopp’s chosen one?
We need ignore the game against Burnley, that was and I hope will be a one off. Look at the way the team was set up against Arsenal and Tottenham. Two teams we are challenging with for a top 4 place.
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We have played 4-3-3. With Coutinho and Mane either side of Firmino.
I honestly believe this will be Klopp’s chosen front 3 due to Firmino’s work-rate and ability to press the opposition.
It looks as if Klopp certainly doesn’t trust Sturridge for the big games. I would go as far to say that Sturridge would only really start against the teams that you’d assume we’d beat.
By utilising his pace to stretch the defence. Giving him an opportunity will more than likely result in a goal. This is something Firmino can’t guarantee.
What can Firmino offer against the big teams…?
Against the top teams, which was evident against Arsenal and Tottenham there was a battle for supremacy. It’s all about winning the battle in the centre of the park. By denying the opposition not only space but time.
How can they do this?
Liverpool either play a total press— Firmino is in the side to do this, leading from the front starting it off. With everyone falling in behind, chomping on the bit ready to snap at their heels.
The alternative is that they work out who’s the oppositions worst player at the back. Then they’d harrass the opposition to get them to move the ball to him. This is when they would close him down in the hope of forcing an error.
Klopp utilises Firmino’s strengths
Liverpool really benefit from Firmino’s movement, he is so hard to mark. Pulling his marker around creating additional space for his colleagues to take advantage of.
At Hoffenheim Firmino tended to play close to the penalty area as this is where he can cause a lot of damage. This is how he recorded such impressive statistics in the Bundesliga. 3rd in fact to Robben and De Bruyne.
What he can’t do is defend…
That’s correct. He can harass, press, force an error allowing his team mates around him to pounce. But he can’t ‘defend’…so unlike Rodgers, Klopp isn’t expecting him to.
Klopp has mentioned about the starting position of his players. This was a statement made about Sturridge playing ‘out of position’. Mane and Coutino like move inside to play central. With Firmino harrassing and forcing errors he’s giving these players who ‘started’ wide the opportunity to come central.
Firmino did play exceptionally well against Tottenham last weekend. He managed to set a chance for Philippe Coutinho. He also started to look his usual sharp and menacing self.
What does Firmino say about Klopp..?
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has heaped praise on his manager Jurgen Klopp, labelling him as ‘the best I have worked with’,
“In Germany, this style of pressing happens a lot. I like his mentality. He brings his own philosophy, which is working for us. We are looking forward every day to improve.”
Not a one man team..
His goal return is aleays something that will mean fans will be on his back.
We are not set up to be a team that has a Kane or a Vardy. Someone who the play directs through all the time. They do eventually get found out and often have that ‘2nd season syndrome’. Where they’ve been studied to death and get marked all season. Often having to reinvent them self or do something different.
Firmino is the locksmith.
Is Firmino Klopp’s chosen one..? Probably..however, he may not score the goals. But with Coutinho and Mane either side of him and Wijnaldum and Lallana behind him, he has the skills and knowledge to unlock the many doors allowing them through. Firmino is the locksmith…!!
This will be harder to predict. Harder to plan for…it may just work.
You know if it doesn’t we have Origi or Sturridge sitting on the bench ready to explode…
What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment. I really hope that you enjoyed this article. If so, feel free to subscribe to my newsletters.