How are teams going to stop Liverpool this season?

Sky Sports Monday Night football certainly provoked a reaction on social media.
Jurgen Klopp’s appearance captivated the audience. Charisma, knowledge and charm – the guy has it all.
Many opposing fans struggling to hate our leader. In fact most wanted him to replace their very own manager.

He openly talked about how Liverpool approached games and the formations used this season.

So far Liverpool have beaten Arsenal, Chelsea and Leicester. Last weekend Hull were on the receiving end of Klopp’s masterclass.
The question is ‘How do people stop Liverpool?’

Team celebrating – getting a familiar sight now

Creating a unit

Firstly when did it all start? When did the noticeable change occur?
Some say after that miserable night against Sevilla.

I believe it all infact started before his very 1st training session. It’s only now we are seeing how Klopp imagined we would play.

Klopp wanted to create a unit. Not a group of individuals with a common goal. But where the collective unit is greater than the combined individual components – sounds simpler than it actually is.
Look at Belgium in the European Championships. So much individual talent. But no cohesion. You could say that was us in the past.

Gone are the egos. It’s all about the team, Klopp’s ethos. At the start of his tenure everyone was on the bus. Those that don’t buy into his way will depart at the next stop – look at Sakho.

In the past we’ve had a talisman or playmaker in Suarez or Gerrard. But there’s an issue – You stop him, you stop Liverpool.

Even in Gerrard’s last season when he dropped deeper teams realised to just keep someone in his face. Don’t allow him anytime on the ball and Liverpool’s attacking would be compromised.

This year it’s different – we don’t have a playmaker or talisman. The creativity and goal threat is shared. Philippe Coutinho has 4 goals. Mane, Firmino, Lallana and Milner have 3 each.

How will opposing teams combat that?

Stifle our attack in the middle by isolating Lallana and Liverpool can use our wide men, either Mane or our Full-backs.

Mane continues to go from strength to strength..

Put 2 players on Firmino and this allows Mane or Coutinho additional space or time.
Our formation is so fluid that it’s almost impossible for opposing defenders to predict.

Who do they mark?
What space will they need to be in?

As Klopp explained, it starts as 4-3-3 with Jordan Henderson the deepest lying or holding midfield player.
Occasionally dropping back to sometimes sit just in front of the 2 centre backs. One of them goes wide, he’s there to protect.
We saw Can play this role effectively last season on a few occasions.
Carragher was in fact quick to point out that on attacks it quickly becomes 2-3-5.

Our front 3 are constantly inter-changing. Klopp stating it’s about the finishing position, not the starting one.
This method or Klopp’s Chaos Theory caused Hull’s defenders problems all throughout the game.

An important factor is that the players must win back the ball as quickly as they can.
As they move into pockets of space they need to be aware of the position they are in and the job they perform to recycle the ball quickly.

Tough to deal with

Hull skipper Curtis Davies summed it up best when he said: “They are a side which literally plays with Henderson and the two centre-halves at the back and the rest can go wherever they want.”

Henderson – true captain’s performances

“That is not ill-discipline, it’s organised. They are a very tough team to deal with when they are on their game.”

So in answer to how do they stop Liverpool? I don’t know. We have so many, varied options. Shut a door, another one opens.

Options in midfield should keep us going as the season intensifies.
Will we be found out?
Will someone find a way to stifle ‘random’ movement or play. I don’t know. It’s gonna be fun finding out though.

What do you think? Feel free to leave a comment.

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2 comments

  • Randall Tinfow

    If I were playing against LFC I’d counter attack across field into spaces vacated by Clyde and Milner. Do that often enough and wear them down.

    • Anfield Talk

      Great idea.
      At this moment in time teams haven’t looked to attack that way.
      Our 1st real test for Klopp and his style of play will be against Guardiola. He has his full backs tucking in allowing his front 5 to attack.
      Milner does have a lot of energy covering 10km+ each game. He’s just a workhorse. It’ll take a lot to tire him out though.

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