You do have to look at the situation, is Moreno good enough for Liverpool FC?
2 years ago the man from Sevilla signed for Liverpool FC for £12m. This was off the back of a very successful league and European Campaign. Sevilla pride themselves on attacking flair with a tough solid defence protecting them.
Having come through the ranks of the club there was a big weight of expectation that surrounded the 22 year old. Someone who could defend and had an eye for goal.
Upgrade to Moreno on the cards? Liverpool after Jonas Hector, with a potential signing.
According to goal.com Jurgen Klopp said that Moreno had his best performance since he took over at the club against Stoke. Where he opened the scoring with a long-range effort as Liverpool won 4-1. “I would say Alberto had his strongest performance since I’ve been here,” said Klopp.
But when, how and why have the anfield faithful turned against him….? Or is it just sections of the media hyping it up? Is he really good enough for Liverpool? Surely he is as less than 6 months ago it was even mentioned that Moreno was going to be approached by Madrid so the quality must be there…
Comparison with other Left Backs.
I thought I’d compare Moreno with 2 other Left Backs in the Premier League, Danny Rose and Nacho Monreal, as well as with Jonas Hector who Liverpool have been chasing for a while. I have also included the statistics for Nathaniel Clyne to see how we have coped down the right hand side, to see if is the player or potentially our tactics.
Comparing what makes a good defender, the basic stuff….Tackles won, Blocks and errors leading to goals. Then comparing the attacking threat of Successful Take-ons and Key Passes.
All the players played between 24 and 37 league games. With between 2129 and 3252 mins for their respective clubs. So a lot of game time to make it a fair comparison.
What is evident is the amount of actual defending Moreno does actually do. Highest Tackles made shows he is doing his job and stopping the attack. Whilst a lot of this is him tracking back utilising his pace, you may have to question if he weren’t so far up the field would the challenge present itself…?
For me the number of blocks made tells a story…just 5 in total. Where Hector is the highest with 13 and Rose and Monreal are both on 11. Rose’s figures being the more impressive due to less game time. Would this be down to a lack of positional sense? Could it be that a shot occurs when he is out of position and unable to force a block where Clyne has managed more with 8.
Is Moreno good enough for Liverpool?
These are things that can be worked on? He can continue to look at videos and work out with the coaching team where he needs to be. But is it all his fault?
Moreno’s comments when asked about Klopp’s tactics; “He always says that he wants me to attack, but above all I have to defend and be in my position.”
This is the case, Moreno does attack. With a massive 57 key passes being made, more than double that of his Premier League counterparts. When the heat maps of average position ate produced for each game, Moreno is much further forward than Clyne.
Clyne typically has Lallana or Milner in front of him. Whilst they aren’t typical wingers or inside forwards, they don’t cut inside as frequently as Coutinho playing ahead of Moreno does.
Coutinho to all his credit doesn’t offer the same defensive cover as Clyne receives on the other flank. Whilst this is not an excuse it’s a reason why if he’s being utilised as the left outlet that he’s occasionally out of position….! Player or tactic…? “I know that I am a defender and defending is the most important thing but if I see an apportunity to attack I will do it as well.” Despite this, not once was dud any of his individual errors cause a goal.
Klopp is a very clever astute guy. He knows what he’s doing and has an amazing set up around him. Moreno is young enough to improve. Is he good enough or should he be replaced with someone like Hector? At 24, he still has his best years ahead. This is his, like many others 1st pre-season with Klopp. I’m sure he will improve. There is a lot of talk about mistakes being made, yes he’s made a few…but he hasn’t been sold, nor has a rival been purchased. I’m sure private words have been spoken and he knows what he needs to do this season to avoid being used as a scapegoat again.
The Sevilla game caused the biggest problems…we were chasing the game, whilst Moreno was caught out of position trying to get us that vital 2nd goal….
But, had he not been out of position it may have been a different picture. Was he doing his job, i.e what he’s asked to do or is he just a bad defender. Well the stats don’t lie….he’s not flavour of the month. But he will be come September…just you wait.
What did you think? Feel free to leave a comment.
I really hope that you enjoyed this article.
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