- Jan 3, 2008
While I agree that they way we're set up is conducive to being more open and is probably more taxiing for the defenders, I don't think that those 30 minutes were a matter of physical exertion. After going 3 goals up and completely dominating them, we fell asleep. We became complacent and stopped playing. All three of their goals involve one or more players failing at the most basic of things like in the case of their second goal preventing the free kick from being taken quickly and tracking their scorer. Salzburg is a good team but they weren't nearly as threatening before that 30-minute spell or afterwards when Klopp changed the system.I made the point about rotation because the way we are playing this season is tiring, for both CBs but particularly for the midfielders. We are so high up that they have to keep pressure on the ball. If we relax at all and give quality players time they will just pick us off and exploit the spaces. If JK is going with Fabinho, Henderson and Gini every game and expects them to play like that then we're going to have to expect a drop off in intensity in the midfield occasionally and that leaves us exposed. If rest isn't an option then changing the way we are set up might be.
Our midfielders were goosed in that second half. It may be early season but they are doing a lot of chasing and last night they came up against a team that was at least as fit as we are. Probably the fittest team we'll face all season. We were overrun in that second half until the substitutions and the change of shape, at which point we looked like we had a semblance of control again.
Obviously we are brilliant and Klopp is a genius. I don't want to give the impression that the world is falling in on us because it isn't. I just think there is an inherent risk in the way we are playing this season which was exposed last night.
It was a weird night from start to finish. In the first 35 minutes we were absolutely imperious, in the following 30 the worst we've been all season. In the end we scraped through but in all honesty it's set the alarms off for me. Seeing the team being this absent-minded wasn't good. Particularly when one of the culprits was Van Dijk, who had his worst game for the club by a mile.
One thing is for sure. Saturday's game against Leicester suddenly feels more important and difficult.