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Pre-match: Liverpool v Napoli/Lyon

Richard88

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Dec 7, 2017
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238
Thanks for sharing that.

I notice that at the 4:10min mark Klopp got asked about what will happen to Wilson, and although he didn't provide a straightforward answer, I think the manner in which he responded is extremely telling:

"We have to do what's right for the club, and for the boy, so that's how it is..... There's nothing to talk in public about it, so we will see what will happen in the next 8-9 days until the window closes. But he's obviously a really good player".​

He then talked a bit more about how he has liked Wilson in preseason, but the general tone was rather defensive, as if he was trying to justify why he doesn't think Wilson is good enough for the team.

The fact that he says things like "[doing] what's right for the club", "there's nothing to talk about in public", and "we will see what happens in the next 8-9 days" makes it obvious that the club are looking to sell him before the window closes.

I think the writing has been on the wall already the last 1-2 years as Wilson has kept getting loaned out rather than staying to develop with the first team as Klopp usually tends to do with players that are promoted into the first team. The signing of Harvey Elliott in the exact same position as Wilson also pointed to Wilson being moved out.

As for why Klopp doesn't fancy Wilson, I think it has to do with a few features of Wilson's game, both on and off the ball.

In attack, Wilson seems to be more of an individual flair player, drifting in and out of games whenever the ball happens to be near him, rather than sticking to structured attacking patterns of play.

Granted, he can come up with moments of brilliance, but those often mask the fact that he often struggles to link up with teammates and is often relatively quiet in games apart from those moments.

Today's game was a perfect example of that, where very little play seemed to be channeled through his side on the left, and when it did very little came of it. But then he popped up with a fantastic goal and people forget that he's been relatively uninvolved until then.

Off the ball Wilson isn't a very tenacious presser, and so combined with the aforementioned features of his game, it makes sense why Klopp wouldn't fancy him, despite his obvious knack for scoring screamers from outside the box.

That all said, if and when Wilson does get sold this coming week, I'm sure we'll hear a brigade of people moaning about how we're even shorter in attacking options than we were before, even though Wilson wasn't even here last season and thereby doesn't constitute a detraction from our 18/19 squad.

On that note I'd also point to the fact that Elliott didn't seem out of place at all today in his 30 mins with the First XI, and I wouldn't be surprised if he sees some minutes this season. Compared to Wilson I thought he did a much better job of linking up with teammates and being involved constantly, along with creating chances in attack. I also found it particularly interesting to see him get a few minutes on the left as well, suggesting that he could be an option there too.

As such I think it's likely that this will be the attack we go into the season with (assuming of course that the club get an acceptable offer for Wilson):

Mané ---- Firmino ----- Salah
Elliott ----- Origi ------- Shaqiri
----------- Brewster ------------
 

Richard88

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This match was a good summary for the entire pre season. This is what I saw:
  1. Youngsters - Hoever, Brewster, Elliot, VdB, Lewis, Duncan, Larouci. They all had a nice run in, but none of them actually made an honest claim to be part of the senior team on a regular basis. With perhaps the exception of Brewster, I will be surprised if any of them will be part of a match squad ( barring injuries ). Gomez, Fabinho, Milner will continue to provide cover for LB and RB positions this season.
  2. Wilson & Kent - While Kent is supposedly sick and missed this match, like Wilson I don't see either of them making a big enough impression on Klopp to keep them. If Someone would offer Klopp 25M for Wilson, he will drive him there himself. Kent probably will go for even less. I don't think either of them has a future under Klopp. This is not to say they are not good players, and might go on to be great players, I just don't think Klopp see them fitting in to his plan.
  3. Lallana - Perhaps the most interesting thing in pre season was his shift to the #6 role. I doubt it was a makeshift change, but something Klopp is seriously thinking about. I got to say, he really impressed. While I doubt he has now taken over Fabinho's spot, I think Klopp will use him there more than people think. I would even say thta he migh tbe used rather against better oppositions rather than those we expect to have 70% of possession. The reason is, the more possession we have, the more our FB's are taking positions up field and we are playing with the DM in front of 2 CB's which means the positional awareness to sniff out fast counter attacks is more important. However, when p[laying in a crowded midfield, getting yourself free and making a smart pass is more important, which is where Lallana can be effective.
  4. Attack - Origi, Brewster, Shaq and Gini all had a go, and it didn't look good. Salah and Bobby came back, and everything looks different. Basically, our plan B is nowhere near good enough.
  5. Keta, Ox - Klopp banked on both of them to be " new signings" for this season. He still hasn't figured out how exactly to balance the midfield.
  6. CB's - While VVD is an automatic, i am not sure who Klopp will pick out of Matip, Gomez and Lovren to start the season along side him. Matip was excellent last season, Gomez is the future, and Lovren has proved he is a fine CB and had a good pre season as well.
Some good thoughts there, some of which I agree with and some of which I don't.

1. I disagree that none of the players you listed made a claim to be a part of the first team.
  • Hoever in particular featured in every preseason game and was consistently a stand out performer and should be our backup RB this season.
  • Brewster looked good until later in preseason when heavy training caught up with him, but he showed enough to show why he's being given an opportunity.
  • Elliott looked like he fit seamlessly into the team today, looking like the most dangerous attacker in a lineup full of first team players; and on that basis I would expect him to be involved with the first team this season, albeit with limited game time other than the cups.
That said, I do agree with your assessment of the others. Van den Berg, Duncan, and Lewis all still look quite raw and are still at least a year away from the first team. I haven't been particularly impressed overall by Larouci, but he may get a start if we play lower league opposition in the cups given our lack of natural LB's behind Robertson.​

2. I completely agree with you here. It's pretty clear from what Klopp said in a recent press conference that Kent will be sold rather than loaned. Wilson will also likely be sold, for reasons that I discussed in more detail here:

Thanks for sharing that.

I notice that at the 4:10min mark Klopp got asked about what will happen to Wilson, and although he didn't provide a straightforward answer, I think the manner in which he responded is extremely telling:

"We have to do what's right for the club, and for the boy, so that's how it is..... There's nothing to talk in public about it, so we will see what will happen in the next 8-9 days until the window closes. But he's obviously a really good player".​

He then talked a bit more about how he has liked Wilson in preseason, but the general tone was rather defensive, as if he was trying to justify why he doesn't think Wilson is good enough for the team.

The fact that he says things like "[doing] what's right for the club", "there's nothing to talk about in public", and "we will see what happens in the next 8-9 days" makes it obvious that the club are looking to sell him before the window closes.

I think the writing has been on the wall already the last 1-2 years as Wilson has kept getting loaned out rather than staying to develop with the first team as Klopp usually tends to do with players that are promoted into the first team. The signing of Harvey Elliott in the exact same position as Wilson also pointed to Wilson being moved out.

As for why Klopp doesn't fancy Wilson, I think it has to do with a few features of Wilson's game, both on and off the ball.

In attack, Wilson seems to be more of an individual flair player, drifting in and out of games whenever the ball happens to be near him, rather than sticking to structured attacking patterns of play.

Granted, he can come up with moments of brilliance, but those often mask the fact that he often struggles to link up with teammates and is often relatively quiet in games apart from those moments.

Today's game was a perfect example of that, where very little play seemed to be channeled through his side on the left, and when it did very little came of it. But then he popped up with a fantastic goal and people forget that he's been relatively uninvolved until then.

Off the ball Wilson isn't a very tenacious presser, and so combined with the aforementioned features of his game, it makes sense why Klopp wouldn't fancy him, despite his obvious knack for scoring screamers from outside the box.

That all said, if and when Wilson does get sold this coming week, I'm sure we'll hear a brigade of people moaning about how we're even shorter in attacking options than we were before, even though Wilson wasn't even here last season and thereby doesn't constitute a detraction from our 18/19 squad.

On that note I'd also point to the fact that Elliott didn't seem out of place at all today in his 30 mins with the First XI, and I wouldn't be surprised if he sees some minutes this season. Compared to Wilson I thought he did a much better job of linking up with teammates and being involved constantly, along with creating chances in attack. I also found it particularly interesting to see him get a few minutes on the left as well, suggesting that he could be an option there too.

As such I think it's likely that this will be the attack we go into the season with (assuming of course that the club get an acceptable offer for Wilson):

Mané ---- Firmino ----- Salah
Elliott ----- Origi ------- Shaqiri
----------- Brewster ------------
3. I enjoyed Lallana's performance today, but I'd be surprised if we see Lallana in the No.6 role again this season, at least against anything above lower league opposition in cups. Our defensive system relies heavily on having someone who cuts out counter-attacks, but with Lallana as the No.6 today we were clearly very susceptible to that, particularly in the early stages of the game. I think his deployment as a No.6 this preseason has simply been a way for Klopp to manage Lallana's fitness by putting him in a role on the pitch that hasn't put as much physical strain on his body.

4. I agree that Origi and Brewster were quite underwhelming today, but Shaqiri had a tidy outing. Based on today's game I also think Elliott could have an impact this season; he looked very inventive and direct in attack, and didn't at all look out of place with the first team.

5. I wouldn't be too concerned about tactics and the midfield being balanced when we're obviously prioritising fitness levels over anything else. For one, as I said above we'll probably not see Lallana as the No.6 again, and based on last season it's also unlikely that we see Shaqiri play as a No.8 in a 433 either (most of his appearances last season involved a shift to a 4231 formation).

6. I agree. We're blessed with having a very strong group of CB's, and beyond Van Dijk I think the 2nd CB spot will simply be a matter of whoever is fit and in best form at any given time.
 

scouseheadross

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Decent game, we looked pretty sharp to a man. Perhaps the French were behind in fitness though.

Frightening pace throughout our team now. Gomez and Ox could really give us that extra push.

Can't believe preseason is over. Guess we have to start taking it seriously again? Not sure I've recovered from last season yet!

@Richard88 your post wasn't so good I'd read it twice after pasting into s different thread!!!
 

Danny_

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Ooh, that’s harsh. He showed great composure and awareness to put that goal in. It was a lot harder than it looked. It was no tap in.
I agree but a lot of average strikers would have taken that chance. I don't think he is bad at shooting. It's his all around link up play that isn't that great. I hope I am wrong but I have never rated him.
 

lfc.eddie

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This team we have now really took the phrase "we let them score" literally. The only way anyone could ever get one past us is if our own players fuck about and messed up. That's what happened with Alisson coming back cold, and that's that from Lyon's attack.
 

richieh10

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I love it when Fab gets fouled.... he don’t react but defo has a little look to see who just done him.... seems to gravitate towards them for the rest of the match

Not seen him play yet but that Elliott sounds a player. Somebody else mentioned a few posts back that he tore a strip off Hendo as well during the match.... you gotta have bowling balls for bollocks to be 16... transfer to the champions of Europe and fucking lay into the skipper for a shit pass / not chasing back (or whatever it was for) - think the lad could be good.

He is probably gonna get a world of shit for the Harry Kane video thing as well but I honestly don’t feel this will get to him... in fact be good to start him v Spurs
 

GermanRed

from doubters to believers to sky-high achievers
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Ahh ok, maybe @GermanRed was posting a future lineup and I thought maybe this team took the field
Just wanted to point out the potential.
With Hoever, SvdB, Larouci, Elliott and Brewster (maybe Wilson too if he stays) we have 5-6 young talents who could by the end of the season have a more important role in our squad than for example Moreno had last year.
 

LFCFFC

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Interesting to see peoples' thoughts on Wilson, especially since it looks like he was out on the left. Absolute banger of a goal, but apparently not much else to his game.

Assuming no one else is incoming, I'd still be in the keep camp, purely as a chop out for Mane. After an exhausting PL/CL campaign + AFCON, you'd think he'd benefit from having a game off intermittently throughout the season.

In saying that, I suppose there's little value in keeping someone who we don't have faith will be able to keep the machine running while Mane/Salah are having a break. It does sound like Elliot was more than capable too.

Thank fuck I'm not in charge.
 

Zinedine Biscan

Spreading the word of St Igor
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It seems to me that Div does not tend to follow through and carry on running for the ball. Again, today he stopped chasing, and missed an opportunity to force another chance. Not too much compliant though, like the other said, he scores the important one by loitering around.

For Alisson, well, he got the howler out of the way. We are all good!
I remember last preseason thinking Origi looked absolute rubbish, which was disappointing as I'd hoped he'd come back from Germany looking to stake a claim. Then he went on to have the season he had for us.

I wouldn't be upset if history repeated itself.
 

Retro Helix

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This match was a good summary for the entire pre season. This is what I saw:
Attack - Origi, Brewster, Shaq and Gini all had a go, and it didn't look good. Salah and Bobby came back, and everything looks different. Basically, our plan B is nowhere near good enough.
Keta, Ox - Klopp banked on both of them to be " new signings" for this season. He still hasn't figured out how exactly to balance the midfield.
Totally agree.
 

Richard88

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Decent game, we looked pretty sharp to a man. Perhaps the French were behind in fitness though.

Frightening pace throughout our team now. Gomez and Ox could really give us that extra push.

Can't believe preseason is over. Guess we have to start taking it seriously again? Not sure I've recovered from last season yet!

@Richard88 your post wasn't so good I'd read it twice after pasting into s different thread!!!
Forgive me for posting again here, I didn't realise it would bother anyone. Rather, I figured that since there was discussion about Wilson in multiple places that it would be of interest to other posters too, if only to read a different perspective on why Klopp might be looking to sell Wilson.
 

Limiescouse

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I remember last preseason thinking Origi looked absolute rubbish, which was disappointing as I'd hoped he'd come back from Germany looking to stake a claim. Then he went on to have the season he had for us.

I wouldn't be upset if history repeated itself.
I think Div is a good example of how different people view footballers. He has big holes in his games and many fans cannot see those. He has an absolute ton of strengths that some people appreciate but many fans cannot see those past all the holes.

Interesting to see peoples' thoughts on Wilson, especially since it looks like he was out on the left. Absolute banger of a goal, but apparently not much else to his game.
I think one of the things with him is that he does play the game differently than anyone else who has made himself important in our squad. I think the player he most closely resembles is Shaq, and despite his obvious quality and important moments of production he too has struggled to establish himself. While Mane, Salah and Divok all play that wider role looking to get in behind all the time, Wilson and Shaq like to play in front of their defender, get the ball to feet then look to make something happen. I think we as a side need to play to them rather than expecting them to be Mane and Salah
 
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FGred

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I think Div is a good example of how different people view footballers. He has big holes in his games and many fans cannot see those. He has an absolute ton of strengths though and many fans cannot see those past all the holes.


I think one of the things with him is that he does play the game differently than anyone else who has made himself important in our squad. I think the player he most closely resembles is Shaq, and despite his obvious quality and important moments of production he too has struggled to establish himself. While Mane, Salah and Divok all play that wider role looking to get in behind all the time, Wilson and Shaq like to play in front of their defender, get the ball to feet then look to make something happen. I think we as a side need to play to them rather than expecting them to be Mane and Salah
He is a big dilemna for Klopp but it would break my heart if we let him go as you said we kept Shaquiri and Divock for particular skills this lad will make us rue the day we let him go.
 

GermanRed

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Did Shaqiri play as a #8 yesterday and was it the first time?
 

Zoran

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In a 4-3-3, yes, for the first time. Was the RCM. Didn't like him there (a few bad touches/passes when found deeper), but he had good performers close to him in Lallana, Keita, Hoever, Salah and Bobby, so collectively it was okay.
 
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GermanRed

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In a 4-3-3, yes, for the first time. Was the RCM. Didn't like him there (a few bad touches/passes when found deeper), but he had good performers close to him in Hoever, Salah and Bobby, so collectively it was okay.
Think short passes are one of Shaqiris weaknesses - in that area he was very bad vs. Barca.
 

Incognito

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So who's doing the honours of starting the city thread? Lot of contenders from last year, hope we haven't sold them this transfer window.
Would be wonderful to have @Scott Jones with his amazing opening posts from last year; especially since it is city lol
 

Quagmire81

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Watched second half of Lyon game and we look sharp and ready for the new season. Like anyone else I was also impressed with the 16 year old Elliot, very mature for his age I reckon. Seem to be a clever footballer already, now the coaching team have to sharpen all the phycical atributes he'll need and he could turn into a world class player before he hit 20... givin he's as mature off the pitch as on it... which only time can tell.
 

shachart

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I remember last preseason thinking Origi looked absolute rubbish, which was disappointing as I'd hoped he'd come back from Germany looking to stake a claim. Then he went on to have the season he had for us.

I wouldn't be upset if history repeated itself.
In fairness, excluding the Barcelona match, he was rubbish ( his goal in the finals was his only positive play. Glorious as it was )
 



Red over the water

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It was a very valuable preseason. The hassle of integrating players who are returning late is still ongoing, but with most now starting their way back (Mane still to come) it was a pleasant experience to see the whole level elevated.

With big players out it has given us a chance to have a good look at some emerging talent. Brewster, Hoever and Elliott should be three young players from preseason who will feature next season. Brewster we all knew about. Hoever introduced himself last season, but the lad has kicked on further and he looks like a Rolls Royce in the making. He can play centrally and on the right, and will probably slot in as Trent’s back up. It will be interesting to see if he can cover for Robertson if we don’t sign another player for that position.

The third player I mentioned, Elliott, has been the biggest surprise. He just looked very comfortable out there against Lyon, showing for the ball, passing well, dribbling well, decent pace, willing to shoot. A confident boy, and it looks like he has the tools to back it up. I think he may be fast-tracked to the first team squad, and the calls for another wide forward might be redundant. I want to be cautious, as he’s so young, but he looked very good indeed.

So my expectation is we will have three young players going into that first team squad: Brewster, Hoever and Elliott. We paid pennies for them, and in 2-3 years time that trio could be worth £200M.

Wilson is the biggest conundrum. He’s of an age now where he needs to play and carve out a career for himself. He probably won’t get enough minutes at Liverpool, so I’m thinking we will sell him. His loan at Derby, plus the preseason he’s had, including that fabulous goal against Lyon, have put him in the shop window. There will probably be a couple of teams who will offer us good enough money that we will reluctantly - mostly for the sake of the player, part company. But it’s borderline and he might stay. We’re about to find out on that.

Beyond that we started to get answers about one or two others. Kent is eager, but he probably won’t make the grade here. Sepp vandenBerg is a good prospect, but needs to eat a few more pies and lift some weights at the moment. Larouci is promising, but perhaps still a bit raw. He might get a League Cup run out, depending on who else Klopp sees as a back up for the position.

I can’t wait for the season proper to begin. If we beat Man City in the Community Shield, the season is underway and it’s already one trophy in the bag. If we lose, it’s because we weren’t ready yet, and it was only a friendly, and the season proper begins against Norwich!
 
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scouseheadross

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... Like anyone else I was also impressed with the 16 year old Elliot, very mature for his age I reckon. Seem to be a clever footballer already, now the coaching team have to sharpen all the phycical atributes he'll need and he could turn into a world class player before he hit 20... givin he's as mature off the pitch as on it... which only time can tell.
Haha, have you seen his Harry Kane vid?! Definitely still a 16yr old but it made me smirk. How did Harry Kane get in the ballon d'Or but Alisson didn't?