- Sep 13, 2015
It looks like we have decided to play a higher line (a good 5-10 yards forward) with a view to getting VAR decisions from offside. The problem seems to be that our midfield press doesn't seem to be working, so there is a large gap (weird eh with our defense further forward) between midfield and defence.If we're going to play that high then we need to bring our pressing 'A game' and we haven't done that yet bar moments in the second half against City and at times against Norwich. Last night it didn't function at all and Chelsea played through us with ease. It could have been the heat and humidity but then why not just drop off a bit? It's such an energy-sapping way of playing.
The shape of the team just doesn't look right at the moment and generally we look a bit under-prepared and maybe struggling with fitness. We tend to get stronger the longer the season goes on but we are long way from controlling games in the way we did last season. So far, we've got away with some pretty erratic performances. I think it will come but given there's so little room for error for us if we're seriously going to compete with City, it needs to come quickly.
I do think Milner and Henderson shouldn't play together in midfield (especially against good teams) because they both drift out wide to give themselves space to use the ball. This meant we crowded out the wide areas and our passing lanes were woefully bad. It also had a direct influence on how open we were, because if we lost the ball there was basically Fabinho in the center of the pitch v's 2 players with a Milner (was injured and not running) or Henderson trying to get goal side. So offensively and defensively we struggled. It's a common theme when Klopp goes "safety" first away in the big games - We deployed a similar style away in Europe last season and pretty much every game we were terrible, both in attack and wide open in defence.
Seems a really weird tactical switch when our players are clearly at about 70% with fitness, but I guess with such a small pre-season Klopp is forced to get them to learn on the job v's hours on the training pitch of drilling the tactical set up (formation in/out of possession) and pressing cues.
It could be high risk high reward though, stutter through the opening 10 games and beyond that we will have it nailed.
We massively miss a progressive box to box though - Keita, Oxlade etc. I think that means we always have 2 men in the middle with engines to cover lanes better.
Very much a work in progress.