The midfield - What's the answer?

YeGra

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#1
Similar to the discussion on the defence thread but more orientated towards the midfield. The defence got a lot of stick at the weekend (rightly so) but the midfield was focused on as well as they didn't show any fight. The inconsistency of our midfield has been talked about and how they either bully or get bullied.

So what's the solution to make us more consistent? Please bear in mind, I'm not creating this thread as a "OMG we are so shit, we are never going to get anywhere" thing. It would be nice to know everyone's views on the matter, rather than a bitch fest.

How do we get more balance in our midfield? In other words having creativity, but also a consistent solid midfield that gets stuck in and doesn't expose the back four to all sorts of shit.

Do we have all the right players we need and it's simply down to coaching or are there obvious traits we are lacking with what we have?
 

Ahmed Hussain

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#3
Lallana comes back from injury, Coutinho gets reintergrated, everyone stays fit, then the first choice midfield will be Coutinho, Lallana and Henderson as the holding midfielder.
 

Abdel

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#5
For now
Can
Cou. Gini

In december : Can
Cou. Lallana

Next year : keita
Cou. Lemar
 

SithBaare

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#6
It's one match. Stop overreacting. It's a bad loss and we got spanked by a better team. The same bunch of us were over the moon when Liverpool decimated arsenal.

Yea , it's a bad result and the problem of the midfield not doing enough to help the defense is well known. And yes , even with man down , we had no business playing that kinda football. But sport , bad results happen....Deal with it and play better the next time around
 

Elessar

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#7
It isn't overreacting. We had the same problems against the teams that parked the bus last season and for many seasons before that. We simply don't have midfield players that can put in a tackle when we need it. Take a yellow for the team to stop a quick attack. KdB for example should have been brought down, yes, the player should have got a yellow card but that is much better than a one on one with the keeper.

We need a CM that it will hurt to play against. Our midfield is soft, very soft. No one of Henderson, Can or Wijnaldum know how to play the dirty ugly game. Our players get stamped on time after time. How do our players react? You know the answer.

We need a midfield that is prepared to stamp on players or make a dirty tackle when we need it.

Teams must be afraid to play against us. We will probably get big problems against Burnley because they will bully our midfield. We know before the game who will win the physical battle in midfield. It won't be us.
 

Gordochav

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#9
Henderson's our only competent six so he's an automatic starter as long he's fit. Wijnaldum as LCM. Coutinho RCM. There are are a lot of goals and creativity in that midfield but not enough physical play or tackling ability. We'll have to wait for Keita for the latter, at least.

By the start of next season, I'd expect Keita to be playing in the six role at times, with Wijnaldum and Chamberlain/Lallana/possible Lemar type ahead of him. The rest of the time it will likely be Henderson, Keita/Wijnaldum and Chamberlain/Lallana.

Since we're losing Coutinho and likely Can, we'll need to buy another player in that area but it's hard to imagine who. One of Grujic/Ejaria/Woodburn might be able to step in for some of those minutes but I don't think any one of them will be at a point to be a potential starter as 4th/5th choice in midfield.
 
K

Klopptinho

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#10
firmino defensive midfielder . coutinho and lallana. studge up top with mane and salah . mignolet in goal . don't bother with "defenders" play henderson can milner and wijnaldum just behind the midfield 3 but about 45 yards from our goal .:well done:

least i won't have to hear or read about how shite our defenders are any more lol
 

YeGra

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#11
It's one match. Stop overreacting. It's a bad loss and we got spanked by a better team. The same bunch of us were over the moon when Liverpool decimated arsenal.

Yea , it's a bad result and the problem of the midfield not doing enough to help the defense is well known. And yes , even with man down , we had no business playing that kinda football. But sport , bad results happen....Deal with it and play better the next time around
I did stress that this wasn't to be a bitch fest. I didn't want to make it a massive rant thread. I just figured there is a disproportionate focus on our backline when in fact a significant chunk of improvements are needed in midfield. Don't get me wrong, you can summarise my overall mood as a fan as "happy most of the time". I'm also anxious to see improvement. With a reasonably stable financial situation and a top class manager and a team that produces scintillating football, I want us to address the prevailing issues so we build into something better.

What can we improve in midfield? Well Hendo still has his limitations. Gini is awfully inconsistent and he needs to be demoted to squad player at some point. Coutinho will almost inevitably leave next summer. Can very likely too.

That means we have a bit of a rebuilding job. Keita will help ease the loss of Can but there's still the task of replacing Coutinho.
 

Hope in your heart

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#14
Such a pity that Keita isn't available for us this season... Did anyone see the goal he scored this week-end? An absolute scorcher and a very important one too, in a tight game.

Anyway, for this season, we'll have to make do with what we have, which isn't too bad really.

Henderson (my first name on the team sheet these days, even if he isn't in top form obviously), Wijnaldum, Can, Lallana, Coutinho, and that supremely talented lad Woodburn, who will maybe play a role as well. We can't say that there isn't talent, fighting spirit or leadership in this group of players. Klopp will get on with this lot, and in my humble opinion, he isn't too badly served with them.


(goes back to the defence thread...)


Edit
: add Grujic to the lot. Another one with huge potential.
 
Last edited:

RedForever2014

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#15
I'd rotate between a pairing of Henderson or Can and Milner or Gini, with Hendo/Can being the DM type and Milner/Gini being the complement.

Continho at 10, rotated with AOX and the usual front three.
 

Art Morte6

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#18
Once Coutinho and Lallana are available, we will have as good a midfield going forward as we could hope for.

The problem is that we haven't got a single midfielder after selling Lucas who you could trust to play the defensive side consistently well.

Still, our midfield is probably the best it's been since 2009-10, so we should probably be happy with it.
 

anglian_red

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#19
I think a big decision needs to be made regarding Henderson. Decent player obviously but he's not a defensive midfielder and a side as open and forward thinking as ours needs that one player at the base of the midfield who does the dirty work and does it really well. Henderson isn't that, too often he doesn't sense danger and I don't think his passing is good enough to play it like a Xabi Alonso either.

For me Henderson is a decent box to box player, he was at his best on either side of a midfield three. If you want Lallana and Coutinho in a midfield three then the centre player needs to be a Macherano, Makelele type whose only job is to break up play and pass forwards. Nothing else.
 

Imgoingred

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#21
I think a big decision needs to be made regarding Henderson. Decent player obviously but he's not a defensive midfielder and a side as open and forward thinking as ours needs that one player at the base of the midfield who does the dirty work and does it really well. Henderson isn't that, too often he doesn't sense danger and I don't think his passing is good enough to play it like a Xabi Alonso either.

For me Henderson is a decent box to box player, he was at his best on either side of a midfield three. If you want Lallana and Coutinho in a midfield three then the centre player needs to be a Macherano, Makelele type whose only job is to break up play and pass forwards. Nothing else.
This is 100% correct in my opinion. If we planned to have Coutinho play one of the midfield 3, we definitely need a natural CDM. Henderson's best position is box to box anyway.

In saying that, you can see what Klopp's line of thinking is in buying another winger or attacking mid as opposed to more defenders. Moving Coutinho into midfield means we needed another natural winger + backup (AOC) This would have been the starting 11 had we managed all our targets.

Mignolet
Clyne VVD Matip Milner/Robertson
Keita
Henderson Coutinho
Salah Firmino Mane

Subs/depth: Sturridge, Lallana, AOC, Gini, Can, Lovren, TAA, Gomez, Karius, Moreno etc.

A solid and balanced team with good squad depth - 100% title challenge worthy.
 

Gordochav

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#25
Replace Gini with Coutinho, problem solved.

Keita is not a DM, hes an 8.
He can, has and will play there. I think he's Klopp's long-term solution there. He'll start as an 8 for us but will play as a 6 in his first season at times. For Klopp it's easy enough to collect good players to play as 10s and 8s. Much, much harder to find a 6.
 



JustHitMyHead

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#26
If we are really desperate... Firmino as our deep lying midfielder??? Give Sturridge his spot back???

He hasn't played the position for years, but Bobby's harrowing and energy might have saved us some goals on Saturday.

It's not a solution you would want to turn to long-term, but maybe here and there.
 

Semmy

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#27
Can we all just admit that Henderson isn't a goddamned 6? He never has been, he is a B2N or 8. He would actually be decent in a 2-1 next to a DM like Matic or Vidal or a beast like Kessie. Someone who can get stuck in and bounce some bodies around.

Henderson playing the 6 is the result of a lack of options. Klopp is still playing Rodgers' midfield and sticking round pegs in squar-ish holes. We have 3 #8's and 3 #10's and no 6's.

And for the record, as much as I like watching Çan at times I am indifferent if he leaves at this point.

Two strong options of players we should be able to get:

Leander Dendoncker from Anderlecht

Or
Marcos Llorente at Madrid who now finds himself behind Casemiro at Madrid and is in a Bosman next summer. If he wants regular football he will need a move. Should be a reasonable buy with 6 months remaining in January.

https://www.transfermarkt.com/marcos-llorente/profil/spieler/282411

We have too many players of similar qualities up the gut and need to bring in some steel.
 

zman89

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#28
I agree regarding Henderson. Keita playing there would be a waste of his talents IMO. A replacement for Henderson should be targeted for next season if we want to go up another level. A beast of a DM with Coutinho and Keita in front of them would be one of the best midfields in the league. Lallana, Gini and Henderson will then be the backups. Not sure were Ox will fit in though so that leads me to believe that there won't be a DM coming in. Emre Can will unfortunately be leaving on a free.
 

YeGra

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#29
I agree on the fact our midfield is in the best shape it's been for a long time. Our current situation is certainly better than Poulsen, Adam, Downing.

But next season we might have to do some midfield rebuilding - again - unfortunately. Henderson is not a DM and I think it's clear we need a specialist there. Keita coming in will definitely help so that's one tick in the box done. But Coutinho is likely to go, as is Can. Lallana is also turning 30 this season so how long can he keep his role up.

For this season were more or less good except a proper DM. But depending on departures we need to think about forward planning for next season.
 

ILLOK

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#30
Would rather see Keita joining attacks and running with the ball than being shackled to a deep lying midfield position. He's a natural number 8/box to box player.