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The midfield - What's the answer?

Dane

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This Fabinho kid has the potential to be talked about in years to come in the same breath as Makelele, Vierra, Essien, Toure (not Kolo btw)
All fantastic players in their time, and our Fabinho is one in the making.
He really looks like he's got it all.
 

big noyd

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been clear for a while that fabinho is our best holding midfielder, and hendo has been brilliant in the more advanced position. keita still isn't quite what i expected, but he's coming into his own

and having milner & gini on the bench is ideal for seeing games out--both are extremely flexible players who seem to excel carrying out a specific role or adjustment. milner can help either fullback and keep crosses from coming in against route one dross; gini is superb holding on to the ball and taking the sting out of a game (especially if you put him in a double pivot next to fabinho for the last 15-20 minutes)

the flip side is that we're lacking a dynamic/creative midfield player to come on when we need a goal, but maybe that's ox going forward
 

Zoran

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Was a bit surprised to see Gini at LCM and Keita at RCM from the start yesterday, didn't work well, Trent was really unprotected and a tough time in the first half. Second half we switched completely. Gini to #6, Hendo to RCM, Keita to LCM and Bobby even deeper to help out and create a diamond. Good flexibility.
 

lfc.eddie

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Was a bit surprised to see Gini at LCM and Keita at RCM from the start yesterday, didn't work well, Trent was really unprotected and a tough time in the first half. Second half we switched completely. Gini to #6, Hendo to RCM, Keita to LCM and Bobby even deeper to help out and create a diamond. Good flexibility.
Klopp said in his post match interview with Carragher and the whole lot that he changed the system to a "proper diamond" with Firmino operating as a the tip of the diamond supporting Mane and Salah in the attack. I didn't see it though, the diamond Klopp spoke of, probably less than 1 carat.
 

Zoran

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That's how it was from the start.
Yeah, I was wrong. Saw Keita on the right a few times though, our shape wasn't the best. Couldn't work out the positions a few times in that first half. Second half Bobby got more involved deeper and we looked better. I doubt we plan to do a Fred at #6 with Gini there against Barca, Fabinho will probably come in for Keita.
 

Nikola

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Probably why Klopp is not keen on playing Ox + Keita every game. He expects much more from his mids I suppose.
To be honest, I never expected these two to play together in a midfield three but maybe Klopp thought Genk were there for the taking and went for the jugular. I've already written about it in a different thread but when everyone is fit, the strongest midfield for me is Fabinho, Wijnaldum + one other, which I'd like Keita to be. Oxlade-Chamberlain should and will be eased in and it looks like he and Keita are direct rivals for that "creative" midfield spot. That said, I expect Klopp to keep Wijnaldum and Henderson there, especially for the big games, starting with Tottenham.
 

FilthyBloke

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I think the main issue is getting all our midfielders fit again.
The problem atm is, until recently, we only had Wijnandum, Henderson, Fabinho and Milner fit and they have literally run themselves into the ground.
Now keita, Ox and lallana are near full fitness it’ll mean we can pick players accordingly.

Personally I think lallana/Ox, Henderson and Fabinho is a good mix.
And keita, Fabinho and Wijnandum is a good mix.
But either way, having 7 fully fit options would be fanstastic.
 

Incognito

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I just came across the below (2nd one), but this could very well be the theme if Ox becomes a regular. Especially since he's getting a reputation of shooting at sight, that too with precision. The way the two defenders converged in to block him would create ample space for our front three. Hope he stays fit now.

 

Incognito

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Midfield is overrated. We go long. :p

Honestly, the answer is a combination of Hendo, Gini, Milly, Ox, Keita, Lallana, Shaqiri. Each brings something different to the table and it is as good a mix to have as one can ask for to handle any kind of oppositions.
 

GermanRed

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Unlucky and frustrating that players like Lallana, Ox, Shaqiri or Keita were not able to stay fit and cement their place in the starting11 as the most attacking #8 in the last 2-3 years.

Often feel like this position could be the final piece of the puzzle for Klopp.

Not writing off Ox and Keita and I also don’t think we’ll go for someone like Havertz but maybe the time for other solutions will come soon.

Minamino could make himself undropable and I definitely can see Firmino play there in the future (actually he is acting like a #8 very often during games already).

Or Curtis Jones will kick Everton out of the FA Cup on Sunday and make himself a realistic option for the near future.
 

Zoran

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I'd say that for Ox and Keita. Even if they're not similar, but they do offer something different. Lallana I didn't count on as much anymore, it's just good to have him fit more often as a squad player. Shaqiri is not someone who'd play regularly in central (even offensive) midfield in a 4-3-3. Good thing is that we have a) numbers, but also b) players in the heart of the pitch who really understand the team's principles. We are almost always at least afloat in that situation. Players who are hard working, intelligent, versatile (helps to keep up their rhythm).
 

Flobs

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I'd say that for Ox and Keita. Even if they're not similar, but they do offer something different. Lallana I didn't count on as much anymore, it's just good to have him fit more often as a squad player. Shaqiri is not someone who'd play regularly in central (even offensive) midfield in a 4-3-3. Good thing is that we have a) numbers, but also b) players in the heart of the pitch who really understand the team's principles. We are almost always at least afloat in that situation. Players who are hard working, intelligent, versatile (helps to keep up their rhythm).
Ox and Keita to me are very similar and shouldn't be played together because of those similarities. I'm talking about things like they both like to come deep to collect the ball, rely heavily on dribbling and don't offer much defensively other than picking up second balls (even if they do make an effort it all seems so superficial).
Compared to Henderson, Gini, Milner and Fabinho they seem to be nice options to have rather than solid go to men (I say that despite loving what AOC brings).
Anyway Henderson is our man and we can build around him (or Fabinho if you prefer).
 

ILLOK

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Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano are still the best midfield 3 I've seen play for us but this group as a whole is better than what we had then.

Pedro Chirivella is probably about our 10th choice midfielder and I wouldn't swap him for some of the players United, Everton, Spurs and Arsenal are using in premier league games.

Unbelievable depth.
 

GermanRed

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Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano are still the best midfield 3 I've seen play for us but this group as a whole is better than what we had then.
Any Klopp midfield 3 would beat Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano (in their prime) in a big game.

But that’s because football has changed once again and our style and intensity is on whole new levels.
 

[email protected]

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Any Klopp midfield 3 would beat Gerrard, Alonso, Mascherano (in their prime) in a big game.

But that’s because football has changed once again and our style and intensity is on whole new levels.
A midfield of Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano coached by Benitez against any of our currentl three coached by Klopp. I have grown to love our midfield but this lot would be hard pressed. As a team though,.. Rafa's best against this team would be tight but the fullbacks win it for me along with the relentless nature of our overall play.
 

The Elusive 19th

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A midfield of Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano coached by Benitez against any of our currentl three coached by Klopp. I have grown to love our midfield but this lot would be hard pressed. As a team though,.. Rafa's best against this team would be tight but the fullbacks win it for me along with the relentless nature of our overall play.
Fullbacks and wingers. Rafa had Kuyt/SG on right and nobody(riera for sometime I think) on left.
 

Mascot88

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Fullbacks and wingers. Rafa had Kuyt/SG on right and nobody(riera for sometime I think) on left.
Benayoun. Sometimes Babel as well.

Under Klopp Midfield has become a base to enable the fullbacks to get forward and the midfielders to do their thing. The kind of creativity and chance creation that Rafa’s needed from his midfield is less important. So the comparison is apples and oranges.

That said I think this team beats Rafa’s 08/09 vintage. We’re now talking about the best team in world football.
 

Noo Noo

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The thing that gets me with our current side is that Klopp has basically redefined the roles of many positions on the field. Many casual observers wont get it or simply refuse to accept it.

For example.

The full backs are not traditional full backs.
The midfield is not the creative force is was once deemed to be necessary
Firmino in his centre forward position is not a "traditional" centre forward.
The goal keeper has become a sweeper (nothing overly new here) but its there.
 

AlwaysRatedLovren

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Still think we need a young box to box with good potential. Really hate Spurs for stealing Ndombele, the guy would be perfect for us, hard-working, talented, full package
 

The Elusive 19th

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Still think we need a young box to box with good potential. Really hate Spurs for stealing Ndombele, the guy would be perfect for us, hard-working, talented, full package
Yup. We need to add injury prone midfielder to our already existing injury prone midfielders.

Below is what Mou moans about Ndombele.

"He's always injured. He's injured, he's not injured, he plays one match, next week he's injured, he plays another match. We are full of hopes.

"This is it since the beginning of the season. Of course, it is a concern.

"You think you have a good player, you think he is in an evolution process, he plays very well against Norwich, you are full of hopes that today he is ready for it.

"And he is not ready for it. I cannot say much more than that. It's a situation from the beginning of the season."
 

Iluvatar

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Still think we need a young box to box with good potential. Really hate Spurs for stealing Ndombele, the guy would be perfect for us, hard-working, talented, full package
Can I ask why?

I'd say our favoured formation is 433 with a pretty standard midfield 3 of;

#6 - Defensive Midfielder
#8 - Left sided Box to Box
#8 - Right sided Box to Box

We then have the following players (listed in what I gage as starters/back up when all fit etc.)

#6 - Fabinho (26), Henderson (29) Wijnaldum (29), Lallana (31)
#8 - Keita (24), Wijnaldum (29), Milner (34), Oxlade (26)
#8 - Henderson (29), Oxlade (26), Lallana (31)

+ Jones (18)

I've omitted players like Minamino, Shaqiri as it's my view they are forwards and would only play in midfield as a more #10 than part of our "normal" formation i.e. midfield 3.

I also blank refuse to consider Trent as a midfielder, why would you move the worlds best fullback??

To me it looks like we have a very nice balance of experience, players in or about to hit prime years, and youth starting to make the step up - Jones etc. You also have to consider Grujic, who may or may not have a role to play.

A lot depends on Lallana/Gini signing new contracts, but otherwise I think we are good for next season. We do need to start to consider another player similar to Milner/Henderson to come in within the next 2 seasons if we don't have anyone within the academy.

Is it a wild idea to think Kane, Hoever could do that?
 

AussieLad

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Yup. We need to add injury prone midfielder to our already existing injury prone midfielders.

Below is what Mou moans about Ndombele.

"He's always injured. He's injured, he's not injured, he plays one match, next week he's injured, he plays another match. We are full of hopes.

"This is it since the beginning of the season. Of course, it is a concern.

"You think you have a good player, you think he is in an evolution process, he plays very well against Norwich, you are full of hopes that today he is ready for it.

"And he is not ready for it. I cannot say much more than that. It's a situation from the beginning of the season."
Fuck me. I've heard of players being thrown under the bus by managers, but that is a whole nother level.