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The midfield - What's the answer?

Spitfire

Resident Realist
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Mar 6, 2006
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Fabinho, Keita, Henderson.
Two weeks is a long time in football:)

Interesting the way the feeling in the thread has changed - 2 weeks ago things were pretty bleak.......now all of a sudden things look much brighter!

That said I'm not complaining; and if Milner and Lallana go it gives us the ability to look at one more which may not be a bad thing.
 


Kopstar

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So after Keita's emergence, Henderson's resurgence, Fabinho's importance, Wijnaldum's consistency, Ox's return from injury, Milner's versatility and Lallana's ermm... Cruyff turns

What would the starting midfield three be, assuming all our midfielders are fit and on top form (unlikely with Lallana still on the books)?
The midfield three I've wanted to see since we got Fabinho is Fabinho, Keita, Oxlade-Chamberlain.
 

ILLOK

In the Danger Zone.
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For the most part it's just about getting the 8s right (Fabinho is obviously the best option at the base).

We need two players in there who can press, pass the ball well enough, make good runs off the ball and cover the fullbacks, we also need at least one of them to be able to run with the ball. It's the most demanding position in our team and requires the most rotation. We have a number of players who can play those roles well, but not all combinations are ideal.

This team works best when there's a balance. Don't play it too safe (2 out of Wijnaldum, Milner and Henderson) and don't chase 'creativity' too much (e.g 2 out of Keita, Shaqiri and Lallana).

A very basic template for next season would look like:

Fabinho

Henderson/Wijnaldum Keita/Chamberlain

Some other notes:
-Henderson and Wijnaldum can cover for Fabinho,
-A Keita and Chamberlain partnership would probably be preferable to a Henderson and Wijnaldum one.
-Milner has been a fantastic player for us but his time is running out.
-Lallana's recent performances show he still has something to offer in midfield (and only in midfield!). As a 6th choice, he is probably still good enough but his minutes in midfield would ideally go to somebody younger and more reliable.
-I don't see a natural place for Shaqiri in the 433 with any combination of players, he's not good enough out of possession for the level we aspire to.
 
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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

"¿Plata... O Plomo?"
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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

"Oh, history writer, don't close the pages yet!"
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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

The Normal One
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Jan 6, 2011
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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

The Normal One
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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.