The midfield - What's the answer?

Quagmire81

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I just think he's the wrong player to be playing at the base of midfield. He can and has played mush better when slightly forward. The last season with Suarez springs to mind where he got numerous assists.

worth noting that we still leaked too many goals way back then too. Same issue and many of the same players......

Hmm I may have just shot down my own argument......................................
Exactly. We need this Jordan back. He was such a great offensive support in that role, but now he just stays back all the time never joins the attack. He's half the player he use to be playing in that position. Made sense to try him out there but I rather see Can in that position so Hendo can play up to his best again. His stats have plummeted since he started playing that role.
 

Jayus20

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Honestly, a Xabi Alonso mould midfielder to play in the #6 role is the answer in my opinion. Jorginho near enough fits that bill. Excellent vision and passing range, high quality through balls, reads the game well helping to intercept balls as well as being a good tackler. Couldn't really ask for much more in terms of a #6. If we lined up with Oxlade Jorginho Keita as our best midfield three next season I'd be more than happy. With Milner, Henderson, Gini and Lallana rotating in similar to this season.

Would quite like Pulisic as well. Great option to rotate with Mane and Salah, also has the quality and ability to play in a CAM role when required. He's the ideal Klopp and FSG player.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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I'm not sure that Klopp actually wants to play with a #6. Both Can and Henderson aren't pure #6's too. Any #6 that Klopp buys would be more as a deep lying playmaker in the mould of a more pressing version of Xabi Alonso (gegenpress , win the ball & play the right pass to the forward line)

It's probably easier to play the existing midfielders who we seem to have a surplus of in that role. One of Gini,Milner,Can(assuming he stays),Henderson would be fine. Just need to find a replacement for Can in my book. All the more better if he's a true defensive midfielder but Klopp's never played with a defensive midfielder.
That's why I listed a few names for the role. Whatever you want to call it it's the deepest and most defensive role in midfield. The player needs to be at least competent (and preferrably good) in both playing the ball from deep (no Mascheranos may apply) qnd defensive work (no alonsos either). We need a Didi or a Viera. Gini no! Milner only in emergencies!
 
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Does anyone know how marks grujic is doing cause if he’s doin well why don’t we keep him and use him as a back up number 6 swaping in and out for Henderson
 

Zoran

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No, he still plays deepest in midfield, either with a midfield partner when they play(ed) 3 at the back or in the last few games (watching average positions), that single pivot role in a 4-3-3. Maybe we wanted to give him an opportunity (at a lower level where he should be able to cope) to be more involved in the game (rather than him playing a more comfortable attacking position, waiting for possession, turning and shooting all game long), learn to be more responsible, learn the more defensive aspect of the game, positioning, discipline, etc.
 

Hallmm

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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?
Can's contract needs sorting either way. I love Milner but I also think some fans miss the work Henderson does. When keita comes we have everything.
 

Nikola

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Obviously, Liverpool have won all four matches so far, three without even playing well but is anyone else worried about the current state of midfield? For majority of past two matches, the midfield consisted of Henderson, Wijnaldum and Milner - just like last season when we cried out for improvement, mostly on the former two. These three have exemplary work rate but offer no guile, they move the ball too slowly for football that Klopp wants to play, leaving the front three either too isolated or forcing them to drop too deep. Not to mention that they are pretty uncomfortable in possession when put under pressure...
 

lfc.8

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Keita has looked good in parts and is still warming to the league. Fabinho yet to make an appearance while not making the bench for the last three games raises a few questions. Put shortly the current mix of Henderson, Milner and Wijnaldum don't convince.

Up against the stronger teams whether in the league or across Europe we will be put under more pressure. Today's game showed a lack of control and composure on the ball. It's too early to make a call now but definitely an area where we need to be better.
 

indianscouser

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Better to ease Fabinho into our style in training than throw him in the deep end,he'll come good but we play very differently to Monaco as Klopp has already said and Keita once settled will be the dogs bollocks.
Yea. Keita is going to be boss. If Fabinho can make the nos. 6 his own, we will have a good midfield.
I can see Keita, Fabinho and milner as our regulars with Gini and Henderson covering and adding fresh legs.
 
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Never ever start with Hendo/Milner/Wijnaldum as your midfield trio.. The game becomes so static with too many square passes.. We really miss Ox..His pace in midfield is electric.. A midfield trio of Keita and Ox with one from Milner/Hendo/Gini/Fab would be awesome..
 

Lowton_Red

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Never ever start with Hendo/Milner/Wijnaldum as your midfield trio.. The game becomes so static with too many square passes.. We really miss Ox..His pace in midfield is electric.. A midfield trio of Keita and Ox with one from Milner/Hendo/Gini/Fab would be awesome..
Milner is OK. Hendo and Wijnaldum should never be on the field at the same time. they are too alike. Both are too ponderous on the ball.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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The midfield is made up of three roles with Klopp.

The holder or anchor or number 6. Not just a simple defensive mid the player has to be able to recycle the ball or spot opportunities to hit longer, more ambitious balls to punish the opposition if they get lax. Kind of two thirds of a deep lying playmaker and two thirds of a defensive mid all rolled into one. Usually only play with one of these but can go with two when expected to be under pressure. Got Gini as a more offensive option, Fabinho as a more defensive option and Hendo. In emergencies Alexander-Arnold, Milner or Keita could do a job.

The box to box role is required to bring drive and purpose to the midfield. Most dynamic role and requires both defensive and offensive duties. Keita is made for the role and I still think it's Ginis best. Where he did well in his first season. Henderson used to do the role well but hasn't done it under Klopp as far as I remember. Milner does it ok when used and I suspect Ox could do a very offensive version of the role and Fabinho a very defensively solid version. Alexander-Arnold would probably do ok here too.

For these two roles we have both quantity and quality and the challenge is to be patient whilst it all falls into place. Especially with Keita and Fabinho arguably being two of the best choices for these roles and only just arriving. Especially as we keep having to use players ideally suited for these two roles for the remaining role which creates an imbalance.

The remaining role is what I think of as the central attacking mid role. See many others also referring to it as another number 8 or box to box but I disagree and mostly think the confusion is due to who Klopp has had to field here. The problem at the moment is we didn't land Fekir/alternative who would have been one of our main options here and Ox, one of our other main options, is still out injured. We need clever pressing and a bit of trickery from this role. Lallana did it well for awhile but not sure on his state since he came back. Klopp seemed to do some preseason work on Shaqiri and Sturridge but he clearly doesn't think they are ready yet. Leaves us trying to use Keita and Milner which doesn't quite get best out of either of them or make most of position.

Think for now I'd use Milner or Lallana furthest forward, Keita in box to box and Henderson deepest whilst we bed Fabinho in. Gini as first back up to two deepest positions.

Mostly just needs time.
 

FilthyBloke

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fabinho keita henderson for me.
Rotate with Milner Wijnandum lallana and Ox when he’s back.

Milner Henderson Wijnandum lacks creativity. They also nullify each other.
I’d even go with a Fabinho keita Shaqiri for park the bus teams.
 

RedForever2014

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The midfield isn't right just now.

Personally I'd give Fabinho a start at right back soon to give him 90 minutes and break him in, as Trent looks off the pace and in truth complacent.
Too much back slapping might well be going to his head.

I'd also use the entire back up 11 in the League Cup match, as we have to get them match fit to provide options. If we go out we go out.

Hendo was woeful yesterday, mostly due to match fitness. Gin was probably adjusting to being changed positionally, Milner is always steady but the three of them didn't work as a unit.

That unit was the one that did for Roma in the CL semi, and took it to Real for the first half hour of the final, but it didn't yesterday.

It was important to get good early results with the run of matches coming, and Keita dipped a bit in the Brighton match after two good performances, so probably needed to be taken out of the line up against a good Leicester side.

I think the problem now is that the front 3 isn't fully firing and the worry is that due to a lack of a summer break they're not going to be as effective for a while.

Klopp needs to find a solution to this, because at Spurs we won't cope with this line up.

Maybe Hendo will come back from the internationals a bit fitter, but I'd be tempted to go to two forwards for a while and use four midfielders.

I'd be inclined to play a diamond with Hendo or Fab at the base, Milner or Gini or Hendo at the right side, Keita at the left side, Gini or Shaqiri at the tip.

Bobby is not a 10 of the right level, Mane is wasted inside. If the three of them aren't firing then play an extra midfielder and control the game, rotate the front three and get width from the full backs.
 

Jayus20

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Broken record and all that but still think we lack a proper CAM to transition from defence to attack. Keita does a good job of it but seems to be reserved with his dribbling at the moment for some reason. Would like to see someone like Fekir or Ziyech signed in January to bolster our attacking midfield options. Ox would be an absolute dream now, such a shame he's injured.
 

Donovan

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Gini at 6 with Milner and Keita either side have done well so far.
The skipper looks like the weakest link for me, especially when the opposition look to press us.
 

Zoran

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Gini was weak back at #8 the other day. Lost possession a couple of times even in the first half (when we were playing good for most part, but he gave them 2 opportunities when they stole the ball off him), invisible, not receiving/passing well, putting team mates in danger because of it. Was very good for a few games at #6. We'll see what we go with at Spurs, lack of training could also play a part. Maybe it was already part of the reason (preparation for Spurs) why Keita started on the bench the other day.
 
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Semmy

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Wijnaldum used to play as an AM at Newcastle and we have seen him venture forward making decent runs when he was given license. His current role isn't optimal as he doesn't excel trying to link up play. For me I would rather see him advanced.

Henderson was an excellent B2B mid, who was converted to a deep lying playmaker roles when Gerrard departed. He is decent and playing those balls into the channels and once upon a time could actually release a player on a break when given the opportunity.

What I am seeing now is a first-do-no-harm approach to their roles, that they don't take enough risk in the final third. We have speedy wingers who are able to get up the pitch quickly on the first movement, but if that stalls out we struggle to get an incisive ball in the second or third phase. Where we used to get Coutinho or Ox playing quite high creating triangles with Firmino at the top of the box, now we have most of the play on the periphery of the opponent's half in a giant D and very few players willing to risk their positioning to advance the ball and link up with Firmino who is quite good with the ball at his feet to creat scoring opportunity.

I like the 4-3-3 and think it brings a lot of value to our overall shape, but until we can get comfortable with having at least one #10-style attacking midfielder AND another aggressive midfielder who will make those advanced runs, we will be seeing a lot of recycled play and passing between the #6 and CB's.

For me, it would be Fabinho/Henderson at the 6. B2B would be Milner/Keita and the #10 with Shaqiri/Oxlade/Lallana

I don't value Wijnaldum on a regular basis, is decent enough against the cannon fodder but when we go to Old toilet I would prefer he not be on the pitch. He quite simply does not have an eye for the pass in any forward direction
 

YeGra

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With Henderson presumably close to full match fitness, I wonder if Klopp sees him as an automatic starter, or if he secretly want to omit him from the opening lineup.

Does he see Fabinho usurping Henderson for the starting role?

I just personally think Henderson is a limiter for how good our midfield can be if placed in that DM role. A more advanced role is better suited perhaps.

Fabinho, Henderson and Keita might be a better balance. Although alternatively, Milner has done more than enough to prove he is worthy of a starting role.
 

Red over the water

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I agree with the notion that the main thing needed at the moment is time. We have some good players and some very good players in the midfield. Klopp knows their individual qualities, obviously, but he is learning about the blend at the moment, and there’s a bit more to go in that process.

My best guess when everyone is fit and firing is that it would be Fabinho, Keita and Ox. That has the lot, but we are at least a season away from seeing it, assuming everyone settles we’ll and Ox comes back with the same sort of form he was showing before injury struck.

So what about now? It’s a bit of a conundrum. Wijnaldum has looked the best in the number six role so far. Keita hasn’t been at his best yet, but you can see there’s a very good player there. Milner has done really well and puts in a big shift every time. Henderson has been eased back and isn’t fully up to speed yet either. Lallana has only seen the tiniest bit of action to date.

It’s hard to say what the blend will be as we need to see more. Is Fabinho definitley a 6? Or can he also play as an 8 and give us some physicality in a box to box role? If he can, I half wonder if Wijnaldum as the 6, with Fabinho and Keita ahead, might emerge?
 



Abdel

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The one game we completely lose control of midfield is the first game Henderson starts defensive midfield; it really isn't a coincidence. And the improvement in keeping possession after he went off isn't a coincidence either
 
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The one game we completely lose control of midfield is the first game Henderson starts defensive midfield; it really isn't a coincidence. And the improvement in keeping possession after he went off isn't a coincidence either
TBF Keita was no better in the previous game so maybe,just maybe Klopp is right that we're not up to full match speed and fitness,Maddison played very well so 'i'm not sure Gini or Keita would've done any better.
 

redbj

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TBF Keita was no better in the previous game so maybe,just maybe Klopp is right that we're not up to full match speed and fitness,Maddison played very well so 'i'm not sure Gini or Keita would've done any better.

You’ve nailed it in one there, it’s a little thing we all like to ignore when it comes to assessing our midfield, and that’s the small botherance of having an opposition.

It’s not like a keeper who fumbles a goal or not, or a striker who scores or not...hard stats, the midfield Is the most Suttle position on the field to judge especially when you throw into the fact that Klopp is happy without the ball.

Vs Leicester we were far from great. Far from it. But just changing personal is not always the answer.

On a side point, I agree with RedForever2014, maybe we should be looking at changing in Fabinho after the break at right back.

Give TAA a bit of time to get hungry again and give Fabinho some time on the park ( if he’s physically ready, obviously). Sorry clyney.
 

Perth Red

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Never rated Henderson in the deepest position, he drops back between the Centre Backs and continues to take the ball from them extremely deep. VvD and Joe Gomez are more than capable of finding a pass or bringing the ball out, Henderson dropping deep negates them and invites pressure higher up the field. He was much better in the more advanced, energizer bunny role when Stevie G was the holding player and before that.
Gini seems a more than capable DM but Fab is the specialist in my opinion. Fab with Gini as back-up would be my preference (assuming Fab can replicate his Monaco levels).
Naby looks great driving forward and finding space in front of the opposition defence - a bit like Ox in that respect.

I would ideally like to see a Fab, Naby Hendo combination with the latter two alternating between pushing on and controlling - keep the buggers guessing! Gini, Ox and Millie can do the same so there is plenty of rotation options going forward.
Lallana is a difficult one, not quick enough to play up top and doesn't seem to fit in the middle. I am of the opinion that he needs to move on but Jurgen maybe seems a place for him.
 

Danny_

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Milner is playing great right now. Gini is playing very well also. It actually feels like we have a decent midfield this season. Keita and Hendo are probably starters for most games so the other 3 will have to fight it out for the remaining place. So far, Fabinho has been the loser in that. Early days though...