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The Unreliable Rumours Thread

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I think it's more a question of different approaches. Neither of them necessarily being right or wrong. I can certainly get on board with accepting that our front three is world class and that if they're fresh for the big games that will give us the best chance of winning them. In order to keep them fresh (or to compensate for if they're struggling for form) we need to add quality rotation/competition so that if one of them is missing the quality of our attacking triumvirate doesn't drop off too much. We can then field, consistently, a potent attacking three with our world class trio being fresh for the crunch games. Would adding Dembele do that? Possibly.

However, the two league games we played against City we had all three of our world class players. In both games our midfield three was Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson.

The draw at home followed the defeat away to Napoli where we were awful - we then struggled at Anfield four days later and were lucky to get away with a 0-0 draw thanks to Mahrez missing the penalty at the end. We lacked control and were somewhat fortunate. It's possible that rotating in someone like Dembele instead of one of our front three would have made the difference but I think we'd have been better that game if we had more quality in and greater potency from midfield. We've lacked a consistent goal threat from midfield this season, which you might say will be addressed by AOC but he's never scored more than 3 goals in a PL season. Kai Havertz, at the age of 19, scored 17 and assisted 4 from midfield last year. My personal view is that having someone like him in AM/CM rather than any of our other options for that role would have been more likely to have made the difference than substituting out one of our front three for Dembele.

In addition, having a goal threat arriving from midfield would also take some attention away from the front three, making them even more dangerous. It adds another threat from another direction, decreasing the ability of teams to counter the threats already posed by our front three.

The second league game against City where we also had our front three. They were all fresh and on form, coming off a 5-1 hammering of Arsenal where they all scored (Firmino got a hat-trick). Our midfield three was, again, Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson. Again we struggled to control the game and pretty much had to by-pass our midfield. D Silva, Fernandinho, B Silva v Wijnaldum, Milner, Henderson is, I'm afraid, a miss-match. Sure, Fabinho's now part of our starting midfield 3 but our AM/CM options in front of him remain weaker than City's. Add Havertz into the mix and I think that's a much more even contest and, as I suggest above, would also increase the potential potency of our front three.

Taking the pressure off them during games might also help keep the three fresh reducing the need to rotate them. Giving us greater control, an increased goal threat, we ought to be able to manage their game time even better such that we're not needing them to play 90 minutes on a consistent basis and we won't need a £90m substitute on the bench. We could instead use Origi, Wilson or Brewster.

If we want to continue with maintaining a potent front three approach for as many games as possible then perhaps Dembele is a good option. But instead we could look at adding a different type of threat - taking the pressure off Mo, Bobby and Sadio to some extent whilst simultaneously making them more dangerous whilst also allowing us greater variety and control in the big matches.
I think the problem is you are talking about Milner, Henderson and Gini.. A midfield 3 I highly doubt we will see at all next season.

It will be Fabinho + Gini or Hendo + Oxlade or Keita. I agree our midfield was out matched but we have the improvements here already.

What we lack of genuine superstar options for our front 3. I agree Havertz/Sancho would be my picks btw. But I don't think are available and if Dembele is we'd be crazy not to be in the mix as he would be a quality addition.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Midfield is a lot stronger than attack.

Fabinho-Firmino not much difference in quality level
Henderson-Mane attack better
Ox-Salah attack better
Wijnaldum-Origi midfield better
Keita-Shaqiri midfield better
Milner-Brewster midfield better (for now)
Jones-Wooburn about even maybe
Loan returners
Grujic-Wilson I like Wilson more but Grujic played at a higher level.

So our attack relies on two mega star wingers in our "best 11" and the potential of Brewster a kid who hasn't even kicked a football at senior level.

You have Fabinho and Ox injured Henderson, Keita and Wijnaldum is fine. You have Salah and Firmino injured then Mane is stuck with Origi and Shaqiri. It's nowhere near on the same level.

The main criticism of our CM is an unfair one. People looking for goals and assists. We don't play attacking mids or playmaker types. If that's how you insist on assessing our CM they'll always show as disappointing. It's like assessing Salah on his crosses and thinking he's not being a good winger. It's not what they are there to do in the tactical set up Klopp has imposed.

We face somewhere between 50 and 70 games next season. Players starting more than 40 games are being put at risk of developing injuries especially those who never seem to get summers off from international football. A best 11 or starting 11 doesn't mean anything. We only recruit for that we will have some serious issues at times next season.

With what we've got Origi will probably need to play as much as Mane and Salah out wide, maybe Shaqiri too. We could be forced to play Brewster off the bench nearly every game too. Its really not feasible when you try and think through 3 starters and probably 2 subs on average for maybe 65 games.
 

Kopstar

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I think the problem is you are talking about Milner, Henderson and Gini.. A midfield 3 I highly doubt we will see at all next season.

It will be Fabinho + Gini or Hendo + Oxlade or Keita. I agree our midfield was out matched but we have the improvements here already.

What we lack of genuine superstar options for our front 3. I agree Havertz/Sancho would be my picks btw. But I don't think are available and if Dembele is we'd be crazy not to be in the mix as he would be a quality addition.
Yep, fully accept that Fabinho knocks one of the three out. But even then our midfield 3 (Fabinho plus any 2 of what we currently have) isn't as strong as City's. Whereas as midfield 3 of Fabinho, Havertz plus any of our existing options is, imo.

It's just different approaches and I change my mind as to what choice I'd make on a weekly basis! Basically, I'm greedy and I want Havertz and quality rotation/competition for our front three (specifically out wide)...so one of Sancho, Zaha, Dembele, Pepe. If we could do that but budget/cost meant we couldn't afford Havertz and Sancho/Dembele but we could afford Havertz and Zaha/Pepe then that's the choice I'd make.

Mike and Jurgen, I want to find out who would start more games for us next year if we signed Havertz and Dembele. I know you wouldn't want to let me down so d'yer mind buying both of them just so we can find out?

Ta.
 

Red over the water

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I think no matter who we sign, the games against Man City will be a toss up. The level of both teams is so high that it will boil down to who gets it done on the day - a mistake, a bit of luck, or one of the many players on the pitch doing something world class that can’t really be stopped in the moment. Signing either Havertz or Dembele for that particular game would still make it a toss up either way.

Over the course of a season, who helps us more, based on what we already have now?

It’s hard to answer, and you can argue it either way. My own sense is Dembele (caveat: assuming he signs and knuckles down) offers more, and is the better insurance for our attacking prospects overall.

Last season we only lost one game, but had (I think) seven draws. To my mind that’s where the improvement can come. Eliminate those draws, or at least some of them. And I think Dembele will help more on that front, as we will hopefully have any 2/3 of Mo/Mane/Dembele fresh and firing at a given time.

The following season (summer 2020) we will know more about Keita, and also Ox, and presumably Lallana will be waving goodbye too. So it will perhaps be time to upgrade the attacking midfielder role, and at that point Havertz or Aouar will come into the equation a bit more strongly.
 

Kopstar

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Midfield is a lot stronger than attack.

Fabinho-Firmino not much difference in quality level
Henderson-Mane attack better
Ox-Salah attack better
Wijnaldum-Origi midfield better
Keita-Shaqiri midfield better
Milner-Brewster midfield better (for now)
Jones-Wooburn about even maybe
Loan returners
Grujic-Wilson I like Wilson more but Grujic played at a higher level.

So our attack relies on two mega star wingers in our "best 11" and the potential of Brewster a kid who hasn't even kicked a football at senior level.

You have Fabinho and Ox injured Henderson, Keita and Wijnaldum is fine. You have Salah and Firmino injured then Mane is stuck with Origi and Shaqiri. It's nowhere near on the same level.

The main criticism of our CM is an unfair one. People looking for goals and assists. We don't play attacking mids or playmaker types. If that's how you insist on assessing our CM they'll always show as disappointing. It's like assessing Salah on his crosses and thinking he's not being a good winger. It's not what they are there to do in the tactical set up Klopp has imposed.

We face somewhere between 50 and 70 games next season. Players starting more than 40 games are being put at risk of developing injuries especially those who never seem to get summers off from international football. A best 11 or starting 11 doesn't mean anything. We only recruit for that we will have some serious issues at times next season.

With what we've got Origi will probably need to play as much as Mane and Salah out wide, maybe Shaqiri too. We could be forced to play Brewster off the bench nearly every game too. Its really not feasible when you try and think through 3 starters and probably 2 subs on average for maybe 65 games.
Our starting attack is world class. Our starting midfield is not. There is no way that our "midfield is a lot stronger than attack". What you mean is that we have more depth, more bodies, more cover. We don't have more strength in terms of quality, only in terms of depth.

Your comparison makes little sense as you're then scraping the barrel of players who would be nowhere near a senior matchday squad if everyone's fit and they're not in direct competition for starting spots. Arguable that Shaqiri's been better for us than Keita as well. You've also excluded Lallana...not sure why.

Perhaps it's easier to look at it in terms of where players might compare worldwide. Let's assume that all our players are in the top 50% of major league players (even Lallana).

Top 10%
Attack: Firmino, Mane, Salah (3)
Midfield: Fabinho (1)

10-20%
Midfield: Henderson, AOC (2)

20-30%
Midfield: Wijnaldum, Milner (2)

30-40%
Attack: Shaqiri
Midfield: Keita

40-50%:
Attack: Origi
Midfield: Lallana

Deliberately excluded Brewster and Wilson as we've got no idea how they'll perform for the first team in the PL, despite their talent.

As I said, I do think we need to add better quality cover out wide, but it won't improve our first XI and that cannot be overlooked if we are to progress and take it up a level. The area of our team that is most obviously open to improvement is AM/CM so I do think it would be a mistake to overlook this simply because we've got more bodies there.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Our starting attack is world class. Our starting midfield is not. There is no way that our "midfield is a lot stronger than attack". What you mean is that we have more depth, more bodies, more cover. We don't have more strength in terms of quality, only in terms of depth.

Your comparison makes little sense as you're then scraping the barrel of players who would be nowhere near a senior matchday squad if everyone's fit and they're not in direct competition for starting spots. Arguable that Shaqiri's been better for us than Keita as well. You've also excluded Lallana...not sure why.

Perhaps it's easier to look at it in terms of where players might compare worldwide. Let's assume that all our players are in the top 50% of major league players (even Lallana).

Top 10%
Attack: Firmino, Mane, Salah (3)
Midfield: Fabinho (1)

10-20%
Midfield: Henderson, AOC (2)

20-30%
Midfield: Wijnaldum, Milner (2)

30-40%
Attack: Shaqiri
Midfield: Keita

40-50%:
Attack: Origi
Midfield: Lallana

Deliberately excluded Brewster and Wilson as we've got no idea how they'll perform for the first team in the PL, despite their talent.

As I said, I do think we need to add better quality cover out wide, but it won't improve our first XI and that cannot be overlooked if we are to progress and take it up a level. The area of our team that is most obviously open to improvement is AM/CM so I do think it would be a mistake to overlook this simply because we've got more bodies there.
Well 1 we don't play with an AM so yeah we will look weak there.

2 even by your way of looking at it that's 5 midfielders in the top 30% but only 3 attackers. Yes those 3 attackers 1 on 1 comparisons may be better than those 5 midfielders but we play 3 of each every game and we are more likely (if we had the quality) of making/wanting to make attacking substitutes to seal/chase games or even to rest attackers.

3 what does a starting 11 actually achieve? If you could go through every position and make sure you picked the best player in the world in each position it'd be a cracking starting 11 but if the rest of your squad was picked from Tranmere Rovers you'll struggle to win anything. 45-50 starts is risky territory in our physical league. We may play as many as 70. If the players beyond the best 11 aren't anywhere near the same quality we aren't winning much next year it's just not going to happen. We won big this year despite mid season struggles but we had no major injuries to our 3 (and only decent) forwards and going out the cups early.
 

Kopstar

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Well 1 we don't play with an AM so yeah we will look weak there.

2 even by your way of looking at it that's 5 midfielders in the top 30% but only 3 attackers. Yes those 3 attackers 1 on 1 comparisons may be better than those 5 midfielders but we play 3 of each every game and we are more likely (if we had the quality) of making/wanting to make attacking substitutes to seal/chase games or even to rest attackers.

3 what does a starting 11 actually achieve? If you could go through every position and make sure you picked the best player in the world in each position it'd be a cracking starting 11 but if the rest of your squad was picked from Tranmere Rovers you'll struggle to win anything. 45-50 starts is risky territory in our physical league. We may play as many as 70. If the players beyond the best 11 aren't anywhere near the same quality we aren't winning much next year it's just not going to happen. We won big this year despite mid season struggles but we had no major injuries to our 3 (and only decent) forwards and going out the cups early.
Not playing with an AM results in a circular argument. We don't play with one so we're going to look weak in that area > we don't have one, which is why we don't play it, which is why we look weak. The question is, therefore, could we do with one? If not and Jurgen's not particularly bothered about adding goals and creativity from midfield then yeah, the absolute priority is increasing the number of our quality attacking options (particularly in wide areas).

Either way I hope we add in at least one of these areas as going into next season with what we've got will be a mistake, imo.

No right or wrong here so I'm just going to step out at this point.
 

Red over the water

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I won't be unhappy if we sign Havertz of Aouar in an attacking midfield role, instead of Dembele in a wide forward role. The nature of this discussion is testimony to how far we have come - shall I have the caviar or the lobster? Decisions, decisions.

I think we have two players in the attacking midfield role that we will know a lot more about as this next season unfolds. AOC, before his injury, was starting to look very good indeed, breaking through the lines with strength and pace, and also shooting ability. We all hope he gets back to that level. The other attacking midfielder is Keita. Yes, he can do all the midfield roles through the middle, but I'm calling him an attacking midfielder, or at the least box to box, as I think Fabinho is the one who will sit back. For various reasons - language, settling in, niggly injuries, we didn't see the half of what Keita can do yet. There were a few signs, and on occasion we saw a glimpse, but we are all hoping for much more this next campaign.

While we are finding out about both of those attacking midfield talents, I don't think the priority will be to sign someone who will get in their way, at least not this summer. So to my mind, the likes of Havertz or Aouar can wait a year.

The more pressing need to my mind is a wide attacker, not to upgrade on Mane or Salah, as you can't; but to give another option who can cover both sides and play plenty of games, keeping all of them fresh and playing at their best. It's not a first eleven issue for me. The ideal is something like 18 players who can swap in and out and not really see the overall level go down too much. That's what Man City have, and we are almost there, but not quite.

Dembele now. Plus back up left back and goalie.
Havertz or Aouar next summer.

Job's a good 'un.
 

Kenny Dalglish LFC Legend

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I think it's funny to say our midfield doesn't match up to City's. It did the year before when we knocked them out the CL and head to head were better in the league.

It's 2 class teams going at it hammer and tongs and the best team wins on the day. In fact we were a few mm from a draw last season.

Of course I go with what Bob used to say. Let a player's legs get old on another teams pitch. So yes we should always be looking to improve.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Not playing with an AM results in a circular argument. We don't play with one so we're going to look weak in that area > we don't have one, which is why we don't play it, which is why we look weak. The question is, therefore, could we do with one? If not and Jurgen's not particularly bothered about adding goals and creativity from midfield then yeah, the absolute priority is increasing the number of our quality attacking options (particularly in wide areas).

Either way I hope we add in at least one of these areas as going into next season with what we've got will be a mistake, imo.

No right or wrong here so I'm just going to step out at this point.
I'm not trying to pick an argument but we really do have plenty of players who could play attacking midfield. At one point we were seemingly moving towards that formation with Salah used at CF and Firmino behind him. If we wanted a 433 with 2 deeper players and one attacking we could have used Shaqiri in that role anytime. Klopp seems to be more using 3 CMs because it allows the full backs to kick on and unleashes the front three from a lot of responsibility. We could still try and do that with two CMs but it probably wouldn't lead to the same defensive solidity we've found which is why Klopp hasn't done it. I think it's a conscious decision by Klopp to put the creativity that is usually provided from attacking midfield on our full backs, Firmino and the act of pressing high up the pitch, winning the ball close to their goal when they aren't set for it. I think we play a lot more fluid and better since Coutinho was sold. Introduction of a top line attacking mid would kind of lead us back to how things were when he played. I'd choose another Mane over another Coutinho to add to this squad every day of the week.
 

Herb

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Biding our time I reckon. Waiting for Real to make their big Pogba move before we pinch either Isco or Asensio from them.
 

SadiosMio

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Our starting attack is world class. Our starting midfield is not. There is no way that our "midfield is a lot stronger than attack". What you mean is that we have more depth, more bodies, more cover. We don't have more strength in terms of quality, only in terms of depth.
I get the logic here but given the development Fabinho and keita likely have yet to go, I think the midfield might be closer to world class than not. Yet to be proven, obviously.

I think this is partly because I look around and I'm not sure how many world class mids there are right now. One might say debruyne has the biggest impact on his day. Modric did but I think that day is gone.

Even with city I always think if you just get at them, they're basically held together with a def mid in his mid 30s -- that may not be true much longer but we'll see how rodri does. The Silvas and kdb aren't big defensive presences though, though b Silva has gotten better over time (he's in a similar age group to fabi and naby).

Just praying to the gods that naby is fully fit for afcon and stays that way. I think he could have a monster year coming if so. But it's still going to be a squad effort in midfield bc of the energy expended, especially if we play as many games as most hope. It would be nice to have that ability in the attacking positions as well. Origi and shaqiri good sub options but an extended run if starts could be a problem. I guess that's why for this upcoming season I favor the attacking addition, plus I just don't think havertz and Aouar are options to leave their clubs this summer.
 

Spitfire

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Because he didn't get to win the European Cup with the greatest club in the world obviously.
He doesn't get to play with Salah, Mane, Bobby, Fab, Virgil etc. etc . anymore , and most importantly he doesn't get Klopp hugs now.
Yep I get all that - that's how we see it.

IF he thought we were the greatest club in the world he would still be here..........,.

In reality though as he sits in a beach chair in some exotic remote location enjoying his off season figuring whether he should buy a Porsche or Ferrari with his next pay cheque , I bet he regrets fuck all really!
 

Kopstar

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Roughly translated "The lads at the paper have noticed that I haven't got a fucking scooby doo about the club since Brodge left, and have gotten sick of the blag. I'm going to start a blog and a Brenno tribute band called Quality Character."
The new opportunity to cover the reds that he refers to is when he reports on their games away at Leicester for the Leicester Mercury.
 
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Maria

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Roughly translated "The lads at the paper have noticed that I haven't got a fucking scooby doo about the club since Brodge left, and have gotten sick of the blag. I'm going to start a blog and a Brenno tribute band called Quality Character."
That is abit harsh Ubermick. I thought he was a good sports reporter overall and his interviews with the manager and various players. It is going to be strange, not seeing his LFC tweets.
 

JibJab

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Latest rumor has us triggering Junior Firpo's
£45 million release clause to bring him in as a backup for Andy Robertson.
 

GermanRed

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Junior Firpo?

Is he the brother of Charlie and Johnny Firpo?lol
 

costared

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"LFC not interested in player x." It's very easy to do these tweets you know.
May be easy but he seemed to say "not interested" when everyone else was sayin we were interested, and he always seemed to be right. I will miss him but I am sure we will soon get used to the new guy.
 

Walshy07

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All the targets we’ve been linked with haven’t moved anywhere else yet so I’m sure the club have everything under control.
 



Gone Kloppo

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For all the talk of an attacking style midfielder, just remember that Klopp heavily tweaked the system between 17/18 and 18/19. You will recall how much of a come-down it was at the start of the season when we realised we weren't going to be thumping teams - or at the very least creating a high scoring game - every weekend. We will play the same way next season. Even if Ox for example gets back to full strength he might play a more subdued role than we are used to from him given how Klopp has set us up to be defensively stronger. And it will be the same case for any attack- minded midfielder we might wish to purchase (it's not happening anyway imo). Said player won't have a free rein in an attacking sense in Klopp's team. Which is why such a purchase is pointless, especially when we have 2 goal-scoring well balanced (off-def) midfielders on the books already In Ox/Naby.
 

Kopstar

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For all the talk of an attacking style midfielder, just remember that Klopp heavily tweaked the system between 17/18 and 18/19. You will recall how much of a come-down it was at the start of the season when we realised we weren't going to be thumping teams - or at the very least creating a high scoring game - every weekend. We will play the same way next season. Even if Ox for example gets back to full strength he might play a more subdued role than we are used to from him given how Klopp has set us up to be defensively stronger. And it will be the same case for any attack- minded midfielder we might wish to purchase (it's not happening anyway imo). Said player won't have a free rein in an attacking sense in Klopp's team. Which is why such a purchase is pointless, especially when we have 2 goal-scoring well balanced (off-def) midfielders on the books already In Ox/Naby.
Or, Klopp tweaked the system to mitigate against an area of weakness because we don't have a decent AM or goalscoring midfielder? Necessity is the mother of invention.

AOC has a scoring record of 1 every 14 games, Keita 1 every 5 (1 every 12 in a Liverpool shirt). It's slightly optimistic to describe them as goal-scoring midfielders.
 

GaryBarlow99

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Maybe we are waiting for Barcelona and Real Madrid to make a few more moves (Pogba, Griezmann) so they need to sell players? We might get a better deal then and have more bargaining power if we do go in for Dembele, Coutinho, Asensio, etc.