Who would you buy?

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Yes, and now we are clear. As clear as before.

Which side of those stats do we need to be to be better than them?

The most crucial piece of information above, is the name of the club above the numbers
You leave this bit out on purpose?

"They were strong all season we noticeably improved as the season went yet, despite their financial juggernaut funded strength in depth, there's really not much in it when looking at the season as a whole. I bet if you could just look at final 3rd of the season we'd be about level."
 

Mousecat

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Because they cheat with the financial regulations they are supposed to adhere to, break the rules with regards to their recruitment and have spent an obscene amount of money compiling the most expensive squad with the best depth the league has ever seen. And they still only just edge us. You just prefer that style of play with playmakers in central midfield providing the sides creativity and control.
Yea, they're money boosted, it's known. But without Guardiola and that system, we're still champions.

There's a lot more to come from this team under Klopp in regards to how we control play and create through the midfield. That's a good thing btw. You'd think I was arguing we're on the slide ffs :D
 

redfanman

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This is why there's so much potential in this team. City don't really have much room for improvement. We still do. I've said this before, this Liverpool team can potentially break records. With improvements in midfield and with consistency I think we can establish ourselves as the best in the history of the premier league.
This team is already proving consistent and breaking records. Unlike City, we're not facing an immediate rebuild.
 

Red over the water

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There’s not a lot in it, looking at the stats. To my mind, they scored more goals than us and the top priority for us is another forward, however we approach that - probably a fast, goalscoring winger, given the flexibility of any of the current front three to play through the middle as needed.

Improvements to the midfield will come, now that Fabinho is bedded in, and presumably there’s more to come from Keita and Ox. Henderson looked better once Fabinho got into the side too, as he shifted to an 8.

I think we can improve the midfield, but it will take a lot of money and Milner should be the first one to make way, as he’s getting older. I think the addition we might go for, someone like Havertz, might not come until next year, as in the meantime we will add another forward and try to find a better midfield blend from the start of the season, with the players we already have.
 

Mousecat

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You leave this bit out on purpose?

"They were strong all season we noticeably improved as the season went yet, despite their financial juggernaut funded strength in depth, there's really not much in it when looking at the season as a whole. I bet if you could just look at final 3rd of the season we'd be about level."
If stats make up the basis of your post, use them for the latter part too. don't just "bet on it"
 

Mousecat

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There’s not a lot in it, looking at the stats. To my mind, they scored more goals than us and the top priority for us is another forward, however we approach that - probably a fast, goalscoring winger, given the flexibility of any of the current front three to play through the middle as needed.

Improvements to the midfield will come, now that Fabinho is bedded in, and presumably there’s more to come from Keita and Ox. Henderson looked better once Fabinho got into the side too, as he shifted to an 8.

I think we can improve the midfield, but it will take a lot of money and Milner should be the first one to make way, as he’s getting older. I think the addition we might go for, someone like Havertz, might not come until next year, as in the meantime we will add another forward and try to find a better midfield blend from the start of the season, with the players we already have.
Keita and Ox are a big part of the equation. Those two fit all season, we don't have a problem at all.

But one is coming back from a career threatening injury and the other looks like he could be a bit injury prone. Shite but... what can you do.

Does Klopp... do you lot in here, really feel comfortable going into the season hoping/expecting those two to get a full season in?

Fuckin hell, I rate those two players really highly. And if there was a guarantee they'd be available all season then you can scrap what I'm even saying here. But I don't think Klopp and his team will see this as a risk we can take. What we lack when they're not available, we need to bring in more of in this transfer window.

And saying that, I've just stumbled on my best way to answer all these arguments...

Klopp himself

We keep talking about this is how we play vs city... this is what we want from our midfield and it's not the same as city... blah blah..

But hold on.. this is exactly what Klopp was looking for when he signed Naby Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain. These players bring all of those components.

He clearly values this type of player, and he clearly wants them in his midfield. Otherwise why spend £130M on them plus Fabinho, another player with those attributes I mentioned before?

It's because he wants them. Of course he does. Who wouldn't. And if fully fit and fully adapted, they'll be his first choice players.

The question really revolves around whether he'll be happy going into the next full season not only having to rely on the long term fitness of the both of them, and but doing without what they bring to the team if they're missing
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Yea, they're money boosted, it's known. But without Guardiola and that system, we're still champions.

There's a lot more to come from this team under Klopp in regards to how we control play and create through the midfield. That's a good thing btw. You'd think I was arguing we're on the slide ffs :D
Your posts make it sound like, because we occasionally play Henderson and/or Milner in midfield, we have this huge glaring weakness.

We don't.

Our team achieved almost the same levels as their team over the season.

They showed a consistent level all season whereas we improved during the year.

The things you're listing as weaknesses (which you attribute to some of our midfield personnell) we'd have been about even stevens with them by the end of the season.

But you're ignoring all this context to further your narrative which has always been based on an irrational dislike of Henderson (and to a lesser extent Milner) that you're basically trying to justify.

Your supposedly knowledgeable analysis of what you constantly keep calling to be added to our midfield just shows how ignorant you are to other approaches.

You are clearly desperate for a playmaker to come into our attacking midfield to control the flow of our game and create chances, a De Bruyne or David Silva type.

You're so desperate for this to happen (and therefore relegate Henderson) that you're turning a blind eye (or two) to the facts.

If Klopp wanted that he'd have bought it.

If we were reliant on it and didn't have it we'd struggle to create as a side.

Klopp isn't missing it because he never wanted it or set his side up to include it.
 

Anfield rd Dreamer

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Keita and Ox are a big part of the equation. Those two fit all season, we don't have a problem at all.

But one is coming back from a career threatening injury and the other looks like he could be a bit injury prone. Shite but... what can you do.

Does Klopp... do you lot in here, really feel comfortable going into the season hoping/expecting those two to get a full season in?

Fuckin hell, I rate those two players really highly. And if there was a guarantee they'd be available all season then you can scrap what I'm even saying here. But I don't think Klopp and his team will see this as a risk we can take. What we lack when they're not available, we need to bring in more of in this transfer window.

And saying that, I've just stumbled on my best way to answer all these arguments...

Klopp himself

We keep talking about this is how we play vs city... this is what we want from our midfield and it's not the same as city... blah blah..

But hold on.. this is exactly what Klopp was looking for when he signed Naby Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain. These players bring all of those components.

He clearly values this type of player, and he clearly wants them in his midfield. Otherwise why spend £130M on them plus Fabinho, another player with those attributes I mentioned before?

It's because he wants them. Of course he does. Who wouldn't. And if fully fit and fully adapted, they'll be his first choice players.

The question really revolves around whether he'll be happy going into the next full season not only having to rely on the long term fitness of the both of them, and but doing without what they bring to the team if they're missing
All 3 fit into the blueprint of the type of midfielder Klopp wants. I don't think City would use any in the 2 most creative roles in their central midfield 3. Maybe Ox.
 

Mousecat

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Your posts make it sound like, because we occasionally play Henderson and/or Milner in midfield, we have this huge glaring weakness.
Read my post above yours. It answers a lot of the points you just made.

And don't exaggerate my point to make it more dramatic. "big glaring weakness" is not something that I said, and I'm not on a witch hunt either. I don't want henderson or Milner ousted from the city. I'm saying they both have qualities which mitigate the situation. Because they're both very hard workers, but they don't, especially when played together, properly compensate for the likes of Keita and Ox being sidelined and our team lacks in key components when this is the case.
 

Limiescouse

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And saying that, I've just stumbled on my best way to answer all these arguments...

Klopp himself

We keep talking about this is how we play vs city... this is what we want from our midfield and it's not the same as city... blah blah..

But hold on.. this is exactly what Klopp was looking for when he signed Naby Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain. These players bring all of those components.
Naby and Ox are both risk taking midfielders who are willing to give the ball away to try and make something happen. What part of that fits into the ethos of a controlled possession based game? [/rhetorical question]

You appear to have a few incongruous ideas about the difference between the two sides in terms of approach and effectiveness and therefore what needs to be done to make up that <1cm difference between us winning the league last year vs coming second.
 

Mousecat

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The things you're listing as weaknesses (which you attribute to some of our midfield personnell) we'd have been about even stevens with them by the end of the season.
This is a matter of opinion. If you think we controlled the game in the run in the same way they did, you are entitled to your opinion. I completely disagree.

But you're ignoring all this context to further your narrative which has always been based on an irrational dislike of Henderson (and to a lesser extent Milner) that you're basically trying to justify.
Stupid point made in the form of a personal argument.
My opinions are about football. Whether we agree or not that's all they are.

Your supposedly knowledgeable analysis of what you constantly keep calling to be added to our midfield just shows how ignorant you are to other approaches.
My analysis is just that. Mine. As yours is yours. No more than that.

If Klopp wanted that he'd have bought it.
That'll be why he did.

If we were reliant on it and didn't have it we'd struggle to create as a side.
I never said we were reliant on it. that'd make us a very limited side indeed and one of our strengths is our versatility and quality in a lot of different areas.

Klopp isn't missing it because he never wanted it or set his side up to include it.
"set his side up to include it"?

Is that what you do with a project? Set it up to incorporate new things? or do you use the tools at your disposal to the best of your ability and then use the better ones when you get them?
 

Flobs

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The requirement in that situation is for a player who is comfortable with possession under pressure, able to face the play, able to shield the ball, able to carry the ball under pressure, and with the first touch and technique to not present the opportunity for a turnover.

In our midfield, we have four players who can do that: Gini Wijnaldum, Fabinho, naby Keita and Oxlade Chamberlain.
So what you are saying is that Wijnaldum and Keita haven't been doing their job. Or your being hypocritical.

Personally I think we have tactical problems when our defense falls deep. This can be trained and all the players we have are capable of adapting.
When we go defensive we loose coherence between defense midfield and attack however it's not as bad as all that. Also our defense is much better so is it such a big problem anyway?
Our major problem offensively is getting players between the opposition lines a lot of that has been solved allowing Henderson more freeedom.
 

Nikola

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So are we.
I won't believe it until I see it but there's definitely potential to do so if injuries pass these players by and they continue their progress curves under Klopp. Hopefully Liverpool win Champions League this season and players get another reason to stick - because all the players who will leave are those who barely contributed, either due to lack of quality or playing time.

I'm not saying that Man City will suddenly be ten points weaker because Kompany and maybe Sane will leave - they have almost literally all the money in the world and Guardiola to make that impossible - but another summer of adding quality would be a dream after all these years of losing key players.
 

Mousecat

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Naby and Ox are both risk taking midfielders who are willing to give the ball away to try and make something happen.
That's a description of most attacking playmaking midfielders. Including the ones at City.

What part of that fits into the ethos of a controlled possession based game? [/rhetorical question]
This is a question which both ignores the original point - that being control of possession and tempo, especially from a leading position - as well as insinuating that each approach is mutually exclusive to the other. In other words players who play risky passes in order to create chances, can't play controlled possession football when it's time to take the heat out of a game.

You appear to have a few incongruous ideas about the difference between the two sides
Fixed. And, as we all do.
 

Red over the water

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Keita and Ox are a big part of the equation. Those two fit all season, we don't have a problem at all.

But one is coming back from a career threatening injury and the other looks like he could be a bit injury prone. Shite but... what can you do.

Does Klopp... do you lot in here, really feel comfortable going into the season hoping/expecting those two to get a full season in?

Fuckin hell, I rate those two players really highly. And if there was a guarantee they'd be available all season then you can scrap what I'm even saying here. But I don't think Klopp and his team will see this as a risk we can take. What we lack when they're not available, we need to bring in more of in this transfer window...
I don’t expect both Keita and Ox to be fit all of next season, but I do expect much more from them than we got this past season. Ox was out the whole time, and Keita only saw limited action as he took a long time to get up to speed. He was starting to look good before Rakitic scissor tackled him out of the CL semi and ended his season.

Once Fabinho found his way into the side the midfield blend started to look better. Add Keita and Ox to that and we are in business. But since there are question marks over their fitness, Henderson and Wijnaldum (who had a good season) ahead of Fabinho isn’t terrible, and we will see a fair amount of that, or one of them and one of Keita/Ox, depending on fitness and form.

All that is to say I don’t expect a big change to the main midfield personnel for next season, but I do expect us to get more out of the group that we already have here. By summer 2020 we will know a lot more, and perhaps at that point we will go big on someone like Havertz, or Aouar, or whoever, as Milner waves goodbye.

I see the merit in what you are saying, but I don’t think we will tackle it this summer, due to the various permutations in play I’ve tried to lay out.

Another forward, probably of the fast, goalscoring, versatile winger variety, will probably be the main signing, plus other back up roles where we don’t have the depth we need.
 

Flobs

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I don't think Fabinho, AOC and Keita would be a good midfield to play against the top 6. Just my tuppence worth.
 

Mousecat

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I don’t expect both Keita and Ox to be fit all of next season, but I do expect much more from them than we got this past season. Ox was out the whole time, and Keita only saw limited action as he took a long time to get up to speed. He was starting to look good before Rakitic scissor tackled him out of the CL semi and ended his season.

Once Fabinho found his way into the side the midfield blend started to look better. Add Keita and Ox to that and we are in business. But since there are question marks over their fitness, Henderson and Wijnaldum (who had a good season) ahead of Fabinho isn’t terrible, and we will see a fair amount of that, or one of them and one of Keita/Ox, depending on fitness and form.

All that is to say I don’t expect a big change to the main midfield personnel for next season, but I do expect us to get more out of the group that we already have here. By summer 2020 we will know a lot more, and perhaps at that point we will go big on someone like Havertz, or Aouar, or whoever, as Milner waves goodbye.

I see the merit in what you are saying, but I don’t think we will tackle it this summer, due to the various permutations in play I’ve tried to lay out.

Another forward, probably of the fast, goalscoring, versatile winger variety, will probably be the main signing, plus other back up roles where we don’t have the depth we need.
Maybe, and we're about to find out pretty soon. But I that type of upgrade will happen this summer. I'd be surprised if it didn't.

But the way you worded that bit "isn't terrible" is my point exactly. No, it's far from terrible. But I think that conveys that we can definitely upgrade it. It really does hang on the conversation Klopp and his whole team, not least his medical staff, will be having about keita and Ox
 

redfanman

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I won't believe it until I see it but there's definitely potential to do so if injuries pass these players by and they continue their progress curves under Klopp. Hopefully Liverpool win Champions League this season and players get another reason to stick - because all the players who will leave are those who barely contributed, either due to lack of quality or playing time.

I'm not saying that Man City will suddenly be ten points weaker because Kompany and maybe Sane will leave - they have almost literally all the money in the world and Guardiola to make that impossible - but another summer of adding quality would be a dream after all these years of losing key players.
City are rumoured to be looking to bring in 2 CBs and possibly a RB, a DM with questions remaining over Mendy, and a host of other ageing players. They will find it harder to sustain that pace through that restructuring, than we will.
 

Red over the water

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Maybe, and we're about to find out pretty soon. But I that type of upgrade will happen this summer. I'd be surprised if it didn't.
Yes we are about to find out! And if we go big on a creative/attacking midfielder, I will happily welcome them to the party and doff my cap to you, sir.

If we are getting requests in, put me down for Havertz please.

I’m just not quite seeing a signing like that yet, due to the likelihood we will get much more out of Keita and Ox than we got this past season. Will they be fit for all of next season? Very unlikely. But we will (hopefully, as we can’t see the future) get a lot more than last term. And Henderson (who is better in the 8 role than the 6 role) and Wijnaldum (who had a good season) will keep the thing going at a good level.

It’s a good conversation to have, and thank you for your considered viewpoint and respectful way of putting it across.
 

Red over the water

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I don't think Fabinho, AOC and Keita would be a good midfield to play against the top 6. Just my tuppence worth.
You might be right, but as we look at Man City they dominate opposition with what looks, on paper at least, like a blend that is a bit too attacking, or a bit too lightweight. Fernandinho holds it together, and then their creative little fellas do their thing ahead of him.

Personally I think next season we will see more of Fabinho plus one of Wijnaldum/Henderson, and one of Keita/Ox.
 

Flobs

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You might be right, but as we look at Man City they dominate opposition with what looks, on paper at least, like a blend that is a bit too attacking, or a bit too lightweight. Fernandinho holds it together, and then their creative little fellas do their thing ahead of him.

Personally I think next season we will see more of Fabinho plus one of Wijnaldum/Henderson, and one of Keita/Ox.
Don't they more or less play a 4231 which means 1 extra deep lying midfielder to our line up.
They certainly don't look more attacking than us. We just don't play like them and I don't think Klopp has any intention of playing like them unlike BR. I think it's a massive misconception that to be better we have to be like them. Our attacks when they come are faster and better than theirs all we missed this season was Salah's form/luck which got better as the season went on. With Salah on form and lucky we are the better team. We missed out because 1 game we drew we needed to win, that's fine margins and comes down to 1 goal FFS!
 

Mousecat

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I don’t expect both Keita and Ox to be fit all of next season, but I do expect much more from them than we got this past season. Ox was out the whole time, and Keita only saw limited action as he took a long time to get up to speed. He was starting to look good before Rakitic scissor tackled him out of the CL semi and ended his season.

Once Fabinho found his way into the side the midfield blend started to look better. Add Keita and Ox to that and we are in business. But since there are question marks over their fitness, Henderson and Wijnaldum (who had a good season) ahead of Fabinho isn’t terrible, and we will see a fair amount of that, or one of them and one of Keita/Ox, depending on fitness and form.

All that is to say I don’t expect a big change to the main midfield personnel for next season, but I do expect us to get more out of the group that we already have here. By summer 2020 we will know a lot more, and perhaps at that point we will go big on someone like Havertz, or Aouar, or whoever, as Milner waves goodbye.

I see the merit in what you are saying, but I don’t think we will tackle it this summer, due to the various permutations in play I’ve tried to lay out.

Another forward, probably of the fast, goalscoring, versatile winger variety, will probably be the main signing, plus other back up roles where we don’t have the depth we need.
Yes we are about to find out! And if we go big on a creative/attacking midfielder, I will happily welcome them to the party and doff my cap to you, sir.

If we are getting requests in, put me down for Havertz please.

I’m just not quite seeing a signing like that yet, due to the likelihood we will get much more out of Keita and Ox than we got this past season. Will they be fit for all of next season? Very unlikely. But we will (hopefully, as we can’t see the future) get a lot more than last term. And Henderson (who is better in the 8 role than the 6 role) and Wijnaldum (who had a good season) will keep the thing going at a good level.

It’s a good conversation to have, and thank you for your considered viewpoint and respectful way of putting it across.
Any time brother. And for the record, if klopp and his team are confident that Chamberlain and keita will be good for next season, then I'm happy. Either of those scenarios is a good one imo
 

Mousecat

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all we missed this season was Salah's form/luck which got better as the season went on. With Salah on form and lucky we are the better team.
What we really missed was Chamberlains runs from deep to open the space for the front line. When we've got that it makes it so much harder to defend and turns salah from a 20 to 30 goal player. It's testament to how good they and our fullbacks are that even without someone to break the midfield line, they managed to still managed to share the golden boot.

When there's no runner from deep its easier to isolate the front line and Mark positions. But they're so good even in tight space that even that's not enough. But the potential of them will be fully unlocked if/ when Chamberlain is fit
 

Flobs

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What we really missed was Chamberlains runs from deep to open the space for the front line. When we've got that it makes it so much harder to defend and turns salah from a 20 to 30 goal player. It's testament to how good they and our fullbacks are that even without someone to break the midfield line, they managed to still managed to share the golden boot.

When there's no runner from deep its easier to isolate the front line and Mark positions. But they're so good even in tight space that even that's not enough. But the potential of them will be fully unlocked if/ when Chamberlain is fit
We saw that with Henderson and/or Keita between the lines this just is not the case.
You really should look at tactics a lot more rather than individuals.
If Chamberlain is the difference in Salah's form/luck then why was Salah prolific all last season and becoming so at the end of this season despite the absence of AOC?
As for runners well yes they can be effective but so can having a Wijnaldum or Henderson between the lines. There's always more than one way to reach the goal. For me we rely too heavily on TAA and Robertson however it works. We could have Keita or AOC coming from deep I would still advocate having a Wijnaldum, Henderson or Shaquiri between the lines (helping Firmino. Keep all these options open and the chances will be increased. (N.B We also have Fabinho and Matip to carry the ball from deep so I really don't see that as our problem our problem i insist is getting players between the lines something Henderson is fucking good at :tongue: ).
 
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Red over the water

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Don't they more or less play a 4231 which means 1 extra deep lying midfielder to our line up.
They certainly don't look more attacking than us. We just don't play like them and I don't think Klopp has any intention of playing like them unlike BR. I think it's a massive misconception that to be better we have to be like them. Our attacks when they come are faster and better than theirs all we missed this season was Salah's form/luck which got better as the season went on. With Salah on form and lucky we are the better team. We missed out because 1 game we drew we needed to win, that's fine margins and comes down to 1 goal FFS!
The point is well made that we have to plough our own furrow. We can, and should, learn from other teams, but Klopp is our manager and it’s his vision that must translate on the pitch. And what a heck of a ride it is!

We are already at a very high level, and it will be fascinating to see how the summer unfolds in terms of transfers.

In years gone by we were miles off, and everyone had a list as long as long as your arm as to where we needed to improve. While we still need to improve, and I’m sure we will, the conversation has narrowed down to fewer variables these days, as we are a very good side.

Onwards and upwards, starting with number 6...
 

Flobs

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The point is well made that we have to plough our own furrow. We can, and should, learn from other teams, but Klopp is our manager and it’s his vision that must translate on the pitch. And what a heck of a ride it is!

We are already at a very high level, and it will be fascinating to see how the summer unfolds in terms of transfers.

In years gone by we were miles off, and everyone had a list as long as long as your arm as to where we needed to improve. While we still need to improve, and I’m sure we will, the conversation has narrowed down to fewer variables these days, as we are a very good side.

Onwards and upwards, starting with number 6...
How we have filled the gaps has been incredible since Klopp's arrival. GK check, CB check, Fullbacks check, DM check, Wingers check.
When you look back to the days of Migs, Skrtel, Glen Johnson, Moreno, Joe Allen, Ibe/Coutinho .. we have come a long way. :)

Much of the talk has been about 'control' which some on here put down to possession. I don't think this is centrally what Klopp is talking about though. Control is dictating the pace of the game. It is obvious when we drop back offensively we are looking to force a false rhythm and counter attack (counter attacking creates fear in the opposition (if that happens they slow their play down)). Our problem is our counter attacking in these circumstances is not good Salah becomes too isolated as all our other players defend too deep. When it comes to forcing a false (slow) rhythm our midfield end up changing position too much leaving too many passing lanes open (they are covering for each other but in doing so are losing balance) a team that sets up what we call the bus just doesn't do that (watch Leicester they are very disciplined and keep Maddison as a link for their counters (just one example) we don't keep that discipline).
I reckon we can develop our own style here, keep the midfield flexible and covering each other and still counter effectively. This is what I think Klopp is talking about we just need more time to perfect it. Fast players like AOC and Keita could help enormously here.
 

Mousecat

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You really should look at tactics a lot more rather than individuals.
If Chamberlain is the difference in Salah's form/luck then why was Salah prolific all last season and becoming so at the end of this season despite the absence of AOC?
Maybe you should also look at tactics, and see whether the facts fit your point.

Mo salah scored 6 goals in our last 14 league games. And during that period went 6 without scoring one.
 

ILLOK

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Maybe you should also look at tactics, and see whether the facts fit your point.

Mo salah scored 6 goals in our last 14 league games. And during that period went 6 without scoring one.
Salah also scored loads of goals last season when Chamberlain wasn't in the side, so I'm not sure that holds up. His best game was Roma at Anfield, the same game Chamberlain went of injured early.