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Who would you buy?

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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We've had plen
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.
 

Flobs

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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.
I even emphasised the absence of AOC in my post, how did he miss it?
Perhaps he's infereing that with AOC we don't need Salah?
 



RedForever2014

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I’d say no way would Shaqiri for example be happy with the role he has in the long term. What you are suggesting is 'bring 3 or 4 more of them' - there is no way Klopp could keep them happy.

Sané, Mahrez and Jesus earn loads of money and won the league. City probably had the most games this season across Europe but the players I’ve mentioned are not happy and are even looking for a way out.

Last thing we need is unhappy players.
@RedForever2014 You are of course correct in what the goal should be. Where it is challenging is in the practical realities of it, and a look to City might illustrate that. They have the attacking talent on paper that many fans judge as the bench mark for what sort of depth is needed. Yet despite how good on paper Mahrez and Jesus look, once they get on the pitch they do not live up to expectation.

This season, Jesus got only 8 starts in all competitions. This is not exactly a metric expected of a player who is deemed interchangeable, but someone who is deemed to represent a significant drop off from the player replaced. This is likely cause AND effect...he is playing less because isnt as good as Aguero, but then the playing less makes it difficult for him to perform when used. That is the fundamental challenge of filling out your squad past around 16-17 players that not even bags of money and attracting the best talent on paper can solve.

Mahrez has fared better, but isnt distinguishable from Shaq in his useage. Both got about 14 starts. Mahrez scored one more goal, but did so from a more attacking role than Shaq had.
I understand that some players aren't happy if they're not playing regularly, but I still come back to the same point that if they are good enough in comparison to the better players in the squad, they will get plenty of minutes.

There are always injuries (we've been lucky that we've not had many with the front three), there is always a need to rotate, there are many trophies to go after.

So for me, that's not a reason for not having quality depth, because having a deep squad of quality players is necessary to win multiple trophies in the modern era.

Part of having a squad that's good enough is to be prepared to sell and replace squad players almost every summer. It's the price of success and is actually a good thing if they have held their value or increased in value.


I think some players are prepared to play less if they're younger and have time on their side, or if they're veterans and still want to be involved at a top club, or if they're on a better contact than they'd get elsewhere. The proof of the latter is the players who have refused to move on despite not playing regularly, as they're not prepared to take a pay cut.

I think the issue is mostly about peak age players who aren't playing regularly, and that for me is about ensuring your peak age players are good enough to get enough games to keep them happy.

The other aspect to this is that to keep your best players happy you've got to be competitive, and thus in order to keep your better players happy you've got to have the depth, even if some of them are a bit unhappy.

In short, let's worry more about not winning the trophies we should because we don't have the quality in depth that we need, rather than a few players each summer wanting to go elsewhere for more game time.

And ultimately we're not talking about 22 like for like players. We're talking about taking the regularly usable quality we have a bit deeper, and improving the level of the 18-20 level players in the outfield squad, so they can be used more than Moreno, Sturridge, Clyne and Lallana now can.
 

RedForever2014

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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.
The crux of this for me is what this summer looks like in comparison to those summers after finishing second when we bought badly and sold a key man.

To show we've really stepped up as a club, we have to keep all our key players and sign at least one or two top quality players to add to what we have.

This 97 point so we don't need to do anything argument is just plain wrong. There are issues for all to see, we just did well despite them, mostly as we were lucky with injuries.

A 4th quality forward without selling Bobby, Mo or Mane is the bare minimum I'd accept as an acceptable summer.
 

SadiosMio

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if that's true about de ligt it's quite annoying

this break is too long
Happy to see it, if it does (and I very much think it's still "if", Barca could decide to up their wage offer and he's gone in a flash). Much rather him go there than Barca. Man U certainly needs more than him, they'd be spending more than LFC did for Van Dijk, and no doubt De Ligt would be off to Barca whenever they come back in. Remember when they thought Pogba was their savior? Now he wants to leave but no one wants to buy him.

All this for someone Liverpool was never going to sign. Sounds good to me. That's 100M someone in the market won't have to compete for a player we do want.
 



Nikola

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We've had plen

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.
I don't expect it but I hope for it. The fear factor will be present as long as Guardiola is there, teams will keep rolling over for them, I'm afraid, making it easy for new signings to bed in. I do hope that they will miss Kompany's leadership, even if he did not play too many games for them, and that they will miss Sane as a unique game-changing weapon. I think they will easily replace Fernandinho, though.

The crux of this for me is what this summer looks like in comparison to those summers after finishing second when we bought badly and sold a key man.

To show we've really stepped up as a club, we have to keep all our key players and sign at least one or two top quality players to add to what we have.

This 97 point so we don't need to do anything argument is just plain wrong. There are issues for all to see, we just did well despite them, mostly as we were lucky with injuries.

A 4th quality forward without selling Bobby, Mo or Mane is the bare minimum I'd accept as an acceptable summer.
I can't agree that Liverpool were lucky with injuries - AOC missed virtually whole season, while Gomez missed a half of it, Keita had a lot of niggles... All of them first eleven players. That said, Liverpool were lucky with fitness of three players they couldn't replace, in my opinion, which are Alisson, Van Dijk and Fabinho.

Getting a quality left back, a replacement for Lovren and a forward/winger is still on my wish list but I'd settle for the former two as Klopp wants to keep Origi. To be honest, I'm hoping for another pleasant surprise from him, Shaqiri and especially Brewster, looking at how the others progressed after spending at least two seasons with Klopp.
 

Limiescouse

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I understand that some players aren't happy if they're not playing regularly, but I still come back to the same point that if they are good enough in comparison to the better players in the squad, they will get plenty of minutes.

There are always injuries (we've been lucky that we've not had many with the front three), there is always a need to rotate, there are many trophies to go after.

So for me, that's not a reason for not having quality depth, because having a deep squad of quality players is necessary to win multiple trophies in the modern era.

Part of having a squad that's good enough is to be prepared to sell and replace squad players almost every summer. It's the price of success and is actually a good thing if they have held their value or increased in value.


I think some players are prepared to play less if they're younger and have time on their side, or if they're veterans and still want to be involved at a top club, or if they're on a better contact than they'd get elsewhere. The proof of the latter is the players who have refused to move on despite not playing regularly, as they're not prepared to take a pay cut.

I think the issue is mostly about peak age players who aren't playing regularly, and that for me is about ensuring your peak age players are good enough to get enough games to keep them happy.

The other aspect to this is that to keep your best players happy you've got to be competitive, and thus in order to keep your better players happy you've got to have the depth, even if some of them are a bit unhappy.

In short, let's worry more about not winning the trophies we should because we don't have the quality in depth that we need, rather than a few players each summer wanting to go elsewhere for more game time.

And ultimately we're not talking about 22 like for like players. We're talking about taking the regularly usable quality we have a bit deeper, and improving the level of the 18-20 level players in the outfield squad, so they can be used more than Moreno, Sturridge, Clyne and Lallana now can.
I think that is far more a response to an argument you think can reject than the actual argument I am making.

I am not talking about keeping players happy. I am not talking about the difficulty selling a marginal role to a player. I am not talking ambition. I am not talking about not wanting to rotate, and not even about dismissing the impact of injuries. I am simply making the statement that there are practical limitations to the size of the squad you can have that allows you to perform at the very top level and have all your pieces be interchangeable with no drop off in performance. Practice suggests that is about 16-18 players. My City examples were to illustrate that not even unlimited funds and a football manager approach to just buying "more quality" can necessarily solve the issue.

Sure, we should not just accept that as a reason to not make moves in the market (or find other ways to strengthen beyond what we had this year), but literally no one is suggesting that to be case. However, if we do go and get 3 players who on paper look like good additions and make an impact, they will do so at the expense of someone else, and we will be back in the situation where the 18th and 19th guy in line make us worry that our squad is "too thin" the 4 or 5 times they get to start next season.
 
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SadiosMio

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Don't think that has been reported by anyone reliable has it?
Would be very surprised if true.

Would
Barca fans seem to think if the numbers being thrown around (completely insane) are true, their club won't match it and shouldn't. And they're right. It's completely nuts, even more than what they got De Jong for.

It would be another transfer like Sanchez where as much as you pay the player, it ends up costing you even more because it breaks your wage structure...only this time for a 19 year old defender from the Eredivisie. 300k+ per week, maybe 350 depending who you believe. Maybe 85M in fees all in between Ajax and Mino.

Ferguson was right to want to stay away from Mino, and now apparently they're so desperate they're completely giving over the finances of the club to him. I'm thinking Mino has found a mark in Woodward and Man U and is just working that angle until it breaks. He got 40M from them in the Pogba deal; no doubt that would never have happened if Ferguson was still in charge there.

And still it may not end up being enough if Barca eventually ups the offer. But even if Man U doesn't sign De Ligt, do you think every other agent is going to look at this and say "hrm I can ask for more from them for my young player". And if they do, the player will just be like De Gea, getting progressively more desperate to leave for the club he really wanted to be at all along.
 



Lynch04

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I agree that Klopp is the more pragmatic of the two managers. That game against Roma is the perfect example.

Would Guardiola have just said "go long"?

Who knows.

But we are in direct competition with them, and Guardiola is their man, and they have all that money. And it's formidable.

So... what do they do better than us? Where can we improve to match them?

I don't believe in just dismissing the analysis of the midfield as mere differences in style, and saying "that's just how Klopp wants his midfield to be"

There is no evidence whatsoever of this fact. All we know is that he has what he has and he's working with that. As the fundamental premise for the spirited defence of Jordan henderson and James Milner, it's got to be critically analysed.

I think Mascot, maybe a couple of people, made the point "They do the job Klopp wants from his midfield"

This is a questionable premise. I mean, of course they do. and they do it well. But is it the job which, long term, Klopp will want his midfield to do? Or will we/can we evolve that model?

To my mind it's not even in doubt. This is the area where Manchester city are the more refined, the more finished article than we are. And it's not about simply revolving the debate around single criteria such as creativity or workrate, then using the basic stats to validate the position.

Let me just say that in no way is this a criticism. It's a statement of what I believe to be fact. An observation. City have had all the money and Guardiola hasn't had to gradually rebuild, and not from the starting position Klopp has either.

It's certain aspects of the game where they excel, and it's those areas where we can improve the most.

I'll put this as bluntly and basically as it needs to be.

When I watch them play, and then watch us, the aspect of their game which is head and shoulders above ours is their ability to control possession, especially from a leading position.

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.

Of those players, only two have been available to Klopp this season.

Critical to maintaining possession and complete control of a football match, is for there to be no weak link in this system. No players who fall below the necessary requirements to play this way. Man City's midfield is like glue in those instances. Our isn't. There was a point in the Barcelona game where we could have conceded a goal through a chance we gave them from Milner's lack of control of a very simple pass.

When we don't have those players, yes, we have to play to our other strengths, and this Liverpool team have so many other strengths that maybe it seems like there aren't still a couple of weaknesses. Key ones which need to be addressed.

This isn't to say those mentioned players don't have a future at the club. They absolutely do and are good enough to provide a quality which they have in abundance. But it is, and I stand by this point, critical that we don't have to rely long term on having to select two players in a starting eleven who lack a couple of key components which would elevate our game to the next level.
Did we go long against Roma, maybe i should re-watch it.
I like your post/response you have an opinion and i agree/disagree with aspects of it but that doesn't mean you or I are wrong.

I cant speak for anyone else's post but i dont think the spirited defence of Henderson/Milner is actually true. He praises them when he has to, please provide a incident when he has defended them for no apparent reason. In regards to Milner didnt he break the record for CL assists last season....

I will hold my hand up and say City have a more technically skilled midfield than ours. De Bruyne, Silva’s x2, Gundogan are very good. But that doesn't mean they are better in terms of the teams style/approach. If you gave Pep our midfield and vice versa they would both struggle. Why? Because they are doing a job they are not designed or familiar with.

You highlight the issue of game control. From last season we have improved immensely in this area, we actually dictate games which is what the majority of successful teams do. I dont recall the Milner incident but didnt Salah make a bad pass against PSG where Mbappe scored...players will make mistakes thats a given, but at the moment we have the players Klopp wants or is afforded.

Out of interest, who would you bring in to improve our midfield/team?
 

Jaytinho

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Hmmmmm Don Balon (I think they are relatively high up on the bullshit scale) say €50m (£44m) should be enough for James Rodriguez. I would be all over this if true. People questioned Shaqiri's work ethic as well. But James is a player you would want for his head and not his running. Perfect to just sit between Fabinho and the front 3 and just feed like crazy while taking the occasional cracker outside the box. He does have a weird injury history though

Link: James Rodriguez will not remain at Real Madrid and he has a destination