Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Silly Season, who needs to be sold, one big problem that needs solving!


“Silly Season” is only a couple of days old and already Liverpool have signed 24-year-old Fabinho from Monaco in a deal worth an initial £39.3million – rising to a potential £43.7m with bonuses

According to the Liverpool Echo Fellow Ligue 1 star Nabil Fekir is aggressively being pursued by Klopp. The two parties are both in talks over a £60million deal that would see the Lyon man become our second most-expensive signing of all time

Where we stand squad wise and who needs to go

Keep
Position
Sell
Loris Karius
Goalkeepers
Simon Mignolet
Danny Ward
Adam Bogdan

Karius would be a good back up option with Danny Ward a fine third option with the hope that a new Goalkeeper would be only rested when need be

Keep
Position
Sell
Andrew Robertson
Defenders
Alberto Moreno
Virgil van Dijk
Joel Matip
Dejan Lovren

Trent Alexander-Arnold

Joe Gomez

Nathaniel Clyne

Ragnar Klavan


Realistically Moreno will be staying as this guy seems to have 9 lives!!! I would do what Klopp has done this season and use him in games we should breeze through but have Robbo in all the time apart from this. If Moreno is willing to settle for this then I guess we won’t get anyone better to sit on the bench

I think Matip really had a poor season and I would love a new beast of a Center back beside VVD but I think our priorities are elsewhere. Klavan is happy being a squad player and the others merit their place. Lovren, while error prone, should be better in our new team come the start of the season but we must look to get a partner for VVD in the next window

Keep
Position
Sell
Georginio Wijnaldum
Midfielders

Naby Keita

Fabinho

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

James Milner

Jordan Henderson

Adam Lallana


I would keep all our midfielders and I would bring in Nabil Fekir also to the mix. Ox and Lallana are good options to replace our front three when a game is won and in the case of Ox he can move up after starting in midfield. This season coming will make or break Lallana. Milner can play anywhere and the others are new or must be kept

Keep
Position
Sell
Roberto Firmino
Attackers
Danny Ings
Mohamed Salah

Sadio Mane

Ben Woodburn (Loan)

Dominic Solanke (Loan)


As regards our attackers our regular trio pick themselves but I would loan out Ben Woodburn and Dominic Solanke to get experience. I like Danny Ings but he is nowhere near the required standard. Add to this you can throw in the Ox and Adam Lallana as players to replace the front three and also Nabil Fekir can play in the wide positions if need be

Keep
Position
Sell
Harry Wilson
Returning from loan
Daniel Sturridge
Marko Grujic
Divock Origi
Ovie Ejaria
Jon Flanagan
Sheyi Ojo
Lazar Markovic
Ryan Kent
Connor Randall

Pedro Chirivella

Allan Rodrigues

Taiwo Awoniyi

Harry Wilson should surely be considered as an impact sub and it will be interesting to see what sort of preseason he has. Grujic could be a useful squad player but with both I would prefer they were loaned if they have no chance of playing. Ovie Ejaria, Sheyi Ojo and Ryan Kent I would keep for another year to see how their progression continues but they must be loaned out

In the “Sell” side I would flog the lot and it would be a massive weight off the wage bill

This brings us to a possible starting line up and bench / squad



The above team needs positions filled and then on the bench we have the following options of Loris Karius, Joe Gomez, Nathaniel Clyne, Alberto Moreno, Georginio Wijnaldum, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jordan Henderson while this would mean left in the squad as back up options would be Danny Ward, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, James Milner and Adam Lallana. With injuries, suspensions, etc we would need everyone so squad players would get plenty of game time

There is one big problem left that needs solving: We need another attacker!!!

A Sadio Mane type player who is very versatile but it is hard to see who they can or will get

I have said it before that before the World Cup starts I expect that we will have most of our summer signings done

Enjoy the ride!

YNWA

JD


Sunday, May 20, 2018

Season Review: The Bad - The Good – and the Champions League Final


To keep everything in perspective I wanted to do this review regardless of the result in the Champions League Final. I will start by addressing some inconvenient truths


12 draws

Working backwards from the end of the season with firstly a 0-0 draw at home against relegated Stoke. A 2-2 draw away with relegated West Brom. A 0-0 draw away to the Bitter Blues. A 2-2 draw at home to Spurs. A 3-3 draw away to the worst Arsenal side in living memory. Another draw with West Brom, this time at home 0-0. We drew 1-1 with the Bitter Blues at home and the same score when we drew with Chelsea at home. We drew 0-0 at home to United while drawing 1-1 away to Newcastle. We drew 1-1 at home to Burnley and lastly we drew 3-3 on the opening day of the season away to Watford

Simply put this is utterly unacceptable and it shows the massive distance away that we are from competing to win the League. We drew THREE times the amount of games City did!? No doubt people will queue up with excuses but excuses don’t put points on the board!


5 defeats

We lost 1-0 away to Chelsea and 2-1 away to United. A 1-0 loss was suffered also away to relegated Swansea . The horror show away to Spurs when we lost 4-1 and also the equally horrific 5-0 defeat away to City. Now the point can be made that apart from the Swansea defeat that these losses are not that unexpected but if we wish to challenge for the League then they have to be turned into draws worst case scenario

25 points off the top

All I have heard is City will never do it again next season, look at Chelsea and Conte. My reply: You haven’t studied Pep enough! Pep has just signed a new 3 year deal with City and this guy is a serial winner and his teams have a frightening consistency about them. City have unlimited resources and they have a superb squad, not just a superb team. Make no mistake if we are to challenge for the League next season the minimum amount of points we will have to get is 90! That is the new standard!!! The Champions League run has papered over the fact that we are light years away from competing in the League

No squad depth

At times Klopp had kids like Woodburn, Solanke, etc all on the bench. Embarrassing! Serious investment is needed as we have ran our strongest team into the ground



Now let’s look at some of the positives. And there have been a lot this season like Moreno not getting near the first team lately and the below


Defensive improvements

Virgil Van Dijk (VVD) has proven to be an inspired transfer and is the world’s most expensive defender and rightfully so. In the crazy world of football transfer money £75 million looks a “snip”. Before he signed we had conceded a whooping 26 goals in just 23 games! After he came into the team we conceded just 10 goals in 15 games

Andy Robertson replacing my friend Moreno has been huge. Moreno is a rash, impulsive player who is always five minutes away from throwing the game away from us but Robbo is the complete opposite and at the end of the season he was regarded as the best left back in the League by many

Mignolet was replaced by Karius and while the jury is still out for me on Karius I do believe he is a step up

Lovren is still capable of moments of madness but VVD has really helped steady him


84 League goals scored

84 League goals is a huge return and the great thing here is it should have been so many more. The amount of chances we created and missed in games and the amount of time we nearly “got in” with our blistering attack was endless. City scored 22 goals more and we need to be even more clinical next season


Top 4 position secured

Getting Champions League football is just absolutely vital. We crawled over the line due to having such a thread bare squad and this needs rectifying but it is great to have it got before the Champions League Final

There are no more qualifiers either for finishing fourth so we go straight into the group stage which is a massive bonus on so many levels

Transfer targets are assured to be playing in it before they sign and it also means a proper preseason is obtained


Jurgen Klopp

I love the guy. He really has made incredible strides and we are playing the best football I have ever seen us play. We are sensational to watch and he has given us a team to be proud of. The way he handled the Coutinho departure, which nobody is remotely bothered about if we are very honest, was top quality. He has Naby Keita on the way (and Nabil Fekir if you are to believe the current rumours which are everywhere to replace Coutinho) and I don’t think I have ever had so much belief in a Manager when it comes to signings. Just look at how the Ox proved us all wrong and the guy looks unplayable at times

I truly believe that if he is backed in the market (and I mean with a better net spend than a paltry £18million since June 2014) then he will win the Premier League for us, I truly believe it

Finally...

The Champions League 

The most stressful game of the season which has had an endless amount of stressful games. For me personally I will be in Holland working the weekend of the game. We will be watching the game in a Hotel with the parents and the kids of the Academy I work for and if we lose I will have 40 plus kids slaughtering me and their parents too for good measure

I might try do a runner to some local bar and have my multiple breakdowns watching it there like every other Red both there and across the world

Do I think we will win? It’s hard to legislate for Madrid and Ronaldo as these guys are serial winners and know how to win this trophy

But...Our front three are lethal and here is the big point why I think we will blitz them: We have had TWO WEEKS REST before the game. A fully fit rearing to go attacking trio who are rested up is the perfect prep!


Hopefully in my next entry I am referring to us as 6 times European Champions!


Enjoy the game


YNWA

Sunday, January 14, 2018

City win nearly fooled us. Big Summer looming


What a game! Both teams attack so we knew there would be goals but the odds were heavily stacked against us. I think this game showed Liverpool can still destroy even the best teams going forward and in midfield we played extremely well

Emre Can was immense as the holding midfielder in arguably the toughest game he could have! We are crying out for a proper defensive midfielder and we need to sort his contract ASAP or we will have to spend big to replace him which would be madness

At one stage we were 4-1 up and i, like everyone else, was wary that we are always good to concede but i thought the first goal was a basic save so i thought we had our “Clanger of the Day” out of our system. Lovren proved me wrong and the second goal showed how much we missed Emre screening

In some ways i think winning 4-3 is better for us than winning 4-1 as we could be fooled into thinking we could get away with certain positions being vulnerable. Let’s be clear here: We need a new GK in the summer and i think Klopp has more or less told Mignolet he is gone by making Karius number 1 for the rest of the season. Karius has between now and then to show he can challenge the new number one GK arriving in the summer

We need another center back along with a right back. Nobody knows what’s going on with Clyne and our current options in central defence are injury prone so we need adequate cover. Plus Lovren is...Lovren!

I believe we really need to address the defensive midfield position urgently. Emre Can has showed he can make this position his own. Give him the contract he wants and get it done! Otherwise we absolutely must address this in the summer

So providing Emre Can stays and that is a big “IF”, then i believe we need a new GK, another center back along with a right back and these positions are an absolute must. We also need cover upfront to take the load off Mane, Salah and Firmino

Four top quality players and it would mean spending seriously big money. Considering we have spent £75m on VVD and £55m to £60m on Keita and this summer will tell all on how ambitious the owners really are and how much Klopp will be backed!

For me this leaves us with the following options and a proposed starting team below



Loris Karius would be our back up keeper. Nathaniel Clyne (if he ever returns), Dejan Lovren, Joe Gomez, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno, Joel Matip and Trent Alexander-Arnold would provide the necessary cover and then some

In midfield James Milner, Jordan Henderson, Marko Grujic, Adam Lallana, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain provide great cover

Up front we have major issues. Besides the attacking trio above we only have Solanke to come on in the 9 and we have to use Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the wide area. We need at least one attacking player and this will cost huge money also

Klopp has done his part. He has forged a great squad together and is ready to take the next step and we are playing incredible football

But the City victory cannot lure us into a false sense of security. Investment the likes we have never seen is needed this summer, will the owners provide it?! (See previous post for more details)

Last point: I will probably get shot down for this but i would part with Coutinho every day of the week before parting with Bobby Firmino, this guy is world class and makes us tick. He bet City up a stick at times in that game and scored a world class goal that if Messi had scored it would have went viral

Bring on the second half of the season

JD

YNWA

Thursday, December 28, 2017

VVD, defensive issues, FSG spending record, where we go from here, Klopp, Champions League Draw, etc

If you talk with any Liverpool supporter it doesn’t take long to drift from the elation of our brilliant attacking play to the misery that is our defensive shambles in individual errors and a Goalkeeping problem that is getting embarrassing

That is why the news that Liverpool had come to an agreement with Southampton for the world record price of 75 million pounds for Virgil van Dijk (VVD) was extremely welcomed




Let’s clear a few things up straight away: Yes, he is worth it! In today’s crazy inflated transfer market he is certainly worth it. Man City signed the second and third most expensive defenders in history respectively in Kyle Walker for a fee of £54m and Benjamin Mendy for a fee of £52m! So yes VVD is worth it if these two players are worth that! Victor Lindelof cost £40m and VVD is definitely worth at least £35m more than him, no?

Will VVD solve our defensive problems? No! But he will certainly improve our defence no end. We still have to sort a Goalkeeper as Mignolet is not good enough (recent example of when he did his level best to lose the game for us against Arsenal) while Karius looks even more uncertain when he plays. Add to this the painful preference of Moreno from Klopp and VVD will be surrounded by those two accidents waiting to happen and young inexperienced right backs. Lovren is capable of absolutely anything and i think Matip will relish having VVD beside him

This brings us on to FSG who, fresh after sanctioning a £55m club record deal for Naby Keita, have now broke the world record transfer fee for a defender. Let’s take a look at their spending...

FSG took over in October 2010, it was the January window of 2011 which was the first opportunity for FSG to begin their path towards doing “whatever is necessary” to bring success to Liverpool.

Net spend on players in each of the succeeding seven years as of October 2017

2011: Ins £109.95m Outs £79.1m Net spend £20.8m

2012: Ins £30.23m Outs £14.3m Net spend £15.93m

2013: Ins £65.3m Outs £28.7m Net spend £36.6m

2014: Ins £116.85m Outs £72.875m Net spend £43.975m

2015: Ins £88.5m Outs £76.02m Net spend £12.488m

2016: Ins £69m Outs £86.5m Net spend -£17.5m

2017: Ins £88.9m Outs £47.25m Net spend £41.65m

(2017 Does not include VVD or Keita)


Total: Ins £568.73m Outs £404.745m


FSG net spend on players in seven years - £163.985m


Average per year - £23.426m


Important to note here that - £23.426m is an unacceptable amount to spend and then place a burden on any Manager who is expected to break into the top four at least and then expected to close the gap on who is top? Sorry, that is simply unrealistic! Especially when you compare it to the Net spending of key rivals since 2010/11

Man City - £718.05m

Man United - £540.05m

Chelsea - £351.8m

Arsenal - £179.8m

Spurs - A remarkable £20.5m profit


Spurs are the odd ones out here. I believe this will come back to haunt them though as Harry Kane will be very well sought after in the coming summer window and if he goes then Spurs will really struggle to replace him




FSG had simply not spent enough for us to compete...Until now

2018, even though we are still in 2017, sees FSG having spent £55m on Keita and £75m on VVD!!! That is £130m on only two players! It is a serious statement yes but also we must take into account that Coutinho will definitely be gone in the summer for at least £130m (sorry to bring the reality home of him leaving to those few left in denial)

FSG have a big summer on many fronts. Liverpool have the best attacking options we have had in years and now have added a serious defender to the mix also. Keita being added to midfield puts us in a stronger position there also and when you add the surprise development of the Ox in midfield then we have lots to be excited about

Coutinho leaving is a serious spanner in the works on the field but we have to accept his wishes and move on and for now we must just enjoy him while we have him

I believe this leaves us with the below on the field:




Up front we have Solanke as another option, and i expect Sturridge and Ings to leave so we will need another attacking option. Lamar would be preferential obviously

In midfield we have a lot of options including Lallana, Hendo, Milner, etc and i expect Emre to leave also with Coutinho. I have Ox in above as he is doing so well at the moment and Naby is obviously a certain starter. We still need to address the glaring problem of not having an out and out defensive midfielder

In defence i think that back four would be solid with Clyne to come back also but like almost everyone else i believe Moreno and Mignolet have to go with Lovren staying as 3rd choice center back at most

So for me, this summer, a Goalkeeper is a must! Spend what needs to be spent once again as the books will be balanced by Coutinho and get proper quality in. Add Lamar and a defensive midfielder and we would be seriously set for the start of next season, possibly better than we have been for many years!

This brings us on to Klopp...

I love the guy and i think he is doing an incredible job but he is not perfect, no one is. The fact that we have the best defensive home record in the league is astonishing given what he is working with and he has us playing some brilliant attacking football

I worry for his belief in Moreno and i think this summer is a big one for him. Should he not address the goalkeeper situation and the defensive midfielder issue then he is willingly leaving himself open for criticism

I really struggle to accept his tactical defensive decisions and how it looks like a free-for-all in the defensive phases. This needs major attention from him




Adding VVD makes the New Year very exciting especially in the Champions League. Over two Legs we are capable of beating anyone in Europe and i fancy us to go far in the competition

Secure a Champions League spot, which won’t be easy and this will bring us nicely to the Summer where we face a defining window like the defining windows we have had in the Houllier, Benitez and Rodgers eras

Will we take the next step this time around?


JD


YNWA

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Predictable Liverpool...Predictable Klopp!!!


I have spoken before about the tactical deficiencies with Liverpool, today i took some screenshots of the game to get across some points

Example 1:


The Liverpool player in possession is circled. Look at how easy it is to play against us here as we are completely lob-sided! There is a massive area highlighted where there is not a solitary Liverpool player?!




Example 2:


Here we see us in possession again and we see Milner in a great position to bomb forward but instead stays where he is. Again, easy to play against. Why not run into the space? Why not drag players out of position by doing so and create space? Too easy



Example 3:


The one time we do have someone make the type of run i was looking for in example two we see how different the game becomes. While in the game the delivery was poor and easily cleared for a corner, the point is the player on the ball has multiple options

Why can’t we look to make these type of runs more? Why can there be over-lapping runs? Liverpool are very predictable at the moment. Teams know that we won’t do this and in example 1 we see the line the opposing teams now hold against us and we have no answer...Coutinho with a wonder free kick and Emre with “that” goal...If it is not a great goal like that i don’t see how or where we will score in the remaining games...



Top four will go to the wire i think sadly...



JD



YNWA!!!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Tactical Evolution from Klopp, Youngsters, January, etc


In not having written a blog in some time i have loads to discuss but i have broken them down into sections. There are endless topics to cover but i will get through a few here. As always replies and emails are always welcome through Facebook or replying here on the Blog Site, happy reading:

Tactical deficiency that continues to hurt us


Watching Liverpool at the moment is so enjoyable as a fan. But as a Coach there is one thing that kills me is that we never use the full depth of the pitch. See the example below in that the player on the ball has no option out wide


Now in the picture above the yellow arrows indicate the possible run that players may make but what drives me crazy is how Clyne never gets to the by-line. Against Burnley this cost us and has nearly done so against Sunderland and others. When a team sits deep then you got to go deeper!!! Get to the by-line and crosses going in or link up play could lead to anything happening from an own goal, penalty, cross to a goal, etc, etc, but Liverpool next to never do this. See below how different we look and the endless possibilities by Clyne being at the by-line in possession:


This is a whole new world of possibilities with Clyne is this position!!! It drives me nuts watching Liverpool and never seeing this. When a team sits deep, this is how you beat them!!! Liverpool have yet to master it. Below i have highlighted the areas defenders hate. In yellow is the areas they don’t like and in black is the areas they dread


When will we start to exploit this, if ever???

Gini Wijnaldum and his movements coupled with tactical evolution


One thing that is massive for Liverpool is attacking overloads. With the high counter press you must have options when you come into possession so to penetrate. Below we see the line up against Leeds in the EFL Cup win



Now what is great about Liverpool is sometimes Ejaria would be in Wijnaldum’s position and vice-versa. Tactically Ejaria is competent allowing Can and Wijnaldum to roam knowing in the transition to defending Ejaria will see them covered

Twice this overload from midfield cut Leeds open. Wijnaldum hit the post with one and the other he drew in a defender leaving Woodburn unmarked to slot home

This evolution of tactics from Klopp is extremely impressive

Last season Liverpool played with a 1-4-2-3-1 formation but i always worried for us in the transition to defending

It was so easy to play between the lines especially between our midfield and defence. If you played inverted wingers against us you would have ran riot

Klopp has shown to have something that my beloved Rafa Benitez never had: adaptability! As your team evolves so too much your tactics and coaching! Rafa could never do this but Klopp already has. In the 1-4-3-3 we have a solid number 6 in the bargain £20million purchase that is Jordan Henderson. I always find it a good gauge when assessing people’s football acumen when they talk about his impact, people who don’t rate him usually don’t understand the game

Then there is the 8 and 10 roles. In the above picture i have the 8 as Can and the 10 as Wijnaldum. What is vital in this is that the 10 is a false 10 of sorts. In the possession phase he can advance into a roaming 10 role and in a defensive transition he becomes a more regular type 8 player

The movements of Lallana are brilliant in this role but Wijnaldum offered penetration also from this against Leeds and this position is vital going forward. We must continue to provide overloads from deep. With the absence of Coutinho and others this will be vital in the coming weeks especially

Ben Woodburn, Ejaria, etc


Liverpool have a host of young talents coming through. Firstly let’s discuss Ovie Ejaria. This kid is real talent. He could develop into a star for sure. His technical ability and transitions are as good as it gets and he has an eye for a pass. His pass completion ratio is top notch also. I see this kid being a big player for us in the coming years providing he is given a chance. Is he ready to fill the gaps left by Coutinho and Mane? Only Klopp knows

In the middle of these young talents is Kevin Stewart who is 23 years of age. While he looks younger he is now at an age where he is expected to deliver and he is showing signs of doing so. After being released by Spurs he now looks a very handy squad player for us

Trent Alexander-Arnold looks a gem. When Carra and Stevie G rave about him then you know he must be good. Having studied him for a while you can see why Klopp knows the right back position is sorted for some time to come. Top player in the making saving us millions

Lastly, and i could have picked more talents, is Ben Woodburn. This kid only turned 17 a few weeks ago and he already looks the real deal. Most, if not all Liverpool fans are well aware of him and his development. The kid always seems to get chances to score and his link up play and pass completion ratio coupled with his tactical acumen is unbelievable for someone so young. He is a huge talent for sure, so much so Klopp said the following after his goal against Leeds: “We know what Ben is capable of and what he is already able to do. My first job is to help these boys so that they can be the best. In this case, Ben Woodburn. There’s a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible. That’s quite a difficult thing to do. But on the other hand, we only bring him in because we want to use him. So that means when he’s on the pitch he’s absolutely allowed to score goals, to prepare situations, to make crosses – how Trent did, for example. So, all good. I’m really happy for him. The only problem is I’m a little bit afraid about you [the media]. That’s why I’m so quiet on this. Think and do what you want, but don’t write anything – only ‘Goal scorer, Ben Woodburn.’ Done. Quite a challenge!”

I think he just wants him to continue developing with the under 23s like Ejaria, etc, and wants to keep the pressure off him. The thing is he is so good he could be ready to go NOW??!!! It will be very interesting to see how Klopp handles this and especially with Liverpool fans as he is a local lad who is ridiculously talented and the natives will most certainly want to see more of this precocious talent

January is make or break


Sadio Mané is to depart for the Africa Cup of Nations with Senegal, with the tournament running from January 14 to February 5. Now, if Senegal progress to the final, it would mean Mané will miss the Premier League fixtures against Man United (January 15) Away. Swansea City (January 21) Home. Chelsea (January 31) Home. Hull City (February 4) Away. He will also miss the both legs of the League Cup Semi-Final against Southampton!!! Before that we have to play Man City at Home on New Year’s Eve without Coutinho who will also miss a few of the games Mané will miss

I think it has gone from a case of wanting to add players in January to desperately needing to do so. That, or will Klopp trust Ejaria, Woodburn, etc? Unlikely but if he did and it worked out his legendary status would be utterly untouchable

If you are to buy in January you have to pay real big money and this is in what is already the most inflated market of all time

Van Dijk has also been mentioned and this guy is an absolute superstar, he has everything but i would imagine Man City and the likes will be queuing up for him

No two ways about it in that January will make or break our season!!!

To finish up

We just have to take it one game at a time and no matter what we keep our patience with the Manager and squad. We are progressing as a club at an unbelievable speed so let’s just enjoy the ride



YNWA



JD

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tactical Set up, Net Spend, The Good...The Bad...And Alberto Moreno!!!

Liverpool had a good 2-0 win over a terrible AC Milan team last night. Now while it was only a friendly there was lots to observe especially tactically. Liverpool set up again in what looks like how we will be setting up for the coming season in a 1-4-3-3 formation with midfield having a holding player and two in front

See what i believe will be our team against Arsenal in the first game of the season and i will get to the Moreno issue later in the post




Firstly we are very short due to injuries in defence which could cost us. Left back is a problem i will address later. I think Emre Can will be in the 6 for the season and Wijnaldum in the 8. The front three is where we have luxuries and i haven’t even included Firmino in it

Obviously losing Karius in goals has hurt us but long term hopefully he will prove a big hit. Left back though is a huge problem. With the way we will play this season we have to be solid in the transition to defence and even against a weak Milan team both full back positions got caught on more than one occasion. I really think this is our biggest weakness

When we play out from the back the full backs get forward like below or when our center backs come into possession you can see their first intention is to go create the overloads, notice Emre Can will drop into the 6 pocket


This has worked well for us in pre-season and it helps especially with an extra outlet for the player in possession. My problem with this formation is the number 10 role. When Hendo plays he does well, etc but going forward he doesn’t offer enough. I think for away games he will be in but for home games i would go with Grujic. When Grujic plays he takes up the positions highlighted in black below when play goes forward he finds those pockets and usually arrives late into them

I think this could be a real source of joy for us tactically as Hendo doesn’t make those runs or take up those positions. Grujic sometimes doesn’t even get the pass but his run takes players away and creates space and that could be vital in home games when we are struggling for goals


With Wijnaldum and Grujic playing in front of Can at home i think we will be a serious proposition

I also think we have done our pressing game better than ever in preseason and there seems to be even more of an emphasis on it with Klopp which is great. Last season was very good but it looks to have gone up a few notches. We seriously need to improve our final pass also

Our transition to defending is what worries me and the full back positions. Jonas Hector, who we are being linked with, would be a colossal addition to this team

After that i would like one more very versatile defender and anything after that is a bonus

Our current transfers are as follows and our Net Spend is very encouraging



Players IN:



Marko Grujic – Red Star Belgrade – From Loan

Joel Matip – Schalke – Free

Loris Karius – Mainz – £4.7m

Sadio Mane – Southampton – £30m

Ragnar Klavan – Augbsurg – £4.2m

Alex Manninger – Free Contract

Georginio Wijnaldum – Newcastle – £23m



Spent: £61.9m



Players OUT:



Jordan Rossiter – Rangers – £250k (compensation)
Jerome Sinclair – Watford – £4m
Joao Carlos Teixeira – Porto – £250k (compensation)
Lawrence Vigouroux – Swindon Town – undisclosed
Sergi Canos – Norwich City – £2.5m
Jordon Ibe – Bournemouth – £15m
Martin Skrtel – Fenerbahce – £5.5m
Joe Allen – Stoke City – £13m
Brad Smith – Bournemouth – £6m

Received: £46.5m


So we have a net spend of just over £15.4 million

Who would you like to see bought between now and September???



JD


YNWA!!!