Written by Daniel
Ok Fellow Liverpudlians ! Let’s Discuss Liverpool ! Let’s Talk Some Reds !
Premier League 2020/21
Liverpool’s Premier League title defense has been reduced to rubble. The champions have lost their aura and their invincibility. Losing has become a habit. The once fortress Anfield has crumbled and been reduced to ruins. Moreover, the ever jubilant Klopp has looked lost and short of ideas. How did the season which promised much unravel this fast?
Injury is a word written all over Liverpool’s current season. The plague started with the season-ending injury to Virgil Van Dijk. The nightmare scenario of losing Van Dijk for the season was thought to disrupt the plans Liverpool and Klopp had in mind before the season started. And it has been the case ever since. The situation worsened when Gomez ruptured his ligaments and had to forget the remainder of the season. The loss of Thiago to a cruciate ligament was another blow. Midfield missed his creative imagination and composure. To make the matter worse new signing Diogo Jota got injured at a crucial juncture of the season. His excellent start to his Liverpool career had to come to a screeching halt. Alisson, Henderson, and Fabinho also had to miss a significant part of the season which never took off.
Liverpool’s recent golden dynasty is built on a tried and tested 4-3-3 template. In the current campaign, Klopp and his heavy metal football underwent a transition from a counter-attacking side to a possession-based system. The introduction of Thiago Alcantara in the summer was the reason behind it. However, the masterplan was down to mincemeat in a short span of three months when the injury hell struck. Fabinho had to be removed from his defensive midfield stronghold to an unknown position of a center half. Henderson had to play the role of a sweeper in the defense rather than a midfielder. This weakened the Liverpool midfield engine to be significantly blown apart. The high line setup was far from reliant and very much trouble at the onset. And the absence of the duo of Van Dijk and Gomez was significantly felt.
Front three NO SHOW
The ever-reliant Front three in which the recent success was built had a forgettable season thus far. The goal-scoring fulcrum around Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino is gradually shutting down. The successful partnership they have with Mohamed Salah is losing its predatory instinct. Sadio Mane has been too preoccupied with his own skills and trying too hard to outwit his full-back opponent. Firmino is still overcoming a dip in confidence. He needs the season to come to a close soon for recuperating his usual mental fortitude. However, Mohamed Salah can take away the Golden boot even if his season has been full of ups and downs.
Blunt full backs
The bulk of Liverpool goals in the recent title-winning campaign was produced from wide positions of the field. Rampaging full-back Robertson is often a creative force from the left side. However, His crosses lacked the usual zip and the inch-perfect accuracy. TAA lacked his natural spark and was caught too often in the wrong positions. A complacent attitude has taken over his recent displays on the field by his own admission. Moreover, Liverpool’s width in the final third has been found out recently. And need a creative twitch to overcome their crisis in form.
SQUAD DEPTH EXPOSED
Liverpool’s first eleven is stardust in every possible way. However, the difference in class between the first eleven and the rest of the squad is stark. The unavailability of any front-line stars would cripple Liverpool substantially. As the current campaign has been one where Liverpool had to cope with the loss of 5-6 first-team players for most of the campaign, the second eleven had to deputize for the majority of the games. This has proved crucial in Liverpool’s inability to win games. The previous title-winning campaign is a one-off for the opportune moments from the second-string players that proved critical in the crunch moments.