Genious Mr. Klopp
The very special German coach Jürgen Klopp, flourished for seven years at Borussia Dortmund selecting almost exclusively a 4-2-3-1 formation.
When hired at Liverpool he had to face many difficulties and challenges. He found an uncultivated team, without character and self-esteem, a team that had changed a dozen of formations in the first two months of the season, a team full of midfielders but without wingers. And as if that were not enough, he found himself training half of them, since the other half was in the hospital!
The first thing he did was to inspire his players a winning mentality. This certainly isn’t something that can be done simply by pressing a magic button, however the psychology of the players is already at a much higher point than where it was under Brendan Rodgers. Then Klopp started slowly to test his favourite 4-2-3-1. In several difficult games (like with City and Chelsea), knowing that Liverpool are not under any circumstances a worked and ready group, he preferred the 4-3-3 so as with three midfielders, could cloud the movement of opponents. The significant rise in performance of Coutinho-Firmino-Lallana in 2016 and the return of several injured players, solved somewhat the problems our manager faced who now branded as the team’s permanent system the 4-2-3-1 (with some variations in 4-4- 1-1).
Prior to yesterday’s game in Dortmund against the fitter Borussia, there were heated discussions between our fans whether we should line up against the German team offensively or defensively. A dilemma wrong in its outset in our opinion since either you decide to play defensively or offensively, most probably possession would belong to the black and yellow team! So you would have to run a lot, to churn energy and passion and when you win the ball to keep it in your possession as much as possible. This is exactly what happened at the end! The possession was indeed for the Germans 60 – 40%, but the Genius Mr.Klopp read the game almost perfectly (besides he knows BVB better than anyone) and lined up a 4-3-3 after a long time. The very valuable extra 3rd midfielder (James Milner in specifically who by the way was first in tackles with seven successful!) tied defensively the midfield and reduced greatly Dortmund’s midfield in creating opportunities (after all shots on target were merely just 7-6 in favour of the Germans). In this, the defensive duo Lovren – Sakho, contributed immensely who set aside one of the most in-form strikers in the world, Aubameyang. A very good show was also put forward by Divock Origi (who began the season as the fourth choice of attack)! The Belgian won some aerial duels, scored a goal, but mainly marked well the rival fullbacks thereby reducing to some extent their impressive overlaps and the exceptional distant long balls of Mats Hummels.
It is also worth mentioning some characteristic statistics, becaude sometimes numbers hide great truths. Initially we will compare Henderson with Allen. Both played as an inside midfielder (our captain as a RCM in the first 45 minutes and the Welshman who came in his place for the 2nd half as a LCM). Having almost the same ball possession, Hendo had 64% successful passing, but Joe caught the ridiculous rate of 95% !!! Equally interesting is the comparison of the two wingers in yesterday’s match (Coutinho-Lallana). The Brazilian had 1.8% ball possession, while the Englishman 2.4%. Adam was able to achieve 85% of successful passes, while Philippe had only 50% (by far the worst percentage on the pitch). We simply have to make a reference about Emre Can. We often hear some Liverpool fans arguing that Emre is slow, is sloppy and gives bad passes and a bunch of other inventions. Suppose Klopp who considers him key and irreplaceable at Liverpool and that Löw calls and gives him game time for the World Champions in the German national team, are inept and stupid. But the truth is that they must know a bit more than we do. The 22-year-old midfielder is first with 27 tackles won, ahead of all the Europa League footballers. As for yesterday’s game in which he made an ordinary appearance, was first in possession of 5.5%, had 79% successful passes (despite playing as a pure defensive midfielder that had to receive the first passes, constantly having 3 players around him trying to spoil his game), was third in successful tackles (behind Milner and Clyne) and first in dribbling! Ok that sounds like a joke when you consider that this is defensive player.
In conclusion, Liverpool despite not yet being ready as a team, it starts acquiring character and faith. The shirt begins to gain weight pleasantly and players can look in the eyes any opponent. Have no doubt that the transformation has only one name: Jürgen Klopp. Summer is approaching and it is certain that the German will bring the players he believes that best suit his style. With hard work from everyone, in the 2016-17 season, the team will take another step upwards and will slowly become the red armada that scorched terror in England and Europe.
LFC OF OUR DREAMS