Round Table: Pelé Grannyīs Man City 1 - Kloppīs Liverpool 4

Posted by BabuYagu on November 22, 2015, 06:51:33 PM

What can I say after a 4-1 at the Etihad? It was far from perfect but it was very good.

- Jurgen Klopp, 21 November 2015

I predicted at the start of the Klopp era we would probably be wildly inconsistent up until January or February but would see glimpses of what Kloppīs future Liverpool would be. I also predicted we would hand out an absolute battering to one of the top teams. Didnīt we just, eh? The scary thing is, it should have been more. EIGHT would not have flattered us at all. This without our 3 best players in the spine of the team: Sakho-Henderson-Sturridge.

I also got some shit wrong too though. I was worried about Coutinho and Lallana as part of our attacking unit. For Kloppīs style of play to succeed, he needs players in that forward lineup that will run beyond the striker and in behind the defence. When have we seen Coutinho and Lallana do that on a consistent basis? It was part of the reason I thought we may see Henderson further forward as that crucial element is something he does as well as anybody. His finishing is quite tidy too.

In the Chelsea game round table I highlighted how Mikel and Ramires were fucked before a ball was even kicked. We used those 3 + Can, Milner & Lucas to totally overload them time and again giving them so many problems and decisions to make that they were mentally exhausted in no time and all and completely shut down. It was beautiful to watch and made me realise that tactically, Klopp is far far ahead of what people give him credit for.

Wind the clock forward a few weeks and here we are taking City apart like they are nothing. Lallana and Coutinho playing off Firmino was just devastating as they constantly got into those channels and terrorized the City backline. I was quietly excited when I saw the lineups. Touré + Fernandinho made me wonder if Pellegrini even bothered to send a scout to London that game. But we had evolved even from that Chelsea game. We targeted the fullbacks and channels between them and the CBīs also. Watch the game and see how many times we strangled the life out of their midfield, then had our full backs occupying the flanks, a runner between FB & CB and Firmino at the same time either dragging someone away from that runner or running into space unmarked. We also had composure and calm in the final third. That + runners = win it seems with Klopp. Man Cityīs back 6 will have PTSD this week. Sleepless nights. Waking up in a pool of sweat screaming "Your man", "watch the runner".

As good as Liverpool were, Manchester City were terrible.

- Every British football pundit, 21 November 2015

Get used to this half-praise. Klopp setīs his teams up to suffocate the life out of the opposition midfield and fullbacks and force them into playing rushed, blind, percentage balls or risk losing possession. So when it works, the opposition will look terrible. Their attacking flair players wonīt be able to get into the game (We saw Hazard and Carlos Eduardo both hooked early in the game for this), their forwards will have no service or support and their fullbacks and midfielders will struggle to get forward. Their play will be full of mistakes and misplaced passes.

But we havenīt just turned up on a day when Chelsea and Man City decided to play like shit. We made that happen. Yet it will be used to reduce our praise rather than add to it. But rather than get frustrated by this, enjoy it. It can be our little secret while they scratch their heads in bewilderment at why top sides are all collectively decided to be garbage against us.

Key to everything we do in games like this is our Bob. I love this guy already and, having seen a lot of him pre-Liverpool, I know we are still only seeing the tip of the iceberg. If Lucas is our un-brazilian midfielder, then Bob will bring all the flair and skills to make up for it. Remember that moment he was running around the Man City box doing the "seal" trick? He does stuff like that. "No-look" shots. Marseille roulettes into a backheel pass. When he feels confident here, he will be similar to Ronaldinho at Barcelona in how fans will hold their breath when the ball goes to him, expecting something brilliant to happen.

The main thing he brings us in these big away games against top sides as a false 9 is an almost unsolvable problem for the opposition. Mark him or leave him? Defence problem or midfield one? His movement is a nightmare to play against. The defence either marks him and gets moved into areas they donīt want to be in (like yesterday)... or they let him go, allow their midfield to be swamped and over run (like we saw at Chelsea). Hopefully I donīt have to read anymore people in the pre-match threads saying "playing with no striker against sides like this is a mistake".

He cost us a goal yesterday and so scored a belter to make up for it. Heīs a real threat in the opposition box but we havenīt seen that for some time. Heīs someone who should be good for about 5 goals a season so letīs hope this was the first of many this season. Thought he was excellent yesterday bar the mistake for his goal. I mean, he won a sliding headed tackle in his own box. Handball my arse Sterling.

Bring on Bordeaux! Iīm already counting down the hours. Football has rarely felt this good.

Kolo Touré - our new DM? :D
Lovren - his best performance for us?
Is Emre Can starting to play like the midfielder we need?
Henderson - where?
Lallana - He was MOTM for me. Is his output still a worry for you?
How did you celebrate the 3rd?
That Sterling miss - schadenfreude at itīs finest?

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