3 months into the season and we thought that this is the right moment to attempt a mini review of Liverpool’s season so far: what has gone well and what wrong? What should remain the same and what changes could help the team improve?
We are going to cite three things that we like from the Reds up until this time of the season and 3 things that we would want to see something different from the coach and the players.
- Mohamed Salah. Arguably the best player for Liverpool so far, the steal of the summer for many people, although he became the most expensive sign in the history of the club (42m.€), which is not really a bargain. But if you think Salah’s last presence in England with Chelsea and the fact that his best performances were with Fiorentina, there was some caution regarding the Egyptian’s advent at Anfield. 11 goals and 3 assists later in Premier League and UEFA Champions League have already declared Salah the new hero for the fans and the biggest weapon for Jurgen Klopp’s formidable front-line.
- Emre Can – Alberto Moreno latest form. Can becomes a free-agent in January and fans are not convinced that he should renew at any cost, which indicates that he has yet to prove himself as a player to count on for the next years. On the other hand, he had some flashes of excellence recently, playing a leading role in Liverpool’s recent winning streak and Klopp must think carefully before he chooses to let him go for nothing. Same goes for Moreno: he had a terrible first season, making a lot of people wonder why he even signed for such a big club. In the first part of the season, he has started to look like the tireless and ever bursting forward left-back that he was in Sevilla, which is the best news for the Merseyside club.
- Counter-attack. Liverpool are by far the greatest team in counter-attacks. Mane and Salah provide an outstanding pace at the flanks and can destroy any defence they play against. Liverpool’s 4 goals from counter-attacks are the most in the league and this should keep up until the end.
- Lack of a solid defensive midfielder. Not Henderson, Can or Wijnaldum can play in front of the defensive line and provide the defensive stability that the position requires. They are all good box-to-box midfielders, but Liverpool need a player like Kante or Casemiro, someone who will free the other midfielders and give security to his defenders.
- Lack of a classic striker. While Liverpool’s attacking performance is generally good, the lack of a strong physical presence inside the box can prove crucial later in the season. Firmino is not this kind of player and Sturridge has lost his efficiency lately, so the need for a classic striker is more urgent than ever.
- We have talked a lot about Liverpool’s defensive woes and it is a little surprising that Klopp insists on not trying to play with a 3-man defence in a league that seems to embrace this system, especially the top teams. Matip and Lovren used to be the main pair of centre-backs, but the Croatian was disappointing lately, which led to him staying on the bench. Klavan, Gomez and Can are players who could make a 3-man defence work if the German coach decides to try it someday.