Signings that fit into Jurgen Klopp’s system is not easy to find

Jurgen-Klopp

Jurgen Klopp doesn’t like the idea of talking about his purchases but he set the scene for Liverpool’s summer activity with his comment this weekend. The current quad has proved too small and with the expected next season of European Football he will need a much bigger team. He admitted that some of his current charges have not shown the required consistency during the entire campaign.

Klopp doesn’t agree to the notion that the answers are available in transfer market. This is pretty much true in case of Liverpool and not just because of their tendency to be gazumped by their rivals or to miss out on most of the major targets.

It is not a difficult task to complete deals initially but it is hard to identify possible arrivals. It is very easy to rule out players according to Klopp’s system than to find players for the team. Klopp’s tactics are idiosyncratic and most of them do not fit into the system. In order to fit into the squad he needs charges that are persuasively fit and capable of topping the running statistics.

If we look at it position by position, Klopp’s favourite striker is neither the target man Christian Benteke nor the predatory Daniel Sturridge. He is fond of Roberto Firmino which shows that he wants a forward who is the first line of the defence. He doesn’t want a specialist and would rather prefer a multi-tasker. Firmino said during an interview that he can play all of the offensive positions.

A new winger cannot be of the touchline-hugging variety and Klopp’s wide men mostly operate within the width of the penalty area. They are more inside-forwards than outside-left and outside-right. Based on the current glut of attacking midfielders, the market might provide many options. But it is significant that no one can replicate Mane’s contribution and the way he added a different dimension with the pace to accelerate beyond defences.

Liverpool’s sync was disturbed when others were pulled out of their position first when Coutinho was injured and then when Mane left for Africa Nation’s Cup duty. Klopp might be in search of a midfielder after the evolving doubts about Emre Can’s future. Klopp’s squad operate further up the field than most and he once said in an interview that if you play really high then the opponents do not play. The job description is different for Klopp and it has changed in the past few years. Milner has put in the second most crosses in the Premier League this season. This shows how much time he spends in attack than the average left-back.

This has a knock on effect for the central defenders. Lucas is out of contract and Lovren is finding new ways to get injured. This calls for the need of an addition to the team. Klopp has a high defensive line and he needs the recovery pace when a ball is played over the top. Klopp is looking for players with a midfielder’s skillset throughout the side. Liverpool has a different way of playing and that makes it difficult to play against them. But when it comes to recruiting players they create troubles for themselves. The style that Klopp is looking for in his players will make it difficult for him to find the suitable ones.

 

Pogba’s time will come as a Manchester United Leader

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Paul Pogba’s season was all about hitting the woodwork. He has hit the post eight times in the Premier League which is more than any other player. This makes the metaphor feel like an obvious one and his first year back at Old Trafford seems few frustrating inches from doing so much better.

According to Frank Lampard, Pogba is not being played in his best position which is making it difficult for him to perform effectively. Pogba could argue about his statistics that his fortune is not on his best side but that would be half true. He has not yet reached the heights that are expected from him. Many have started to believe that he does not have the quality to be a dominant player.

His year has been an odd mix of startling brilliance, apparent disinterest and visible anxiety so far. Those characteristics were often seen in the same performance. The thing with Pogba is that he is an inspiration to many just because of who he is. He symbolises the expectations around him and that is why his marketing appeal is so huge. He is stylish, likeable and photogenic. He has found the key to the world but he is unsure about how to drive forward.

He is a player of exceptional gifts undoubtedly and that will never be in dispute. He is accurate regarding long passing and his feet are quicker than most of the centre forwards. Right now he is forcing his game to its significant detriment but he has a shot of fearsome power. Pogba is always in a hurry. He took around 124 goal attempts last season and it was more than any other Europe’s five major leagues. His target is to end up somewhere near that total this season. Unfortunately, his performances have shown a pattern this season which rise steadily in quality until it comes to a match where the stage is set for him to prove himself.

The same happened against Liverpool in the Premier League and Southampton in the League Cup final where he started the game with his brilliance. He was close to scoring a gol that could have settled his nerves but both the times his confidence crumbled. Zlatan’s goal came as a rescue in both the matches.

The next few matches are going to be interesting. Pogba will take the leadership for the team at some point of time in Ibrahimovic’s absence due to suspension. He is an interesting character who does not seem to enjoy the limelight too much. He needs to refine his playing style and add more structure to it. Pogba needs reinforcement in order to perform better in summer and show his best.

He might be already taking advice from Patrice Evra of Manchester United who had a difficult start at the club. He became one of the finest full-backs to grace Old Trafford. Pogba has been uplifting during the two month stretch and he is one of the main reasons that United have been unbeaten in the league for a long time.

 

Thoughts from Tottenham’s Premier League Victory over Everton

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Tottenham is definitely the best of the rest after their win against Everton. They are way behind of Chelsea to deny them the title but Tottenham are evolving as one of the best team out of the rest. They are seven points behind their London rivals after the 3-2 victory against Everton at White Hart Lane. The difference will be the same until Antonio Conte’s squad face West Ham on Monday.
This was not their complete performance and they have made it more difficult for themselves than it should have been in the closing stages. It took a difficult turn after Romelu Lukaku and Enner Valencia pulled goals back for Everton but an amazing brace from Harry Kane along with a delicious late flick from Dele Alli was enough to seal the points for Mauricio Pochettino’s team.
Kane scored his 19th goal of the season which made him the Premier League top goal scorer. He ascended to the top leaving behind Alexis Sanchez and Lukaku and he scored his 15th goal in the last 13 games that he played. It is impossible to deny the fact the Kane is one of the best strikers in the world.
Tottenham took the lead after 20 minutes of the match when Kane was given time and space around 25 yards from goal. He was not allowed to shoot much in the Everton defence but he accepted to shoot low with power. Everton goalkeeper couldn’t save it and Spurs took the lead.
For the next 10 minutes Spurs dominated possession and they could have scored another goal but they did not and Everton were slightly better in the next half without threatening Hugo Lloris’ goal excessively.
Tottenham showed a different side after the break and asserted themselves effectively. They doubled their lead after 55 minutes when Everton was on the slumbering side. Robles passed the ball to Morgan who must not have been warned about Dembele and Alli shaped danger. The combination of two resulted into a careless pass from Scheiderlin. The ball then fell to Kane and he placed it to the bottom corner effortlessly.
Everton was back into the game in the last 10 minutes. But Spurs got a free kick on the left of the area. Harry Winks dinked into the area before Alli slipped in between some absent minded defenders and flicked boldly into the corner of the net. Valencia’s score for Everton was not enough to snatch a draw.
Eriksen is an underrated player but he is smart and not lazy. He is a curious player and a key cog in Tottenham’s side. He has 10 assists this season and nobody has more in the Premier League. He has scored five goals which is a respectable number for a midfielder from 26 games. It is not easy to become a key member of Mauricio Pochettino’s team by being lazy. Eriksen does all that but in a slightly less obvious manner.
Eriksen just chooses his moments to be aggressive unlike other more obvious all-action midfielders. He told in his interview last year that you don’t need to run if you are smart enough and that’s how he is- Never lazy, always smart.

Liverpool fans trust Jurgen Klopp but pathetic flops must be ended

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Liverpool had a lot of disappointing and heart breaking defeats this season but the worst one was definitely the inept show at Leicester City on Monday night. They were defeated by 3-1 but it would have been worse for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they embarrassingly lost to another bottom half team.

This one was worst for Liverpool because they had a break of 16 days before the game which provided them ample of time for perfect preparation in order to build an impressive show against Tottenham. Klopp went to La Manga with his squad for some warm weather training. He had two weeks to train his players and get them ready.

The dreadful performance by the players has convinced Klopp that it is difficult for him to turn his players into winners. He has shown enough patience towards the players but the patience must have run out after this spineless showing by Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp is the only good thing associated with Liverpool right now. If he is not able to bring back the success for his squad then the supporters of the club might lose their trust on the team and back out. Klopp has realised now that what was the reason for the doubts of the supporters when he arrived. The fans believe in Klopp but if he continues to believe in the present squad then the tables might turn soon.

He needs to bring some players in the team with high class talent along with a winning talent. But the players won’t come cheap. The present team has the ability but they are not able to show it often. They are frequently found wanting whenever they are faced with adversity. After the sacking of Claudio Ranieri everyone knew that Leicester side will be more fired up but Liverpool seemed unprepared for a fight against them.

There has been no yellow card against Leicester. While the players must not let their frustration take over the game but the supporters want to see some evidence that it means something and the players are hurting but none of this was visible on Monday night.

Liverpool’s squad is accepting defeat meekly and the frequency of such a game has become too often which proves that Klopp’s side are a soft touch. Klopp has the fight and passion in him but this might hurt him that his team lacks the same enthusiasm. He must address it this summer that his squad does not reflect his personality.

The same team had virtually dominated second-place Spurs two weeks ago. It is easy to believe that the same team had lost at Hull a week before as they showed the carbon copy performance. It won’t be very surprising if they sweep off Arsenal at Anfield next week because that’s what Liverpool do. They lose to the worst team and beat the best and this must have been driving Klopp crazy.

Until some changes are made in the team Liverpool will continue to flatter to deceive. Jurgen Klopp is in need of more players who share the same passion and enthusiasm as him. He needs more players with mental strength and the will to win.