He looked far more comfortable when we went down to 10 men and then he could operate as a traditional Left Back. He needs to be on the front foot, pressing the ball, overlapping and staying on the chalk. He looks very uncertain when he tucks in, like he doesn't know quite where he is meant to be. He is also very one footed, his passing angles are all different in this position, he is receiving the ball in deeper areas and now needs to use his right foot more often.
I question the need to continue with the Trent inside experiment. I get why Klopp implemented this last season. For years Trent and Robbo were the key to our attacking play along with the 3 up top but the opposition seemed to finally have the measure of this approach and the goals dried up. Problem was we had such a workmanlike midfield and the likes of Hendo, Fab, Milner etc could not offer any solutions to the problem, hence the tactical switch. But now, with the introduction of Mac and Szobo we have creative solutions in the middle of the pitch. We don't need to persist with this midfiled overload and the defensive challenges that it brings. Get back to having 2 rampaging full-backs. Sure Trent can step infield but have him play in that inside right channel (the way KDB does) rather than having licence to go where ever he wants (as seems to be the case). And have him do it occasionally rather than all the time. This system asks too much of the 2 centre-halves. It offers an easy out ball (for the oppo) with the diagonal, and teams with good movement and breaking midfielders will move VVD and Konate into places they don't want to be and then force our middies to track runners from deep. If you are going to play with this system, for me you need to mobile, hardworking DMs who can run all day be it in the press or recovery runs when we turn the ball over. It's a job for two (not a single 6 such as Endo).
I agree with you. I think the current system asks a lot of the two DMs and for a certain type of backline. Those are two things we don't have, especially with Robbo as the LCB, hence why I asked if it would make sense to take him out and bring in Gomez even if it meant moving Konate to the LCB since it seems like we're not moving for a CB despite the need for a left-footed one. It's not a great solution, but my feeling is that, defensively speaking, it would ease things a bit on VVD who, from the two games we've played so far this season, is often stuck with huge spaces around him to cover because Robbo is not a CB.
With that said, moving back to our original 4-3-3 might be a good idea. However, we have to remember why this whole thing happened in the first place which was the dreadful defensive output of TAA coupled with our midfield not being able to cope anymore with covering his flank when he went up the pitch. It worked well when we had Gini in the side because he was, in my opinion, a phenomenon and quite literally one of the most underrated players in our recent history. Gini could run for days, recover the ball, win aerial duels, transition defense to offense and still find a way to appear in the box to head a cross into the goal. He left and Hendo took that role to what I'd call temporary success so it kept on working for a bit more.
As things stand, the RCM position is Szobo's. The lad has demonstrated, among other things, lots of energy and a willingness to run back, but I fear we'd take a lot of his offensive game away from him if we were to stick him in that position without the Konate help he gets in covering Trent in the current system which also accounts for Trent defensive frailty by tucking him into the middle and utilizing him as a deep-lying playmaker instead of letting him bomb up and down the right wing. Szobo is a player who needs the ball at his feet to give you 100% of the qualities that made you buy him. If we try to play him at RCM in the context of our traditional 4-3-3, in my opinion, we'll lose a lot of his offensive output.
This is one of the reasons I was so excited when we bid for Caicedo. Its not so much that Caicedo is a good footballer with the ball at his feet, but the fact that he's a machine who, like Gini, has that ability to be everywhere all at once and does everything at a 7/10 rate and we don't necessarily need him to do tons offensively speaking in that new system. He would've been perfect because he covers a lot of space and is quick. Can Endo do that? I'm not sure.
In my opinion, right now we're stuck between two stools. We don't have the tools to play the 4-3-3 to full potential and we also don't have the tools to play the new system the ideal way.