Oh my word, he has some sloppy posession in one game and people want to put him on the bench. Arguably our best and most consistent player and really our best creator now that Coutinho is gone. Bobby creates so much space for Mane and Salah, not to mention he’s the spearhead of our forward press. Like I said, one of the first names on the sheet for me. Truly unselfish, team first attitude and a model footballer.
Allison Becker, Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Andy Robertson, Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane have all been consistently better than Firmino this season.
Firmino finished last season with 26 goals and 16 assists, it would not be hard to imagine that an output of 20 goals and maybe 10 assists this season was the minimum that people were looking to at the start of the season; have this as a season where he consolidated most of the gains he had made last season. He was never that prolific as a striker in the league, but in the Champions League, he did everything. By this point last season, he had 5 goals and two assists in the Champions league alone, that is the total he has for this entire season despite having featured in 20 games (4 sub appearances, one of which was an entire half).
He is a pale version of the player we saw last season and there is nothing wrong with stating that. His passing, associative play, scoring are all down. The midfield situation does not help, but to cal him the best player in the team, or even the most consistent is a poor assessment. He still presses, but every team in the top 5 applies the pressing game, and they all press from the front so why is this a quality that we put so much emphasis on?
It is not just the numbers that are down, even the optics on most game days shows that he is simply not playing with the same poise he had last season.
As with the issues that still exist with the midfield, a lot of this is easily overlooked so long as the results are coming in and the distance behind City remains manageable. If that changes and there is far more pressure from the teams behind then a lot more critique will come through.