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      Improving Midfield - how will it set up?

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      LMW
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #200: Mar 08, 2019 09:18:36 am
      A lot of concerns are being raised of late on the lack of creativity in midfield, with some fans stating the combinations in midfield that are being selected are very negative and stifling are ability to create chances and as a result, get the goals that win games. Here's my take on it:

      A manager's system is typically built from attacking intent, defensive intent and formation. As we know, Klopp's core concept is 'gegenpressing' which means that his teams are set out to apply pressure. One of the main advantages to this is that you don't require every player in the team to have huge amounts of technical ability. The concept demands more physical ability; you need to be strong and agile with lots of stamina and endurance. To use an example, a player like Milner, without being disrespectful, who is not the most technically gifted, looks incredible in Klopp's system as he has all the attributes required.

      The system relies on taking the ball of the opposition in key areas and quickly getting behind them to create chances. The downside to the system is that if you are playing against an opposition who consolidates or fortifies and their emphasis isn't on having any of the ball or making attacks, you have a problem if you don't have the capabilities for creativity in midfield. It's at this point that the system will not be as effective and then requires the forwards to create their own chances to score. This is the case at the moment for Liverpool in certain games, we have very little technical and creative ability in midfield which is the reason we have seen 0-0 a lot lately, which highlights that our midfield is doing a great job protecting our back four but struggles to open the door for our forwards at the other end.

      If we look at Dortmund's side under Klopp, in an attacking midfield role, they had Reus, Kagawa and Mkhitaryan. These players are wonderful technicians and played in front of two midfielders who would break up play (let's say Bender and Gundogan for example). At Liverpool, since Coutinho departed, we don't have that player with bags of creativeness (although we are hoping Keita will be that player) and as a result of this, we play with a combination of 3 players who are fantastic in Klopp's pressure system but lack the attacking talents of the aforementioned players, this is the root of some of the problems we are having in my opinion.
      CT_LFC
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #201: Mar 08, 2019 05:23:40 pm

      If we look at Dortmund's side under Klopp, in an attacking midfield role, they had Reus, Kagawa and Mkhitaryan. These players are wonderful technicians and played in front of two midfielders who would break up play (let's say Bender and Gundogan for example). At Liverpool, since Coutinho departed, we don't have that player with bags of creativeness (although we are hoping Keita will be that player) and as a result of this, we play with a combination of 3 players who are fantastic in Klopp's pressure system but lack the attacking talents of the aforementioned players, this is the root of some of the problems we are having in my opinion.

      Remember the 2016/2017 season? we were unbeaten against the other top 6 teams (i think we went 5W-5D-0L) but really struggled to get past the lesser teams and either draw or lost to all of Burnley, Southampton (x2), Bournemouth (x2), West Ham, Sunderland, Swansea, Hull, Leicester, Palace. Was Countinho not on the team then?

      Remember the first half of 2017/2018 season? We drew to Watford, Burnley, Newcastle, Everton and West Brom before the end of the calendar year. Was Coutinho not on the team then?

      This idea that not replacing Coutinho is the "root" of the problem is a bunch of overblown garbage. We'll probably start hearing again soon how we miss Buvac.
      higgy_sham
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #202: Mar 08, 2019 05:30:03 pm
      We'll probably start hearing again soon how we miss Buvac.

      And Karius

      LMW
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #203: Mar 08, 2019 05:31:57 pm
      Remember the 2016/2017 season? we were unbeaten against the other top 6 teams (i think we went 5W-5D-0L) but really struggled to get past the lesser teams and either draw or lost to all of Burnley, Southampton (x2), Bournemouth (x2), West Ham, Sunderland, Swansea, Hull, Leicester, Palace. Was Countinho not on the team then?

      Remember the first half of 2017/2018 season? We drew to Watford, Burnley, Newcastle, Everton and West Brom before the end of the calendar year. Was Coutinho not on the team then?

      This idea that not replacing Coutinho is the "root" of the problem is a bunch of overblown garbage. We'll probably start hearing again soon how we miss Buvac.

      I feel like you’ve completely missed my point. I was referring to Coutinho as our last real talented creative midfielder that can unlock defenses. Bit bizarre that you have picked out a small reference and nailed in on it.
      CT_LFC
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #204: Mar 08, 2019 05:45:04 pm
      I feel like you’ve completely missed my point. I was referring to Coutinho as our last real talented creative midfielder that can unlock defenses. Bit bizarre that you have picked out a small reference and nailed in on it.

      Don't think i have. You stated since Coutinho left that we don't have a creative player and have to play 3 midfielders with less attacking abilities and concluding this is as the root of some of the problems we are having. Considering our results in the 2016/2017 + first half of 2017/2018, when we had this creative phenom, tells me this conclusion is massively overblown and overrated.

      FATKOPITE10
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #205: Mar 08, 2019 05:54:30 pm
      Don't think i have. You stated since Coutinho left that we don't have a creative player and have to play 3 midfielders with less attacking abilities and concluding this is as the root of some of the problems we are having. Considering our results in the 2016/2017 + first half of 2017/2018, when we had this creative phenom, tells me this conclusion is massively overblown and overrated.



      You don't think a play of his type added to the improved goalkeeper and defence this season  wouldn't be a big factor
      LMW
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #206: Mar 08, 2019 05:59:08 pm
      Don't think i have. You stated since Coutinho left that we don't have a creative player and have to play 3 midfielders with less attacking abilities and concluding this is as the root of some of the problems we are having. Considering our results in the 2016/2017 + first half of 2017/2018, when we had this creative phenom, tells me this conclusion is massively overblown and overrated.

      Ok, you’re entitled to an opinion as am I. My observation is that when we play Milner, Hendo, Fab or Gini in the middle, none of them are capable to cut through teams with a killer pass on a regular occasion. I feel like you have underlying hatred towards Coutinho hence this response but we don’t have a player in the middle to create regularly enough at this moment in time.
      Ribapuru
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #207: Mar 08, 2019 06:10:34 pm
      Ok, you’re entitled to an opinion as am I. My observation is that when we play Milner, Hendo, Fab or Gini in the middle, none of them are capable to cut through teams with a killer pass on a regular occasion. I feel like you have underlying hatred towards Coutinho hence this response but we don’t have a player in the middle to create regularly enough at this moment in time.
      Fab and Gini are good, Miner and Henderson bad! My opinion.
      srslfc
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #208: Mar 08, 2019 06:16:23 pm
      You don't think a play of his type added to the improved goalkeeper and defence this season  wouldn't be a big factor

      I don't think anyone would argue that we are missing that creative player in midfield like Coutinho but if we had it would we be any better off in this league season?

      It's really hard to say but I do feel we will buy such a player in the summer.
      FATKOPITE10
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #209: Mar 08, 2019 06:28:43 pm
      I don't think anyone would argue that we are missing that creative player in midfield like Coutinho but if we had it would we be any better off in this league season?

      It's really hard to say but I do feel we will buy such a player in the summer.

      Agreed,  we must remember that we are still on course for a point totals that in a lot of seasons would see us walk the league and see is break or own points total record
      racerx34
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #210: Apr 02, 2019 04:45:10 pm
      Seems to have settled back to a midfield 3 lately.
      Not sure I'd have Wijnaldum/Henderson/Milner starting.
      Back end of last season fell away with that midfield & once a team is set up to either match up against them or bypass them
      then LFC as a team struggle. Feels like it's nearly at the stage where Fabinho is a regular started and then two from the rest until Ox is back.
      ozi_wozzy
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #211: Apr 03, 2019 01:44:12 pm
      Don't think i have. You stated since Coutinho left that we don't have a creative player and have to play 3 midfielders with less attacking abilities and concluding this is as the root of some of the problems we are having. Considering our results in the 2016/2017 + first half of 2017/2018, when we had this creative phenom, tells me this conclusion is massively overblown and overrated.


      I think you're living in cloud cuckoo land if you don't think Coutinho wouldn't have helped win some of those games we drew when teams parked the bus.

      How many goals did we score from outside the box in 2016/2017 season? 13

      How many so far this season? 4

      Guess what? Coutinho got most of those in that season. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, he was the premier league's leading goal scorer from outside the box.

      That's even before we start on assists and his creativity in packed defences.

      Yea I was pissed when he left, but he also gave us 4 years of fantastic football and fantastic goals and I would have him back in a heart beat. He would thrive with the pace and movement of the front 3 we have now.
      CT_LFC
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #212: Apr 03, 2019 06:16:05 pm

      I think you're living in cloud cuckoo land if you don't think Coutinho wouldn't have helped win some of those games we drew when teams parked the bus.

      How many goals did we score from outside the box in 2016/2017 season? 13

      How many so far this season? 4

      Guess what? Coutinho got most of those in that season. In fact, between 2013 and 2017, he was the premier league's leading goal scorer from outside the box.

      That's even before we start on assists and his creativity in packed defences.

      Yea I was pissed when he left, but he also gave us 4 years of fantastic football and fantastic goals and I would have him back in a heart beat. He would thrive with the pace and movement of the front 3 we have now.

      We'll never know since he's not here and don't know who'd move out to make room for him, but Coutinho needed space to be at his best and his skills to shine and while he was here we struggled to breakdown bus-parkers more than we have this year.

      As i said in the previous page, in 2016/2017 we draw or lost to Burney, Soton x2, Bournemouth x2, West Ham, Sunderland, Swansea, Hull, Leicester and Palace. Then in the first half of the following season we draw to Watford, Burnley, Newcastle, Everton and West Brom, so let's not pretend we were bowling over defensive teams and its since he left that we've struggled, because it's actually more like the opposite.

      With him on the team we'd also lose cohesiveness and tenacity we have in midfield since he's simply not that type of high work-rate player, pressing like a madman and breaking up play, or if you put him on the wing, it'd probably be at the cost of Mane, who's been our best player this season.

      We have moved on past Phil, regardless of how hard a time people have letting go of the memory.
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #213: Apr 03, 2019 06:30:50 pm
      I think you're living in cloud cuckoo land if you don't think Coutinho wouldn't have helped win some of those games we drew when teams parked the bus.

      But on the flip side, you can argue we would have conceded more goals and lost more points than we've gained so far. Remember, we massively improved as a team once Coutinho had left. For as good as Coutinho was going forward, he left an awful lot to be desired defensively.

      It's a case of "what if".

      He would thrive with the pace and movement of the front 3 we have now.

      We had that front 3 when he was here, and as it goes, the front 3 actually got better once he had left.


      He was a great player for us but we were far, far too dependent on him and it cost us a number of times.
      HScRed1
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #214: Apr 05, 2019 11:37:50 am
      ozi_wozzy
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #215: Apr 05, 2019 11:49:16 am
      But on the flip side, you can argue we would have conceded more goals and lost more points than we've gained so far.

      I'm not so sure mate, I think the main reason for our defensive strength this year is VVD and his organisational skills plus the protection Fab provides (not to mention Allison). Having Fab and another defensively minded (or dynamic midfielder like Keita/Gini) with Coutinho just in front would be a dream set up.

      We had that front 3 when he was here, and as it goes, the front 3 actually got better once he had left.

      True, can't argue with this. I guess my point is that given we have been struggling for goals and breaking down stubborn defences since February, Coutinho's creativity and goals from outside the box would have made a big difference.

      It's all hypothetical in any case, we will never know for sure, but I would stick by my argument that he would improve the team and help us get us more goals than otherwise. Similarly, I think the drop in form of Salah and the results in the past couple of months indicate we really could do with a creative AM.
      ozi_wozzy
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #216: Apr 05, 2019 12:05:19 pm
      but Coutinho needed space to be at his best and his skills to shine and while he was here we struggled to breakdown bus-parkers more than we have this year

      Simply not true, he had quick feet and the ability to create space in or around the penalty area - hence he was getting so many goals from outside the box.

      As i said in the previous page, in 2016/2017 we draw or lost to Burney, Soton x2, Bournemouth x2, West Ham, Sunderland, Swansea, Hull, Leicester and Palace

      Of these draws / losses you picked out, we scored 2 or more goals against S'ton, Bournemouth (twice), W'Ham, Sunderland, Swansea - we drew or lost these because of defensive frailties.

      This year, we have drawn 7 games and lost one. Of those 7, every single draw was a 0-0 or a 1-1. If we don't win the title, it's because of these draws so your argument is nonsense I'm afraid. Having Coutinho and his added goals from outside the box or assists to win even 2 or 3 of these draws would give us the title.

      It's easy to have a black and white view when you're trying to argue your point about Coutinho from a position of bias. But at least have a balanced debate mate, instead of arbitrarily focusing on one position.


      FATKOPITE10
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #217: Apr 05, 2019 12:19:48 pm
      Simply not true, he had quick feet and the ability to create space in or around the penalty area - hence he was getting so many goals from outside the box.

      Of these draws / losses you picked out, we scored 2 or more goals against S'ton, Bournemouth (twice), W'Ham, Sunderland, Swansea - we drew or lost these because of defensive frailties.

      This year, we have drawn 7 games and lost one. Of those 7, every single draw was a 0-0 or a 1-1. If we don't win the title, it's because of these draws so your argument is nonsense I'm afraid. Having Coutinho and his added goals from outside the box or assists to win even 2 or 3 of these draws would give us the title.

      It's easy to have a black and white view when you're trying to argue your point about Coutinho from a position of bias. But at least have a balanced debate mate, instead of arbitrarily focusing on one position.




      These stats about coutinho are all very well and good but do they factor in the signing of vvd and allison ?   Like you say defence has defence has improved considerably
      ozi_wozzy
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #218: Apr 05, 2019 01:48:07 pm
      These stats about coutinho are all very well and good but do they factor in the signing of vvd and allison ?   Like you say defence has defence has improved considerably

      Well exactly mate, the 7 draws were no score or 1 goal draws so the issue is clearly not our defence but on the other end, hence I think Coutinho (or his type of player) is needed. I'm hoping this area is a priority for Klopp in the summer.

      I guess also the Ox injury is a bigger blow than we first thought, he was chipping in with vital goals as well and we've missed that.

      My main point to CT_LFC was -  his argument that Coutinho wouldn't make much of a difference to our side at the moment is nonsense.
      LMW
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #219: Apr 05, 2019 02:01:47 pm
      Well exactly mate, the 7 draws were no score or 1 goal draws so the issue is clearly not our defence but on the other end, hence I think Coutinho (or his type of player) is needed. I'm hoping this area is a priority for Klopp in the summer.

      I guess also the Ox injury is a bigger blow than we first thought, he was chipping in with vital goals as well and we've missed that.

      My main point to CT_LFC was -  his argument that Coutinho wouldn't make much of a difference to our side at the moment is nonsense.

      I think the main thing is that Klopp has sacrificed creativity for pressing in his midfield. His preferred formation is 4-3-3 with full-backs bombing on who create much more chances for the team than any other position. This means that the 3 in the middle need to be incredibly fit to press, defend and attack for 90 minutes. I think this explains the exclusion of Keita and Shaqiri at the business end of this season and Lallana has been chosen ahead of these because he does offer a lot on the pressing and defensive side.

      Although his incredible talents are missed, I'm not sure there would be a role in the current system and formation for a player like Coutinho - you'd have to change the formation to a 4-2-3-1 and have him sitting in front of a defensive two, or play him on the wing - which is the only way I can see any out and out attacking midfielder getting into the team at the moment. Klopp doesn't seem to be willing to change the system which I don't blame him for, he's found a winning solution and he's sticking with it!
      ozi_wozzy
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #220: Apr 05, 2019 02:27:10 pm
      I think the main thing is that Klopp has sacrificed creativity for pressing in his midfield. His preferred formation is 4-3-3 with full-backs bombing on who create much more chances for the team than any other position.

      Fair point
      skolRED
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #221: Apr 05, 2019 02:32:57 pm
      I think the main thing is that Klopp has sacrificed creativity for pressing in his midfield. His preferred formation is 4-3-3 with full-backs bombing on who create much more chances for the team than any other position. This means that the 3 in the middle need to be incredibly fit to press, defend and attack for 90 minutes. I think this explains the exclusion of Keita and Shaqiri at the business end of this season and Lallana has been chosen ahead of these because he does offer a lot on the pressing and defensive side.

      Although his incredible talents are missed, I'm not sure there would be a role in the current system and formation for a player like Coutinho - you'd have to change the formation to a 4-2-3-1 and have him sitting in front of a defensive two, or play him on the wing - which is the only way I can see any out and out attacking midfielder getting into the team at the moment. Klopp doesn't seem to be willing to change the system which I don't blame him for, he's found a winning solution and he's sticking with it!
      Mate I'm begged to differ on the point I hilighted above. IMO it's not Klopp want to sacrifice creativity for pressing but he have to as he has no personnel to play that role. If AOC fully fit anyone expect him to be excluded from starting 11? No, that's for sure. Problem is AOC and Lallana always injure, Keita and Shaq never perform at the level Klopp expect so Klopp need to put Hendo, Gini, Milner and/or Fab together.

      Agree to some that Coutinho is totally different. He's not Klopps kind of player. And IMO Coutinho demand the starting role also make Klopp manage him more difficult. I'm all for top quality attacking midfield to replace Coutinho but I'm not that much regret he leave. Especially after all he did before he get his dream move.
      « Last Edit: Apr 05, 2019 02:44:49 pm by skolRED »
      LMW
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #222: Apr 05, 2019 03:14:44 pm
      Mate I'm begged to differ on the point I hilighted above. IMO it's not Klopp want to sacrifice creativity for pressing but he have to as he has no personnel to play that role. If AOC fully fit anyone expect him to be excluded from starting 11? No, that's for sure. Problem is AOC and Lallana always injure, Keita and Shaq never perform at the level Klopp expect so Klopp need to put Hendo, Gini, Milner and/or Fab together.

      Agree to some that Coutinho is totally different. He's not Klopps kind of player. And IMO Coutinho demand the starting role also make Klopp manage him more difficult. I'm all for top quality attacking midfield to replace Coutinho but I'm not that much regret he leave. Especially after all he did before he get his dream move.

      Yeah I get what you're saying. For me though, Keita and Shaq do have the ability to play that role and do have an abundance of talent to create and I don't think they have played particularly awful. I just feel that Klopp has identified that they haven't adapted to his system (in terms of their work off the ball) well enough. Klopp's 4-3-3 demands a lot of physical attributes from the middle 3 that Shaq and Keita aren't renowned for.
      HScRed1
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      Re: Improving Midfield - how will it set up?
      Reply #223: Apr 05, 2019 03:20:52 pm
      Yeah I get what you're saying. For me though, Keita and Shaq do have the ability to play that role and do have an abundance of talent to create and I don't think they have played particularly awful. I just feel that Klopp has identified that they haven't adapted to his system (in terms of their work off the ball) well enough. Klopp's 4-3-3 demands a lot of physical attributes from the middle 3 that Shaq and Keita aren't renowned for.

      Your last sentence, did you see Keita for Leipzig? He was a beast off the ball.

      Admittedly he had more of a free role and is probably finding that more rigid style in a Klopp midfield more of a learning process.

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