I read the Daily Mirror down my dad's house this morning and read 2 interviews, one with van Dijk and one with Lovren. Read them and you'll see the difference in stature between them. van Dijk keeps his counsel and maintains his composure while producing colossal displays game after game. Lovren has another nightmare performance and instead of keeping his mouth shut and trying to improve his game goes on some childish rant as if the whole f**king world revolves around him. Clown.
I like Swab watched the game again this morning and at no time did it ever look like we were under pressure or under the cosh. We held our own, offered a bit going forward and looked composed while lacking penetration until the introduction of Fabinho. I feel Klopp erred on the side of caution going into this game and why not? Our most difficult game of the Season and a game we went into with a 7 point lead over our opponent. Perfectly understandable and in no way can Klopp be criticised if indeed that was the case. Indeed, we controlled the game to a point, that point was when Aguero scored. It was then the plan changed, the control was lost for a moment. Klopp waited and then introduced Fabinho, we instantly looked different, no laboured transition, instant change.
The midfield selection was never going to produce creativity, Wijnaldum, Milner or Henderson will never produce that, it's not their game. Klopp clearly was looking to contain, Fernandinho and Silva had different ideas and it showed. To think we could have won that game despite being overrun in midfield shows how far we have come under Klopp. You know there's a problem though when Bobby and Mo are coming inside their own half to look for the ball. That's part of the reason Mane gets so frustrated when we play with such a lacklustre midfield, he gets starved and drifts out of the game.
The only time i've been critical of Jürgen is when he has been slow to introduce new signings into the starting eleven but he knows the players better than i ever will. He did it with Robbo, Ox, Arnold, Fabinho and he is still doing it with Keita. He has proved me wrong every time though. He knows when a player is ready and he doesn't want to imbalance the side by rushing players in that aren't fully ready to integrate into the side.
I feel Klopp knows his first choice eleven already and is just waiting for everything to ripen before he implements his final plan. Going forward i expect our first eleven to be Alisson, Arnold, Robertson, Gomez, van Dijk, Fabinho, Keita, Chamberlain, Mane, Firmino and Salah. I think this will be Milner's last season with Henderson and Wijnaldum rotating for certain games and Shaqiri rotating both in attack and midfield. I think Klopp will look for another centre back, an attacking midfielder and a back up striker in the Summer with possibly another full back.
Solanke leaving was an interesting one for me. Klopp clearly sees no future here for Dominic and has at least given the boy the opportunity to ply his trade elsewhere and good luck to him. When he plays for England he's a different beast. Origi? A case of no interested parties? Probably.
In any case, nothing about the City game had me worried at all. At no point did i think we were going to get battered, we dictated the majority of the game and both goals came from mistakes. Guardiola will know he was lucky to come away from that game with three points. I have no interest in leaning to the ball hitting the post or the 11mm Hawkeye incident. For me the challenge from Kompany on Salah was the luck for City that helped them win the game.
Nothing to see here, not a bad performance, just bad luck.
Onwards we march. The title is coming.