Liverpool 2022/23: We Go Again

Mighty Joe Young

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Much has been made of the midfield in explaining LFC’s start to the season. Which, is true as the injuries have hurt. But there’s been a decline in quality across virtually the entire team. IMO, only Allison, Diaz, Firmino and Elliot have played well. Carvalho has been positive until he finally got a start and was invisible.

Obviously it’s all related. But the decline of back four has been dramatic.

VVD: has not been his usual imperious self. Just seems like his decision making has been very inconsistent. Not to mention his long passing accuracy has been way off as well - so maybe there’s a physical issue.

Gomez: seems to be improving after a very nervous start (understandable due to lack of playing time)

Robertson: Not his usual energizer bunny self. Very sloppy distribution , particularly in the build up with several bad give aways. Crosses have been below his usual standard. I think he’s dealing with some physical issues as well. It’s notable that Klopp has been regularly subbing him late in games, and didn’t even start the derby. Tsimikas was looking increasingly dangerous and it seemed a strange sub.

Alexander-Arnold: to my eye he’s been dreadful. A human turnover machine. And he’s still below average defensively. He‘s also been subbed often (by Milner which is pretty damning).

Getting Matip back is huge. I think we’ll see a lot more of Tsimikas who looks a real player. I think his crossing (particularly from corners) is the best on the team. Also eager to se what Ramsay has to offer as AA may be reading too many press clippings and probably need a little competition.

If I had to use one phrase to sum it up there seems to be a general lack of focus and intensity.
 

SocrManiac

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VVD’s drop in form is particularly scary. He’s a big part of making the clock tick up and down the pitch. Without him, the high line drops in and it throws the entire system off.

TAA has been exposed and targeted more regularly than in the past. He’s somewhere between awful and mediocre defensively, far worse than he was when people were arguing about his England spot.

I’ve wondered what things might look like if TAA was relieved of his defensive responsibilities. This might help the midfield depth as well. Put Robbo, VVD, Matip, and Gomez across the back and see how Trent does in a Henderson-type role. Even more far-fetched, use the three natural CBs in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. When Fab is himself, Liverpool look like a 3-4-3 anyway (more accurately a 2-1-4-3). If every midfielder not named Harvey (and maybe Fabio) has regressed, there needs to be a change in approach.

You didn’t mention him, but Salah is just as worrisome. He got the contract, but he hasn’t shown a shade of what earned it. He’s the same guy he was after AFCON, not the world beater that steals you all three when the team has a game like they did yesterday.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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VVD’s drop in form is particularly scary. He’s a big part of making the clock tick up and down the pitch. Without him, the high line drops in and it throws the entire system off.

TAA has been exposed and targeted more regularly than in the past. He’s somewhere between awful and mediocre defensively, far worse than he was when people were arguing about his England spot.

I’ve wondered what things might look like if TAA was relieved of his defensive responsibilities. This might help the midfield depth as well. Put Robbo, VVD, Matip, and Gomez across the back and see how Trent does in a Henderson-type role. Even more far-fetched, use the three natural CBs in a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2. When Fab is himself, Liverpool look like a 3-4-3 anyway (more accurately a 2-1-4-3). If every midfielder not named Harvey (and maybe Fabio) has regressed, there needs to be a change in approach.

You didn’t mention him, but Salah is just as worrisome. He got the contract, but he hasn’t shown a shade of what earned it. He’s the same guy he was after AFCON, not the world beater that steals you all three when the team has a game like they did yesterday.
Agree totally with Salah. He’ll still get his 20+ goals though. There’s been a couple of stories (The Echo and the Althletic) pointing out his subtle positioning change- much wider than the past.

Regarding AA .. was also thinking moving him into the midfield might be the ultimate solution. That’s why I mentioned Ramsay. He could be the piece to fix both AA and the midfield. But that doesn’t seem like something Klopp would do mid-season. Perhaps using the WC break ?
 

67YAZ

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I can’t disagree with any of this analysis. I’ll only add that VVD played his was into peak form last season and we can only hope for the same again. His game reading and defense organizing are best in the world. It’s the bedrock for everything else.

An organization problem that has been killing me to watch - opponents are easily able to pass balls into the middle, top of the box area from the wing. Again and again against every side not managed by Scott Parker, the ball is getting into the most dangerous area and picked up by a free attacker. Either a CB or Fab has to be in the space to step and cut out the pass. Or the far side mid has to track that run. One way or another, the team have to coordinate to cover.
 

67YAZ

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It's midfielder injury whack-a-mole!

Klopp indicated Thiago is available, but Jones strained his calf prior to Everton and Carvalho suffered a dead leg during that match. So one 1 up, 2 down.

No idea where this leaves things for tomorrow. I still think a 4-2-3-1 with Arthur or Thiago as the pivot partner for Fab and Bobby at the 10 can work. But that obviously needs to be trained and breaking it out at unbeaten this season Napoli seems a ridiculous risk. I'm 80% sure we're going to see an Elliott-Fab-Milner midfield to start.

Or Klopp could just roll out a 5-1-4 formation and embrace the chaos.

Allison
TAA-Gomez-VVD-Matip-Robbo
FAB
Salah-Nunez-Diaz-Jota
 

Pesky Pole

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It's midfielder injury whack-a-mole!

Klopp indicated Thiago is available, but Jones strained his calf prior to Everton and Carvalho suffered a dead leg during that match. So one 1 up, 2 down.

No idea where this leaves things for tomorrow. I still think a 4-2-3-1 with Arthur or Thiago as the pivot partner for Fab and Bobby at the 10 can work. But that obviously needs to be trained and breaking it out at unbeaten this season Napoli seems a ridiculous risk. I'm 80% sure we're going to see an Elliott-Fab-Milner midfield to start.

Or Klopp could just roll out a 5-1-4 formation and embrace the chaos.

Allison
TAA-Gomez-VVD-Matip-Robbo
FAB
Salah-Nunez-Diaz-Jota
I think he expects a 60-30 split between Thiago and Arthur. I'd say you start Thiago and if you have the lead or tied, it's Milner at 60. If not, it's Arthur or a fourth forward. Fabinho and Elliott get the other two spots. Firmino or Nunuz or Jota is the other interesting choice.
 

CPT Neuron

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I think they go with a 4-2-3-1. Usual back 4 with a double pivot of Fabinho and Thiago/Arthur (45/45 or 60/30) with Diaz/Firmino/Salah behind Nunez.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Lineups are in


Liverpool line-up: Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Gomez, Van Dijk, Robertson; Fabinho, Milner, Elliott; Salah, Firmino, Diaz

Subs: Adrian, Davies, Thiago, Jota, Tsimikas, Nunez, Arthur, Matip, Bajcetic, Phillips.
 

67YAZ

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The problem with Boring James on the left is that it gums up what should be fluid interchange between Robbi and Diaz. It puts that much more pressure on the right side to carry the attacking load. Elliott has been excellent this season, but Trent & Mo are going to have to really step forward today.
 

67YAZ

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That was the worst performance I can remember under Klopp. The final score line flattered Liverpool - Napoli missed a PK, hit a post, had one cleared off he line, and fluffed several big chances.

The back line was a dumpster fire and the midfield general acted as an accelerant. It’s hard to pinpoint where the improvements have to come from because the answer is pretty much “everywhere.”

I think Elliott has been a bright light so far and Bobby had a couple vintage matches. Tsmikas looks more lively than Robbo, and Diaz is hard driving, but not particularly linking up with anyone else. The yawning gap in midfield behind him explains some of that.

It really is gut check time now. The matches are coming fast and furious. A critical mass is the squad need to step up and change direction.
 

SocrManiac

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Who would have thought Sadio Mané is the greatest player in the history of the game?

Everybody not named Alisson or Harvey has regressed.

I think this starts with VVD. That’s not Virgil. He’s indecisive, out of position, and missing his top gear. His partners are suffering, too. So much revolves on his organization and ability that when he slips, everything shifts around him.

TAA looks like he’s convinced he’s not a defender. He cost his side the CL and he’s playing like it.

I hope AFCON didn’t break Mo but it sure as shit looks like it.

The midfield is a mismatched shitshow. Klopp needs to figure that piece out. I feel like the individual player struggles can be sorted and they’d still be a mess. Until that midfield is a unit, pressing and moving together, they’ll continue to look like a pickup team.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Liverpool have an aging squad and you expect some dropoff when that happens. But the current problem really seems more mental than physical to me. They team really looked like it was just going through the motions today - running at 75% speed, not mentally focused enough to take care of critical details like where you put your arms when a man in front of you is about to shoot, not communicating among each other, etc. It was especially jarring given how much intensity and mental focus have been calling cards of Klopp's Liverpool. And it afflicted both the oldest players like Milner who are supposed to be veteran heads and the younger players like Gomez who may be experienced but have no age related excuse not to give 100% effort.

To me its not a tactical or selection problem, its a question of whether Klopp can get this group of players to climb the mountain again in terms of reaching and sustaining the levels of on-pitch intensity and mental focus that have been foundations of the team's success. I would never bet against Klopp to do that, especially after last year when the team looked a bit of an unfocused mess around Christmas (although not this bad) and then proceeded to have one of the best 4-5 month runs you can imagine. But I do think its very hard. Managers like Ferguson and Guardiola have talked about teams having 3-4 year cycles and then needing to be refreshed, with big changes to either the squad or the manager. It's just hard to keep the same group together for longer and maintain an elite level.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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I agree the problem seems mostly mental. Although Gomez’s issues were more simply a physical inability to deal with the Napoli wingers.

To me it looked like they were playing a friendly in July. It’s like they’re still mentally on the beach.
 

teddykgb

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I feel entirely differently. I’m enjoying the freak out but this Liverpool has always been about the midfielders doing superhuman things pressing and covering for the fullbacks. Henderson got old and Keita didn’t work out and too much is placed on youth with Thiago and others out. It has never made sense to me why Liverpool fans want all these technical creative midfielders when what you need (imo) is an infusion of high effort box to box types to run around like madmen and allow Trent to hit those diagonal crosses into the mixer. The entire balance is gone and teams aren’t being smothered and the CBs are having to cover spaces with the high line. Probably things will get better when some midfielders return but Thiago is really not that all action type either. People would moan about Trent a lot less if Henderson could still do the job of pressing in the midfield and covering for him at RB
 

67YAZ

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Liverpool fans call for the technical mid when the squad is facing a packed defense. There’s some real KDB envy, not gonna lie. And why not?

But against sides that are going to attack, or at least counter with numbers, then yes - they need the beast. They need prime Gini, who was never quite replaced.
 

PedroSpecialK

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Agreed that the lack of engine(s) in midfield has been the missing piece this season. Being forced into starting an exhausted Fabinho alongside Milner and Elliott away to a strong European side was a recipe for disaster, and this was as disastrous as it gets.

Early returns on this campaign are pretty bleak, without having held a lead in the league or Europe beyond Bournemouth and 5 seconds v. Newcastle. mikeford will have to move over if the lack of investment in a midfielder costs them UCL qualification and the resulting sweepstakes for Bellingham - but the problem runs deeper than that, and another 1-2 midfielders are sorely needed.
 

67YAZ

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Some of Klopp's post-match comments. Most interesting to me is how he connects Thiago and counter-pressing.

“Tonight is tough to take — it is not difficult to explain. Napoli played a really good game and we didn’t.

“The next two goals after the penalties we served them up on a plate. Until Thiago entered the pitch, I saw no counter-pressing situations.

“We know how it happened, now we need to understand why it happened. We have to re-invent ourselves. There are a lot of things lacking.

“If Wolves saw the game tonight, they cannot stop laughing probably. We need to be much better in pretty much everything.

“We are not working as a team. We do not play good enough — that is obvious — that is why we lose games.

“It is my responsibility — I need time to think about it. It is my job to find it out and then we have to reset and go again.”
 

SocrManiac

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I was hoping that post would be the queen/Diego Costa joke that I've been trying to phrase just tactfully enough.
 

swiftaw

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I will be absolutely shocked if the game against Chelsea isn’t postponed due to police being needed for the Queen’s funeral. Arsenal’s Europa match on Thursday just got postponed for that reason.
 

SocrManiac

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Robbo's out for Ajax with a knee knock. I wouldn't be surprised if there's more to it than that, but let him take the break.

Tsimikas is about as bipolar as they come, let's hope for the not shitty version.
 

PedroSpecialK

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I will be absolutely shocked if the game against Chelsea isn’t postponed due to police being needed for the Queen’s funeral. Arsenal’s Europa match on Thursday just got postponed for that reason.
It has indeed been postponed
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Silver lining is the casualty list should be markedly shorter if they ever get around to playing Premier League games again.

Except for Naby Keita who will be injured or sick or just not feeling like playing until his contract runs out. He’s been called up by the Guinea WC team who seem to think he could contribute.
 

SocrManiac

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Silver lining is the casualty list should be markedly shorter if they ever get around to playing Premier League games again.

Except for Naby Keita who will be injured or sick or just not feeling like playing until his contract runs out. He’s been called up by the Guinea WC team who seem to think he could contribute.
Where can I bet everything I had, have, will have, or wish I had that he’ll come back from that injured?
 

tbb345

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How worried are people about Darwin Nunez? He hasn’t been on the team very long and it’s probably unfair to expect too much out of him at this point….however, with the amount it took to get him I think you would want more out of him than what they’ve for so far
 

SocrManiac

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How worried are people about Darwin Nunez? He hasn’t been on the team very long and it’s probably unfair to expect too much out of him at this point….however, with the amount it took to get him I think you would want more out of him than what they’ve for so far
In a word, very.

He doesn't look that different than what we saw in his highlight videos at Benefica. He'll score, but he's wasteful. He makes good runs and finds space, but his first touch can be bad. The most worrisome thing to me is that whatever magic dust Klopp sprinkled on Diaz to reign in his nastier tendencies either ran out or doesn't work on Darwin.

I don't know if his flaws will mature out or if they're core to who he is.

All of that said, if I were to list out my concerns right now...

  1. VVD: So much hangs on him being at his incredible best. When he's off, you lose his passing, the effective high line, and the friggen' deflector shield that kept opponents from running at him. He finally looks vulnerable and is getting challenged.
  2. Fab/Thiago health: I think we saw yesterday how important those two are to each other. Thiago's willingness to track back opens Fabinho up to make those little runs into channels between the forwards and create overloads. We need to see how Arthur is going to fit in here, if at all. Right now it looks like the team can only work if the two are in together, adding a third into the rotation would be tremendous.
  3. TAA: He looks like he's read every headline about how bad he is defensively and is determined to prove them all correct. The way he switched off yesterday was absolutely awful.
    1. Sort of a 3a is Gomez. He used to back TAA and at least be a competent defensive filler. He's been playing paired with VVD instead, but holy shit has he been terrible.
  4. Salah: Folks have pointed out he's playing wider than in the past and almost taking himself out of the game. It has to be by design, no?
  5. Darwin
  6. Robbo: This one seems the easiest to explain. He simply looks ground up and bone tired. Tsimikas has shown that he can be a 75-80% replacement when he's on, which is enough. He just needs to be "on" more consistently.
  7. Hendo/Milner as binkies: Henderson likely still has something to offer, but Milner simply doesn't. I suppose this is more of a concern about Klopp continuing to use them in high leverage areas and times than it is about their own abilities.
In terms of positives... Alisson still looks incredible (his footwork yesterday aside). Diaz is electric. Harvey Elliot is proving to be a fantastic addition to the midfield, though he's a little too attack-minded.
 

swiftaw

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Other than Diaz, every Klopp signing had taken a while to bed in and look good. I expect Nunez will be good eventually (I trust their scouting and recruitment)
 

67YAZ

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In a word, very.

He doesn't look that different than what we saw in his highlight videos at Benefica. He'll score, but he's wasteful. He makes good runs and finds space, but his first touch can be bad. The most worrisome thing to me is that whatever magic dust Klopp sprinkled on Diaz to reign in his nastier tendencies either ran out or doesn't work on Darwin.

I don't know if his flaws will mature out or if they're core to who he is.

All of that said, if I were to list out my concerns right now...

  1. VVD: So much hangs on him being at his incredible best. When he's off, you lose his passing, the effective high line, and the friggen' deflector shield that kept opponents from running at him. He finally looks vulnerable and is getting challenged.
  2. Fab/Thiago health: I think we saw yesterday how important those two are to each other. Thiago's willingness to track back opens Fabinho up to make those little runs into channels between the forwards and create overloads. We need to see how Arthur is going to fit in here, if at all. Right now it looks like the team can only work if the two are in together, adding a third into the rotation would be tremendous.
  3. TAA: He looks like he's read every headline about how bad he is defensively and is determined to prove them all correct. The way he switched off yesterday was absolutely awful.
    1. Sort of a 3a is Gomez. He used to back TAA and at least be a competent defensive filler. He's been playing paired with VVD instead, but holy shit has he been terrible.
  4. Salah: Folks have pointed out he's playing wider than in the past and almost taking himself out of the game. It has to be by design, no?
  5. Darwin
  6. Robbo: This one seems the easiest to explain. He simply looks ground up and bone tired. Tsimikas has shown that he can be a 75-80% replacement when he's on, which is enough. He just needs to be "on" more consistently.
  7. Hendo/Milner as binkies: Henderson likely still has something to offer, but Milner simply doesn't. I suppose this is more of a concern about Klopp continuing to use them in high leverage areas and times than it is about their own abilities.
In terms of positives... Alisson still looks incredible (his footwork yesterday aside). Diaz is electric. Harvey Elliot is proving to be a fantastic addition to the midfield, though he's a little too attack-minded.
Co-signed.

Things I’m looking at/want to see:

Bobby as a late-match midfield sub. Can he play that well enough to earn a bigger role?

Ramsey as the new kid RB. Can he put some pressure on TAA to actually defend?

Will we see a 4-2-3-1 - Fab & Thiago at the pivots, Nunez at the 9, Bobby at the 10?

Can Jota jolt the front line? He played like a man with a ton of pent up energy yesterday. If he’s going to bring that regularly, then there’s excellent competition across the attack.

Will Gomez get another EPL start this year? He’s way in the doghouse now.
 

Mighty Joe Young

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Not worried about Nunez. He’s played , what three games? As mentioned I don’t think they’ve figured out what to do with him yet.

The midfield health and VVD and AA‘s decline are the big ones for me. Nothing they can do about health. Having Matip in full time has to help VVD. Trent? Hopefully we get to see Ramsey soon. If he’s a viable alternative then TAA as an all action midfielder would seem the best solution.

Another issue is Elliot. He’s been really good in final third but his lack of defensive contribution is hurting the team I think. They can get by as long as Thiago and Fabinho are playing. Mind you, there’s really no alternative until Henderson comes back.
 

Pesky Pole

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Konate coming back will help them rotate VVD and Matip (and hopefully reserve Gomez to the League Cup like comps for now). We forget how good Konate was at the end of last year.

With Nunez, my hope is he's learning the nuances of the system upfront. Liverpool is at their best when the forwards are interchanging their positions and dragging defenders out of position. Having guys who have played together and have the feel of when to clear out or swap is a big key. Nunez either isn't there yet or Klopp is tweaking the system a bit when he's on the field. This could explain some of Sarah's discomfort as well. When Jota played this week, the team seemed to spring back into that mayhem upfront that defines them.

As for midfield, we need Fabinho and Thiago to stay healthy. That's sadly just where they are right now. Maybe Henderson can come back and spell Fab and Elliott or maybe Jones can take Elliott's spot for a few games. Sadly, there are no more options absent a resurrection from Keita that none of us expect to see (for various reasons).
 

SocrManiac

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Konate coming back will help them rotate VVD and Matip (and hopefully reserve Gomez to the League Cup like comps for now). We forget how good Konate was at the end of last year.
As for midfield, we need Fabinho and Thiago to stay healthy. That's sadly just where they are right now. Maybe Henderson can come back and spell Fab and Elliott or maybe Jones can take Elliott's spot for a few games. Sadly, there are no more options absent a resurrection from Keita that none of us expect to see (for various reasons).
Arthur becomes the wildcard here. If he can be even fractionally effective it will open things up significantly. As it is, Klopp essentially needs to tinker to plan around having only one effective box to box guy.

TAA as a midfielder probably needs to be expedited.
 

Pesky Pole

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Arthur becomes the wildcard here. If he can be even fractionally effective it will open things up significantly. As it is, Klopp essentially needs to tinker to plan around having only one effective box to box guy.

TAA as a midfielder probably needs to be expedited.
I figure that Arthur will get the Thiago role for the EFL and FA cups. If he plays well, he becomes an option for the PL which would be very welcome.

While we haven't seen Calvin Ramsey yet, I wonder if they regret letting Neco go for 16m. It would certainly give them flexibility to move Trent around. It seems like Klopp waives that TAA question off each time. I wonder if he'd even consider it.
 

SocrManiac

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I’m fine, even happy, that Klopp waves the question away. Trent looks like he might be a head case right now and he needs his manager’s support.

That said, Klopp is responsible for the results. He clearly needs to do something. Trent is being targeted successfully by virtually everybody they face.
 

67YAZ

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I don't see TAA having the skill set to play midfield unless its a total system change and he is the Beckhamesque wide right midfielder in a 4-4-2 or something similar.
He came through the youth ranks as a 6 and got moved to RB as an emergency replacement for Clyne. At the time, it was billed as a short term shift for Trent with his future back in the midfield. Of course, after slow start with the defensive duties, he quickly became one of the brightest attacking right backs in the world.

I see two possibilities from this history - he has some midfield in his DNA. He can be retrained, though probably redundant to Elliott in terms of skills and tactical utility.

And he can get back to being the adequate defender he was. He’s never going to be the all-around right-sided Maldini some of us dreamed he’d become. But if he could just get back to good enough, which is primarily about consistent scanning and embracing defensive duties, then it’s all good. This all about mentality for Trent.
 

OCST

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He came through the youth ranks as a 6 and got moved to RB as an emergency replacement for Clyne. At the time, it was billed as a short term shift for Trent with his future back in the midfield. Of course, after slow start with the defensive duties, he quickly became one of the brightest attacking right backs in the world.

I see two possibilities from this history - he has some midfield in his DNA. He can be retrained, though probably redundant to Elliott in terms of skills and tactical utility.

And he can get back to being the adequate defender he was. He’s never going to be the all-around right-sided Maldini some of us dreamed he’d become. But if he could just get back to good enough, which is primarily about consistent scanning and embracing defensive duties, then it’s all good. This all about mentality for Trent.
Dunno. Everyone beside him and in front of him is a year older, a fraction of a step slower, and they’ve been ridden hard over a very crowded schedule for a few years now.

In the derby Gray, Gordon, Onana, Iwobi, and Maupay did not meet the kind of resistance I’m used to seeing from a LFC midfield and back four. Maupay was playing for the first time in months after missing camp, Onana was in his second PL game. Evertons attackers got heavy legs without anyone trustworthy on the bench and we hung on for dear life, while Pool got to bring the likes of Jota off the bench, but give Everton a fully bedded in and heathy squad with Gueye, DCL banging bodies with the CBS, etc and Pool can’t stop it IMO in their current form.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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He came through the youth ranks as a 6 and got moved to RB as an emergency replacement for Clyne. At the time, it was billed as a short term shift for Trent with his future back in the midfield. Of course, after slow start with the defensive duties, he quickly became one of the brightest attacking right backs in the world.

I see two possibilities from this history - he has some midfield in his DNA. He can be retrained, though probably redundant to Elliott in terms of skills and tactical utility.

And he can get back to being the adequate defender he was. He’s never going to be the all-around right-sided Maldini some of us dreamed he’d become. But if he could just get back to good enough, which is primarily about consistent scanning and embracing defensive duties, then it’s all good. This all about mentality for Trent.
I think getting back to being an adequate defensive right back is a far more likely path to be honest. As you say, it seems mainly about mentality. He is switching off too often and just not putting in the work.

As far as playing midfield at PL level for a side like Liverpool, I have a hard time seeing it. Lots of defenders start as midfielders or forwards during their academy years but that doesn't mean they can make the transition back at PL level. Out of possession, I'm skeptical that he has the work rate and ability to tackle and aggressively and decisively counter-press that Klopp wants in his midfielders. In possession, he has a magical right foot but he has always seemed to me like a player who uses that magical foot best with space and time and might lose some of his best qualities if forced to play in tight spaces and do quick one-twos all game rather than being able to look up, see the field, and pick a spot forty yards away to drop the ball on a dime.
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
6,270
Klopp gave the week off to all the senior team players who weren't called up for their international squads...except for Arthur, who volunteered to stay on and play with the U21s. He got a full 90 in over the weekend and then 60 earlier today, when he was replaced by Jay Spearing! Always nice to have a veteran to come off the bench.
 

Mighty Joe Young

The North remembers
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Sep 14, 2002
7,237
Halifax, Nova Scotia , Canada
Has AA regressed to the point where you can’t play him? I lost track of the number of times Brighton got in on the Liverpool right. Not all completely AA’s fault as the right MF wasn’t helping either. I think Klopp has to drop him for a game or two.

And VVD with another poor game as well. It’s not like he’s playing in second gear but rather the clutch is broken.

What’s to do? Even top four is at risk and missing out would be disastrous. Fortunately Konate and Ramsay are back in training and they can, at least put some pressure on the misfiring starters.
 

67YAZ

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Dec 1, 2000
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Sit Trent and you’re fanning the media flames. Plus Trent clearly wants to prove himself, and sitting would deny him that opportunity.

Play him and he’s going to keep getting picked on and likely pile up more mistakes. That will sustain the media flames and undermine whatever confidence he has left.

Don’t envy Klopp’s decision.
 

SocrManiac

Tommy Seebach’s mustache
SoSH Member
Apr 15, 2006
6,698
Somers, CT
Sit Trent and you’re fanning the media flames. Plus Trent clearly wants to prove himself, and sitting would deny him that opportunity.

Play him and he’s going to keep getting picked on and likely pile up more mistakes. That will sustain the media flames and undermine whatever confidence he has left.

Don’t envy Klopp’s decision.
I don’t think it’s difficult.

Trent is an adult, though young, playing in one of the most competitive and high profile leagues in the world. The team must have some fantastic sports psychologists. I’d be leaning on them to support the mental struggles he’s enduring right now, and use them to help him learn from the pain of being dropped.

I strongly suspect the UCL final broke him. After a game like that, you rue missed chances, but as an individual you have nightmares about your own mistakes. I believe Trent hasn’t moved on from that yet and he’s continuing to slide right before everyone’s eyes. Fuck the media, Klopp only has once choice here. Whatever the talking heads say, getting hammered on the pitch every week is going to be worse for him. He’s demonstrated he can’t play through it. It’s FA Cup time.