The Anfield report is out and this week’s edition looks at how Jurgen Klopp sent a message to FSG about their desperate need for funds and business must be done in this transfer window.
Liverpool kicked off their premier league campaign at Stamford Bridge with a makeshift midfield and at the time, the two clubs were also battling the signing of Caicedo. Both teams need a holding midfielder, but just because Liverpool didn’t get Caicedo doesn’t mean they don’t have options. But they need some power and reinforcement urgently.
The Anfield Report
It is an old cliche in football but this was a game of two halves. The Reds dominated the first half and looked like the team we were all used to seeing. Pressing with vigour, industrious in midfield, and sublime upfront.
Mo Salah’s pass for the first goal was simply spectacular. But that wasn’t all the Liverpool faithful were looking for, they wanted to see some power and stability in the midfield; which should run through the spine of the team. And that was lacking, although Liverpool were on the front foot, you always felt they were vulnerable on the counter, and Chelsea proved that
In the first half, on several occasions, Chelsea lofted a ball over the midfield and Jackson chased it down in threatening positions. This was the threat and in the second half, Chelsea exploited it, targeting the right-back position and getting success.
In the second half, Chelsea were more dominant, they had more control and put Liverpool on the back foot. But as Jurgon once said, Liverpool play ‘high-risk football’ so they can expect other teams to have opportunities and breakthrough the lines unless they are 100% perfect in their positions. And that was evident in the midfield yesterday, with a lack of power and authority in the midfield.
Klopp sends a message to FSG
More troubling for Liverpool was they usually have the legs and press from the front, from the first to the 90th minute, but yesterday they had a drop-off after 60 mins. Some of that drop-off can be attributed to this being the first game of the season and you can understand why Klopp took the front three off, because just being 1 yard off the pace, allowed Chelsea to play through the lines, something Enzo Fernandez exploited time and time again.
Mo Salah’s strop made all the paper headlines but I think this was also a message to the owners, replacing the front 3 with kids in the first game of the season was a definite message to John Henry, that they need some replacements, and quickly. You can watch Chelsea vs Liverpool highlights here.
The Reds boss speaking about Mohamed Salah’s reaction to being substituted: “I can understand because if Mo scored it would have been a new record for goals scored in the opening game but I didn’t think about that. We needed stability and we needed fresh legs. It was super intense for everybody.Jurgen Klopp speaking to Sky Sports
Without stating the obvious there is absolutely no way Liverpool can go through the season with what they currently have in midfield – so someone will be coming through the door. We’ll just have to wait and see who it is.
3 positions need to be filled, a holding midfielder; Stefan Bajčetić as a backup – a workhorse box to box; someone to help Szoboszlai & Mac Allister in midfield with a Wijnaldum engine. And the 3rd position is a defender, a right back to cover Trent.
The Trent debate will no doubt go on forever, but Klopp’s solution is simple, if Liverpool plays the way they should, and have done in the past, Trent’s forward impression will always overpower his defensive frailties, and that’s worth the risk.
And significantly, there’s no harm him in pinging the ball from right back, and being able to have 3 proper midfielders is a much better strategy than playing him as a midfielder, where he would still need to learn the trade, box-to-box, positioning, and tackling.