“Jurgen, transfer committee, anyone sign a f****** left back.” A tweet by Jamie Carragher that prior to being deleted probably echoed the views of most Liverpool fans following the capitulation against Sevilla in the Europa League final.
The irony with that comment was that Carragher himself suffered some dreadful terrace abuse prior to his renaissance as a central defender.
Moreno arrived at Liverpool in 2014. I remember at the time we had pursued him for what seemed like an age. There’s a famous walk in Spain, the ‘Camino’ a 500 mile pilgrimage and for many of us watching this transfer unfold it appeared that Moreno and his agent were travelling on foot, on this route to Anfield.
Eventually however, Sevilla let him go, for a price that suited them but perhaps not us?
My observations on Spanish play are such that it appears they prefer their wingers to cut in, flood the midfield and for the full backs to attack. Indeed it always interested me that when Rafa signed Glen Johnson he was at pains to state that he had not signed him for his defensive abilities.
Many of the great Spanish teams of late, including the national team often end up playing with just two at the back. Their team’s ability to keep the ball on the ground and to play it about means that the full backs often get full reign to charge forward, think Alba and Alves at Barca. The midfield becomes congested and the need for a traditional back four is negated by the simple fact that the opposition cannot get the ball.
It seems however that there is a way to combat this. The diagonal long ball play over or on the ground but with speed can isolate the back two.
Moreno as we all could see struggles for some reason to read the opposition attacks. He is too often in no man’s land and he can resort then to sheer stupidity in his defending. I remember one game Moreno was lauded for a tremendous last ditch tackle but most didn’t mention that he had lost the ball in the first instance.
Take the comments above on beating the Spanish system and you can link this to Moreno. Emery targeted him second half. Clyne was kept pushed back but Moreno was openly persecuted, attacked and pestered at every opportunity.
Of course we could argue that Emery knew his weakness. But what baffles me is why the player himself has not worked on this side of his game more?
He likes to attack. We know this and in fairness he can look good. He cannot head the ball but his crossing is decent. This is the enigma that befalls many full backs. Should he be played further up the pitch?
I’d say yes in the Premier League however given Klopp’s love of the ‘press’, his mantra for hard work and team work I think that Moreno’s style of play doesn’t suit JK. He seems to have a mind blank when the opposition attack and this can drag the central defenders out of position and I might add; lead them, themselves to get some unnecessary stick.
I think the likely fate of Moreno is that he ends up back in Spain. Where no doubt he will probably flourish, playing in systems that perhaps don’t need too much brain power. Whether we get a decent price remains to be seen.
It’s a shame. For all his segway dog walking, daft haircuts and social media posts Moreno appears to be a good lad. He is not bad player and in this day and age where our social media fans love to hate a player or hate a player because its trendy I would wish him all the best. But in the harsh world we live in………… we need another left back!
Written by Phil Wasley (@redwazza1)