Last season following Jürgen Klopp’s arrival at Liverpool we all saw an immediate bounce for the team in terms of energy, performance, aggression and team spirit. All very welcome of course.
We began to see a team that knew how to, and was willing to start pressing the ball much higher up the pitch and get after the opposition defence from early on to break down play and nick the ball back in the opposition defence.
This was all demonstrated mostly by Adam Lallana and his apparently meteoric revival in this new system Klopp introduced. A player the that up until then was breezing along without quite doing much of anything suddenly became the focal point of this fast pressing and instant attack policy. He was brilliant at it and his enthusiasm for it spread among the team visibly each week.
Which leads me to the point of my ramblings here. All this pressure never paid off like it should have.
A lot of fans condemned our defence over last 2 seasons as the major problem. With some justification I have to agree. A new keeper was a must, one that can come collect a ball, has good kicking distribution and can communicate effectively also. In Loris Karius I believe Klopp has sorted that problem and it’s a major boost to a back four in front of him as they will soon realise they don’t have to always be waiting for the inevitable moment of silliness we got used to from Simpm Mignolet.
No for me the biggest failure of our season and indeed of all the hard work being put into winning the ball back early and the pressure being applied was in the constant resultant failure to put it in the net. How many times did we watch as we dominated games with 10, 15, 20 sometimes even more shots on target and yet still not get the points.
No one was more guilty of it than the afore mentioned Lallana. So it’s clear to me Klopp was awestruck by this complete failure in our attacking prowess when handed the ball back in the last 20 yards of the pitch but usually failed to ram it home.
Hence the reason for the influx of attacking options in my opinion. Klopp knows that if we had the players to take half the chances we created last season there would be no panic as we see now on social media especially over the need for a new left back.
Sadio Mané, Georginio Wijnaldum, Phillipe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Danny Ings, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi etc all add up hopefully to Liverpool killing off of teams early on in games.
Mané especially I expect to have a major influence in the team this season with providing the tap ins for Sturridge and his fellow strikers. His pace will strip most defences and cause havoc when he gets the ball in the last third of the pitch.
So I understand why Klopp’s biggest buys this summer been attack minded players. He seen like most of us did last season that the better teams were able to win games living off a few chances yet we struggled. It came down to conversion, not always conceding goals. Teams will always give away goals but you need to score to win a game.