You have to love the over reaction from Liverpool fans when it comes to pre season games.
Take this weekend for example, Liverpool spanked Barcelona 4-0 at Wembley and fans were saying Liverpool are going to win the league, then 24 hours later lose by the same score line to Mainz and it’s all panic, Liverpool have played too many games this pre season, who’s idea was it to play 2 games in the space of 24 hours. What the games against Barcelona and Mainz showed me was Andre Wisdom should be no where near the Liverpool team, he’s just not good enough, Marko Grujic is going to be a player this season and as for Emre Can, well I think all the football he has played these last 2 years is starting to catch up with him.
Right, as we all know Liverpool this season have played more pre season games than any other team in the Premier League. Manager Jürgen Klopp has treated his Liverpool team as a non league manager would his team. Klopp pitted Liverpool against some top top sides, AC Milan, Barcelona, AS Roma and some bang average sides Fleetwood Town, Tranmare Rovers and Wigan Athletic (no disrespect meant to those teams or their fans). He has given his Liverpool players something to think about and tried to get them in to a frame of mind that, on their day Liverpool can beat anyone.
One of my main concerns from pre season is this, Chelsea, and how Liverpool played against them. We all know Chelsea are a team who park the bus and break on the counter attack, even with a new manager in charge in Antonio Conte this isn’t going to change. My concern is teams are going to do a Chelsea and park the bus and frustrate Liverpool and, Liverpool still don’t have the ability to break them down. They still haven’t learned to take their chances against these teams and I fear this is going to cost the team valuable points next season.
I’m going to put my hands up in the air and admit that Klopp has done alright in the transfer window. Signing both Sadio Mané and Georginio Wijnaldum I thought was a massive gamble and I think I even grumbled about it on social media but from what I’ve seen so far of both players they have stepped up a level and upped their games with Mané standing out the most. I think in both players Liverpool might have just got themselves a bargain. Please now i hope I haven’t jinxed them!
Then there’s young Marko Grijic, the player who got dogs abuse from SOME idiotic and moronic Liverpool fans when it was leaked that he was going to take the number 8 jersey. Gerrard is gone get the fuck over it. Grujic has impressed me the most so far this pre season. I knew he could play football but wow, I didn’t realise he was as good as he was. He is going to be a revelation alongside Emre Can next season and the season after that and the season after that and so on and so on. He’s big, he’s strong and he can score goals, when was the last time we could say that about a midfield player. Does he have the ability to change a game with a pass only time will tell.
One other player who has impressed me in pre season is a player most fans want out of the club, a player most fans haven’t really seen, a player who has the ability to terrorise opposition defences for years to come if he’s kept and that player is Lazar Markovic. He’s slowly getting his Benfica swagger back, if you don’t believe me look at his assist for Grujic’s goal against Barcelona it was simply sublime. The ability to flick the ball like it did while running at full pelt is something very few players can do. Markovic needs time, he needs games, he needs an arm around him to get his confidence back up and when all those happen he is going to be a superstar. He has all the attributes to be up there up the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. A big shout maybe but that’s how good he is. It would be a real shame for Liverpool to get rid of him now.
Liverpool this pre season played 9 games, losing 3, scoring an impressive 17 goals along the way, conceeded 7 goals. Kept 6 clean sheets before heading off to the states. Kept Barcelona and AC Milan scoreless, actually out played both teams. Only lost to AS Roma thanks to a massive error from Andre Wisdom, the whole it was Mignelot’s fault is a pile of shite, although he is a lucky man that Karius got injured because there’s no doubt in my mind he is set to play second fiddle to the young German once he’s fit. Klopp used a total of 39 players and handed first team debuts to 13 players including 16 year old Ben Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold. All 7 of Liverpool’s new signings made their debuts with Marko Grujic being Liverpool’s top scorer and finally 10 different Liverpool players scored during the 9 games, lets award Jordan Henderson his goal against Barcelona.
All in all bar the 3 defeats, things look rosey for Liverpool next season. With no Europe to distract them I can’t see why Liverpool can’t mount a title challenge. Let’s hope though that Klopp brings in a replacement Left Back and a back up Roght Back and if he does maybe just maybe May 2017 will be the month Liverpool lift title number 19.
Written by @TheMoanyOne