With the start of the new Premier League season just around the corner I thought I would put my neck on the chopping board and put out there who I would start against Arsenal in the first game of the season.
As with ever other summer Liverpool fans have bitched and moaned about the players who have come in and the ones Liverpool have missed out on. But manager Jürgen Klopp knows what he’s doing, it’s not as if he hasn’t been around the block before. He has a philosophy of moulding players in to superstars not buying them. At Borussia Dortmund you can count on one hand the amount of world class players he brought to the club. Instead he created an etos amongst the players of hard work and playing for each other. Do Liverpool fans really think Marco Reus would be the player he is today without Klopp?
Anyways lets get this started. In goal and I shudder as I write this but it has to be Simon Mignelot. With the unfortunate injury to Loris Karius in America, the Belgian goalkeeper gets yet another reprieve. I fully expected Karius to be Liverpool’s number one keeper going into the new season but that honour has yet again fallen to Mignelot. Will he hold his place once Karius is fit I don’t think so. He’d have to have a few worldie games in goal for that to happen and we all know he doesn’t have it in him.
Unfortunately the back four as we stand pretty much picks itself, Natanial Clyne at right back, Dejan Lovren and Ragner Klaven in the middle and the ever reliable Alberto Moreno at left back. When both Joel Matip and Mamadou Sakho return to full fitness I fully expect them to be the first choice centre back pairing for the season ahead. I think Klopps failure to add cover to the left back and right back slots will come to bite him in the arse later on in the season as fatigue and tiredness hits both Clyne and Moreno. Let’s just hope neither of them gets injured because Conor Randell and Andre Wisdom as right back cover don’t inspire me with confidence and James Milner filling in at left back makes me want to hide in my bed until next May.
With the goalkeeper and defence done now I move on to the midfield. I personally would go with the trio of Emre Can, Marko Grujic and Georginio Wijnaldum. That trio provides power and pace something Liverpool have lacked over the last few season. We all know what an excellent player Can is and how good he is on any given day, with both Grujic and Wijnaldum in along side him, it will allow him to play his own game. Grujic adds the height and power that Liverpool have missed and hopefully Wijnaldum can step up and start pulling the strings in midfield allowing Liverpoo to attack teams swiftly on the counter attack. I already hear the moans about having no Jordan Henderson and James Milner in the team, well for Henderson it’s simple, his injury isn’t going to get any better. I expect him to spend a lot of next season on the treatment table. He can no longer be relied upon to play 30+ games a season which is unfortunate for him. As for Milner, yes I know he topped the charts last season with assists but I simply don’t think he’s good enough to play in Liveprools new look midfield. Yes he’ll run all day for you, but those runs are often down blind channels. While he can be good at times going forward when it comes to defending, see my previous comment above.
Now comes the fun part, the attack. Since I’ve gone with a midfield trio, it leaves me with a choice of three up top, well actually two up top because both Phillipe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino are nailed on starters for me, the only question left to ask is who joins them. For me personally there’s only one man that fits the bill and that’s Divock Origi. Origi last season showed us all the type of player I knew he was. I put my neck on the block on Twitter and told everyone he would be a magnificent signing for the Reds and after a rocky start he proved me right. His ability to chase down opposition defenders and defend from the front is a joy to watch. He also has the added bonus of strength and isn’t easily bullied off the ball. Why no Daniel Sturridge I hear you ask, well it’s simple I’m simply not a fan. His attitude at times last season and his ability to pick up an injury from sneezing makes him as unreliable as Henderson. Whilst fully fit he will score goals I have a feeling that Klopp doesn’t trust him and favours Origi more. And with Firmino’s ability to play as a striker I can see Origi and Firmino playing as a front two with wee Phil tucked in behind them pulling the strings.
Maybe I’m completely wrong and Klopp goes with other players for the Arsenal game but the team I’ve named above I firmly believe is the strongest team that Liverpool have at the minute. For shits and giggles I’d have Alex Manniger, Adam Lallana, Sadio Mané, James Milner, Jordan Henserson and Cameron Branngan on the bench.
Written by @TheMoanyOne