I’ll start this piece of by confessing I’ve never been fussed by styles of plays. Whether it be tiki-taka, parking the bus, pressing or whatever, I couldn’t care less. As long as my team gets a result and wins things, they could play Big-Sam hoofball and I’d be happy with the win.
In the past few years we’ve had a bit of everything at LFC. We had Rafa who wanted to dominate possession how ever he had no problem with parking the bus, especially away in Europe. I won’t even give Hodgson a brand of football when he was here, unless ‘absolutely shite’ constitutes as a style of play. Kenny Daglish flirted between dominating the ball and hoofing it to Carroll when needs be, and at times successfully. Brendan Rodgers came in primarily as a Martinez type Guardiola cast-off. We dominated the ball a lot and at times it felt pointless, with the most exciting time under the Northern Irishmen being when we adopted a counter-attacking style of play.
There wasn’t a style of play in that list I can say I preferred and winning felt the same as a fan whether we hoofed it to Carroll or had 99.9% of possession and won playing ultimate tiki-taka football.
We saw the style of play Klopp demands from his team at times last year. The media were keen to brand it ‘heavy metal’ football due to a throwaway comment Klopp made a few years ago.
Against the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarreal we saw signs that under the pressing style Klopp demands, we were very hard to beat. Having worked on it in pre-season, so far this campaign it has been revamped and improved. Whereas last year felt like a compromise, this year everyone knows their jobs due to time on the training field and the early signs are that we are seeing the benefit from this.
And I have to say, I absolutely love it. The way we play is perfect for a fan and is everything football should be. In an interview with Gary Linaker, when asked about his style of play, Klopp said “it isn’t the smartest way, but it is the right way to play football”. I think he’s spot on. It’s everything a team should be. When they have the ball, everyone is working hard to get it back. When we have the ball, everyone is involved in attack and we are trying to score every single time we have the ball. Watching Liverpool is a pleasure at the minute, talking about Liverpool is a pleasure at the minute, writing about Liverpool is a pleasure at the minute.
Long gone are the days of what appeared to be pointless possession at times under Rodgers. In attack we are fluid, scoring more goals than anybody in England since Klopp came in and creating the most chances in Europe this season. In defence, we are improving game by game and everybody knows their job. Around the 60 minute mark in our win against Hull on Saturday, 4-1 up, I saw Firmino sprinting from centre back to centre back, desperate to regain possession. That’s when I really began to think about this style. It’s absolutely superb to see and is what every fan wants. It appears to have revitalised Anfield too, with the atmosphere at Leicester and Hull a significant upgrade to last year’s general atmosphere.
Long may us working our bollocks off and scoring goals continue, as I’m certainly enjoying it at the minute.
Written by @JackMitchell_5