Over the past couple of years Liverpool FC have had a bit of a weakness when it comes to putting players in there favoured position. Id argue that it has played a major part in our poor play but more so on our inconsistency. Thinking back to players like Markovic (RWB), Ibe (RWB), Coutinho (LW), Can (CB) and a few others on the odd occasion, makes me upset to see players with such great potential having it wasted as a result of not knowing the position that they are playing.
I think a 4-3-2-1 formation would put our best players in there natural positions as well as highlight the strengths of our team as a whole and individuals whilst also serving to hide the weaknesses that we posses. Enough of me saying what I think let me attempt to convince you.
My lineup with this squad in a 4-3-2-1
GK-Mignolet- The best we have at the position currently however Ward needs to be given a game to prove he is capable of backup next season if we buy a new goalkeeper and ship Mignolet off.
RB-Clyne- One of the only buys from the Rodgers era I can say i'm happy with as a player and for value. Been a consistent performer all season however would like to see him cross the ball more when he has the chance especially if Benteke is on. To often see him pass inside or run inside onto his weaker left foot, reminds me of someone hmmmm.
CB-Skrtel- Tough choice between this man and Lovren given the upturn in form of late from the Croatian man. However I don't think Skrtel is as error prone or dodgy though his positioning can be awkward at times also susceptible to lapses in concentration.
CB-Sakho- I really like Sakho I believe he was a marvelous capture for the club and I find his passion refreshing although crazy. Excellent passer into the midfield and forward areas thats the most underrated aspect of his game. Solid defender on his day but has an error a game in him.
LB-Moreno/Flanno- This would be decided on a game by game basis with Flanno starting the games against decent wingers and full backs while Moreno would start against the weaker attacking threats. This would be down to style of play and a desire to be compact and defensively solid when playing the bigger teams which I believe Flanno provides in a great way.
RCM-Milner- Industrious player who will be able to press high up the pitch and when he wins the ball in a wider area at Right central midfield would be very capable of doing something worthy due to his experience on the wings. This experience and engine allows him to defend the oppositions winger/marauding fullback better than a standard winger for us would. Also with 2 other CM's in the side there would be no void in the middle when he did go out to defend in wider areas.
DM-Can- As a player with CB experience I would say Can is best utilised at defensive midfielder where in attack he can step up into space to fill the void of a high pressing CM in wider areas. As well in defense he is able to drop back into the back line and create an effective 3 CB's if necessary or he is also able and mobile enough to sit on a teams key Attacking midfielder.
LCM-Henderson- Brings the same as Milner almost exactly where the two could interchange between the sides. Absolute engine and good passion levels that are necessary in CM especially as the captain of the club allows him to speak to all team member on the pitch with ease and relay messages from defence to attack and vice versa.
RAM-Firmino- Attacking midfielders always love to be central and as soon as we have seen Firmino moved central we have seen the potential that he has whether that be pressing, scoring, assisting or dribbling. He is better centrally!!! also very useful to have as he is versatile and able to drift between lines very well. Like Coutinho when he drops deep and builds up a head of steam running at slow turning CB's he is as deadly as ever.
LAM-Coutinho- I get most infuriated when I see Coutinho wasted on the left wing because it totally plays away from his strengths that are to thread killer balls and to link play with intricate one-twos and flicks. Let me ask you to do an experiment, spread your four fingers out and hold them in front of your face. You can see the gaps between your fingers right it would be easy to pass a ball through that gap looking at your fingers head on. However were you to turn your hand 90 degrees you would see no gaps which is exactly what Coutinho sees when he looks across the line from a LW perspective which in turn means he doesn't see the killer balls and chance creating opportunities that he would were he looking at the defence head on. As well as this like Firmino he can move into channels between the fullback and centre back leading to confusion as to who is supposed to mark him. Unlike at LW where everyone knows the fullback is solely responsible and thus no confusion between opposition.
ST-Sturridge- Although he looked disinterested in the cup final he is class. Sometimes I think he comes deep to often when he's not in the game and tries to collect the ball on the half way line leaving no focal point up top. When firing on all cylinders our biggest game changer by a mile.
Above is what I believe would be the benefits to the individuals and there games next ill attempt to explain why I think the formation and players chosen lead themselves to benefit us through strengthening our strengths and weaknesses.
First of is the issue of defence and the general disorganisation. We all know without a proper pre season its going to be very hard for Klopp to teach these guys to defend so why not use the oldest book in the trick and slot a DM in at CB while defending to effectively make a bigger barrier in front of the goal.
Id say that both of our fullbacks are fairly good going forward however my biggest criticism of the, Clyne in particular is that once in a good position they do not cross. I think this stems from too many option close by to them and often a wide player in front of them elimination any space they could potentially venture into. This problem is effectively eradicated when Coutinho and Firmino play centrally as a pair an don't venture out wide to much. 2 more central players would also mean 3 v 3 aerially when crosses do come if as you'd expect the two attacking midfielders get into the box often. These fullbacks wont be isolated against wingers and opposing fullbacks due to the presence of energetic wider CM's so defensively are just as solid as before providing the team as it should shuffles its formation to the side of the pitch which the football is being played.
Midfield could be considered to be as energetic and ground covering as any in the league and with 3 players in the centre and a further 2 up a bit from them the potential to press and cover space in front of the goal is immense. Where some might say its to congested in the centre when attacking id have to argue that Liverpool players do very well in tight spaces.
The attacking 3 is really where I think this team could explode. First we saw how good Daniel Sturridge was with the quality of Luis Suarez so its vital we surround him with quality again and enable him to establish chemistry with our 2 Brazilian maestros. Another thing that makes this so exciting is it could legitimately move to a 1 attacking midfielder and 2 striker system if the space is ever two congested behind the striker. With 3 players centrally occupying what is usually 2 centre backs we would see the benefits of rotating the 3's positions up there as to confuse the opposition defenses and then capitalize on any mistakes they make with the ball as its a very reputable 3v4 when pressing as opposed to the usual 1v4 that easily allows team to pass there way out from the back to often. Getting the ball in good areas to start with leads to more chances and thus more goals.
Please leave comments and let me know what you think of the tactical analysis posed and whether it makes sense or is all a load of hogwash.