Last season, it was no secret that Liverpool Football Club had an Achilles heel. Time and again, the team would come out and put on top performances against their direct rivals, only to falter when facing the lower sides. The conclusion those teams seemed to come to was simple: sit back and defend and Liverpool won’t find a way to break them down.
As supremely frustrating as it was to watch, I’m imagine it was even more frustrating to live.
While in Hong Kong with the team for pre-season, Gini Wijnaldum had some thoughts on the subject.
“We must read the games better,” he admitted. “You don’t always have to win beautiful. I think Chelsea is a good example.
“Last season they were the best team. They knew what they had to do. That’s what we needed to do.
“Against the top seven or eight we didn’t lose a game. I think the games against the lower teams will be bigger now and I think that will it will be different this season. In the past we didn’t win those kinds of games.
“A lot of people said that when a team parks the bus, we don't have a lot of solutions. If you have confidence then you will find solutions, even if a team drops really deep.
“I think we have the players who can still find a way but we have to show it.
“Last season we did it wrong against the lower teams. We didn’t perform well. When we're going to play against a team that is not high in the ranking we are going to use the things we did last season as a motivation.”
A key factor for this team — that has already shown itself so adept at so many things — will be their ability to win those games that they found so difficult last season.