Nine games, sixteen goals conceded. Winless in the last four matches. Liverpool’s defensive brain center has been overrun by gremlins of late, tearing at the controls and causing chaos when the team is under pressure.
Jürgen Klopp prefers an attacking style of play and an aggressive pressing game that spreads players out on the pitch as they pour forward or move to intercept the ball. The upsides to this approach are clear: goals and entertainment. But the downside to this style of play, if you don’t have the proper players with the shrewdness for analysing space and the timing to be in the right place at the right time, is getting caught out of position and exposing a great, big pink belly.
Joël Matip isn’t having any of that talk. The German defender, who’s in an injury race against time to get on the pitch against Leicester City this weekend, preaches a message of continuing togetherness that should fortify Liverpool’s defense in time.
“Everything has it’s positive and negative sides but I have no doubt about our way of playing,” said Matip.
“I cannot stand at the back and our attackers go forward and there is so much big space. We all have to fit together.
“It is not always easy but this is our way of play. I think that is a good way of playing.
“We have had our good moments and also our not so good moments. We were punished for these and it was ruthless, the first few games, but we have to carry on. I am not in doubt about the quality in our team.”
Liverpool will return to Leicester City on Saturday after having just been beaten 2-0 by the Foxes this week in the League Cup. It’s a chance to make it right, so to speak. It’s a chance for a strong first team to show what they can do after a frustrating stretch of lackluster performances.
“The game on Saturday will be a completely different game,” said Matip.
“You cannot compare these two games. I think we did it very well in the first half and we will try to copy this, maybe with a bit more luck up front.
“I am looking forward to it and I think we can win.”