Having played as an attacking midfielder, secondary striker, right winger, left winger and centre-forward during most of his football career, Roberto Firmino is one of Liverpool’s most versatile attacking players.
His off the ball movement is not typical for a forward player and he uses his speed, vision, close control and dribbling skills to pick holes in opposition’s defence, find space and stop counter-attacks. This season, Firmino’s work-rate and movement has been utilized in a deeper role which has not brought him as many goals, but his contribution to the team has continued in other areas on the pitch. Since Klopp joined Liverpool in October 2015, Firmino’s role has evolved from midfielder to false nine to main and then second striker.
After the Everton game, Firmino revealed how he feels about working under Klopp, saying: “Playing for him is a really joyful experience. I love it as do the rest of the team. We’ve learned so much from him since he arrived and we’ve only got better. He is what you see in public: the passion, the father figure. And he’s also got ambition to win titles and give his best and as players we can only win with what we learn from him.”
Klopp has always viewed Bobby as the “engine” of the team which is essential to gengenpressing and said last season: “People say he does not score enough. What?! He is the best player without scoring, with how well he reads the game for the benefit of others. If he loses the ball, he fights for it back. If he loses it again, he fights for it. He looks like the engine of the team.”
Firmino was at his attacking best against Arsenal on Saturday, scoring twice in sublime fashion in 90 seconds, bringing his Premier League tally to seven goals and nine in all competitions. When Klopp was asked about Bobby’s performance after Saturday’s emphatic display,he told the official Liverpool website:
Bobby Firmino played an outstanding season so far. If I talk to people, it’s like: ‘Bobby, eh, if it would click for him…’ [But] the different system we play is possible because he plays how he plays, because he is everywhere. He is a link-up player.
If you find a throw-in, we had in the last half a year where he is not involved to get the ball or at least open up a gap, it would be a surprise for me.Now obviously he scores three goals and everybody sees again: ‘Ah, yes, and he scores on top.’
His attitude as a team worker gives us so much.
And his all-round versatility and fantastic flair gives us as Liverpool supporters so much joy. Here’s to Bobby continuing his dazzling ways for the rest of the season!
Up the Mighty Reds!