Fans of Liverpool Football Club are aware of how stingy the Liverpool defense have been of late. After a start to the season that saw them struggling to keep a clean sheet, Liverpool have managed to keep eight clean sheets out of the last nine Premier League matches. That’s a record that stretches all the way to the first match of December.
A big reason for that has been the return of Joe Gomez to his natural position of center back and in many fans’ estimation of the strongest pairing in Liverpool’s potential options in the heart of defense. Lining up next to Virgil Van Dijk will make most people’s lives easier, but Gomez’s elite mix of physical attributes and a sense of positioning and tactical acumen that genuinely belies his youth, means that Liverpool simply have in their hands one of the best young center backs in the game.
Jurgen Klopp was asked about JoeGo during the press conference ahead of the Southampton match tomorrow and he had nothing but praise for the England international.
“But since he is a playing as a centre-half again – his natural position – together with Virg there is exceptional. He is a sensational footballer, which is good. He has outstanding speed, which helps us a lot to keep our last line high; he is a really good challenger; good in one-on-one situations; football-wise, I said already, good.”
Liverpool with a Gomez-VVD pairing are simply a different proposition for defenses to unlock. And as was mentioned in post-match commentary by Robbie Earle, the layers of Liverpool’s system that an opposing team must break down - the press of the front three, the disruptive ability of the midfield, the Gomez-VVD pairing, and then Alisson - is a daunting bill for even the most talented of teams. And that’s considering that you are trying to score on this group, not merely prevent them from nicking a goal.
Liverpool are hopeful to keep that same defensive stoutness as they seek to close out what looks to be a historic season pointed at nabbing the trophy Reds fans have wanted the most over the last three decades. 24 points out of a possible 39 points left in the season. Or, if ya like, 8 more wins. Let’s get after it, Reds.