If Jurgen Klopp is known for nothing else, it is his gegenpressing or counter pressing style of Heavy Metal Football™. Coming up through the ranks with underdogs Mainz and Dortmund required a style that “levelled the playing field.” It was a point he made in his first press conference with Liverpool when he said, “In the game if they are better you have to bring them on your level and on your level you can kill every team.”
However, this Jurgen Klopp team isn’t quite as press-happy as previous vintages. With more success comes more money. With more money comes better players. And better players don’t just need to rely on counter pressing football to create and score goals.
Yes, we’ve seen quite a few goals from counterattacks and gegenpressing, but we’ve also seen them from beautiful possession-based build up, and from a fair few set pieces.
“It is really important because we can score in different situations; we can score from set-pieces, we can score from good football, we can score from counter-attacks, we have all different kinds of qualities that can help us to score goals,” Georginio Wijnaldum explained to the club’s official website.
“It gives more confidence to the team because it gives us more opportunities to score. In the last few games, we’ve scored quite a lot with the set-pieces – and Virgil is a happy man because he’s scored a few!
“We’re aware of our qualities we have, so we try to use them in every game.
“It is really important and it helps the team, but it doesn’t matter who scores or who plays good, it is just good if someone scores. Most of the time it is the front three, but now also Virgil is scoring, Trent can score and Robbo is getting closer.
“It’s always good if more players can score other than the front three to help the team.”
Really nice of Gini to name drop Robbo, especially after a sure goal was taken off his feet by Sadio Mane (only for the in-form Senegalese striker to somehow miss from point blank range).
If this Liverpool side are lacking in any area, it is goals from the midfield. But when you have the goal-hungry trio or Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and Sadio Mane leading the attack, perhaps it is the best option to just give it to them and let them do the business.
One thing is clear about this Liverpool side: they are very difficult to defend. If you have a go, you will be open to counterattacks. If you set up defensively, we have enough attacking talent to break down any side on our day. And if both of those things fail, we’ve become fairly adept at set pieces this season.
After a few promising results and performances, hopefully we’ll be seeing this Liverpool attack start to click into high gear in a season that could end our current trophy drought, and in dramatic fashion.