On this week’s podcast we have had the brilliant football analyst Enrico Andreoli Montreal with us discussing all things Premier League. In particular this week we have been discussing Liverpool, who have been absolutely ravaged by injury. The Reds admittedly have had a pretty good time of it and over the last 12 to 18 months they have been pretty much injury free, at least with regards to long term injuries. And so Enrico and I really got into it around Liverpool and for Enrico’s money, he believes that fans shouldn’t be overly worried.
The biggest issue here is that Van Dijk is out for the remainder of the season, or at least so it appears, but that may not be the Premier League title killer that many believe it to be.
Defending from The Front
The first thing to sayer is that whilst there is nobody in the team who could replace the role which VVD plays, this is a team which defends from the front. That press up the top of the pitch from Salah, Mane, Firmino and/or Jota, is where the whole thing starts from and there are a great number of clubs who cannot get passed that.
You do genuinely get a sense with Liverpool that they could outscore just about any opponent who is put in front of them. Now of course we did see them get destroyed by Aston Villa earlier in the season but for me that was just a bad day for Liverpool and a great one for Villa coinciding. It is also worth noting that Van Dijk was playing that day. Given the way that Jota and Salah are scoring already, I have a feeling that if Liverpool do concede 2, they will be able to easily score 3 or 4 to make up for it.
The first example of the manager’s brilliance with regards to this injury crisis could be seen against Leicester last weekend. Klopp’s side didn’t give Leicester any of the ball, they dominated possession and they did so because Klopp doesn’t just train his first team to play in his image, he trains the entire club to play like that. This is why those secondary players coming in knew exactly who to play, because that is what the manager has trained them to do.
This is a side which has some fantastic youngster in it and they are now lining up to take their chance in the first team. From Neco Williams to Curtis Jones, Rhys Jones and even new signing Tsimikas, these youngsters have been waiting for an opportunity just like this and we can fully expect them to grab that opportunity with both hands.
This is going to be a testing time for Liverpool but any talk that the title challenge is over based on the injuries which they have is premature and just not accurate at all. There is still some hope.