Bringing Precision To Liverpool's Midfield : Thiago Alcantara
Just yesterday we witnessed a game of utter humiliation. Which was supposed to be one of the games of the season, but the lack of character and form and everything in the world for one team made it unbelievably easy for the other team. I was talking about the game between Liverpool and Manchester United. In the game last night we saw Liverpool breeze past Man United by 4 goals to nil. United lacked in every part of the pitch and were horrendous compared to the high standards they've set for themselves. One player in particular had great night. No, I ain't talking about Mohamed Salah. I was emphasizing on Thiago Alcantara.
Usually Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool would always play physical box to box central midfielders. Who's first priority would be pressing and covering for the high advancing fullbacks. In other words, everything that's defensive. Liverpool would attack with 5 players and defend with 5 players. This system paid off quite well. And Liverpool took the champions league and the premier league based on this system. But we better ourselves as we evolve. It's no different with Liverpool. Liverpool are coming out of the shell of defending from their midfield and are tweaking their system to accomodate more advanced midfielders. Naby Keita was the first of this type but he went a flop. Last season came Thiago. It was a slow start for him but he is slowly showing his true talents. Last night the spaniard has toyed with the Manchester United midfield. Previously we would see Fabinho shielding the defense as the two midfielders being Henderson and Wijnaldum pressed high up the pitch to win the ball as high as possible. And launch an attack right away. Now slowly Liverpool are creating a plan B to this strategy. Because you can't just press every team. Some teams like Manchester City, Chelsea, Real Madrid are well oiled to break through these high pressing oppositions. Then you'll need to build up your own attack. And that's where Alcantara comes in. Alcantara has a phenomenal passing range and ball progression ability. This is used to great benefit as he can now supply the Liverpool front 3 with inch perfect passes from the midfield. You must give credit to Jurgen Klopp for this display. It is his personal scouting that oversaw the transfer of Thiago Alcantara to Liverpool. He knew exactly what type of a player he needed. And that is why Liverpool didn't mess around and straight transferred the exact player Klopp wanted. Because of Alcantara Liverpool are now more fluid in the midfield. Their attacking variety has increased as previously they relied on only their two fullbacks. But now they have a third player to supply the ball into the box. Liverpool as a pressing team is already monstrous. And if this is the start of a Liverpool passing team, crazy things are ahead of us.
Day by day Liverpool are only getting better. They're chasing the quadruple this season. Let's see if Manchester City or Chelsea can break their heart this time around.