Liverpool’s midfield might not be the prettiest on the eye but their work rate is outstanding as a result, the Reds are top of the League with four goals conceded and remain as the Premier League side to taste defeat.
Liverpool FC have continued from where they left off last season with five wins from five matches.
It’s a great start by the reds – five points clear of rivals and defending Champions Manchester City; the players will know there is no room for error if they want to go a step further to winning the Premier League title after failing to clinch the League title by a single point.
Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp would be buoyed at this stage considering that they come from the International break for two weeks with no major players injured, albeit the loss of goalkeeper Allison Becker might have worried many Liverpool supporters but new goalkeeper, Adrain has filed his position with a couple of rash mistakes earlier which was expected of course but he has been okay especially in the previous two games where he looked calm and much more relax between the sticks.
The Spanish international will be buoyed by the fact he kept his first-ever clean sheet for the reds against Burnley just prior to the international break. Of course, it was going to be difficult to replace the best goalkeeper in the world currently but he just needs to relax.
Last season, Liverpool’s midfield might have raised a few eyebrows in terms of not contributing enough like how City does. With the likes of Naby Keita, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Adam Lallana mostly injured during last season’s campaign, it was even tougher for the rest of the midfielders to work extra hard – staying fit and playing more games under their belt.
Club captain Jordan Henderson, vice-captain James Milner, Gini Wiljnadum, Xherdan Shaqiri all contributed to the reds’ thrilling title race last season. The good news, of course, is both Lallana and Chamberlain are fit. For Keita, he looks like he will be ready in the next few weeks or so.
The stand out performer thus far has to go to Fabinho Tavares. The Brazilian international has been instrumental for the reds in shielding that back four. He’s the unsung hero at this moment because all the plaudits go to the front three (Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah) and the reds getting him four £39 million looks like a bargain. It might have taken a while for the Brazilian to adapt to the Premier League because of how fast it is and Klopp does that to his new signings.
It always works for Klopp. I don’t know how he does it but it works. All his new players don’t play right away so that they can adjust to the conditions and style of play. In Fabinho’s case, his first competitive game was away to Arsenal at the Emirates. Playing as a pivot 6 away must have helped him albeit it was tough and coming away with a point was not a bad result.
Klopp demands a lot from his players. There is no doubt about that with his midfield. Their work rate is second to none. With Fabinho now playing in his favourite position that gives room for Henderson to bomb forward and go back in assisting Fabinho in defense when needed to.
Fabinho has not lost a single game [P33, points 85, L 0] proving how an important player he is for the Liverpool and also him being a workhorse in that defensive midfield role when starting for the reds in the Premier Leauge. He looks settled at Merseyside and if he continues to show the performances his been showing as of late, no doubt he will be the best defensive midfielder in the world in the next few years.
His strengths are, being strong in his passing with a couple of assists to his name with the recent one coming against Arsenal when Salah passed David Luiz as if he wasn’t there in midfield to go all the way in slotting the ball in the left corner to beat Arsenal’s goalkeeper Bernd Leno.
He is very concentrated and does hold the ball well but for me, what impresses me the most about him is, his tackles are mostly clean. Who can forget that 2nd leg Champions League comeback at Anfield against Barcelona? Without any hesitation, he was the man of the match on that day in which the reds ended up lifting the Champions League beating Tottenham Hotspurs 2-0. His aerial duels are still a weakness so he still has enough time to improve on that.
Liverpool has six games in 20 days with the next two being tough all away from home. They travel to Italy to face Napoli in the Champions League and away to Chelsea in the League next weekend.