Is it time to get excited yet? With Shaqiri the Little Hulk (look at his calf muscles!) getting 45 minutes in our last game, could we see the Fab 4 back in the Liverpool fold?
I was so excited with the signing of Shaqiri, as equally as I was Alisson, but not everyone was. But against Southampton, many were bemused to see the best player in first half getting subbed after 45 minutes. The “tactical substitution” left a lot of fans wondering why Shaq was substituted. Apparently the boss was not happy with the defensive side of our game and opted to introduce James Milner, who has been my player of the season so far.
I feel Shaqiri’s performance may have put ideas into The Gaffer’s head that there could be an option of playing Shaqiri as a No.10 with Salah and Mané on the flanks and Firmino at the top. Imagine that with Shaq’s vision and speed, his ability to pick a pass and his skills deployed in that position. If Mané and Salah dropped back to help the fullbacks this could be a really good option for Klopp. Just think about that 4 against any team, including even Manchester City. I think opposing sides would be shaking. None of their fullbacks would be allowed to bomb down the wings and create chances like they do against the other teams.
If we have a midfield to compliment those four, with two of the other five brilliant options we have to select from i.e. Hendo, Milly, Wiji, Keita, Fabinho , this probably would be an unstoppable team.
Will Klopp do it against big teams? Well, we don’t know yet. Even though it’s a mouth-watering option I don’t think Klopp will do that against the top teams but will instead look at a more conservative option of picking three of the above mentioned five midfielders. The reason being is that Klopp likes to see those workhorses to do their stuff in the midfield and allow the front 3 to do what they’re best at. If Shaqiri improves his defensive side though, it could become an option.
When will it suit us more to use that option? I think Klopp should look at that option against the lower sides where they deploy 10 players behind the ball. That is when the creativity is needed more. This could give the option of TAA and Andy Robertson to push forward on the wings and get Mané and Salah to get into the box more along with Firmino. This could also be an option when teams like Chelsea and Manchester United come to Anfield with a more defensive mentality.
This may be too early to call on evidence of only 45 minutes, but I welcome your thoughts.
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