Wednesday 14 November 2018
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Is the form of our front three a concern?

Salah - Firmino - Mane

I’m never a fan of international breaks as the weekends are boring without any proper football. But if you were to ask Jürgen Klopp what he thought about this one, my hunch would be that he wanted that break, especially for the front three.

I’m not sure whether I’m jumping the gun with my views or whether you all see the same thing. There is a certain lack of goals from them compared to last season but more worryingly, whether they are playing together as a team is more of a concern for me.

If you compare this season to last, the smile from the front three has gone missing, especially from Mo and Mane. They don’t seem to enjoy when the other has some glory, neither do they seem to want to work together for each other like they so obviously did last season. I feel Firmino is the one who is keeping it together but something seems to be affecting their effectiveness as a trio.

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I understand as a goal scorer they need to be selfish but you can’t forgo the greater good of the team in order for individuals to shine. Also, this season they seem to be moving the ball slower or are holding onto the ball for longer which gives the opposition players time to get back to try and deny a goalscoring opportunity. There was a perfect example of this in the second half against Man City where Keita wriggled through the defence in the 53rd minute and was getting in to a position to shoot and Mane got involved by trying to pinch the ball from his team-mate to score. There were also instances in previous games where both Mane and Mo were getting into better positions but neither of them would pass to the other who was better placed.

It could be a combination of the other teams coming up with plan to combat that front three but I’m sure our players are contributing to this apparent problem. I do wonder if we are lacking a creative midfielder, as it has become evident as to why Klopp was keen on signing Nabil Fekir from Lyon. They are all work horses but that killer pass is lacking from them. Keita is probably the one who has that pass in him out of all of them but he is still getting settled to this new environment.

Anyway, I hope this break gives our front three time to reflect upon the season so far and also to iron out any differences that we maybe don’t know about. It also gives Jürgen an opportunity to work on how to fix this problem as I’m sure he will be the one who is more concerned despite his persistent voice to the press that there is no issue with the front three.  There may be nothing in it but an average punter who watches the game every week it feels like there’s something.

I welcome your thoughts.

YNWA

Naveen Vinod

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