Michael Mongie is of the opinion that a trio of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mané can win Liverpool titles.
When looking back at Liverpool teams in the past there is one thing that can be agreed upon, the club has always featured either dazzling or stupendous attacking talents.
From the finesse and professionalism of Ian Rush to the suave talent that is Daniel Sturridge, Liverpool have always had forwards that got the Anfield faithful on their feet in appreciation. In recent years we have had two of the best forwards in world football in Fernando Torres and Luis Suarez.
While Torres may have departed Anfield on regrettable terms he still brings back memories of a time when Liverpool were feared in Europe and England alike. Suarez too. The Uruguayan took Liverpool the closest to the Premier League since its inception.
However, in recent seasons there has been absence of a deadly forward with creative talents to produce chances. When Suarez left Liverpool in 2014 to go to his dream club Barcelona, he left a gaping hole in a side that was ridden with aging veterans and inexperienced yet talented youngsters.
His departure meant that Daniel Sturridge became the primary forward at the club. The Englishman’s injury woes are well documented and he played as many games in the last two years as he did in the whole of the 2013/14 season. I won’t say anything of the disaster that was Brendan Rodgers’ £16 million gamble, Mario Balotelli, other than to say that it was some of the worst business I’ve ever seen by an English club.
Another poor disappointing season saw another talented Liverpool depart for greener pastures. Raheem Sterling’s departure to Manchester City left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. The Jamaican-born winger was very eager to leave Liverpool and it showed in his lacklustre performances at the club in the final three months of his Liverpool career.
That was then, under Brendan Rodgers. This is now, under Jürgen Klopp. There is something about the talismanic German which brings the best out of players. Especially those who have a passion for the game and are prepared to work hard.
Upon his arrival on Merseyside there was an immediate upturn in Coutinho’s form and the correct use of Roberto Firmino. According to Whoscored.com, within a month of Klopp’s appointment at Liverpool, Coutinho bagged four goals and provided an assist after failing to contribute directly to a goal for 6 games before which his only contribution was the winner against Stoke on the opening day of the season.
What’s more, he was wise enough to optimise Roberto Firmino’s finishing ability – something Brendan Rodgers failed to do. Playing a talent as gifted as Firmino at wing-back against Manchester United at Old Trafford may just be one of Rodgers’ greatest sins.
While it may not have been immediate, Klopp was able to draw the best out of Firmino. The Brazilian didn’t score under Klopp for 7 games despite assisting twice. His true talent was revealed in the Reds’ demolishing of Manchester City at the Etihad. With a goal and an assist, with enough chances to add many more, Firmino showed just what he could do when utilised correctly.
After all, it is pretty difficult to score regularly or at all from wing-back.
This article may have begun to sound more like a comparison between Klopp and Rodgers and their management of certain players but it’s because the handling of key players is an essential facet of being the manager of a club like Liverpool.
A key example of this is Daniel Sturridge and his familiarity with the medical room. Anyone who has played football will understand that it is gut wrenching to get injured. Sturridge has been unlucky with injuries his whole career but in particular the last two years. Could it be that his injury woes have been aggravated by poor management?
It is difficult to argue that Sturridge would have been injury free had Klopp always been his coach. However, you need only look at the way he was allowed to be treated on international duty and the way he was constantly rushed back from injury due to his importance to the team to realize his fragile muscles may have been damaged by a lack of foresight in the past.
When Klopp took over and Sturridge neared fitness he was told he would need to complete a week’s worth of training sessions before being considered for the match day squad. Any sort of setback and Sturridge was told he was ineligible to play. This patience and refusal to rush the 2013/14 season’s Golden Boot runners up shows that Sturridge’s injuries can be managed.
With Liverpool’s mega money purchase of Sadio Mané from Southampton, Klopp has added a dimension to the Reds’ attack that has been lacking since Sterling chose money and glory over Liverpool. With an attacking triumvirate of Coutinho, Firmino and the pacy Mané spearheaded by Daniel Sturridge, Premier League teams will be very wary of the Reds next season
While fans may be dismayed by Manchester United’s signing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the impending signing of Henrikh Mkhitaryan there is every chance that Liverpool could outperform the Red Devils next term.
Liverpool’s attacking lineup practically guarantees goals. At the very least, you can expect fans to be up on their feet as we have seen at Anfield for decades. With Klopp coaching the lads you can expect they will be fit, well drilled and rearing to go come the thirteenth of August.