Alex Rogers explains how Georginio Wijnaldum can take his game to the next level.
Wijnaldum’s first few games for Liverpool have been reasonably uneventful. There have been some impressive games and also some games where he could have been better. But overall, he’s been reasonably good.
But he can play better. We’ve all seen him play better. He was a key player, if not the most important, for his previous teams of PSV and Newcastle. Let me remind you of the Gini Wijnaldum masterclass last season against Norwich. Not any player can score 4 goals, regardless of the team they are up against.
If he can play like that, or even half as good as he played that day, then we have an excellent player on our hands. However, for every great game he played, there were spells where he would disappear for games at a time. And this is his biggest weakness, his consistency.
Wijnaldum seems to be playing a slightly deeper role than we are used to seeing him and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. On Friday, he played a very good game in our win against Chelsea. He tracked back and won the ball back very well while passing off the ball and darting into dangerous positions. He played a lovely game in a slightly deeper role than the attacking role we are accustomed to seeing.
But playing one great game doesn’t mean much if for the next three games you are essentially invisible. You become a gamble, and games are a lot harder to come by if there’s a 50/50 chance that you might play up to scratch. And despite not playing poorly, with the amount of talent in our midfield already, Gini is going to have to really work hard if he wants a guaranteed starting place.
Now I’m a big believer that consistency is key. I’d much rather a player that plays well consistently than a player that scores 5 goals in one game then disappears for half a season. But I’d love a player who scores 5 goals a game consistently. But that’s never going to happen.
Now I think most people who watch football regularly can agree that Wijnaldum is a good player, but if he manages to really improve his consistency, only then can he start to be called an amazing player and I don’t think that’s unrealistic at all. He’s got the potential.
Wijnaldum, from what I’ve seen from fans, seems to be a popular guy on and off the field. And it’s hard not to fall in love with his infectious smile. That smile. Damn. But what will really make me love him unconditionally would be if he can play like he did against Chelsea, or better, on a regular basis.
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