Owen Hargreaves points to Liverpool’s under-reliance on one goalscorer as being the root of their success this season.
When the 2016/17 season began, I don’t think anyone but Liverpool’s own supporters were expectant of great things and yet pundits and opposition fans have come to expect football of the highest order from the Merseyside bunch.
Between Coutinho, Firmino, Lallana and Mane, the quartet has scored 15 of Liverpool’s 24 goals in the Premier League and there is very little sign that they are slowing down. Against Crystal Palace, although Coutinho didn’t get on the scoresheet, his two corners assisted goals for Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip and this proves that he can be effective even if he isn’t scoring.
Liverpool’s deadly front four has terrorised the Premier League this season and seems to be a match for any team, except Burnley, that is. Versatility up front has wreaked havoc for static defences like Leicester and Hull City – the interchangeability up front is so hard to track that playing man-to-man isn’t viable but zonal marking doesn’t work either as Coutinho and Mane exploit the slightest hint of space.
Owen Hargreaves believes that Liverpool’s under-reliance on one goalscorer is their main strength this season.
“What makes this Liverpool team so special is that they are so versatile,” Hargreaves told BT Sport.
“They don’t rely on one player to get them goals: Firmino, Lallana, Mane and Coutinho. They’ve got so many attacking players.”
Joel Matip and Emre Can got their first goals of the season against Crystal Palace and it just emphasises that Liverpool don’t look to one star striker anymore to lead the line and win the game. When Luis Suarez was at the club, the forward won games on his own regularly, but those days are long gone.
With Klopp building a team geared purely toward working for each other, it would be a bit odd to have one superstar who stood out above the rest and stole the show. The team spirit and sense of unity is impressive and it can only serve to help in Liverpool’s aim to challenge for league this season.
Even if Firmino stops scoring goals, Klopp has the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi to turn to, so it’s not like he’s short of options either.
Liverpool face Watford next in the Premier League and there is plenty to be optimsitic about with the Reds looking to make it 12 games unbeaten in all competitions. Read Alex Roger’s article on why Liverpool have plenty of reason to be optimsic when facing the Hornets.