Dave Davis outlines what should be on Jurgen Klopp’s agenda during this international break with the next two months critical for success for the Reds.
The international break may not have come at the best time for the Reds. Three wins in a week, a new formation and a couple of clean sheets meant that momentum had truly been built.
Jurgen Klopp spent the start of the period in South Africa, but he’s got a few things to focus on his return to Melwood. There’s plenty to do before Southampton roll up to Anfield on 19th November
Keep Salah fresh
Klopp must have done a few internal somersaults when Egypt confirmed they were going to give their prince a break. Salah had rightly earned hero status for his country after guiding them to the World Cup and now enjoys a similar status with Reds everywhere.
12 goals and 3 assists in 17 games is an incredible early return and Liverpool’s Player of the Year award looks like a formality. The manager will need to keep him fresh with 12 games between now and the end of the year. This may be his only break for a long time.
Work with Matip
The Cameroonian centre-half is retired from international football and should be as fresh as anyone with three separate international breaks already this season. Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet have both been slaughtered in recent weeks, with Matip seeming to escape the backlash somewhat.
The former Schalke man is Liverpool’s best centre-half all things considered and Klopp needs to work with the 24-year-old to ensure he focuses and understands what’s expected of a Liverpool centre-half. The spotlight will fall on him if the errors continue.
Tinker with formations
The 4-1 win away at West Ham was notable for one major thing: the formation change to an attacking 4-4-2. Liverpool looked deadly on the break with pace throughout the spine and two holding midfielders to protect the back four.
Look at who’s left at Melwood: Sturridge, Milner, Matip, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ings amongst others. Salah could easily be back too, which means Klopp could work on the adjustment and ensure players become well drilled in their attacking and defensive responsibilities. Seems foolish not to work on a Plan B when the chance presents itself.
England’s Player of the Year has been a big miss for the Reds and his absence had been felt with recent disappointing results. Lallana starts the press for Liverpool and is an obvious favourite of the manager.
The 29-year-old can play in a multitude of positions and Klopp has reportedly arranged behind closed doors friendly – specifically for him. When fit, he’s one of the players we have that the other top six clubs would love to have in the side and you’d be surprised if he’s not back in the first team line up soon.