On our way to back to back Champions League finals, Liverpool had a set in stone defence and attack. Jürgen Klopp only ever rotates his back 5 and front 3 when he is forced to by fatigue, injury or fixture build up – he has his first choice and he sticks to it. However, it is in the middle of the park where the Reds are less settled. It is time for the gaffer to pick a regular Liverpool midfield and stick to it. Our perfect trio, when fit, would be Fabinho behind Gini Wijnaldum and Naby Keita.
A settled midfield has its benefits and drawbacks. Let’s start with the big drawback. Jürgen Klopp asks a lot of his team. Midfielders are expected to be everywhere on the pitch such is the intensive pressing philosophy and vicious counter attack that the German manager has instilled in his side. If a midfield three play a game every 5 days or so in this team, they will be worn out and injured sharpish. A certain degree of rotation is completely necessary for the health of the midfield.
However, a settled trio has the benefit of building a greater understanding between the players. The pressing system that Liverpool play requires a trust and understanding between players that doesn’t just happen overnight. Whilst our press is already arguably the best in Europe, it could be improved by giving players more playing time in a settled system. Further to the press, a greater understanding between players would help Liverpool’s midfield become more creative as they predict each other’s movement better.
A settled midfield could be the final piece of the puzzle – how long is it until Jürgen picks one?