This weekend saw The Reds break even more records. Liverpool took on Spurs in North London and ran out 1-0 winners in a game that saw them become the first team in the history of Europe’s top leagues to win 20 of their first 21 games. It was a comfortable affair for the most part but the last 20 minutes were a bit touch and go at times. Liverpool conceded chances against Spurs for one stupid reason: they got bored.
The last six weeks or so has been a hectic period for Jürgen Klopp’s men. They have played an extraordinary amount of football. For a while they were playing a game every three days.
This amount of football takes a toll on players, particularly those playing in such an intense side. Each player has to remain switched on for the full 90 minutes, they have to be prepared to press for the full 90 minutes.
The Boxing Day triumph over Leicester City at the King Power Stadium was the perfect example of how this Reds side strangle games, they suck the life out of fixtures after going ahead.
It appears that Liverpool got bored of this during the game against Spurs. We were conceding chances due to sloppy errors. These sloppy errors appeared to arise from a lack of concentration.
For the whole game against Leicester City and the full 90 against Sheffield United, we saw Jürgen’s Reds keep the ball and pick apart the opposition. We were doing the same against Spurs – until players seemed to get bored of just passing backwards and sideways.
Players began to dawdle on the ball, the most glaring incident being when Gini Wijnaldum failed to pass it on safely. The Dutchman was tackled and we were lucky to see Son Heung-Min blaze the ball over the bar.
To play in this Reds side in this manner requires elite levels of concentration and professionalism – these levels dipped in the last 20 minutes against Tottenham. If we want to strangle games we need to keep doing it for the full 90 minutes, particularly when there’s only a goal in it.
We can’t afford for players to get bored of keeping the ball, of stifling the opposition – although it is understandable why this happened given the amount of football the Reds have had to play in the last six weeks.