Jurgen Klopp used some new attacking tactics in the Community Shield against Arsenal. They would be game-changing for two Liverpool forwards.
Klopp clearly didn’t like what he saw from Liverpool’s first-half. And why would he? The Reds barely created a chance and just struggled to get anything going.
That prompted Klopp to switch things up fairly dramatically in the second half. He went 4-2-3-1 and moved the front-three to new positions before introducing Takumi Minamino on the left.
It’s a set-up that has enormous potential for Liverpool and you can read our thoughts on it here. But while it means positive things for Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane, two other players may benefit even more.
So let’s have a look at each.
Honestly, this is a tactical system that Origi has cried out for.
There’s one major difference between Liverpool’s usual system and this 4-2-3-1 – the ‘1’. Firmino would typically drop back to play as a no.10 but that’s something he really does anyway. Similarly, Liverpool use two wingers.
But that player in front of Firmino is huge. Suddenly, Liverpool have an attacking threat who leads the line from the middle. There’s little pressure to link play as the no.10 does that. The player also isn’t isolated on the wing. It’s your traditional no.9 role and Origi thrives in it.
Liverpool played it once in a major game last season, after all. It came against Everton in early December and the Reds won 5-2. Origi started in the no.9 role and scored twice – those would be his last two goals until scoring on the final day of the season.
The Belgian struggled last season as he rarely played significant minutes. He also didn’t play much as a striker, usually covering Mane on the left when he did play. All together, he was a goalscorer out of form an unable to play his natural role. Even when he did play down the middle, Liverpool don’t use a striker in the usual way.
But a move to 4-2-3-1 would help Origi in two ways. First, there are four attacking options, meaning more opportunities. Secondly, Liverpool would have an open spot in his natural position.
We’re not even sure if Brewster will be at Liverpool this season, in truth. He may well be, however, and if he is, the 4-2-3-1 suits him.
Klopp recently talked about Brewster needing to learn how to be more involved in games. We don’t think there’s anywhere better to learn that than Liverpool – but it’s especially true if they’re playing 4-2-3-1 with any regularity.
The striker role lessons the need to be ‘involved’. There’s a focus on goalscoring – as Klopp says, that’s Brewster’s strength – and not so much on playmaking, movement and hold-up play.
So not only do the attacking tactics suit Brewster but it may suit Liverpool to keep the 20-year-old around. He’s a natural player for the role and many of the doubts around him disappear.