Jurgen Klopp has given an honest analysis of the performance of Thiago Alcantara during the 1-0 defeat to Southampton on Monday night. He admitted the Spaniard suffered from a defensive perspective.
It was Thiago’s first start since October 17, and unsurprisingly, there was a lot of excitement that followed the announcement of Liverpool’s starting XI.
In truth, the game didn’t pan out the way both Thiago and Klopp would have liked.
Having been undone by an early Danny Ings goal, the usually faultless Thiago was undone on several occasions by the Southampton counter-press which inhibited him from dictating the tempo of the match to his own accord.
The Spaniard was utilised deepest in a midfield three, just ahead of Fabinho and Jordan Henderson Henderson. He was there as a passing outlet, as well as a holding shield.
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This particular trio has huge scope for enormous potential. On paper, they’re almost impossible to press and contain properly.
Klopp on Thiago
However, against Southampton, Liverpool were easily undone and failed to make a breakthrough. After the match, Klopp shared his thoughts on Thiago’s overall display.
Speaking with Premier League Productions, he said: “Thiago defensively one or two moments he’s not in the right position. That’s normal. Offensively, you, of course, expect something.
“It was his first 90 minutes. It’s difficult, so that’s all okay. Some things are hard to explain.
“But you shouldn’t bring yourself in a situation where you feel the rush in a game. ‘Now, we have to score, we have to score’. Football needs a calm mindset aswell.”
What RTK has to say
Combining the midfield talents of Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago should have worked on paper.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t see the trio combine for two reasons. Firstly, Henderson and Fabinho were in defence. They were unable to have any real influence on the game from the back.
This could see such a scenario flipped in the future, as a result. In due course, similarly to Everton, Fabinho will be in holding midfield with Thiago and Henderson utilised in front.
Such a scenario could be accelerated if Liverpool sign a centre-back in January. The club’s lack of defensive cover is prohibiting Klopp to combine his best midfield trio, after all.
It doesn’t mean Klopp has to throw the plan away because it failed against Southampton, though. Playing Henderson and Fabinho in defence with Thiago in front can still work but needs some adjustments. Hopefully, next time, it’s ready to go from the start.