Jermaine Jenas branded Thiago Alcantara as a ‘really weak component’ in Jurgen Klopp’s armoury in the aftermath of Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Leicester City.
Jenas on Thiago
The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, who now works as a pundit for BBC Sport, was overly critical of Thiago’s performance, having come off the bench in the first half to replace the injured James Milner.
“I think it was clear today when they were trying to play high press, for me, Thiago was probably a really weak component without the ball,” he said on Match of the Day (10:37 pm, February 13, 2021).
In response, Gary Lineker made the argument that Bayern Munich operate with a similar high-press system to that of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
He said: “One thing to you on that. Thiago, when he played for Bayern Munich for quite some time, they also played very high press.”
Jenas responded: “It’s just within this system at the minute, so whether it’s just the fact that his presses at Bayern Munich were at different times than at Liverpool, it just seems quite clear to me that he is doing things that he shouldn’t be doing.”
What RTK has to say
In truth, Thiago did not enjoy the best of games by his usual high standards.
For one, it was the Spaniard’s rash decision-making which ultimately created the opening for Leicester to get a foot-hold in a game that Liverpool had controlled for 75 minutes.
The pedigreed midfielder, formerly of Bayern and Barcelona, has an unhelpful habit of giving away unnecessary fouls, worse when they are conceded in dangerous areas.
It’s no wonder that Jordan Henderson made his feelings known to a player that was starring in a Champions League final only six months ago.
In total, Thiago, who was previously branded by Klopp as ‘world-class’, per Goal, had a pass success rate of 95.8 per cent, won two headers, made three tackles and interceptions, but no key passes.