Thomas Frank has praised Jurgen Klopp for the way he set Liverpool up during last night’s win over Leeds United.
The Brentford boss was in the studio for premierleague.com as they analysed the Reds 6-1 victory on Monday. And speaking after the game, Frank said that after a season-long absence, Liverpool’s pressing had finally returned.
“I think it’s spot on [Liverpool’s pressing]. I’m pretty sure that’s the first clip he’ll show tomorrow or when they’re evaluating the game. I think that’s key for the way he wants to play,” said the 49-year-old.
“We spoke about it before the game, that they’ve lacked energy and intensity in the press, they don’t press anymore, or we haven’t see that as consistently. Today they were back on it.
“I think it was spot on in terms of the counter pressing, intensity, their willingness to run forward, to run towards the ball, it was good to see that from Jurgen.”
Liverpool looking more like themselves
High-intensity pressing has come to be a feature of Liverpool’s successful years under Klopp. But this season, it has been nowhere to be seen.
It’s why so many sides – including Frank’s own Brentford – have been able to bully the Reds so comfortably. Without the constant harassing of opponents, Liverpool have been far too easy to play through.
In truth, that same fragility was on show during the early stages of last night’s game at Elland Road. But Leeds are a team playing without confidence and coming off the back of a 5-1 drubbing last week. Having weathered an early storm, the Reds played their way into form in Yorkshire. Klopp too was pleased with his player’s press.
The challenge now is whether they can keep it up for the next eight games. As Frank alludes to, there have been one-off matches where Liverpool have looked like their old selves during 2022/23.
Good displays that hark back to the Reds of old have often been followed up with turgid performances, though. Fail to kick on now, and the Reds will almost certainly miss out on their goal of a top-four finish. Most likely, that ship has already sailed regardless. But displays like this suggest that Klopp and his team just might still have another miracle left in them.
They face Frank and Brentford at Anfield on May 6th. Hopefully the Dane is left with similar thoughts on that day, too.