Thursday, March 30, 2017

Five conclusions Guardiola could have drawn from his spying mission at Anfield

Milos Markovic in Editorial, English Premier League 28 Dec 2016

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Guardiola visited Anfield on Tuesday to spy on Liverpool / Image via dailystar.co.uk

Guardiola visited Anfield on Tuesday to spy on Liverpool / Image via dailystar.co.uk

Spying Mission

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola was one of the most notable guests at Anfield on Tuesday night as the Spaniard spied on his team’s next rival and title challengers Liverpool.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager will have surely been impressed with what he saw from Jurgen Klopp’s men, who stuck four past helpless Stoke City, despite falling behind early on.

Guardiola’s opposing number Jurgen Klopp took a cheeky dig at the Citizens boss laughing that perhaps all he wanted was to “watch good football”, and we tried to imagine what the Spaniard might have put in his notebook as he prepares for another trip to Anfield in the last day of 2016.

Jurgen Klopp with a brilliant response to a question on Pep Guardiola’s visit to Andield. Such a comedian. ⚽️

A photo posted by SoccerNews.com (@soccernewscom) on

 Shaky Defences

Liverpool once again conceded and defensive issues are turning into a real problem for Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds have allowed 21 goals in 18 Premier League matches, most of all title challengers and top six teams this season. Granted, Liverpool’s porous defences have been overshadowed by incredible goalscoring exploits which saw Klopp’s team bag 45 goals this term –  league’s best.

Against a team like Manchester City, however, a side well-known for its attacking potential and ability, Liverpool’s shaky defences will be given another stern test.

The Reds kept a clean sheet on mere eight occasions during the entire season and mending the backline of his team is likely to be Jurgen Klopp’s primary assignment during the forthcoming transfer window.

Mental Strength

It has become a recurring pattern as Liverpool romped up a come-from-behind 4-1 over Stoke City in front of their faithful supporters.

The Reds once again displayed a great battling character and impressive mental strength as they just refuse to surrender and throw in the towel in the title charge.

Klopp’s men started the busiest period of the year in great fashion, despite falling behind early in the game and the German tactician can find great satisfaction from the way his side clawed back on top of the match.

There was no panicking whatsoever among Liverpool players and that perhaps is one of the biggest Jurgen Klopp’s effects on his team. Liverpool would often struggle greatly to fight back whenever their backs had been pushed up against the wall, but their newly-born never-die spirit should be fully credited to the charismatic German.

Sharp Blades

People were suggesting Liverpool would go on to struggle dearly without Philippe Coutinho and, although the team could have used his creative string, the Reds have once again demonstrated they are much more than a one-man team.

Seeing them blazing hard from all weapons is greatly encouraging ahead of the imminent departure of Sadio Mane, who is due to take part in forthcoming Africa Cup of Nations.

The attacking trio – Mane, Origi, Firmino (and Daniel Sturridge subsequently) – were given great support from the ever-pressing and constantly pushing forward midfield line, leaving Stoke City with no breathing space.

Unpredictability is something Jurgen Klopp’s side should take full pride of, since it has become rather impossible to anticipate in which way Reds would attempt to hurt you and which channel would their attacks flow through.

Incredible Lallana

England international Adam Lallana has displayed admirable courage and responsibility as he stepped in to take Coutinho’s leading role and propel his team forward in the Brazilian’s absence.

The 28-year-old midfielder is thriving under Jurgen Klopp and is making huge strides towards becoming one of the best players not only for Liverpool, but in the entire Premier League.

Lallana has racked up 7 Premier League goals for his side, adding 6 assists to his name as well for an overall incredible record.

Three goals in last three matches for the Reds and lallana’s smiles, which speak volumes of his dedication to the cause and overall commitment, have been real joy to behold – even for those who do not hold Liverpool as dearly to their hearts as the author of this article.

More Than Entertainers

The brand of football Liverpool are producing in 2016-17 season has been nothing short of impressive as Liverpool turned into proper Premier League entertainers.

Having scored more goals than anyone else so far, the Reds have delighted us all with their heartfelt celebrations which in many occasions included the big man himself – Jurgen Klopp.

However, the Anfield outfit are much more than mere entertainers and should be taken quite seriously in their title push.

Liverpool are going against the financially superior sides in the Premier League but are refusing to go down without a fight, and will be advised to make some key additions to their squad during the January transfer window.

Jurgen Klopp attempted to lure Julian Draxler, but failed to beat wealthier French rivals Paris Saint-Germain to the signature of the exciting German.

Tweaking and fine-tuning the squad should be well enough to give great value to 5/1 betting odds Liverpool are currently given to lift the Premier League title.

Can they succeed?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Milos Markovic


Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia Sportske.net, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently Soccernews.com and Futbolgrad.com. His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.

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