Liverpool are a special team who are massively going under the radar. They are easily the most complete team in the world. I picked them to win the league at the start of the year because of this, but I think they’re owed credit that they’re not receciving at this time.
If you block space in a deeper block, they’ll sustain pressure & find a way through. If you press high they’ll pick you off in transition. If you play out from the back they’ll press you off the park. If you go long they’ll dominate duels & exploit you in transition.
Liverpool can kill every team in every way possible. They have one of the most well-drilled and unique presses in world football within Klopp’s revolutionary, never-seen-before, narrow 4-3-3 off-ball high press. It doesn’t matter how good you are, good luck playing out of this.
On the ball, they have a top build-up in which they fluctuate between playing through teams’ high press’ and/or out from the back but are also comfortable playing long and utilising their compact structure to counterpress off the back of it and control games that way too.
In the final third, they have attackers in close proximity between the lines along with the fullbacks holding the width. This is protected by the midfield 2/3 keeping the midfield compact in case play breaks down. This enables Liverpool to sustain pressure when attacking.
A criticism that is often attributed towards Liverpool is their inability to break down low blocks, but it’s a completely false narrative. This team accumulated 97 and 99 points respectively in back to back seasons against mostly low blocks.
Let me explain further.
Breaking down a low block isn’t as singular as people make it out to be. The low block team will have goal kicks and from these goal kicks they’re likely to play long into midfield to fight for 2nd balls – this is where LFC can exploit them in transition or on the counter attack.
It doesn’t matter if Liverpool don’t directly win the second ball and exploit the team in transition because if they don’t the opposition will mount an attack which means if play breaks down Liverpool can exploit them on the counter attack.
So, what makes Liverpool so good against low blocks is the fact that they can score in so many ways. However, as discussed earlier in relation to settled attacks, their on-ball structure in the final third is superb anyway. They can score via any method you can think of.
Combinations between the lines, in transition, on the counter, crosses, combinations out wide with their right-hand side and left-hand side dynamics, corners due to the elite aerial prowess of the likes of van Dijk, pressing, counterpressing… you name it, they do it! Complete!
Player wise, Liverpool also have some of the very best balance and quality in world football. They don’t have daft midfielders who stupidly give the ball away or lax individuals. They have technically secure, positionally disciplined, athletic, and intense players everywhere.
The likes of Henderson, Fabinho, van Dijk, Salah, Mané, Firmino, Trent, Jota, Robertson, etc, etc are all top of the range players. You can’t upgrade upon them. Qualitatively, physically, and mentally they’re elite. They’re also never unfit. That + the balance overall is elite.
People often attribute combinations on the sides and traits like this to teams like Manchester City or Chelsea who are renowned for their positional play, but Liverpool have similar combinations on each side with their LB-LCM-LW and RB-RCM-RW rotations respectively.
Each player in these positions are comfortable combining and rotating and all excel crossing wise, particularly on the right when Henderson plays RCM. However, even with others players in that role, they can create space for elite players like Alexander-Arnold and Mo Salah.
All this and Liverpool have one of the most ferocious fanbases in world football behind them. Anfield is a fortress, and is unmatched when considering the ferocity of it combined with how the team play – a physically intense, ruthless, technical and disciplined team. Scary good.
Before the season, I predicted Liverpool would win the league because of these reasons combined with the fact that the likes of City lack goals, United lack reliability in midfield and Chelsea can be dealt with with top technical quality in the build-up. Liverpool have no flaws.
This thread is relevant and necessary because Liverpool’s quality is going under the radar. The team have levelled up as much as possible and quite simply cannot level up anymore, & I think the fact that Liverpool have arrived isn’t exciting for people as other rebuilds like Utd.
Liverpool are what they are – a complete and elite team. Of course they can make minor improvements, but overall, you can’t improve upon the system or player quality or overall balance within the team. There’s nothing new with this LFC team – they’re a well-oiled machine.
However, just because they’re not the flavour of the month entertainment wise doesn’t mean they care. Liverpool Football Club are absolutely up there for the favourites to win the Premier League and/or Champions League, & I’d be surprised if they don’t win at least 1 this season.