The 4-2-3-1 is typically a problematic system for Liverpool whenever they come up against it because of the natural overload it creates in the build-up versus Liverpool’s press. Manchester City, Napoli, Flamengo, Spurs and Ajax have all had success against Liverpool using that system (amongst other teams I’m sure I’m forgetting). Manchester United also typically play this way, but never have done against Liverpool because of the difference in quality over the last few years. The 4-2-3-1 represents a high risk-high reward approach as the system plays into Liverpool’s hands because of their notorious pressing (assuming the opposition play out from the back, which is what United do). As a result of this, Solskjaer always felt that a low block was the best way to play against Liverpool because he didn’t trust his players to play out of Liverpool’s press.
“Sometimes we’ve struggled more in games where we’ve had to break teams down. I can’t see Liverpool coming to park the bus – that’s just not in their mentality. So I can see it being an open game, which will suit us.” (@talksport, @metro).
Georginio Wijnaldum is a player that divides opinion in the Liverpool fanbase despite being an integral figure for Jürgen Klopp both on the pitch and in the locker room. His future at the football club is up in the air due to a dispute in contract negotiations, with Barcelona heavily linked with the Dutchman. The uncertainty surrounding the relationship between the club and player have accelerated as a result of rumours linking Liverpool with the recent Champions League winner, Thiago Alcântara. This article aims to look at Wijnaldum in depth, and why some fans are looking at the wrong criteria when judging the player. The Spaniard, Thiago, will also be analysed as a player in relation to how he potentially fits in at Liverpool as a direct replacement for Wijnaldum.
It’s often considered difficult to consider how a new manager will do at a club, particularly in the case of Mikel Arteta. A coach at Manchester City, the most successful English club of the decade and record breaking point holders, under the tutelage of one of the best managers ever, Pep Guardiola, but Mikel himself has no managerial pedigree at the top level, making it very difficult and essentially guesswork to figure out how he’ll do.
Liverpool’s 4-2-3-1 is a defence-first system that’s typically utilized against teams that Jürgen Klopp feels Liverpool have a clear quality advantage against. It’s designed to increase the compactness of the team from the moment the ball is lost. The essence of the system is the strong central spine. The two key elements within the system revolve around the first and second phase in which the ball is lost.