Match Preview GW 3
Anyone watching our clash at St. Mary’s last Saturday witnessed an uncharacteristically nervy Liverpool side. It had shades of Brendan Rodger’s team and brought the same kind of horrible feeling only he could. It could be easily forgiven when you consider they played 120 minutes and had two flights in midweek.
Any less than there best though this weekend at Arsenal and they won’t be so fortunate to keep the three points. It will be one versus two on Saturday, and Liverpool will be looking to remain the only perfect team going into week four. It’s certainly doable, and with Firmino, Mane, and Salah starting to spark the partnership seen last year in the second half last week they will be favorites to take all three points.
Klopp will be delighted by the fact that his injury list hasn’t grown since Wednesday and only a few players remain unfit. Fans across the globe are confident he will field his strongest line-up available.
For a full match preview see Hooch’s article.
Word on the Street
Across the Fence
Adrian’s Weekend Howler
Adrian experienced not one, but two identical brain farts in either half on Saturday. He was lucky on the first, and many felt a huge sigh relief when the ball bounced off James Ward-Prowse and out of bounds. With crisis averted, twitter was alight with jokes at Karius’s expense saying if it was either him or Migs it would have bounced in. One fan even ominously stated he was glad that our ‘keeper got it out of his system without any damage taken.
We wouldn’t be so lucky however, as he made yet another mistake. This one led to Danny Ings scoring what will probably be the easiest goal of his career. That immediately changed the game from a comfortable 2-0 into a nail biting, stomach churning, last 15 minutes. We have experienced this before, but it has been an eternity since it was because of our #1. It felt similar to catching a whiff of an alcohol you’d gotten violently ill from and have sworn off it since. Luckily it didn’t cost us the game and we secured the 3 points.
If the Gloves Fit
Supporters on social media are completely divided on the matter despite the win. On one side you have the panicking prophets. Those who remind us of our past and claim the next six weeks without Alisson are going to be a near-death experience. On the other side, you’ve got the hardcore Adrian bandwagoners. These folks have whole-heartedly taken to Adrian after his Super Cup heroics and say this is a one off situation.
I myself, reside somewhere in between, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I don’t think he’s done enough, and we haven’t seen enough to say this is completely unlike him, but I don’t think it’s time for pitchforks and angry mobs either. He has two paths now. Go left and let this haunt you so bad you repeatedly make the same mistakes like Karius. Go right and you learn from this and move on like Alisson did against Leicester last season.
Nike: Deal or No Deal
Latest news out of Anfield is that Liverpool is on the verge of making the richest jersey deal in the history of the game. Media outlets are reporting the deal could eclipse United’s current 75 mil pound a season. While some are embracing the prospect, other’s aren’t so keen.
Nike have a history of dishing out the same jerseys to big teams. They’ve even gone so far as to give identical color schemes to other clubs in different season (ala Tottenham and Barcelona). Many feel that at a club as big as Liverpool, our uniforms should be meaningful and unique. Those against the Nike move express their current enjoyment from New Balance who have continued to provide unique jersey schemes as well as incorporating meaningful history. The new light blue and black comes is inspired by the color of the Liverbird in the city, for example. They also rightly point out that if Barcelona doesn’t get a say in their styles, Liverpool won’t either.
Alternatively, we are on the rise globally, and a big club needs a big sponsor. New Balance are slowly growing their brand much as we were in recent year. Unfortunately they cannot compete with the likes of Addidas and Nike. Perhaps it is time for a new deal and some bling to go with it. Looking the part, making ourselves more accessible globally, and raking in the dough are decent enough reasons to get behind this one.
Concur and Conquer
Plug the Holes
Majority rules on Red Trenches so the subject of our porous back-line is considered a unanimous point. The Liverpool line has already given up 49 shots in our first four competitive games this year. Last year in the same amount of time we had only given up 30. It could be that teams have finally cracked the code that Klopp and Virgil have created, but I feel like it has more to do with VAR.
Jurgen understands that he has two huge weapons at his disposal when it comes to our defensive line and he’s exploiting them for our gains. The first is the world’s greatest centre back in Virgil Van Djik, who is a legitimate choice to take home the Ballon d’Or, the second is the Premier League’s implementation of VAR. Klopp is a master technician and has plenty of Bundesliga connections of which to gain knowledge of how VAR has changed the game. Knowing that, the back line can now afford to play much higher without risk of a bad linesman call allowing an offsides goal. Since VVD is such a good commander of the line, Liverpool can afford to hold higher knowing that they are protected by video.
Of course, this comes at a risk, teams will break the line and be in on goal form time to time. We are seeing it now as Liverpool are slowly learning their new roles. Coupled with the poor midfield start to the season we are being quickly exposed to counter-attacks since the line is so high. I have no doubt that Jurgen and the defense will figure this one out sooner than later. Once we sort the midfield woes out and don’t lose the ball so easily, we could even better last year’s 22 goals against.
Salah <3 VAR
One topic that was completely over discussed last year was Mo Salah and diving claims from around the league. While many pundits came to his rescue saying that his quick pace and skill leads to being easier to go down, it became nauseating to Reds.
Salah has come out early this year to jokingly suggest he’s ready to be awarded more penalties thanks to VAR. In the past it was always a referee decision, and with Salah’s quick pace, it was usually over before they knew what happened. Now, with the help of video replay, it can be guaranteed more decisions will go his way. For Liverpool supporters, this season could put an end to at least media outlets calling Salah a cheater. Unfortunately, I don’t think opposing fans will ever let it go.
What do you think? Let me know. Have your say below.