5 Talking Points from Liverpool vs Newcastle

Surprise Saviors

Perhaps this is the biggest difference between this year’s Liverpool vs last year’s. Depth of the squad gives quality options to enter the game and make a difference. Players like Origi, Shaqiri being able to come in to make an impact in games where the team needs an additional spark has been key in several games and produced some magical moments late in games. Origi’s goal against Everton, Shaq’s goals against Manchester United, Sturridge’s wonder goal to tie the game at Stamford Bridge, and now Origi goal against Newcastle. 

A championship side needs a strong bench and we are competing against a club who has hundreds of millions sitting on their bench with players like Mahrez who was just signed for 60 million being one of them.

Liverpool will still need to improve the attacking options coming off the bench over the summer with Sturridge likely to leave at the end of the season. Key will be signing players who have the quality but are also willing to take on the role of coming off the bench at a top club.

Versatility is key

Lost in the celebrations was the flexibility Klopp has created in this team

He was able to put in both Milner in without taking out any midfield or attacking players simply due to Fabinho being able to play multiple positions on the field.  Klopp likes to have players who can move around the field into different spots without sacrificing quality. Players like Gomez, Fabinho, Henderson, Gini, and Milner who can play multiple positions are key to Klopp’s vision and our front three is dangerous due to the threat of them being able to keep swapping positions on the field to confuse defenses.

So as we evaluate transfer rumors in the offseason, be sure to take this into consideration as a deciding factor in possible transfer targets.

Liverpool’s pace has passed Sturridge

It was only a few weeks ago when one of my talking points was the fact that we could have seen Sturridge for the last time as a Liverpool player. I was shocked to see him picked in the starting lineup against Newcastle, having been chosen over other possible options like Origi, Shaq, and Ox.

Sturridge did not play too poorly to be fair. He just cannot play at the speed Klopp demands and this team is built on. The ball movement slows down when it comes to Sturridge which affects our overall flow and closes down spaces that were created with our off the ball movement. His hold up play was ineffective which angered Klopp in quite a few occasions.

It will be interesting to see if he gets one last shot against Barcelona midweek. With Firmino and Salah not available to play, Klopp will have limited options up front. Will the result of City’s game have an impact on who Klopp plays or will he count on Daniel producing in front of The Kop for one last time?

Matip clearly the better option

Despite some key tackles, Lovren’s inability to contribute to build-up play was apparent especially in moments where Newcastle was sitting back in a tight formation.

Matip’s ability to take advantage of the space given by picking up his dribble and the freedom to do it knowing VVD is covering his back, creates multiple opportunities for Liverpool. It makes the lines of defense adjust and move up which opens up space behind and creates chances. Lovren is more powerful and better in the air but against teams like Newcastle who can keep their shape on defense with good discipline, Matip should clearly be the choice.

The assumption is that Matip was being rested for the Barcelona game where the Reds will be expected to unlock a closed defense. With Gomez getting back in game shape, Lovren is becoming the 4th CB on the roster. If Lovren is happy with that role, I do think that we have a very solid group of center backs. Liverpool was able to fight an extremely unlucky injury run at CBs this year and knowing that Fabinho can fill the role in an emergency makes this position a strength heading into the offseason.

All eyes on Leicester

Will Brendan Rodgers be able to help Liverpool get the title years later by stopping city? With Brighton in the clear from relegation worries, Leicester is clearly the one to stop City’s run of wins. This is a Leicester team that can pose a threat on the counter with a player like Vardy as well as set pieces with a dangerous player like Maguire to aim for in the box.

Time to party with Vardy!!! Leicester City will need a goal in this game and Vardy might just be the player to produce a goal that will help bring the championship to Liverpool.