How have LFC started the campaign?

By Max Chaytor

After a nervy win over Southampton at the weekend, LFC have overcome their first 3 tests in the
2019/20 season and have managed to bag a trophy as well. So, how have LFC played in these first 3
games?

The first game against Norwich was a classic Jurgen Klopp-Liverpool performance, blowing the
opposition away with scintillating attacking football, whilst Chelsea was a cagey affair that was only
to be decided by penalties, and Southampton was comfortable right up until the point Adrian fired
the ball straight into Danny Ings. Nevertheless, it has been 3 games and 3 wins for the Reds, but
what have been the main talking points from these 2 weeks?

The first thing LFC fans have noticed over the games is LFC’s defensive rustiness. Robertson played
Teemu Pukki onside for Norwich’s only goal, while Virgil Van Dijk and co conceded 2 against Chelsea,
and there was a poor Adrian mistake that meant LFC are yet to keep a clean sheet this season. But
we must not forget that our number 1 goalkeeper being absent has most likely had a huge affect on
the rhythm of the rest of the defence, and whilst Adrian has largely done very well (we wouldn’t be
England’s most successful club without him), mistakes such as the one saw in the game against
Southampton cannot happen again. Not only this, but Klopp has been willing to change things
around in the defence already; Joe Gomez came in for Joel Matip in the win over Norwich, whilst
Gomez featured again in the game against Chelsea, this time replacing Trent Alexander-Arnold at
Right-Back. And although Jurgen played his normal defence against Southampton, it was the first
time they had all played against eachother. And as for Adrian; who remembers Alisson’s mistake vs
Leicester at this stage of last season? Although Adrian will most likely only be playing until the end of
September at the latest, he is still an extremely experienced goalkeeper, perfectly capable of
keeping a clean sheet, especially with the best defence he has ever experienced in front of him.

The other main talking point is our midfield. Again, like with defence, Klopp has experimented with
these 3 positions over the 3 games. Surely now a mainstay is Jordan Henderson, and Fabinho is all
but confirmed, but the other position in the midfield is still up for grabs. Gini Wijnaldum started
against Norwich, but James Milner came in against Chelsea, along with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in
both the games vs Chelsea and Southampton, but the Ox only started after Naby Keita injured
himself the day before our Super Cup clash against the Blues. But with that injury looking minor,
who will join Henderson and Fabinho? Our captain plays in a more advanced role than Fabinho, but
still is not a true attacking midfielder such as Oxlade-Chamberlain. Therefore, if Klopp wants to
attack a game from the start, he could start the former Arsenal man. While the rest of the 3 in our
midfield arsenal, Wijnaldum, Milner and Keita, are all dynamic box-to-box midfielders with bags of
energy. High profile games such could see Milner or Wijnaldum start as they have more experience
than Keita and the Ox, but as for Naby, he could feature in the so called ‘smaller’ games, in order to
rack up his mileage to try and become a mainstay in the midfield, something that I’m sure Klopp
wants to do, or he wouldn’t have sanctioned his £48 million move back in 2018.

These are just a few questions after seeing Liverpool’s opening 3 fixtures, and whilst the Reds’ have
managed to bag a trophy during the 2 weeks, it hasn’t been completely plain sailing. But I for one am
sure that it will not affect Liverpool’s charge towards a first Premier League title and the defence of
the Champions League.

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