Journalist Andrew Beasley noted that Liverpool are among several Premier League sides to have turned down the intensity of their game by conducting less presses in matches.
Though the Reds’ pressing is symbolic of Jurgen Klopp’s ethos, it’s an understandable move from the German to stabilise the mounting injury list before it spirals out of control.
“Liverpool averaged 148 pressures per match in their Premier League title winning season, and 163 on their way to finishing second the year before,” Beasley wrote for Liverpool.com. “They flew out of the traps this term by posting 174 against Leeds United in the opening match.”
“The figures have continued to drop ever since though, and their average now stands at 134 per league match,” the journo added.
It might not seem a massive difference, but given the crucial nature of Liverpool’s press to their style of play – particularly given that the average number of presses in the final third has also fallen – it’s a noteworthy drop.
With Klopp unable to secure a majority among his fellow Premier League managers to bring back the five sub rule, the former Dortmund man hasn’t been left with much choice in the matter.
Considering the tactical change, it further highlights just how impressive our current form has been domestically and abroad.
We at the EOTK mourn the diminishment of the club’s pressing identity, which we imagine we won’t see reflected in the normal average of presses until the next term, where Klopp will hopefully have a proper pre-season.
At the very least, it seems to be a sacrifice that Liverpool aren’t alone in making.