James Pearce has suggested how Liverpool could begin the process of restoring their home form to its formerly frightening levels, pointing, in particular, to a “lack of creativity”.
The Reds have struggled to restore their ‘Anfield fortress’ since a shock defeat at the hands of Burnley in January but will hope to change matters ahead of a crunch time end-of-season run.
“A feature of Liverpool’s dominance on home turf in recent years has been their ability to make life uncomfortable for visiting teams from the off,” the renowned Liverpool journalist wrote for The Athletic.
“Anfield has become far too welcoming, with Liverpool frequently sluggish in first halves and gifting the initiative to their opponents.
“The biggest issue has been a lack of creativity, with Liverpool unable to make their huge amount of possession count.
“The more desperate Klopp’s men have got in games, the more they have slung in a succession of aimless crosses which have been easy to defend.”
With Ozan Kabak having formed a somewhat solid partnership with Nathaniel Phillips and the return of Diogo Jota providing a much-needed adrenaline shot for the front-three, it would seem that our attention must focus on the midfield.
While bordering on conspiracy theory, (we accept), Liverpool fans noticed a worrying pattern when it came to a midfield selection comprised of Fabinho, Gini Wijnaldum and Naby Keita – it doesn’t seem to click and provide that vital injection of creativity our forward line deserves.
It’s an issue we don’t really seem to have with Thiago Alcantara swapped out for the struggling Guinean, as was demonstrated by our improved performance against Real Madrid following the former Bayern star’s introduction.
It would seem then that Jurgen Klopp almost has his hands tied to play a trio of Thiago, Wijnaldum and Fabinho if he wants to get the most out of our remaining fixtures.