‘Running is not my thing’ – Liverpool player makes stark admission only he could get away with

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Thiago Alcantara jokingly admitted that ‘running is not my thing’ when discussing his playing style in a recent interview.

The Spanish playmaker has built his reputation on his ability to control the pace of a game, with Liverpool having initially brought the player on board for the purposes of adding technical grace to a workhorse midfield.

“When you are into the game, when you are living the game, you just react. You cannot think too much, but running is not my thing,” the Spaniard told the ‘Walk On’ magazine (as relayed by Liverpool.com). “My thing is about making the team play slow or fast when we have to.”

Though the former Bayern Munich and Barcelona man may be the only player in the squad Jurgen Klopp would let off for a lack of effort, the stats don’t necessarily support his self-judgement.

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A casual look at FBref quickly informs us that Thiago is one of the most defensively proficient members of the side – certainly, far more so than his peers at Anfield over the course of the last 365 days.

Despite playing 500 less minutes than Fabinho this term, the classy midfielder has registered just as many tackles (41) and a superior per 90 rate of 3.2 tackles, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Amongst his peers in Europe’s top five leagues, the 31-year-old ranks highly for tackles (91st percentile), interceptions (94th percentile) and blocks (86th percentile).

Admittedly, distance covered and excellent positioning one can reasonably argue are two very separate things, but our No.6’s ability to combine technical brilliance with combativeness in the middle of the park does not get enough credit.

Ultimately, we’d rather have a player of his quality capable of putting in the challenges at the right time over another keen on running an extra few kilometres without having any discernible impact on the game.

Say what you will about your work rate on the pitch, Thiago – but the numbers don’t lie!

Ep73 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Author chat with Chris Roberts on Football, Mental Health… and more!

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1 Comment

  1. Thaigo is not a Liverpool player he is not energetic enough he let’s players run past him. Picks no runs up from midfield Liverpool are worse with him in the team.. move him on it’d not be a great loss like we missed Gini or mane..

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