Stephen Warnock: Klopp’s approach change Salah, hold Liverpool’s front three back
Although Liverpool are unbeaten in the Premier League after 13 rounds and are only two points away from league leaders Manchester City, the Reds are struggling in their Champions League group and facing the danger of early group stage exit.
Klopp’s men suffered three away defeats against Napoli, Crvena Zvezda and Paris Saint Germain and are not witnessed as the same flawless team that was described last year.
“I just don’t feel that the Liverpool’s front three are clicking in the same way they have done in the past,” Warnock told BBC Sport.
Salah is the Premier League runner-up goalscorer in the Premier League behind Sergio Aguero, but the 26-year-old forward is yet to rediscover last season’s form which allowed him to have a record-breaking season and battle out with Luka Modric and Cristiano Ronaldo for FIFA Men’s Player of the Year.
“And I know everyone is talking about Mohamed Salah being back in form, but I don’t see it myself. I still think he is out of sorts. he is trying to play as an individual and is not enough of a team-player, and that was the case on Wednesday night too.”
“As good as Liverpool’s midfield three are at protecting their back four and making it difficult for the opposition, they do not get forward much. That is the biggest difference between this season and last, and is part of the reason why their defensive record is so good. Every time Liverpool go forward now, James Milner and Georgino Wijnaldum hold back when, previously, the team would have midfield runners going beyond their front three.”
“That occupied opposition defenders and freed up space for Mane, Firmino and Salah but it does not happen as often anymore, and it is an element they have lost from their attack. That is not the kind of play you would associate with Liverpool but it is a change Klopp made in pre-season and he has carried it through the start of this campaign.”
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