First of all I’m going to say this is not a match report, I repeat this is not a match report, all this is, is a bluffer giving his thoughts and opinions on the nine goal thriller Liverpool and Norwich were involved in this weekend.
Liverpool never do things the easy way do they, but wow just wow. What a game that was against Norwich. I am actually at a loss for words and am at a loss as to what I should concentrate on in this particular piece (and that’s a first for me): the poor defending by both teams? The attacking performances of both teams? The performance of one Roberto Firmino (remember when fans said he was rubbish)? Or the fact that two of the much maligned Liverpool players this season got the all important fourth and fifth goals at Carrow Road? Adam Lallana and James Milner all is forgiven. I’m not going to pretend that I am a fan of James Milner, who today scored Liverpool’s fourth and should have put Liverpool two nil up early in the first half because I’m not, for me he simply doesn’t do enough to earn what he’s earned so far at Liverpool. He’s more often miss than hit. Then there’s Adam Lallana. A player detested by the majority of the Liverpool faithful, but I’m a fan of his. Why? Well what a lot of fans don’t see is his work off the ball. His intelligent runs and the space he provides for others around him. Let’s forget the Cruyff flicks or the hair and Nivea jokes, he is a good player and hopefully for the rest of this season he will prove it.
Now for the game itself, Jürgen Klopp surprised a lot of fans against Norwich this weekend by not playing Joe Allen. (I know I’m as surprised as you are when there was actual proper calls from fans for his inclusion from the start.) After all his performances of late, according to many fans he deserved at least a starting place in the midfield in place of say Lucas Levia, but for him it wasn’t to be. Is this a sign that he doesn’t figure much in Klopp’s future plans or does Klopp trust Lucas more in the defensive midfield role? If I was Allen I wouldn’t be a happy camper at the minute. Along with Firmino some might argue he has been Liverpool’s best player over the few games. With rumoured interest from Swansea maybe Klopp is trying to keep him fit enough to ship him out before January finishes.
The Norwich game proved how far Liverpool have come under the management of Jürgen Klopp. I dread to think how quickly the team would have folded if Brendan Rodgers was still in charge. Liverpool now have spirit, they have developed a will to fight and the team now have a never say die attitude. They have a confidence that was missing for the majority of last season and with Firmino now finally firing on all cylinders I can see the confidence growing and the goals starting to flow like they did in the 2013/2014 season. All Klopp has to worry about is the back five in the team. The team has character. Hopefully over the coming games, with the likes of Dejan Lovren regaining match fitness, Tiago Ilori and Stephen Caulker getting game time in other competitions it’s only a matter of time before Liverpool stopping leaking silly goals. I’ve already lit the candles and said numerous prayers that the defence will sort itself out.
The defensive mistakes are my main concern after the Norwich win. Far too many times both Nataniel Clyne and Alberto Moreno were caught out of position for Liverpool and this allowed Norwich in. No disrespect to the Canaries but if Liverpool allowed say Manchester United or Arsenal as much space as they allowed Norwich I think there could have been a new Premier League record set for margin of victory. Whilst I’m not going to second guess what Klopp is doing on the training pitch I think he needs to either concentrate more on defending or ship off those players who continously make mistakes, mistakes that lead to goals conceded. Klopp owes non of the players at Liverpool anything. After all bar Caulker none of them are his players. He owes them no loyalty and I’m sure he’s dismayed at the performances of some, they don’t even kook like they’re bothered about their Liverpool futures.
Hopefully the mistakes that happened so regularly against Norwich can be somewhat fixed before Liverpool meet Stoke in the Capital One Cup Semi-Final second leg this week because if they’re not Liverpool fans can kiss a visit to Anfield South goodbye.