Football Tactics for Beginners:The False 9

What is The False 9? Pep Guardiola's tenure as Barcelona's head coach has changed the way modern football is being played in many ways. But...
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9. Inverted Wingers,Carilleros,Cattenacio,Double Pivots,Medianos,Mezzalas and of course The False Nines we have got it all here for the tactic-crazy football fan!

Latest Posts

China – The Relationship Between Society and Football and Why the Two Must Adapt to Progress

In 2012, the current President of China, Xi Jinping, stated his desire for the country to set its sights on a World Cup trophy,...

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

Analysis of Man City’s 9 league losses or The Importance of Kevin De Bruyne

With debates regarding the PFA Player of the Year vote for the Premier League, I decided to dig deeper and research the Kevin de...

The Jürgen Klopp Pressing system

If a single tactical feature were to be used to define a manager, for Jurgen Klopp, it would certainly be the pressing or the...

  The different methods to Marcelo Bielsa’s madness

The current Leeds United manager and arguably the most influential coach in modern football, Marcelo Bielsa is the subject of this analysis because I’m...

The Tactical Feud of our Times: Klopp vs Guardiola

The end of a 30-year old wait in conquering the first English tier for Liverpool coincided with a visit from their main rivals the...

Tottenham 2: 1 Arsenal- Tactical Analysis

In this analysis, we will be observing the tactics of Mikel Arteta and José Mourinho in their recent Premier League clash. Spurs eventually won...

Football Books

Best Football Analytics Books

We have compiled a list of the best football analytics books for the casual football fan. Football analytics and data science/machine learning in general...

The Best Football Books of 2019

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2020, we have compiled a list of the best...

The Best Football Books of 2018

It's been another eventful year in the world of football. As we look forward to 2019, we have compiled a list of the best...

5 Books every Soccer fan needs to read before the FIFA World Cup 2018

The FIFA World Cup is just around the corner and it's the perfect time to brush up your history and facts about the World...

Best Soccer Coaching Books

We have compiled a list of the best soccer coaching books which every soccer coach must have in his/her bookshelf. No matter whether you...

Liverpool’s Tactical Evolution under Klopp This Season

It has been a big season for tactical evolution of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp. With just six games remaining his side sit only one point behind defending champions Manchester City.

They have come a long way since the domestic inconsistencies of last season, where they finished fourth and twenty-five points of top spot. A glance at the table with just six games remaining shows how they have improved their constituency levels only losing the one game and conceding just 19 goals.

Last season was a different story. The team were dynamic and powerful going forward and breath-taking at times when playing in Europe, however, in the league they were defensively vulnerable and regularly dropping points thanks to careless and unforgivable defensive frailties.

In the summer, the board and Jurgen Klopp acted to try to solve the problems and working tirelessly to make sure his side iron out careless mistakes, and the results are there for all to see.

But where have the improvements come From?

One of Liverpool’s most significant problems in the Premier League last season was against big strong teams who would bypass his sides high-intensity pressing by playing direct through a target man.

His side was tactical, inflexible and teams domestically quickly realised you could get at Liverpool in this way.  Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United brutally exposed this when they played Liverpool in March 2018. Mourinho set his side out to hit Lukaku, and time and time again Manchester United played direct long balls to their big number 9.  This game ended 2-1 Manchester United and underlined if needed that Liverpool could be got at aerially.

Fast forward to this season and Liverpool were a different beast when they played United in December.  Klopp’s set his Liverpool side out with a much more solid base in midfield and a plan to counter the long ball.  Tall and robust defensive midfielder Fabinho, with the occasional help of utility man Keita, gave additional aerial support to the central defenders. This allowed Liverpool to neutralise the aerial long ball and forced Man Utd to try pass through Liverpool, which played to Liverpool’s strength enabling them to use their offensive press. The game ended 3-1 and showed Liverpool fans, if they were in any doubt, that their side has a chance of winning the Premier League this season.

Could Summer Recruitment be Part of their Success?

A big part of Liverpool’s success this campaign has been the summer recruitment, which has allowed Liverpool to change their shape, all be it subtly.

When Liverpool splashed the cash in the summer on Alisson, paying over £65million for a goalkeeper from Roma, many scoffed.  However, his addition has been crucial to the improvements we have seen in the Liverpool defence this season.  Allison has brought a level of confidence to the defence and added a presence behind the defenders.  The central pairing and both wing backs now know they have a man between the sticks who can be relied on but can also take the ball under pressure if needed.

His addition has also seen the two big men at the back Virgil Van Dijk and Lovren look rejuvenated. The Dutchman, in particular, has flourished this season and is looking like one of the best defenders, not just in the Premier League, but on the planet.

Another two key additions were that of Keita and Fabinho in the summer.  These two men have offered Klopp flexibility in his formation.  Fabinho anchors the midfield and does the no-nonsense work, allowing the more attacking players to do their job.  Keita has added energy, and with his box to box ability, he has become a vital element of the Liverpool high tempo press.

This flexibility means that the Liverpool formation is no longer rigid but instead is fluid during games.  The team will set up in a 4-2-3-1 formation; however, this can quickly alternate to become 4-3-3, 4-4-1-1 or even a 4-5-1, when there are having to drop back and be a little more defensive.

Liverpool personnel last season did not allow for that level of flexibility, and when teams would adapt during games, it would often catch Liverpool cold.  This is not the case this season, and the new fluid system has brought out the best in many of the players.

The set-up this season has also made it easier to accommodate more attacking threats on the pitch at any one time.  It is not unusual for Liverpool to have Firmino, Salah, Mane and Shaqiri all starting.

The increase attacking threat is just one element of the new system, the most significant benefit of this the protection it now gives to his often exposed defence of last season.

New Roles for Players

We have also seen new roles for some of the key men of last season.  Brazilian flair player Firmino’s role within the side has been slightly altered this season.  The Liverpool Number 9 was at times unplayable in 2017/18 season, but in other games, he would fail to make a big enough impact.  This season Klopp has moved him back slightly into the Number 10 position and has used Salah more as a main forward, but with the option to alternate and change as required during a game.  Again, another subtle change but one that is merits seem to be shown in the results thus far this season.

All these tactical changes have made Liverpool more than a one-man team.  Last season they relied too heavily on Mo Salah and when he departed in the Champions League final the game was lost for them.

This season they now have options and the ability to adapt to injuries and circumstances.  This means they are one of the favourites on Stakers who have odds at 2.75 on them to win the Premier League and 5.00 to win the Champions League as well.

Will they do it?

Only time will tell, but one thing for sure is that the Jurgen Klopp has worked wonders at Liverpool football club and this season is their best chance since that fateful 2013/14 season to win the trophy the Liverpool faithful so desperate covet.

 

- Advertisement -
Ritesh Gogineni
Editor/Founder of The False 9. Inverted Wingers,Carilleros,Cattenacio,Double Pivots,Medianos,Mezzalas and of course The False Nines we have got it all here for the tactic-crazy football fan!

Related

The Jürgen Klopp Pressing system

If a single tactical feature were to be used to define a manager, for Jurgen Klopp, it would certainly be the pressing or the...

The Tactical Feud of our Times: Klopp vs Guardiola

The end of a 30-year old wait in conquering the first English tier for Liverpool coincided with a visit from their main rivals the...

Why Ruben Neves is a perfect signing for Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation

The English outlet The Sun is reporting that Jurgen Klopp has made the Wolves midfielder, Ruben Neves a summer transfer target. The report also...

How will Liverpool lineup in 2019/20 season

Jurgen Klopp will be looking to build on last year’s bitter disappointment and win the Premier League title which his club craves for desperately....

A look back at Liverpool’s treble winning 1983/84 season

In the wake of Manchester City’s record-breaking claim to the Premier League, The False 9 will look back at some of the greatest club...

Liverpool’s Defensive Cracks Cannot Be Papered Over with Van Dijk’s Signing

Another set piece, another goal conceded. Liverpool's poor and sometimes shocking defending once again proved to be their undoing. It is difficult to fathom...

Liverpool 4-3 Man City: Klopp and the Press Check City’s Title March

Seven-goal thriller between Liverpool and Manchester City highlighted the wonders- and the potential flaws- of the high press. FOR 284 days, or 30 matches, Manchester...

The Henderson Conundrum: Why has Liverpool’s Skipper become the Scapegoat?

SINCE his arrival from Sunderland in 2011, Jordan Henderson has found himself figured and refigured in several different roles for Liverpool. With the Black Cats,...

Latest Posts

China – The Relationship Between Society and Football and Why the Two Must Adapt to Progress

In 2012, the current President of China, Xi Jinping, stated his desire for the country to set its sights on a World Cup trophy,...

Real Madrid and Barcelona remain the most valuable football clubs

Football is the most popular sport in the world, and so it is understandable that the biggest football clubs will also be some of...

Remembering Arthur Wharton: The First Black Professional Footballer

In an interview from 1888, Arthur Wharton recalled overhearing a conversation between two fellow track competitors some years before. “Who’s he,” one rhetorically asked,...

How will Coutinho fit in at Arsenal: Arteta’s new look 4-2-3-1 formation

English outlet, Express are reporting that Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Barcelona's record signing, Philippe Coutinho. The report indicates that Coutinho might have...

Don't Miss

The long & bizarre history behind why Red Bull chose Leipzig as the hub for their football club

When Red Bull tried to set foot into German football for the first time, they initially tried to use the same method they had...

Súper Dépor! The rise and fall of Deportivo La Coruña

At the Start With the exception of a 2nd place finish to Helenio Herrera’s Atlético Madrid in 1948/49, Deportivo La Coruña have historically plied their...

The ironic situation at Olympique de Marseille

Since the American Businessman, Frank McCourt bought the club in 2016, and despite a Europa League final two years ago, OM has failed to...

  The different methods to Marcelo Bielsa’s madness

The current Leeds United manager and arguably the most influential coach in modern football, Marcelo Bielsa is the subject of this analysis because I’m...

Football And Alcohol

      “When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” Football and booze go a long long way back, in...

Transfers

How will Coutinho fit in at Arsenal: Arteta’s new look 4-2-3-1 formation

English outlet, Express are reporting that Arsenal are considering a loan deal for Barcelona's record signing, Philippe Coutinho. The report indicates that Coutinho might have...

How will Pjanic fit in at Barcelona? A look at Barcelona’s 4-3-3 formation for next season

As the deal between Barcelona and Juventus regarding the transfers of Arthur Melo and Miralem Pjanic has almost been finalised, let's take a look...

Three best Premier League transfers of all time

The Premier League is famous for its lavish spending on player’s transfers. Top clubs like Liverpool, Manchester City, and Manchester United have been spending...

Where will Kai Havertz play for Chelsea? A look at Lampard’s exciting 4-2-3-1 formation for next season

There have been several rumours surrounding Kai Havertz's transfer to Chelsea and Havertz's current boss, Peter Bosz has indicated that the winger might not...

Man United expected lineup against Sheffield United: Pogba & Bruno to start together for first time

Manchester United salvaged a draw against Tottenham in their first game post the lockdown. Their performance improved after the substitutions of Paul Pogba and...