Liverpool must learn from lessons past to overcome current blip

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Liverpool’s defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup was their third in four games in all competitions, creating their first real drop in form all season.

While this is by no means a crisis, it is reason for Klopp and his team to sit up and take note as to what’s going on in order to put the results right.

The current crop of ‘mentality monsters’ have shown that they have the resilience to overcome near enough any challenge, so that shouldn’t be a battle the management has to contend with.

In previous years, this would’ve been a different story when teams dampened Liverpool’s roaring fire, with the team struggling against so called lesser teams.

But while the club as a whole is in a far better place than it was back then, there are lessons from the early Klopp era that should be applied at present.

There have been times where resolute teams have thwarted Liverpool time and again and prevented us from being anything close to effective.

Call it a low block, parking the bus, defending on the edge of the box, whatever. Liverpool are coming up against increasingly compact teams at present – and we’ve been here before.

Teams would set up to allow Liverpool to have the ball in two-thirds of the pitch, before shutting down the space in the final third to frustrate and stifle any attacks.

While this also makes it difficult for the Reds to break through, it poses a problem veiled as a blessing – too much time on the ball.

This often results in the passive and languid pace of football that we’ve seen a bit more of late, allowing opponents to regroup behind the ball, making life even more tricky.

But the solution to that problem that Liverpool don’t seem to be grasping at present is that they have done in the past is to revert a little back to that heavy metal, full throttle football that Klopp is famed for.

At the moment, Liverpool are remaining very composed and dominant through their possession, but everything is too slow and in front of the defending team. Penetrative balls seem few and far between, and the piercing runs from the midfield are also lesser spotted.

This is far easier to defend against than a team flying at them at one hundred miles per hour, making runs in behind, full backs overlapping and midfielders darting from deep.

People have accused Liverpool of being more of a long ball team this season, which is not true. The truth is the team has learned how to utilise this option well and in the right moment.

But this needs to be used in the right moment, and it’s becoming more of an initial option and line of thought for building attacks, which when combined with slower build up just results in sluggish football.

I know that Liverpool are now a more mature outfit and are further evolved than just throwing the kitchen sink at teams, but sometimes this patient build up play needs that injection of pace and power.

They shouldn’t abandon what the early Klopp early was synonymous with and what so much of their attacking prowess is still centred around to this day.

The way we overcame these hard to beat sides before was mixing these two approaches to find a way, and not becoming reliant on one way or another to overcome obstacles.

So let’s see a bit more energy and ferocity alongside that pragmatism that’s served us so we’ll of late. It just might work.

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