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09 Mar 2020 14:03:25
One for Ed001

With a lot of talk on here about replacing Firmino with a "proper, clinical striker", it confuses me that so many people see Firmino as our "striker". Would you agree that we play more of a 4-3-1-2, with Mane and Salah as wide forwards and Firmino generally deeper than them at the point of attacking?

The most famous example I would compare it to would be the Bayern team before they signed Lewendowski. They had Robben and Ribery either side of Muller, but I would say that Robben and Ribery were the main "attackers" in that team. Not quite the same, as Robben and Ribery probably scored less and Muller scored more, but as far as a system goes, it was similar in the attacking positions.

And just in case there's not much of this post for you to comment on, what do you think would be the biggest disadvantage to playing a more "stereotypical" number 9? Too much space to exploit in midfield? Not enough creativity reaching the front players? Less space for the wide forwards if they were more playing in a line?

It just confuses me why people can't see that the team works because of the roles everyone plays, and swapping a Firmino for a "striker" would be as big a change in the team as playing an ACM instead of Fabinho.

{Ed001's Note - you are right that it could be termed a 4-3-1-2, depending on where the ball is and how the opposition play. It is more a case of finding someone who understands the complexity and has the understanding Bobby has with both the midfield and other forwards.

They work together as a group, not as individuals, which is why it works so well. When one drops off or gets drawn out of position, there is always someone there to take up the space. When defending, they know how to cover each other.

Putting a central out and out box predator in there would just mean he would want to make the same runs Mane and Salah do, without anyone actually creating the space to make those runs. Someone needs to drop off and draw defenders out. Though sometimes it makes a midfielder drop deeper to cover and then it frees up space for the midfield to work in.

As we are up against deep-lying defences, there is no real space for a penalty box player to operate in anyway. The only real alternative would be to play a target man with strength in the air and look to him to just stay in position, which would mean the midfield would be weakened. Right now we dominate the midfield, without Firmino's pressing, space would open up for us to be attacked. There are so many permutations to consider to losing him, we couldn't play the same way without a like-for-like swap.}

Agree3 Disagree0

09 Mar 2020 14:52:57
Thanks Ed001. Probably the best description you have ever given of what Firmino does for us and what bringing someone else to replace him would do to the way we play presently. People think in classical theory terms and assume that a strapping No.9 banging in the foals is the ideal. They fail to realize that we actually have 2 guys up front (Mane and Salah) banging in the goals, and that for tactical reasons we have a No. 9 who goes back into midfield to outnumber the opposing midfield in both offensive and defensive situations, and build up our play.

I'm for bringing Werner in, if it makes economic sense, but certainly not to change the way we play. It's up to him if he wants to sit on the bench for a year or so, or be part of a rotation with Salah and Mane. I strongly believe Salah's and Mane's game would be affected if Werner were brought in to replace Firmino and play between them. Not to mention the midfield having to work even harder than they already do. A lot of the appeal of bringing in Werner for me has to do with all 3 being in the same age group and may need replacing within as early as 2 years from now. So plenty of time to ease him into the system. Buying Werner and then loaning him back for a year (as I have read somewhere today) is not as bad an idea as it sounds. We still have a lot to benefit from our existing front 3 for at least 1-2 years.

{Ed001's Note - that age thing is the issue, but we did just bring in Minamino and there is Origi still there, plus Elliott. So I am not sure it is a priority right now. And thank you, it was only a quick sketch, it is hard to explain just how much difference it makes.}

09 Mar 2020 15:40:32
* Damn. I meant "banging in the goals'. I want our players to stay away from the foals.

09 Mar 2020 15:46:56
We want a forward to score more goals and we want that forward to do the same work that Bobby does. That forward was Bobby in 17/ 18 season. He proved then that he can score the goals alongside All the other things he offers. Looking at the goals he’s scored this season compared to the chances he’s missed and let’s be honest he’s probably scored the harder chances and missed quite a few of the easier ones. If 5-8 of those easier ones had gone in then perhaps there wouldn’t be such a debate now. I think the pressure of trying to score at home having not scored there all season might have gotten to him and he’s snatching at chances. I think once he gets that duck off his back then he will be a lot more relaxed and hopefully the goals will come again. Home as well as away.

09 Mar 2020 15:54:46
Bobby loves a big performance on a important European night. he'll be the match winner on Wednesday.

09 Mar 2020 16:42:49
In many games if you take the average position on the pitch Mane is no further forward than Firmino. Firmino has had more shots this season than Mane. Firmino is very near the top for the number of shots attempted in the premier league.

09 Mar 2020 16:51:07
I was thinking the same thing Kloppers!

09 Mar 2020 18:31:26
Of greater concern to me than this Firmino v “a striker” debate, are the massed 11 man defences that we’re routinely facing now.
It’s becoming common to see 19 players all packed into less than one half of a pitch.
In such situations, I’m not sure that any offensive formation matters much?
It’s bloody awful to watch too.
Maybe a magician is needed to prise open defences like that. Firmino has those skills certainly but I don’t know what the answer is.
Atletico are going to do exactly that though.

{Ed001's Note - the only way to do it is to be patient and wait for mistakes. Usually the best way to get them is to keep moving the ball around and working the defence until they get tired and make those errors. Other than that, your only choices are constantly throwing it into the box in the hope of winning the aerial battle, hitting shots from long range to try and entice the defence to come out and close down or having someone who can run with the ball and beat players to create a chance.

Keita, Lallana and Ox are supposed to do the latter but injuries has meant none of them have really settled into the team for a lengthy period.}

09 Mar 2020 19:03:24
Our system is not complicated cos what Ed01 is explaining, can be seen whenever we play. Bobbie is a world class forward. People should go read or listen to what guys like Pep, Jose and so on, rave about him. Bobbie is the striker Pep wishes he has instead of Aguero and esp. Jesus who if they are not scoring nor have the right service into them, they are almost useless on the pitch. Pep wishes Aguero could press, harry and track back the way Bobbie does, Ed01 said once and I believe him.

A "natural goalscorer" will simply destroy the system that allows Mane and Salah to flourish as Ed has said. Also, Bobbie may not be scoring but he does other jobs on the pitch as well like tracking the opposing DLP/ DM to stop them passing out of the back, facilitate the transition from midfield to attack by dropping deep and so on. For me, the system works well and has been for years so if Bobbie is going to be replaced or challenged, then get someone who can do all he does AND score more goals. If not, then Basta.

{Ed001's Note - to be fair, Aguero has improved massively since Pep arrived. Pep told him he wanted to sell him because he didn't press etc the way Pep wanted him to, so Aguero has tried to learn how to do it. He has become a much better player because of it.}

09 Mar 2020 20:03:12
i was hammered all the time for giving Hendo a hard time. Its because he wasn't playing very well and he was struggling with the so called number 6 role. He did suffer a little lack of confidence and as I said at the time, his heel injury was an issue.

But I am also the first to give him praise for his performances at the back end of last season and all of this season for taking his performances up a couple of levels. Magnificant.

My views on Firmino are the same, trier gives his all but is not playing at his top level and he hasn't really played at his top level for 2 seasons (barring a few games) . Some poster mention his performances in 2017/ 18 absolutly brilliant, even more work rate and far more end product. Since then he hasn't been at that level. I know they are both quality players I just want them to perform near their best levels.

09 Mar 2020 21:28:33
Mark08, Bobbie is "A trier and gives his all"? That is what you say when you think a player is not talented enuff to give you more than he is giving you so he compensates with effort and trying. Sorry, Bobbie is not a trier even tho you are welcome to such IMO, a very flawed opinion.

Bobbie is a world class forward. Well-respected by world class coaches like Pep and Jose and Klopp (I guess they are all mugs too and think he is trier) . He is now the starting CF for Brazil after deposing the useless Gabriel Jesus (per Ed01, only plays cos he is Neymar's mate) .

If you are rating Bobbie based on goals scored then you are missing the point completely. You are aware that Klopp knows that Bobbie is not prolific, right? So if that is true then why is Bobbie still respected as a world class CF? Why does Klopp keep playing him and created a whole unique system around a so called "trier" and why do his team mates love him? I'll let you respond.

10 Mar 2020 08:35:59
He is of course very talented just not playing that well this or last season.

10 Mar 2020 09:00:16
I get what you are saying Mark. Bobby hasn’t played to his peak consistently this season and last. I’m thinking it’s just a confidence thing. He is technically one of my favourite players to watch and he plays the key position for Liverpool. He just needs to work on his shooting accuracy. Tiny margins and all that. I would change Firmino for anyone else other than a slightly deadlier Firmino.

11 Mar 2020 03:24:06
Look at how benzema often dropped so Ronaldo or bale could benefit and be their most dangerous while this season he has been much more prolific when needed to be the main man for goals yet his side are worse off despite him being more prolific.

Dortmund lately used reus in the centre and sancho was in his most threatening form as a result but his impact was lowered when alcacer was used as the attack focal point despite his good goal record. Ibrahimovich notched 25 goals for Barcelona but the other players couldn't reach their best level as a result, icardi scored for fun at inter but the rest of the team struggled. Lukaku had a strong goal to game spell at United but others around him couldn't then perform. Spurs best period of form over last 2 seasons occurred last year when Kane was missing and son heung min, Lucas moura, dele alli, lamela became more effective. Look at guys like totti, Bergkamp, cantona, Zola, del piero Muller as examples of forwards who could have seasons hitting numbers like firmino yet their ability to play in a way which was effective for their teams success was admired.



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