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19 Jan 2021 10:36:44
Seen that Didi Hamann and John Barnes have commented that Thiago slows the game down too much for Liverpool and is more of a burden to the team.

I really don't see that. Whenever I watch him I feel he completely speeds the game up and constantly keeps the ball moving, whether that be an incisive ball through the middle or down the wings.

I've also been very impressed with his interceptions and tackling, he always seems to be in the right spots to win back the ball. That being said sometimes he can get caught flat footed but as he isn't blessed with pace it's got to be expected.

I feel his ball retention, ability to break the press with just a drop of a shoulder and some neat feet coupled with his impressive passing (which he's been disappointed at himself for) means that we have quite the player on our hands. He can run the game by himself and made Bruno Fernandes and Fred look rather mediocre in that United game.

Is it just people looking for headlines?

Agree3 Disagree0

19 Jan 2021 10:45:27
Completely agree, don't know what Barnes and Hamann are on about there.

Thiago doesn't run fast which may give an impression that he is slow to move the ball forward. But, he thinks very quickly and most of his passes are forward and it usually takes time to find the correct forward pass instead of just passing it sideways as soon as you get the ball.

Also, he looks up and tries to find a man in space instead of just aimlessly crossing the ball into the box or trying a through ball that is not on which other players have been guilty of in the last few matches.

19 Jan 2021 10:58:34
I was literally just about to come on and comment this. For me he maybe not as athletic as our tired and tested midfield 3 of Fab, Hendo and Wiji but I think he is far more forward thinking than then be it passing or dribbling. The 3 mentioned are all very neat and tidy and retain possession exceptionally well but so does Thiago. I think until our forward are back firing he may be the scapegoat.
Also seen it was said he doesn’t do the hard work but on weekend he had the highest in our team for
Passes in opposition half
Duels won
Tackles won.

19 Jan 2021 11:26:14
Alonso wasn't exactly Usain Bolt either.

19 Jan 2021 11:34:57
Thiago is incredibly slow which is quite surprising considering his size and frame. For me he hasn't done much at all. All couple of nice passes in other games but nothing spectacular against Utd. Yes he plays on the front foot and passes the ball forward more often than some of our other midfielders. Its early days but if all we are going to get is the odd "holywood" pass then it won't be worth the outlay in wages. Like I said, early days, he's only played a few games still and the team aren't playing the greatest.

19 Jan 2021 11:52:12
He's not a quick sprinter but the speed of his footwork is impressive. Loved a few times when he squared mctominay up and dribbled past him.

19 Jan 2021 11:55:48
We will see the best of Thiago when he has Hendo and Fabinho in midfield with him. The defence is a bigger issue than some might think because it’s having a knock on effect on not just the defence but the wing backs, the midfield and the forwards.

19 Jan 2021 12:12:40
The team aren’t playing the greatest is an understatement mate. We weren’t playing the greatest against Villa, Atalanta (H), midtjyland (A), Brighton, Fulham, Wba and 70 mins against Newcastle and Thiago didn’t play in those. We’ve had a very up and down season without Thiago so I think he’s an easy target to try and lay the blame at his doorstep when we’ve only actually won 6 games in the last 15.

19 Jan 2021 12:13:11
In my opinion they are talking nonsense. The difference i've seen is that when Thiago plays we dominate possession. We always had 55-60% but Thiago seems to give us 70-80% possession.

That definitely affects Firmino in my opinion as he is almost custom built for Counter pressing. Although it's affected his all around impact on the game though, it doesn't excuse his finishing. I said when we signed Thiago that if you have creativity in midfield that Firmino as a false 9 becomes redundant and i stand by that. Shaqiri and Jones are also more creative than Wijnaldum/ Henderson.

The shift in the way we play means we genuinely need an out and out striker. Jota would be perfect when he is fit. Firmino either needs to reinvent himself as a goalscoring centre forward, or as an attacking midfielder. Because the false 9 isn't working anymore. Defensive midfielders just man mark him out the game now so centre backs aren't going with him to create spaces for Mane and Salah. 7 goals in his last 45 games is not good enough considering the drop off in his overall performance as well.

It's time to change. We've had basically the same system and starting XI for nearly 3 years now and despite the league title (which was won by February) we all know we weren't good enough for pretty much the entire 2020 calendar year. The end of last season and start of this season we've been playing at Europa league level and that will be reflected by our league position if Everton win their game in hand to bump us into 5th place.

19 Jan 2021 12:28:46
Nail on the head there MK. Good to hear from you I hope your keeping well?

19 Jan 2021 12:34:57
Mk good read that mate. My only argument is Bobby’s drop off has been long before Thiago signed or even made his comeback against Newcastle.

19 Jan 2021 13:04:25
Spot on, MK. I don't even know who listens to these people at times cos they are talking crap. It seems that just cos you were a great player for a club, your word should be taken for the truth. "Thiago slows our play down". What nonsense.

I would like to comment on the topic about the fales 9 not working anymore. You know I used to think that earlier in the season as Bobbie struggled a bit and indeed DM's were man marking him. However, Klopp found a solution to that.

In the Leicester game, each time Bobbie dropped deep, Keita would go occupy that spot hence, the CB's could not come out cos they had to respect Naby sitting there. Then after that, Robbo crosses for Jota to score. What people do not realize was that on the goal, there were Jota, Keita, Salah and Mane infront of their defence so the CB's did not know who to pick up and Jota scores almost unmarked.

The issue we are having now is that due to lack of confidence, the mid's are no longer occupying that space anymore and since Bobbie and the front three are low on confidence, those runs are not being made and the midfielders like Gini who CAN make those runs, is no longer making them hence, we are easy to defend. What is your opinion on this?

19 Jan 2021 13:29:02
Good analysis that MK. I agree we need to start to renovate our team now. Even if we weren't going through this poor form at the moment.

19 Jan 2021 13:49:47
Thiago has barely played this year due to C.V. and the awful tackle in derby. He’s rusty at worse but whenever he does play, you can see he’s on different stratosphere to most on the pitch. When he’s up and running with match sharpness he will transform our play. Anyone who doesn’t see that is blind.

19 Jan 2021 14:00:52
John Barnes and Didi Hamann calling people out for being slow is so 2021.

19 Jan 2021 14:10:20
Correct MK. We’ve been figured out. We need to change formation or Firmino.

19 Jan 2021 14:17:55
What I would say with this, with Henderson and Fabinho in defence, there was a tendency for the defenders and other midfielders to look for Thiago more, rather than playing any ball themselves.
In that regard, perhaps Barnes and Hamman have a point?
One criticism of the system when Coutinho was here was that it relied too heavily on him, and that’s a situation to avoid perhaps with Thiago.
I was thinking that the opposition’s two deep rigid lines of defence also made it more difficult for Firmino to pick up space and be effective.
In theory, if Thiago plays more advanced with Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, he’d probably be on the left, so it needn’t make Bobby redundant as such?

19 Jan 2021 14:30:42
Easy to forget that he is still finding his rhythm in a new team and totally different league to what his been exposed to all these years. With no sufficient pre seasons at time where games are coming thick and fast during a very strange season with the C.V. think its a bit soon to expect anything more than the willingness to try is enough for me.

19 Jan 2021 14:02:09
ed001 what's your thoughts on all this, Up until Matip went off we was top on the league and all this not scoring being Firmino's fault Mane has only 1 more goal in the league this season. For the first time of having the front 3 together all 3 are off form at the same time. To lose VVD Gomez for most of the season and then to lose Matip as well over the time when are form has dipped. But we are still the top scores in the league with not much luck going are way but we are still only 3 points of the top of the league.

{Ed001's Note - we are having a dip, it happens to every team at some point. It will come good again as players return to form.}

19 Jan 2021 15:03:43
Bobby might play further forward as he did when Coutinho was here too, if Thiago did move further up too?
I can see MK’s point though.

19 Jan 2021 15:53:12
Thiago though quality was a needless acquisition unless we changed the system. We need a striker for thiago to keep defenses occupied and help thiago needle out passes. Unless we do that thiago is going to have 1000 touches a game and very little output.
We need danny ings😀😀.

19 Jan 2021 17:16:25
Barnes is a legend but he is the guy who used to have to read his own name off a cue card on his own football show on channel 5 so perhaps not the brightest.

19 Jan 2021 20:33:52
Akrubbish - we need Jota!



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