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11 Apr 2021 12:32:05
Thiago's 30th today, seen a few comments about how it was strange business from the club. Personally don't see it that way at all.

He's a player who does not rely largely on physicality and pace, but rather general match intelligence, positioning and passing. His ability to completely set the tempo of a game has impressed me massively.

I think we're yet to see the best of him and he's a footballer similar to Kroos and Modric, one who I reckon will age very well.

You can also see the difference when he's come on off the bench in recent games. Against Madrid him coming on largely changed that tie, we had a lot more control. His appearance off the bench yesterday for Wijnaldum, who needs to be dropped in general, also allowed us complete control and the ability to sustain attacks constantly.

He also almost bagged his first goal, which I think is overdue. I don't know about anyone else but I'm very pleased to have him, we haven't had a player of that ilk in some time. Next season (hopefully), when everything is back in order we should see.

Agree6 Disagree0

11 Apr 2021 13:11:26
It’s difficult to make a proper assessment of him because of all the injuries in the team.
We’ve seen some good things and some poor.
I’m not sure where his best position in the team actually is. I commented yesterday that having him advanced may hinder Firmino’s freedom. Perhaps it was coincidence that Firmino then had a really bright game without Thiago there?
I see Thiago as a valuable member of a midfield unit, but one in which the mix / balance of players around him and who the opposition is needs consideration.
That said, he’s not always a first choice, for me.

The 4 years contract, given his age, has created a precedent and others are bound to look at that and try their luck, that’s the problem. It could easily become divisive and might well have contributed to the impasse around Wijnaldum.

I’m also concerned that Liverpool’s tempo has dropped markedly this year.
That could be injuries and fatigue, but Thiago has also been part of that change.
Whether that’s by chance or design I’m not clear, maybe a bit of both.
I’m fearful we’re losing that mobility and pace that marked our style as CL and PL winners. Teams evolve and change and Summer will show how we want to go, I guess. But I have absolutely loved that fast style when we were the quickest team in the PL.

11 Apr 2021 13:23:08
I’d like to think Thiago and Bobby could actually compliment each other. I can’t remember what game it was but it was some months ago (might have been Spurs) where Thiago and Bobby inter changed during moments of play and Thiago was further forward than Bobby for certain spells during attacks and Bobby was covering Thiago in midfield.

It’s been a strange and good season for a lot of players throughout the league. Some top players who have performed over the last few seasons are having their worst in a while Mane, Sterling, Aubameyang just to name a few and then others seem to be having their best Grealish, Bamford and Gundogan. The list for both could go on.

11 Apr 2021 13:29:25
Juicer also our press and athleticism was a massive asset when teams came to play us. Unfortunately when teams are happy to give us 70-80% possession and sit 11 men behind the ball we have very little opportunity to press as teams believe a long ball from the back can catch our high line out. And when we are missing 2 of the fastest centre half’s in world football there’s more than a punchers chance of that happening these days. The way teams set up against us these days our speed in possession is far more critical than our speed out of it. We are too slow in possession a lot of the time with Wijnaldum being the biggest culprit for this.

11 Apr 2021 13:34:27
I love watching him play, you can see a really special player there. He will be immense for us once he’s settled and the team is back to normal.

11 Apr 2021 13:53:54
Juicer for me, Klopp knew about his age and all that before signing him and did it anyway cos all the other things about his game are perfect for the next evolution of our play. I was not keen on him to begin with but his talent and ability, was not in question.

Regarding his place in the team, I think he was brought in to add more control and creativity in our system provided the likes of Hendo and Fab create a wall behind him to do the running and covering of gaps. Clearly, that did not happen this season for obv reasons so I think he will only get better provided the setup in midfield is right. I think he will do well with Bobbie in the team esp vs teams who let us have 70% of the ball but for this to b effective, we need quick ball movement and movement off the ball from our forwards.

11 Apr 2021 14:06:28
JK fully agree, Wijnaldum is very frustrating at times. In my view he holds onto the ball too long and slows down attacks when there are options.

11 Apr 2021 14:09:36
I fail to see how you can be impressed massively! how Thiago sets the tempo in games where in the main we have been absolutely abysmal in most matches. That seems to me that you are saying Thiago stood out while all around him were faltering.

I'm also not sure how much impact Thiago had against Madrid either. We were awful first half agreed, that much is true and guess you could say that we drew the second half 1-1, again true but it doesn't paint the whole picture of Liverpool converting their only real chance albeit scrappy and Madrid missing several really good chances that could have ended the game at 5-1 easily.
Also this "he will be immense for us when we have a settled team" Well we were "immense" without Thiago, that is the standard he has to fill. He wasn't walking into a team on the cusp of greatness but a team that are PL champions, recent CL winners and finalists and a few other fancy trophies.
A vanity signing for me who I think won't have the success a lot of fans think he will.
20 games, PL and CL, no assists, no goals. He was the one that was to make the difference to our midfield.

11 Apr 2021 14:11:58
JK23. Again when Thiago signed he was the one to break down those stubborn defences that sat back. I'm sure you will have seen such posts before and after he signed.

11 Apr 2021 14:39:46
Irish agree mate and not only did I see such posts I admit I also commented similar things. I 100% agree tang it hasn’t worked out as I thought but also we have a squad of very very well played footballers. All of these should be capable of playing a killer pass and it shouldn't be down to one man.

At certain stages in games this season we probably string 20 plus passes together going forwards, backwards and sidewards whilst the opposition sit 11 men behind the ball. During those passes Thiago might contribute 5 of them (if that) so whilst many thought he could be the saviour for me he’s also not the single handed problem.

For me the difference we see this seasons to last is when sides sit 11 men behind the ball all they have to do is play it long as forwards are no longer up against Vvd and Gomez. But have been up against Fab, Hendo, Phillips, Williams or Kabak. Last season if you play it long then a high majority of the time Vvd or Gomez or both are getting to that ball first or back goal side to defend this resulting in the forward playing it backwards.
Because of that teams wouldn’t pump every ball forward as it was a waste so they would try and play more to hopefully beat our press and then get in behind us. When trying to beat our press Bobby, Salah and Mane would nick the ball and would literally be in on goal. For me that is the big difference this year.

I honestly believe when Vvd returns unless teams change the way they play against us then our possession will go up to 80% plus a game.

We will still have the issue of breaking down 11 men behind the ball though in half a pitch but this is something we have sometimes struggled with, with and without Thiago.

For me that’s where an out and out striker could be our plan b. Because when teams defend deep we put lots and lots of crosses into the box which some teams love to defend.

11 Apr 2021 16:42:45
I am sure Thiago will play v Madrid if he is as good as people claim he will be able to control the game as Modric and Kross did in the first leg. Madrid are now missing more defenders than us. I have seen nothing al all from Thiago yet but would love for him to bring his A game on Wednesday.

11 Apr 2021 17:23:34
Thiago isn't going to control the game on his own. The whole team is going to have to step up to the plate in order for his particular skill set to be able to make the difference.
That's partially why he hasn't made the impact we hoped for.
He's an integral part of a machine that's currently misfiring.
And there is no doubting Thiago's quality, whether he can produce that in a Liverpool shirt consistently is more the question.

11 Apr 2021 17:47:32
Think a big thing a lot of you are failing to mention here is our misfiring front 3 - in terms of our play or even registering assists, Thiago's stats would be greatly improved if he was behind the front 3 of previous years. The quick interplay hasn't been there this season and the finishing has been far from clinical so it seems a bit unfair to judge Thiago on the fact others are far from their best

Personally I think with a settled and first choice back four and hungry, clinical forwards we will see the very best of Thiago, this season has been a disaster but we'll pick ourselves up, regroup, injured players will return, missing form will be found and we'll go again.

11 Apr 2021 18:43:10
Bill good point. Wasn’t it quoted yesterday something like we’d scored 1 goal from our last 147 shots at Anfield prior to the Villa game. There’s plenty of scapegoats being named and shamed but every single player bar the keepers should take the same responsibility for that. Yes stats can tell a different story but the main stat that backs this one up was 6 defeats on the bounce at home.

Hopefully now the monkeys off our back we might see better but we’ve been so up and down it could go either way.

11 Apr 2021 19:17:45
It’s the constant saying that always comes up Thiago will be great when VVD and Gomez are back plus Hendo oh and the front 3 are all on top form. My goodness any half decent midfielder could be made to look good in that team. Why can’t Thiago control the game? Madrid have no defence their 3 in midfield have just played a hard match against Barcelona their midfield won’t press him greatly. If he really is top 3 midfielder in world football then he should be able to have a massive impact on the game and control the tempo.

11 Apr 2021 22:49:09
In fairness mark none of the named players won anything before they all started playing together so why would Thiago be an exception.

11 Apr 2021 23:46:22
That’s a fair point JK23, we seem to encounter that ‘low block’ virtually every game now.
I dislike watching the resultant attack v defence match that follows, it’s so boring and frustrating and then you have VAR sticking its oar in and that seems to favour the defence now too.
I still think 4 years was too long a contract for Thiago though, that’s set a bar now.



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