6 May 2016

'Excellent': Macca hails £36m Liverpool star after Villareal; claims he's 'better' than Brazilian team-mate

In a surprise move, Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp named Emre Can in the starting line-up for Liverpool's Europa League semi-final, and it's fair to say that the German powerhouse played a big part in the Reds' impressive 3-0 victory over Villareal.

Analysing the game for BT Sport+, Liverpool legend Steve McManaman enthused:

"I thought Emre Can^ was excellent. He looked sharp, and always looked to move forward. Lucas has done well in that role, but Can has better mobility, and he showed that tonight".

My issue with Can has always been twofold:

* Over-elaboration on the ball; tendency to try stupid tricks in dangerous areas (which often leads to loss of possession), and inaccurate Hollywood balls.

* Legend in his own mind; misguided desire to be Gerrard-esque game-changer for Liverpool, despite the fact he just doesn't (IMO) have the guile, or game-intelligence to play that type of role.

If Can accepts his limitations, plays with discipline, and keeps it simple (like he did against Villareal), then I have absolutely no problem with him being in the team (I've been consistent on this point).

Can clearly sees himself as an all-action box-to-box midfielder, but he should be moulded into a dedicated defensive-midfielder. With his height, strength, and tidy short-passing, he is built for that role, and there's no shame in being the defensive focal-point in midfield.

The DM role is not as glamourous (in football terms) as being an attacking midfielder, but that position is often just as important to the team, and that proved to be the case tonight, with the Reds keeping a vital clean sheet.

^Reportedly on £55k-a-week. Worth £36m (CIES Football Observatory).
+ Transcribed whilst watching live.

Author: Jaimie K


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