12 Jan 2017

Mystery Solved: Klopp reveals the truth about Sturridge note; confirms he wanted to 'make it more difficult' for Soton

During last night's defeat at Southampton, Daniel Sturridge received a note midway through the game containing instructions from Jurgen Klopp. What did the note say?

When asked after the game about the contents of the note, Klopp told reporters:

“New system. 3-5-2. Lucas at the back, Emre in the centre, two wingers, two strikers. Half space for Lallana and Coutinho. That’s all. We thought it makes sense to have real wingers, high, make it more difficult for them to defend the wing, to have to play someone in the centre, Phil and Adam. Two strikers. Roberto with Daniel".

A bold change by Klopp, but it made such minimal difference to the game that it was ultimately a pointless exercise.

Instead of changing the formation, Klopp should've just kept Wijnaldum on the field, and replaced the utterly woeful Emre Can (who gave the ball away ten times during the game) with Philippe Coutinho.

Wijnaldum had 94% passing accuracy at the time of his substitution, and although he's generally an unspectacular player, his ball retention skills are significantly better than Can's.

On a related note: the last two games have (arguably) shown why I've repeatedly argued that Divock Origi is not the long-term solution for Liverpool. Origi was dire against Plymouth, and made zero impact against Southampton, and the reason for this is (IMO) simple: like Can, his game intelligence and decision-making are simply not good enough.

Yes, Origi will score some goals, but he generally scores in bursts, and in the lean times between these bursts, he offers the team next to nothing.


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