???️ Is It Time To Give Moreno Some Credit?

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Liverpool’s start to the season has been a little frustrating to say the least. We have dropped points against a couple of teams in recent weeks and the dark cloud that is Twitter was beginning to grind us all down. We as fans were becoming tired and impatient of repeating the words “Yeah but we are creating chances.” And “Keep playing like this and someone is in for a hiding.” Turns out we were correct; we just didn’t expect it to take this long. Having said that, out of the games prior to Maribor last night there have been a few positives. One of which is Alberto Moreno. I was very surprised to see the Spanish defender play any part in preseason and convinced myself, like many other Reds fans that he would be out the door before the season started. Add to that the a £11m bid from Napoli, which was immediately rejected you couldn’t help but think Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool were just holding out for more money. Rumours circulated at the time that a fee closer to £15m would have tempted the Reds but it wasn’t to be. Fast forward to Liverpool v Watford. Moreno had played his part in preseason and with some decent performances. Again Liverpool fans thought that must surely be it now, we are only playing him to get his fee or and then he’s off. Wrong. For a man whose Liverpool career was destroyed by A Europa League Final capitulation and a few other embarrassing mishaps last season and probably the season before that isn’t it time we start giving him some credit? And I don’t just mean on a performance level, I mean based on his personality and determination. It says a lot to me when a player is berated by the majority of fans, including myself and then choses to stick around. He could very easily of handed in a transfer request this summer and jumped ship. Klopp has kept his faith in Moreno and so far, touch wood, its paying off. I won’t go down that horrible cliché of “He’s like a new signing.” Because he’s obviously not. But it is encouraging that Klopp can see the ability in players and improve them when we think all hope is lost. As well as improving his own game, Moreno has built up an on field rapport with Phil Coutinho. Not quite as good as this off field BFF situation but not far behind. Their link up play at times absolutely ruins defences. Last night’s game versus Maribor was a prime example of that. Teams often see Coutinho as the threat and rightly so, but now it appears they are underestimating Moreno like we were. Last night defenders were dragged towards Phil in an attempt to prevent a strike whilst Moreno was making the overlap, which in turn becomes an assist. OK, it was Maribor and we don’t play them every week. Having said that his Premier League performances have shown significant improvement, he’s still prone to the odd arse clenching moment but nothing of recent times. His pass accuracy of 84.1% is higher than that of Jordan Henderson (78.3%) and passing in opposition half stands at 75.5% again higher than Henderson. (71.1%) I’m not picking on Henderson but as someone who plays the central midfield role, you’d expect his passing to be one of the highest. Defensively I feel Moreno has improved too. He is often targeted by opposition players and managers still as a weak point in our already weak defence. But he has won 66.6% of his duels in the Premier League. Top those stats off with Moreno throwing himself at the ball against Man United to prevent Ashley Young from scoring. If his commitment to the Reds cause wasn’t already proven that was it. I know it will be a while before Moreno is forgiven and there are probably a few fans out there that are waiting for him to slip up or still don’t see his improvement. I’m not saying he has revived his Liverpool career and everything is fine now but you have to give credit where it is due. He’s arguably been one of our most consistent players so far this season and long may that continue. A combination of Klopp’s faith, being dropped for large parts of last season, James Milner a midfielder playing ahead of him and the arrival of Andrew Robertson appear to have given Albie a swift kick up the arse. Him starting every week is becoming less of a surprise and becoming less of a topic. Fair play to the lad.   Let me know your thoughts on Alberto Moreno in the comments below.   Ross Chandley
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