???️ The Most Underrated Player In World

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The Most Underrated Player in the World. By Mark Mason                    @MMason00 A lot is going to be written over the coming days about the result against Arsenal. Unfortunately, too much of it will focus on the inept tactics applied by a dreadful Arsenal team who have all but given up on their manager. Too little of mainstream media will write about the jaw dropping attacking play of Liverpool. In contrast the twitterverse is awash with bragging Liverpool fans. They are ready to crown Sadio Mane as the next King of Merseyside and waxing lyrical on the equally spectacular performance of the Egyptian Messi, Mo Salah. What little praise being given out from the likes of Sky Sports, focused on them as well as Can and Gini’s performances. Therefore, once again going under the radar is the player Klopp called in 2016 ???The most underrated player in the league’ and after Hoffenheim last Wednesday ‘The most underestimated player in the World’.   Bobby Firmino is a player so underrated most Premiership fans and pundits get his name wrong, ???Firminiho’. If you watch back Redmen TV videos from last year when oppo channels put together joint teams, how many selected Bobby? All too often he was left out for forwards who offer a team a fraction of what he can. In contrast is how highly he is rated by Klopp. This summer there was an excess of big name strikers available for a move: Lukaku, Morata, Lacazette. The lack of real links to any of them indicates the esteem Bobby is held in. He has without doubt cemented himself as our main forward. They even gave him the number 9 shirt to prove it. Traditionally you would say that the main forward leads the line, but that’s not what Bobby necessarily does. Neither is he a true false 9. He is a hybrid of the two roles. Like a traditional forward he has the ability to hold a ball up, a part of his game which is often overlooked. He is willing to go up against the opposition CBs and fight. At almost 6 foot he can do this and he scores goals with his head. However, he like the best false 9’s, has the ability to drop deep into space. He can pull wide and is basically unmarkable, playing through balls to our wide forwards like the best number 10s. There are very few forwards in the world with a similar skill set. However, what none of them have, other than Suarez, is the gut busting, unbelievable work ethic that Bobby shows in every game. Even if he is having a quieter time on the ball, he is constantly harrowing and pressuring opposition defences off it. A Picture of him could be used in the dictionary of football to describe defending from the front. Yet fans from other teams still post comments belittling our Brazillian, using his goal scoring stats as a critic of him as a player. For many, you judge a forward purely on goals. It’s a narrow minded approach to football and leads to bitter supporters claiming Jelavic is better than Suarez. The stats read on their own without context don´t paint a great picture. Since coming to Liverpool Bobby has averaged 1 in 4 overall and 1 in 3 in the league, not great. Comparing Bobby’s goal return to other top forwards in the league doesn’t look good. Lacazette who he outshone yesterday scored 28 league goals last season to Bobby´s 11.  However, until this season we hadn’t seen Bobby take a penalty. 10 of Lacazette’s goals were penalties. In reality, due to injuries to key players, Bobby only started 50% of games last year as a forward. Lacazette’s figures are better, but in context not by much. If we look at the five competitive games that Liverpool has played this year we can see that his influence is enormous. Right now the media are grovelling at the feet of Lukaku who has scored 3 league goals, yet Bobby with 2 goals and 2 assists has had a greater impact. As that doesn’t include his through ball to Salah to win the penalty against Watford, those figures even under evaluate his contribution. His performance away and then home against Hoffenheim even more emphasises his role in the team. His through ball to Milner for the second away goal was something few players could do. Yet Bobby repeated those passes time and time again in the home leg. He played a vital role in the first two goals, assisted the third and then scored the forth. What should be scary for opposition fans and is being overlooked, is that Bobby is only going to get better. He is still just 25, not at his peak. He is going into, hopefully, his first full season playing as the main forward. He will only get improve as he plays in that role more. His only weakness is his clinicalness in front of goal. If he can improve this he has the potential to be scarily good. Even as he is Bobby could well break the 20 goal barrier this year and get 10 assists, something only done 4 times in the last 10 years. Sanchez managed it last year and was called world class, Suarez, Lampard and Rooney are the only others who have achieved this feat. This would put Firmino at the elite level of players in the Premier League. Yet, it would surprise few reds if all the talk from other teams was still about Mane and Salah. Football managers are prone to hyperbole. After having Brendon Rodgers as a manager Liverpool fans are more accustomed to this than most. However the statements describing Bobby as the most underestimated player rings true. Few have the skill, quality and work rate he has. More importantly, few have the influence he does, let alone the dance moves. Pulling his shorts down and jigging around the pitch with a big smile on his face says it all about the pure love he plays the game with and why we have taken him to heart. It’s been a long time for coming for me. Suarez wasn’t able to do it, not even Gerrard or Carragher. The last time was with a certain Xabi Alonso.  But, I must admit I am starting to get a true man crush on the most underrated player in the world, Bobby Firmino.   By Mark Mason                    @MMason00  
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