Jith Sreenivasan – @jithsreenivasan
On a windy and snowy (well for me at least) late November afternoon, we get to see Liverpool play at Anfield; against a team who we should be beating; and actually beat them with consummate ease and beauty. Now to talk about the mighty reds playing at their mighty best.
Do we have depth?
When the clock struck 2pm and the team sheets were released, the typical Twitter tirades began. We haven’t conceded in 8 games with Tsimikas starting! Why are we playing Robertson who’s been the weaker of the two so far this season? Robertson gets an assist 97 seconds in. Why isn’t Ox starting? He’s been on top form so far this season and Hendo has looked inconsistent! Henderson gets the pre-assist for Jota’s 2nd goal and downright bossed the midfield when Liverpool upped the tempo.
When you cry out for transfers to improve “squad depth”, you should expect rotation to occur to allow the first team players to have more time to recover to allow them to play at their highest ability on a more consistent basis. Players like Tsimikas and Chamberlain at this current moment are being used exactly how they were planning to be used. Them performing to a high level where they’re on the pitch relieves pressure to start Henderson or Robertson every single game which lowers the risk of frustrating and niggling injuries. There are now real debates around who starts in the upcoming Merseyside Derby. This is squad depth.
Liverpool in the Premier League in 2021/22 have scored a whopping 39 goals in 13 games. They scored 68 league goals in the entirety of 2020/21. They’ve scored 2+ goals in their last 10 league games and in 19 out of 20 games in all competitions. They have a clean sweep (so far obviously) on the podium of the Golden Boot. They have the 2 highest assist makers too.
This iteration of the Klopp reds are ruthless, frightening and focused on rectifying the flaws of last season’s campaign. Today’s game being a prime example when Jota scores before Southampton even left the changing rooms. All the attackers are in a moment where they are focusing on producing a chance of which is the optimum for a given scenario. You see Mane and Salah playing the square passes on a more regular basis as they’re both well aware that they’ll be on the end of one later in the game. You see Diogo Jota hitting his 7th league goal in 12 games and now starting to signal that he might be a third 20 league goal a season footballer which is remarkably rare in the Premier League. We’ve even got midfielders like Thiago getting goals in back to back games. We can now win 4-0 with Mane or Salah not even getting onto the scoresheet.
These are the types of wins you should sit back and enjoy, no stress, no tension, no concern. Of course there will be tougher tests down the line and we need to be prepared for when those games strike. But for now, enjoy the Reds slaughtering the Saints into submission.