The two words that most Liverpool fans would hate right now are “Sergio” and “Ramos” said one after the other. The Real Madrid player, and I use the word “player” very lightly as he has made himself the public enemy no.1 for the Liverpool fans.
Just to recap, drag Mohamed Salah down, chuckle when the player was receiving treatment, elbow Loris Karius in the face, get Sadio Mane booked by feigning contact, criticise the Liverpool players after the final, I guess I’ve covered everything.
All this was done in a space of a few days and while I wish we could have hammered Madrid in the final of the Champions League with Salah undressing Ramos with a filthy piece of skill and scoring the winner, it was not to be.
However, a week or so after the loss and spending countless hours thinking about what could have been, it has come to my attention that we don’t feature “smart” footballers in the side and seem to be missing an edge in our game, something that Luis Suarez and Steven Gerrard brought to us.
Goody good Liverpool under Klopp
I can’t recall a player in the Liverpool side that opponents hate because of the player’s nature. Sure, they can hate Salah for his goals, Firmino for his incredible work rate or Mane for his blistering pace.
Hell, they can make fun of Henderson, Lovren or even Moreno but none of them is someone that can antagonise opponents and get under their skin.
We do play a great brand of football but where are the players that can get into the face of the opposition when things are not going our way?
Suarez was that kind of player. He was a magician on the field but when we needed a spark, when we needed to frustrate the opponents, when we needed to show that we cannot be dominated, he would come up with a tackle, attract the attention of the referee, shove, push, ‘bite’, foul, feign injury.
He would do something to give us an edge and it was near impossible for a defender to breathe when Suarez was in full flow. It was even harder for the opponents to deal with his character on the field.
Looking back over the years, Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Javier Mascherano, John Arne Riise and even El Hadji Diouf were players that were not going to take things lying down when it was not going our way.
That is what we are missing now at Liverpool.
Where is our aggression gone?
Sadio Mane got a red card last season for a high boot on Ederson but that was the only occasion where we seemed to be on the edge and that too, the ref might have got the decision wrong, given that the player was looking at the ball and there probably was no real malice.
As much as I hate to say this, we need a player like Sergio Ramos in the team. The kind who will do anything for the win. For all the quality that Madrid have, Ronaldo, Bale, Kroos and Modric, they sill need instigators such as Ramos and they had Pepe too, another serial offender.
There was a time when we were being linked with a move for Diego Costa, unfortunately, he ended up going to Chelsea.
Imagine, had we had a line-up featuring Suarez and Costa as forwards with Gerrard down the middle and Carra at the back. No team would try to pull off non-sense against us. We would have been on their faces and possibly half the battle would be won before we even go on to the pitch.
This Liverpool side is too good, too good in terms of playing football and too good when it comes to facing the opponents.
We need to have the fire in us and hopefully, next season, with the additions of Naby Keita and Fabinho, we can develop an edge in our game that would give us that extra 10% when things don’t work for us.
Klopp needs a few footballers with a street-smart mind, someone who would know how to get the business done. We aren’t being linked with such players and maybe getting one or two disruptive players will make us tougher to beat.
Paris Saint-Germain set to sell 23-year-old Liverpool target for €15m this January
The Frenchman is out of contract at the end of the season, and PSG are not willing to let the midfielder leave for nothing.
The report adds that Barcelona were close to landing Rabiot on a free but PSG claimed that the Catalans did not act “correctly”.
Rabiot’s wage demands could increase the overall value of the transfer, and the report adds that PSG are not willing to deal with Barcelona any more.
Liverpool could do with another quality midfielder in their side, despite having several options in the side.
However, Adam Lallana has had a tough time related to injuries while James Milner isn’t getting any younger at 33.
Jurgen Klopp has pulled off some great cheap signings with Joel Matip joining on a free while Andy Robertson and Xherdan Shaqiri have been smart purchases.
Rabiot has the talent to be one of the best in the world, but he needs to be under the right manager. Klopp has performed miracles with some players at Anfield, and it would be great to have a talent like the Frenchman playing for us.
Former Manchester City midfielder “scared” of Liverpool in Premier League race
Former Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure has claimed that he is scared of Liverpool in the race for the Premier League.
The Ivorian won the Premier League with City a few years ago and was speaking on Sky Sports where he claimed that the Reds were doing well and were “very strong” (h/t Daily Star).
The midfielder lauded our efforts at reaching the Champions League final last season and claimed we were growing together.
Winning the Premier League in consecutive seasons is extremely tough, something that Toure touched upon. The former Barcelona midfielder spoke about Manchester City keeping hold of their title this season before adding that he was scared of the Reds:
“This year I know everybody was asking the question of what City are going to do this year.
“And I think we have to see what’s going to happen.
“To be honest, Liverpool are in good, good shape at the moment and I’m very scared of them.
“Liverpool are looking very, very scary this year.”
The Reds are four points clear at the top of the table after the latest round of fixtures. Liverpool needed to return to winning ways after losses against Manchester City and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Jurgen Klopp’s men were professional against Brighton at the weekend with Mohamed Salah scoring the only goal of the game.
The Reds have some relatively easy fixtures coming up to keep hold of their lead in the Premier League, and hopefully, we can celebrate a first Premier League title this season.
33 wins, 24 clean sheets – The numbers from this Liverpool star’s first 50 games for the Reds are incredible
Virgil van Dijk played his 50th game for Liverpool against Brighton, and the Reds picked up all three points thanks to Mohamed Salah’s winner.
The Reds also kept a clean sheet, something that the defender would cherish and the Liverpool website shared some interesting facts from the Dutchman’s 50 games under Jurgen Klopp.
Liverpool established their second longest run without conceding a league goal at Anfield in 2018. The Reds did not concede for 918 minutes as Callum Paterson scored for Cardiff in October to break a streak that started in Feb.
The Dutchman was the only defender to have played in all games that lasted the run.
24 clean sheets
This has got to be the best record of them all with almost half of the games Van Dijk played in yielding a clean sheet.
This season has been better with 13 clean sheets from 22 Premier League games as the Reds have tightened up the back thanks to the signing of Alisson.
Dominating the opposition
Van Dijk has an incredible success percentage when it comes to duels, with the defender winning 71.69% of the 445 contested duels.
The defender also leads the team in clearances (272), blocks (21) and interceptions (59).
Incredible passing numbers
Van Dijk has attempted more passes (3,643) than any other Liverpool player and has an accuracy of 88.64%.
The Reds have been supreme this season with Van Dijk leading from the back, and we have lost just one game in the Premier League too.
Liverpool have won 33 of the games that Van Dijk has played in with seven draws and 10 defeats so far.
The Dutchman has been one of our best signings under Klopp and is well on his way to becoming a legend at the club if he keeps playing this way.
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