Liverpool Klopp Episode 8: Can't Buy Me Love
Upcoming match for LFC is Manchester City on the road. Saturday 930AM PST on NBC.
Comparing wage bills (unfortunately it appears the data is a bit old 2013-2014 season)
Manchester City has the 2nd highest wage bill at 205 million pounds.
Liverpool has the 5th highest wage bill at 144 million pounds.
Currently Man City is #1 on the table so they are "over performing" while Liverpool lags at #10 so they are underperforming.
In American baseball, money doesn't buy championships! As a long suffering LA Dodger fan, this year's team had the highest wage bill but was eliminated in the NLDS.
In the Premier league, the "Big 4" have had a virtual monopoly on the top slots in the EPL. Liverpool broke the lock in 2013-2014 and 2008-2009 by finishing second and fourth in 2007-2008. Tottenham crashed the party in 2011-2012 (fourth) and 2009-2010 (fourth). Thus, over an eight year period the 32 top four spots have been held by the Big 4 twenty-seven times (84%).
But the most emotional part of the money game for LFC fans was the drama of LFC having Raheem Sterling, one of their young rising stars, recruited by Man City.
Certainly his form at Liverpool waned, shaping the argument City had paid an exorbitant sum, although hindsight suggests it was harsh to single out a 20-year-old for losing his way when his team and manager had done so too. The contract dispute, the decision to halt negotiations (relayed in person by Sterling to Rodgers), the interview and leaks over financial disagreements, however, left a toxic impression on his former supporters.
In any case, Liverpool has to go in with what they got and not lament the players they have lost.
The defensive four looks to be Clyne, Skrtle, Lovren, Moreno. Too bad about Sakho's injury against Palace. LFC fans will be on edge about how Lovren responds.
The midfield should see the return of Milner, alongside Can and Lucas.
Upfront? Probably Firmino, Beneteke, and Coutinho.
Would think Lallana and/or Ibe will get in for fresh energy going on the attack. Will Sturridge get in? Perhaps, for the last 15 minutes to see what he has in those knees.
I don't think Klopp is likely to "park the bus" and will have the team run at Man City. May turn into a rout but I don't think Klopp would be content to let Man City have all the possession. Now, if the game is at level and the clock is ticking down to the final 10 minutes or so, then he might order the team to pull back some. Getting a point at the Etihad would be more than good for LFC at this point.
Stealing a win? That would be a minor miracle!
UPDATE: Liverpool have stolen the lead via an own goal at the 7 minute mark!
23' Oh my! Coutinho!! UK Guardian Scott Murry described it this way:
What a counter attack this is. Firmino battles his way past a spinning Mangala and Demichelis in the middle of the park. He drifts to the right of the D, bringing both men with him, then dinks a pass back into the middle. Coutinho is running in to meet it, and sidefoots into the bottom-right past a wrong-footed Hart. That’s a goal of electric brilliance in attack, though City’s centre backs were on a silent-movie tip there.
Had to leave following the game to run some errands but did catch a little bit here and there on Talksport.com internet radio coverage. Amazing that my little smartphone can bring the action of a soccer contest almost half a world away in real time!
Anyway, the two analysts said that Liverpool didn't pressure all over the field but waited for Man City to cross over the half-line and then put the pressure on them! Once they gained possession they used their speed to mount the counter. Worked great! Coach Klopp is being hailed as a tactical genius.
LFC got the third goal via the Brazil duo again but this time with Firmino putting it into the net. Man City got one goal just before half-time. The second half yield opportunities for both sides but Skrtle put in a goal off a corner to make it 4-1.
The one down note was that Coutinho had to be subbed off with an injury. So far no word from the medical team whether he will be out for an extended period of time or not.
Next match: Nov 26 at home for Europa league.
LFC under Klopp: 4-3-1