As I am writing this article, I am sitting watching the opening day of the Premier League. Liverpool vs West Brom. As I started to watch the game i noticed at difference with Liverpool that has been changing year by year.
At first I thought maybe they are just playing under Rodger’s regime. High pressure and if you lose the ball, get it back within six seconds. But it went further than that. I noticed that Liverpool have slowly been changing their way of play to the European style or ‘Barca’ play.
In the 2010-2011 season Liverpool bought in two players that would help this way of play get started. Luis Suarez and Raul Meireles. As we all know Suarez cooked up a storm during this time at Liverpool. Great plays and amazing goals. He was just the beginning.
During 2011-2012, Liverpool bought in Stewart Downing, who provided clinical crossing, like Cristiano Ronaldo, Charlie Adam, whose passes amaze most of the UK and whose corners are worth £25m alone – according to Ian Holloway. Jose Enrique from Newcastle United also arrived. He provides flair that is needed in any European squad. During the 2012 summer window Liverpool bought a player who I think stands out as a vital key in this way of playing football. After an amazing season at Swansea City, Joe Allen joined Liverpool. Last season he had a 91% passing rate and is exactly what Liverpool need as a successful play-maker. The passing at Liverpool was improved last season with all major midfielders having a 80+% successful pass rate. The lowest out of them being Gerrard at 83%.
Back to my first point, and what inspired me to write this article – Liverpool have been playing in triangles. The same as Barcelona’s style of play. Quick short passes but with a British twist. There have been a few long, high balls played from the center of the pitch to the flanks. This providing more space and more room for the wingers to attack and the rest of the team to push up. More skillful play has been introduced into Liverpool’s play with uncountable nutmegs being used to get past West Brom’s defense and gaining them free kicks. I feel with the new players and new manager, who is known for a passing style of play, Liverpool are trying to achieve what Arsenal are trying to achieve also. For the first time in a long time I have been impressed by Liverpool’s play.
(Just as I thought I had finished the article Agger fouls Long in the box and gets sent off. In my eyes wrong decision by far. More of a lean than a push.)