herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Jurgen's blindspot on Moreno could cause problems at Anfield

Alberto Moreno in action. Pic: Getty Images
Alberto Moreno in action. Pic: Getty Images

If anyone out there is puzzled about Jurgen Klopp and what seems to be a complete disregard for the fundamentals of defending, his use of Alberto Moreno provides a very simple explanation.

Many times in the last few weeks I've heard pundits and ordinary fans ask the question "why can't Klopp see what we see" since it is so obvious that the lad has a major problem with positioning.

Some have said that he doesn't get to the man on the ball quick enough but the real issue is his starting position.

For some reason, Moreno drifts in towards the centre-backs which means that he will always be too far away from a player attacking down his side of the pitch. This is just common sense and a fundamental.

I know many who haven't played at a decent level will find it very difficult to believe that a player could come as far as Moreno (right) has and not understand where he should be standing on a football pitch.

Where were the coaches? Where were the managers to take him to one side and show him where he was going wrong? It should take ten minutes to straighten this out.

Habits

I've seen this as a player and a manager. People have bad habits, play for years making the same mistakes and are never told. They carry on blissfully unaware of their faults.

Some players cannot be told and if Moreno lacks the instinct to know where a defender should be on the pitch and has not been able to absorb advice, well then he shouldn't be picked.

A defender who gives away goals in this way and does it time and time again is a liability and cannot be trusted to do his job.

The only issue to be dealt with after that is whether Moreno is simply doing what he has been told to do and Klopp wants him to drift into the centre.

The simple answer to that is that James Milner didn't do it last season so I rule that out.

This leads me to the conclusion that Klopp either doesn't see the problem with Moreno's positional failings or he does but doesn't care one way or other. Neither is good for Liverpool.

Again, fans will find it hardtop comprehend that a manager could reach the heights Klopp has and be missing such an important chunk of football knowledge.

How many goals does he have to concede from this source before the penny drops? I need only point to Arsene Wenger's blind spot on defenders and goalkeepers over a long number of years as evidence that this is a more common failing in managers than you might think.

Klopp has been very clear about one thing. He doesn't care how many his team concedes as long as they score more than the opposition.

While that sounds great as a romantic, swashbuckling approach to the game, it's only practical when you have good enough players to do it and Klopp doesn't.

Even then, and I have Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in mind, it's no harm buying good defenders anyway and Moreno is, by no stretch of the imagination, a good defender.

What makes it doubly puzzling is that Milner is obviously a better option in the position and Klopp clearly thought as much because he picked him at left-full ahead of Moreno for most of last season.

If Klopp is simply ignoring Moreno's weakness because he gives him something more going forward than Milner, I believe Liverpool will pay for this throughout the season.

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