Thursday, September 28, 2023

Liverpool’s Indispensable Swag: How This Attacker Has Become Their Go-To Man

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Liverpool have had a blistering start to their campaign under the tutelage of their ever-energetic manager in Jürgen Klopp, bagging seven wins from their first nine games in all competitions. Right from their first Premier League outing in a fixture against Arsenal that witnessed a galore of goals, the Reds have been consistently making statements on the pitch over their ‘top four’ ambitions.

The concept of ‘Big Four’ (the dominance of Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool in the not-so-distant past) no longer exists and when even Leicester City can manage to kiss the lucrative league trophy in the merry month of May, you know there is something special about the top tier of English football.

Making no absurd or ambiguous statements on the pursuits of Liverpool, one cannot help but laud the way Klopp has built his force. Chest thumping, serially shouting and occasionally breaking his glasses, he seems to have found the right blend at Liverpool in the process. Though he advocates the policy of working as a unit and placing the team’s objectives over individual ones, they do possess a couple or more of go-to men who can work their magic in the crunch moments and Roberto Firmino is surely one of them.

The 25-year-old’s contributions have not been unnoticeable. With a goal in every alternative league game so far this season, the Brazilian has created aplenty of chances, though non-statistically his aid to the side has been unparalleled.

Tackling, successfully passing the ball, creating hefty of goal-scoring opportunities and being a wolf with killer instincts up front, Firmino has been crafted to exploit the opponents which hits them below their belt and expand the back line which will make penetration into the box look very easy.

SWANSEA, WALES - OCTOBER 01: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool scores his sides first goal during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Liverpool at Liberty Stadium on October 1, 2016 in Swansea, Wales.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

He provides himself as an option for receiving a pass in the vicinity of the box, seems to correctly anticipate the movements of the opponents’ defence and more often than not, he shuts down their passing which suffocates them and forces them to commit errors.

His diagonal movements at times make him venomous and no wonder why he is fast becoming a fan-favourite. Maybe he is underrated and underappreciated, but the way he pulls one or two defenders with him, which allows the likes of Phillipe Coutinho and Adam Lallana to drive into the space left behind by the defender(s) is scintillating. His physicality, energy and intensity make him unplayable at times and one must admit that the Red army looks much slicker and commendable when Bobby is around.

The former Hoffenheim man has established himself as a vital cog in Klopp’s system in an effortlessly efficient manner. That being said, he has been showering results both offensively and defensively, despite not being a natural striker or being used as a defender. It’s always intriguing to see how Firmino tracks back when Liverpool are caught out of their possession, intelligently involves him in the attacking play and spearheads the press.

It took him a while to get used to the pace of the Premier League but now that he has found his feet, we can hope from him to keep producing such stellar performances week in and week out, and of course run the opponents ragged.

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