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A tactical masterpiece on some Liverpool players

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Tactical Analysis: A tactical masterclass on some Liverpool players featuring Roberto firmino, Diogo Jota and Fabinho Tavarez

We at BraggsSports in our short edition of Eyoh talks will take you through a tactical threat about some Liverpool players under Jurgen Klopp’s reign at the club.

Roberto Firmino

Liverpool fans think this is what it takes to be a false 9 (dropping to midfield). Tactical movement you had see from Michail Antonio of West Ham or hell, Calvert-Lewin of Everton on a good day. No wonder the moment Klopp had some decent depth, Firmino was out of the team.

And he was benched for Jesus at the World Cup 2018 as well. Dragging CBs wide. Really? Dropping into midfield? Jesus. These guys will destroy Roberto Firmino’s legacy for a lack of ball knowledge.

MUST READ: Tactical Analysis: The Theory of Positional Play in Football

What made Firmino such a great false 9 was;

1. His technical level and consistency. That way no matter where he is needed to be a +1, he will be able to make the ball stick against pressure, keep it and progress it against pressure

2. His aerial dueling capacity. You could lump the ball to Firmino and expect him to give any CB trouble in the air. Coupled with his technique, this made him a fantastic pressure relief valve.

3. His defensive work rate. Firmino never stops working for the team.

4. His associative game. He was LARGELY selfless.

Roberto Firmino’s ‘movements’ are easily replicable by ANY DECENT forward today. You don’t pay money for what you can instill on the training ground. Still, false 9 or not, Firmino wasn’t a two-way forward like Benzema or Kane or even Gabriel Jesus.

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That’s why he’s out. All he wants to do is be a +1 facing play, not ahead of play. That is why Jota was in and he was out. Why Mane was in and he was out and why Gabriel Jesus was at the World Cup doing the exact same False 9 role and he was on the bench.

I am so sad to disrespect Roberto Firmino like this (I love him so much), but Liverpool fans don’t even know why he is good. I mean, Jurgen Klopp paid 80 million or something for a Centre Forward (Darwin Nunez) who can chase his first touch. The very thing Roberto Firmino has better than anyone in the squad.

But seriously, though, Roberto Firmino is great. Liverpool could have used him coming on earlier in some big games this season but you don’t even need to be very technical to do most of what he does these days. Liverpool need a goal facing forward more.

Diogo Jota

People who don’t know that Liverpool use Diogo Jota as both a false 9 and a vertical CF. People who don’t know Liverpool use Mohammed Salah as both an inside forward and a touchline creative winger.

It doesn’t matter how they look like when they do it, as long as they do. Basically, City and Liverpool are looking for attackers who are good facing play and behind play. Hence why Roberto Firmino was phased out.


For me, I think, with the way Liverpool use Fabinho, almost none of Sangare, Onana, Camara (everyone who is got the physical tools to dominate in tight situations) will flop there. Unlike Man City whose Defensive midfielder have a slightly different responsibility in each possession phase.

I can’t lie, I am impressed by what little talent Klopp needs in each position to build an impressive team. By making a team transition heavy, despite other possession nuance (buildup and whatever), you will need more physical qualities than technical, which is easier and cheaper to come about.

It’s of course always useful and welcome if someone with the physical attributes of Fabinho can be very technical. Will make everything that much smoother in possession. But off-ball, he is what Liverpool currently need, significant physical dominance is crucial. It is hard to find both in one.

Liverpool Defensive midfield style is mostly due to disrupt play and lay it off to the orchestrator, I stand corrected but even Liverpool CBs contribute more to playing than Fabinho. He’s mostly active when team’s out of possession. Reduces Keita/Thiago’s movement to defensive zones and that compensates for Trent/Robertson exploration inverted or wide and somehow for Matip’s surge forward.

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