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Klopp’s system with the advanced right-sided 8 needs two midfielders who are superb defensively to balance it. It’s why LFC have dropped all their points without a Thiago-Fabinho pairing in midfield. They should’ve replaced Wijnaldum & must act in January to correct their error

Liverpool still creat big big chances in games. Meaning ball retention isn’t an issue. It’s the openness in transition that has also been seen vs Man City, Brentford, Brighton and West Ham

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Answer: What is talent in soccer, from a first hand perspective? What did a young Messi feel when he first touched a ball? Probably some immediate sense of kinship and comfort? A kind of clarity about things? Was the world around him suddenly more meaningful when he played with others? Talent usually means a kind of natural intuition, a sense of knowing where to go and what to do. Little Lionel probably thought he invented body feints.

So, do young defenders come with a sense of intuition, too? A kind of a sixth sense in the management of space in relation to the ball? On the face of it, that’s a lot more difficult to be intuitive about than controlling a ball. That probably explains the relative rarity of super obviously talented young defenders compared to super obviously talented young attackers.

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Answer: South Africa, but was disqualified due to the apartheid policies of the government then in power.

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Answer: Thomas Partey

Negative or backwards passing is simple – any pass that doesn’t advance the play & conquer territory is a negative one. It sounds bad but sometimes, it’s welcome and even necessary. You don’t win without moving forward but what if the way forward is blocked?

There is no right or wrong way to play football. That means that regardless of whether your style of play is heavy positional football or parking the bus, you need to go forward to score goals. Inherently, that will also require forward passing to achieve that goal. Ghana have Thomas Partey, who’s probably the best forward passer in this Afcon. If they play to his strengths, it will be easy for them.

The way Thomas Partey always hits the ball forward with his leader needs to be studied. Passing is a basic aspect of football. Everyone can do it. But doing it well, however, takes skill. Aesthetics don’t always equal functionality

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Answer: George Weah

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Answer: Hasenhüttl deserves more credit for what he extracts from his squad. He’s spent the least in the PL since arriving, had assets like Højbjerg and Ings sold and is improving players like JWP, KWP, Livramento and Broja. His coaching keeps Southampton afloat from big relegation issues.

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There’s lots of talk about how AFCON 2021 will negatively impact Liverpool due to the loss of Mané, Salah, and Keita (to a lesser extent), and although that is obviously true, Arsenal fans will realise the importance of Partey to their overall game when he is gone. Elneny is gone too.

It is something that Arteta will have to consider. Elneny is the ideal stylistic replacement for Partey, and without both of them, Arsenal have problems. Xhaka won’t excel there because it requires a player who operates at all angles, Albert Lokonga could but it’s a massive responsibility.

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