‘A new era at Anfield’- a phrase that is thrown around Liverpool Football Club far too often these days.
With a new era, there must be change and that has to start with the players at the club. Football is an industry and if players aren’t up to standards the situation has to be assessed and dealt with accordingly. This means a greater ruthlessness is needed.
All Liverpool fans will share mutual feelings regarding certain players at the club in terms of the feeling that they don’t possess the quality required to take the team forward.
For the first time in a while, there is a big name and an exciting figure in charge on the Red half of Merseyside. Jurgen Klopp’s stature and winning mentality promises a greater impetus towards bringing in the best players on the market as well as shipping out those who don’t meet his expectations.
January is approaching, who could be sold?
I know what you’re thinking, no not how great that long ball assist was for Luis Suarez against Newcastle in 2012. You’re questioning whether he is actually still at the club. He remains a part of the club but there are certainly questions over whether or not he features as part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans.
Recent reports are suggesting Klopp will hand the left back a ‘life line’ and give him a chance to prove himself within the first team squad, which can only be seen as fair man management. The Spaniard has been suffering with a hamstring injury since the new manager was appointed, which deprived him from displaying the stereotypical revival of a player after a change of management takes place. He was also an outcast under Brendan Rodgers which will have inevitably left him out of practice and out of sorts.
While it looks likely he will be given his chance to impress Klopp, it’s difficult to see him being preferred to Alberto Moreno. Enrique is 30 in January compared to his Spanish compatriot at 23 meaning Klopp will be keen to give Moreno a consistent run in order to make him the club’s long term left back. The amount of injuries Enrique has sustained over the last few seasons poses the fear as to whether he will be able to return to his best at this stage.
Liverpool’s presence in cup competitions is the best opportunity for Enrique to stake a claim for himself otherwise I feel January could be the time where we see him move on. The intensity that Klopp demands may prove to be too much for a player who could struggle to rediscover his fitness and form. In contrast, the energy and pace of Alberto Moreno already fits the manager’s style of play while the emergence of young Joe Gomez’s raw talent and athleticism presents Enrique with yet another obstacle to overcome.
The ‘Welsh Xavi’ – you wouldn’t think the place of a player with this nickname would be under threat at a club. I’ve even seen him referred to as the ‘Welsh Pirlo’, although I’m fairly certain this was due to his beard as opposed to an ability to dictate a game without breaking into a sprint at any time in the match. The growing disapproval towards Joe Allen’s contributions somewhat adds to the irony of these names.
In terms of his passing ability and work rate, you cannot really criticise Joe Allen. When it comes to the stats, you can. 4 goals in 99 appearances practically makes his time at Liverpool look pointless when you consider how little he also offers in defensive positions. Last season he created just 15 chances compared to Jordan Henderson’s 66 and also Emre Can, who spent most of the season in defence, who created 11. Ultimately, he isn’t offering anything more than what Lucas Leiva and certainly isn’t as important as Lucas is defensively.
He doesn’t start every game but this still impacts the team in terms of offering little competition to the central midfielders for places. What has become evident is how damaging his inability to pass forward and drive forward with the ball is. Liverpool are already struggling with the transition from defence to attack and he isn’t the man to fix this. Allen fails to offer Liverpool a solution in any aspect of the game, but that isn’t to say he can’t offer it to another team. It looks as though he is struggling to adapt to the ever evolving game in England with regards to the importance of energy, pace and counterattacking football.
My verdict is that he will eventually be sold, if not in January it will be the summer- unless he launches a remarkable comeback.
Origi has been an extremely frustrating player for Liverpool fans to watch so far. He has every attribute needed to be a top striker: pace, power, strength, height and ability on the ball. What he appears to lack at the moment is interest.
There is a difference between working hard and working hard for your team because you are desperate to win. He has been guilty of offering very little ahead of his attacking midfielders despite the fact that he has the potential to cause real damage to opposition teams.
One of Mario Balotelli’s biggest issues was his lack of dynamic movement and Origi is in danger of falling into the same trap. The rumours suggesting Klopp is in the market for another striker in January should worry the Belgian forward as this would suggest he is now being overlooked even despite injuries to Daniel Sturridge and Danny Ings. Having failed to impress many during starts in the absence of other strikers, he faces another uphill battle to make a name for himself.
Odd moments of promise he has shown in matches this season won’t be enough to win over a coach and fan base that will always demand a consistent attacking threat after witnessing Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and even Fernando Torres achieve this.
Age could prove to be a virtue for him though. His lack of experience may grant him more time than most strikers are given and the infuriating thing were he to fail is the fact that he has everything. If it is a confidence thing, the only way he can respond to this is by working tirelessly to make inventive runs and make himself open for teammates to give him the ball, even if it doesn’t always work out for him.
Another loan move could be on the cards for Origi in January if he can’t make an impact in Klopp’s early managerial career at Liverpool.
The former Borussia Dortmund coach will be keen to establish a solid squad that he can create an understanding with and rely on for a long period of time without needing to make drastic recruitments.