Here’s five things we learnt following Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal.
The struggling six
Fabinho looked like he really struggled in the solo six role. After playing brilliantly in the 4-2-3-1, the hope was: this was the end of his transition into the first team. But, on today’s evidence, that is absolutely not the case. Who knows, perhaps it was merely a bad game. However, with Klopp getting visibly irate every time the Brazilian made an error, particularly in possession, the suggestion is that he’s still a little out of his depth.
In the second half, Gini moved into the middle and Milner moved into the advanced midfield position, often popping up in and around the 10 position and where he scored the goal from. Fabinho’s quality is clear to see, it’s obvious we play a very demanding style to come to terms with. We are still yet to see the best of our summer recruits (apart from Alisson of course), lets just hope we reap the rewards before it costs us too much this season.
VAR, the time is now
Official’s in Premier League games are simply not good enough. It’s as simple as that. We had a perfectly good goal taken away from us due to sheer incompetence. The linesman was about five metres behind play. Maybe the game is just played at too fast a pace for the human eye to keep up with. VAR is coming, it should arrive sooner rather than later. Unfortunately it’s costing us now and there is nothing we can do about it.
Another magnificent performance by Joe Gomez
Joe Gomez is an absolutely unbelievable centre-back. He gets better every single game. His speed never fails to impress me and his ability to drive the ball out from the back, step into midfield and spread the play is up there with the worlds best. He has absolutely been one of the best defenders in the league thus far this season. It’s a side of his game we don’t see nearly enough at fullback. Yes he maybe much stronger defensively than Trent. But, he doesn’t posses even close to the same crossing ability. His skill set is now honed to that of a centre-back and he should play there as much as possible in order to maintain and develop upon his exceptional progress.
Virgil’s wait for a Premier League goal continues
It won’t be long until Virgil van Dijk scores in the premier league, he’s such a threat and has so much jumping power no one can ever get near him. He always appears to stay upfield following a cleared corner ball, if it looks possible for the ball to be recycled back into the box. In his biggest chance of the game, the central defender brought the ball down majestically, shifting it onto his right foot but Leno did well to close him down and make the save. If we are to be overly critical, his two misses cost us the game. However, he’s a central defender, the expectation is that he helps out our back line and not supplement the front. He was one, if not the best performer on our side. Nevertheless, he should have scored at least one of his chances. He could’ve had a bloody hat-trick!
A difficult day for the local lad
Trent really struggled again today. Let’s give him some credit though, he was up against one of the most inform forwards in the league and possibly the quickest strikers in the world. Aubameyang would’ve been a handful for anyone he lined up against. The youngster is still learning his trade, he hasn’t played at fullback for much of his career and he is still in a massively developmental phase. It is so obvious what we miss when he doesn’t play. Not many in the team can break the lines like Trent can, fizzing balls into the feet of the forwards or raking one in behind. He has set fantastically high standards for himself and that is the reason for backlash. He will be back and just needs to get a couple of good performances under his belt.