Coach Pepijn Lijnders claims it is difficult to see on the pitch, but there are three key factors already evident in Liverpool’s play under Jurgen Klopp.
First-team development coach Lijnders, who arrived at Anfield under Brendan Rodgers in August 2014, says there have been encouraging signs in Klopp’s first three games, which have all ended in draws.
According to Lijnders, Klopp is trying to impress three key points on his squad – attacking balance, counter-pressing and winning second balls – and all three were put into action in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Southampton.
“If you have a very good defensive organisation, where everybody knows exactly how to move and how to cover each other, that gives confidence and flexibility when you have the ball,” Lijnders told the club’s official website.
“One [aspect] that [Jürgen] tries to implement and that you see is the counter-pressing – so stopping the counter – it’s a very important part.
“But before that, I think the main goal that’s difficult to see in the stadium, difficult to see for the fans, is how we move when we have the ball when we are attacking.
“The fact that we are organised [and have] what we call attacking balance [means] that we are ready whenever we lose the ball.
“We can win it back as quickly as possible and we can apply aggressive pressure because we have enough bodies around it when we are playing.
“It’s difficult to see in the stadium but our balance is getting better and better in terms of when we are attacking.
“So we are thinking defensively when we are attacking and the other way around as well of course because of the counter-press.”
The Dutch Lijnders also explained the concept of the ‘counter-press’ – which almost defined Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund side.
“The moment we lose it we apply aggressive pressure, you see that, everybody wants that,” he added.
“That’s a good thing because it makes sure we stay high up the pitch and that’s where we want to play.
“[Fans want to see] Liverpool dominating the game in the opponent’s half, not defending the goal but defending our mid-line.”
The 32-year-old also described how it has been noticeable how Liverpool have forced teams to play more long balls as a result of their press.
“The third aspect that you see is [opposition teams] play longer.
“We apply a press in the 4-3-2-1 system and, because it’s so aggressive, the fighting for the second ball is crucial in that part.
“So they are the three ideas I think you see better and better and it gives us more confidence in terms of how we approach the game and how we feel in the game.
“One pressing, two getting close, [three] try to win it back, then we can stay high. That’s what you see, it becomes easier and easier to stay high up the pitch, it becomes easier when we win the ball to play it out to find a free player.
“Loads of things to improve of course, as always, but if you ask me the things [Jürgen] is trying to implement in the sessions I think you can see those three things really well.”
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