Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has insisted that the club’s recent success with silverware is not down to a significant change in style of play.
The Reds operated a Gegenpressing policy of football in the early years of Jurgen Klopp’s reign. Such a system involves chasing teams with an aggressive press to win the ball back.
Indeed, the 4-3 win over Manchester City in 2018 is one match which instantly springs to mind as showcasing the pressing’s success.
However, Liverpool have become a more defensively solid team since the arrivals of Alisson Becker and Virgil van Dijk. In fact, goalkeeper Alisson won the Golden Glove for the most clean sheets in the 2018/19 season.
Speaking on the Big Interview podcast, though, Lijnders set the record straight over Liverpool’s change in recent seasons.
“People always say ‘ah Liverpool changed style’ no, we never changed style,” the Dutchman said.
“We have a more compact team, we are better positioned when we have the ball so they see less hectic moments.
“That is where our focus as a staff lies in each meeting and session. Creating this high-intensity tactical coach of counter-press football and improve our way.”
Lijnders added that Liverpool have built their “organised chaos” on an understanding of what happens around the press.
Indeed, such a learning curve has proved crucial in their progression.
Lijnders talks Liverpool ‘chaos’
“The better you press, the better you counter-press, the less you run, it is that simple because you don’t have to go 60 metres back,” he added.
“We call it organised pressing, organised counter-pressing, organised chaos.
“As staff, we are consciously working on what happens before and what happens around [the press].
“That’s the organisation and for me, our positional game in the last years has improved so much. What that means is we get better and more control of the games.”
Liverpool have endured a rough patch of late, winning only two of their last six Premier League matches.
What’s more, they suffered their second defeat of the campaign last Monday against Southampton. The Reds return to action next Sunday in a huge clash with Manchester United.