Liverpool is trying their best to defend the Premier League title after a successful victory last time around. Graeme Souness suggests that the Reds will be looking to continue their winning legacy with a hand on the treble as well in the 2018-19 season. With Jurgen Klopp, the club has reached new heights in the modern era. Also, there has been very little change at Ansfield.
On the other hand, Liverpool former player Souness believes that the club’s last few losses in Champions League displayed their weak side. This is where their rivals in Premier League would be finding themselves contesting with the Reds for the domestic prize.
Writing his column for The Times, Souness wrote “Liverpool lost only one league game last season before lockdown, away to Watford, so good luck to teams trying to take points off them when the new campaign starts on Saturday“. Adding to the praise for the Anfield people, Souness told “The first thing you have to do is match their work ethic. At the end of the game, you might be talking about something that Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane has done or perhaps Virgil van Dijk or one of the full-backs, but the first thing is to work harder than the guys you are up against, and all of them do that“.
Liverpool want the prize once again
Putting up the Champions League fact, Souness quoted: “It is no coincidence that the teams who beat them before coronavirus halted the season, Napoli and Atletico Madrid in the Champions League and Nigel Pearson’s Watford in the top flight, were prepared to put a proper shift in. Last season, Liverpool were the best team in the league, but also the side everyone least enjoyed playing against”. Talking about great players with Klopp, the former Liverpool man said:”That has to be your starting point because they steamroller teams and you are forever in a physical battle, whether it’s with Georginio Wijnaldum, Jordan Henderson, James Milner or Fabinho“.
“You have to meet that challenge head-on and then, when you get the ball, you have to keep it under pressure, as Atletico did. You have to be technically good enough to keep possession when they come after you in midfield”, said Souness giving his best advice. He also admitted that defending the Premier League title won’t be that easy for the Reds. He also immensely praised Jurgen Klopp for his leadership and confidence.
“Liverpool rely on their full-backs for creativity. If there is such a thing as a false full-back, then Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson are it because they are really extra midfield players, so you have to stop them getting over the halfway line and delivering assists“, added Souness. Adding to all the praise for the Liverpool’s players, Souness stated “They have the same energy in the 90th minute as in the first five and it is generally an attack-minded midfielder they are playing against, who doesn’t enjoy the hard yards of running back towards his own goal“.
Souness immensely praises the Reds and their manager
“I would be tempted to try a more defensive-minded, hard-working player there against them. The Liverpool teams I played in never had wingers, with the exception of Steve Heighway; the rest were wide midfield players, who worked their socks off because we had no passengers when we didn’t have the ball“, said the former Liverpool player Souness.
Putting himself in Klopp’s position, Souness quoted: “I would also be selective in possession if I were playing against Liverpool. I would not be rolling it out to my two full-backs from the first minute. Instead, I would try to plant a seed that I’m not going to do that all of the time because they thrive on closing you down and do it so well. [You need to] mix it up“.
Souness eventually further praised the Anfield side. He said,”If you said to Liverpool, what do you want from Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United on Saturday, Klopp would want them to play out from the back because that plays to their strengths“. Liverpool will put all their heart and soul to keep the domestic title with them for the 2nd consecutive season.