Accursed internationals and time for our new signings to stand up

Bloody international breaks. The mere mention of them to a Liverpool fan will send him rushing for bags of ice and first-aid kits to hand in to the club for the players return. Not to mention that they bring the same levels of excitement to fans as laundry day. Something to be endured, rather than enjoyed.

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So Hendo is the latest casualty of England’s war on our players hamstrings and what a surprise... A player that has just missed three weeks with a hamstring problem, only just returned to training with his club team and then he’s off for different training methods on different pitches and what do you know? It aggravates the aforementioned injury. Who could’ve predicted that...

Anyway, the happy side of our new found squad depth is that just as Hendo looks set to miss a couple of weeks, we have new signing Naby Keita’s return to fitness so he should be able to slot right in and for me, it’s time now that he started to show what we forked out over £50 million for.

In Keita and Fabinho we have almost £100 million of midfield talent and on paper anyway, they look the perfectly balanced double pivot. When I saw the players we were targeting in the summer, Keita, Fabinho and Fekir, I suspected a formation change to a 4-2-3-1 but Klopp seemed to abandon that after the failed signing of Fekir and we really only used that formation when Klopp’s hand was forced by injuries but we have looked much better when playing that way this season.

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Shaqiri has been a revelation and a serious bargain at £13.5 million. He has exceeded most people’s expectations but at risk of blowing my own trumpet (no Jay), he hasn’t exceeded mine. I’ve always rated him very highly. There was only ever a question mark about his attitude for me but I feel he’s been faultless with us in that department since his arrival. Where Keita and Fabinho perhaps lack a little confidence, Shaqiri has it in abundance. He has the self belief and swagger of a world class player. He knows he’s good enough to play at the highest level, it’s taken him a while to get back there but now he’s got a point to prove and he’s got right down to business proving it.

A midfield triangle of Keita and Fabinho at the base and Shaqiri at the tip looks formidable on paper. I’m also not against playing Salah up front, Shaqiri on the right and Bobby at number 10. Salah has actually looked best this season when playing up top and that does give us frightening pace throughout our front three and Bobby’s probably more naturally a ten than a nine.

However we want to tweak it, I strongly believe that you play to the players strengths that you have, not to your footballing ideals. Rodgers used to be guilty of that. An example being trying to play out from the back with Mignolet, Clyne, Skrtel, Lovren and Moreno... Shudder.

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The point is, they weren’t good enough to play like that and it set them up to fail. Our squad is currently best suited to a 4-2-3-1 and we desperately need Shaqiri’s creativity. Hopefully Jurgen sees that as well, starting with Watford on Saturday. Walk on.
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