Liverpool 7-2 Blackpool | Back with a boom or still cause for concern?

This was our last pre-season game before we take on Leeds at Anfield for our 2020/21 season opener, on Saturday 12th September.  What should us fans take from today's game against Blackpool? Are we going to crash and burn from our Champions status and end up scrapping with Wolves and Spurs for 5th and 6th or were there some promising signs that we may still be in with a fighting chance of back to back titles?

Lets break down who played today and how they fared


Alisson

Made one or two decent saves but gave away a needless penalty with a poorly timed challenge on the far left edge of the box.  Could easily have stayed on his feet and ushered the attacker out wide or over the byline. Still the best keeper in the world.

Hoever

Didn't have too much to do but what he did, he did well. Definite competition for Neco Williams (Edit by Case: my nan's competition for Williams and she's been pushing up daisies for twenty odd years) as cover for Alexander-Arnold. However an argument could even be made for Hoever to go ahead of Neco on recent performances. (See you said it yourself;)

Matip

Scored our opening goal with a decent header from a corner.  Couldn't expect too much as it was his first game back from injury, but I will say Matip never looks great unless he has a player with more authority next to him.

Koumetio

My first time seeing the young lad play and after about 5 minutes I thought, he looks decent. The right stature to handle a physical game and was able to play the ball around nicely, but then he went quickly downhill. His lack of judgement in whether to clear an extremely poor pass from Salah or try something fancy with it led to Blackpool's first goal.  After which he didn't appear to bounce back and his passes seemed to miss their targets more often.

Milner

Our ever present professional and it's with great sadness I have to say time has finally caught up to this machine.  He wasn't the worst on the park but far from what we've come to expect.  You can see what he's wanting to do but his legs no longer have the ability. His passes couldn't make the distance and his attempt at a Lallana-esque turn on the edge of our area almost cost us a goal.  Milner is the type of footballer every club needs around as he instils in our younger players a professionalism that's required if they're to continue on to greater heights in the game.

Fabinho

Didn't do too much wrong but didn't do anything outstanding. Very much a confidence player he's still trying to get back into the groove and needs a run of games to hit full speed.

Keita

Been impressive in his last two outings. Definitely provides the creative flair we've been lacking from midfield.  His little dinked passes between players to split the opposition midfield and defence were on display yet again, as well as his harassment of the man on the ball - winning us possession multiple times.

Minamino

After joining LFC in January it seems he's finally found his feet.  In what appeared to be a free roaming role behind the front three, Taki was popping up every where linking play from Naby to Bobby, or even finding himself the furthest forward player which was very promising.

Every time Taki was on the ball or even around the ball you felt something may happen. Very similar to the feeling we use to get with Salah a couple of seasons ago.  Still needs to work on his finishing but very good signs for the upcoming season.

Firmino

Grabbed himself a nice back heeled goal via a lay off from Taki and seemed more menacing than in previous games.  Fingers crossed he's slowly finding his mojo again and will have a stellar season as we all know he can.

Salah

Another lethargic performance form the Egyptian King and it was his horrendous back/cross field pass to our 17 year old CB that set in motion Blackpool's opening goal.  His passing didn't get better but thankfully at least he didn't cost us any more goals.  Don't know what Klopp has up his sleeve to address Salah's glaringly obvious downfalls but he needs to do something, and quickly.

Mane

Just like against Arsenal Mane was able to get into easy scoring positions yet made a hash of them.  Had a better second half and played with more energy once our younger lads came on to the field and the game's tempo seemed to pick up overall.


Now for the lads that came on in the second half


Jones

Has the determination plus heart and is almost there with the skill.  A very good player in the making who's ready to be a usable part of the squad this year, hopefully even starting some games.

Phillips & Sepp

These two lads had better cohesion and understanding than Matip and Koumetio.  Phillips didn't have all that much to do but looked to direct the back line a lot better than Matip did in the first half, providing a much more structured set up. And Sepp managed to snag himself a goal. He also had a solid defensive game and for me was more promising than Koumetio on this occasion.

Elliott

Like Jones, Elliott added more tempo and energy to our game which put the opposition under increased pressure.  It's hard to call this one: At just 17 Elliott already looks almost good enough for our squad but you wonder would his development be better out on loan where ultimately he'd get more pitch time.

Origi

Is still in a LFC shirt and scored a goal you'd imagine Danny Dyer could score.

Thoughts ahead of our opening 2020/21 Premier League match


After watching all of our pre-season games this is my take on our current situation.  There is no real reason to panic just yet and I feel we need to think positively about our current crop of players, but it will come down to whether or not a few of the key ones stay fit.

With that in mind, let's presume Naby doesn't get injured every 2nd game he plays, we then have our creative midfielder that can thread a defence splitting pass or drive forward into the box himself. As well as be willing to take a shot on from range.

Then we have the recent emergence of Taki who is currently showing the sort of form that will make Bobby stop and look at his own performances knowing there's another LFC player able to do exactly what he does. In turn this will hopefully see both players flourish.

Again let's go with the best reasonable case on injuries meaning VVD, Gomez and Matip available for pairing as CB's which gives us an extremely good duo no matter who is being rested.  Then in a pinch, if Matip and Gomez do get injured we have Fabinho to fill in or after tonight's solid performance Sepp may even be an option to step up, especially against lower ranked teams.

For the upcoming season I feel we lack cover/competition for our wingers as well as an outright goal scorer.  BUT if we were to go out and bring in ready-mades for these places where would that leave Elliott and Brewster. I'm assuming Klopp thinks Brewster can be that player, maybe not this season but definitely by 2021/22 both Elliott and he should be able to step into the first team squad and challenge for positions. Also in that time the likes of Jones will have gained a valuable year in the EPL and hopefully cemented a place in the middle of the park.

All told, I'm starting to feel that this year we will be semi-competitive. Yes we may use several key academy players helping them to complete their final stages of development as we go. If we were to instead go out and buy more established cover players for this season it would surely jeopardise the future of those sitting in the wings ready to take the next step.

That would be a waste considering all the work they and we have put into reaching that point and perhaps we are signalling our intent to stick to our traditions of creating worldies.

So fingers crossed there are no injuries in these silly international fixtures and furthermore not too many during the season. As long as we're not inundated with them then with the above described new eras for Keita and Taki we should be okay to go again. Let's not forget as well that we should see far more from The Ox, The Shaq and you better believe Hendo will soon be back, to whip them all into league winning shape.

Bring on Leeds and let's get those back to back titles.

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