‘Not the Liverpool trademark’ – Ben Jacobs reviews Jurgen Klopp’s Jude Bellingham u-turn ahead of summer transfer window | soccer4u
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‘Not the Liverpool trademark’ – Ben Jacobs reviews Jurgen Klopp’s Jude Bellingham u-turn ahead of summer transfer window



Ben Jacobs has said Liverpool need a “restructuring” this summer and the signing of Jude Bellingham would prevent that.

Jurgen Klopp was believed to have made the Borussia Dortmund star his main transfer target for the upcoming spell, until he recently decided it would be unwise to spend so much money on a single player when his side needed a major overhaul.

Despite winning our last three games, we have struggled with consistency all season and Jacobs explained why it was a wise decision on the part of our German tactician to end his hunt for the teenager.

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, he said: “The sad reality for Liverpool is that they know they need a makeover, and Bellingham is perhaps the most outstanding player they can get and appreciate, but when the majority of the budget goes to him, he could be at the expense of the renovation.

“It almost became a choice for Liverpool, especially without a Champions League, or they wanted to go all in for Bellingham in a protracted race and bidding war, with no guarantee of success, and then find out that either they have it but they can’t bring them others either didn’t get into what they wanted or didn’t get it and wasted their time and energy getting sucked into a bidding war. “It’s not Liverpool’s trademark.”

It has been a shock to almost all Liverpool fans to know that we are no longer in the running for Bellingham.

We understand that there are many other players out there, but with his class and leadership at a young age, he seemed to be the answer to many of our current problems.

His transfer fee would have been over £100m, but considering he could be a mainstay on our side for the next ten years, it would have made financial sense, wouldn’t it?

Some senior figures at Anfield are hoping the Birmingham City Academy graduate can spend another season at Dortmund to ensure they have time to make the 100% right move for him and his career.

At this point next year, Bellingham is approaching the final 12 months of his current contract with the Bundesliga side, so it will be interesting to see what decision he makes over the next few months.


 7 tactical formation changes that led Jurgen Klopp to new Liverpool setup 

Liverpool may have finally struck gold with a new system that resulted in three straight wins, making it the seventh different formation Jurgen Klopp has attempted.

With Liverpool’s recent uptick in performance coinciding with new tactical form, there have been clinched compliments for Klopp’s ‘finally changed formation’.

Groundhog Day performances this season are often associated with an over-reliance on a 4-3-3.

But is it fair to call Klopp tactically inflexible?


Klopp loves heavy metal football. He wants to create a transition game in which the opponent cannot get into a compact defensive form.

Regardless of the system, you can do this in a number of ways: squeezing with a high line, pressing forward, pushing through midfield, and playing direct passes up front.

In each of the following formations, the basic idea of ​​heavy metal remains the same.

4-2-4 liquid

Key matches: 2-2 v Fulham (A), 1-1 v Crystal Palace (P), 9-0 vs Bournemouth (H), 1-4 vs. Naples (LA)

Klopp described new signing Darwin Nunez as “a real No. 9 project”.

As a result, we debuted a new approach after years of playing a false nine with wide forwards breaking in from behind.

Now Nunez was tasked with blocking defenders to instead create space for those wide players on the edge of the box.

Both 8s form “flex triangles” on their wings, encouraging spins and unpredictable attack moves to either side. However, Fabinho was too easily isolated in midfield, putting more pressure on the backline.

The 2-2 draw with Fulham proved that: both Liverpool goals involved Nunez, while Fulham’s second came slicing through midfield before winning a penalty.

Nunez lost through suspension and Diogo Jota through injury made Roberto Firmino a ‘true’ number 9.

His performance was good, but overall the attack was toothless while the defense was porous, culminating in the 4-1 defeat against Napoli.


Key matches: 2-0 vs. Rangers (C), 2-3 vs. Arsenal (A)

Klopp spoke of a ‘back to basics’ after Napoli.

Switching to a 4-4-2 formation, a pair in midfield held center, while the front four worked diligently off the ball in what Klopp jokingly dubbed a “4-6”.

Offensively, this system gave Liverpool “real wings” with four forwards on the pitch, linking up fluidly and creating chances.

After heavy criticism, Trent Alexander-Arnold was asked to play more conservatively with this system. Unfortunately, this fell apart against Arsenal, who experienced a three-on-two overload in midfield, while Luis Diaz also suffered a long-term injury which saw Jordan Henderson finish the game at right wing.

Klopp confirmed that the loss of the Colombian made this system unsustainable.

4-4-2 diamonds

Key games: 3-0 vs. Ajax (A), 1-2 vs. Leeds (H)

With no wings to close off wide areas, Klopp then used a diamond to drop bodies on the ball in midfield to tackle more effectively. With Firmino on the brink of diamond, Nunez and Mo Salah played as forwards.

This gave Nunez plenty of scoring opportunities, though goals slipped rather than flowed.

A poor performance from midfield against Leeds left the full-backs overwhelmed, putting pressure on the back-line, eventually leading to Crysencio Summerville’s winner in the 89th minute.


Key matches: 2-0 vs. Napoli (H), 3-1 vs. Aston Villa (A), 1-0 against Lupi (A), 1-2 vs. Brighton (A), 0-3 against Wolves (A)

Several times this season, Liverpool have reverted to a streamlined 4-3-3 formation in an attempt to ‘return’: after the Leeds defeat, after the World Cup and in the FA Cup after three games without a win.

This produced some positive results, while they also impressed fringe players such as Stefan Bajcetic and Fabio Carvalho, with a dynamism and spark that had made 4-3-3 unviable with senior players. Unfortunately attempts to maintain this form fell victim to the same lack of dynamism, with Liverpool easily defeated by Wolves at Molineux and Brighton at Amex.

You can’t play high pressure without winning challenges, a theme that has begun to emerge in Klopp’s post-match comments.

Center block 4-5-1

Key matches: 1-0 vs. Man City (C), 0-0 against Chelsea (H)

Exit from the high press has been explored multiple times this season. It makes sense against teams like Man City who have the quality on the ball to exploit defensive gaps.

In this form, Liverpool can drop into a central block and counter-press in midfield instead of up high – bringing heavy metal thunder into the middle third and on the counter-attack without becoming vulnerable to possession.

It also worked against Chelsea, who tried to emulate Brighton by baiting the Liverpool press.

This decision showed not only that lessons have been learned, but also that it is possible to adapt tactically while remaining faithful to the fundamental principles.

With most teams sitting in Liverpool and allowing them to dominate possession, it’s difficult to have a counter-attacking approach in the middle of the block each week. Box 4-3-3

Key matches: 2-0 v Wolves (h), 7-0 v Man United (h), 1-4 v Man City (a)

We have already reported on this. Boxing midfielders are all the rage but also fit in well with the Liverpool squad. You get the fluidity and flexible triangles of the 4-2-4, the midfield solidity of the 4-4-2, and you can drop into a 4-4-2 in the center block which is similar to the 4-5 -in the central block. 1.

But his initial version was still vulnerable to all the underlying issues that have plagued Liverpool’s season.

The confident, free-flowing attacking patterns and ferocious physique of United’s victory were completely absent in the loss to City, despite the presence of 10 from the same starting XI.

3-boxes-3 / 3-2-5

Key matches: 2-2 v Arsenal (M), 6-1 v Leeds (A), 3-2 v Nottingham Forest (H), 2-1 v West Ham (A)

Which brings us to the much-vaunted “new formation.”

With Alexander-Arnold moving into midfield and Andy Robertson staying lower, Liverpool now have a solid back three behind their midfield box.

With Trent Playmaking from the depths, Henderson has new life playing alongside returning Curtis Jones further up the pitch.

It keeps Liverpool solid at the back, creative in midfield, helping with high pressing and putting Salah in more one-on-one situations.

The Egyptian terrorized the defense and scored for the first time in three consecutive games this season.

It’s not perfect – Liverpool are still prone to set pieces, while the lack of a Salah-esque dribbler down the left means Diogo Jota has been clumsily used there (luckily he’s chasing goals to compensate).

But for now, it looks like Liverpool have blended the best elements from all of their setups to come together.

What can we learn from it? 

Ultimately, tactics are the expression of principles.

Liverpool have tried many forms this season, but always with the same philosophy: intense and ambitious heavy metal football.

If a team cannot live these principles, it becomes very difficult to win football matches. Klopp’s problem was not primarily tactical but philosophical. Should he abandon his career principles to face the current crisis? Or double them as a base for future rebuilding even if the season implodes?

Klopp’s decision was to stick to these principles and go through tough times to find a new way to express them.

The result reminds us of our own philosophical challenge as fans: to doubt or to believe?

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