Thiago Alcantara is again blamed for Liverpool struggles
Thiago Alcantara is an absolute world-bester on his day; he plays football with the grace of a ballerina and the intelligence of a brain surgeon. But it isn’t happening for him at Liverpool.
There was much fanfare around Liverpool signing Thiago Alcantara from Bayern Munich in the summer transfer window.
And rightly so.
The Spaniard is an absolute world-bester on his day; he plays football with the grace of a ballerina and the intelligence of a brain surgeon.
Liverpool have seen glimpses of his greatness throughout the season. His performance in his debut against Chelsea was as if he’d been at the club for years.
But for one reason or another things haven’t gone to plan for Liverpool this campaign, and they’re struggling to reach the dizzying heights of last season’s success.
Of course, Liverpool have been hit exceptionally hard with injuries.
Losing Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez for the best part of the season – and having to pave over these cracks by moving the likes of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho into defence – would hamper any side.
And in some ways, Liverpool still being in with a genuine shot of winning the league before their defeat by Manchester City, is testament to just how good this team is.
But there are other reasons for their sudden demise, and Thiago has found himself at the heart of this debate being had by football pundits.
John Barnes got the ball rolling when he suggested Liverpool’s recent goal drought is the result of Thiago slowing down the Reds’ build-up play.
Liverpool are known for their heavy metal football, where they get the ball up the pitch quickly and hit teams on the counter attack.
This isn’t Thiago’s style.
And with the Spaniard pulling the strings in the middle, the likes of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane aren’t being fed in the same way they were last season.
Barnes told talkSPORT: "With [Jordan] Henderson and Fabinho in midfield, they just get the ball forward and are much more direct for the three strong-running strikers to get on the ball and go on attack, Thiago slows the game down.
"When he slowed the game down in tight areas, that is not Mane’s game, that is not Salah’s game. So we’re getting used to a new system, but at the moment it’s not working."
Source: Mirror UK