Thiago’s slow start at Liverpool: Liverpool is yet to win a game when Thiago Alcantara starts, is Liverpool’s bad egg? This article goes into details and meticulously break down what could be the main problem.
The Backdrop: Why the Question Arose?
With a 28% win rate,0 goal contributions in the league,2 draws and 3 defeats in 5 starts for Liverpool, Thiago’s bestowal to the team has come under scrutiny and caused a twinge of worry among Liverpool faithful, some even quick to call him a flop. The numbers make for a grim reading & as disturbing as they are, they don’t necessarily paint the whole picture.
The two-time Champions League winner joined the English champions in September from Bayern Munich after a treble-winning campaign but it has been a far cry from what everybody was expecting from suffering an injury on his Merseyside derby debut to failing to replicate his old form from last season, he’s not the only one at Liverpool who is out of form though, the front 3 are misfiring this season and Trent has been shocking as well.
Is he really a flop at Anfield?
It is harsh to solely blame Thiago for Liverpool’s misfortunes, the whole team format and formation is different. Having the first-choice centre backs out( Van Dijk; who suffered a nasty injury, Gomez; who is in and out with injuries and Matip who is more or less experiencing the same fate as the latter) forced Klopp to make huge changes to how the squad lines up due to slim squad depth, now you have two main midfield anchors in Henderson and Fabinho making cameos at the back as stand-in-centre backs.
The whole rotation and shifting going on at Anfield saw Thiago deployed as a single defensive midfielder which limits his technical abilities as a natural deep-lying playmaker usually in the double pivot where he flourished the most when he was still a Bayern player where he marked himself as an expert of transitional play.
There is a cliche that the Premier League is more direct and ”too fast” for technical players like Thiago but the fact that he previously played and excelled in a direct, high tempo team before moving to England flash down the bogus claim altogether. There isn’t much difference between Bayern and Liverpool style, the Reds use high line defending and exploit the width on the wings with fullbacks adding the numbers high upfield at the opposition final third while Bayern use mid-block defending to minimise space behind the backline and delayed press with the transition to goal but both teams heavily use the wings.,the talk of him slowing downplay is not entirely true.
Liverpool front trio is misfiring this season and can’t score through other means, hardly Thiago’s fault.
Despite a slow start, he has shown a glimpse of his quality regardless, his range of passing and vision will still hurt many opponents, he is actually one of the best performers in a misfiring team, he is not responsible for the team’s shortcomings.
What is your opinion on Thiago’s slow start at Liverpool ? Let us know in the comment section below.