Liverpool Tactical Analysis

Signed for 8 million from Hull City in the summer, or 1 Kevin Stewart, Scotsman Andy Robertson has taken the club by storm. He has shown an intense work rate since breaking into the side at around Christmas. Robertson has quality in both defensive and attacking aspects of the game have made him an instant fan favourite. The popular opinion is that he has been the best left back in the country since breaking into the first XI. From Queens Park to Liverpool the story of Andy Robertson is one of the best to date.

A problem position

Prior to the arrival of Robertson Liverpool had struggled at the left back position since the days of Fabio Aurelio and John Arne Riise. Since then Liverpool have played Paul Konchesky, Andrea Dossena, Jon Flanagan, Alberto Moreno and even James Milner at left back. Moreno and Milner had patches of very good form at left back but they never really made it their own. But, now Jurgen Klopp has found a real gem in Robertson and it is difficult to see anybody displacing him. Robertson played another integral part in the result last night against Roma.

Robertson, 24, has been a real all-rounder for Klopp. He has averaged 1.5 tackles, 1 interception and 2.7 clearances defensively for Liverpool this year. With those kind of stats defensively you would already be pleased but he has also added to that with 4 assists in the Premier League and 1.1 key passes per game too. We all know about him going forward and this is where the stats lie. His overall movement around the ball is excellent and he is always creating space for his teammates. As he makes the overlapping run an opposition defender will follow him the majority of the time. Allowing the likes of Mane, Firmino etc. to cut inside and create a shooting chance or pass.

Key link up

Liverpool may have struggled last night as the game went on but Robertson was a consistent performer throughout. The link-up between Mane and Robertson was a highlight throughout the game and Roma struggled to deal with him. The pair offered a dynamic that was very difficult to deal with. With Robertson constantly overlapping the Senegal international the Roma defence found themselves pinned back. But even as Robertson flew forward they still had bases covered. Mane was very aware of his movement and was covering for Robertson all the time.

This kind of link is something that Liverpool have missed for a while. Robertson and Mane clearly have worked on this in training and it is really paying off. The overall work rate of the team is very high too. Robertson is one of Jurgen Klopp’s catalysts for the press, we all remember when he chased the entire Manchester City team, and it is infectious. It is widely known that Roberto Firmino leads from the front but it is Robertson who leads from the back. Coupled with the addition of Van Dijk in the winter window there has been a stark contrast in defensive performances and results for the Reds. Since the two came in, and settled, Liverpool have kept 10 clean sheets in 18 games. Compare that with 12 clean sheets in 35 games and it is obvious that there has been a stark improvement in the defensive form.

Now Robertson faces a Champions League final in his first season at Liverpool and with his status as a cult hero already set. It is a chance for him to become a Liverpool legend at such an early stage. Jurgen Klopp has made some stellar signings like Mo Salah, Sadio Mane, Van Dijk, Oxlade Chamberlain all for big money. But for 8 million pounds it is hard to argue that Robertson is one of his best signings at the club so far.