Merson: ‘Blinkered’ Klopp could ‘learn’ from Tuchel
Posted On March 10, 2021
Paul Merson reckons Jurgen Klopp could benefit from playing with a back three at Liverpool like Chelsea are now doing under Thomas Tuchel.
Tuchel has transformed the Blues’ fortunes with an 11-match unbeaten run that has seen them jump up to fourth in the Premier League, two points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham and three behind third-placed Leicester City.
One of the biggest changes he made was moving to a back three and Merson thinks that could be the way to go for Liverpool too, with the defending champions currently on a terrible run of form that has seen them slip to eighth.
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Merson has pointed to Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who love to get forward at every opportunity for Liverpool.
Merson told Sky Sports: “If there was one team in the country that could play with a back three, I thought it was Chelsea.
“They have actually got wing-backs rather than just full-backs, if I’m being honest, and the switch has worked a treat.
“If you look at Liverpool at the moment, it’s probably the way they should have gone. When you look back at it now, Jurgen Klopp should have been a bit more flexible and thought we don’t really have good defenders without Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez.
“Maybe he should have been flexible and switched to a back three to give the players a bit more protection and also, they have wing-backs too in Andrew Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who like to go forward more than they do defending as well.
“Tuchel has come in and spotted that at Chelsea, and Klopp could have learnt a bit of a lesson from that.”
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Merson added: “Going back to Klopp and Liverpool, this is hard to say but I think Klopp has been a bit blinkered.
“It really is hard to say because he is a really top manager, but when you look at their situation, you’ve got Robertson and Alexander-Arnold, who are two of the best attacking full-backs in the country and they are up there as two of the best in the world too. There is no doubt about that. You only have to look at there assists and there crossing.
“But, at the moment, they haven’t got the personnel in defence to keep things tight. If Van Dijk and Gomez aren’t there, Liverpool’s centre-backs aren’t good enough. That screams at me that they needed to switch to a back three.
“That would give you bit more protection and it would just change things up a bit. However, he stuck with 4-3-3 time and time again, and they’ve been exposed.”