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Why Xherdan Shaqiri can be the ace in the pack for the Reds

At this time of the season when the big games come thick and fast, managers look for any advantage they can find to get one over their rivals.

With the transfer window well and truly closed, they have to look at options from within and Jurgen Klopp  is able to call a couple of individuals to help the Reds cause.

The imminent return to competitive action of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is a triumph for all involved with the club, as it seemed in all likelihood that he would miss the whole campaign due to a significant knee injury.

Understandably, the club will take a careful approach with the English international and they are keeping tight lipped over whether he will play for the U/23s against Derby on Friday as previously speculated.

Whatever impact the 25 year-old can have for the rest of the season, it will certainly give his teammates, the coaches and the fans a real boost.

However, there is one other player who can provide an immediate impact, that being Xherdan Shaqiri.

When the Reds were playing their best football of the season, Shaqiri was a key factor, with two match winning strikes against Man United, while playing a starring role in the thumping win against Arsenal at the end of 2018.

Just like the team, the form of the 27 year-old's impact has dipped somewhat in the new year but in Shaqiri's defence, his ground time has been at a premium, only making two league starts in 2019.

 

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One statistic that cannot be understated is when Shaqiri starts, for the most part Liverpool pick up the three points this season.

Liverpool Echo reports that in Shaqiri's 11 league starts this season, the Reds have claimed 10 wins with the only dropped points coming against Leicester at the end of January.

With opposition teams wary of Liverpool's attacking threat, Shaqiri has that quality to unpick a tight defence and create scoring opportunities for his teammates along with putting the ball in the back of the net himself which he has done six times in the league this season.

Why the Swiss star has been overlooked in more recent times is somewhat of a mystery, but in the aftermath of the midfield and front three coming up short in big games against Man United and Everton, it seems like just the right time to unleash the 'Shaq Attack' once again.


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I was as mystified as everyone else when Lallana came on against Everton rather than Shaqiri.

Only explanation I could think of was that Silva had opened the game up by putting on two attackers for the last 15 and was seemingly going for the win, and that Klopp thought there’d be space for Lallana to perform his twists and turns in.

Shaqiri is much more of a threat from open play and with free kicks too.

Obviously it’s why we’re not managing the club and Jurgen is.

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I think he still tends to be a bit lazy and switch off when not in possession and Klopp tends to demand this from his players. This is where Keita has not lived up to expectations and why Klopp is reluctant to play him as much as we'd like. I personally like Shaqiri a lot but he has to win the manager's trust and its not happened yet.

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He hasn't been great when he has started but he has made an impact in a good few games off the bench. More of that please. Also gives the rest of the bench the chance to breath out. 

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11 minutes ago, Grinch said:

He's not a midfielder.  Decent wildcard off the bench, that's it.

 

Kieta has failed massively so far when we're looking at Shaqiri and Lallana to turn too.

He is a midfielder but not in the traditional sense of box to box or holding etc. He's more of an attacking player without those defensive responsibilities but he can't expect to do less than is expected of Firmino or Mane otherwise he will miss out more often than not.

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1 hour ago, VERBAL DIARRHEA said:

Play Keita ahead of two holding in midfield, tell him to go for it, after 60 mins take him off and bring on Shaqiri. We cannot draw anymore really.

Fair point regarding drawn games,they really have become more like defeats of late. They are ok earlier on in the season for building confidence but later on they become points dropped rather than gained.

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16 hours ago, skaro said:

What sort of impact he has depends on game time - very much a ball in Jurgen's court from here on this season.

 

This is the one beef I have with Kloppy - he doesn't have confidence in the Shaq Attack.

 

Pisses me off to be honest.

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