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2018/19 Season Report Card - Fabinho

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As with Joel Matip, I’ve chosen to largely ignore the first few months of the season when Fabinho hardly played. Matip didn’t play because initially he was injured, and then he couldn’t get in the team. With Fabinho it was different. He was fit, he just wasn’t selected.

 

It may have been frustrating for him at the time, but given the way things turned out he will surely understand now why he didn't get a look in for a while. Jurgen played this one absolutely perfectly. Of course it’s easier to leave out a big money new arrival when the team are winning virtually every week, but even so, Klopp was still being grilled about why Fabinho wasn’t playing but he wouldn’t be rushed. 

 

Fabinho was barely seen for months. He didn’t even make the bench sometimes, despite arriving with a big reputation (not to mention a big price tag) from Monaco. This caused a bit of unnecessary panic from some fans and a lot of bollocks to be written by some sections of the media. There was even speculation of him being sold back to France in the January window.

 

There was never any chance of that happening. Anyone with any sort of clue knew what was going on. Klopp has simply gone back to the old ways of letting players learn ‘the Liverpool Way’ rather than immediately throw them in to the side. There are exceptions of course, some players go straight in and take off immediately. Others have needed time, and they’ve been given it.

 

fabinho6_600.jpg

 

Last season it was Robertson and Oxlade-Chamberlain who needed a few months to pick it up, this year it was Fabinho and Naby Keita, and to a certain extent Xherdan Shaqiri too.

 

Keita had been expected to hit the ground running due to coming from a system and style at Leipzig that was not unlike Klopp’s, but for Fabinho it was a whole different ball game. He was learning to adapt to a new league, a new country, new team-mates and most crucially, a new style of play which is pretty complex and takes time to learn. 

 

It’s not like we were desperate and needed to throw him in. We had Henderson and Wijnaldum for the number six role so Klopp had the luxury of taking his time with the Brazilian and spending time on the training ground getting him familiar with what is required.

 

The first we saw of him was as a last minute substitute against PSG in September. He played 87 minutes of the EFL Cup loss to Chelsea and got 15 minutes off the bench away at Napoli. Another sub appearance came in the win at Huddersfield in late October, and then he started three games on the bounce.

 

He looked good in the first two, but the pace of the third one (away at Arsenal) seemed too much for him. At this time Klopp was experimenting with different tactical set ups and I felt as though the formation change to 4-2-3-1 was to make things easier for Fabinho (and also Shaqiri) to come in and play their natural game. 

 

Expecting Fabinho to play the ‘six’ role at that early stage was perhaps unrealistic, and having done well as part of a two against Red Star and Cardiff it was probably no co-incidence that his struggles at the Emirates came when he was left ‘alone’ in a 4-3-3. 

 

Pep Ljinders later said something about how they felt he was playing too deep and that although he was the best in the world at defending in front of the centre backs, he struggled covering across from side to side. These are the things he needed to learn, and learn them he did. 

 

 

This is just at easer, click here to view the full article

 

Please note, 'Season Report Cards' are only be available to TLW subscribers. Subscriptions are just £2 per month and can be purchased here.

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My fave moment was his pass for Mané's goal against Man Utd. Not many people have the wit to think of a ball like that in the heat of battle, and not many of them have the skill with which to execute it. Just great.

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Yet another great report on a sensational player.

 

Every time I watch him I always think of how happy Section must be having him in the team.

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Gets all of the adulation that Hendo deserves but has never had to work for it, only playing two thirds of a season.  He simply had to turn up and not be called "Henderson".  Not that I'm bitter about it or anything.  Hope he goes on to rupture both cruciate ligaments in the same tragic 50/50 challenge win the Ballon d'Or. 

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4 minutes ago, dave u said:

If you think TK is snarky now, wait until I post the Hendo one and he sees he's got a lower rating than Fab.

Wait until you see TK's Report Card. 

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He's my favourite player. He's been magnificent, wonderful player and exactly what we need and needed. Love him. 

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The other positive from Fabinho's excellent form has been Henderson having the freedom to get further forward which can mean that the press starts further up the field and Henderson has opportunities to run beyond the forwards (e.g. the first goal against Barca). 

I thought that Fabinho was MOM against Barcelona at Anfield and did as much as anyone to drag us through.

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2 hours ago, SasaS said:

Isn't his wife a big Bolsonaro supporter or do I have her mixed up with someone else?

Yeah, she’s cancelled 

 

 

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Best in the world in his position. Unbelievable that we can say that for 3 or 4 reds (at least!) and not be guilty of partisan overrating. 

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