Liverpool’s throw-in coach gives prime example of how they are bucking Premier League trend

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Liverpool throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark has provided another example of his influence at the club, and explained his view of the role.

Since joining the Reds on a temporary basis at the start of last season, respect has grown for Gronnemark outside of Merseyside.

Despite the outdated views of Andy Gray and Steve Nicol attempting to detract from the importance of Liverpool appointing a throw-in coach, there is clear evidence it has paid off.

Back in September, statistics highlighted how the Reds had become the second-best side in Europe when it came to retaining possession from throw-ins under pressure, with their 68.4 percent behind only FC Midtjylland (70.2%).

Gronnemark also coaches with the Danish giants, with Ajax and KAA Gent among eight clubs he works with, but Liverpool are undoubtedly the most high-profile.

Those figures from last year—which noted how Jurgen Klopp‘s side improved 23 percent from the season prior to Gronnemark joining—are often touted when it comes to assessing his impact.

But speaking to The Beautiful Game Podcast, the Dane revealed a key situation from October that shows how this marginal gain can be so effective.

“Liverpool have their own numbers, I have my own numbers, and it was really good because it was an unattached analysis company who did it,” he said of the previous statistics.

“I will say that we are [producing] really good numbers this year, too.

“If you ask every analysis guy they are measuring in a different way, but I can say my numbers and also from the club are looking really good this season.

“For example, I can remember against Tottenham [at Anfield], we [retained] nine out of nine throw-ins under pressure, 100 percent, and Tottenham had four of 16, 25 percent.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - Saturday, January 11, 2020: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates after the FA Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur FC and Liverpool FC at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Liverpool won 1-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool finished the game with 68 percent of possession overall, and won the game 2-1 having fired 21 shots on goal to Spurs’ 11, also completed 84 percent of their passes to the visitors’ 67 percent.

Trent Alexander-Arnold (12) and Andy Robertson (10) took every throw-in for the Reds, but Gronnemark explained that he works with every player, name-checking Virgil van Dijk, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah as examples.

He also detailed how his work is most “complex” in terms of attacking throw-ins, though he does coach the squad in defending these set-pieces and provides the coaching staff with his own opposition analysis.

His arrival came after Klopp himself tested some techniques having acknowledged how often Liverpool lost the ball from throw-ins, recognising that he required support.

It has paid off, and though the win over Spurs is just one example, it underlines how suffocating the Reds’ pressing game is, and how the likes of Gronnemark provide them with the composure to keep the ball in high-pressure situations.

Gronnemark believes the role of throw-in coach will be filled by others in the Premier League in the near future, and it is clear why.

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