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Jurgen Klopp explains Liverpool’s “flexible triangle” evolution and midfield’s next step

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The need to evolve is constant, and for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool it is mixing up their triangles on the wing, a process that is still very much ongoing.

In pursuit of success you can never stay stagnant, Klopp knows that as much as anyone and change does not just come in the transfer window but on the training pitch.

In the early weeks, the combination of Mohamed Salah, Harvey Elliott and Trent Alexander-Arnold garnered attention, with the dynamism offering a new look to the right flank.

That fluidity to increase the danger in offensive moments was finding its feet, with the manager particularly impressed after the display against Chelsea, but Elliott’s injury forces change.

An untimely blow, but for Klopp “the door is open” for his players to seize the chance and play their part, not just on the right but on the left-wing too.

In an interesting discussion on the tweaks he and his coaches have made, Klopp brilliantly touches on the role of his midfield moving forward and how his selection policy is more than just having three ‘favourites.’

“We try to develop every year. One thing you saw was our really flexible triangle on the right side [against AC Milan],” Klopp explained.

2GKXCMX Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold celebrates scoring their side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Champions League, Group B match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Wednesday September 15, 2021.

“It was that flexible that Mo Salah had to defend the right-back position because Trent was in the box and Hendo was in the middle of the park.

“We want that! But we are, of course, still in the process to really get settled and that we are not really exposed in a situation like that.

“Apart from that, it gives you always offensively a little advantage but defensively you are slightly more open so you have to figure out and get the rhythm for it exactly right.

“That’s for sure different to last year and we want to do that on both wings. We need flexible triangles, we need support.

“Usually, when Bobby is playing a lot of support from him by dropping but especially in the last game we didn’t want that and we did it differently.

“These are things we talk about. It’s not that we tell them who the next opponent is and play the same stuff, we really try to improve and develop.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, August 21, 2021: Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (2nd from R) celebrates with team-mates Harvey Elliott (L) and Diogo Jota (R) after scoring a second goal, but it was disallowed following a VAR review, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Burnley FC at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“For that, the door is open, very open, for everybody to be part of that.

“So far it worked out really well. For Harvey, it was nice to see how naturally he did that.

“A young player like him you don’t fill with 500,000 things, you just let him play and have a look – what’s natural and where does he need a little advice.

“He didn’t need a lot advice, he just played the position and it was really nice to see. That’s why he played.

“But now, Hendo has played the position and Naby came in on the other side and played a super game offensively, so it’s nice to see we can do that.

“It’s the engine room of a football team, we have only three and not five and it means they have to be fit and really in charge of the game and that’s why we decide from time to time like this, or like that [for selection].”

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