Klopp said Fabinho needed time… his display at Arsenal showed why
Jurgen Klopp said Fabinho needed time to adapt to English football and Liverpool player’s poor display at Arsenal showed why… Lucas Torreira looks the more adept midfield shield
- Fabinho struggled with the pace of the game in Liverpool’s draw with Arsenal
- Jurgen Klopp said he would need six months to adapt – that now looks generous
- Lucas Torreira on the other hand helped Arsenal dominate in the midfield
In his biggest test yet in a Liverpool shirt; Fabinho flopped. If there was ever a crash course in top-level Premier League football this was it, he would quickly testify to that.
Frenetic and frenzied, this clash between two of English football’s biggest titans was – as you’d expect – played in overdrive. At times, it was all too much for the Brazilian.
Speaking in September, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp predicted the £43.7million arrival from Monaco may need six months to adapt to English football. On this evidence, Klopp’s predication seems rather generous.
Jurgen Klopp said Fabinho needed time to adapt to English football and he has showed why
Fabinho was booked in the first half and was lucky to avoid a red for a late lunge on Mesut Ozil
Klopp predicted Fabinho would need six months to adapt – that now looks generous
It wasn’t for the lack of work-rate, mind you. He was trying. Trying so very hard. But sustaining such a level of work-rate and not allowing the quality decline is the true mark of a top-level footballer.
Here at the Emirates, Fabinho had his work cut out in trying to keep up; let alone leave an emphatic mark on the encounter.
Prior to his start against the Gunners, his only other Premier League action came in a 21 minute cameo against Huddersfield before playing the entire 90 minutes of last weekend’s win over Cardiff. Fabinho, welcome to the Premier League.
Fabinho’s problems are not in work rate, however the pace of the game left him behind
Arsenal versus Liverpool is serious business – he knows that now. With Jordan Henderson and Naby Keita returning from injury, Fabinho could well find himself back on the sidelines in the not too distant future.
Having already been booked, Fabinho dodged a late red card after clattering into Mesut Ozil late in the second half. But that would have been unjust.
Of course, it gets significantly easier than this. Not all opposition will be as good as Arsenal were. Indeed, under Unai Emery, the Gunners have shown vast improvement, and Fabinho has now experienced first-hand what it takes to make the grade at Anfield. It’s up to him to prove he can make the necessary improvements in his game.
Lucas Torreira looked the more adept midfield shield in Arsenal’s clash with Liverpool
The 25-year-old was largely overshadowed in midfield by fellow South American Lucas Torreira, who is growing in stature with every appearance.
Like Fabinho, the Arsenal midfielder was eased into English football, but since making his first Premier League start against Everton on September 23, the Uruguayan’s been a revelation.
Ably assisted by Granit Xhaka, whose improvement under Emery is marked, Torreira helped the Gunners control the midfield for much of this game. Terrier-like, the midfielder – who arrived from Sampdoria for £26.4m – was relentless in his work-rate. Winning the ball back, or collecting it off his back four, before giving it to an attacking player.
Torreira helped the Gunners control the midfield for much of this Saturday evening game
All very simple. All very effective. Arsenal have been crying out for a central midfielder of his type for years. If they’d signed one earlier, perhaps a certain Frenchman may still be in the dugout.
In the end, Torreira and his team got the point their performance deserved. Despite their 12 run unbeaten run – 11 of which were victories – the jury remained undecided on Emery’s Arsenal. Those results came against teams they’d expect to beat.
The two games against top six opposition – Manchester City and Chelsea – they’ve both lost. Liverpool was a test to see how far they’ve actually come under Emery. They passed it unequivocally.
Under Arsene Wenger, you’d half expect Arsenal to cave after James Milner’ opener. That isn’t the case any more. Indeed, Torreira’s steel and doggedness in midfield is on of the keys to Arsenal’s newly discovered backbone. The Uruguayan has raised his game since arriving in England. Fabinho must now follow suit.
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