Pep Lijnders is correct about Liverpool training, and it can help them reclaim the Premier League.
Liverpool’s pre-season preparations are well underway, with assistant manager Pep Lijnders delivering regular updates to the club’s website.
They provide valuable insight into what he and the other coaches are doing to prepare the club for the forthcoming season.
Following Liverpool’s struggles last season, it’s critical that they make the most of this window so that they can battle harder for the title this time around (assuming they have better luck with injuries, which seems unlikely).
Among the amount of interesting material in Lijnders’ newest diary entry, he made a couple of crucial remarks about pressing, which is one of Jurgen Klopp’s core concepts.
“Anfield celebrates a successful counter-pressing situation in the same way that other stadiums celebrate a goal. Some stadiums won’t allow anything less, and we’re one of them,” he explained.
He is correct in that regard. Andy Robertson endeared himself to Kopites when, on his 10th league start for the club, he practically single-handedly pressured the whole Manchester City team during a 4-3 win in January 2018.
Lijnders also gave an insight into how the fitness work they’re doing now would be critical in achieving their goals over the next ten months.
“The more you play, the more you play; the better you counter-press, the more you play; the better you defend, the more counter-attacks you will play.”
Looking at Liverpool’s results from last season, there isn’t much of a link between how effective their pressing was and whether or not they won the game.
According to Statsbomb, a successful press occurs when “the squad gains possession within five seconds of exerting pressure,” and the Reds only won one of their top six matches in terms of successful pressures in 2020/21. (per FBRef).
However, if you ignore the percentage hit rate and focus solely on the number of successful pressures they applied, you’ll find an intriguing benchmark.
Last season, Liverpool won six of the seven league games in which they recorded at least 53 successful pressures, and drew one.
They did, however, make 52. “The summary has come to an end.”