This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Manchester City’s Rodri has praised the managerial ability of Jurgen Klopp and describes Liverpool as a dangerous team who are very difficult to play against.
The Spain international has adjusted well to life in the Premier League, becoming a regular for Pep Guardiola, but he admitted that his experience of playing against Liverpool was not easy.
He points to the Reds’ style of play as the key factor in that, suggesting that their frantic closing down allows no time on the ball and restricts their opponent’s capabilities in possession.
The 23-year-old believes their strength in a number of areas is what makes them so effective, and was full of praise for Klopp’s side.
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Speaking to The Daily Mail, he said: “I have touched down in England, and immediately found myself up against one of the best teams I have seen in recent years. They are strong. And not just on the counter-attack. They can dominate games and they can score from set-plays.
“He [Klopp] is a coach who works the defensive side of things very well but he also works the attacking mechanisms very hard too. His teams are very physical and very tough. They go at you like animals and that is what prevails in football right now.
“When we played the final of the Community Shield, we knew they were a team that is like a knife. One comes at you, then another and sometimes it seems like there is no escape. It’s a quality they have, that is clear.”
From his comments it would seem that Rodri is almost in awe of his title rivals, that is how devastating Liverpool have been this season and under Klopp in general.
He is not the only one, too, with Arsenal’s Dani Ceballos sharing a similar sentiment after visiting Anfield back in August.
Liverpool have now built up a psychological edge as much as anything and it is likely some opponents fear coming up against them, as they are unable to play their natural game and often end up getting dominated, as the Reds’ average possession of 57% would suggest.
Such an aura is familiar amongst title winners. Manchester United had that characteristic in the Ferguson era and now that Klopp has installed it at Liverpool, they have a great foundation to achieve their ambitions this season.
As well as that, their style means they can grind out wins even when their best players don’t perform to their usual standards, as evidenced against Sheffield United and Leicester, and that should give them the confidence to push on and continue their current run of brilliant form.