A Pattern Emerges
Liverpool have conceded 20 (non-set piece, goalkeeping blunder, and wrongly given) goals across all competitions this season, and upon analysing each one of them, 65% (13) were conceded from opposition attacking phases either starting in the hole, or in the hole itself.
Why is this the case? Is Liverpool failing the Gegenpress system, or is the Gegenpress flawed?
Is it Klopp’s decision to tweak the formation and the personnel deployed in the system this season, or a combination of the three?
The Gegenpress: Trust, and hard work
Using a top-down approach, the Gegenpress system can be addressed – starting with the mindset of the system.
Gegenpress at its core is focused on the transition, with teams aiming to work hard and press constantly to win the ball back immediately after losing it.
Once winning the ball back, players all players aim to get forward and break as quickly as possible immediately when the ball is won.
Wing-backs, midfielders, and wingers alike all break forward the second that Liverpool regain the ball, and in theory are in great positions to run at and pass through opponents, especially if the ball is won further up the pitch, meaning players have less ground to make up to get to the opposition goal.
It makes sense as when opposition teams win the ball, they immediately look to spread the field and give each other space – which ends up giving the pressing players the space to attack if…