Liverpool’s assistant manager Pepijn Lijnders has hinted at why the club would prefer to make signings in the summer ahead, due to the importance of a “collective idea.”
The Reds find themselves in a position this January wherein which it is widely accepted that they would benefit from a new arrival, with centre-back options desperately short.
But despite the clear need for numbers and quality at the back, it seems likely that Jurgen Klopp‘s squad will remain largely the same when the transfer window closes as it was when it opened on January 2.
If that is the case, there will be increased scrutiny on Liverpool’s performances in the second half of the season, with question marks over whether it was right not to strengthen in defence.
Speaking to The Big Interview with Graham Hunter, however, Lijnders explained how in the club’s recent history “all the big moments came from adversity,” pointing to a “collective idea” that cannot be drilled into a new signing immediately.
“If we’ve learned one thing over the last years it’s that all the big moments came from adversity, so why we became successful in these moments is because we stick to our way,” the Dutchman said.
“We didn’t change and we focused on what we had, not on what we didn’t have.
“Think Barca away, we lose 3-0, we didn’t have Bobby, we didn’t have Mo, we lose Robbo at half-time, we could have changed so many things, but we focused on what we had, and prepared and went with our way.
“That’s what I mean, all the time when it’s gone against us, we did this, and I really believe that the reason why we were successful was because we kept our plan, the reason why we are still consistently performing now is because we kept our plan.”
Lijnders’ interview likely came before the Reds’ recent run of poor results, but there is wisdom in his argument as he addressed the injury situation in particular, with training time with replacements essential.
“We lose Virgil, we lost Ali, we lost Hendo, we lost Fabinho, but if you look and saw the games we played, you saw a Liverpool Football Club team,” he continued.
“[A team] who played with the highest intensity, who was constantly chasing the opposition from all directions, who was searching to attack them with the ball and without the ball.
“Then you see that – and it’s a great saying that I learned in Portugal – without good players, there’s no collective, but without collective there will never be success. I really believe in this.
“The individual is really important, but the collective idea, and the focus on this collective idea, and the consistency of this collective idea, and the training of the collective idea, makes it possible that if we lose players that we keep our way.
“Because the players are drilled to deal with the short team, to deal with our zonal pressing approach, to deal with the offside trap, to deal with organised attacks.
“It proves one more time that the squad we have, the main strength is that we just have many, many good players, and there’s a clear collective idea we base all our decisions on.”