Firmino steps up to become maestro to Klopp’s music

Firmino Klopp Liverpool
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – AUGUST 23: Roberto Firmino of Liverpool shoots during the UEFA Champions League Qualifying Play-Offs round second leg match. (Photo by Mark Robinson/Getty Images) /

An outstanding night for Liverpool in the Champions League was orchestrated by Roberto Firmino who is maturing into the prime of his Anfield career.

Roberto Firmino is 26 in October. The prime of a footballer’s career, especially for attackers. It is the age where talent, athleticism and experience to combine to make it the best most players will be. And by last night’s performance, Firmino’s prime is going to be very good indeed.

Firmino arrived at Liverpool just a few months before Jurgen Klopp. He is a player perfectly fitting the tactical requirements of an attacker in Klopp’s system. Ever since we first saw him at Anfield he has been a hard worker. A forward willing to defend. To pester and harass defenders and to track back to help his teammates.

Liverpool have a proud history of attackers who work hard. From Kenny Dalglish to Ian Rush through to Luis Suarez. It’s one reason Mario Balotelli was always out-of-place at Anfield.

While Firmino had the work ethic of our proud traditions he wasn’t always able to influence a game with the ball at his feet. Ten goals in his first season at the club was promising. But eleven goals last year from center forward position led to much talk among the fans that we needed a ‘proper striker’.

Now he has the dual threat of Mane and Salah stretching defenses and giving him space. He also has more of the ball. With Philippe Coutinho yet to appear for Liverpool this season, our other Brazilian has taken charge. It is he who demands the ball in central areas and orchestrates the play.


In many ways he is better than Coutinho at that role. While Coutinho dominates through keeping possession and penetrating dribbling, Firmino takes over with quicker passing and lethal through-balls exposing full backs to Mane’s pace. If Coutinho is the magician, then Firmino is the maestro.

His performance last night was reminiscent of how Suarez used to take over games. The front three are so devastating and hard-working that if Coutinho is stay at Anfield he will be fighting for one of those midfield places. And he better get used to giving the ball to Bobby more often.

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