West Ham are set to take on Liverpool on Monday in a game that will be very tough for the Hammers. Manager Manuel Pellegrini has been discussing the tie, and he seems to have a plan that he hopes will help combat the Reds’ incredible quality.
As per the official West Ham website, he said: “I repeat, we want to beat Liverpool. If we want to beat Liverpool we need to play a good game, defend well, as they have top players and we need to play with a high pace as we have done against a lot of teams at home so we have all the chances to do it again”.
There’s a lot to decipher from this, but Pellegrini’s plan is actually quite clear.
The fact that the club are looking to win is important, as that implies that we won’t just sit back and defend in an attempt to grab a draw. Liverpool are so good going forward, and so for 90 minutes, it’s almost impossible to ensure defensive solidity.
That said, as Pellegrini says, defending well is important. It’s crucial that we attack, but we also need to maintain defensive solidity. That’s very difficult, of course, but it’s what is needed.
The crucial thing, though, is that we play at a high pace. We need to move the ball quickly around the Liverpool defenders, and in doing so, we might just be able to force them out of position and allow the likes of Marko Arnautovic, and others, to take advantage.
Obviously, this is all easier said than done, but the key is solid defensive work and quick ball movement. That’s simple enough, right?