Jamie Redknapp rarely assessed Thiago correctly, and a lot of the media did not see what the Spaniard put aside last year.
The Reds were at times exceptional in their 3-0 win on Elland Road on Sunday and played a side from Leeds, who were considered dangerous opponents, extensively.
Mohamed Salah, Fabinho and Sadio Mane scored the goals for Jürgen Klopp’s men, making three wins out of their first four games.
Liverpool have seen impressive performances across the pitch, with Fabinho being a dominant presence in midfield and Salah once again proving to be unplayable.
However, Thiago was probably as good as anyone, dictated the pace of the game, bit into tackles and was involved in two goals for the Reds.
The 30-year-old not only completed 89 percent of his passes and recorded an assist, but also played two key passes, won six of his seven duels and three-quarters of his tackles.
It was an ups and downs for Thiago in his first year at Liverpool, with injury issues hampering his progress last season, not to mention the Reds’ all-around fighting on the pitch.
The Spaniard has sometimes been used as a scapegoat, with some claiming he is not a match for Klopp’s team and many lazily claiming that he is “slowing the game down”.
But Redknapp delivered a decisive defense of Thiago at Sky Sports on Sunday:
? “When Liverpool have a bad run people say he slows the game down, he can’t handle the intensity, absolute rubbish! This guy is one of the best technicians you will see in world football.”
Jamie Redknapp evokes the criticism Thiago received last season pic.twitter.com/xC6QEG2WQ5
– Football daily (@footballdaily) September 12, 2021
“I’ve heard a lot of people talk about Thiago. When Liverpool have a bad run people say they slow the game down and can’t handle the intensity. [It’s] absolute rubbish.
“This guy is one of the best technicians you will see in world football, no matter what pressure you put him under, he will never panic.
“He relaxes on the ball. There have been many times (on Sunday) that he has been in good positions to help the defense.
“He’s amazing to look at and I’ve been puzzled over the last year listening to people who don’t understand the role in midfield. How to hold the ball, what to do, how to be in the right position. how to show quality, how to prepare people for opportunities.
“Because people are always looking for a scapegoat. Someone who says it’s their fault. he’s brilliant and that’s why Jürgen Klopp played him today.
“It would have been easy to go with Keita or Henderson and try to overtake this Leeds team. He realized that you need a brain. You need someone who shows serenity, is relaxed on the ball, and plays with a red shirt. that’s what he does. ”
Redknapp is exactly right in his assessment, as Thiago has been judged so harshly for much of his time so far at Anfield.
There have been clear extenuating circumstances regarding some of his fights but with Liverpool firing on all cylinders now he looks fit, fresh and ready to move up to another level.
It’s also easy to forget that Thiago was arguably the Reds’ best player in the last 10 games last season, where they won eight and drew two of those games.
Blaming Thiago for any shortcomings has become a lazy tale and it’s refreshing to see a high profile expert shoot her down.
With Harvey Elliot on the sidelines for an extended period of time, Thiago’s influence and availability become even more important.