The injury crisis may be ongoing but amid the adversity, I’ve uncovered a little beauty in youngster Curtis Jones.
The 17-year-old midfielder was thrown into my Liverpool side for the visit of Southampton, given we had no other options. I switched up my formation from a 4-1-2-3 to a 4-2-3-1, popped him in the hole as a Shadow Striker and hoped for the best. And did he deliver.
After Sadio Mané had opened the scoring against his old club inside 20 minutes we were looking good. But then up stepped Jones, breaking into the box to fire the ball home for a debut goal on 27 minutes. We then held on for the 2-0 lead, which seems to be a common theme on the Beta so far – score early goals then nothing else happens. Not only did Jones bag a goal he also had three key passes, more than any other player on the pitch.
But if the debut was impressive, then Jones’ second league game went a level beyond and got me really excited about him. He again racked up three key passes – of our total of seven key passes all match – as well as scoring again, and creating a goal in a 3-1 win at Huddersfield Town. Furthermore, Jones completed 90% of his 71 passes, which is pretty damn impressive for a 17-year-old, and he was rightly awarded Man of the Match.
In among those victories we also picked up a win at Young Boys in the Champions League and, amazingly, a 1-0 win at Manchester City. And I say amazing as we were 7-1 outsiders going into that game.
I switched up the formation once more, moving back to a very defensive 4-1-2-2-1 and setting all manner of defensive options on the Team Instructions. Benjamin Mendy kindly scored an own goal and we somehow managed to hold on for a vital victory.
That win sees us third in the league after 15 games, behind City and Arsenal, who’ve had a flying start to the season.