Connect in the back of the net

You could hear a pin drop amongst the travelling Reds today as Liverpool suffered an appalling 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. Jurgen Klopp faces extreme criticism after the abysmal performance.

The North Londoners rode to victory against both Merseyside teams today as Arsenal and Spurs take home three points each. Everton’s home clash against the Gunners ended in an embarrassing 5-2 loss.

The more superior of the Liverpool clubs couldn’t teach their rivals a lesson, though. After an equally shameful loss, Klopp’s Reds sit in 9th place in the table.

Liverpool have now conceded the more away goals than any other team in the Premier League. That’s more than Crystal Palace, the goalless, winless team for their first 8 fixtures.

 

A defensive nightmare

Yet again, Liverpool’s defence is in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.

Tottenham’s 4-1 victory may look like they dominated the game on paper, but in reality there was nothing too impressive about it. The Reds’ shameful defending made a good Spurs performance look stellar.

Each goal for Spurs was gifted by a member of Klopp’s team. Dejan Lovren and Simon Mignolet were the worst players on the pitch this afternoon. Lovren’s mistakes put the home team 2-0 in front inside the first 15 minutes. A major morale boost for Spurs and complete frustration for Kopites.

Harry Kane’s ability to poach a vulnerable opportunity is second to none. And with Liverpool’s shocking defence he turned two of those into goals.

Lovren was substituted to the bench after just half an hour into the game. There’s absolutely nothing positive I can say about his performance.

The fact he’s still in the first team after all of his defensive woes makes me sick. A footballer of the highest division, being paid £100k+ a week, trying to play an opposing player offside from a throw in… You can’t make it up.

I’m more than done with the Croatian nightmare.

Klopp’s decision to bring on Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instead of the centre-back was a relief. But will we see Ragnar Klavan or even Joe Gomez take his place next fixture?

If he is listed in the first team yet again, it’ll be increasingly difficult to support the gaffer. When his decisions are this stupid, how can fans back them?

 

Crucial business

January’s window will more than likely make or break Klopp’s future with the club. After four transfer windows with Liverpool, the Reds are still carrying Brendan Rodgers’ deadweight defenders.

His acquisition of Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah were sublime signings for the former Dortmund manager. But with Lovren, Mignolet and Alberto Moreno still first choice players, Klopp’s tactics are being heavily judged.

The summer transfer window saw Liverpool miss out on signing Virgil van Dijk. A top defender, a goal scorer and a captain.

However, VVD isn’t the only centre-back with those attributes. There was plenty of players and plenty of time to clinch a new CB. But Klopp’s stubbornness has seen Liverpool go without a replacement and in turn, deeply dent the team’s potential defensive growth.

Andy Robertson was a last minute summer signing who – despite making a great debut – has been left to gather dust in the reserves. Danny Ward, who was recalled from his successful loan spell with Huddersfield is keeping the Scot company in the rejected team.

With the Welshman’s desire to return to Huddersfield, further neglect from Liverpool could completely push a quality keeper away.

Why can Klopp not see what we’re seeing?

 

Competing against the other big fish

Chelsea, Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal all have world class goalkeepers. Highly ranked and first choice for their team. Liverpool have Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius; need I say more?

It isn’t just down to their goalkeeping issues, it’s their lack of ability to lead their line.

Although Liverpool’s defenders today were all shambolic in their own ways, Mignolet gave no motivation, no instruction, no connection to the back four. Playing as a unit is all about connecting with your teammates and rallying them. Migs lacks this attribute and so does Karius.

An entirely new defensive makeover is needed come January. Klopp needs to snatch up at least two new central defenders and start actually playing Andy Robertson in the first team.

It’s time to kick Moreno and Lovren to the curb, and to the reserves where they’ve been lucky to avoid for years now.

A new keeper is needed despite Karius only being with the club for a year. Everything about Liverpool’s defence is abysmal. With an attack as blistering as ours, we need a strong defence to match and so far we have a Sunday League side in our back five.

At this rate, Philippe Coutinho is surely leaving in January for Barcelona and Sadio Mané won’t be far behind him if Klopp doesn’t shape up.

Liverpool’s disappointing football is not only frustrating the fans but the better players must be tearing their hair out, too. Fix the team, or lose your best players, Jurgen, this can’t carry on.

 

Written by Georgia Goulding

Follow Georgia on Twitter @gjgoulding

Check out her excellent football blog: Football, Findings and Fiction

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