There were whispers of a genuine title challenge filtering out of Anfield before the season. This year, Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy would seamlessly translate and the Reds would be a force to reckon with.
Mo Salah was an astute singing and would add another dynamic to the Liverpool attack – in fairness he has -, Jordan Henderson would come into his own and become the leader they needed, the defence would become more solid and compact and Liverpool would have a side equipped for a title charge.
Such opinions grew bolder when it finally dawned that Liverpool would not be selling star-man Philippe Coutinho for the £130 million plus offered by a Neymar stripped Barcelona. This was a statement of intent, supposedly: one does not sell their best players when they want silverware.
Coutinho is undoubtedly Liverpool’s spark and a very valuable player, but Liverpool should’ve sold him to compensate for the deficiencies in their side.
For it is Klopp’s third season in charge, including the year he arrived, and his defence is just as chaotic, if not worse, than we he arrived.
The sensible thing would’ve been to cash in on a clearly upset Coutinho and buy defenders. Whilst Liverpool’s attack is potent, exciting and vibrant, their defence is among the worst in the division – and that claim isn’t hyperbole.
How can they expect to win a title with such a susceptible defence?
Under Brendan Rodgers it was the same story; a weak defence undermining any serious title push. Had they not conceded so much, Liverpool might’ve had their coveted Premier League title.
Poor game management
Onto Klopp’s game management, which is poor.
One scathing example would be Liverpool’s battering at the hands of Manchester City last weekend. One man down and Klopp changes nothing, sticks to a back four, against one of the most daring attacks in the league. Liverpool continue to play the same way; buccaneering, attacking football.
Predictably, they were picked off in a humiliating fashion.
One wonders whether Klopp has an actual plan B should circumstances change – Dominic Solanke will, if Liverpool are pushing for a goal, make a customary late cameo and do little to change a game that is not suited to his style.
Tactical versatility is absolutely essential to a title win and if Klopp cannot adapt, his Liverpool side will falter.
Can’t get away with it for long
Klopp has got away with a lot of things since his arrival into English football: his charming charisma and disarming love of the game allowing him to hide behind vaporous clichés of ‘heavy metal football’ and the like.
The jury is still out on Klopp at Liverpool, but they will condemn him to failure should he not address the glaring problems his Liverpool side possesses.
Written by Michael Jones
Follow Michael on Twitter @jonesmichael_97
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