Written by Carl Walker
Whenever Liverpool have a good start to a Premier League campaign you hear the usual ‘it’s our year this year’ and as sure as night time follows the day, Liverpool either fall short or fade away slowly over the period of the season. This has become a common feature.
When Jurgen Klopp arrived in October of 2015, there was a renewed optimism around the club, they had landed one of the hottest managerial properties in world football after his exploits with Dortmund. Two league titles in a row and a DFB-Pokal cup win saw his stock rise in the game.
In his first season with Liverpool, he was given a period of grace from the fans and board alike. Time to get his squad together and get his ideas across and this ended with two cup final appearances in which they fell short.
So far this season Liverpool have played some wonderful stuff, fast flowing, passing football which has seen them claim some fantastic wins over Chelsea and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City but the same struggles from previous campaigns are still at large, Liverpool struggle to break down teams that sit in and defend and have lost against Burnley and Swansea and drew with Sunderland after being in the lead twice. Groundhog day once again.
Liverpool themselves have not won a trophy since 2011-2012 when they defeated Cardiff in the League Cup Final and before that it was the FA Cup in 2005-2006. One trophy in ten years for a club of the stature of Liverpool is something that can’t be tolerated.
credit Asia Joanna
Jurgen Klopp has lost his last three finals that he has been in, two with Liverpool and the Champions League final with Dortmund. So have they progressed? I think the record in the League and Cups would suggest no. While they are still in the title race, they sit 4th and 9 points behind Chelsea, Klopp has some serious issues within the squad to address.
Liverpool have some real quality in the squad, Phillipe Coutinho is magical especially when he is in the mood and the signing of the versatile Roberto Firmino has added options up front. Georgino Wijnaldum has added his steel and stamina to the midfield and Adam Lallana looks reborn under Jurgen Klopp chipping in with goals and assists.
The issues with the squad are the same that they have been for the past four or five seasons. There are real issues with the goalkeeper. Simon Mignolet has made some costly errors and Loris Karius has failed to grasp his chance and Klopp is constantly switching between the two. Joe Hart would be a top class signing and he doesn’t seem to needed at Manchester City since Pep Guardiola has arrived.
The lack of an out and out striker is also a worry. Roberto Firmino has been used as a false nine on occasion’s this season but is more of a number ten. Daniel Sturridge is out of favour and Divick Origi has had a decent run in the side but is in and out of the team. A real goalscorer should be a priority.
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Liverpool’s biggest area of concern is at the back. Clyne has nailed down the right back role and James Milner is now the first choice left back. Joel Matip has been impressive but after the AFCON debacle, he is only now back available to play. Lovren has finally started to settle but his decision making is not the greatest and Klavan is not of the quality to play at the top level. There is no serious depth to the squad.
There are players that are also deemed surplus to requirements at the club but have not been moved on yet. Sakho hasn’t played for the club at senior level this season and Lazar Markovic has been farmed out on loan again.
Liverpool conceded too many goals in order to be considered genuine title contenders. Wednesday night summed up Liverpool. Plenty of possession but couldn’t break down a resolute Southampton defence and was hit on the break with a late goal knocking them out of the cup.
While Liverpool can be exciting to watch at times the lack of top quality players and depth in the squad will be hinder any long term success that the club can have.
The natural progression would be to qualify for the Champions League this season, then possibly go on to win a trophy. Success breeds success. If Klopp doesn’t address this issues at hand it could be a while before we see Liverpool get back to where they want to be.
Have Liverpool made progress under Klopp? Let us know in the comments below!