- March 29, 2023
Jurgen Klopp has completely transformed Liverpool FC since he took charge on 8th October 2015. The German has won every possible domestic and continental silverware for the club. And has played a vital role in bringing back the club’s lost glory. But this season the Reds have been quite inconsistent and have really struggled to put a string of good results together. They were supposed to be challenging for the title, but currently, they are languishing in 9th place in the table. It is a kind of run that has prompted every Liverpool fan around the world to ask the same question, what is wrong with their club?
Liverpool’s defence has been quite ordinary thus far. The reds have only managed to keep 5 clean sheets this season and have conceded as many goals as they conceded during the entirety of last season. Such a dip in defending could be attributed to the fact that both Konate and Matip have featured in fewer games than Klopp would have hoped for, as both of them have been nursing injuries. Another area of concern for Klopp has been the form of his star man, Virgil Van Dijk. He is considered to be one of the best center-backs in the world. But this season he has looked to be a shadow of his former self. He has been guilty of giving the ball away far too cheaply on occasions that have directly led to a goal.
No Mane, no joy for Liverpool FC?
Sadio Mane has been a great asset for Liverpool. The Senegalese forward played a vital role in bringing about success to Anfield. He scored 120 goals in 269 appearances for the Reds. It’s not easy to fill in the shoes of a man of his calibre. This is evident from the fact that Liverpool has only managed to score 34 goals this campaign, as compared to the 50 goals that they had scored at the same stage of the campaign last season. Although the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, and Darwin Nunez have shown promise, they do not have the sort of chemistry that Mane used to have with his fellow African, Muhammad Salah. With one of them now gone, Liverpool’s attacking threat was bound to decline.
Part of the trend
It is not the first time that Klopp’s men have shown such a sharp decline in form. During the 2020-2021 campaign, Liverpool FC also made a poor start to the season. They were way off their usual standards. After going 68 games unbeaten at Anfield, they managed to lose 6 consecutive games at home. It was an odd season for them as they were coming at the back of a campaign where they had won their first Premier League title after 32 years. There are quite similarities between that campaign and the current campaign. One could say maybe it’s too much for the players to be playing with the intensity that Klopp demands in back-to-back seasons. But who could blame them, Klopp’s style is surely intriguing to watch but it does have its toll on the players.
Also See: Cristiano Ronaldo’s proud move to Al Nassr
Change of the old guard
All good things come to an end. The same could be said about some of the senior Liverpool FC players. This includes Firmino, Milner, Fabinho, and club captain Henderson. All these players have been essential in bringing the lost glory back to Anfield. But unfortunately, it appears as if they are past their prime. At the age of 35, it could be safely said that Milner has probably another season or two left in him. Henderson appears to be struggling with injuries that have seriously affected his playing style.
Since the arrival of Jota, Firmino seems to have fallen out of favour with Klopp. Although he is currently the leading goal scorer for Liverpool in the Premier League, there have been instances this season where the pace of the game has proven to be too much for him. Jurgen Klopp once termed Fabinho the best DM in the world. But unfortunately, his current performances do not seem to do justice to his manager’s statement. If he is not performing up to his best then Liverpool is bound to suffer given the high-pressing style that they play with. So, the midfield is an area where young blood is required and hopefully, this is what Klopp would be after in the upcoming transfer windows.
Muhammad Salah has been phenomenal since he rejoined the Premier League with Liverpool, back in 2017. The Egyptian’s goal-scoring prowess has played a vital role in winning various personal and team accolades, over the past 4 to 5 years. But this season, he has found the net only 7 times in 19 Premier League games. It is a sort of form that one does not associate with Salah and is a cause of concern for Jurgen Klopp. It is not that Liverpool is not creating chances, they are creating chances, but Salah has been unable to convert those chances into goals.
Lack of creativity shown by Fullbacks
Fullbacks are an essential part of Klopp’s team. The high-pressing style that Klopp likes to adopt always keeps the fullbacks on their toes. Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have acclimatized rather well to such high-octane football and have set high standards under Klopp’s management. This is apparent from the fact that Alexander-Arnold and Robertson are ranked 3rd and 1st respectively, for the highest number of assists provided by defenders in the Premier League. But for some reason, both of them have struggled to perform up to their usual standards. So far, they have only 4 goal involvements each to their name. Also, they have been poor at the other end of the pitch as well, conceding too many goals.
Liverpool’s current form is really a cause of concern for their fans. They might not know the exact reason behind their club’s decline in performance. But they do know that they have got a star-studded squad led by one of the best managers in the world, so it won’t be long before Liverpool FC are back to their best.