In Football, time either heals all wounds or destroys all dreams, hopes and ambition. A few weeks back Liverpool’s squad depth was an attribute that pundits and analysts pointed towards as one of the main reasons for their good run. So much so that plenty of betting sites were tipping the reds to fight their way to the title.
Now with the loss of certain key players, the Reds again hover just above that “crisis mode” phase. One or two more injuries and they risk return to the age old position of “also rans”.
Its too early to be carried away and definitely too early to panic, but losing players like Adam Lallana, Phil Coutinho and Joel Matip proved to be the difference between winning and losing. Liverpool have lost both the games Matip has missed this season, Coutinho’s creativity and penchant for late strikes was much needed and Lallana linking of midfielders and the strikers has been glaringly absent while he’s been away.
It’s a no brainer that Jurgen Klopp will have to dip into the transfer market. Sadio Mane is off to AFCON, and now bizarrely Joel Matip, just returning from injury has apparently decided to end his self-imposed exile from international duty. Mamadou Sakho’s discipline issues have seen him fall completely off Ze German’s selection radar. Even though the Reds are short on defensive staff currently, The Normal One is sticking to his guns in keeping the door to an Anfield return firmly shut for the former France Captain. Some fans feel that for the sake of the bigger picture, reinstating Sakho to the squad could save Liverpool millions in transfer costs. But is it the greater cost of disrupting the discipline of the entire squad with his antics that which Klopp looks to be protecting his team from?
Liverpool need an upgrade to a few behind-the-scenes characters as well. The Goalkeeping coach definitely seems to be doing something wrong… Simon Mignolet has been terrible for most of the time working under John Achterberg, while Lorius Karius joined Liverpool having been acknowledged as the best young goalkeeper in the Bundesliga. Two question arise:
- Is the Bundesliga standard not as high as it’s made out to be?
- Is our Goalkeeping coach’s standard not as high as it should be?
Many comparisons have been made between Karius and other Goalkeepers who had been outrageously dodgy early in their careers but who weathered the initial storm, settled, and eventually became cult heroes and mainstays in their respective teams. Can Liverpool’s number 1 crawl his way out of the number 2 form he’s in and rise to the true potential that the Liverpool Manager saw in him?
Liverpool Fly To Barcelona
Whether pre-planned or as a direct result of the extremely poor loss to Bournemouth over the weekend, a huge contingent of the Liverpool squad flew out to sunny Spain to rid themselves of the gloom surrounding their total capitulation against a team they should be beating without much fuss (no disrespect to Bournemouth). Eddie Howe’s men showed immense character to come back from 3-1 down to win the game 4-3.
It was the ease with which they tore Liverpool apart which still has fans wondering: “HOW DID LIVERPOOL LOSE THAT GAME???”
The Liverpool team watched Barcelona vs Borussia Mönchengladbach at the Nou Camp, and it will have served as a wake up call and inspiration that should Liverpool continue losing points as easily as they did against Bournemouth, they could well miss out on the big European nights they so yearn for.
With Matip Mane and Lallana set to start after overcoming injuries, Liverpool will be hoping that Klopp teams’ most famous attribute- “Bouncebackibility” – will make a speedy return.
The Hammers await.