Jurgen Klopp, the eternal optimist, believed with all his heart that he could get Brendan Rodgers’ defensive misfits firing at all cylinders. Instead, his undying faith in them could eventually get him fired.
As Dejan Lovren put in yet another terrible shift effectively killing Liverpool’s chances of winning the game, Klopp did what he should’ve done a long time ago – he lost faith in the hapless defender and hauled him off the pitch.
Many feel that Lovren should never pull on an LFC shirt again, such has been his downward spiral in form. No one can say they didn’t see it coming, the only surprise being that it took so long.
Simon Mignolet, standing flat footed initially and coming out half arsed for the 1st Spurs goal, could’ve done better for the second goal and is most definitely fully responsible for the 4th. Loris Karius kept a clean sheet against Maribor and should’ve possibly kept his place. He isn’t the best of keepers but Mignolet has ensured that he now sits behind Karius and Young Danny Ward in the pecking order. There wont be any surprises if Ward plays against Huddersfield, a team he did so well at on loan last season.
Klopp kept faith with him and like Lovren, he has let his manager and millions of supporters worldwide down again.
Joe Gomez didn’t do so badly but didn’t do outstandingly well either.
Matip, the best of a bad bunch, heads a ball straight back into danger and results immediately in a shot and goal. Why not leave it for the keeper? Oh head out for a corner or throwball? Schoolboy errors.
Alberto Moreno’s upturn in form coincides with the rest of his defensive backline getting worse. Most of his positive work is in attack and is still mostly out of position when teams catch the Reds on the counter attack.
Jordan Henderson, our “defensive midfielder” gets away with murder every game because the captain’s armband means he is somehow immune from criticism. If your defenders are wobbly or unstable as Liverpool’s most glaringly are, your defensive midfielder has to be a beast of a player protecting them. Henderson however, exposes them more.
His pass to Mohamed Salah was sublime, the forward nature of the pass caught Spurs totally by surprise. But once again on many occasions in the game, as soon as he got the ball, Spurs players pressured him and he diverted to his tried and tested (and now infamous) back passes, putting more pressure on an already jittery defensive line.
Emre Can, another one who had a stinker of a game, fell victim to his own versatility. When Lovren was hauled off, it was he who had to sacrifice his position and was thrown into defence again. He messed up terribly and gave away a free kick that resulted in the free-kick that Matip headed straight back into traffic and spurs had another gift of a goal.
Many are pointing towards Emre Can possibly leaving to Join Juventus because of contract wrangling and failed wage negotiations. I believe it is because he wants to play in the position he believes is his best -the one currently occupied by Jordan Henderson.
Can played there against Maribor and Liverpool were awesome. Important to note also that Henderson didn’t play that game and Liverpool won 7-0.
Klopp should’ve stuck with the same starting lineup to carry on the momentum. But the folly of having kept Jordan Henderson as captain means he had to bring his “skipper” back into the fold.
There’s just too much of Klopp leaving in place what were inevitably sack worthy factors by Brendan Rodgers and those factors, like history repeating itself, are now coming back to haunt him.
Is it Klopp’s fault we didn’t land our targets?
Maybe, but not completely. Not having backup targets surely was unacceptable. Our scouts did well to land Mohamed Salah, undeniably our signing of the season who has fitted in like a glove in Liverpool’s attack. Did we need Oxlade Chamberlain for 40 Million too though? Those funds could’ve been better used to get in a defender or two.
It IS his fault that Liverpool let go of Mamadou Sakho, who would definitely have done a better job than Lovren.
Managers live and die by their decisions, signings and selections and Klopp has made some strange one’s.
So what needs to happen now?
Klopp will do well to be brave. Make big changes. Be as ruthless as he was taking Lovren off.
A Few tweaks that Klopp could try:
- Drop Mignolet till January & Sell him.
- Drop Lovren till January & Sell him.
- Give Robertson a chance, play Moreno as a winger.
- Play Emre Can as a defensive midfielder.
- Marko Grujic deserves a chance, give it to him.
- Take the armband away from Henderson, thereby removing the myth of being undroppable ( and also because he isn’t worthy of the honour).
- Drop Henderson.
Too much of this current Klopp squad are Rodgers’ players. He really needed to create a team of Klopp players, many windows have passed and this current crop might not even help him to make it till the January window. Whether Klopp really was happy with what he has at his disposal or was doubling up as politician to hide the inadequacies of FSG/scouts remains the discussion on supporter forums.
Regardless, Jurgen needs to be brave NOW.