Despite the rocking start to this season under Jürgen Klopp during the Christmas and January period they have suffered from an embarrassing run of form which must be rendering Liverpool fans insane. How can Klopp’s players go from brushing team to team aside with a bundle of goals to struggling to hit the barn door? Their recent loss against Hull has further highlights the problems Liverpool have. But what are the real reasons behind their demise? Let’s take a look.
It’s no secret that Klopp loves to play high intensity football from the top of the field. We saw this at Dortmund and we have seen him successfully implement this tactic at Liverpool up until recently. The only weakness to this tactic is player fatigue. Arguably Liverpool do not have the same squad depth that Dortmund did when Klopp was in charge which means the key players are becoming tired much quicker than they should. The busy Christmas period means this has taken its toll on the squad. Up until recently Liverpool were both domestic competitions. They had two legs in the league cup semi-final against Southampton which almost all clubs don’t have to deal with as well as the FA Cup and a replay which saw another extra game added to their already congested fixture list. It’s only possible to play high intensity football for a certain amount of time and that time has certainly ended. Klopp must resort to other ways of playing football or rotate the team more efficiently to let key players rest.
Whilst I’m sure the players haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since the New Year’s inception that’s not quite what I mean. Liverpool didn’t sign one single player during the January transfer window whilst there are clear signs that the team needs strengthening. Not only did Sadio Mane leave for a considerable period (a player that’s been outstanding for Liverpool) but they still have gaps in their squad that require urgent attention.
Out and out striker
Liverpool have struggled to score a significant amount of goals recently which may be down to Klopp’s refusal to play an out and out striker. Whilst Roberto Firmino is technically a great player he lacks the presence and threat of someone like Daniel Sturridge who has a great goal scoring record. If you know Daniel Sturridge is going to score you goals, then why wouldn’t you play him? He may not have the attitude of work rate of Brazilian Firmino however there’s no doubts he knows how to put the ball into the back of the net – something which Liverpool are really lacking.