Ben Morgan looks into the weekends 4-1 defeat at Wembley against Spurs, with some of the positives and negatives from the encounter, where yet again it was a day to forget for the Reds, and plenty of questions still needing answering from Jurgen Klopp and his team.
It seems as though when I write these articles, it is just the same one at the moment, maybe this is because of the current state as to where our team is at this current moment of time. It was hard to find any positives on a day where the defence was yet again criticised. This was the first time Spurs had beaten the Reds in 10 Premier League Games. Liverpool have also conceded 16 goals in the league this term, and have only recorded 3 wins. You would have thought after a morale boosting and record breaking 7-0 win against Maribor, in the Champions League midweek, that Liverpool would have gone into the game high on confidence, but what we saw on the pitch was far from confident. The season looks to be running away from Klopp and his men and a quick response is needed, but before looking at what needs to happen next let’s look at the positives and negatives.
In such a big defeat to a rival, it is hard to pick out many positives. The one positive there is to talk about, however, is the same man that I have mentioned time and time again. That man, Mo Salah. Salah’s goal on Sunday meant that was his 9th this season, meaning he has now scored 9 and assisted 3 goals since his move from Roma. The Egyptian sprinted through after a good ball from Jordan Henderson, his shot was cuffed but it had enough on it to get past Hugo Lloris in the Tottenham goal to briefly get Liverpool back in the game. You would not be mistaken now to think if there is a chance Liverpool’s season can kick start again, then this would be through Mo Salah. For the second time this season he was named Champions League Player of the week, with a scintillating display in Liverpool’s attack. He has been a rare bright spark in a disappointing team this season, and the Fans and Manager will be looking at him for carrying on to be the bright spark in a definitely needed change of fortunes.
This is the section where I might as well copy and paste in from previous articles. The Liverpool defence is an absolute shambles. This was further emphasised when Klopp opted to substitute Dejan Lovren after 30 minutes, due to the Croatian being tormented by the Tottenham attack in a forgettable 30 minutes for the defender. But it was not just Dejan Lovren at fault. Mignolet in goal was poor, when again dealing with set pieces, and Joel Matip was also a culprit, after a poor header fell to the feet of Dele Alli who fired in. It seems as though the defence is getting worse and worse every week. This prompted the manager to say he could of ‘defended better in his trainers’. The defence can’t entirely be blamed either though, the Reds lacked serious discipline in Midfield and were often overrun despite bosting more possession. The Manager as well came in for criticism after the game as well, with many pundits and journalists questioning the style of play Klopp uses and questioning how much he can improve this Liverpool squad.
Another display though shows how desperately this Liverpool side still need investment if it wants to reach the top. If the club cannot go for Van Dijk, then a replacement has to be found, and if possible then the deal to bring Naby Keita to Anfield to be moved forward to provide much needed competition in the midfield ranks. It has to be noted that the Reds have a couple of injuries to contend with though, but with Adam Lallana close to a return, the Reds will be hoping he can make an impact. The return of Nathaniel Clyne cannot come soon enough either, with his consistent displays on the right hand side of the back four much needed in this current time.
What the Manager thought:
Jurgen Klopp was highly critical of his teams defending on Sunday, here’s what he had to say to Sky Sports after the game; “We have to prove we are better defenders than we are today. The only way to fix it is to stay strong. The first goal would not happen if I am on the pitch, in my trainers. It was just defending in all parts. Everything that happened was so obvious…you cannot get results with performances like (that). The whole game was pretty much all our fault. We made it much too easy for them. The first goal was a little throw-in and we were not really there. The second goal was from a counter-attack, when the ball passed Dejan it was already too late. If you were to shoot the ball another 500 times I’m pretty sure Dejan Lovren gets the ball. I don’t want to say too much but if I’m involved in this situation on the pitch then Harry cannot get the ball. Coming back into the game with the goal we had our chances, but it’s nothing to talk about today.”
Klopp also went on to say he believes he is the man who can turn around Liverpool’s current struggles in their defensive play; “Of course we can. We have to realise that we are responsible for this, nobody else. Of course we can fix it but we have to fix it as well.”
What next for Liverpool?
Next up for Liverpool in the League is a home game against Huddersfield Town, who beat Manchester United 2-1 at the weekend in an historic victory. The newly-promoted side have had a good start to life in the top flight, and will be looking to frustrate Liverpool on Saturday afternoon. Liverpool will have to remain patient and tight at the back if they want to get a win at the weekend. Huddersfield will be tough to break down, but if Liverpool’s front three, of what will most likely be Salah, Coutinho, and Firmino can manipulate and create space for each other, the Reds should get plenty of chances, but will have to show the same ruthlessness as they did against Maribor.
A turnaround in form is swiftly needed for the Reds, and a good performance in front of the Kop will surely be a big, and much needed confidence boost for Klopp’s Redmen.