After just two games under the new 4-4-2 system, Jurgen Klopp admitted that he could now abandon it, having lost “one important part” due to injury.
Ahead of Liverpool’s trip to Arsenal, Klopp explained the need to be “unpredictable” by making his debut in a new 4-4-2 scheme in a 2-0 win over Rangers in midweek.
An hour before the start of the match at the Emirates, the team confirmed that his team had not changed after the victory at Anfield, and Darwin Nunez and Diogo Hota took the lead again.
However, it was less successful than five days earlier: Gabriel Martinelli’s goal and Bukayo Saka’s double led to Liverpool’s defeat in the capital.
Their suffering was compounded by two serious injuries in the first 45 minutes: Luis Diaz and Trent Alexander-Arnold were forced off the field before scans this week.
According to Klopp, the loss of one of these two players could lead to another tactical rethink, as he insisted that there were no problems with the system, despite the Liverpool game.
“I think the goals we conceded had nothing to do with the system,” he told reporters.
“Did we need to get used to it a little more? This is also normal.
“Can we play again? I don’t know, because today we lost one important part of it. So we need to see who is available for the next game.
“Do I have deeper concerns? Yes, of course, I’m not happy, what should I do? We are not in the mood for jokes and joy.
“We have a difficult moment, and we want to get through it together. That’s what we’re working on.”
Although the coach did not specify what injury he was referring to, it is more than likely that it was due to Alexander-Arnold, given his unique qualities and long-term dependence on the right defender.
Joe Gomez took his place at halftime, but this is a different type of player, and Kelvin Ramsey wasn’t even in the lineup after recovering from a long-standing back injury.
Gomez or James Milner are expected to replace Alexander-Arnold when the Reds come to the Rangers on Wednesday night, and a 4-4-2 scheme is perhaps more possible if Milner is the starter.
However, Klopp may have been referring to Diaz’s absence, as the Colombian’s knee injury limited opportunities for four attacking roles.
Mo Salah and Roberto Firmino remain available along with Hota and Nunez, while Fabio Carvalho and Harvey Elliott can also be considered as more advanced midfielders.