After Liverpool’s disappointing 2-1 defeat to Leeds, three suffering Reds fans tried to analyze this latest blunder.
It was a terrible night for Jurgen Klopp and his players on Saturday when they were knocked down by opponents who were threatened with relegation at Anfield.
The defeat leaves Liverpool eight points behind in fourth place and at risk of missing out on Champions League qualification if nothing changes.
Here, Henry Jackson from This Is Anfield (@HenryJackson87) was joined by Red (@TaintlessRed) and John O’Sullivan (@NotoriousJOS) to discuss the shocking defeat and assess Klopp’s current problems.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Saturday, October 29, 2022: Mohamed Salah of Liverpool (right) celebrates with teammate Roberto Firmino after scoring the first equalizing goal during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
JOHN: The result and the performance of everyone except Alisson and the outfield defenders made this evening terrible.
Now it’s consecutive defeats from teams from the last three – Liverpool have a terrible habit of putting bad teams in a favorable light.
RED: Liverpool’s biggest problem is that there is not one biggest problem. There’s a lot wrong there.
I’ll start with two things that I liked — yes, there were a couple in this terrible overall performance.
Liverpool still create chances, even if we lose or draw. We scored xG 1.95 against Leeds. That should be enough to win any game, but our collective defense is terrible.
I also liked that the outfield defenders attacked high and wide, which we have rarely seen at all this season, but it was the cornerstone of our peak years under Klopp.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Saturday, October 29, 2022: Andy Robertson of Liverpool (right) challenges Jack Harrison of Leeds United during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
They were both involved in the opening, and usually they can create even more opportunities in open play from the positions they find themselves in. We need to keep this in future games.
In general, unfortunately, Liverpool is a shadow of the team of previous seasons. The intensity in the side disappeared.
Defenders make basic individual mistakes in duels, positioning or decision–making – not to mention giving a goal to a Leeds team that lacked confidence before the game.
The midfield, which many of us have stressed needs to be strengthened, cannot run, especially in a diamond-shaped pattern, where they have to run even more because the outfield defenders need to provide width.
The whole team was 11 km behind Leeds, and this has happened too often this season.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Saturday, October 29, 2022: Crisencio Summerville of Leeds United scores the second goal during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
Henry: I’m so sad right now. What happened?
Here I completely agree with the guys – as Red says, there is no specific problem, instead, many processes are happening simultaneously.
The lack of legs is definitely the biggest problem, because Liverpool used to be a terrible team to play against, and now they are just a dream for the opponents.
Maybe last season just took their lives. Perhaps the players are tired of the same training methods. Maybe they’re just getting old together.
Whatever it is, we are now in a state of real crisis.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SATURDAY, October 29, 2022: Joe Gomez of Liverpool during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
JOHN: The physical limitations of the Reds were obvious to everyone this season, but the game against Leeds really revealed them.
They were second in everything and looked painfully slow.
Klopp has changed his form a lot this season, but the new alignment of the same players is not a magic elixir that will add energy and drive to some irreparably exhausted brains and legs.
RED: The worst thing about this result is that we have seen such performances too often.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – Saturday, October 29, 2022: Crisencio Summerville of Leeds United celebrates scoring the second goal in stoppage time during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
Whether it was due to fatigue, team selection, injuries, tactics, a decrease in the number of players, lack of reinforcement, bad luck, some players aiming for the World Cup or something else – Klopp and his coaching staff tried in vain to fix the problems.
It feels like one step forward, then two steps back.
Good teams don’t lose two championship matches in a row. They definitely don’t lose consecutive games to teams from the relegation zone.
No one should bury their head in the sand about this – Liverpool are on a roll.
HENRY: Even the most optimistic fan cannot say that this is not a serious problem right now, because even getting into the top 4 looks extremely unlikely.
I thought Gomez and Fabinho were particularly bad on a personal level, although now is the time to focus on the struggles of the team as a whole.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – SATURDAY, October 29, 2022: Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson with a rainbow armband during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
As for Henderson’s throw in added time, he brought back Lovren’s post-traumatic stress disorder in the match against Aston Villa at Wembley and summed up Liverpool’s season.
I just can’t believe that this is the same team that was close to winning the quad — this is one of the most spectacular drop-offs I’ve ever seen.
We are closer to Hodgson’s Liverpool in the class of 2021/22, and that’s the worst thing I can say.
And how much is Klopp to blame?
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND – SATURDAY, October 22, 2022: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the English Premier League match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at the City Ground Stadium. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
John: Of course, he deserves criticism, but more for the decisions made before this season.
Yes, it’s easy to say in hindsight, but the signing of new contracts with Milner and Henderson and the rejection of the much-needed regeneration of the midfield caused huge damage.
This season he tried something new and at times took the initiative – while he had one hand tied behind his back due to injuries and a relatively difficult start to the match – but now he is reaping what he used to reap.
It’s a catch-22 because his ability to manage people and his loyalty have been a big advantage and a big part of the clubs’ success, but this loyalty to certain players hurts the results.
I will not support any talk about his job being under pressure — he is a million times more than the best person in this position — but starting in January he will have to be ruthless and start rebuilding.
However, from an optimistic point of view, he is modest enough to learn from his mistakes, and I am sure that he and, accordingly, the team will become better after the physical and psychological break provided by the World Cup.
MADRID, SPAIN – SATURDAY, JUNE 1, 2019: Liverpool players throw Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp into the air while celebrating a 2-0 victory in the UEFA Champions League final match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at the Metropolitano Stadium. (Photo by Paul Greenwood/Propaganda)
RED: Klopp is the best thing that has happened to Liverpool Football Club in 30 years. I have no doubt that he is the best person to lead us forward.
That doesn’t mean he hasn’t made mistakes himself this season. The problem was not just individual players or the lack of expenses on the part of the owners.
Excessive loyalty to some fading players, unwillingness to see the need to strengthen the midfield until it is too late, and, of course, some rebounds or changes in games did not help.
Klopp must find this ruthlessness in decision-making, and not limit it to emotional decisions.
His emotions are one of his greatest strengths and that’s why he builds such strong bonds with his players, but when you look at your players as your children, you get so close that it’s hard to let go.
Jurgen needs support. He needs more support from the coaching staff, but especially from the owners. They need to support him and bring in significant reinforcements in January.
Let’s hope that the break in the World Cup will also serve as an opportunity to reboot while more players get in shape.
Liverpool risks not getting football in the Champions League, which can be costly. The club needs to act, but with Klopp in the update center.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – WEDNESDAY, October 19, 2022: Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp during the English Premier League match between Liverpool and West Ham United at Anfield. (Photo by David Rockliff/Propaganda)
Henry: I completely agree with John and Red: Klopp is 100% the man who can take Liverpool forward.
Yes, he’s not having a very good season himself, but who, frankly, is better than him? Who will be the upgrade?
People will be lazy to point out what happened in Dortmund, but I think it’s more to do with the lack of hiring and the failure with injuries — with new signings and everyone who has returned, we will see a completely different team.