With Liverpool at risk of falling quickly under Jurgen Klopp, one of the opposition coaches has highlighted three key weaknesses, including one disturbing reality.
The Reds missed a big opportunity on Monday when they lost 3-1 to Brentford after Tottenham, Chelsea, Newcastle and Manchester City missed out on the weekend.
That ended a run of four Premier League wins, and after Spurs defeated Crystal Palace 4-0 on Wednesday, they are five points behind fifth and seven points behind the top four.
Liverpool’s performance in West London was particularly worrying, and while it’s not a hopeless case for Klopp’s team, there are certainly questions to be asked.
In an article for I this week, Mark Douglas quoted an unnamed member of the club’s backroom staff who recently fought the Reds.
“They are in transition. It feels like the team has been together for too long,” they explained before detailing the weaknesses revealed at the pre—match meeting.
These, according to Douglas, were:
- Liverpool’s vulnerability in transitions
- The ease with which they miss clear chances
- Their frequent inability to resist physical impact
The latter point is by far the most damning, and Jamie Carragher noted it in a brutal post-match assessment on Monday in which Klopp’s team was compared to Arsene Wenger’s last Arsenal era.
Although it is unclear which club Douglas is referring to, as the Northern football correspondent of I, it is most likely that the source came from either Manchester City or Leeds.
Leeds inflicted the last defeat on Liverpool before losing to Brentford, and Man City won in the fourth round of the League Cup after a break in the World Cup.
Klopp’s lack of fitness is a serious problem, and it will be difficult to solve it while the coach is fielding the same players every week.
“When I watch Liverpool now and, of course, the midfield, it seems to me that Jurgen Klopp’s team is turning into something else – a technical team,” Carragher explained to Sky Sports.
“The only team he reminds me of is when I played against Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
“Yes, they were a great football team, but with their real pace and physical strength, the teams could not cope.
“Then this team turned into something really technical and never won again.”
The Douglas report mentions an interest in Atalanta midfielder Teun Kupmeiners, and at least one new addition is required, and ideally this should happen in January of this year.