Jurgen Klopp simply has to win a trophy with Liverpool this year or next. But is it possible with this group of players?
Too often when the chips were down the team has crumbled. The manager’s brought in some new players, however there is still a question over some of the old guard and if they have what it takes to win major titles.
Good teams find ways to win, average teams find ways not to. Liverpool simply haven’t shown enough.
Klopp has changed the mind-set of the people in the city and the club, but the collapse at Bournemouth is something we’ve seen quite a few times in recent years.
With all due respect to the Cherries, if you can’t defend a two-goal lead against them then I struggle with what happens when Liverpool come up against a top team.
The Reds didn’t show enough tactical nous or an understanding of what’s required in certain situations.
Game management has been lacking at the club for a couple of years and the fact that there’s no holding midfielder in that system is wrong. It puts a question over their title credentials. Liverpool need someone who steadies things, offers balance and provides the solidity to commit players forward. Throughout the team they lack a little bit of steel.
Xhaka brings it to Arsenal, Kante and Matic offer it to Chelsea. Man City are in a similar position to Liverpool, they’re missing that toughness in the centre of the park as well. You can’t play end-to-end football and win the Premier League, it’s not what top teams do.
Emre Can is attack-minded and Jordan Henderson likes to get around the pitch, but they’ve not got enough tactical knowledge in the middle of the park to compete at the very top.
There’s times when you need to be nasty.
Atoning for your errors
When we lost 4-3 to Leeds after losing a similar advantage in November 2000, Gerard Houllier was majorly disappointed with us. Leeds had a very good side then, but we should have never given that away. But it’s all about how you come back from these kind of setbacks.
We went and won three trophies in that campaign – the FA, League Cup and Uefa Cup. The defeat spurred us on, and taught us a lesson about what we have to do in the future if you aspire to bigger and better things. This current team don’t seem to have learned from past disappointments.
They should have won the league in 2013/14, they lost to Aston Villa in an FA Cup semi-final in 2015, and then last year they lost the League Cup and Europa League finals. It is happening time-and-time again.
There’s been a lot of questions about the goalkeeping position at the club, but you have to stick with Loris Karius. You need a top keeper to win trophies and Karius has to improve. The fourth Bournemouth goal was a bad mistake and he should really have stopped the second one as well.
Once the fans get on your back in Liverpool, it’s not an easy place to turn it about. The only player to do that in the last 15 years was Lucas.
But if you take Karius out of the team now you destroy him. But there is no doubt he needs to settle down and up his performances.
With the weekend in mind Liverpool face a West Ham side who are having a tough time, but they’re a very physical team. Traditionally, this is the kind of side Liverpool don’t like facing.
Philippe Coutinho is a big loss in these games where you need to pick apart the opposition who may sit deep, but home advantage should swing it for the Reds and put them back on track.