Liverpool fans: Understandable frustration or overreacting pessimists?

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Ragnar Klavan and Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool shows his appreciation to the fans at the end of the Premier League match between Burnley and Liverpool at Turf Moor on August 20, 2016 in Burnley, England.
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Daniel White discusses whether or not Liverpool fans are justified in feeling frustrated after defeat to Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday.

Saturday saw Liverpool lose 2-0 to Burnley and many fans went into a state of meltdown. Which poses a question; is the wide spread panic justified or are some fans just being over dramatic? It’s a question that is almost impossible to answer due to the wide range of issues that have arisen for this Liverpool side from fans and experts.

It would be fair to say that Klopp was given a free pass with fans last season, with the argument that he had inherited Rodgers’ team. Now Klopp has had a full season and has had the opportunity to bring in players that he wants and how does this Liverpool side look? Well we’ve won one and lost one, the win looking more positive and the loss being nothing short of a disaster. It’s certainly far too early to be going into full blown panic mode but there are things that need to improve.

Simon Mignolet and Alberto Moreno were heavily discussed all summer by fans as being players that needed replacing, something which I agree with. However, somehow many fans still managed to blame Mignolet, who was hardly at fault for the two goals, and Moreno who played 15 minutes of football the whole game. It’s ridiculous and delusional to blame them for yesterday’s result and also yesterday’s performance as a whole.

 

It seems at the moment that Liverpool fans, including myself, find it hard to give any criticism to Klopp. When does it become acceptable to ask questions of our current manager, in my opinion we should be winning games like the on on Saturday if we want to be challenging for top 4, regardless of what the starting 11 is, the team structure should be there to get the job done.

I’m sure that many of us could see from early on that the game wasn’t working for us, possession doesn’t lead to goals, chances lead to goals and we were not creating many chances despite the large possession that we were having. In the post-game interview Klopp mentioned that decision making was poor and it clearly was but not just from the players, from him also. Sturridge seemed to be playing out wide for the majority of the game and that seems odd with his goal scoring record.

Sturridge has had some criticism after his performance which is justified, although another player which has been heavily scrutinised is Jordan Henderson. Arguably some criticism has been harsh but it’s alarming at how we are so quick to turn on one of our own. Let’s not forget that Henderson played the majority of the season where we finished 2nd in the Premier League, yes we had Suarez but he was still a part of that team and did his job well.

One of the largest worries that I have personally is that it seems someone needs to create a moment of magic to get us into games. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one watching the game yesterday thinking that someone is going to have to do something special to get us back into this, we looked very average and yet we didn’t get a change till the 65th minute. Do we have a plan B? It’s hard to say so early in the season but the worst part is that we shouldn’t have needed a plan B yesterday.

 

Taking everything into consideration there is a reason for concern, but there is a long way to go and Klopp is a respected manager who clearly needs time. No one really knows or can agree on what the actual issues are with this Liverpool side, the personnel, system or something else? Carragher told Sky Sports that ‘the defence is a big problem. It was a big problem under Brendan Rodgers and it doesn’t look like it has been rectified.’

However, along with those defensive issues that Carragher mentioned, we had 80% possession yesterday and only managed 5 shots on target. That would, despite the heavy investment made in midfield and up top, leave many fans scratching their head about the attacking football that we played against Burnley.

Carragher brings up a good point relating back to Rodgers because at times last season, once Klopp was appointed Liverpool manager, we could still see glimpses of a ‘Rodgers side’ when we suffered poor defeats (Newcastle, Watford, West Ham and Southampton) or even poor performances where we didn’t get wins when we should have. There is no doubt that Klopp is seen to be the superior manager compared to Rodgers, not that I disagree, but at the moment he does boast the better Premier League record with a win percentage of 51% to Klopp’s 43%.

We should still be confident that Klopp can solve the issues that the team currently has. I wrote in a previous piece about Liverpool reaching top 4 and after yesterday’s results and the reaction from fans to players; Klopp really needs to make sure that he keeps control of this situation and keeps players confidence high otherwise top 4 won’t be a reachable target. It’s a difficult one as you would have thought that winning against Arsenal last week would have been a perfect start and great confidence builder for Klopp’s side, but evidently not.

Klopp will no doubt be angry after the recent performance and will need to pick the team up after a shambolic performance and get them ready to go again next week. We know what the team is capable of which is where the frustration comes from/ As fans we just need to be patient and wait for Klopp to fully implement his system and hopefully bring in a couple of new faces to just finish off what has been a positive transfer window. The loss will hopefully be just a minor hiccup in a brilliant season for the reds.

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