Daniel White discusses Liverpool’s recent poor run of form, the causes and effects and also explores whether or not this blip in the Reds’ season comes as a wake-up call.
Is one win in seven games just a poor run for Klopp’s men or is this a reality check? After the brilliant first half of the season many Liverpool fans, including myself, were starting to whisper the possibility of challenging for the title. However, again, the last seven or so games have not been convincing and I think we are all starting to question whether we may have been getting carried away with ourselves before?
It certainly seems as if there is an uphill battle for the red men now as their confidence looks as if it’s in tatters at times. The lack of a plan B is starting to grind at fans, but as Liverpool fans, we shouldn’t worry because we have one of the best managers in Europe and to get anywhere we must be patient. Hopefully, today’s game against Wolves can be the turnaround game for us after a terrible start to 2017.
To improve on this year so far (which shouldn’t be hard) Klopp needs to find out where it’s going wrong for the team. Have we been found out? Is sitting back and using counter attacking football the best way to beat us? Probably, but that’s something that we should prepare for and be patient and have to break defences of up to ten players. Despite Southampton deserving to go through from the first minute of the first leg, we showed signs in the second half of the second leg that we can break teams down and create chances, it was just a shame that Sturridge missed two of them.
Is it the back four? Sometimes as a unit they’re suspect but looking at the whole season they’ve actually performed to a satisfactory standard if we look at how many games we have lost, only five. Personally, it seems to be the whole team. Now, I’m not talking about the pressing, but the actual defending once the opposition are around our box and we have numbers back. The wide players can become very careless, we seem to let in crosses and don’t prevent them. Yes, the defending once the ball in the box might not be the best but it wouldn’t be needed at all of the cross wasn’t allowed in.
A refocus is definitely what the Liverpool players need at the moment, which is what we were all hoping they would have got from the meeting that Klopp called for before the Southampton game, but it didn’t have an effect in our fifth loss of the season and third loss in 2017. The biggest frustration is that we are well aware of how capable the team is as we all watched them do it in 2016. Klopp needs to find a way of capturing that same swagger and confidence that the side had before.
Is it because we don’t have Mane at the moment? Maybe, but to me, that would diminish Klopp’s talents as a coach and he is up there with the best. There is a long list of things that could be playing a role in our poor form and the truth is that no one really knows. Klopp himself might not even know yet but you can bet your life on it that he will do everything humanly possible to solve the current form.
Moving forward, Liverpool now need to focus on getting back on track and making sure that top four is still within reaching distance as the end of the season approaches. It was nice to think about challenging for the title for a few months but it’s now time for everyone to dig deep and get out of the slump that they’re currently in, because if it isn’t sorted quickly then the teams below us will be leap frogging us as we have some huge games coming up.
It goes without saying that next week’s game, due to our current form and a challenging fixture list; it is the most important game of the season so far. With Chelsea, Leicester, Spurs, Arsenal, City and Everton all coming up in the next two months or so it is vital we can go into those games with a bit of confidence back with a win over Wolves. Obviously, Wolves and the other teams are completely different but with our form, we need to take anything we can get and getting back to winning ways is key.