Damon Savenelli explains why Liverpool aren’t the finished article and suggests patience with Jürgen Klopp’s project at Anfield.
After a very rough start to the new year, Liverpool finally got a positive result. With a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Anfield, Liverpool supporters across the world can breathe a sigh of relief. Ever since Liverpool’s 1-0 win over Manchester City, Klopp’s men have just not looked the same.
The win over City was followed by a draw to Sunderland, a draw to Plymouth Argyle, and losses to Swansea City, Southampton, and Wolves.
Liverpool were knocked out of two cup competitions within a week and their season had taken a serious blow.
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I believe that this was partly due to the fact that the current Liverpool squad is a work in progress. Our dip in form occurred once we were left without Sadio Mané (AFCON) and Philippe Coutinho (injured). This showed just how shallow the current squad appears to be.
Now, as Liverpool supporters, we expect greatness. But we have to be realistic. At the start of the season, I was personally hoping that Liverpool would finish in the top four and qualify for a Champions League spot. After the impeccable start that Liverpool got off to, I thought “Hey we might win the league!”
With Liverpool scoring goal after goal, they looked unstoppable at one point. Mané, Firmino, and Coutinho were running rampant against PL defences and had propelled us to the top of the leaderboards in terms of most goals scored in all of Europe.
But it seems as though that high has run its course. Now that Liverpool have lost some of their swagger, some supporters have become extremely negative. I believe that supporters are expecting Klopp to come in, upgrade the squad, and have instant success.
That is just not possible. Not to be negative, but Liverpool’s reputation as a “football giant” has slipped in the past few years. This means Klopp has a decent amount of rebuilding to do. We must also remember how much dead wood was in the squad last year. And although Klopp has sold most of that dead wood, there is still plenty of it in that current Liverpool squad. There are also multiple voids in the Liverpool squad that need to be filled. Most have pointed out that Liverpool need another winger, midfielder, and centre back amongst other positions. But that is a discussion for a separate article.
It is literally impossible for Klopp to have his perfect, elite, squad that is ready to take on the world at this point in time. Given the fact that Klopp has only been at Anfield for a year and a half, it will take at least another year until Klopp has a squad that he can genuinely call his own.
Let us track back to Klopp’s time at Dortmund for instance. Klopp had inherited a squad that had finished a measly 13th place the year before. In his first season, he took them to a sixth place finish, and a fifth place finish the year after that. And then, well, we all know what happened after that. Klopp and his Dortmund squad won back to back Bundesliga titles.
If we look at the start of Klopp’s career at Liverpool, it somewhat mirrors the start to his Dortmund career. Klopp inherited a Liverpool squad that had performed below expectations last season, and now he has Liverpool in a very comfortable and noteworthy position in the table.
Building greatness takes time. With the second youngest squad in the league, Liverpool are inconsistent, immature, and therefore, bound to make mistakes. Returning Liverpool to glory will take a few years. As for now, our club is on the rise. We have shown how well we can play when everything clicks, now we just need to fill in the gaps. Our club needs our support. We must back our players through the good, and the bad times.
Remember, Rome was not built in a day. In a few years time, we will hopefully look back at this point in time and realise that this was when things started to change for Liverpool. Let’s hope Liverpool’s draw with Chelsea is a good sign, as they seek to get back to winning ways.