Jürgen Klopp’s tactical naivety cost Liverpool against Leicester City

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Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool reacts during the Premier League match between Leicester City and Liverpool at The King Power Stadium on February 27, 2017 in Leicester, England.
All rights reserved by Julian Finney/Getty Images Europe

Paul Stafford vents his frustration at the current situation at Liverpool with is his belief that Jürgen Klopp has failed to address the issues in his team.

This season is a write-off! It is obvious that Jürgen Klopp has underestimated the Premier League and his opposition, although he had half a season to assess the situation. Unlike Conte, a fellow newcomer who adjusted his tactics and formation when it wasn’t working, Klopp seems to be a one-trick pony who only knows one tactic: all-out attack!

The same old tactics and approach produced the same old results! Liverpool had 16 days of rest, and yet somehow they managed to get two key players in Henderson and Lovren injured! Is it his training methods that result in injuries to players like Danny Ings, Sturridge, Henderson, Lovren and Grujic? Because surely it was more important for Henderson and Lovren to be saved for the Leicester game and not intense training sessions where they might get injured.

Klopp’s 4-3-3 system doesn’t work on every team! They were completely overrun in the midfield today. Why can’t Klopp switch to a 3-5-2 formation allowing Moreno and Mané to go out wide? It might have worked against a team like Leicester. And the Lucas experiment at center back just needs to end! Where was Klavan today? Does Klopp not trust his own signing enough to play ahead of an ageing midfielder at the back?

Last week, Lucas came out and stated that he had unjustly been made a scapegoat when things weren’t going right, but it is exactly games like this when he has been too slow and caught out of position that justify that label.

Klopp should have enough foresight to know that playing the old and slow Lucas at center back against the speedy Jamie Vardy is just a catastrophe waiting to happen! Vardy picked on Lucas in the first half and effectively took him out of the game. So, why play Lucas there ahead of Klavan or Gomez when every Liverpool fan could tell you that he would not work well there against the pacey Jamie Vardy?

Lucas might work out there in some games, but against Vardy? Klopp should be able to adjust formations and tactics against different teams with different playing styles. Instead, he keeps playing the same formation, players and tactics against every team in the Premier League and that is where he is going wrong!

Call it naive, call it stubbornness or even arrogance, but Klopp’s insanity this season will not produce the level of where this team should be! If you keep doing the same thing that isn’t working, but you expect different results, that is insanity!

Both Mourinho and Conte are smart enough to know to adjust tactics and formations against different teams who use different tactics. Klopp, the world-class manager that he is, has failed to recognise this and until he does, Liverpool will keep falling short and experience false dawns!

Both Henderson and Lovren were missed today, but Klopp should have the foresight to make adjustments for this match and a different formation is what was needed against Leicester.

It’s not rocket science and it doesn’t take a genius to see where the problem lies. It begins and ends with the manager’s refusal to swallow his pride and adjust his tactics per match.

Klopp can train and train his players all he wants, but until he realises that it’s him and not his players causing this mid-season slide, Liverpool will not make top four!

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