In a world which currently sees the champions of Europe and runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool still striving for marginal improvements suggests that the demand for perfection has never been higher.
Liverpool are currently eight points clear at the top of the league table, have only dropped two points in the league since March and are currently on their longest unbeaten run (33) in the league in the club’s illustrious 127-year history.
However, there is a title to be won and 30 years of pain to banished – if there ever was a time for perfection it is now.
Despite making their best-ever start to a league season – registering 46 points from a possible 48 – Liverpool need to address and find a sustainable solution to the current leak of goals this season.
The injury to Dejan Lovren could hand Joe Gomez the perfect opportunity to unlock the final piece of the title-winning puzzle. This would seem extremely harsh criticism considering Lovren has barely put a foot wrong since filling for Joel Matip who is recovering from a knee problem.
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Despite some flawless performances from the Croatian international, statistics don’t lie. Liverpool are conceding far too many goals. Conceding 14 times in 16 league matches wouldn’t usually be a cause for concern.
However, the irresistible high standards of last-season have meant that the defensive shortcomings this season cannot be overlooked. Last weekend’s 4-0 victory was only the Reds’ third clean sheet in the league this season. To put that into perspective, Liverpool had 10 at the same stage last season.
This was during a period where Joe Gomez completed the defensive quartet. The England international’s inspiring influence in the team saw Jurgen Klopp’s team only leak six goals in 16 games during the 2018/19 season.
Gomez, 22, had started 12 out of a possible 15 league matches before he fractured his leg at Burnley in December 2018. During those starts, Gomez was part of seven clean sheets and only conceded five goals as well during that period.
Lovren meanwhile, hasn’t been part of a clean sheet since his return to the first team. After Klopp confirmed in his Friday afternoon press conference that Lovren would be unavailable for Saturday’s clash against Watford could Gomez finally be given the run of games necessary to enable himself to rediscover the devastating form of last season?