Liverpool’s recent stuttering form has become a growing concern. What’s gone wrong and how can Klopp get Liverpool’s season back on track?
For one, an improvement in attack is needed, first and foremost. Liverpool have managed to clock up just seven shots on target in their previous three matches.
Missed chances have proven costly, especially at St James’ Park. However, in Liverpool’s other two matches, they have created very little.
It begs the question as to why Takumi Minamino hasn’t been called upon to make a difference.
After the high of ending his long wait for a first Premier League goal in the 7-0 thrashing of Crystal Palace, Minamino hasn’t featured since.
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That’s quite a mad thing to say so soon after a 7-0 win win but it’s the reality.
In the absence of Minamino, Liverpool have earned just two points from a possible nine.
Something has to change because Liverpool, at this moment, do not oppose as significant a threat in attack. Injuries have taken their toll, too. Diogo Jota has been a huge miss, after all.
His involvement due to a knee injury has put greater responsibility on the shoulders of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, too.
In recent weeks, they haven’t been able to provide answers.
Alternate solutions needed
So why hasn’t Klopp turned to Minamino? Of course, it is unlikely he should usurp any of Liverpool’s pedigreed front-three in the starting XI, but off the bench, he could have made a difference.
Minamino’s momentum has stalled and he’ll want to get back up to speed quickly.
Luckily, he has the chance to get back up to speed quickly. The Japanese international is expected to start against Aston Villa in the FA Cup on Friday.
Another strong showing from Minamino – who joined for a bargain £7.25 million [BBC] fee last year – can go a long way to regain the trust of his manager.
As a result, he needs to showcase he can influence matches during periods where the team are struggling.
As Liverpool struggle to score, they need to uncover new ways of unlocking defences. The front-three, for the first time in years, have become far too predictable. Alternate options such as Minamino and Jota needed to be entrusted more frequently, then.
Even if it’s just a minute or two here and there, it can go a long way to making Liverpool more proactive in front-of-goal.
Supporters certainly share a similar sense of confusion when it comes to Klopp’s recent reluctance to turn to Minamino.