Jurgen Klopp

Liverpool vs Everton; the phobia of 20?

To say that Liverpool have had a tough season this year is some under statement. After accumulating over 190 points in the last two seasons, this season has been somewhat of a fall from grace for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Last year, the title was all but sealed before the lockdown, this year? The Reds are fighting for Champions League qualification.

After romping to their 19th title last season, the Anfield side were seen by many as favourites for this year’s Premier League. At the start of the season, what turned out to be an unpredictable season until Man City made an oath that they won’t lose a game. The fall from grace all started when Jordan Pickford forgot what sport he was competing in.

Jordan darling, it’s football. Former Sunderland goalkeeper in a challenge, that was more of a resemblance to a Connor McGregor move, put an end to star defender Virgil Van Dijk’s season. Initially, Jurgen and co, looked to have had the issue under control until 2021 began.

This year has been a disaster for the Merseysiders and that’s putting it mildly. Six defeats in this calendar year already was more than 2019 and 2020 put together. Many have written Liverpool off, this team is past it, this team is this, this team is that. Calm down guys!

Yes, this has been disappointing, but there have been many injuries. It was only last season that Premier League leader Manchester City had an equally disappointing title defence. Bad seasons happen, they have had some rotten luck this year with injuries whereas last year they were fine.

The defence hasn’t been the sole reason for this season panning out the way it has. The constant changing of centre backs doesn’t help, but playing you’re two most important players in midfield in defence has made them severely depleted. After the January window Kabak has been the player partnered with The Red’s captain Jordan Henderson, but they’ve been severely depleted with Henderson at the back.

Liverpool’s midfield is a well oiled machine and without Jordan Henderson, well it’s just getting rust on it. The game against Everton this evening summed up this seasons struggle in a nutshell. Is their a fear of getting to that 20th title? I don’t think so, but they obviously don’t like a number with 20 in it as they have lost for the first time in 21 years to Liverpool.

The Toffees’ last win against their rivals at Anfield was a 1-0 win in 1999. Don’t worry Reds fans, your team will be back, but the Liverpool board do back him, he’s earned it.

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Klopp the unstoppable Jurgen-aught?

He came to English shores as something as a phenomenon. Touted for Manchester United, amongst other jobs and even earmarked by Sir Alex himself.

So when Jurgen Klopp agreed to come to Liverpool manager after he came out of a sabbatical, The Merseyside club celebrated this monumental coup of getting one of club footballs hottest managers.

A sharp whit, a charming personality, a whiter than white smile but a steely determination about him, made Jurgen the man Liverpool fans have come to love and adore.

Ever since he became Liverpool boss in 2015, 53-year old Klopp has only seen nothing but success at Anfield.
A Europa League final loss to Sevilla, which there’s no shame in as that tournament should almost be renamed the Sevilla League as they have such a stranglehold of that tournament.

Despite this setback, there were signs that Liverpool were improving. With back to back Champions League finals in 2018 and 2019, the latter of which they won their sixth in their history.

The Reds would enjoy a trophy-laden period thereafter. The club World Cup, the Super Cup and most satisfying of all for Liverpool fans, the Premier League all made their way into Anfield’s already bulging cabinet.

Nineteen League champions Liverpool were at the top of the world (literally) at this stage. There was one challenge left for manager Jurgen Klopp, who has enjoyed nothing but success since.
How to see through the transition of a great team? This has been a dilemma for many great sides, Manchester United and Barcelona come to mind.

Liverpool are in this same situation too arguably. After the unprecedented success in recent seasons, both star Firmino and Mane look to be in decline.

Injuries too have depleted Liverpool and the supporting cast too look to not be Oscar-winning worthy.
No Virgil Van Dijk, no Joe Gomez or Diogo Jotta too, that’s some serious talent in the treatment room.
One can’t argue it’s been a disappointing season this season. What people shouldn’t do is write Liverpool off.

The Reds have a tricky task when it comes to it to evolve this team. Now this team isn’t at the end of its cycle, but this great Liverpool team can’t last forever.

Jurgen Klopp has pretty much turned everything into gold that he’s touched so be he’s been in Merseyside.
This season has been unfortunate with the number of injuries that they have suffered. No matter how great the team, injuries come back to bite, just ask Pep at Man City.

At the time of writing, Liverpool are fifth. With the quality of the squad that they have, to qualify for Champions League football next season shouldn’t be an issue.

When (hopefully sooner rather than later) they get their star player Van Dijk back. When he does come back and the other injured players too, I want to raise the issue again of evolving this Liverpool team. Tottenham although they didn’t win a trophy, managed to turn into a consistent side.

But what they didn’t do is not evolve at the right time. As a result Tottenham who were consistently qualifying for the Champions League places, are no way near as a result. Liverpool are very well run and I have no doubt that they won’t make this mistake that Spurs did.

On that, as the saying goes Auf Wiedersehen Pet!

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The old London bus

There’s that saying, of the old London bus, nothing for ages then two come at once, this saying has become very popular in football too. With Liverpool’s football team, it proved to be the case of the old London bus.

When The Reds beat Crystal Palace 7-0 at Selhurst Park, a ground which is arguably their bogey ground, no one and I am sure no one would have expected Jurgen Klopp’s all conquering side to lose their touch in front of goal.

The usual sharp shooter, quick draw Mcgraw of the wild wild North West, were a shadow of themselves.

Games against West Brom ended (who have been close to hopeless with and without Big Sam’s intervention) goal less, as did the matches with Southampton and Burnley too.

With the latter two teams, both defeated the reigning champions 1-0, which started to lead to some questions if Liverpool were fielding their under 18’s in disguise. The golden boot of Salah, the pin point of Trent Alexander Arnold, where had they gone?

Maybe they were still stuck in South London and were a victim of the Prime Minister’s stricter lockdown rules. As the games passed by, and the minutes too, many were left wondering where have last seasons Liverpool gone?

This version of the Premier League winners has upgrades. Thiago Alcantara, the one man orchestra one of the best in the business in his position has left many Liverpool fans and non-Liverpool fans in awe in how he glides across the football pitch.

Bambi on ice? Were some of the thoughts of some, but a Lion in the jungle the former Bayern man is becoming with his commanding and demanding displays in the middle of the park so far. This was all fair and well, but there was still no goals?

Such a sequence couldn’t continue for long surely or could it? One hour, turned into seven. Has someone shrunk the goals for a laugh? It started to seem that way. Salah, Mane and Firmino couldn’t score no matter how much they tried.

From the Liverpool perspective, this barren run of no goals duly ended when Manchester United hosted The Reds in what turned out to be one of the best FA Cup games in recent memory. Mohammed Salah duly getting two on the day.

So the goals came back, but what about that first win of 2021? Well, that would come this evening against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham team. This Spurs team is a far cry from the team under former manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Jose’s boys tend to park the bus. Now, I thought this was what they do at the Wembley bus station, but looks like Mr Mourino’s sat nav has gone slightly off. The trio of Mane, Salah and Firmino looked to have got their mojo back as Firmino and Mane both scored in tonights 3-1 win.

Jose, that parked bus has been moved. Someone left the hand break down *rolls his eyes*

Tonight’s visitors Liverpool played like their hand break was down too.

Those Liverpool’s boys have been starved of a goal for a while, they’ve fulfilled some of the craving tonight.

These lads though? They’re hungry boys and still need feeding.

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Liverpool are in a crisis?

They’re in unchartered territory, a place where they haven’t been for some time, but it can be argued that Liverpool are in very poor form. With last night’s 1-0 defeat to Burnley taken in to consideration too, a home defeat which was there first in the league since 2017. Plus the fact that The Reds haven’t scored for over 400 minutes, then off hand, you can say the Anfield side are in a major slump.

Defeats to Southampton and now Burnley, alongside draws against West Brom, Newcastle and Fulham suggests that all isn’t well at Liverpool. It’s well documented that Liverpool have a whole host of injury problems, with Virgil Van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Diogo Jota all on the treatment table to name just some.

Dutch centre-back and star man Van Dijk, is stepping up his recovery, but he won’t be able to play again this season most likely.

With those defeats and draws that Jurgen Klopp’s side have suffered, as strange as it may sound they haven’t been too bad. The game against Manchester United for example, The Reds pressed and probed, Thiago Alacantra was their one more orchestra.

The Spaniard, was truly pulling the strings and not one United player could get near him. As the game wore on however, Liverpool ran out of steam and it was Man United who had the better of the game.

This is partly due to confidence lacking, but also the fact that teams are trying to be more narrow when defending against Liverpool attacks, this seems to have been one way that’s thwarted Liverpool’s creativity. Another factor has been the poor form of Roberto Firmino. The Brazilian, largely criticised for not scoring enough, has been a key player for the Merseyside club, due to his unselfish work and how he brings others to play.

At the moment, he’s not even doing that I am afraid and other players are suffering as a result? But on the flip side the big man needs a rest! That’s evident for all to see.

The famed front three of Mohammed Salah, Sadio Mane and of course Firmino have been a massive part of all the good things for Liverpool in recent seasons. All three are struggling, hence the goal drought the 19-time domestic champions are going through. Jordan Henderson and Fabino, the midfielders who are the rock in the middle of the park for Liverpool, are having to fill in at the defence.

With this enforced position change, The Reds have been affected at a result. So to conclude my thoughts and findings of Liverpool’s current situation, I would say this. Yes, Liverpool are struggling and not scoring goals, but no they’re now not all of a sudden a terrible team. The Premier League title looks highly unlikely at this point, it’s returning to Anfield, but this has been such an unusual season.

Three teams have been top of the table in the past 24 hours, which only emphasises that point. This is just a bad patch of form that Liverpool are going through, all teams go through it, Manchester United went through theirs earlier in the season, and Chelsea too are in a slump in form, but we don’t talk about that. Liverpool ironically for all their defensive injuries, are struggling to score goals but haven’t conceded too many .

Form is temporary and class is permanent as they say. It will be tough for them to win this year’s title, but this Liverpool team like any other needs subtle changes and evolution, it’s what the great teams do. Liverpool are a great team. Don’t let this month allow you to forget that, it wasn’t too long ago that they won 7-0 against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Palace.

Is Jurgen Top Of The Klopps For Arsenal?

Jurgen Klopp has stated his desire to manage in England.

Jurgen Klopp has stated his desire to manage in England.

Arsenal endured yet another frustrating day in front of their own fans. This time however it was ‘old adversaries’ Manchester United. United came into this evenings game to the Emirates with a rather underwhelming start to the campaign, with that in mind – one must have thought that ‘ it’s a good time’ to play the Red Devils.

Sadly though for the Gunners they would lose this match and go further behind pacesetters Chelsea. Losing is a very painful emotion in itself – but yet another defeat to one of the so called ‘big four ‘ has lead to many disgruntled fans ‘calling for the head’ of manager Arsene Wenger.

What doesn’t help is the apparent statement coming from Borussia Dortmund manager Jurgen Klopp, which some may argue has only increased the pressure on Wenger. Klopp who has been a champions league runner up with Dortmund, is a manager that is widely respected in Europe- but he himself is struggling in his current job with Dortmund who are currently in a lowly 15th place in the Bundesliga.

That in itself is not necessarily a true reflection of the German side this season, they have breezed through to the knockout stage of the champions league. Jurgen Klopp has won the domestic tittle with Dortmund back to back – but even Jurgen Klopp hasn’t been able to prevent arch rivals Bayern Munich winning the league at a canter.

The talk of Klopp being the next manager of Arsenal is a bit harsh in my humble opinion – but the stats don’t lie . The Gunners already even at this stage of the season, seem out of the title race and it’s not even December!

Arsenal’s players are trying but they’re naive, I think maybe Arsene Wenger’s tactics is naive. The French manager these days always seems to come second best against one of their ‘bigger rivals’.

Despite the ‘Rolls Royce signings’ (that’s no reference to Marco Reus) , players such as Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil – Arsenal seem to lack the big game mentality. This defeat against Manchester United only emphasises what the problems have been before – the defence and a holding midfielder.

The criticism of Wenger in the past has been that he doesn’t spend – but to his credit he has changed that. I still can’t understand why Arsene Wenger opted to sell his club captain Thomas Vermaelen, the Belgian is just the player they need at the moment.

To eradicate that mistake Arsenal need to make some defensive reinforcements, if they don’t I think some reinforcements might be needed at managerial level.