Sunday, March 18, 2018

Is Jurgen Klopp destined to fail at Liverpool?

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I must sound like a voice from the other side of the park trying to put the boot in. However, is Jurgen Klopp destined to fail at Liverpool because of his inability to fix his team’s defence?

I have to say I like Jurgen Klopp as a football manager, while he comes across as a good guy as well. The Premier League is certainly a more interesting place for his presence. However, one issue that comes up with his Liverpool team constantly is the fact that they seem to find the simple act of defending very complicated.

On Saturday, the Reds were facing a relegation-threatened West Brom side in the Fourth round of the FA Cup. The Baggies had won just twice in their previous 24 competitive games. However, somehow Alan Pardew’s side came to Anfield and left with a 3-2 win. It was a disastrous result.

Maybe it is not the personnel

When Liverpool spent £75million on Dutch defender Virgil van Dijk, a world record for a defender, Liverpool fans were acting as if he was their defensive saviour. However, the former Southampton star has started twice for Liverpool.

The Reds have lost both games, conceding four goals in the process. He looks like money well spent! Klopp attempted to field a number of different centre-back pairing and nothing has fixed their defensive vulnerabilities. Maybe it is not the players that need fixing, but their defensive coaching. Van Dijk is a Rolls Royce of a player. However, in the last few months, he has looked more like a clapped out Robin Reliant. Something is not right.

Klopp needs defensive help

Jurgen Klopp is renowned for producing exciting, attacking and expansive teams. Liverpool can be fantastic to watch (did I just really say that). However, the German’s teams are not exactly known to be defensively weak, as at Mainz and Dortmund his teams were relatively solid defensively.

Liverpool for the best part of the campaign have been relatively solid too. However, they have moments of defensive madness that must cause Klopp and Liverpool supporter’s nightmares. Maybe Klopp needs to bring in a new defensive coach to drill his defensive players, somebody that can stiffen up the backline so that the front players do not need to score two or three goals a game to win a football match.

Klopp is a clever guy and I am sure he has probably considered this option. If he has not then he is blind to his team’s errors. Until the defensive side of the Reds team is fixed, they will never win the big trophies. The question is can Klopp solve the problem or is he going to fail at Anfield because of it.

Top-four finish a priority

It looks like Liverpool will once again finish the season with no silverware unless they pull off a Champions League miracle. They have done it before, but I really cannot see it happening this season.

The Reds priority is now to nail a Champions League spot, which they are odds of 1/3 to achieve this season. A top-four finish is anything but a foregone conclusion. Klopp’s side are in a fight for a top-four spot with the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and even Arsenal.

Liverpool have shown already that they beat anybody on their day, ending Manchester City’s unbeaten Premier League in the process. However, they have also shown that they can lose against the worse teams in the table Swansea and West Brom.

On his arrival at the club, Klopp stated that he would win a big trophy in tenure at Liverpool. So far, all he has delivered is great entertainment. As much as that is great, surely there comes a point when fans start asking whether Klopp can deliver on his promise.

Is Jurgen Klopp destined to fail at Liverpool?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The 33-year-old has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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