Thursday, September 20, 2018

Should Reds fans really be wishing for Klopp to leave?

David Nugent in Editorial, English Premier League 18 Sep 2017

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I cannot believe what I am hearing and reading from SOME Liverpool fans in recent weeks. A minority of supporters believe that boss Jurgen Klopp should leave the club.

Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Burnley seemed to bring out those doubters in numbers. The Reds dominated the game and according to some reports had 34 shots on goal. They were just not clinical enough in front of goal.

Who do these Liverpool fans want to replace Jurgen Klopp? Perhaps they want Brendan Rodgers or even worse Roy Hodgson to return to the club.

In reality, it is very early in the season and the Reds have produced some frustrating displays granted. However, they are not a million miles away from the top of the Premier League table. Spare a thought for us Evertonian’s. We are in the relegation zone and spent a fortune to get there.

We have to look at Klopp’s performance as Liverpool boss in an objective manner. For me, as a rival fan, the Reds are a better team than when Rodgers left the club. That worries me.

Klopp’s team are great to watch

Liverpool have obviously improved under Klopp. The Reds regained a Champions League spot on a budget that Scrooge would take pride in. The German has improved the style of play and I begrudgingly admit that when on form they are a good team to watch (I think I just vomited).

In short, Klopp’s football philosophy is one of playing possession-based attacking football, which most fans like to see. With the pace of Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino, they can counter-attack on an opponent in the blink of an eye.

Ironically, the Reds did not really miss Mane in Saturday’s game. It was just that the players in the team were profligate in front goal. To blame Klopp for players missing chances is harsh.

Klopp is to blame for not strengthening in weak positions

One gripe that I understand from the Liverpool fans is that Klopp has not strengthened in key areas of the pitch. The Reds obviously needed a new centre-back but decided to concentrate their efforts on attempting to sign Southampton’s Dutch centre-back Virgil van Dijk.

Unfortunately, the Saints would not sanction the defenders move, so the Reds were left in the lurch. They did not have a back-up plan and are suffering because of a poor defensive set-up. The left-back situation is one I keep banging on about. Look at me I sound like a Liverpool fan (I need a shower).

Liverpool did need a left-back in the summer and brought in Andrew Robertson from Hull. The Scottish international may be a very good player in the future, but he was maybe not the level of player Liverpool needed.

However, we will never know, because he cannot seem to get in the team ahead of Alberto Moreno. The Spaniard has undergone a sort of Lazarus recovery this season. However, history has told us that it may not last too long.

Some have suggested that it is how Klopp sets up his defence that is the problem and not the defensive personnel. I beg to differ, as in my opinion if the Reds had a leader in a defensive position then they would concede fewer, simple as that really.

At Dortmund, Klopp had good solid defenders. Unfortunately, at Liverpool, he has Joel Matip, Dejan Lovren and Ragnar Klavan, not exactly top defenders. He has to take the blame for signing two of those, though.

Liverpool will be top four challengers

Looking at Liverpool’s squad and the fact that the Reds have barely spent anything on strengthening their squad this summer, I do believe a Premier League title challenge is probably out of their reach this season.

However, my view seems to differ drastically on Liverpool from week to week. Next week they will probably hammer Leicester and they will once again be title challengers. The Reds odds of 25/1 to win the Premier League title suggest that many people are unconvinced by Klopp’s team.

I really like Jurgen Klopp as a man and a football boss. At the moment it does not look like he has turned Liverpool into title challengers. However, surely after getting the Reds back into the top four the German deserves a bit of leeway with the fans.

Look on the bright side Reds you could have Ronald Koeman in charge, so remember that when you are wishing for your affable boss to be fired.

Should Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool future be in question?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer 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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