Liverpool, Klopp, bad defending, and the way forward


By Oluwafemi Balogun

Before the start of the European football league season, Liverpool had set sights on strengthening their team and throughout the transfer window they had constantly been linked with Southampton’s Virgil Van Dijk as well as other options in attack and midfield.

The signing of Mohammed Salah from Roma has proved good with him combining well with Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino to provide what a lot of fans have tagged “Ferrari attack” (fast paced attack).

But unfortunately for Liverpool, they were not able to get the man they courted throughout the window Virgil Van Dijk, who was supposed to help the team shore up the defense.

Now the season has kicked off, Five EPL games, one in the Champions League and one in the League Cup, they have two wins, four draws and two losses in all competitions.

But the defense is crumbling on all fronts conceding 16 goals in all matches, scoring 17.

But how long until Klopp realises he made a mistake during the transfer window and try to fix his defense?

How can Liverpool and Klopp get it right?

Figure out best partnership

Jurgen Klopp needs to figure out the best defensive partnership for his team as well as pick who his first choice goalkeeper is and build the right confidence in them.

Last season Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip provided a decent partnership despite the injuries they suffered but this term Lovren has been a shadow of his former self.

Ragner Klavan has seen game time this season but has not looked brighter than the other central defenders as moments of mania and a lack of concentration has led them
to concede goals.

Leadership needed

One of the defenders have to step up and be a leader in that half. It may be, due to a lot of rotation and not yet finding his main defensive partnership as no Liverpool defender this season has shown traits of being a leader, one who can call his defenders back to shape and alert his team mates to those crosses and dangerous set pieces.

Mamadou Sakho while at Liverpool showed he could be a leader in defense. You could see him barking instructions at his team mates, his passing accuracy, his drive to the midfield and making those last ditch tackles that saved his team. It’s time Joel Matip or Dejan Lovren stood up and be that leader klopp needs.

The midfielders must help

As much as the Midfielders enjoy going forward they also need to track back often to protect the defenders so they aren’t easily exploited by their opponents.

Captain Henderson hasn’t really hit the heights this season and has been picked by some fans and pundits for failing to track back to protect the defenders who keep making the same errors week in week out and you wonder what they (Liverpool) do during training sessions.

Fans must be patient

Patience from the fans, supporters and club owners is what Klopp needs as he tries to create that Liverpool team that can challenge on all fronts.

Like Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his autobiography, there is a difference between building a football club and a football team. For a Football Club you need time and Klopp needs that time to imprint an identity on his side.

Liverpool must spend in January

January is coming fast and Liverpool need to add to their players especially their defenders.

They have failed to replace some quality players they have lost with same quality or even better.

Klopp and chairman, Tom Werner need to cough out that money and get the right players to cover the cracks within the team.

As much as Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool has been criticised this season they can still beat any team and are a joy to watch while going forward, and can score a lot of goals.

It’s tough being a Liverpool fan these days, but with patience, the right attitude and the right arrivals, who knows where they can be in May.

Besides, no one wins a title or gets relegated in September.

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