As Manchester City play their way out of a patch of bad form and return back to the top of the Premier League table questions have to start being raised across the Liverpool FC board because it was only two matches ago that the Merseyside club had the opportunity to go seven points clear of 2nd place. Obviously the title race is far from over but with a lead that big the odds would have been heavily in Liverpool’s favour to go on and win their first trophy for seven years.
When I look at Liverpool I see a great squad of players capable of putting in performances against the very best teams in the world.
There is no doubt that Bayern Munich would have been wanting to avoid Liverpool at all costs this early in The Champions League competition because the German side know Anfield is not an easy place to go to and they know any Klopp side has the capability of taking down the German giants.
However good this squad of players is, I am questioning their ability to get things over the line. Drawing with Leicester at home and West Ham away both by the same 1-1 scoreline is not good enough. They are winnable games and the only reason I can think of that Liverpool didn’t win these games was because of the pressure of going seven points clear was too much for some players. Despite the difference of 2 or 3 players, this is still a Liverpool side that have put 4 goals past West Ham in the last 4 times the clubs have met home and away.
Klopp has spent just over €400m since he arrived on merseyside in August 2015. Initially money definitely needed to be splashed on the squad so that he would be able to inflict his style of play and that obviously takes time. However I would say last season was the first full season of fans being able to watch what the manager had been slowly building.
Perhaps if Karius didn’t gift The Champions League to Real Madrid this debate wouldn’t be happening! Nevertheless Klopp has managed to purchase very talented players, my query is around why he isn’t actively seeking players who have previously won trophies with other clubs?
Manchester United under Sir Alex Ferguson never had the best squad of players in terms of ability, but he always had players who knew how to win a trophy and how to get the job done. Another example is Chelsea, being able to consistently compete for a trophy over recent times, player for player there probably isn’t many that a top 6 side would swap with but these players have won trophies and they have that experience.
There is a similar issue happening at Spurs and they are now the club notorious for ‘bottling it’. Pochettino hasn’t held back in press conferences expressing what he wants to do with Tottenham but he is restricted with his funds unlike Jurgen Klopp who has clearly been handed the money with the help of Countinho heading to Spain.
Am I really surprised though? Jurgen isn’t a winner himself! His record in past cup finals has been very well documented so could this dreadful record be his own doing? He obviously has a heavy input into what players come into his squad but he might just have to change his ethos with regards to one or two players to get on of his teams over the line consistently because I personally don’t think it is happening anytime soon.