Speaking on the most recent episode of the Football Daily podcast, Jermaine Jenas has been discussing the reasons behind Liverpool’s underperformance this season.
Many tipped the Reds to retain their Premier League crown ahead of the current campaign, but Jurgen Klopp’s men have had a disastrous time in 2020/21.
The Anfield outfit lost their fifth consecutive home match for the first time in the club’s history after falling to a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea, a result which left them lying in seventh position in the top-flight standings.
A lot of their problems have stemmed from a severe injury crisis to key defenders, including Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, but Jenas believes the reigning English champions also have similarly severe issues in attack.
The famed front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have established a reputation as one of the best forward lines in the game over the last few years, however, the popular pundit thinks Klopp and the club’s hierarchy are partly to blame for their drop-off in form.
Jenas said: (9:12) “That front three is miles off where it has been for a number of years, and that has to get laid at the door of either the club, the manager or the individuals. From the club’s point of view, maybe those three players have got comfortable. The best teams in history, they don’t always bring players in just to kind of play backup or play service to the front three, they bring players in to really test them and to push them and to like, almost disjoint them, to add.
“And you know, would we say that he’s (Klopp’s) done that? I know that they’ve had the injury to Diogo Jota, which was unfortunate, but apart from that, you know, you would say a lot of the issues that I see Liverpool have, have just been going forward. They’re just not the same team on the front foot anymore. And I think that’s where he has to have a look at himself. Something’s changing that dynamic.”
TIF Thoughts on Klopp…
It’s very hard to criticise anything that Jurgen Klopp has done at Liverpool, given the success that he has achieved throughout his time with the Merseyside club.
Having said that though, the enigmatic German manager is partly to blame for the position that the Reds are in.
Of course, Liverpool have been extremely unlucky with injuries, and the compacted and congested fixture list doesn’t favour their high-intensity playing style, but Klopp has failed to add sufficient strength in depth to his squad over the last couple of seasons.
It has been clear for quite some time that the likes of Divock Origi and Xherdan Shaqiri are not good enough to replace the front three, and now Liverpool are paying the price.