As Liverpool slumped to a second successive defeat since the start of the year there was an audible groan in the away fans section. The Reds had been utterly outclassed by Brighton and had conceded three goals for the second time in two games. The season already seems to be slipping away from the club.
Jurgen Klopp has renewed his contract – and is absolutely the right man for the job. But Xbet online betting markets have no mention of Liverpool winning the Premier League this season. There is barely much confidence in taking a Champions League spot. What has gone wrong at Anfield? And what can be done to save this season?
The Season So Far
The short version is that this season has been a complete disaster. It took four games to record a victory, including a demoralising defeat at Old Trafford. The 9-0 thrashing of Bournemouth turned out to be a one-off and Liverpool went into the World Cup break down in sixth.
Worse was to follow though. Two defeats at the start of the year saw the club drop to ninth and only a scrappy win in a replay has kept any domestic cup dreams going. The Champions League tie against Real Madrid is filling fans with dread and there needs to be a lot of work done to even qualify for the Europa Conference League at this point.
Klopp has pointed to a string of injury problems as one of the causes for his team’s failures. But we have encountered these problems before and done a lot better in the league. With the winter World Cup restricting the season and putting the players under more stress, all clubs are dealing with injuries to some degree.
To give Klopp some credit, the players that have been injured are very important to how he saw his team progressing and developing. Losing both Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota was a major blow. Having Darwin Nunez on the sidelines so often has been disappointing, but Virgil van Dijk also missing will have a big effect.
But the media have leapt on another reason for Liverpool’s woes – and it is not without some basis in fact. The club missed a trick in the summer by not bringing in at least one midfielder. Fabio Carvalho was a good addition, but it is in defensive midfield where lies the real problem.
Jordan Henderson and Fabinho have been excellent servants to the club. But both look like they are struggling this season. Add to that the folly of playing Thiago further forward and it is no surprise that the Liverpool midfield get overrun so often. Opponents are playing their way through the middle at ease.
An obvious short-term fix would be bringing in main transfer target Jude Bellingham in the January transfer window. But it looks unlikely that any deal for the Borussia Dortmund midfielder, who enjoyed an excellent World Cup, will be completed this month. Hopefully something will be thrashed out in the summer.
With injuries to key players and older players not being able to cope, Klopp may have to look to his young players to step up earlier than he would have liked. Players like Harvey Elliott and Stefan Bajcetic have already been given some game time – perhaps they will need to be trusted even more.
Plan for the Future
Bringing younger players through is a great idea for the future of the club. But it will be a major problem if Liverpool do not qualify for the Champions League this season. One way would be winning the trophy again – but there is that Real Madrid tie to get out of the way first.
But a top four finish simply looks out of the question at the moment. There is obviously a long way to go yet and injured players will come back into the team. But Liverpool need to drastically improve in the coming months because, at the moment, saving the season only looks like finishing in the top six.