Klopp is not the manager to revive one-track Liverpool

Date published: Sunday 24th January 2021 10:05 - Will Ford

Jurgen Klopp Liverpool

Keep your mails on Klopp and anything else to theeditor@football365.com.


Klopp and Liverpool must change
Much as it pains me to say but Liverpool have been found out. Like a lot of things you don’t see coming, it’s been coming for a long time.

Gradually teams have been coping better with and figuring out our approach. Even in the midst of last years glory the number of chances we created was reducing to my eye and we relied increasingly on a mean defence and narrow margins of victory and last minute winners. It was great but not sustainable for long term success.

Now teams have figured us out even more, put 8-9 players behind the ball, stick tight to Salah and Mane, don’t let them cut inside, cut the supply from the full backs, hit on the counter. And do you know what, fair play to the teams who are doing this to us and winning points and games against us.

It’s our job (well not mine really) to change it up and keep the opposition off balance and vulnerable. So what do we do? Lots of people talking about how certain players are out of form, past it or just plain useless. I don’t really buy any of this, given time space and opportunity out players skills would shine out, at the moment it is smothered.

I see one simple tactical change that could revolutionise our season, swap Mane and Salah.

Klopp loves inverted wingers so this may be sacrosanct but hear me out. The world and its dog knows what Liverpool are trying to do when they attack. Teams are defending narrow and deep and shutting down space so let’s open it up.

Turning Salah and Mane into more natural wingers means they are more likely to take their fullback on the inside and they should be given specific instructions to drive to the byline when possible with support from the fullbacks. This pulls the opposition full backs wide and out of shape.

In this position Mane and Salah can supply low directed crosses into our smaller but fast and tactically aware players, rather than the aimless high cross approach to small strikers we have seen of late. City have been at this for years and reaped enormous dividends, why not give it a go?

We usually play with two no. 8s so why not use them differently? Let them create overlapping triangles with the wingers and fullbacks and become a threat by themselves by making late runs into the box again harder to follow and pick up and turns the opposition. Midfield around and running towards its own goal, and spreads the goals around the team more. Henderson, Keita, Thiago, Jones, the Ox, Minamino, Shaqiri are all capable of playing as attacking No. 8s, taking late runs, dictating play, breaking lines, dropping back to cover, we have tons of these players, make them the new engine of the team.

Now we can withdraw our full backs slightly to cover or deliver dangerous crosses from deep or balls into our forwards who should have more space inside. They might not win the assist competition anymore but their not at the moment anyway so why not try it out.

I think this would make Liverpool more unpredictable, open up space and create more threat from midfield against Dee lying defensive teams and would be worth a go. It’s not rocket science, playing wingers as wingers, full backs as full backs and attacking mids as attacking mids but for me it could be the tim opener for the leagues closed tin defences.

Better again we could alternate between the two systems between and in game to keep opposition  teams unbalanced.

Just my tuppence.
Dave LFC 


Klopp needs to face the music, one way or another

Excellent response from P on Klopp’s versatility. Higher marks on elegantly extending the musical analogy but I have to say less clear on immediate football tactics. Whatever Klopp did at Dortmund, we’ve only seen one way of playing at Liverpool. Maybe Klopp has a Ska or a Hamburg Schule up his sleeve, but we’re yet to see it. If you must make a musical analogy out of it, it’s probably that they kept playing gig after rock gig till the drummer lost an arm, and the bass guitarist sprained a finger, but the manager insisted on them playing one more heavy hitting gig, even the ones they didn’t have to play. For the immediate future Klopp has to choose between playing acoustic studio versions, or playing weak renditions of his original sound, minus his rhythm and base section.
Ved Sen (MUFC)


My compatriot and fellow NBU, Kiki from Cork, has written all that needs to be read about Liverpool’s current situation.
What they have done, and the playing style and complement with which it was done, for the past three years could not be sustained. Last year, despite the runaway win, luck was on their side in many respects but it would be churlish in the extreme to say they were not due some.
This year they needed to supplement the team by half with players of a similar quality and characteristics. They didn’t in part I suspect because to do that as champions costs a lot.
I would be amazed if Klopp finds a way back to build/renovate another successful team; it’s not his or indeed the modern style!

READ MORE: What’s wrong with Liverpool? Comparing attacking stats


Let’s start by saying the bookies still have Liverpool as second favourites despite calls that they might miss out on European places, seriously!

And then let’s quickly gloat/laugh at their recent run of games, not being able to score in a brothel and finally losing at Anfield after 427 or so attempts.

What i wanted to really say though is that I don’t think Klopp is getting enough stick for putting key midfielders in defence thereby screwing up the defence, midfield and attack. Almost every club has injuries at one time or other to their first choice defenders and they will inevitably utilise their defenders in the squad or youngsters coming through the ranks. VVD is a big loss but I feel Klopp is either incompetent (no, I don’t really think so with what he’s achieved) or he is proving a point to those doing the transfer dealings that he has just publicly said he has no control over.

Regardless, I can’t see how putting 2 reserve team centre backs in the team and restoring the midfield wouldn’t be a vast improvement on the shit show they have going on right now.

Here’s hoping Klopp sticks to his guns and keeps their impotence in front of goal going for at least the rest of this weekend and then many many more weeks.
Jon, Cape Town


Boring, boring football
Since lockdown has brought practically every Premier League game being available to watch it has dawned on me how over hyped and boring the league has become. At least 65% of games are so boring, you look at the fixtures in the morning and have a game at 6pm and then one at 8pm and look forward to your evening after a day of home schooling the demon spawn. 30 minutes into the 6pm game i’m bored to death already at the pass,pass,pass,get to the edge of the box,pass back,pass back,pass forward,pass sideways and then pass back kind of football that we get to see for two games a day.

Watching it has made me realise how much I miss 4-4-2 direct football,when wingers would send balls into the box for a tall striker to either head it towards a goal or to knock it down to his smaller faster striker team-mate. I miss when your team has a free kick they used to lump it into the box and at least try and get a shot on goal. Now when a team has a free kick in the opposition half they decide to take it quickly and pass,pass,pass forward,pass forward,pass back and pass sideways and all the defenders that have gone up run back and nothing actually happens.

It seems that football has become over complicated, sanitised and possession obsessed and maybe this is just my view and maybe lockdown has made me grumpy and nostalgic but I miss striker partnerships like Shearer and Sutton or Quinn and Phillips and the closest you come to it now is Kane and Son and the chemistry they have but as an Everton fan and us having a great season so far I still look back to when Big Dunc was in charge of us and went 4-4-2 and the football we played was more my style to watch and enjoy,who cares if the oppostion has 70% of the ball if you score goals?
Sy, Leeds


Trent nonsense
If Alex Jimenez isn’t trolling then just…wow. His missive is the type of nonsense we see from entitled fans of all the big clubs. We’re playing badly right now, everything is awful, wa wa wa.

As has been pointed out ad nauseum, Liverpool have lost their first choice CB pair and, as a result, two of the first choice CMs are now out position too. The entire spine of the team has been disrupted. Thiago has been injured while Minamino and Shaqiri just aren’t as good. Alex lauds VVD for his leadership abilities before hating on Champions League and Premier League winning captain Jordan Henderson, but let us not forget Virgil was in less than stellar form himself before his injury.

Trent is clearly knackered, and we should remember, still very young. It’s not surprising that after 2 years of excellence he’s had a dip in form. Alex’s assertion that he can’t pass or cross is clearly bollocks to anyone with you know, eyes. Trent has never been the best defender and he’s never needed to be given the team’s style of  play. He will come good, that is guaranteed.

Alex has gone from loving Firmino to hating him. This is simply childish. Hating someone because they’re not playing football well displays an amazing lack of perspective. I used to “hate” Alex Ferguson because he was brilliant. Did I really hate him? Of course not, I was jealous of his success.

The front 3 may or may not have been “found out”. Every week, opposing clubs have 90 minutes more evidence on how to stop Liverpool. They were excellent for two years or more – did you really expect it to last forever? The inevitable tactical improvement from other sides coupled to the injuries in what was largely an unchanged team for quite a long time has led, along with fatigue, to a downturn in form. I guess what I’m trying to say is calm the fuck down.

I fully understand that Liverpool’s form is concerning and frustrating for many fans, but this sort of ranting is just babyish and hard to take seriously.
Alan, Cordoba. 


Can I just preface this by saying I’m a Man Utd fan, and so obviously Liverpool’s recent poor of form has been, to me, as fresh and delightful as a cold beer on a scorching summer’s afternoon. That being said, I couldn’t be but profoundly saddened/bored by Alex Jiminez’s mail. Am I being an old man if I observe that there’s a new breed of online ‘fan’ and they’re just the absolute pits?

Liverpool have spent the last two seasons winning literally 90% of their games, trousering their first league title in 30 years and reaching two Champions League finals. Now, after an inevitable dip in form, Mane, Saleh, Firmino, and Trent Alexander-Arnold are subject to the sort of risible and juvenile nonsense that Alex extruded into them mailbox- it boggles the mind.

“I’m bordering on hate now fue [sic] the guy it’s that terrible”- that’s what Alex, a Liverpool fan, has to say about Firmino. Hate. He’s bordering on hate for Roberto Firmino. Alex, with all due respect, can I suggest you take a long hard look at yourself? Because, and I mean this as constructive criticism, you come across as a gibbering and unlikeable maniac.

I know there have always been fans of a rabid and thick persuasion- Christ knows I’ve looked askance at fellow fans in grounds before many times- but it seems like a confluence of cultural factors including, but not limited to, Youtube fan reaction videos and Twitter clout-chasing, has magnified and incentivised this behaviour enormously. Or maybe I’m just an old fuddy duddy who thinks ‘hating’ one of your own players for a slight downturn in form is absolutely frigging MENTAL.

Ben, 21IsComing


Wow Alex, don’t hold back. Tell us how you really feel.

This team is far from the worst Liverpool team I have watched since the mid 90s, and our crap performances are far from the worst I have seen (Roy surely).

So I have a suggestion for you Alex. How about you f*ck off, and myself and the rest of the mildly reasonable Liverpool fans who aren’t entitled and have longer memories will keep supporting our team and the players, especially the young ones experiencing this for the first time, through a difficult season.

Taa muchly,
Brandon, LFC, JHB


Every time I wrote in to the mailbox my main message is that the fans are fickle. That Alex Jimenez one is the best example. Jesus christ , it’s actually ridiculous. Basically just called every key player in Liverpool’s success over the last 2 years shit. The team that won the league with 99 points and beat Barcelona 4-0. I genuinely don’t understand why you would even watch football if your outlook is so pessimistic. Just because your team has a bad run doesn’t mean all the players are now useless and need to be replaced. Grow up.
Dion, Arsenal.


Bruce insanity
There is a famous quote attributed to Einstein that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.Classic example of this is Steve Bruce and his tactics. They have won one in the last ten scoring just six. This is his quote after latest defeat

“We are not going to be entertaining and open because if we go that way I don’t think we will have enough.”

Hows that working out for you Steve?
Ken, Cork, Ireland 


Bye, Frank
Rafa Benitez has left his job at Dalian Professional.

That’s goodbye Frank then.
Shehzad Ghias, mufc 

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