Signings that fit into Jurgen Klopp’s system is not easy to find

Jurgen-Klopp

Jurgen Klopp doesn’t like the idea of talking about his purchases but he set the scene for Liverpool’s summer activity with his comment this weekend. The current quad has proved too small and with the expected next season of European Football he will need a much bigger team. He admitted that some of his current charges have not shown the required consistency during the entire campaign.

Klopp doesn’t agree to the notion that the answers are available in transfer market. This is pretty much true in case of Liverpool and not just because of their tendency to be gazumped by their rivals or to miss out on most of the major targets.

It is not a difficult task to complete deals initially but it is hard to identify possible arrivals. It is very easy to rule out players according to Klopp’s system than to find players for the team. Klopp’s tactics are idiosyncratic and most of them do not fit into the system. In order to fit into the squad he needs charges that are persuasively fit and capable of topping the running statistics.

If we look at it position by position, Klopp’s favourite striker is neither the target man Christian Benteke nor the predatory Daniel Sturridge. He is fond of Roberto Firmino which shows that he wants a forward who is the first line of the defence. He doesn’t want a specialist and would rather prefer a multi-tasker. Firmino said during an interview that he can play all of the offensive positions.

A new winger cannot be of the touchline-hugging variety and Klopp’s wide men mostly operate within the width of the penalty area. They are more inside-forwards than outside-left and outside-right. Based on the current glut of attacking midfielders, the market might provide many options. But it is significant that no one can replicate Mane’s contribution and the way he added a different dimension with the pace to accelerate beyond defences.

Liverpool’s sync was disturbed when others were pulled out of their position first when Coutinho was injured and then when Mane left for Africa Nation’s Cup duty. Klopp might be in search of a midfielder after the evolving doubts about Emre Can’s future. Klopp’s squad operate further up the field than most and he once said in an interview that if you play really high then the opponents do not play. The job description is different for Klopp and it has changed in the past few years. Milner has put in the second most crosses in the Premier League this season. This shows how much time he spends in attack than the average left-back.

This has a knock on effect for the central defenders. Lucas is out of contract and Lovren is finding new ways to get injured. This calls for the need of an addition to the team. Klopp has a high defensive line and he needs the recovery pace when a ball is played over the top. Klopp is looking for players with a midfielder’s skillset throughout the side. Liverpool has a different way of playing and that makes it difficult to play against them. But when it comes to recruiting players they create troubles for themselves. The style that Klopp is looking for in his players will make it difficult for him to find the suitable ones.

 

Liverpool fans trust Jurgen Klopp but pathetic flops must be ended

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Liverpool had a lot of disappointing and heart breaking defeats this season but the worst one was definitely the inept show at Leicester City on Monday night. They were defeated by 3-1 but it would have been worse for Jurgen Klopp’s side as they embarrassingly lost to another bottom half team.

This one was worst for Liverpool because they had a break of 16 days before the game which provided them ample of time for perfect preparation in order to build an impressive show against Tottenham. Klopp went to La Manga with his squad for some warm weather training. He had two weeks to train his players and get them ready.

The dreadful performance by the players has convinced Klopp that it is difficult for him to turn his players into winners. He has shown enough patience towards the players but the patience must have run out after this spineless showing by Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp is the only good thing associated with Liverpool right now. If he is not able to bring back the success for his squad then the supporters of the club might lose their trust on the team and back out. Klopp has realised now that what was the reason for the doubts of the supporters when he arrived. The fans believe in Klopp but if he continues to believe in the present squad then the tables might turn soon.

He needs to bring some players in the team with high class talent along with a winning talent. But the players won’t come cheap. The present team has the ability but they are not able to show it often. They are frequently found wanting whenever they are faced with adversity. After the sacking of Claudio Ranieri everyone knew that Leicester side will be more fired up but Liverpool seemed unprepared for a fight against them.

There has been no yellow card against Leicester. While the players must not let their frustration take over the game but the supporters want to see some evidence that it means something and the players are hurting but none of this was visible on Monday night.

Liverpool’s squad is accepting defeat meekly and the frequency of such a game has become too often which proves that Klopp’s side are a soft touch. Klopp has the fight and passion in him but this might hurt him that his team lacks the same enthusiasm. He must address it this summer that his squad does not reflect his personality.

The same team had virtually dominated second-place Spurs two weeks ago. It is easy to believe that the same team had lost at Hull a week before as they showed the carbon copy performance. It won’t be very surprising if they sweep off Arsenal at Anfield next week because that’s what Liverpool do. They lose to the worst team and beat the best and this must have been driving Klopp crazy.

Until some changes are made in the team Liverpool will continue to flatter to deceive. Jurgen Klopp is in need of more players who share the same passion and enthusiasm as him. He needs more players with mental strength and the will to win.

 

Liverpool returns to winning with Sadio Mane at the Forefront

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Liverpool returns to form with a 2-0 win against Tottenham on Saturday. They reignited their top-four challenge with a victorious score of 2-0 at Anfield. In the first half of the game Sadio scored twice which showed amazing pace and movement from Klopp’s side.

The Spurs were unable to find a foothold in the match and Liverpool’s defence was difficult to be troubled by Pochettino’s team. The title dream for Tottenham ended at Merseyside night. Dele Alli and Harry Kane were seen struggling to make an impact in the Saturday’s match.

Liverpool had a terrible start to the year but with this win they showed their 2016 form of playing. They approached the game with a pace starting from the kickoff which was difficult for the opposition to live with. The Spurs defence seemed confused and breathless after the opening exchanges and within the 20th minute the game was efficiently over.

Mane scored his opening goal after 16 minutes and it was already a warning for the Spurs. They knew where it was coming from and should have dropped their midfield deeper to recompense. The front four of Liverpool were across the centre of the park and Mane took the advantage.

Tottenham was not yet out of the shock when the lead was doubled and Eric was robbed by Mane. By that time there were red shirts everywhere. Within the next few minutes Mane could have made it a hat trick as Wijnaldum set him free again. But the shot went wide and then the 24 year old put forward an effort wide from the corner of the box.

Liverpool seemed to have more scope in the match and Pochettino looked powerless to find a solution for his team’s miseries. Tottenham manager changed the shape of the team after half-time but the Spurs were unable to trouble the hosts. Klopp’s team were less perceptive in the second half but they were still more dangerous.

Five yellow cards were awarded to Tottenham and Liverpool was back in their form. Spurs reflected a poor performance. Liverpool had a bad start due to Mane’s absence and his return was eagerly anticipated. He proved in the match against Tottenham that why he was missed so much.

It is not about the number of goals but Mane’s movement creates a space that allows the forward line to play in dangerous places. Mane’s presence helps Coutinho to get higher up the pitch. Klopp’s side was full of energy right from the beginning which was missing in the past few weeks. They created dangerous situation in the first 10 minutes of the game, even before the first goal by Mane.

Liverpool have struggled with the teams that stack their defence. But it was unbelievable that Tottenham would provide so much opportunity to their opponent. Dier was not in his most effective role and Jan Vertonghen’s presence was missed.

Pochettino changed the shape of the team into a diamond in the second half but there was little consistency for Tottenham in the centre of the park. Pochettino need three or four more players for a serious title challenge. He also needs to build a clear vision about dealing with teams such as Liverpool. The players and Manager are still on a steep learning curve at White Hart Lane.

 

Mane returns after week of misery for Liverpool

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The season was once promising for Liverpool but then they lost three matches at home in eight days. It was the end of a horrible week for the team with a difference of 10 points with the lead in the Premier League and they have been submissively knocked out of two cups.

The results have been bad enough for the team but the matter of concern is their poor performances. This is a hard time for Liverpool and another enervated performance has eliminated them from the FA cup by the Championship strugglers Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday.

The results might look like rock bottom but things might turn difficult for Jurgen Klopp and his feeble squad with Chelsea heading to Merseyside on Tuesday. Antonio Conte’s league leaders are in a good form and they have won 16 out of their last 18 games in all the competitions. They are the polar opposite of the struggling team of Liverpool presently.

This game would have been a nail biting one with the bearing that who would be the champion some time ago. But now it looks like another match for Chelsea on their way to the Title. Football is not very predictable though and it can be seen from Liverpool’s past week’s event show.

Klopp’s selection of team against Wolve has got what it deserved but there was also good news on Saturday. Sadio Mane missed his penalty in an African Nations Cup quarter final shootout against Cameroon which resulted in the exit of Senegal from the tournament.

Mane left a vote of confidence for his squad before departing for the tournament. He wished them good luck and said that the team will perform even better without him. They will cope as Philippe Coutinho and Joel Matip will come back. Daniel Sturridge is already back.

Mane must feel like a parent who left his kids to take care of the house but when he returns from the trip the house has burned down already. When he was leaving, the team had been chasing silverware on three fronts. But now they have been knocked out of two cups and desperately fighting to be on top four in the league.

Liverpool is frantically waiting for Mane to take over the team from where he left off. He might be in need of rest when he returns but the Kopites hope that this is not the case and Mane return with the spark that has been missing in past few weeks and which is required for Liverpool right now.

The last three defeats have caused a great damage to Liverpool but the biggest obstacle that is needed to be rectified now is the breakdown in their form. Klopp and his players need to focus on their upcoming games and forget everything that has happened in the past weeks. Wins against Chelsea and Hull next week can be a great turning point for the team.

It seems unlikely but even the three Anfield defeats in a weak were unexpected given the fact that Liverpool hadn’t lost any game at home for one year. Mane has returned, Matip is also available and Coutinho is now fit which gives Klopp a full-strength squad to perform. They just need to go out and win some matches for the club now.

 

5 Teams that excelled Premiere League in 2016

With the 25th edition of the Premier League reaching its half way mark, perhaps it is time to take a look at the top five teams that have excelled in this tournament so far. The below list is based on performances so far and there is every chance that a sixth team may end up winning the title. But then, that is the beauty of football, isn’t it?

With Chelsea leading the table with 46 points in 18 matches, closely followed by Manchester City in the same number of matches, football pundits are having a tough time predicting the best team of the tournament. Fans are also finding it difficult to digest the fact the reigning champions, Leicester City is currently in 16th position, their chances of holding on to the title all but nil.

Here is our list of five teams who stand a solid chance of winning this year’s title

Chelsea

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 29:  The Chelsea badge is seen on the corner flag ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on January 29, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

The infusion of a new manager in Conte seems to have done the trick for the team, who has brought about some much needed stability which was lacking under the Italian coach Antonio. Having scored 38 goals and conceding only 11, they are easily one of the top favorites in this season. The return to form of Diego Costa have augured well for the Blues’, so has the brilliant coordination displayed by the midfield as well as the defenders. Michy Batshuayi, Gary Cahil, and John Terry all have been in excellent form. The midfield trio of Cesc Fabregas, Eden Hazard, and Oscar have been able to set the tone of the matches and aided some excellent maneuvers through the wings.

Manchester City

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Perhaps the biggest positive for Manchester City has been the introduction of the new coach Pep Guardiola whose innovative formations and tactics have done them a whole lot of good.  One of the leading goal scoring teams of the EPL so far, Manchester City has been robust in their defense as well. When it comes to goal scoring, Sergio Aguero has been the go-to man for Guardiola, who has found the nets with alarming frequency. The midfield manned by Raheem Sterling Nolito has equally been up to the task, creating goal opportunities and controlling the pace of the game. Those who are familiar with Pep’s ball possession tactic during his stint with Barcelona are amazed how easily he has been able to infuse it into the EPL as well.

Liverpool

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Leading the number of goals scored with 41 goals against 20 conceded, Liverpool stands a good chance as any to lift the coveted title this year. Jurgen Klopp has been a master visionary, conjuring tactics and formations that has unsettled the calculations of many of his opposite numbers. Liverpool has been able to rise above superstar performances and started delivering as a team which is obvious from their points table. Having lost only 2 matches so far, Klopp’s men are one of the strongest contenders this year.

Arsenal

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The runner’s up of the last season, Arsenal would love to finish top of the table this time around. Arsenal’s bane has always been the finishing touch, however, with 39 goals scored in 18 matches, they have one of the strongest fire power this season, which places them in a strong position to win this year’s title.

Manchester United

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The Red Devils have been a different team altogether under the new coach Jose Mourinho and is currently placed sixth in the list. Pogba has been finding his feet consistently and that is certainly good news for them. However, with the final half of the tournament coming up, they would want more worthy contributions from their midfield if they are to proceed further in the tournament.

Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and Southampton are also in the race and it is simply too early to write any one off. There is only thing that we can say with conviction at this point of time and that is we are headed for a brilliant finish to this year’s tournament!