Liverpool CANNOT just move on from the Burnley defeat. Forget about the score line, never mind about the perverse manner of the defeat. Because Liverpool have just sent out an open invitation to 19 other teams in the Premiere League with a detailed plan of ‘how to beat Liverpool’ each week.

It would read something like this on a tiny stick-on note pad.

• Pack the defence

• Hit them with a sucker punch

• Get 3 points

For all the high profile pre-season preparations and summer buys, the same problem remains for the Reds. A strike force with no clue of how to break down a stubborn defence, a soft center which at times doesn’t seem to exist and a set of defenders who do not have any sense of game management.

For all of Klopp’s plusses he has the most worrying minus of his predecessor. A lack of Plan B.

Liverpool was a mess at Turf Moor. They lost their shape, lost for ideas and lost the plot completely in only their second game of the season. Managers can be stubborn to do things their own way, but when predictability and staleness sets in, Klopp must make immediate changes. Spring a surprise, explore new tactics, play with 2 strikers etc, if not opposing managers will all be looking forward to play Liverpool each week for the points.

Playing best 11 players do not necessarily means having a balance in the team. So it’s confusing to see why Klopp would pay 25 million for one of the highest scoring midfielder from last season and play him in a defensive role. Because Couts, Firmino or Sturridge needed to be replaced at Turf Moor and Wijnaldum would have been the freshness Liverpool needed from the bench last weekend.

If there’s one consolation for Liverpool from the defeat, is that the transfer window is still open. Not for panic buys, but buying to plug glaring holes. If a Championship team can point out Liverpool’s weaknesses so easily, no Liverpool fan will want to see what better teams can do to the Reds home or away.

Mane was hugely missed against Burnley of course, but huge credits to them for varying the tactics against Liverpool to get the win. Exactly what Liverpool need, options, alternatives, variations rather than just slotting another player to fill the gap with the same predictable formation.

If Klopp wants to do things differently from the last Liverpool manager, he must not go down the same path as Rodgers did but buy players who can be activated for Plan B.

The lesson from Burnley defeat is quite obvious. Liverpool still lack players to break down these types of opponents. Such as a strong header in front, a hard man in the middle and for heaven sake a natural left back.

It’s not just a knee-jerk reaction from one lost, but an existing problem for a few seasons Liverpool managers are constantly ignoring.

Klopp is definitely the right man at Anfield and may have his team this season. But he must address the shortcomings from previous seasons and spend to solve a long overdue problem at Liverpool or it’s adios to another title charge.

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HAMNUM8
Member

My thoughts exactly!

DB-99
Member
The names have changed, the problems remain is because tactically the team is extremely imbalanced. Under Rodgers and now Klopp, the team has no wingers so both our fullbacks attack at the same time and there’s only one defensive midfielder and 2 CBs protecting the goal so when our opposition counter, it’s often a case of 2 vs 3 or 3 on 3, our midfielders and fullbacks are rushing back and there’s a state of panic. Understandably, this results in us thinking that they’re going to score on every counter or leads to a very good chance for them. The names have changed, the problems remain and will continue in this fashion until there’s a tactical change. Why does Mourinho have consistent success? or even Simeone with limited funds competing against the elite? Because of the tactical balance of the teams. We don’t have Ronaldo, Messi and Suarez calibre players so that balance between attack and defense is essential if we are ever going to achieve the consistency we need to win the league. Tbh sometimes a dreary draw gives us 1 point whereas 80% possession and shots from out the box leave us with frustrated and a morale wrenching… Read more »
warrior18
Member

Couldn’t agree more misty, same problem that we’ve been having for years, breaking through a parked bus. Credit to burnley, they defended brilliantly but it’s burnley at the end of the day and our quality outshines there’s by a million miles, we should be beating these teams on a regular basis, very very frustrating to say the least.

RedUncle
Member
The fact we’ve had these same problems across the reigns of more than one manager and a whole multitude of players suggests this isn’t just an issue of personnel. For all of Klopp and Rodgers’ obvious differences the way they want the team to play isn’t that dissimilar – attacking football played high up the pitch with an emphasis on passing the ball on the floor and pressing quickly to regain possession. There’s a high degree of continuity between the two managers and I wonder whether this is why they have both struggled against similar teams who play a certain way. The one weakness of the Liverpool style since Rodgers time onwards has been when the opposition deploy a very rigid formation in their own half. We saw it in the infamous ‘Gerrard slip’ match against Chelsea, where we got absolutely nowhere, and we saw it again against Burnley where they had two highly disciplined banks of four which literally acted like a barrier. Even using the vacant flanks to launch balls into the box proved futile because any Liverpool player receiving the ball was quickly outnumbered. What our style relies on is space for players to run into but… Read more »
warrior18
Member

So what’s the answer so, play the same style of football?, games would be unbelievably boring in that case, defend and hope to score on the counter attack, get better quality players in? better quality means higher fees and wages, something fsg try to avoid at all cost, get a better manager? they’ve all just joined new clubs and besides i reckon we have one of the best in the world anyway.
No, i think we have some of the players onboard to deal with this problem, the likes of coutinho, firmino, mane, origi, Can, clyne, sakko to name but a few and i feel we have the right man in charge to sort it out. The problem has obviously been noted and is obviously being worked on, they all need to work on this harder in training before this season slips away from us, it’s not like they don’t have the time now with no european football to contend with so i do expect this problem to be solved asap.

RedUncle
Member
I don’t have a problem with the players we have (on the whole) or the man in charge, like I said I don’t think the issue is personnel. The issue is acknowledging the limitations of the systems you employ and having the flexibility to make alterations if necessary. Against Arsenal we were able to score because, like us, they’re an attacking team which means they play expansive football and leave space. Burnley, on the other hand, were defensive and compact. They staunchly refused to have their formation stretched to give us the space to play into. Playing as we did against them was the footballing equivalent of hitting your head against a brick wall. One of the things that surprised me about Rodgers, and also Klopp, is how strongly they stick to certain attacking formations and tactics. This, I feel, is both the problem and the solution. Sean Dyche had a good idea how Liverpool were going to play against Burnley and he set his team up perfectly to combat it. At times we’re too predictable. However, this can be turned to our advantage if we are flexible enough to use formations, tactics and players that oppositions aren’t expecting. There’s… Read more »
OldSage
Member

Amen, my similar blog got lost somewhere in the ether,but I definitely agree with everything you said. We need to correct the problems of yesterday to get to a new tomorrow (been listening to too much presidential campaigning). Seriously, correct the flaws and let the fans be dazzled by all the scoring we’ll produce.

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