Just finished reading an interesting ESPN article which made a lot of sense here: http://www.espnfc.com/club/liverpool/364/blog/post/2919268/jurgen-klopp-must-boost-liverpool-squad-to-avoid-mutiny-in-the-air-at-anfield.
Disappointed that we lost to Chelsea. Yes, a lot of our first teamers were still missing (I’d be more comfortable with Mig in goal IMO, Karius hasn’t impressed me) but having Studge/Ings, Mane and the 2 Brazilians plus Lallana/Milner/Grucis should really be enough. I AM worried that 1) Moreno is still our left back and 2) Firminho seems to blow cold and hot once too often and more often cold than hot, 3) we lack that finishing pass and ability to score goals as Cahill’s header was scored around the 10th minute..lots of time to win the game and 4)OUR DEFENSE OF SET PIECES IS STILL POOR – CAHILL SCORED FROM A CORNER.
But true, this is our first truly competitive game played with a top 6 PL club. Actually I was hoping that our intense training and pre-season would have got us the win but the Chelsea game instead showed that we are still too light a squad to compete in the PL. Whatever happened to the Liverpool that made it to the CapitalOne Cup final and the Europa League final that beat Dortmund and Sevilla on the way? Where is the fight, that relentless pressing, the purpose? We were inches to getting CL football but we lost Europa also which is a real downer. Finishing eighth in the PL is not good and we really need to watch out for mid-table teams who could cause us problems especially those that can capitalise on our poor setpiece defending (as seen in Cahill’s header – Grukic and Firminho were marking him) and those good at lightning-paced counter-attacks.
Where is the marquee signing that we’ve been waiting for ever since Suarez’s departure? I still do not see any fluidity between the midfield three of Coutinho, Firminho and Mane to feed our lone striker. Actually for the PL, I AM worried about Manure and Chelsea. Chelsea because of Conte (I saw his first manager interview and was impressed) and Manure because of Mourinho’s signings especially Ibra (hopefully they don’t get Pogba) – I am not worried about Mourinho THE MANAGER as I think Klopp can get the better of him tactically. Don’t forget Manure also got Mkhirtayan and are gunning for Pogba and they have Martial. Chelsea will be a big danger in set pieces like corners with Cahill and Terry in the box. A lot of the other teams whoo play the English style of play will be a problem for us next season in the PL if they have players who can head the ball well..maybe West Ham, Crystal Palace.
I’m not sure about Pep and Man City but if Pep manages to get City to play at a faster pace, I would be worried. I’m not trying to read too much in the International Cup competition since Real Madrid and Bayern Munich also lost but I thought we really should have got a draw or won our game against Chelsea wuth the players we have and after the intense pre-season training of Klopp. I wanted to see Klopp move Moreno on but instead Brad Smith moved on to Bournemouth. I would not be totally unhappy if Brad replaced Moreno at LB. I am also not completely sold on Firminho – his attacking pace, passes, consistency for top performance just do not seem to be there – but he did put the ball in the net, but was clearly that little bit offside unfortunately. There doesn’t seem to be any brilliant passes from Cou or Firminho to put Sadio Mane through which Sadio is good at.
Leicester City FC..I can’t still quite decide whether they cam be in top 4 but it looks very likely if they can retain Mahrez. I saw Klopp’s post-match interview after the Chelsea game and he was spot on in pinpointing the final pass as our problem in not getting the goals but I also think we have been neglecting our mid-distance edge of the box strikes for far too long (except for Coutinho) and should make it one of our weapon. Mane is good but why hasn’t he got a goal yet, and Wijnaldum yet to play and I want to see how he gels with the team. Still a lot of ifs and uncertainty but let’s see how it goes on Aug 6 when we take on BARCELONA !!!
Our coming fixtures : Milan, Roma, Arsenal (start of PL) Burnley, Spurs, Leicester, Chelsea & Manure in Oct. I think by the time we play Manure, results would be enough to see if we really can acheive top 4 with Klopp. I’m still thinking of the 2014 season when Studge got his consecutive goals debut record and got us to a fine start while Suarez sat out his ban and we were at No1, No2. I think that’s the kind of performance needed if we want Top 4 but does anyone think we can win the title against big spending clubs with managers like Mourinho, Pep or Conte? This should be the main question.
We really need to make top 4 this new season, we really do. If we lose to Arsenal in the opening games, I think that would really be a worrying sign for me that we are not ready. For our striker, I am only happy with Studge and still not sold on Ings or Origi’s ability. I hope we get a top LB and top striker before season closes but Klopp seems to say we are done buying and what a disappointment to see Higuain going to Juventus. I’m still 50-50 on this Liverpool team for the new PL season and need to see the signings that make impacts. From our Chelsea result, it is obvious that just intense pre-season sessions will not help us significantly. Yes, we will be fit (but hopefully not burnt out by Dec) bit we need the cohesiveness and team play and the all-important final pass and lots and lots of goal scoring as we did in 2014. So Klopp, how about playing two strikers upfront and having that “score more than we concede” mentality that Brendan successfully implemented?
POST SCRIPT ON 29 JULY 2016
There’s an interesting article by David Maddock, Mirror Online reporting Klopp would quit football if reached a point where the biggest spending clubs always win (http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/liverpools-jurgen-klopp-would-quit-8513204). I think this article does expose Klopp’s personality. Klopp is not the kind of manager to buy big-named top players and prefer to build a team with “next season’s star players bought on the cheap THIS season”. It also explains why Klopp would not think twice at criticizing Sturridge when Klopp first joined Liverpool and Studge was recovering from injury and Klopp does not appreciate top individuals but prefer team players. I guess this means we can rule out the return of Luis Suarez and won’t be signing Neymar, Messi or Ronaldo for 100 million pounds. Klopp’s insistence with Moreno at LB. and his action on giving up on Ben Chilwell so easily and failure to land Gotze, and sending Sakho home shockingly and not wanting to buy anynore in the open transfer window, is sending warning signals to my head. I can safely say now that Liverpool did excellent in 2014 (1. Reached 2nd in PL, nearly winning the league and 2. scored 100 goals club record) simply because Luis Suarez was with us and Suarez went on to prove that by winning Europe’s Golden Boot with Ronaldo on 31 goals that season, and wining the Pichici Award (La Liga’s top goalscorer) with Barca. Suarez also brought the best out of Sturridge and his extraordinary enthusiasm during training motivated so many of our lads to the extent that it raised the levels of their games. TOP PLAYERS DO COUNT AND I AM WORRIED IF JURGEN KLOPP CAN ACHEIVE TOP 4 THE NEW SEASON OR BRING SOME SILVERWARE BASED ON HIS SIGNINGS THUS FAR AND TRANSFER PHILOSOPHY.