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Now the dust has just about settled after the loss in to Seville in Basle hopefully the club will support Jürgen Klopp when he requests transfer funds. We didn’t lose against Seville because of any one player, or any particular incident we lost because collectively this Liverpool team just cannot defend and hasn’t been able to defend for a few years now. It was something that Brendan Rodgers never seemingly sought to address but should have done after the likes of Jamie Carragher decided he wanted to become a pundit and Daniel Agger was shoehorned out of the club [or so it seemed].
Under Jürgen we’ve struggled to defend set pieces and we’ve crumbled under pressure all too frequently. You can see in his face the frustration and agitation when the basics become difficult. In a fifteen minute onslaught Seville exposed all our deficiencies and once they’d levelled just seconds into the second half you could sense what was coming next. Like the manager said, we had around 44-minutes to sort things out, but couldn’t. It’s happened before so it wasn’t a surprise.
Before the game the experts constantly said Jürgen had improved so many players and in a few cases that might be fact but collectively it’s not the case. He’s definitely got a bit more out of players but all over the pitch there are so many shortcomings and with limited resources he’s tried to plug too many holes. This is shown by the league table, we finished eighth!!!
I am not criticising Jürgen Klopp but I think he put all his eggs in one basket, win the Europa and get into the Champions League and I fully understand the logic. However finishing eighth [and I don’t care where Chelsea finished] isn’t acceptable. We finished eighth because the players he had at his disposal weren’t collectively good enough. No matter how some like to view it Manchester United have unearthed a few young talented players, if Chelsea and Manchester City want to use them, they too have some young talents at their disposal…and us?
Okay, Origi might realise his potential but we paid money for him. I had high hopes for Jordan Ibe but his career has gone backwards over the past eighteen months, or it’s not moved forwards. More to the point though, it’s a long, long time since anybody came out of our Academy and gave us hope with the possible exception of Jon Flanagan who, after all his injuries, is still in the maybe, maybe not category. Our Academy needs its umpteenth overhaul because at the moment it’s producing very, very little.
Next season we should have a fully fit Danny Ings and Joe Gomez to add to the players the manager has but so much more is required. Whatever Jürgen wants Jürgen must get; we have to have a side that’s competitive in every way and in every game. We can’t go on having a defence that resembles the proverbial chocolate fireguard when the heats turned up. We can’t have players that go into hiding as soon as the going gets tough – would anybody want Firmino on their side in the trenches? There are others that fir into that category.
Although we will only have domestic issues to go for next season, we still have to have the players who can turn things round when called upon; we haven’t got many, if any, of what they call Impact players sitting on our bench have we? Brendan’s nearly team took advantage of the fact that they only had one game a week to occupy their minds and hopefully Jürgen can use that to his advantage and maybe that’s why he put all his eggs in the one basket towards the end of the season.
Despite Leicester City showing you don’t have to spend a billion or two on a team you can bet that Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and maybe even Arsenal will do just that in an effort to claw back what they think is rightfully theirs. At least two of that four have new managers and both will have taken the jobs on the promise of a bottomless pit of cash, and if Mourinho ends up at Old Trafford he’ll expect the same. Financially we might not be on the same league [hence the need for that good Academy] but over the past five years we’ve spent a lot on money on players who haven’t or can’t deliver, time for that to stop and I know I’m stating the obvious.
I’m sure our manager knows what we need, as do most of the real supporters. A defence that can defend with a goalkeeper that can catch a few crosses would be a start. A midfield that can frighten the opposition and a forward line that strikes fear into opposing defenders would also help.
Not a lot to ask is it?
I was in Budapest airport whilst the final Premier game of the season was being enacted at the Hawthorns. I had a glass of wine and that seemed the better bet from what heard about the game in the Black Country. Still we got a draw and that was considerably better than last season’s final game at Stoke.