Saturday, October 1, 2022

Jurgen Klopp last season at Liverpool? Old trend should be a worrying hint for Reds fans

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Jurgen Klopp last season at Liverpool? Old trend should be a worrying hint for Reds fans

Liverpool are still looking for their first win of the season after falling to Manchester United 2-1 on Monday night. 

Following draws against Fulham and Crystal Palace, the Reds appeared to be a far cry from the side of recent seasons.

The Merseysiders’ slow start is reminiscent of Jurgen Klopp’s final season as manager of Borussia Dortmund in 2014/15. And we examine four parallels between the two.

Injuries

Klopp spent seven seasons at Dortmund, winning two Bundesliga titles, a German Cup, and reaching the Champions League final. However, his final season at Signal Iduna Park was a disaster.

In fact, the team was on the brink of disaster of relegation after winning just four games prior to February before finishing seventh.

During that season, the current Liverpool manager’s team was ravaged by injuries, with players such as Mats Hummels, Marco Reus, Jakub Blaszczykowski, Ilkay Gundogan, and Nuri Sahin missing for extended periods.

This time in England, Klopp is dealing with another injury crisis, particularly in his midfield, with Thiago, Naby Keita, Curtis Jones, and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all out.

Complacency

Neven Subotic, one of Klopp’s key players at Dortmund, previously admitted that complacency was partly to blame for the club’s demise.

 “When you get the feeling as a player that you’ve already achieved something, that you have a bit of experience, you suddenly don’t want to say ‘yes’ to everything anymore,” he told The Athletic.

And there are concerns that the same thing could be happening at Anfield. Over the last three years, Liverpool has won the Champions League, Premier League, Club World Cup, FA Cup, and Carabao Cup. And it’s possible that some players’ desire to succeed has faded.

Key exit

Klopp lost Robert Lewandowski to Bayern Munich ahead of his final season in Germany. In 187 appearances for Dortmund, the prolific striker had 103 goals and 42 assists.

And his departure was felt strongly by the team, which failed to score in one-third of its Bundesliga matches during Klopp’s final year in charge.

Sadio Mane left Liverpool for Bayern Munich this summer, with Luis Diaz tipped as the ideal replacement for the Senegal forward.

However, Mane was as well-suited to the Premier League as any other player, with 111 goals and 48 assists in the competition during his time with Liverpool and Southampton. 

Liverpool now lacks a cutting edge in front of goal without Mane.

Burnout

Burnout, which appeared to be a factor at Dortmund, could ultimately be blamed for Liverpool’s struggles.

And that is a problem that Klopp may not be able to solve with his current squad. The 55-year-old is known for his intense, pressing style of football, which he has used to great success over the years.

But putting in that kind of effort twice a week, season after season, will wear on players. And some  may have already given their all to the Liverpool cause.

If that is the case, Klopp may be wondering whether he has the energy to rebuild the entire squad or whether his time at Anfield has run its natural course.

Jurgen Klopp last season at Liverpool? Old trend should be a worrying hint for Reds fans

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