Klopp’s poor run
Liverpool’s 1-0 loss against Fulham was the club’s 6th home successive loss in a row. Their title defence lies in ruin and the chance of Champions League football next season is in considerable doubt.
With the news that Joachim Low is to step down that has the manager of the German national side at the end of the euro 2020 tournament, fresh links with Jurgen Klopp have surfaced. However, Klopp has since shut these down.
“If I am available for coach of the German national team in the summer? No. After the summer? No,” he said ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League second leg tie with RB Leipzig.
With Liverpool 22 points behind title favourites Manchester City, questions around whether Klopp’s time at Liverpool could be coming to a close have been asked. Considering the coach has won two of the biggest trophies in the game in the past two seasons, this might be considered harsh.
However, in a sport which saw the sacking of miracle worker Claudio Ranieri at Leicester City, just one season after winning the title, anything is possible.
But how are some of Liverpool’s supporters feeling about the situation? Does the faith remain in Klopp? What future is now seen based upon the current situation?
101 reached out to a number of fans to find out.
The supporter’s view
Rambo FYI – @RamboFYI
“If when Klopp arrived at Liverpool I was offered a UCL, a PL & this much talent and when he leaves the team to be 11th and finished, I’d have bitten your hand off. He’s done things no manager has done!”
Liverpool were specialists in transition but currently the second a player wins the ball back it feels like it’s necessary for Liverpool players to take multiple touches and lose any sort of chance of transitioning
— Rambo (@RamboFYI) March 4, 2021
Ste Hoare – @stehoare
“Obviously, this is a terrible time for everyone associated with Liverpool. The Reds have gone from one of the most dominant teams we’ve seen in recent years to one of the easiest teams in the league to play against, and it’s happened very quickly.
“There are obviously mitigating circumstances, there isn’t a team in the league who could lose all four of their main centre back options and have continued success, especially if they also lost their captain and their two marquee summer signings with significant injuries too. However, what’s disappointing for me is that Jurgen Klopp hasn’t really done much to change things up despite so many personnel losses.
“With our best players fit, our system and tactics work, but trying to replicate them with lesser players hasn’t worked for a while and yet, we’ve persisted with them. Jurgen is an amazing manager, one of the best in the world, and the hand he’s been dealt this season is one that pretty much any manager would fail to win a title with, but for any Liverpool team to lose six straight home games, regardless of circumstances is unacceptable and the players and manager do need to take responsibility for it.”
If I was a Liverpool player, I’d be absolutely embarrassed to hear a Fulham player say that their team “wanted it more” yesterday.
— Ste Hoare (@stehoare) March 8, 2021
“Going forwards, in the short term, the goal is now damage limitation. I think top four is gone and winning the Champions League with this group of available players is highly unlikely too, so the Reds just need to grind out whatever they can from this season and look to start next year afresh, hopefully with all their main players back fit and firing.
“We’ve probably found out the limitations of Liverpool’s squad depth too, when everyone was fit and available, the likes of Xherdan Shaqiri, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Divock Origi, James Milner et al were fine to drop in for a game or two, but they aren’t players who you can have starting week-in week-out if you want a title challenge. The squad needs a bit of a refresh and an injection of quality, that is clear to see.”
Karl – @KarlThyer
“Personally for me to lose 3 of the best centre-backs in the world any club is going to be in crisis. Especially as our game is based on our centre-backs having pace as we play with a high line, which has meant we have not only had to play with new partners at the back, we’ve lost defensive pace. We’ve also lost energy and structure in midfield from them having to cover the centre-back hole.
“Our biggest problem which needs to be fixed is squad depth. Players don’t become bad overnight, but the drop off to the 2nd string is bigger than other teams with big squads. I would also factor in the loss of fans, players who don’t like pressure at other teams seem to be excelling and the fear of playing away from home has gone.
The small positives I took from today, was great to see Naby back, think he played well, and Nat Phillips was solid again.
— Karl (@KarlThyer) March 7, 2021
“Klopp for me is the greatest LFC manager of my (watching football) lifetime and I’m 39. And I 110% back him to turn it around and back to winning ways no doubt. Man-for-man starting eleven we are up there with the best in the world, but squad for squad I think is our issue and this season has proved we need a bit more strength in depth.
“But I also get why we haven’t spent loads with COVID meaning no fan income into the club, which is detrimental to a club like us which is self sufficient and not knowing when they will return means you have to put the club’s longer term financial interests first, as hard as it is to understand. We’re not a club bankrolled by an individual’s wealth.
“People will say ,’Well we haven’t spent big over the last few years’ but they forget that the stars we have, have contracts that are heavily based on success bonuses so after the CL win and PL the club would have paid out a huge on bonuses.”
Ben Kelly – @bkelly776
“I think it’s clear to everyone that the season is a strange anomaly, on lots of levels. For Liverpool specifically, people keep saying, ‘You can’t keep blaming the injuries’ but the injuries haven’t got any better.
“The team won’t provide consistent results until we can actually field a consistent eleven. We’ll only know if this is a permanent dip next season, when the players are back and fans are too. If we see this kind of form continue into next season, that’s when alarm bells should start ringing.”
This season *is* starting to have shades of Klopp’s last season at Dortmund, but that doesn’t mean the end result has to be the same.
I hope he accepts the challenge to plough through, reset and rebuild next season. The very best managers succeed at that.
— Ben Kelly (@bkelly776) March 7, 2021
Ross – @rossic89
“I’m understanding on how things are playing out. I understand the situation in regards to fans, injuries, no preseason etc. But it doesn’t make my enjoyment any easier. I am fully behind Jurgen Klopp. That has never been in question. But I look to football for enjoyment and at the moment the misery is never ending.
“Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I’d have for Liverpool to go all out on a centre-back in the summer, but I didn’t think we’d have 21 centre-back partnerships this season so it wasn’t a major concern.
“I have concerns about not getting into Europe and the financial impact on what is already a tough climate. Does it leave us two steps back? Do we fall behind even further? Possibly. We won’t ever really know until we get football and players back. It’s not all on Van Dijk. We have a squad that is just overrun and exhausted due to the amount of injuries and the length of them.”
Never thought I’d say this but I cannot wait for the International break. That’s how bad things are right now.
Not to watch any of it, obviously.
— Ross (@rossic89) March 7, 2021
Faith and frustration
From reading and listening to these supporters the theme is clear. Jurgen Klopp has their support and their appreciation. The understanding of the mitigating circumstances which have led to this occurrence are not seen as excuses.
Despite this understanding, a sense of frustration lingers. Should next season, when players and maybe fans return, if things do not improve, there may be scope for more questioning. As the saying goes, football is a results business. Sentiment buys little in modern day football.
Where Liverpool finish this season will be a shock in the context of what has been achieved in the previous seasons, it will be how they respond and whether, as key absentees return, Klopp can again push this side towards the league’s summit.
This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.
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|20||Sheffield United FC||28||-29||14|
|Salah, Mohamed||Liverpool FC||17|
|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||16|
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|Evans, Jonny||Leicester City FC||0||7|
|Egan, John||Sheffield United FC||1||6|
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|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||0||6|
|Tielemans, Youri||Leicester City FC||0||6|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||0||6|
|Klich, Mateusz||Leeds United||0||6|
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|Hojbjerg, Pierre||Tottenham Hotspur FC||0||6|
|Xhaka, Granit||Arsenal FC||1||5|
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|Kane, Harry||Tottenham Hotspur FC||13|
|Fernandes, Bruno||Manchester United FC||10|
|Grealish, Jack||Aston Villa FC||10|
|De Bruyne, Kevin||Manchester City FC||10|
|Son, Heung Min||Tottenham Hotspur FC||9|
|Rashford, Marcus||Manchester United FC||7|
|Cresswell, Aaron||West Ham United FC||7|
|Digne, Lucas||Everton FC||6|
|Sterling, Raheem||Manchester City FC||5|
|Maddison, James||Leicester City FC||5|
|Firmino, Roberto||Liverpool FC||5|
|Ward-Prowse, James||Southampton FC||5|
|Werner, Timo||Chelsea FC||5|
|Neto, Pedro||Wolverhampton Wanderers FC||5|
|Shaw, Luke||Manchester United FC||5|
|Robertson, Andrew||Liverpool FC||5|
|Bamford, Patrick||Leeds United||4|
|Vardy, Jamie||Leicester City FC||4|