Liverpool were dealt with a rough hand in the last season. The 2019 UEFA Champions League winners pulled up sore and played no part in challenging Manchester City or Arsenal for the title last season. Rather, they were too far to even challenge for the top-four spot until before the last few matches.
Ironically, this was also Jurgen Klopp’s 7th season with the Reds and the German manager has had a history of screwing up in the seventh season with his previous clubs Mainz and Borrusia Dortmund as well.
Well, Klopp left Mainz and Dortmund after his seventh season but has decided to stay at Liverpool in a bid to make Pep Guardiola’s life at England worrisome, if not tough. How can he do that? Let’s dwell deep into Liverpool to know so.
Stitch up their midfield
Liverpool’s midfield woes and transfer negligence paved their way to Europa League. Even their qualification to the Europa League seemed extremely remote. However, they somehow managed to escape those threats after finding Curtis Jones’ form in the midfield.
The Merseyside club did not have their midfield meticulously planned since 2018. Since the departure of their trustable Adam Lallana and Gini Wijnaldum, they did not have a like for like replacement.
Also, since 2018, the only experienced midfielders that they got their hands on were Thiago Alcantara and Arthur Melo in the last season. While the latter did not really make any appearance for the club barring his 13 minute cameo against Napoli in the Champions League.
Whilst they slotted in players Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, after winning the league in 2019 and added Kostas Tsimikas as an understudy to Robertson along with the arrival of Europe’s finest talent Konate in the central – defence; they failed to restructure their midfield. The same group of players kept on ageing; the effect of which was a catastrophic collapse last season.
Liverpool finally realised the required twerks and let the likes of James Milner, Oxlade-Chamberlain, and Naby Keita make way. The purchase of World Cup winner Alexis Mac Allister is also in the correct and required direction. One more new face in the midfield in Dominik Szoboszlai has surely reinvigorated Jurgen Klopp’s team whose last few months could not have gone better.
Away Game Struggles
Of their 19 games out on the run, Liverpool were beaten eight times. They could only better their opponents in 6 away matches which is Jurgen Klopp’s worst-ever record while traveling. In the 2021-2022 season, Liverpool had lost only two away games. In fact last season, Klopp’s side lost as many away games as the previous three seasons combined (2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22).
One more concern for Klopp was his team’s performance against the bottom feeders. Liverpool could only register 36 points in 20 games against the bottom half of the Premier League whilst they had scored an almost perfect 58 points in the 2021-2022 season. Klopp’s reason for success has been his dominance against weaker teams and he should reignite the ruthlessness of his players to reign yet again.
Continue their right course
Liverpool had a lot of boxes ticked last season, one of which was big chances being created. The club were better than Arsenal and Manchester United in terms of big chances being created but it was the finish that they were lacking. The Merseyside club has 78 big chances last season as compared to 72 of Arsenal and 67 of Manchester United. They were only bettered by Chelsea (81) and title winners Manchester City (101).
Jota had a disastrous season in front of the goal which was also plagued with injury. Darwin Nunez too did no good in the attacking third and Mohammad Salah wasn’t at his self best either. However, with new shoes being added in the centre of field, we can expect more chances being created and trust Salah/Jota to get their finishing touch back.
The midfield woes, handling the bottom half teams, winning while traveling, and more chances being converted. Only four places to cover for Klopp and he has already done brilliantly this transfer window in the midfield sphere.
Doing good against the weaker teams and winning away games is only a by-product of a complete team which is what Liverpool surely look like after signing Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton and Dominik Szoboszlai from Leipzig. Klopp is also adamant in getting his hands on Romeo Lavia of Southampton which if he does so, Man City better beware for a title challenge!!!!