Liverpool’s journey in the Premier League this season has been far from smooth sailing. What was once a team riding high on success and dominance faced unexpected hurdles and endured a rollercoaster ride. In this article, we delve into the intricacies of Liverpool’s campaign, dissecting the challenges that derailed their title defense and analyzing the factors that contributed to their struggles. From injuries to fixture congestion, we explore the various aspects that went awry for Liverpool under the guidance of Jurgen Klopp. Join us as we unravel the story behind their season and seek to understand what went wrong for Liverpool and Klopp along the way.
Liverpool’s position in the fifth spot of the Premier League is a testament to their recent resurgence. However, it masks the dire straits they could have faced, with a top ten finish and European qualification in jeopardy, much like their rivals Chelsea. The turning point came with their emphatic 7-0 victory over Manchester United in April, a much-needed boost for Jurgen Klopp’s men as they reclaimed their confidence and rediscovered their true potential.
Why did Liverpool falter at the start?
Last season, Liverpool were chasing a quadruple. As seductive as it sounds, it is tiring to a greater extent, especially for players of Jurgen Klopp who demand 200% on the pitch. The Merseyside club looked only a shadow of what they were last season because of what they were chasing last season; a historic quadruple.
Last season, Liverpool had 9 players clocking 2300 minutes. No other team had more than 7 players doing the same. The problem for Jurgen Klopp’s team was the lack of players to rotate. He himself said it out loud in January.
He said: “There is a lot of bad luck… You have too many injuries. The players who are fit have to play all the time, which means they cannot always fly. We don’t have exactly the opportunities to rotate.”
Due to last season’s innumerable matches, players of Liverpool were jaded as well. After playing more matches than expected, one can understand players not being able to give their 100% on the field.
Jurgen Klopp’s 7th season woes
In Klopp’s two previous clubs i.e. Mainz and Borussia Dortmund he has never managed over 7 years. Rather, it is in his 7th season at the helm that his teams have seen a downtrend.
His last season for Dortmund was almost as similar to this one. Until Christmas, Dortmund were in the relegation zone and only went on to finish seventh that season. It is his seventh season at Liverpool and we can already draw the parallels.
Jurgen Klopp, however, doesn’t seem to leave Liverpool this season. The German has already extended his contract till 2026 and wishes to stay here in England.
He said previously: “I have absolutely no problem with energy and the situation is completely different here. I can understand that I left after seven years (previously) and now we are in a difficult situation… but the situation is completely different.”
Mid-season World Cup
Apart from the last season where Liverpool played a maximum of 63 games, World Cup 2022 only added to the fatigue of the players.
Liverpool’s star Fabinho himself confessed in the last season that the players were “mentally and physically tired”. A lot of players were either in their 30s or approaching 30 and to expect plenty games for them was inviting trouble.