Powder-puff Reds must get nasty under ‘soft German’ Klopp

Date published: Saturday 2nd January 2016 3:06

Roberto Firminho & Christian Benteke: Toothless for Liverpool at West Ham

Roberto Firminho & Christian Benteke: Toothless for Liverpool at West Ham

Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool needed “more will” after losing at West Ham in a powder-puff performance on Saturday.

It was an honest assessment of his Liverpool team, who looked well short of the desire and determination that is required to win any game in this season’s Premier League, which is undoubtedly the most competitive ever.

After some recent laboured away-days, you could see it coming at Upton Park. Liverpool were easily beaten by a resolute and clinical West Ham side who haven’t really been replicating their early season form – mainly down to several notable injuries.

Ever since Liverpool’s six-goal haul at Southampton – in what can now be looked upon as a freak result – the Reds have struggled to find their rhythm away from Anfield. Defeats at Newcastle, Watford and now West Ham sandwiched a fortunate 1-0 win at Sunderland but on Saturday their luck ran out.

Klopp fielded his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation and from the off they were second best. For all Liverpool’s possession they managed 60% and could muster only one shot on target in a first half laden with 21 shots on goal.

But if work-rate and desire is the bare minimum for any side, and it surely is whatever the level, then Klopp’s men failed miserably in the East End.

Liverpool lacked conviction all over the pitch. It would be easy to pin the blame on heavily-criticised frontman Christian Benteke, but he was no more at fault than the three amigos behind him in Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Jordan Ibe.

Nathaniel Clyne: Holds off Enner Valencia

Nathaniel Clyne: Holds off Enner Valencia

 

Firmino was ineffective and given the hook on the hour-mark to be replaced by Adam Lallana, Coutinho saw out the 90 minutes but had little to show from the game, while Ibe was probably the pick of the visitors’ attacking four-some – but hardly a glowing reference.

But it was the obvious lack of desire which was so evident from the encounter. Michail Antonio’s opening goal summed up the game as far as Liverpool were concerned. The Hammers were lucky not to be penalised when Antonio felled Alberto Moreno back on his own byline, but his willingness to get forward and support West Ham’s break ultimately ended with the former Forest man powering home a back-post header.

Antonio had made up around 95 metres, according to BT Sport, and although he was certainly not sprinting into a goalscoring position he showed enough conviction and strength to get ahead of Nathaniel Clyne and head home the opener.

To criticise Clyne too much would be harsh, but just why Enner Valencia was allowed to a dink a cross into the box unopposed should be one of the questions Klopp should be asking. With two holding players in Emre Can and Lucas in the hub of the midfield and protecting the back four, one of those two should have closed down the West Ham man.

And Liverpool did not learn their lesson in the second half, when this time it was Mark Noble who was allowed to whip in a cross which Andy Carroll bulleted a header into the far corner. It was another cross, which was allowed to arrive in the Liverpool box with ease and it was dispatched in a devastating manner by the former Liverpool man.

Obviously the loss of Jordan Henderson is a big blow to Klopp, but he should be demanding more from Can and Lucas. Lucas picked up a yellow card, but he rarely got close enough to West Ham’s midfield, while Can was similarly lacking in competitive edge.

In fact Liverpool’s spine was and has been far too weak in the last few months. Benteke, who has scored twice in the last two games, has been under fire and was recently told to work harder by Klopp. But there was little evidence of that against the Hammers. His touch looked heavy and confidence low against man-of-the-match James Collins. But for all Benteke’s negative attributes, he was starved of service by the three players in behind him and the two full-backs, who rarely got in enough space to make a cross.

Liverpool lacked width and enough guile to breach a West Ham rearguard which had conceded 12 goals on home soil. Klopp’s men dominated the ball, but only from Can’s curling effort from the edge of the box did they look like scoring, until sub Joe Allen inexplicably headed wide in stoppage time.

Klopp was labelled a “soft German” by Sam Allardyce this week and his team certainly looked a soft touch again this afternoon. The former Borussia Dortmund man is not renowned for bellowing from the touchline, but that looked like what they needed in the capital. Only for a brief spell after half-time, after we might have expected Klopp to have read the riot act, did Liverpool start to really look like they could open up a well-drilled West Ham side.

Klopp claimed he was not angry at half-time, when questioned in the tunnel at full-time, but maybe he needs to get irate?

Steven Gerrard, who left for LA in the summer, has hinted at a return to Anfield, and how they could do with a leader like the 35-year-old at the current time.

Matthew Briggs

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Home Forums ‘More will’ required for Klopp’s powder-puff Liverpool

This topic contains 14 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  kopklopp 11 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)
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  • #768698
    Matthew Briggs
    Matthew Briggs
    Moderator

    Jurgen Klopp claimed Liverpool needed “more will” after losing at West Ham in a powder-puff performance on Saturday.

    [See the full post at: ‘More will’ required for Klopp’s powder-puff Liverpool]

    #768764

    liverpool_1986
    Participant

    Just why valence a was allowed to dink his cross into the box? How about the fact our left back who would have been marking him, was left in a heap at the other end of the pitch. Weak reporting as usual. Ignores the inept display by the ref. He got every big decision wrong and missed far too much. Should be in the championship next week.

    #768800

    kopklopp
    Participant

    It’s quite obvious when Lucas is the captain, than its hard to describe the team. Bar mignolet and lovren, the rest of the players should hang their heads in shame.

    #768821

    Tomk
    Participant

    What happened to the side that played Southampton in the cup didn’t they score about 6 goals?

    #768842
    suarezsteeth
    suarezsteeth
    Participant

    If Klopp thinks the players don’t even have the will to win a game of football, we are in trouble

    #768875

    kopklopp
    Participant

    A wholesale change is imminent now. We don’t have the players. Firminho and benteke cost us in excess of 60 mil…Both are complete rubbish. I m just gutted.

    #769079
    Scouser in exile
    Scouser in exile
    Participant

    Liverpool_1986 Whilst I make you right about the referee mate I don’t think his piss poor performance significantly contributed to the result today, I know he missed the obvious foul on Moreno leading to the first goal but we were so poor that even his lousy refereeing can’t really be blamed, let’s fave it we were sh1te today. YNWA JFT96

    #769214
    Sanj1
    Sanj1
    Participant

    S1E, completely agree mate. The ref can only make his decision on balance of play, not on sides that are looking for decisions to get a hold in the game.

    #769328

    badger2
    Participant

    What we need is a couple of complete b####ards.Fellas that would cut down there own mother if she was through on goal.A Roy Keane/Souness/Mascherano type that wouldn’t accept performances like today’s and would rip their teammates a new one.We are too soft.From our Captain,(Henderson) to our most Senior players (Skrtel and Lucas).No one in our squad inspires fear in rhe opposition.We are a soft touch

    #769427

    pinezes69
    Participant

    HALF OF THE PLAYERS MUST LEACE IN SUMMER!! AT LEAST!!!

    #769430
    Sanj1
    Sanj1
    Participant

    Klopp is talking about desire, we didn’t fancy the battle today. We had Charlie Adam & Jonjo they had desire but not the required temprement or ability apparently. The balance of the squad is lacking

    #769433

    realred
    Participant

    the whole midfield has to be changed. ibe does always the same trick..firmino looks worse than balotelli. may be villa fans wuld want benteke back since they are in trouble

    #769442
    Sanj1
    Sanj1
    Participant

    When I talk about Adam & Shelvey I mean tough players we let go of in recent years

    #769445

    lasliverpool
    Participant

    can’t make any sense of it other than not good enough – not scoring enough goals simple as that. The occasional performance like this you can put down to tiredness but we’ve seen four like this just during Klopps reign. Unfortunately many of the ‘lesser’ teams have the tools to beat us if we don’t put our chances away. At the moment I am disappointed with our forward players – not doing enough simple as that – 17 attempts at goal today from all these attack minded players and none really troubling the keeper? You could blame the defence but i wonder had West Ham been playing Barcelona today hitting balls at the fall back, yes they may have scored a couple like they did today but trust me Barcelona would have scored FIVE. I just don’t understand how with so many attacking players on the pitch , as Liverpool had, they cannot score ONE goal 95 minutes of football.

    #769823

    kopklopp
    Participant

    Honestly klopp has to make changes…we have 2 weeks before next PL games….and it’s January…so get at least 5 decent players….we have plenty for sale…so I am sure we can balance the books…

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