Red Letter: Klopp to stick or twist in transfer window?

Date published: Thursday 24th December 2015 12:59

Jurgen Klopp: Sent back down to earth after Watford defeat

Jurgen Klopp: Sent back down to earth after Watford defeat

In his weekly Liverpool blog, Dave Tindall says the honeymoon period is over for Jurgen Klopp and ponders what fans can expect from the team this season and in the January transfer window.

Good grief. How quickly things change.

With the fixture list and incompetence of others seemingly offering Liverpool an obvious route into the top four, we’ve blown it big-style.

Wins over Newcastle, West Brom and Watford would have had us sitting in third place on Sunday night. The reality of two defeats and a draw (secured by a deflected injury-time strike), has left the Reds labouring in ninth with a negative goal difference.

So where has it all gone wrong?

In truth, it hasn’t. Quite simply, players who had found an extra 20% after the arrival of Jurgen Klopp have either reverted to their true level or dipped below it. And when good, even very good, players have their weaknesses exposed by hard-working, organised, motivated rivals, they’re vulnerable. Especially when they do it en masse.

Throw in the individual mistakes that usually go hand-in-hand with a loss of form and Liverpool look distinctly average again. It’s hard to swallow but we’ve actually managed more points per game in the Premier League this season under Brendan Rodgers (1.5) than we have during Klopp’s brief reign (1.33).

If we didn’t know earlier, Klopp’s honeymoon period is well and truly over.

The various player ratings that did the rounds after the miserable 3-0 defeat at Vicarage Road made for depressing reading and they weren’t just knee-jerk responses to a bad day at the office.

These were the thoughts in my head on Sunday as I turned the TV off at full-time to head to ASDA to buy a box of ease-the-pain Cadbury’s Heroes.

Adam Bogdan: Ball kicked out of his hands for Watford's first goal

Starting at the back, Adam Bogdan is even worse at dealing with corners than Simon Mignolet, Nathaniel Clyne’s end-product in the final third remains extremely poor, Martin Skrtel has a crime-sheet a mile long and is never going to get better while Mamadou Sakho can sometimes be that clumsy, gangly-legged oaf that some fans and lazy pundits think he always is. They’re wrong but, boy, did he give them some ammunition at Watford. Alberto Moreno looks better as a wing-back.

In midfield, Lucas has surely had his day (too slow and not athletic enough) while Emre Can is still error-prone and ponderous.

How will Liverpool do under Jurgen Klopp this season?

  • Top four
  • Top six
  • Seventh
  • Eighth
  • Top 10
  • Bottom-half finish

Up front, the trio of Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Adam Lallana which ripped apart Man City at the Etihad are a good idea in theory. But on less-than-perfect pitches against well-drilled, physical and hard-working teams, who won’t put up with any of this frilly five-a-side nonsense, they can be anaemic. Firmino looks increasingly confused and lethargic, Lallana’s tricks and flicks grate when we’re losing and Coutinho often can’t find a spark.

I suppose Jordan Henderson had something approaching a reasonable game.

Obviously, there’s no point in dwelling on the past but I expect it won’t have gone unnoticed by many Liverpool fans that, overnight, Luis Suarez had scored twice in the 4-0 victory that saw Barcelona win the Club World Cup. Sigh.

And, to have us reminiscing further, I later switched channels and saw ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez walking down the tunnel after his Real Madrid side had won 10-2.

Klopp has a big rebuilding job and, after a display like this, every Liverpool fan will want him to get to work with some new bricks sooner rather than later.

January additions for Liverpool

Having signed Suarez, Sturridge and Coutinho in previous transfer windows, the idea that it’s hard to do good business in January simply doesn’t wash with Reds supporters. Okay, Lewandowski and Hummels probably won’t be coming our way but surely there must be some gettable targets out there. Please!

But what if, forever reason, Klopp doesn’t add significantly to the squad? What should we expect if he has to make do with the current lot?

It’s a hard question to answer because what exactly is the level of this Liverpool team?

You don’t just go and smash Man City 4-1 and Southampton 6-1 away without having something; then again, if you can’t do the business when teams fluster you, mid-table beckons.

The bookies still see top four as a realistic possibility (it’s priced at 7/4) and with Chelsea so far back (then again, only eight points behind us!) and Man Utd wobbling, it remains a realistic goal despite suddenly seeming a long way off after the last few results.

At least we’re still in every Cup competition, with a two-legged semi-final against Stoke in the Capital One Cup coming up next month, an away trip to Exeter (12th in League Two) in the FA Cup and a last 32 clash with Augsburg (12th in the Bundesliga) in the Europa League.

Given our Jekyll and Hyde results, a Cup win looks a more likely outcome than a top four but would you settle for a trophy in the cabinet and a sixth place finish in the Premier League (behind Man City, Arsenal, Man Utd, Spurs and Leicester)?

Jurgen Klopp: Thanked Liverpool fans for atmosphere against West Brom

We haven’t won any silverware since 2011 so something tangible to polish with Mr Sheen would be a positive first step for Klopp. After all, the German is hopefully with us for the long haul so, until he gets his own players in, anything we can win right now must surely be a bonus.

I certainly don’t apologise for moving the goalposts with regard to my season-long expectations each week. I’m not the only one doing it and I do feel genuinely confused by where we are right now. Top four contenders or only just good enough for top eight? Often in these cases, the truth lies somewhere inbetween.

In the very short-term, make sure you enjoy Christmas Day as our Boxing Day rivals are league leaders Leicester City.

They’re set up to excel on the road (six wins, three draws, no defeats, 21 goals scored) while we’re still ropey at Anfield.

How on earth can we be odds-on favourites to win the match while Leicester are 3/1?

The Foxes turned over Everton 3-2 at Goodison on Saturday so, having conceded seven goals in our last three games, I fear the worst unless Vardy, Mahrez and Kante get injured during the warm-up or Sakho and Toure somehow play out of their skins in central defence.

Then again, maybe it’s our turn to blow logic a raspberry.

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Home Forums Red Letter: Klopp to stick or twist in transfer window?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Forever Red 1 year ago.

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    Dave Tindall

    In his weekly blog, Dave Tindall says the honeymoon is over for Jurgen Klopp and ponders what Liverpool can expect in the January window.

    [See the full post at: Red Letter: Klopp to stick or twist in transfer window?]



    Silverware this season IS a possibility, but hardly deserved given the level of performances overall. Being a born pessimist, I will be much happier when (IF) we reach the 40 point level in the Prem. Without some significant additions to the squad in Jan, mid table is the best we can hope for



    I’d take a Cup and a top 6-8 finish at this moment in time, We are very inconsistent and I believe that when Jurgen gets his own players in and they are settled into the Ethos of Club and Manager then We will hopefully see it come to fruition.



    Murmerings of a Possible Move for Marc Andre Ter Stegen and if that were true then what an addition that would be, Don’t know much about Joel Matip and Grujic from Red Star Belgrade but for Me Ter Stegen is the One that’s getting Me excited.



    This letter should be renamed The red babbler. I know bi-polar people that are more grounded than Tindall.



    What about Mario Goetze? Surely Klopp is looking to get him, with his continuing unsettlement at Bayern.


    Forever Red

    The scary thing about Liverpool and January, if you put all the comments together we need an entire team. Carragher on MNF football said – Goalkeeper, 2 centrebacks, and a holding midfielder. Pressbox on LFCTV said goals needed, so striker and wide-men. That basically leaves the full-backs and the other central mid-fielder. Well Alberto M. is definitely not even close to being a defender. I think he’d be better deployed as a winger. The scary thing is – you don’t need 20m pound players to lose 3-0 to Watford, or to Newcastle (who were utterly out of form).
    However the general rule of thumb you do need expensive ones totake on the big boys. Whoever out there cursed Liverpool as the Premier League started, please lift it. It’s the only explanation I’ve got. Never has a club spent so much in the country (relative to the prices at any given time) and under performed.

    What would the owners have paid Suarez now? What a shame Barcelona’s transfer ban was lifted whilst they appealed enabling them to buy Suarez. Given how ineffective his replacements have been, his fee was too small.

    Anyway, I do believe that Klopp will turn things round. At least we have a manager now who has won things.

    Merry Christmas to all.

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