Premier League • England

Klopp claims key change cited for Liverpool struggles ‘even more’ present at Man City – ‘Pep sees this’

Jurgen Klopp, Napoli v Liverpool September 2022

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists that “no one has a clue” how the season will pan out, noting Manchester City are also going through a transition.

The Reds have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons lately amid a run of poor form. However, Wednesday’s Champions League defeat to Napoli turned up the heat a few notches on Klopp.

The Serie A club ran riot in the Champions League group stage clash and were 3-0 up before half time.

As such, the inquest has begun as to whether Liverpool’s cycle of success is coming to an end, or whether it is a temporary blip. Indeed, Klopp himself admitted that his side need to “reinvent” themselves.

Speaking in another interview with Sport1, Klopp looked at the wider picture involving the Premier League title rivalry with Manchester City.

Another battle between the sides this term looks unlikely at this stage. However, the Reds boss has insisted that Pep Guardiola’s team are not at the peak of their cycle either.

“[Erling] Haaland is an exceptional footballer and of course they have become stronger because of him,” Klopp said.

“You just have to know – Pep sees this just as much as I do – that the team has to be reshuffled from time to time. We also gained players and lost one who almost always played. And that will take time.

“That applies to City as well as to us. But when you see how City play, how the balls come into the penalty area, how Erling stays in the right spaces with his long bones, it’s hard to avoid scoring goals, very many even.”

Klopp: ‘No one has a clue’

As it stands, City look like they will win a third Premier League title in a row. And they could even end their Champions League hoodoo. Haaland is scoring for fun, while Julian Alvarez looks another smart buy up front.

Liverpool, though, have dropped their intensity and the results are noticeable. They have a lot of work to do get back to their best.

Klopp added in his interview that he thinks City are in “even more” of a transition than Liverpool are. He concluded that “no one has a clue” how the season will end up going for anyone.

“But City have also given up a lot of players and are also in transition, even more than we are. It’s part of refreshing a successful team,” the German said.

“You gave up Gabriel Jesus, as did Raheem Sterling, who was a fixture in Manchester for years. [Oleksandr] Zinchenko too, Fernandinho has retired, or rather, has gone back to Brazil.

“They were important players for City. And the season is damn long and is interrupted again by the World Cup, no one has a clue.”

Big differences between Liverpool and Man City

Klopp is right to say Man City are in a transition, but they are handling it much better than Liverpool.

The obvious problem for Liverpool heading into the summer transfer window was their midfield. They tried to make a new signing and after Aurelien Tchouameni, Jude Bellingham and Matheus Nunes passed them by, they ended up with a scramble for Arthur Melo.

Yes, Liverpool signed Fabio Carvalho as another exciting midfield talent alongside Harvey Elliott. But, amid Liverpool’s other injury-prone cohort, there are problems.

City, meanwhile, addressed their midfield concerns straight away with the signing of Kalvin Phillips.

He has yet to get going in a blue shirt, but he will be buzzing to compete with Rodri for minutes.

The other issue for Liverpool is that – as Jurgen Klopp has stressed – they cannot throw money and high wages at players like City can.

By the same token, though, Klopp has admitted that, if it was up to him, he would take more risks in the transfer market.

And Liverpool had to make a second, more senior signing in the midfield this summer. Not doing so is playing a major part in their current struggles.