The future of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool remains secure for now – but the Reds boss admits he is desperate to turn the tide amid heightening reports he may soon face the sack.
The 2020 Premier League champions look a shadow of their former selves, languishing down in ninth place. Indeed, they only have four wins from their 12 games played so far, with successive defeats to struggling Leeds and Nottingham Forest turning the screw.
Liverpool, are however, through to the last 16 of the Champions League alongside tonight’s opponents Napoli.
But it is in the Premier League where Liverpool need a rapid improvement. Saturday night’s loss to Leeds saw Graeme Souness point the finger at five players, with the Scot claiming Klopp expected their struggles before the season got underway.
As it stands, the Reds are nearer the relegation zone than they are top of the table. And they will need a vast improvement after the World Cup break if they are to secure a top-four finish.
Despite the struggles, Klopp still reportedly retains the support of the Anfield board. However, talk of Klopp’s potential sack has been doing the rounds this season, with Jamie Carragher offering his thoughts right here.
Klopp himself admits he is desperate to turn around the club’s fortunes. And he insists he still has the hunger and desire to ensure the Reds can return to their very best form.
“My job is not only being here in the moment when the sun is shining and someone gives us a trophy,” the Reds manager explained. “My job is also to be here when we are in a really rough period. And I will do that, with all I have, and if possible even more — 100 per cent.”
Boss makes desperate plea to hold off Liverpool judgement
Despite his desire to turn the tide, Klopp knows the pressure is all on his shoulders. And he insists that no one else should be held accountable.
“Everything will be judged on me now and that is absolutely fine. When people look at me, they will say he looks tired. That is normal. But I am not. I cannot give that excuse”
Klopp is also desperately pleading for people not to judge him too soon. And he believes he deserves more time and offer judgement once the season has finished.
“I think the judgment for this will be later in the season,” said Klopp. “Or, maybe, it will be at the end of the season where we say, ‘OK, obviously now that is it for this group of players… for this manager if you want’.
“The question will be asked then but, in the moment, it is not 100 per cent fair to judge the team because we never had them all available. Especially now up front, top quality players, which isn’t helpful.
“That doesn’t mean the others are not top quality but with the number of games we had we would usually make changes and we can’t do that. It is a very similar situation in midfield for a long time. We had it pretty much everywhere.”
Klopp sack? New favourite emerges as Liverpool successor
Despite Klopp’s plea for more time, speculation has already risen over who his potential successor could be.
Indeed, the Daily Mirror has also taken a look at the favourites to replace him at the helm.
And favourite to step into the Anfield hotseat is Klopp’s No 2, Pep Lijnders. The Dutchman has been by Klopp’s side for the majority of his time at Anfield, only stepping aside for a period of time to take charge at NEC Nijmegen.
Former Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel is also among the contenders, with his reputation still strong despite his Chelsea dismissal. He led the Blues to the Champions League just a matter of months after taking charge.
Steven Gerrard also reportedly remains in the frame, despite his recent dismissal at Aston Villa. Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann is also being linked in some quarters.
Klopp, though, will be desperate to gain a positive result in their next four games to ease some of that pressure.
After Napoli, they face a tough trip to Tottenham on Sunday evening. They then tackle Derby in the Carabao Cup before hosting Southampton in their final game before the World Cup.