Premier League • England

Liverpool told woes stem from ‘negligent’ Klopp abandoning one major duty – ‘he hasn’t done it’

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with Fabinho Virgil van Dijk, James Milner and Harvey Elliott

One observer has insisted Jurgen Klopp must shoulder a sizeable portion of the blame behind why Liverpool are struggling, branding him “negligent” in one vital department.

Liverpool enter Tuesday night’s Champions League contest against Napoli with a sense of trepidation. Their presence in the knockout rounds is already secured – as is Napoli’s. However, Luciano Spalletti’s side are a genuine threat to write another sorry chapter in Liverpool’s ailing season.

Napoli have won 14 successive matches prior to their trip to Anfield. A thumping 4-1 victory over the Reds in the reverse fixture was match number two in their remarkable streak.

Klopp recently stressed he and Liverpool must be judged at the end of the season, not during it. In his mind at least, he’s seen enough to believe he can turn things around before it’s too late.

Many theories have been posed as to why Liverpool are struggling so soon after almost winning a quadruple.

Player burnout, injuries, poor recruitment – or a lack of – and Klopp’s seven-year itch have all been touted. However, according to talkSPORT’s Simon Jordan, Klopp is partly to blame for the club’s inaction in the transfer market.

Liverpool’s midfield is crying out for major surgery. Jude Bellingham is their top target for next summer, though speculation is beginning to grow they may swoop for a different Bundesliga player in January.

Liverpool did add to their midfield ranks last window, though only in the form of Juventus’ Arthur Melo on loan.

Arthur arrived with a reputation of being injury prone, something he quickly lived up to when ruled out for three months with a serious thigh injury.

Klopp repeatedly spoke of signing the “right player” rather than just any player when quizzed on Liverpool’s midfield inaction over the summer. Only when injuries began to bite in August did he admit he was wrong, with Liverpool then signing Arthur.

Jordan questioned why Klopp didn’t lay down the law to owners FSG and demand new blood in midfield.

In his mind, the Reds boss should’ve been proactive and addressed a problem before it became a problem, rather than reacting mid-issue.

Furthermore, Jordan claimed Klopp is held in such high regard on Merseyside that FSG would have listened if their manager knocked on the door.

Klopp has “the juice” to strong-arm FSG

Jordan told talkSPORT: “I realise that of course the religion of Klopp means if you actually criticise Klopp, then people are going to pile on about this potential hatred that you or I have for Jurgen Klopp.

“Which is of course absolute nonsense, because I think he’s one of the elite managers of his generation. I think he’s an outstanding manager.

“But I think he’s been negligent, I think he has not looked at the bigger picture, one of the great things about elite managers is they know when to revitalise, to recalibrate, to re-energise, to change up.

“He hasn’t done it, now you can make the argument that they’ve lost some players and [Sadio] Mane was a situation.

“But Graeme Souness made an interesting point yesterday, it’s one I repeatedly make and it’s nice to hear a football manager – albeit a previous one – talking about the amount of juice that top managers have.

“Are you sitting there seriously saying to me that Klopp hasn’t got the leverage to go to the Liverpool board and say, ‘give me some more money for players’.

“Because I think he has, and Graeme made the point yesterday, that can you imagine that Jurgen Klopp hasn’t got the juice to go to the board and say, ‘I need more support’.

“So I think they’re all in this – none of us saw it.”

Jordan continued: “But the guy that should have said it [requested new signings], and the guy that should know it, is Jurgen Klopp.

“Because part of his job is not to make Liverpool burn brightly and blaze away and then fade away, his job is to keep them at that standard for as long as he possibly can.”

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