Liverpool: same old issues for predictable reds
Posted by Featured Articles | Published on August 22, 2016
If there’s one thing Liverpool are renowned for in recent times it is their level of inconsistency. No club can go from a dominating performance away at a top club to losing with a whimper against newly promoted opposition quite like Liverpool can. There’s so many factors that cause these dips in levels of form and ability but none of them have been addressed by Jurgen Klopp or by those who have managed before him.
Liverpool have a side full of inconsistent talent, that much is a fact. Philippe Coutinho has the ability and the talent to be one of the top playmakers and string pullers in the Premier League when he is really on top form, but also doubles brilliantly as a magician with his disappearing acts against lesser clubs. The same has to be said about fellow Brazilian Roberto Firmino, who has immense talent and the quality to put any side to the sword with his wonderful footwork and his killer instinct; but we don’t see it enough against sides like Burnley or Sunderland. These inconsistencies aren’t helped by the additions made by Klopp in the transfer window this summer. Georginio Wijnaldum is known for being as useful as a chocolate teapot during away games yet has managed to land himself a £25m move to Anfield and be planted straight in the heart of Liverpool’s midfield. Liverpool have, in their entire squad, 2-3 players that you would describe as consistent performers and they are Nathaniel Clyne, James Milner and Adam Lallana, the rest have days where they look like world beaters and days where they look like amateurs.
The attitude and mindset of everyone involved with the club seems to be a bit too disjointed for there to be any form of success coming any time soon. Liverpool are at a crossroads at the moment, unsure whether or not they are a big club that can truly compete year in year out, or if they are now a second tier premier league side alongside the likes of West Ham and Merseyside rivals Everton. When Jurgen Klopp was appointed there was fresh optimism, a belief that Liverpool could genuinely return to the days of winning trophies regularly and battling with old rivals Manchester United once again. The first season did show signs of promise but also showed Liverpool as a bit of a sleeping giant, approaching big games against rivals with negative tactics and fear of defeat as opposed to feeling unstoppable and making the opposition scared of them. This mentality wasn’t helped by this summer’s transfer activity as Liverpool didn’t manage to sign a marquee, top draw player with proven pedigree as they instead elected for lesser known entities and players with potential such as Sadio Mane and Loris Karius. Despite being loosely linked with players such as Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Götze, Liverpool couldn’t capture that huge name which would’ve announced their intentions to the rest of the league.
The Transfer Committee
It is a widely discussed issue with Liverpool at the moment and something which has cost Liverpool a huge sum of money to attract nothing more than average quality. With signings such as Stewart Downing, Jordan Henderson, Christian Benteke and Andy Carroll all costing in excess of £20m each, it’s clear that Liverpool and their transfer committee haven’t a clue what they’re doing financially. This summer, for example, Mario Gotze and Andre Schurrle cost Dortmund less than Gini Wijnaldum and Sadio Mane cost Liverpool. Two World Cup winners against a relegated player and a relatively inconsistent Southampton winger, there’s only one victor. Now I’m not for one second saying there haven’t been some brilliant signings along the way, Emre Can for £10m seems an absolute bargain, as does Nathaniel Clyne for £12m and most notably getting Philippe Coutinho for £8.5m; but these deals are completely outweighed by the ludicrous sums of money spent on players who are blatantly not good enough. Adam Lallana cost Liverpool approximately the same fee that Manchester United have spent on Henrikh Mkhitaryan, as well as that he is only slightly cheaper than Alexis Sanchez was for Arsenal. I could list things like this all day long but I’m sure you get my point here. The sooner Liverpool ditch the transfer committee and allow the manager free roam on who to sign the better, because ultimately it’s he who must face the consequences if those signings turn out to be flops.
I think there is also an argument to be made regarding the expectations Liverpool fans set their club. Even during the darkest days of the squad, with Roy Hodgson in charge and Jay Spearing anchoring the midfield some fans genuinely believed Liverpool could be title challengers. The 2013/14 season provided more hope for fans tbag the glory days could be returning, but it was soon discovered just how important Luis Suarez was to that team, perhaps the most influential player a team has had in the Premier League. Ever since then it’s been a strive from fans, a desire to be back amongst it and thanks to Jurgen Klopp’s arrival at the club, that dream looks more and more plausible. What we don’t consider is the fact that the squad Liverpool have at their disposal isn’t anywhere near the level it needs to be to compete at the top level. A shoddy defence and a spineless midfield doesn’t make for title success irregardless of who’s in charge of the club and that’s something some fans are yet to realise.
Now, this article hasn’t been wrote out of spite and as a way of completely giving up all hope as a Liverpool supporter but instead alerting a few people to the issues which have been in place for a number of years, issues which must be fixed in order for Liverpool to return to successful pastures. The talent is there for the most part, the manager is certainly the right man for the job, but there are still areas which need to be ironed out and this Burnley game has provided absolute proof of that. To be a title challenger, you must be able to break down the smaller sides and get results against the big boys, not just one or the other and Liverpool’s fluctuation between both of these is the reason they haven’t been consistent title challengers.