Jurgen Klopp insists he is not ‘too loyal’ to players but accepts Liverpool are ‘underperforming’ | Football News

Jurgen Klopp insists he is not “too loyal” to his “underperforming” senior players and says Liverpool will only look to strengthen their squad in January if deals are “available and feasible”.

Klopp has a number of problems to sort out after admitting Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Brighton was the worst performance of his managerial career.

His side have already lost six times in the Premier League – after losing just four times in 63 games in all competitions last season – and are 10 points off the top four.

Speaking ahead of Liverpool’s FA Cup third round tie with Wolves Klopp said the issues at Liverpool are “complex” and cannot be solved simply by spending in the transfer window, despite acknowledging the need to strengthen – Liverpool already have spent up to £45 million to sign Cody Gakpo this January.

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Trent Alexander-Arnold holds his head in his hands after Liverpool were beaten 3-0 by Brighton

Liverpool’s veteran midfield has come under particular scrutiny with captain Jordan Henderson himself admitting Saturday’s defeat at Brighton “lacked energy”.

Henderson (32) and Fabinho (29) – who have won every club trophy during their time at Anfield – and 31-year-old Thiago, a later arrival but still a double cup winner last season, remain the midfield first of the Reds. .

Brushing off criticism that he is too reliant on the so-called old guard, Klopp said: “I’ve heard I’m very loyal, but I’m not very loyal. The problem is very complex. If you can, then go out and bring in another one. player to replace him, then it makes sense.

Alexis McAllister is kicked off by Liverpool's Jordan Henderson
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Alexis McAllister is kicked off by Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson

“But if you can’t get anyone in, you can’t get anyone out. I’m not very loyal. At Dortmund before I left, I said something has to change here – either a change in management or a lot of other things that have to change.

“I’ll be here as long as I’m wanted. If nobody tells me to go, I won’t go. It’s something for the future, in the summer, not now. All I want is to fix this situation . – This is all.

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“Obviously there will be a significant period of change. There have been injuries, but nobody is interested in that. The boys feel the responsibility, but we are united with everything we have.”

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The Transfer Show’s Dharmesh Sheth explains the dilemma facing Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool in the current transfer window.

He added: “Should we toughen up? Oh yes. But is this the right time for him? I can’t see it because of the situation we’re in, I think I know exactly how it is and that’s it. I can’t change The answer every week. Even when we lost another game since the last press conference, it doesn’t change.”

Klopp: We are not stubborn

Klopp doubts there will be further reinforcements
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Klopp doubts there will be further reinforcements

Klopp also addressed questions about whether a particularly poor run of form, which has been compounded by injuries to Luis Diaz, Roberto Firmino, Diogo Jota and most recently Virgil van Dijk, will force the club into the January window.

“We also look outside,” he said. “It’s not that we’re stubborn and think that’s it, we’re going to go with these guys until 2050 or whatever. What’s more important is what you can do. It’s always the same thing, every year.

“I can’t change my answers – if the solutions are there for us, available and feasible, of course we would bring in players to help. But we also have an existing squad and we are underperforming, of course , I know that. But I can’t sit here and blame everybody else, the players, all the time, it’s my responsibility.

“This is my duty [get them to perform]. We have limited options but we have contracted players here, they are not available. “But if we bring players, we can’t bring them all to the Premier League and Champions League list.”

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Liverpool face questions and answers: injuries, fatigue or finances?

Virgil van Dijk
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Virgil van Dijk is out with a hamstring problem

The reason for Liverpool’s struggle is a simple question with a multifaceted answer.

A number of factors have conspired to create the current situation that Klopp has faced most testingly in his time at Anfield. The manager will point to injuries: he had four strikers missing at Brighton – two long-term absentees – as well as influential centre-back Van Dijk.

Fatigue, both physical and mental, has also played a role. Klopp finally admitted on Friday that the 63-game 2021/22 campaign, which saw Liverpool win two cups, almost lift the Premier League and Champions League and play in every game they were eligible for, has taken its toll on the squad. his. Captain Jordan Henderson confirmed that after the Brighton defeat the players were low on energy and confidence.

Fatigue? Low energy? How did it come?

Well, at the end of Liverpool’s marathon last season, their starting midfield three at Brighton – Henderson (32), Thiago Alcantara (31) and Fabinho (29) – had a combined age of 92. Of the alternatives James Milner is 37, Naby Keita and Curtis Jones have missed much of the campaign through injury, while youngster Harvey Elliott has struggled in an underperforming team.

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Brighton’s win against Liverpool in the Premier League.

So why hasn’t Klopp refreshed his squad?

In a word: money.

Owners Fenway Sports Group forked out £35m-£45m to bring in PSV striker Gakpo this month, although he was a longer-range target as they wanted to fend off interest from other clubs. Klopp wanted Aurelien Tchouameni to strengthen his midfield, but the Frenchman opted for Real Madrid in the summer.

Midfield remains an area in real need of attention and the suspicion is that FSG are budgeting for a good deal for Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham.

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What can Klopp do then?

Barring any further signings in this window, it looks like he will have to pass.

The return of Formino and Darwin Nunez to fitness will help, but his midfield option is to put more faith in the likes of Keita and Jones and hope they can freshen up.

What is the short-term solution to their overall problems?

Finding a way to not be so fragile defensively would be a start. Liverpool have conceded the first goal 21 times in their last 35 games and have not kept a clean sheet in the Premier League since October.

That’s another issue that can be traced to their shortcomings in midfield, but they’ve looked so open at the back that opposition teams know they’ll always have chances. A change in formation could help, but Klopp has already made small changes without much success.

Liverpool’s midfield dysfunction

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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool suffered a well-deserved defeat and that he cannot remember a worse game as they slumped to a 3-0 defeat away at Brighton.

Sky Sports’ Lewis Jones:

The spotlight is shining so brightly on Liverpool’s defense right now that it’s blinding those who see – however, to focus solely on the individuals who play in the center of the backline would allow others to escape criticisms.

Yes, Joel Matip was at fault for Brighton’s first goal with a poor pass, but up until that point, he and Ibrahim Konate had defended with great cohesion and assurance. They just had to as the pressure towards their goal was relentless from a Brighton side who are now getting killed.

And why were Liverpool’s centre-backs so busy? Well, that stemmed from Liverpool’s midfield trio of Jordan Henderson, Fabinho and Thiago playing in a very odd role outside of the two strikers. It didn’t suit him.

Brighton duo Alexis Mac Allister and Moses Caicedo made Liverpool’s trio look like they should consider playing in a veteran league.

The midfield is the heart of a Jurgen Klopp side – when it malfunctions, as it is now, then the front line and back line suffer. This Liverpool team is not only malfunctioning, it is threatening to spin out of control.

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