The anticipation of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool over the past week has finally resulted in his first game as Manager. In a 0-0 draw to Tottenham, Klopp first saw his new team in a competitive game environment. There were some bright spots and the team got a bad break with injuries during the international break but it appeared like it’ll take some time for Liverpool to get to a winning form.
The 0-0 draw looked like a fair result and Klopp said that himself. While it seemed like Tottenham was the better team for most of the game, both teams had their chances on goal. Starting with what worked, the midfield looked great. They held the ball for the most part and were able to maintain possession. Simon Mignolet also saved the day for Liverpool. He had some very good saves that bailed out the team when they really needed him.
As far as the attacking side of the game, it would be a bit unfair to judge the attacking since Liverpool was relegated to play their fourth striker in Divock Origi since Daniel Sturridge, Christian Benteke and Danny Ings were all injured. Origi did alright but I don’t think anyone was really expecting anything great out of him. Origi did have the best chance for Liverpool after his header from point blank range went straight to Hugo Lloris. Once either Sturridge and/or Benteke come back, we will have a better glimpse of how the attacking part of Klopp’s game will look.
Now we get to the part of the team that caused the biggest headaches and will cause the biggest headaches in the future. The backline is just painful to watch, especially Martin Skrtel. Once a great defender, it just seems that Skrtel regresses every game and simply screws up what the other three are doing constantly, even though he is supposed to be the veteran with the most experience. As far as Alberto Moreno, Mamadou Sakho and Nathaniel Clyne are concerned, individually, they may have some talent but I didn’t see much out of any of them as a backline to have any sort of hope to get Liverpool to the top four. Sakho had a couple great stops but that was the only bright spot in an otherwise poor performance as a collective backline during the game.
If I am Klopp, I sell Skrtel for one thing and get a better center back. In terms of Moreno, Sakho and Clyne, these three are players who can still make an impact on the team. The issue is that these three are probably too good to be coming off the bench every game but I think these three are not capable to be starting every game right now. Reluctantly, I would keep them starting to get experience together and make a run next year but everyone needs to keep in mind, Mignolet can’t save their butts forever and their mistakes are going to leak in goals and bleed this team dry. It’s simple in order to get top four with Klopp, either plug the holes in the defense or give them time and make sure you have the people on hand to outscore your opponent by whatever means necessary.