After Tuesday's loss to West Ham in the FA Cup fourth round, Christian Benteke has now gone 11 games in all competitions without scoring a goal -- and that was after having nine shots on goal at Upton Park. These kinds of droughts are common, if dreaded, for all strikers. The problem is that Benteke has seemed like a square peg in a round hole for this Liverpool side since his arrival in the summer.
When he was scoring clutch goals while still not playing well, as in the back to back victories against Leicester and Sunderland over the festive period, it was easier to dismiss the feeling of unease. Days like Tuesday, when his bad misses cost Liverpool the game and a chance to advance to the round of 16 against a beatable Blackburn Rovers side, make those feelings much harder to ignore.
Klopp, who understands the psychology of strikers, was positive about his hopes for Benteke.
"Ask 80 to 90 per cent of all strikers in the world – high-quality, low-quality, no-quality – they will tell you they’ve had times like this," he said.
"It’s like it is and you have to carry on. You have to go on, there’s no other situation. All the people in the world want the easy goal, but then the easy goal doesn’t help, so you have to play, you have to improve, you have to want to do all the things – that’s how it always is. It’s no different for Christian.
"But tonight, it was a really good game without the maximum finish, but he did a lot, he worked a lot, so it was a big step – that’s good for us and that’s good for him."
With luck, Benteke will get his goalscorers' touch back, but with increased competition from Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge, at least for the moment, he may not be afforded many more opportunities to do so this season.