When you arrive with a £35M price tag, there will be high expectations, even in the current inflated transfer market. When you arrive with a £35M price tag despite having just a year left on your contract and with a lot of people inclined to doubt you from the start, the doubts may not take long to surface.
Still, even with that in mind, the reaction to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s uninspiring first Liverpool start against Leicester City in the League Cup on Tuesday evening was surprising and more than a little disappointing, and manager Jürgen Klopp was asked about it today at his pre-match press conference.
“It’s the way of the world and football,” Klopp said with a shrug. “I did not hear it but I can imagine it. I think he did well but maybe you could see him trying to adjust to us because it’s a first game. That’s the world of football—we lost and he didn’t have the best game in his life so people ask questions.”
In truth, Oxlade-Chamberlain probably always was going to have an uphill struggle to convince Liverpool fans given his cost along with an Arsenal reputation as a player who had failed to develop into the star many were certain he would become. Still, one would expect him to be given more than a single start.
That impatience from some quarters, though, wasn’t reserved just for Liverpool’s newest signing, though, as despite Liverpool’s generally good play—play that saw Klopp’s side lauded in August—there were grumbles about the team and manager more generally following Tuesday’s match.
As with Oxlade-Chamberlain individually, Klopp could only shrug it off as the way of both football and the world, with Liverpool still mostly playing well but the goals drying up and the same fans who were just a month ago celebrating his side’s fluidity suddenly in something of a panic about the situation.
“In the beginning everyone says it’s nice how fluid and how creative we are,” Klopp added. “But now we are not scoring so there is a big problem and so my job is to help the players to stay positive for our situation. So now it’s the Premier League again and we need results.”