It has been a torrid couple of months for Jürgen Klopp and his Liverpool side. The Reds topped the table heading into Christmas despite losing a bevy of players to injury and covid. And despite some uneven performances, Klopp had his team up on their perch, four points ahead of Leicester City.
Since that point, Liverpool FC have picked up a paltry 12 points over 14 games in the Premier League. That is really, really bad. To make it worse, after not losing a game at Fortress Anfield for almost four calendar years, the Reds have dropped six straight, including to several bottom dwelling sides.
For the fans, it’s been some brutal viewing. A team that had imposed their will on pretty much everyone over the last several seasons now looks fragile. A team that had shown a proclivity to punch in a goal when it whenever it was needed now looks bereft of ideas, and unable to find the back of the net. And despite a multitude of mitigating factors (injuries, covid, lack of fans, fixture congestion, etc) for the poor run of results, some fans are starting to panic, calling for sweeping changes. Some corners of the internet are even clambering for FSG to oust Klopp in favor for team legend, and now SPL title winner as Rangers manager, Steven Gerrard. These kinds of knee-jerk reactions, however, often lead to turmoil in the long run.
Fenway Sports Group (FSG), for their part, do not seem to be panicking. James Pearce reported that FSG remain “steadfastly behind” manager Jürgen Klopp. In his five seasons, Klopp has lead the team to a Europa League final, two Champions League finals, winning one, and won the team’s first league title in emphatic fashion just last season. And despite the rails falling off this season for Klopp and company, there are plenty of mitigating factors in the poor results. Still, for a manager who is considered one of the best in the world at motivating his players, Klopp’s side seems bereft of confidence.
Even with a chance for finishing in the top four of the league and an automatic berth in the Champions League swiftly slipping away, FSG seem to want to stick to their plan. They have talked about building a squad and an academy that can sustainably compete at the highest levels long term. While they have only periodically made big splashes in the transfer market, they have mostly mined a wealth of under-valued talent and turned the players into some of the best int he world. They have spent time, effort, and money to build a first class academy training facility, and stock it with first class talent that will hopefully be incorporated into the team in the future, or provide funds for additional transfers down the line. FSG see Jürgen Klopp as the man to continue executing their vision for the foreseeable future.
Still, while a long term vision is great, there are definitely concerns in the short term. Missing out on the Champions League (unless of course Liverpool win the whole damn thing as EJ would say) has some major financial ramifications, and could impact recruitment. Liverpool have a strong squad when everyone is healthy, but the team needs to continue revamping an aging front line, as well as replace some pieces in the midfield that are likely moving on. Without some decent investment, the Reds run the risk of stagnating. One season out of the Champions League would not be a death knell, but Liverpool need to be right back in the mix next season if they want to avoid a period of mediocrity like Manchester United had, and Arsenal continue to have.
Personally, I have full faith in Klopp. The man has earned all the goodwill he could ever want on Merseyside, and he is one of the few managers who can continue to recruit and maintain top talent even without Champions League next season. The squad still needs to continue to revamp, and investment needs to be made in the midfield and forward line in particular, as well as sort out one or more center backs for depth. With a more normal schedule during the offseason, and fans likely back in full force next fall, I believe Klopp will get the squad firing again.
So, where do you fall on the spectrum of panic? Are you freaking out, or feeling pretty zen? Or are you somewhere in between? Vote in the poll or let us know in the comments below.
How much are you panicking about the run of poor results Liverpool are on?
This poll is closed
Burn it all to the ground now, hire Stevie G, and hope for the best
If Liverpool don’t qualify for Champions League, major changes need to be made, including selling some major stars and potentially firing Klopp.
It’s been a crazy season with injuries and covid. Klopp is the right guy, but there needs to be some significant investment this summer.
I’m totally zen. This is obviously a one year blip due to mitigating factors. FSG and Klopp are on the right track with the long term plans, all will be fine next season and beyond.
I am numb and find it hard to care one way or another any more.