It’s not the system. That’s the conclusion from manager Jürgen Klopp as his team lost against Arsenal at the Emirates on Sunday while playing in a 4-4-2 formation. The team has been known for their 4-3-3 set up for years now, focusing their attack on the trio of Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, and the departed Sadio Mané.
However, with the new additions and new injuries to his team this season, Klopp has gone another route. The gambit proved successful against Rangers in the Champions League, but not so much on Sunday against the current league leaders.
When asked about this, Klopp defended the new system, saying, “No, not that about that [the system]. I think the goals we conceded had nothing to do with the system. Did we have to get used to it a bit more? It’s normal as well. Can we play it again? I don’t know because we lost today one important part of it, so we have to see who is available for the next game. Do I have deeper concerns? Yes, of course I am not happy – how can I?”
The important part lost is, of course, Luis Díaz who, to add injury to insult, will now be out of commission until after the World Cup.
It’s clear that Klopp is right, in that problems are running deep at the club at the moment, unrelated to the system in place. It may be hard for the players to adjust to new expectations, but they are still all professionals who came two games away from the quadruple last season.