Liverpool’s 3-0 defeat away at Brighton over the weekend was bad. It was so bad that manager Jürgen Klopp’s immediate reaction was to call it the worst performance by one of his teams that he had ever seen in all his years of coaching.
Whether it actually was that is probably impossible to say, but it certainly did feel like it was in its immediate aftermath. And now, in its wake, Klopp says that the only thing he and his players can do now is to try to get back to absolute basics.
“You go back to basics,” he said when asked what his response to Saturday’s defeat was. “That’s what we now must do. We have to be more compact, and not only for tomorrow, that is 100% clear. We have to get back to solid defending.”
Liverpool at times this season have been worryingly easy to pass through and create chances against, something that was almost never the case in past seasons, but defence certainly wasn’t the only issue in the defeat away to Brighton.
In that game, Liverpool also couldn’t hold the ball, couldn’t build play, and couldn’t create chances, ending the match with just 39% possession while putting two tame efforts on target and with their opponents completing 50% more passes.
What comes next is anybody’s guess, especially with further reinforcements in January seemingly off the table despite the team’s struggles and the potential financial hit that would come from not qualifying for the Champions League.
Whether that’s down to a lack of support at a time of need from the owners, failures in the recruitment department, or Klopp’s loyalty to his current players is anybody’s guess—but that solutions will have to be found within seems the reality.
“We won’t hide,” Klopp added. “We have to admit that too often this season we haven’t played to our potential. So that’s where we want to get back to again now. We can’t turn time back, but now we have to find a way to start again.”