Following Liverpool’s 1-0 victory against Wolves in their FA Cup third round replay where manager Jürgen Klopp made eight changes to the stagnating team who lost at the weekend, questions were asked about a possible more permanent change in the line-up.
Youngster Harvey Elliott wowed the crowd with his 13th minute stunner of a goal — which turned out to be the decider — while other players like Fabio Carvalho and Stefan Bajcetic got opportunities to start as well.
Klopp refused to answer the question directly, saying only that he expected every player to fight for a spot on the team going forward. Then he provided a happy injury update about Darwin Núñez.
“I don’t think it would be right after one game to say that’s the team for the next eight weeks or whatever. Let’s have a look. I hope that Darwin (Nunez) is coming back and training tomorrow or Thursday. He might then be in contention,” Klopp said.
“Kostas (Tsimikas) got a knock in the back, so let’s see how they recover. We have now this game and four days to train (for the Chelsea game) and after that five or six days of training until the next game. It’s always like this, it’s always about who shows up in training.
“The door is open for everybody. We have to fight and whoever is ready to fight has a good chance to play.”
No one wants a repeat of the game at the weekend. It’s clear that some changes need to be made in order to avoid that kind of embarrassment a second time against Chelsea. It might be worth it to see the manager experiment a bit with his set up to see if he can shake loose the talent in this team that has been hiding this season. Elliot may not be the answer, Carvalho may not be the answer, but they need figure out what player or formation or breakfast food is the answer quickly.
It’s not as late in the season as it normally would be by January, but that means the games will be coming thick and fast as club football struggles to catch up with itself after the World Cup. Things certainly won’t be getting any easier, and if a solution isn’t discovered, then this season has the potential to get much worse.