The fact that Liverpool have to replay their FA Cup match against Wolves, and at Molineux Stadium, is not the end to the weekend any Red wanted. But beyond the realities of Liverpool in the FA Cup, there’s probably a much more pressing conversation (one that has been pressing for some time now) about what Liverpool need to do to get back to the performances we’re used to.
“Not in general, but in moments, it’s not concerning... look, you watch a game and then you see the things that happen,” Klopp told the club website when asked if he was concerned about the team’s defending in recent games. “Whatever you play, high-line, deeper-line, ball-orientated, man-orientated – you have to win challenges. There is no alternative to [that]. So, yeah. I mentioned already now in the dressing room and I will mention it again and the next team we face is Brighton, who are meanwhile famous for playing proper football. If you don’t defend properly there, then why should we go there?”
“I can understand, it looks open in moments, but it is just open because we think we win the challenge and then we don’t win it and that’s then really tricky to deal with in the end. It’s not that they had now chance after chance, what it causes us is a lot of effort to put it right in the end and if you are already there, so you could win it where you are, then you don’t have to run back and try to solve the problems there.”
It’s clear that this team need something. Whether that’s a break (someone let these lads nap, please), or everyone to return from injury, or new players brought in this January, or just for the players to remember what it’s like to win challenges and defend properly again, it needs to happen sooner rather than later.