Liverpool struggled to start the 2022-23 season, the players seemingly burnt out mentally and physically by how hard they pushed themselves the season before when they came within two games of what would have been a historic quadruple.
That difficult start, though, is now more four months and a World Cup break behind them and the struggles continue. If anything, they appear to be getting worse. To call it a cause for concern feels an understatement—and Jürgen Klopp agrees.
“How can I not be concerned?” was the manager’s blunt take. “I cannot sit here and think it’s all okay. It’s not. If it’s because of last season, 63 games, stuff like this. Yes, definitely, we have to say it. It’s clear that has influenced the first part of the season.
“But how long do we want to suffer off that? It’s now the second part of the season—on my watch it is February. We are now there. That might have been a problem earlier, of course, then injuries, but [how we played against Wolves] is not allowed.”
Before the World Cup break, Liverpool had six wins, four draws, and four losses good for 22 points in 14 games, a disappointing 1.57 points per game that projects to 60 points over a season. After they’ve had two wins, a draw, and three losses.
That’s just seven points from five games, or 1.4 points per game—projecting to 53 points over a season. They have just one point from four league games in 2023 and were knocked out of the FA Cup by Brighton. The results are getting worse.
To get to the 70 points it would likely take to even be in contention for a top four finish and Champions League qualification, they would need 41 points from their remaining 18 games, 2.27 points per game—an 87 point pace over an entire season.
Realisitcally, then, it’s time to call the top four out of reach, leaving little but pride to play for in the league as they prepare to take on an Everton that look revitalised following the arrival of Sean Dyche and their 1-0 victory over league leaders Arsenal.