Jurgen Klopp: Two key decisions went against Liverpool in West Ham defeat
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After being rocked by an injury crisis last year, it certainly feels as though history is repeating itself for Liverpool this year. Jurgen Klopp has seen his midfield decimated this term following last year’s defensive crisis.
Liverpool’s midfield misery has contributed to their shaky defensive form. Already this season, the Reds rearguard have conceded two or more goals on seven occasions.
The 3-2 defeat at West Ham on Sunday was their only Premier League defeat of the season so far – but it’s already abundantly clear that they have major stability issues, with a number of their games this term descending into chaos.
Thiago Alcantara made a welcome return from injury at the London Stadium. And what Liverpool and Klopp really need right now is for him to step up and finally deliver.
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Thiago’s arrival was one of the most hotly-anticipated transfers in recent memory, with the Reds seemingly pulling off a real coup in prising the Spaniard away from Bayern Munich for just £20million.
But, in truth, Thiago has failed to live up to that pretty modest price tag.
The 29-year-old hasn’t exactly been a disaster on Merseyside, but he’s not looked anything like the calibre of player that Liverpool fans were expecting. The man who was deemed as a magician out in Germany has seemingly lost his sparkle in England.
He struggled to make an impact last year – even though it was anticipated that his arrival could prove to be the catalyst for the Reds to go on and dominate domestically for years to come.
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Liverpool’s defensive crisis halted any chance of that happening last year – and there was little Thiago could do about it.
But he can solve their current conundrum.
If Thiago can step and replicate the kind of form that he showed for Bayern during his seven-year stay in the Bundesliga, then it’ll go a long way to stabilising the spine of a Liverpool side that looks uncharacteristically vulnerable right now.
Injuries have dogged him so far this term, but he looked by far the most comfortable midfielder on the pitch in the final stages of Liverpool’s demise in east London.
Liverpool have looked frantic on too many occasions this term – causing them to throw away countless leads. They may still be finely poised in the league, but it’s not a sustainable habit if they are to mount a sustained title challenge.
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It’s down to Thiago to exert some control on matches and dictate proceedings just like he did in Germany. Thiago was, more often than not, Bayern’s chief conductor under Pep Guardiola; how Klopp could do with the Thiago of old right now to help orchestrate his team following another shoddy defensive display.
Klopp always looked likely to have a major midfield problem on his hands following the failure to replace Gini Wijnaldum this summer.
Sadly, not only has that proven to be the case with a host of players so failing to grasp their opportunity to step up in his absence, further issues have cropped up with the Reds mounting injury worries.
Although Thiago was never likely to be the answer to Liverpool’s initial midfield problems at the start of the year, he certainly looks the best fit to resolve the problems that Klopp faces right now.
The time has to be now for him to finally step up and deliver in the Premier League – and help Liverpool take back control amidst the chaos.
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