Defeat to Hull City meant Liverpool’s disastrous start to 2017 continued. Jurgen Klopp’s men have won just one of their 10 matches since the turn of the year and this run has seen relegation battlers Hull and Swansea pick up maximum points against them as well as having their FA Cup run brought to a premature end at the hands of Wolves, at Anfield.
Fingers are being pointed and scapegoats are being identified.
Emre Can isn’t good enough to start. Dejan Lovren should have been sold. Mistakes were made in wanting Simon Mignolet back in goal and now the general consensus appears to want Loris Karius restored. The attack papered over the limitations in defence but with the likes of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho all now being nullified the defence is once again being exposed as a weakness.
It feels like we’ve been here before, doesn’t it?
That’s because as Liverpool fans we have. The defence, despite having tens of millions spent on it over recent seasons, has been neglected. It’s why Lucas Leiva and James Milner lined up alongside Joel Matip and Nathaniel Clyne to make up the back four in the defeat to Hull. It’s why the title challenge only last until January this season and why the Reds won’t lift the a title which has eluded them for 25-years anytime soon unless changes are made.
It’s not as easy as just buying better defenders. It’s about improving the defensive unit in both open play and during set pieces. Klopp has no doubt worked on things since his arrival at the club but defending set pieces doesn’t appear to be one. The team are conceding goals identical to those they conceded 12 months ago despite having different personnel on the pitch. There’s a problem somewhere which is yet to be identified, acknowledged or solved.