The light schedule was expected to help Liverpool in their title run but even with this light schedule, the injuries seem to be piling up for the Reds. Even if some of them are minor and not long term, it has affected the lineup and therefore the play on the field. Players playing out of position are affecting others to shift to unfamiliar territory and the disconnected play is not affecting the flow of our play but sadly the results we are getting. If we can blame our current poor form to this, there is hope with Henderson, Gini, and Trent coming back as soon as this weekend.
This just in : Defense is not only the four in the back
Unless it was Trent holding the defense together and not VVD, I think the recent lack of clean sheets and the abundance of defensive lapses show that the issue is not only due to the injuries in defense. This is more of a lesson to some of the fans out there really who perhaps have not played the game or not focused on the analytical part of the game. I think we can agree that even though Trent is not the most important part of that defense, Milner’s lack of speed on that wing is affecting how we play and how we are setup on the field. More importantly, the inconsistency of the midfield lineup and how they are positioned on the field is leaving huge gaps in front of the defensive line. The back four was exposed several times today due to careless balls left in the center of the field by Keita and Firmino, and with no defensive block in front of them with players like Henderson, Milner, and Gini, the Reds gave up several scoring opportunities to West Ham
Liverpool need to find their ideal lineup in middle of the field and stick to it
A lot can be said about the midfield of last season. They may have lacked creativity and speed. One thing they did not lack was consistency and work-rate. We knew who was going to be there and exactly what they would bring to the table. The single advantage of being eliminated from other competitions is the easier schedule and the rest in between games. Klopp has to take advantage of this and make the final call on our ideal lineup in the center of the field. I know the injuries have not helped but with hope in sight of having all midfielders available at our disposal soon (even Ox in about a month), it is time to establish consistency in midfield
We might have to wait until next season for Keita
With a very poor first half including the defensive lapse that resulted in the first goal, the dilemma that is Keita continues at Liverpool. The second half showed more of the Keita we expected to see with more effective dribbling and ball distribution. We are all anxiously waiting for the Keita we expected to watch this season and in some ways it has clouded some fans’ judgement. No other player would get so much leeway with the promise of their potential. The truth is though despite the enormous talent Keita has, he is still not close to be able to take on the role we need him to in the Premier League. He does not look as strong physically to be able to fight some of the challenges he is receiving and his lack of confidence shows itself in the final passes and shots. Still way too early to give up on this signing but he should definitely be behind others in pecking order when it comes to our ideal midfield selection and will only fall further behind when Ox comes back.
Team needs leadership to get out of this funk
The Reds look visibly nervous and lack confidence at the moment. Players are passing up on shots, taking a few too many touches to make sure they are getting the ‘perfect’ shot which causes them to lose the opportunity to start with, lack of clinical passing are all signs of the team doubting itself. There are way too many leaders in this team to help get the troops together. This is the same team that has brought themselves to this position where they are on top of the league with a three point gap. They have all the tools they need to be able to continue this title charge to the end and get us to the promised land. Whether it is Milner, VVD, Hendo, or Klopp… the team needs to pull together and realize that the only thing stopping them is themselves. Anfield will have to play a huge part on this next game. This team needs support and backing to stop doubting themselves and not moans and groans for every misplaced pass or shot. Some of the negativity I see and read from fans online makes you double check the standings to make sure I am not imagining that we are still on top of the league with a three point lead. This is why I do not have as much hope in the positive vibes coming from the stands, the team has to find it from among themselves to prove all doubters wrong.