It really is becoming a trend in modern football that one wrong move and everyone starts asking for your head. There is no patience, no looking at the bright side and certainly no belief in today’s time.
The recent spate of ‘poor’ performances — poor by some fan’s standards — by Liverpool has led to many fans asking for manager Jurgen Klopp to resign.
Yes, it certainly does sound retarded but we must give this to those fans that they have nothing but good intentions for the club at heart.
So the question that remains: do they have a point in asking for Klopp’s head so early in his tenure?
Klopp is without doubt one of the best managers in the world at the moment and has been taking breaths away since the moment he walked into his first-ever press conference and labelled himself ‘the normal one’.
He managed to rally the supporters and every single one was behind him in their journey from becoming doubters to believers, and those who were sceptical about him seeing the way his final year at Dortmund unfolded, shed all doubt when the German guided Liverpool to two cup finals, one of which included the absolutely thrilling 4-3 win over Dortmund at Anfield; and that too in his first year as Liverpool manager.
The following campaign Liverpool were devastating with every touch they took and were genuine title contenders at one point in the season until an Arsenal-esque injury crisis at the turn of the year derailed them leading to a string of poor performances which saw them go from being genuine title contenders to finding it even difficult to finish in the top four.
They eventually finished in the top four to book their place in the Champions League.
Looking at this journey, one finds it extremely difficult to believe that supporters would be asking for Klopp’s head because Liverpool have gone from strength to strength and have worked hard to be amongst Europe’s elite; what possibly could Klopp, or Liverpool for that matter, have done to irk these supporters?
Well, the biggest criticism Klopp faces — and the one which could lead to his downfall — is his inability to strengthen Liverpool’s back-four which remains as porous as anything the world has ever seen.
Simply put, if all players were playing in the opposition half, Liverpool’s defenders would still somehow find a way to let a goal in; that is how bad they are at keeping tight at the back and this is no joke!
Add to this defensive frailty the Virgil van Dijk saga where Liverpool did not seek further reinforcements at the back once it became clear the Dutchman wasn’t moving to the club and you have supporters sharpening their knives.
Why didn’t Klopp go for another defender was what no one was able to comprehend, yet they stood by their manager’s decision and gave him their support and sang “You’ll Never Walk Alone” with all their heart up until they saw Liverpool’s back-four gift Sevilla a goal in the opening five minutes of the Red’s first group match in the Champions League.
And if that hadn’t gotten them angry, Carlos Joaquín Correa’s equaliser from a routine throw-in certainly riled them up. Liverpool lost two important points that day and supporters only found one person to blame for it: Klopp.
The manager who had gotten used to being worshipped suddenly became vulnerable as supporters started questioning his decision-making and his inability to strengthen the defence, especially when other, more experienced, players were available and Liverpool had the cash and the pull to get them to Anfield.
Maybe this reminded them of Arsene Wenger as the Frenchman has been dealing with the same issue since the past few years and many found Klopp doing the same thing too much to handle.
The 1-1 draw against Burnley did Klopp no favours and only further enraged the already infuriated fan-base and all the early season optimism, which had made the Reds one of the most promising prospects of this season, seemed to go down the drain.
It was mainly after the 1-1 draw that many of the fans started asking for his head and while these sentiments are not even remotely as strong as they were when supporters asked for former manager Brendon Rodgers to get sacked, they will start gaining momentum as for the very first time in his Liverpool tenure has Klopp is not the God-like figure supporters had made him in their minds.
Defensive issues certainly are a problem which have shown time and again why Liverpool are really not up to the mark when competing against Europe’s best and supporters blame Klopp for Liverpool still being this way.
The German certainly has a lot of work to do because regardless of how mesmerizing his side is in attack, their inability to keep solid at the back would cost them chances to win trophies. That would lead to their star players looking for greener pastures elsewhere which in turn would dry up the goals which would then make calls for Klopp’s head all the more understandable.
In Klopp Liverpool have the best footballing mind in the world at the moment, and while asking for him to resign at this stage is certainly absurd, it won’t remain this way if Liverpool don’t start dealing with their defensive frailties in a better way.