It was always going to be a big one that meant so much to both sets of fans. Of course, I’m talking about the Liverpool v Manchester United match on Sunday, and whilst not being a top-of-the-table clash, as we have grown accustomed to when the North West giants meet, it’s still one of the biggest games in the country and in the world. Although the 1-0 loss for the Anfield side was a blow for the home side, there were some glimmers of positivity, if you search. But the result, and others from the last few months, have raised questions.
In Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool have one of the world’s most talked about managers. He is a man that exudes confidence and charm – he seemingly has the press wrapped around his little finger. Why?
Because he is a character – and a massive one at that. He’s popular, funny, clever and knows how to handle himself in an interview. He’s terrifically passionate about his work and whether it was at Borussia Dortmund or Mainz, he always made sure his players were putting in 100%.
You can see glimmers’ of a Dortmund-esque Liverpool under Klopp, but it’s not been fully developed yet. The high-pressing and the non-stop work-rate are all typical of a his teams, but that final quality is not quite there just yet. Klopp declared after the defeat that Liverpool don’t need another striker. Some simply smirked at this comment whilst some supporters sniggered ruthlessly online. Yes Liverpool have two world-class centre forwards – on-paper.
In Daniel Sturridge they have a player that is constantly plagued by injuries. He has the potential to be fantastic, but you know the fitness concerns will always be there. Klopp himself has been criticised for his side’s new aggressive style, with some citing this as the reason for the seemingly non-stop injuries.
Christian Benteke is the other star-man, however he just can’t find form. A Brendan Rodgers signing, he has struggled to hold-down a first-team berth in Klopp’s era, with the German even preferring to play attacking midfielder Roberto Firmino ahead of the giant Belgian.
Benteke was Rodgers’ marquee addition- a player whom the team would revolve around. But the former Aston Villa man does not fit into the current Liverpool way and has consequently found himself limited to appearances from the bench, with little inclination as to when, or if, he will return to the first-team of late.
Danny Ings, Divock Origi and Mario Balotelli are all still to come back from either injury or loan, and we are yet to see whether they will slot back into the side.
Despite his character, Klopp has struggled to create an identity around Anfield. The German is yet to build a squad full of endeavour and most importantly, talent he feels will bring the team forward.
Only time will tell how long the patience will last in the stands at Anfield. Will the die-hard supporters keep faith in the ‘bonkers’ Klopp, or will they grow tired of him and touchline-running antics
Inheriting a squad is always difficult but Jurgen needs to find a way to turn around his team’s fortunes, before it is too late.