That Liverpool can challenge for the title has become a popular belief in Merseyside, as the Reds firmly think they are capable of winning a first Premier League title. But any chance of league glory, which would be the club’s first since 1990, is not likely until Jurgen Klopp can shore up Liverpool’s back line.
With the current league table so narrow at the summit, Liverpool are potential candidates mostly because of their attacking prowess. However, questions marks surround their ability to keep the opposition out at the other end. Until this is prevented no title aspirations will become reality.
As impressive as Liverpool have been going forward this season, they have registered just one clean sheet in the Premier League.
When Liverpool are on form they are an aggressive unit difficult to curtail: both in attack and in the midfield. But individual errors and the lack of a resounding leader in defence give Jurgen Klopp’s side an obvious weak spot that is ripe for exploitation for any club in the league.
Over the years, the Liverpool teams who have been victorious domestically or in Europe, had an influential and charismatic leader stood at the heart of the defence. Jamie Carragher, Sami Hyypia, Alan Hansen, and Phil Thompson have all been the heartbeat of Liverpool’s success down the years. Do Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip meet the calibre of a player mentioned above?
Nathaniel Clyne and James Milner may be having a successful run of form, but not many find it difficult to create space behind Liverpool due to the gaping hole present either side of the centre backs. Their team-mates have falsely overrated both Milner and Clyne’s performances.
When the Merseysiders discuss the potential return of the glory years, one question needs to be asked – how many teams have won a Premier League title with a weak defence? The answer is none and Klopp cannot be that naive when he aspires to be the first manager since Kenny Dalglish to guide Liverpool to a league title.
The argument presented is not a tiresome one as the facts remain clear and obvious to any onlooker. Klopp’s reputation of passion and intensity can only guide you so far. For the German to be a success at Anfield, his priority should be to strengthen his defence. Along with this, his tactical awareness needs to be re-thought as he’s likely to continue down the same road Brendan Rodgers previously did in 2014 when his defensive woes cost the Reds a Premier League title.