In contrast to his success with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp is still looking for his first silverware in England and, after a 1-1 draw at Newcastle.
London: Heralded as Liverpool’s saviour when he was appointed two years ago, Jurgen Klopp has cut an increasingly tetchy figure in recent weeks as the Reds boss struggles to find the winning formula at Anfield.
In contrast to his success with Borussia Dortmund, Klopp is still looking for his first silverware in England and, after a 1-1 draw at Newcastle on Sunday, Liverpool are already languishing seven points behind Premier League leaders Manchester City.
Klopp’s side have won only one of their past seven matches in all competitions and his record to date compares unfavourably to his Liverpool predecessor Brendan Rodgers’ statistics over the same period.
A look at the issues that threaten to derail Liverpool’s season:
Lack of cutting edge
If Klopp’s colourful description of goals being “the mother of football” is correct, then Liverpool are in danger of being orphaned.
With 137 chances created, Liverpool have had the most opportunities to score of any Premier League team this season, but have netted only 13 times.
While Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal all splashed out on forwards in the close-season, Klopp opted against signing a penalty box predator and the decision looks like coming back to haunt him.
Out-of-favour forward Daniel Sturridge is often on the bench and Liverpool are paying for their lack of cutting edge.
Anfield legend Jamie Carragher said: “You take it back to Manchester United last season in terms of having a lot of games where they didn’t score and had lots of chances. At the end of the season they just went and bought Lukaku and it looks like that problem at the moment is fixed. Liverpool didn’t fix the problems that needed fixing.”
Only two Premier League teams have conceded more goals than Liverpool this season, with the 12 allowed by Klopp’s leaky rearguard. Klopp is clearly aware of Liverpool’s defensive malaise as he spent most of the close-season engaged in a failed attempt to sign Southampton centre-back Virgil van Dijk.
Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip, Ragnar Klavan, Alberto Moreno and Joe Gomez comprise a distinctly flawed unit, with Klopp’s commitment to attack also leaving his defenders with little protection from the midfield.
“If they keep defending the way they are at the minute they’ve got no chance (of winning the title). The goals they are conceding are far too easy,” former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland said.
Klopp’s decision to rotate goalkeepers Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius has exposed his lack of a true number one.