Should Benteke be baffled by Klopp’s treatment?

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It seems frustration has got the better of Liverpool striker Christian Benteke after he spoke out about his lack of playing time under Jurgen Klopp. Speaking to Belgian publication Sport/Voetbalmagazine the Liverpool no.9 said –

‘When your coach says he wanted to take you to Dortmund and a little later you sit at the same club and he ignores you it is hard to understand.’

Should the Belgian be confused with regards to his current situation? Stating that Klopp had shown an interest in him whilst in charge of Dortmund seems completely irrelevant now. Managers adapt, tactics evolve and leagues differ. Just because the German side, with Klopp at the helm, showed an interest in him, but never actually followed it up for whatever reason, doesn’t mean Benteke should now be first choice at Liverpool.

Should Benteke be baffled by Klopp Treatment

On paper Klopp may have had high hopes for Benteke. It’s a situation many people encounter on a day to day basis where you want something but when you look at it properly, in real depth, it’s just not practical. I’m sure every single person has bought something in their life and it’s not lived up to their expectations. Now imagine you’re gifted something you’ve previously looked at, similar to how Benteke was parting gift from Rodgers, if you don’t like it then you don’t like it.

Benteke then went on to mention Liverpool’s style of play under Klopp –

‘I can play pressing and moving a lot. It is not that we play in the Barcelona style.’

Liverpool may not play like Barcelona, the Reds have less control when in possession but the Catalan club have had an eight year head start in that respect. There are similarities though in terms of what’s expected from their attacking trio. The movement from the forwards is what’s vital in both sides being able to breakdown teams. It’s why Liverpool have looked much more effective, fluid and efficient when they’ve had movement from all three of their attackers. It’s not just about ‘pressing’ but clever movement when not in possession of the ball.

Alternating between standing on the edge of the area shouting for a pullback and then standing on the back post not looking to attack the ball is not what many would consider clever movement. Not only that but the striker has the bad habit of holding the ball up in the final third with his back to goal before playing it 20/25 yards backwards. It’s this habit that had Klopp going bonkers on the sidelines against Southampton.

Simon Brundish posted stats on Twitter which compared the Liverpool forwards so far this season.

Presses per 90 Shots per 90 Goals per 90 Shot accuracy % Chance Conversion % Key Passes per 90 Dribbles per 90
Firmino 35 2.8 0.5 53 17 2.4 3.8
Benteke 10 3.4 0.5 45 14 1.8 1.3
Sturridge 10 3.8 0.9 77 22 0.6 2
Origi 17 2.9 0.3 64 12 1.2 3.2

You’ll note that Benteke presses the same amount of times as Daniel Sturridge does per 90. So it’s not as though Klopp isn’t selecting Benteke because he doesn’t press even though that’s what Benteke implies with his comments.

The reason behind his lack of playing time will be more down to the fact his style just doesn’t suit the team. It’s not a knock on Benteke and he shouldn’t be blamed for that. The club may have paid £32.5 million for the forward but he didn’t set the price and in reality a striker with his strengths and qualities should be valued a lot closer to the £20 million mark.

Considering Benteke hasn’t been getting many minutes as of late he still went 538 minutes before his winner against Palace without a goal. For context that means if you sat down and watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy from start to finish Benteke would’ve scored 15 minutes from the end of the third film. You could watch three and a half Harry Potter movies and finally you could fly from Manchester to Crete and back again in the time it took for him to score a goal despite not being given any chances.

One could argue that Benteke had his oppurtunities under Klopp and he literally didn’t take his chances. The missed clear cut chances stat further back up this argument with the forward missing his last ten.

‘ I told myself that I had to adapt and change my style of play and then I remembered that Liverpool bought me for my qualities.

‘The ideal situation is to keep my identity while trying to adapt to the style of the coach. And if it does not work, it does not work.’ 

There have been glimpses, few and far between, that Benteke is looking to change his style of play to adapt to this Liverpool side, but these five minute spells aren’t suffice. It would have been smarter for the striker to take his chances and let his football do the talking but these words are from a player who’s looking for excuses.

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  1. Immature and I’ll-advised comments from a player tgat proclaims he wants to be a leader at LFC. Had he made these comments to Klopp in the privacy of his office they may have had some benefit. The way it was done smells like a player looking for excuses for his poor play. Benteke must grow up or move on. Doing both would be in his best interest.

    • Same way Klopp should have spoken to him privately instead of lambasting him in front of the world!

  2. I Benteke is frustrated, at Aston Villa and Belgium, he was/is the focus, Rodgers probably made promises that Klopp is not going to keep. I do remember reading Benteke needing a run of games in a side to get his form going after his injuries at villa, squad rotation is not something that does not do him good I would guess, but for a team that plays in europe and cups, it’s necessary.

    Just looked at his goals last season at villa, penalty, free kick, 2 corner, he really out muscled someone for the ball 2 or 3 times. Interestingly, good bunch of his goals were on counters, on several of his goals, he was arriving late into the box and another player has dragged away the defenders leaving Benteke free to shoot, think Frank Lampart goals. That’s nothing like we been trying to use him as this year, he’s been asked to lead the line, press, pass.

    It’s best that he’s sold and money be reinvested.

  3. Benteke can not complain whilst all he does was mis-Firing. He should be sick of himself for failure. If he has been scoring goals as expected of him the Manager won’t be shouting at him. Wake up Benteke and start scoring goals and you soon see that the Gaffa would not sit you out of a match let alone ignoring you. You could help your self by secretly employing Mr Ian Rush for private goal scoring coaching.


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