To say it has been a disastrous title defence for Liverpool this season would be an understatement. The Reds have fallen way below the standards that they have set themselves over the past three seasons, and the results have only been evidence of that. The pressure has mounted on Jurgen Klopp over recent weeks after three straight defeats, but sacking the German would only heighten their problems.
Liverpool have come a long way from outright favourites for the title, and they now look to be in the fight for a top-four finish. However, you can maximise your returns on wagers on the Reds to achieve that with bookmakers bonuses that are on offer. But, what needs to happen between now and the end of the season for them to achieve that goal?
Put Henderson Back Into Midfield
Klopp can’t have been blamed for the injuries picked up by his star defenders this season, but he does have to take his share of the responsibility for failing to trust an out-and-out defender in the backline. His decision to continually play club captain Jordan Henderson in a back four has had dire results, as the Reds lack a driving force in the middle of the park. It can’t be understated the balance that he gives to the team, and Thiago’s performances over recent weeks just highlight the importance of having the captain back in the middle of the park.
Of course, many of the issues that the club have faced over recent weeks won’t be completely removed, but moving the 30-year-old back into midfield will have a positive impact in the attacking third, while also offering defensive cover to the vulnerable Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Get Back To Basics
Klopp’s mantra when he arrived at Anfield revolved around the high press and moving the ball quickly through the channels. However, that has completely vanished from their game this season. The arrival of Thiago did indicate a slight change in play, as the Spaniard was never likely to be a midfielder that sprung counter-attacks.
Instead, he is a midfielder that looks to keep the ball moving, and that has led to the Reds being a more possession-based side this term. That certainly hasn’t played to the quality of the speedy front three, and Klopp could get immediate results by reverting back to the plan that shaped much of Liverpool’s success over the past two years.
Plan For The Future
The vast majority of this Liverpool team have now been together since the Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid in 2018. Understandably there is a reluctance to break up a winning team that has achieved so much, but it is a quality that Sir Alex Ferguson excelled at throughout his career as he built teams that would dominate for years to come.
Klopp must now do the same with this Liverpool team, and look to part ways with stars that are growing older. Roberto Firmino would be an obvious player that the Reds would be willing to sell, while Mohamed Salah could also depart for the next wave of talent. It will be an emotional farewell to stars that have played a massive role, but it’s progression that will make this Liverpool side contenders again.