Liverpool’s Defensive Concerns – Klopp’s ‘Luck’ Territory Already
As per the famous quote by Albert Einstein, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. Liverpool have had a very good start to the season with ten points taken from twelve and some of the new boys beginning to sparkle already. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t the same niggling concerns that have existed all summer still present.
Injury Woes Ahead of International Break
Whether due to injury or suspension, the reds look slightly threadbare at the back and an international break might not have come at the worst time. Jurgen Klopp doesn’t like to hear himself quoted, but it’s hard not to at the current time.
Trent Alexander-Arnold expected to be sidelined for around 2 weeks.
Scan today showed damage to his hamstring is only minor. Big relief.
A doubt for Wolves away after the break – but he’s a quick healer. #LFC https://t.co/wfzVj7Ifkq
— James Pearce (@JamesPearceLFC) September 4, 2023
Echoes from the Past: Transfer Window Missed Opportunities
Rewind to the press conference just before Newcastle and with a transfer window still open to secure reinforcements. “In an ideal world, we have six, seven, eight centre-halves and cover for absolutely everything,” the Liverpool manager said. “No, we need to be lucky with injuries, there is no doubt about that.” Fast-forward to today, and with Van Dijk facing a further suspension based on Howard Webb’s publicly sanitised VAR briefings and the return of Ibou Konate uncertain due to a muscle strain that’s kept him out of the French squad, we’re already in praying territory. Liverpool are already reliant on a 32-year-old Joel Matip who Klopp described as tired after 71 minutes against Newcastle, and Joe Gomez as their only senior options.
Relying on Young Talent: A Risk or Necessity?
While the former Charlton man has enjoyed an early resurgence this campaign, his own injury record is far from spotless. Combine that with an injury to vice-captain Trent Alexander-Arnold which could keep him out for anywhere between two to three weeks, depending on reports, then the picture looks far from great. Young Jarrell Quansah looks to be some talent and possess the form and raw attributes to progress, but under no circumstances should Liverpool have had to call upon a young centre half with no Premier League experience for two consecutive games. Truth be told, this isn’t really a surprise.
History’s Warning: A Repeat of 2020?
The club left themselves short in 2020 the year after a title triumph and all of a sudden the likes of Nat Phillips and Rhys Williams found their names on the team-sheet on regular occasions. Those who fail to learn from history are deemed to repeat it. While Jurgen Klopp will always maintain the loyalty and belief in these players, you’d have been hard pressed to find any reds who weren’t hoping for at least one defensive addition before the summer window had closed. With Wolves less than two weeks away, it’s possible that Liverpool may well be giving 20-year-old, Warrington-born Quansah his first start of the season without the aforementioned luck.
A Hopeful End: Looking Forward
It’s possible that Konate may be fit and Trent’s minor hamstring strain and his reputation as a quick healer prove true, but Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp are already at the stage where they’re hoping. You can argue that everyone needs a bit of luck, but it’s funny how the more practiced and prepared you are, the less reliant you become. Aside from any Gary Player quote; why a team that should be looking to compete at the top end of the league is in this situation appears bewildering but for reds who know their recent history, it’s not surprising. Maybe like Jurgen said, all we can really do is hope for a bit.