Liverpool Klopp Episode 12 - Jaws
You can't get too high, you can't get too low. That is a classic sports adage.
I wasn't near a TV nor an internet connection so I had no idea how the recent EPL game went until reading the post-game reports.
A tale of two matches: Newcastle 2 LFC 0. Southampton 1 LFC 6.
Was LFC really 6x better than Southampton?
In soccer, matches are often quite close but a goal or two as a result of a moment of offensive brilliance or a defensive miscue changes the match completely. Liverpool got the lead and Southampton had to chase the game and it snowballed against them.
Liverpool and Newcastle were evenly matched until Newcastle got a goal... an own goal off LFC defenseman Skrtel. After that, LFC had to chase the game and only surrendered the second goal in stoppage time.
Stat wise (you don't win games with stats!) LFC had the possessions (60/40), corner kicks (7/2) and shots (10/6). But you got to put it in the net and they didn't.
The starting XI had changes from the Southampton game (6 changes of which 5 were in midfield/forward) but that is to be expected as there are too many games right now and some rotation of players is needed for the big picture of a long campaign.
LFC's next match is against Sion in Europa league play and since LFC has clinched to the next round, am looking again to see wholesale changes in the Liverpool XI probably to include younger players to rest the A team members.
One wonders if Coach Klopp is telling the LFC brain trust, "We are going to need a few more players."
How much cash are they willing to splash in the next transfer window to make a move or two. Though the team has improved, they aren't ready for the top four. There are players with question marks: (1) it isn't clear Sturridge is ever going to be able to play consistently for them as he is out again with another injury and (2) continued doubts about Beneteke in the style of play LFC has going right now. The number of games to play in Europa League, League Cup, FA Cup and EPL is a strain on a team that has collected injuries. Don't see them being able to "press" and "out run" every team over the long haul. Will they have the players to employ a mixture of tactics to crack the top 4?
Sometimes they will need to scratch out one goal against a team that will park the bus. Other times they will have to respond to teams that will match their running/pressing game. And still other times, opponents will get physical and try to rough up LFC's speedy finesse players to throw them off the game.
LFC under Klopp: 7-3-2.