Klopp is feeling the pressure but key Liverpool players have let him down

Champions have been disappointing but fans should appreciate the positive influence their manager has had 
Klopp is feeling the pressure but key Liverpool players have let him down

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gestures on the touchline during the Premier League match at Anfield last weekend. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/PA Wire.

IT seems to be that success can be a manager’s downfall.

How often do we see it that a club that have no right to compete in the Premier League get promoted, only for the manager to be sacked a few months into the season because the team are struggling?

It looks that Jurgen Klopp has become a victim of his own success. The Liverpool boss delivered the Premier League after a 30-year wait for the club but a few months later, the same fans that adored Klopp, are now questioning his methods.

There’s no arguing it, Liverpool have been poor this season. They have gone from people talking about them being the best team in Premier League history, to a team that are struggling to finish in the top-four.

However, with the intensity that Klopp demands from his players, there was always going to be a drop-off.

At least, Liverpool have some silverware to show from when they were at their very best and supporters must except that players are now starting to feel the effects of the efforts.

Klopp has re-invented Liverpool from a side that flirted with winning major trophies to a team capable of winning the Champions League and Premier League.

To propose that the German’s time should end at Anfield is ridiculous. The romantics would suggest that Steven Gerrard can take over from Klopp, now that the Gers are champions-elect in Scotland.

I have been impressed by what Gerrard has done with Rangers, especially how well he has managed them in Europe over the last two seasons, but he is not at Klopp's level yet.

Fans are so fickle. Last year, Klopp was the hero and Pep Guardiola was the failure who methods were no longer capable of bringing success and this season, the Manchester City boss is a genius whereas the Liverpool manager is seen as a man who might be nearing the end of his time in management in England.

Inevitable if the team are failing, it’s the manager that will be the man to lose his job, but the Liverpool players need to hold their hands up and admit they aren’t performing.

ARROGANCE

They seem to be as a previous manager of mine would put it, ‘smelling themselves’.

They look like a group of players that think they can just turn up and teams will roll over and that success will always come, even without hard work.

I keep mentioning it, but Mohammed Salah is a player that just irritates me. 

Yes, he’s been an incredible player, a player that looked like he had a point to prove after being deemed not good enough for Chelsea.

However, the way he conducts himself now, with him not truly celebrating goals and strolling around the pitch with his thumbs in his sleeves, portrays the message of a player that thinks he is the special talent and others should do the dirty work for him.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/PA Wire.
Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. Picture: Laurence Griffiths/PA Wire.

I spoke to Burnley’s Kevin Long recently and he explained that big players “thrive under pressure” and with the lack of crowds at games, matches have felt like there is less pressure in games and perhaps could explain why Liverpool have been so poor this season.

Liverpool fans have always been among the best in the world. I haven’t been to a match at Anfield, but from watching games on the television, the atmosphere created at the ground cannot be matched by any other in Britain.

Some players love playing in front of a crowd, the supporters give them that extra bit of energy, something the Liverpool players have clearly been lacking this year.

Klopp isn’t exactly blameless. Playing Jordan Henderson and Fabinho in defence has damaged the balance of the team. Yes, he is without some key players in defence but why not play Nathaniel Philips, Rhys Williams or Ozan Kabah in defence?

What’s the point of having these players at the club if they aren’t going to play when Virgil van Dijk, Joel Gomes and Joel Matip are injured?

It shows a lack of belief from Klopp and he needs to have more trust in these players.

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