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Football News: Does Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp have an Achilles' heel?

Does Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp have an Achilles' heel?
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Liverpool FC achieved fourth, we've got the Champions League final coming up, we've got the golden boot winner and player of the year in our squad and fresh blood on its way. We have every reason to be happy and yet I can't help feel disappointed by our league form. Liverpool came a massive 25 points behind Man City; how on earth can we close that gap?

Most pundits agree that we were the second best team this season, we scored at least 10 goals more than our rivals and had a respectable 38 in the against column, how on earth did we end up needing a result in our final game to make fourth? There was a clue in Jurgen Klopp's post match interview, he pointed out that we only needed a draw to secure fourth but that he didn't know how to play for a draw, this was just a different way of saying he doesn't know how to manage games.

I've written a piece before on how bad Klopp is at making substitutes, that he's been the only top 6 manager who has a record of making things worse when he brings a player on, but it goes deeper than that, we get ourselves into winning positions and then we blow it. This season on 5 occasions we've conceded goals in the dying minutes to drop points, if we hadn't scored against Burnley in the 94th minute or if Aguero hadn't headed wide in injury time at Anfield it would be 7.

In Klopp's two full seasons in charge we've dropped 32 points from winning positions (18 last season, 14 this), that's worse than Arsenal (29), Chelsea (19), City and Utd (14) and miles behind Spurs (9). This is what is holding us back, it's not just in the PL, in the CL we failed to beat Sevilla in either group game after conceding late goals and Roma scored twice in the last 10 minutes of both legs to give themselves hope of an unlikely comeback.

Only once all season have I really seen Liverpool close out a game in good order, it was the first leg of our CL tie against City, we got ourselves into a commanding lead then we shut up shop and didn't give them a sniff in the second half. Was it great to watch? No, but it was effective and it's what we need to become better at.

If Klopp wants to take us to the next level then this is what he has to sort out. It's not about the players anymore, our players are good enough, it's about playing with a bit of nous, it's about showing restraint when your gut says goes for the jugular. With a bit more street smarts we would have probably come second this season and we certainly wouldn't have gone into the final game of the season wondering if were going to make the top four. This is Klopp's big weakness as a manager and we won't win the league until he figures out how to fix it.

Written by PutneyRed - May 15 2018 23:40:46


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