It was another disappointing Liverpool display in a season that has offered very little in terms of footballing highs. Again there was so much wrong with the performance that it’s bordering on the ridiculous to spend time writing another article criticising specific players, the substitutions and the tactics. So here are the three things that I have taken away from the game and feel need serious discussion between fans before the match against Arsenal next weekend.
- Liverpool Will Not Make The Top Four. Fans need to stop looking at the fixtures and doing the maths in their head, we simply are not good enough to make the top four. With confidence low, too many players out of form and Klopp seemingly unable to motivate them out of the slump we need to switch our focus to next season. If the gaffer has tactical tweaks he is hoping to make over the summer, they need to start now. If the club are questioning the quality and dedication of certain players they need to be made aware that their place in the team is in danger. It seems that Klopp is also going further and further away from his own football morals as he gets more desperate for wins. The high press has been replaced by a static mid block and the fast counter attacking football swaped for route one nonsense or possession for possession sake and it’s getting very sad to watch.
- Curtis Jones Must Start Against Arsenal. I can already hear the Twitter trolls jumping on my back and slamming me for this one but Curtis actually had a very solid game against Chelsea in a team void of ideas. His ball retention was top notch with a pass completion rate of 93%. He also pressed his area of the pitch well, won some tackles and looked like he could be an attacking threat when he did get in amongst the half spaces up top. Yes I would like him to be more positive at times, but he looked sharp and fresh having not played much this season and I am convinced that he deserves his chance with another run out against The Gunners.
- There Are Serious Divisions In The Squad. Earlier in the season James Milner alluded to problems at the training ground during a post match interview. At the time I thought he was talking about certain injuries that had recently occurred. However, there have been other moments of sheer frustration between the players throughout the season that may point to something far more serious. Trent Alexander Arnold was fuming after going on a solo pressing mission against City only to turn around exasperated by the lack of support. Mo Salah has regularly thrown his arms around in disgust at his team mates, while the body language from the rest has been that of a defeated, deflated group of individuals. But it was the bust up in this game between Jordan Henderson and Alisson Becker that worried me the most. Yes there was a mix up between Ali and Joel Matip but the fact that Henderson turned on Alisson straight away, despite him being by far the clubs best player this season, may be a sign that something deeper is happening at Liverpool Football Club.