Neil Atkinson was joined for a rather sober free podcast by Rob Gutmann, Paul Senior and Joel Richards.
In what feels like a season ending defeat for Liverpool, the lads look at how Liverpool have found themselves in this mess what, if anything, they can do to pick themselves up.
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Direct: The Anfield Wrap – Bloody Hull!
At what point do we have to look at who is coaching these keepers?
I get we struggle against 10 men behind the ball but Palace tried that a few months ago and we ripped them apart at will. It can be done, but not how we are playing at the minute.
I don’t want to come across as an FSG apologist but it’s ridiculous to suggest Klopp wasn’t backed (as the internet seems to be saying). The clue is in the amount spent. They didn’t take on Klopp or increase his contract because he doesn’t come across as someone who’s a chequebook manager (even if they were made up about that side of him). The contract extension was down to the League Cup final, Europa final, the way we were playing in league games we prioritised and I’m sure a few factors such as being a good figurehead for the brand, the way the fans love him and being pretty supportive of FSG.
If the net spend was £20m it would be a lot harder for us to decide if that was all he was given. It would be harder to know if he was told you need to keep it tight in January. The fact it was a positive net spend shows us it was a Klopp decision. They didn’t say, I know you could get better than LFC but come to us and although we can’t give you any money in the next 18 months I’m sure you can raise some by selling players. No chance. Much as I’m sure they love his way, I think they also feel the pressure of him not spending. They’re not completely averse to what fans think about them, not from a vain aspect but from a brand aspect. They’ve been careful to not rile the fans even if their attempts may have be slightly patronising. They will know what is coming if we don’t get top 4. I believe they will insist he spends £60m net plus in the summer.
It amazes me how many people don’t understand the model. All we hear is it’s about making a profit. It is but not year on year. A budget has been set aside that’s within our means to improve the squad. They just want LFC in the black and successful. Questions arise over whether their model for buying is correct i.e. the reluctance for high wages for new players or the type of player they want although I’d ask what is the type they want now. It’s not Camolli’s 10m Euro player anymore. More likely a £29m Firmino, a £32m Prem proven Benteke, £25m Lallana, £34m Mane, £25m Wijnaldum, Even defenders are coming in at £10m – £20m. The model has adapted. Maybe this summer we’ll add £10m onto those players if we’re in the CL and attempt to attract the next bracket. It’s questionable whether we could have attracted them previously. Questions perhaps need to asked about who they recruit and the criteria for getting them i.e. structures more than pounds spent.
So, my issue is the ease with which LFC fans look for scapegoats. some clearly don’t like FSG and I can understand that but using terms like ‘all they care about is profit’ because we’re not breaking teams down anymore or because we’re fatigued seems a bit simplistic. It’s like – I don’t want to criticise Klopp so I’ll just blame FSG. We’re all frustrated but losing our heads won’t help. In saying that, the place we’ve reached means this summer will be everything. If they fail to impress then I’d guess only a sale can follow.
When the Moors family sold liverpool they felt that to take the club forward , to compete with the bigger clubs in our league they had to sell. I feel at this current time FSG are in a position of stability each season. They have stabilised liverpool and in some ways that’s good. But at what point do they realise that they are not competing with bigger clubs any more. The only blip has been when we finished second all other seasons it’s 5,6,7,or 8th that’s the norm
Really appreciated the discussion today.
The part about “Liverpool only win games when they play really well”…that comes down to the players. Liverpool have a group of pretty good players and that’s it. Most have potential to improve as the squad is fairly young yet, but they’re no more than pretty good.
When’s the last time Liverpool seriously splashed for a player? What do you think a Suarez coming from Ajax or an Andy Carrol would cost today? I’m not talking about those players at this moment, but those players purchased in that January window plus the cost of inflation. Suarez developed into THE difference maker in the team. Those players are neither inexpensive or will always pan out. But you’re going to get a lot few difference makers shopping where the club has shopping lately. Buying a player is a lotto either way but you’ve got a better chance at the jackpot with a more expensive ticket in this game. Look at what Gabriel Jesus is doing now…why were Liverpool not in for him?
Another point is Klopp’s system/formation. Klopp never played this 4-3-3 at Mainz and certainly not at Dortmund. His best days at Dortmund were with a 4-2-3-1 formation with an out and out #9, whether Lucas Barrios or Lewy.
I’d suggest the solution is twofold. First, Liverpool upgrade where they are shopping. Second, the squad needs a revamp to fit Klopp’s historically successful 4-2-3-1 system. The team have many of the players to fit into that type of system outside of a boss #9 (not debatable) a pacey winger to compliment Mane (not sure there is one) and a lockpick that can sit in the middle like Gotze used to do (maybe Coutinho, maybe not). Get the right players to fit the system and upgrade as many other parts as possible and I think the tracks are laid. Unfortunately, I don’t think that leaves a place for Firmino, but oh well.