LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp has several key players who are out of form
Liverpool could only draw 0-0 with rivals Everton on Saturday, further undermining their chances of winning the Premier League. Jordan Pickford made eight saves as Liverpool hit the crossbar three times in an entertaining Merseyside derby at Goodison Park.
However, with Liverpool having only nine points from their first six Premier League games, Jurgen Klopp has several issues with several players to address. Express Sport examines Klopp’s four biggest quandaries.
Following the game, Liverpool manager Klopp denied any suggestions. Salah has spent far too much time spread out in areas where he is far less effective. Despite his two goals and two assists, Salah is simply not as dangerous as he was a year ago.
The Egyptian also scored a late winner, but he didn’t play much in the first half and was still not at his best in the second. Salah appears to be suffering as a result of Liverpool’s tactics, which keep him away from the areas where he is most lethal.
Of course, this is a season of transition for Liverpool’s attack as they adjust to playing without Sadio Mane and with an out-and-out center-forward in Darwin Nunez. But Klopp must find a way to ensure Salah sees more of the ball in the central areas where he is so lethal.
Liverpool’s main man scored a stunning goal against Bournemouth at Anfield, but he has been far from his best this season. Klopp has stated that the Reds “have to” manage his game time, but Alexander-Arnold is not making it difficult for Klopp to take him off in games.
He was taken off after 58 minutes here, and he only lasted 71 minutes against Newcastle in midweek. And it’s much easier for Klopp to take him off – he wouldn’t have been withdrawn in many games last season – because the defender’s passes and deliveries haven’t been as lively and accurate as they have been.
Alexander-Arnold has been a key catalyst in Liverpool’s recent success, and for the Reds to go on a consistent winning streak while also getting the best out of Nunez, they must rediscover their right-full back’s potential.
Van Dijk’s season has been defined by underperformance for a player of his caliber thus far. He gave away a penalty in the Fulham draw, didn’t defend well enough for Jadon Sancho’s goal at Manchester United or Miguel Almiron’s goal at Newcastle – and he should have been sent off here.
In a late challenge on Amadou Onana, he connected over the ankle with his studs, leaving the Everton midfielder down in pain for a few minutes. If the referee had been asked to review his decision to only show Van Dijk a yellow card, he would have been sent off.
Despite the red card, the Dutchman was probably a 6/10 at Goodison, but he isn’t at his imperious best, and Liverpool aren’t as fearsome defensively as a result, despite their clean sheet.
Robertson is another senior player who has struggled this season and was benched in favor of Kostas Tsimikas. Despite having fresher legs, the left-back was not much better as a substitute.
The Scot has been one of Liverpool’s most dependable players since breaking into Klopp’s first-team eleven, but he is currently struggling to match his usual efficiency at both ends of the pitch, as is his full-back partner Alexander-Arnold. That could be due to exhaustion from a hectic few seasons.
But, whatever the root cause, Klopp must find a solution. Kostas Tsimikas was adequate in his absence at Goodison Park, but Liverpool will need their No. 1 left-back to find form if they are to have any success this season.