Should Klopp be sacked?

Klopp

Liverpool have been shockingly bad lately, but should Liverpool replace Jurgen Klopp?

Liverpool’s woes continue

The Liverpool manager has had a mind-boggling season and his team’s latest disaster. A 3-0 defeat at Brighton that was as dreadful and devastating as the result says, left him scratching his head in the post-match news conference.

Few at the Amex Stadium on Saturday would disagree, however, defeats at Watford in 2015 and 2020, a 7-2 thrashing at Aston Villa a few years ago, or any of the six consecutive Anfield defeats during the ‘pandemic season’ all come close.

It’s hardly a surprise, though, that Klopp made a point of thanking Liverpool fans after the game. He is well aware that he requires them right now.

The away end was half-empty by the time his teammates, headed by Harvey Elliott and Andy Robertson, made their way to apologize to them after the final whistle.

Some, like Mohamed Salah and Naby Keita, didn’t bother and went right through the tunnel. As Alisson Becker’s name was sung, Robertson hid his face in sadness.

The Brazilian was rightfully protected from the vitriol directed at the rest of his South Coast teammates.

The thrills of last season, when they led their team to the brink of history, are now a distant memory.

Klopp’s team is ninth in the Premier League, trailing Fulham, Brighton, and Brentford, and is closer to the bottom than the top.

They have eight points from nine league-away matches. They are out of the Carabao Cup. And must win a tough rematch at Wolves on Tuesday night to keep their FA Cup ambitions alive.

Given recent results, few will be heading to Molineux with high hopes.

Klopp should be spared

On Saturday, there were a few protests. Henderson, who has struggled this season, was chastised for not going forward quickly enough in the first half. And there were loud cries when Liverpool allowed Brighton goalkeeper Robert Sanchez to stay with the ball at his feet for 30 seconds or more, unchecked, in the second half.

It is instructive, however, that much of the genuine criticism is directed at Fenway Sports Group (FSG). Their apparent inability, or reluctance, to spend large sums of money on quality reinforcements.

The Americans could say that’s a bit harsh, given that they spent up to £44 million ($53 million) on Gakpo earlier this month, recruited Darwin Nunez for what might be a club-record cost in the summer, and made Salah the highest-paid player in the club’s history in July.

They signed Klopp to a new four-year contract this spring. And have taken moves to put together a fresh, younger team for him. Including Diogo Jota, Ibrahima Konate, and Luis Diaz, as well as Nunez and Gakpo. All of whom were signed for large prices since the Premier League championship was won in 2020.

What they haven’t done is address the squad’s main weakness – its midfield – by making top-level additions, and until they do, it’s difficult to imagine Liverpool fighting for major prizes, as they have in the previous four or five seasons, and as they did so thrillingly on four fronts last season.

They need at least two central midfielders if not three, and there’s a concern at center-back as well, with Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip both in their 30s and Joe Gomez’s play plummeting since his recovery from a catastrophic knee injury.

That’s four significant signings. Even for a manager of Klopp’s caliber, this is a daunting undertaking.

Klopp’s achievements

Since his employment on October 8, 2015, Klopp has won six major trophies. Klopp has won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, FIFA Club World Cup, Premier League, Carabao Cup, and Emirates FA Cup.
He has led Liverpool in 76 European games. Only Rafael Benitez (85) has been in charge for a longer period of time. From January 2019 to February 2020, Liverpool went 21 away league games without a loss.

According to Opta, by winning the FA Cup recently, Klopp joined Sir Alex Ferguson as the only managers to win the European Cup/Champions League, FA Cup, League Cup, and top-flight title all with the same English club (with Manchester United). According to Squawka, Klopp is also the first German manager to win the FA Cup.

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