Liverpool suffered a second humiliating defeat in their Premier League campaign today, losing 1-4 to Spurs at Wembley Stadium.
The Reds enjoyed the lions share of possession and had plenty of chances to add to Mo Salah’s first half goal, but ultimately Spurs – led brilliantly by Harry Kane – were good value for their win and they look the most likely challengers to Manchester City for this season’s Premier League crown.
So what of Liverpool’s chances? Fans have long called for a defensive upgrade and the current lineup’s frailties were again cruelly exposed by an agile Spurs attack.
Dejan Lovren in particular was at fault for two goals and the Croatian suffered the ignominy of being hooked by Klopp in the first half. The big defender has been suffering with a bank injury; which to be fair may have contributed to his poor performance, but this game will hurt his credibility with Liverpool fans.
Of the other players; we assume that Joel Matip will be retained and given the opportunity to up his game with a more reliable partner.
At full back, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez are two for the future; and we should remember that Nathaniel Clyne should return for the second half of the campaign and add experience.
Alberto Moreno has shown improved form this season, but his major contributions have come in opponent’s halves, as opposed to defending his own goal.
And in goal, Simon Mignolet is simply not a big enough character to lead the defensive unit and he must be replaced as a matter of urgency. Klopp is clearly a fan of Loris Karius and he should take the opportunity to promote the German for the remainder of the season to give his recruit the chance to prove that he can aspire to be the Liverpool #1.
What is clear, is that the Anfield club will need to spend – and spend big – in the winter transfer window.
Virgil van Dijk is sure to be at the top of most fans’ wish list, but even if Klopp cannot capture the big Dutchman in January, he simply cannot afford to go another six months with the current defensive lineup. At leftback, summer buy Andy Robertson should be given greater minutes to establish himself in the first eleven, or Klopp will need to go back into the market.
The Liverpool manager still retains the good will of a very large number of his club’s supporters. However, he will need to take decisive action to ensure Liverpool’s season doesn’t quickly unravel.