Monday 20 November 2017 / 08:13 PM

KLOPP ON THE ROPES AS REDS’ SLIDE CONTINUES

I’m sitting here, looking at the league table, and I’m wondering just how much more Liverpool fans can take.

I wrote last week that we needed to talk about Liverpool, and we did.

Jurgen Klopp’s side had gone from being title contenders, in the latter stages of the League Cup and in the third round of the FA Cup, to a team with precious little to fight for.

And they hadn’t even reached their lowest ebb.

On Saturday, they went even lower, losing to a Hull side that look like relegation favourites.

Teams have bad runs, but it’s fair to say that Liverpool’s latest slump has been catastrophic.

And the point I must reiterate is that from a Liverpool perspective, it’s simply not good enough.

The Reds have consistently underachieved for the best part of 30 years now, but Klopp was supposed to be the manager that brought the glory back to Anfield. The manager that was supposed to stop the rot and the mediocrity.

Based on the evidence up until now, it’s not necessarily something that he’s capable of doing.

Klopp did a great job at Borussia Dortmund, of that there is no doubt. But as is the case with Pep Guardiola, it doesn’t appear as if success in the German league is a decent barometer of whether or not a manager can cut it in England.

The German is exciting, friendly and effervescent, and for that reason the press – understandably – love him. But that grin and charm will only take him so far.

This is now Klopp’s side – he was backed heavily in the summer, with nearly £70 million spent on an already expensive team – and his margin for excuse is weakening as every week passes.

Just to be clear, it is not as though Klopp should be winning the division. It’s a hugely competitive league with multiple world-class managers and players. But what is absolutely clear is that losing 2-0 to a team in 18th position is nothing short of unacceptable, especially when it’s following a period of highly unimpressive results.

What is most concerning about their slide is that it seems like Klopp is returning to the sort of ‘sterile domination’ that accompanied Brendan Rodgers’ reign: possession for possession’s sake. Against Hull, Liverpool had 72% possession but only had five shots on target; Hull had four on target despite just 28% of the ball.

It’s not as if Liverpool are being ‘outplayed’ – in some ways it seems that they are sabotaging themselves.

In short, Klopp must fix this and fast. He may be regarded as the perfect manager for Liverpool, but if he doesn’t rectify things soon, however well he’s regarded, he’s losing his job.

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Seb Greenwood

CBS’s longest-serving contributor, Englishman Seb is our leading football correspondent, pulling no punches with his opinions on the Premier League and the international scene.

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