Jurgen Klopp arrived Liverpool with a bang, helping the club dare to dream again after their then recent slump. The club reached two finals but there was hope.
This season was supposed to be that season for the club. They started well but then the German manager failed to address some issues that seemed to have impacted their title chase this season.
At first, the former Dortmund manager failed to rotate the squad as he probably did not have confidence in the bench. When the winter window came, he failed to add more legs to the team as they challenged for the title. Suspensions, Injuries and absence – like when Sadio Mane left for AFCON – affected the depth of the Reds squad at a critical time.
Roberto Firmino played a huge part in the Liverpool team as Daniel Sturridge missed games. Injuries affected the form of Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana despite their huge display in the Liverpool shirts.
Klopp should have learnt lessons from Liverpool failed 2009 and 2014 title challenges. Rafa Benitez offloading Robbie Keane actually had a bigger impact than he’d expected, yet the Spanish coach did not add more players. David Ngog and Ryan Babel were the only options but the amazing partnership of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard probably blinded him.
A strong bench affected the team in 2014 too. Victor Moses and Iago Aspas were the main ones on the substitutes’ list, and it affected the team after they lost out in the race for Mohamed Salah and failed to get Yevhen Konoplyanka. Liverpool struggled against Chelsea and lost a 3-0 lead against Crystal Palace, killing the bid early.
So many dynamics played a part in Liverpool losing the second spot they once occupied to fighting for a top four finish. However, Klopp is culpable in many regards.