Liverpool have had a rough month, but despite that this remains a top side and a top group of players.
This is a Liverpool side that won the 196 points over two years, that won the Premier League and Champions League. A side that after all that went out and added Diogo Jota and Thiago Alcantara.
This is not a bad Liverpool side, even if the performances and results over the past month haven’t measured up to the lofty standards of the past few years.
“There’s no doubt about my trust,” manager Jürgen Klopp said when asked if he believes this group can turn things around. “Trust doesn’t mean we are not critical of ourselves, but as a group we are really together.
“If I have a problem, we have a problem. If one player has a problem, we have a problem. It’s all our problem at the moment so we have to sort it together and that’s what we will do.”
The biggest problem, perhaps, is defensive injuries. With Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez out for the season, midfielders and youth players have been filling in frequently at centre half.
The result has been a side that isn’t as comfortable playing a high line; a side that isn’t as confident in its defence. The result of that has been a side that is still struggling to find a new kind of balance to how it plays.
A deeper backline means more space between the lines, hurting both possession and the press. It means more time for opponents to set their defence when the Reds do get the ball. It means the fullbacks start deeper and aren’t as free to get forward, robbing the forwards of support.
In short, it means nothing works quite like it has the past few seasons—and now the Reds are in the thick of a top four fight because of that. But in spite of that, this is not a bad side.
“Nobody thinks about the very good things that happened in the last few years,” the manager added. “We are just in this moment and try to win football games again. That’s all.”