OK so after a long night of digesting what just happened at St. Mary’s and my last night’s rant which you will have to excuse me as I was devastated and writing in a moment of anger, I sat down and thought of the game all over again. It’s nice and pretty hailing Jurgen Klopp and don’t mind me, I love him with all my heart, but it’s only fair we pass criticism as well where fit, besides the German would be the first one to admit that nobody is perfect.
I will skip first half. All was nice and pretty by then. Let’s move and analyse as objectively as possible decisions:
Starting off with Skrtel’s sub at HT. Klopp was at fault but not 100%. He could not have foreseen and nobody would at that point that Skrtel would be that bad. There is always a but. The German subbed Lovren because he felt the mood of the ref changed dramatically with Lovren’s tackles with him being on a yellow card and we were lucky not to concede a penalty early on. We think it’s a bit dubious as an excuse from so early to be making the sub just on a yellow card but even so the most important mistake was why Skrtel? He hasn’t played in 3 months and the guy got sent off a week ago at a reserves match. Toure would be a much more reliable option.
We are of the opinion that even if Lovren stayed on the pitch things would not change dramatically. Southampton made changes, closed spaces in midfield and in combination with Liverpool’s tiredness they stood lucky as well in fending off counter attacks. Liverpool had 2 days to recover from their Europa League tie. The biggest mistake Klopp made was not being ready to respond to Koeman’s changes. Like we said Southampton closed spaces in the centre. Klopp could have calmed proceedings by playing a simple possession football or if that wasn’t possible he could have ordered a high ball game that could be exploited through Benteke. This way our forwards would get involved. Instead our players continued to hit on the counter attack relentlessly through low direct passing. Passing accuracy dropped immensely in the 2nd half since Southampton started pressing higher up the pitch. With Allen and Can starting off almost all counter attacks, it was the most offensive players duty to run up the pitch. The two of them made some poor passing which meant Southampton could now hit in the counter and Liverpool now having to run back to defend. This happened quite a few times which exhausted our players. At one moment I remember Southampton players walking passed us. Klopp’s mistake was not refreshing the midfield. Hendo should have come in in either’s position.
Another thing we want to mention is Christian Benteke. Benteke is having a difficult time at Liverpool with a lot of criticism coming his way. So your manager who wants to give you a chance brings you on. Am expecting any such player in Big Ben’s position to try and do that little extra so he can win his place back but Benteke not only isn’t doing that he is missing the easy things. You are a striker, if you can’t finish off a one on one at a time of criticism how do you expect to have a future here? And it’s not the first time he missed a sitter.
With Liverpool missing at least 3 clear cut chances for goal in combination with Skrtel’s bad performance, Liverpool lost a 2-0 lead. In conclusion Klopp’s failing to adapt to the game, our lack of finishing and Skrtel’s very bad performance cost us. If we win our game in hand we are only 4 points behind 4th spot with some tough HOME games coming our way.
By George Fotakis