Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Why Has It All Gone So Wrong for Liverpool This Season?

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Bernard Ford
A Leicester City fan. Wants respect from the 'London based' media for clubs outside the bubble.

Liverpool came so close to winning an historic quadruple in 2021/22. They won both the FA Cup and League Cup in England and reached the Champions League final, only to lose to Real Madrid. The Premier League title was briefly in their hands during the final game of the season but a comeback by Manchester City against Aston Villa saw them denied. Having come so close to a remarkable achievement last season, why has it gone so wrong for Liverpool in the 2022/23 campaign?

Where do Liverpool Stand This Season?

At the time of writing, Liverpool are 6th in the Premier League having played 17 matches and they are on 28 points. This leaves them 16 points behind the current Premier League leaders Arsenal and 7 points off 4th place Manchester United. Liverpool are out of the League Cup and face a challenging task in the Champions League as they play defending champions Real Madrid in the round of 16. Liverpool have won only 2 of their 8 most recent fixtures in the Premier League following their 3-1 loss at Brentford, a team who were missing their best striker. If you plan to back Liverpool to win the title this season, you may want to take advantage of the promotions at risk free sports betting sites because as things stand, it is not looking good.

Injuries

One of the main issues facing Liverpool this season has been injuries. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Naby Keita, Joel Matip, Thiago, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ibrahima Konate, and Arthur have all spent considerable time in the treatment room. Virgil van Dijk is the latest player to pick up an injury and it remains to be seen when the Dutchman will return. Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Thiago, and Ibrahima Konate are all important members of the first team and would have featured heavily this season had it not been for injury. Most teams would struggle without four key players and so it has proved for Liverpool. However, the issues could have been eased with more activity in the transfer market.

Transfers

It is fair to say, as far as the first half of the season is concerned, the signing of Darwin Núñez has not worked in terms of goals. The striker always looks a handful in games and can cause plenty of problems for opposition defenders, but he has been struggling to find the back of the net. That aspect of his game may come and when it does, he will be a top striker but Núñez missing chances is one of the things that has gone wrong for Liverpool this season. The loan singing of Arthur has been a complete waste of time as the Brazilian has been injured. Many fans felt Klopp should have strengthened in midfield in the summer and the failure to act is proving costly. The Reds have signed Cody Gakpo in the January transfer window and he may provide goals, but the midfield is where there has been real cause for concern.

Bullied in Midfield

When Liverpool were at their best under Klopp, they bullied teams in midfield and that allowed them to play a high line defensively without being caught out. However, the tables have turned this season and Liverpool are being bullied by the opposition. The recent match against Brentford in the Premier League is a good example and by not being competitive in the middle of the pitch, teams are taking advantage of Liverpool’s high defensive line. The current midfield is not good enough to get Liverpool where they want to be and that is competing for all the big trophies. Fabinho has been disappointing this season and the Brazilian was a key member of the central midfield when at his best. Harvey Elliot has struggled when asked to a job in midfield but at 19 years of age, he was never going to be the answer.

The Premier League title is surely out of reach for Liverpool despite over half the season still remaining. They need a big performance against Real Madrid in the Champions League because if they exit that competition, Liverpool’s season could be over come March.

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