5 reasons why Liverpool need to worry this season

Jurgen Klopp (left) and Alexis Mac Allister (right)
Jurgen Klopp (left) and Alexis Mac Allister (right)

A disappointing 2022-23 season inspired a summer of change at Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp might not have landed the exact personnel he wanted but the Reds did some decent business in the summer. Coupled with the talent already on their payroll, it seemed Liverpool had what it takes to revive their fortunes.

Things have been rather pleasant in the early stages of the 2023-24 season. But there is a feeling they've managed to paper over the cracks thanks to their relatively easier set of fixtures so far. The 3-2 loss to Toulouse in the Europa League on Thursday night laid bare some of their weaknesses.

Liverpool looked like a disjointed unit throughout the game. There are quite a few issues that Klopp has to address before this Liverpool side can replicate their form of old.

Without further ado, let's take a look at five reasons why Liverpool need to worry this season.

#5 Defense still leaking goals

Britain Soccer Premier League
Britain Soccer Premier League

Liverpool were one of the most defensively formidable teams in Europe during their best years under Klopp. Despite their largely encouraging results so far in the 2023-24 campaign, the Reds haven't been able to keep the ball out of their net.

Conceding three goals against Toulouse, their Europa League opponent, is an obvious concern for Klopp now. With Virgil van Dijk sidelined, there is a lack of leadership at the back that Liverpool seem to be suffering from.

They've conceded 15 goals in 15 matches across the Premier League and Europa League so far this season. That needs to change if Liverpool are to challenge for top honours.

They have managed to keep just one clean sheet in their last five matches across all competitions.

#4 Lack of quality backups at RB and LB

Britain Soccer Premier League
Britain Soccer Premier League

It wasn't very long ago that Kostas Tsimikas was viewed as one of the best backup LBs in the Premier League. However, his performance levels have dipped considerably and he is no longer a good deputy for Andy Robertson.

With Robertson now ruled out until the end of the year, Klopp has to either get Tsimikas to improve or sign another left-back. There is no proper backup for Trent Alexander-Arnold either. The Englishman plays in a very advanced role these days but Joe Gomez, who fills in for him, is primarily a centre-back.

During Liverpool's best years under Klopp, Liverpool were heavily reliant on their full-backs as creative outlets. Even today, when their full-backs underperform, Liverpool tend to crumble.

#3 Alexis Mac Allister struggling at CDM

Britain Soccer Premier League
Britain Soccer Premier League

Alexis Mac Allister has spent the majority of his early days at Liverpool playing as a defensive midfielder. He has struggled to assert himself at the base of the Reds' midfield and it needs to be said that it is not his favoured position.

He has struggled to cope with defensive transitions and seems to arrive a second or two late for challenges regularly. This has led to him picking up five bookings in 11 Premier League appearances. As a result, Mac Allister is suspended for the next game against Brentford.

He is not a huge hit as a number six either. Mac Allister works best in a more advanced role where his ball progression skills and ability to weave intricate passes can help Liverpool break down dogged defences.

The other option that Liverpool have at defensive midfield is Wataru Endo and he is not of the same class as, say, a prime Fabinho, a player who was central to Liverpool's successes under Klopp.

#2 Counter pressing not happening properly

France Europa League Soccer
France Europa League Soccer

Klopp's 'heavy metal' brand of football is characterized by aggressive counter-pressing. Every time Liverpool lose the ball, their players rally vigorously to regain it. This sort of turnover-inducing defensive transitions and the ability to maintain a high level of intensity during games is what set Liverpool apart in the past.

However, they have struggled to execute the counter press of late. Liverpool's counter-press hasn't happened properly especially during gameweeks when they have European commitments.

If the current roster cannot keep up with the demands of a counter-pressing game plan, Klopp might even have to devise a new set of tactics.

#1 Liverpool's away form is suspect at times

France Europa League Soccer
France Europa League Soccer

Liverpool's away form has been suspect so far this season. The Reds have picked up just one win in their last five away matches across all competitions. They've particularly struggled on the road against relatively tough opposition.

They were held to a 1-1 draw by Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in their Premier League opener. They have also lost to Tottenham Hotspur and drew with Brighton & Hove Albion. A draw with Luton Town at Kenilworth Road and Thursday night's 3-2 loss against Toulouse away from home will have stung.

Toulouse are a side that Liverpool beat 5-1 at Anfield just a couple of weeks ago. To fall to a 3-2 loss to them perhaps highlights an attitude problem.

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Edited by Shambhu Ajith