5 reasons why Liverpool are set to fail this season
It was a laboured display from Liverpool against Spartak Moscow in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night, and while the home fans created an atmosphere worthy of the competition, the visitors emphasised their obvious failings through the number of chances they created, but wasted.
It was a frustrating night for all involved with the Merseyside club on their return to Europe's top table, and having spent the best part of the last decade competing in the UEFA Europa League, the supporters headed into this campaign filled with expectancy for a club that once dominated on the European stage.
Manager Jurgen Klopp is a good fit at Liverpool, his character and footballing style compliment the reputation of the club, its history, its traditions and its supporters, but patience is a virtue in the modern game, and having returned to the Champions League there is a natural expectancy for the club to progress and to compete against the best of the best in the latter stages.
However, there are too many failings currently at Anfield for this to become a reality. There were indications of such in the opening group stage draw at home to Sevilla that this was a team without the defensive strength to make an impression in the competition, while the recent heavy defeat to Manchester City in the English Premier League left questions unanswered about the overall character of the squad.
So what does Klopp need to change and improve to put things right? A manager that wears his heart on his sleeve, there is no doubt that he has the passion and desire to succeed at the club, but could his own emotion eventually prove to be his undoing?
A hero at his former club for what he achieved at Borussia Dortmund, here are the five key areas that Liverpool need to address if Klopp is to ever be considered a success.
#5 The lack of a consistent goalscorer
This is a key issue for Liverpool, and while they defied the odds to hold on to Philippe Coutinho despite the advances of Barcelona during the summer, his creativity in attack needs to be complemented by an out-and-out goalscoring striker.
The likes of Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku, Alvaro Morata and Sergio Aguero are emphasising this failing like never before with their current form for their respective Premier League rivals. Liverpool boast plenty of attacking options in Coutinho, Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah, Saido Mane and Daniel Sturridge, but none of these individuals have the same mentality to play in the role of those listed above.
While Salah has proved to be an inspired purchase, and Mane has enjoyed a bright start to the season before the red card that eventually proved to be the catalyst to the Manchester City defeat, Liverpool desperately need to find the next Michael Owen, Ian Rush, Roger Hunt, Kenny Dalglish, Robbie Fowler etc, and soon.