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Jurgen Klopp needs to fix the defensive issues holding Liverpool back

A few things that Jurgen Klopp can do to improve the situation at Liverpool and get them back on track.

Feature 23 Nov 2017, 12:43 IST

Liverpool are in danger of been tagged a has-been club if they continue this way
Liverpool are in danger of been tagged a has-been club if they continue this way

Liverpool used to be the dominant team in the past. Things have changed in the 21st century though and Liverpool has been pretty poor at winning trophies and struggling to be a top team.

Not long ago, Brendan Rodgers took the team close to ending one of the longest league droughts in football history, but again luck seemed to be against the Reds.

Despite finishing 2nd in the 14-15 Premier League season, Liverpool went on to struggle the following season after failing to replace their star man, Luis Suarez. Rodgers lost his job and FSG bought in a charismatic Jurgen Klopp to guide the team to greater heights.

Klopp has been impressive at Liverpool despite not having not won any silverware so far.

He has improved the Liverpool team and has made them one of the deadliest attacking teams in world football.

However, the one thing he hasn't been able to take good care of is the defensive aspect of the team.

The Reds are certainly a force going forward but are weak at the back. Klopp's inability to fix the Liverpool backline has seen him come under pressure recently.

In the 12 league games so far this campaign, they've scored 24 goals, the 3rd highest and conceded a whopping 17 which is the joint 7th highest as well.

Despite taking Liverpool into the Champions League, Klopp still has a lot of work to do for the team to become genuine contenders for trophies. So, what has he got to fix that can get this team on the right path?

Liverpool's defending has been very poor and is holding the team back
Liverpool's defending has been very poor and is holding the team back

The first and foremost area of concern for Jurgen is the defence. Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have looked nervy often which has led to conceding silly goals.

The lack of proper backups for the centre-back position is also a huge issue with Ragnar Klavan and Joe Gomez being the only other centre-backs in the squad.

Liverpool needs a top-notch centre-back signing and Klopp has to go all out in the January transfer window to get one. Virgil Van Dijk seems to be his first option and it seems as though Southampton would be willing to let him go in January despite the summer saga.

Whilst the defence has been an issue, the poor support from the midfield has gone somewhat unnoticed.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has been a disappointment this season. He has been criticized for his back passes and side passes by the fans and an 80% pass completion rate is not good enough for a central midfielder. He has often vacated his central midfield spot leaving the centre-backs exposed, this has cost the team badly.

Perhaps, its time that he is replaced with Emre Can being brought in for him in the starting XI more often.

Also, Gini Wijnaldum has been poor at times as well. These defensive issues have placed a big burden on the attackers as they have to score lots of goals to win games for their team. The midfield issue is also a major concern that Klopp has to find solutions to.

Enter capti
Jordan Henderson had just 55% pass completion success against Sevilla away in the Champions League

The usual 4-3-3 hasn't worked sometimes this season and Klopp could seriously benefit from small tweaks in the shape and formation of the team.

The West Ham game was an example of such brilliance from Klopp where his team played differently at different periods of the game.

Joe Gomez sat alongside Matip and Klavan in a three-man defence while Alex Oxlade Chamberlain & Alberto Moreno provided the width on the flanks.

There is certainly cause for concern at Anfield right now but the good news is that there is no better man than Klopp to fix these problems.

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