Believer to Doubter? Is it time for Jurgen Klopp to doubt a few of his players?
It was a bleak October morning in 2015 when Anfield revealed its new head, a happy German lovingly dubbed "Kloppo", to the footballing world. The dismay and gloom that reigned over the previous months which saw the decay of the Brendan Rodgers era were forgotten at the first sight of that smile.
Social media records were made as fans of Liverpool FC and the rest of the footballing world welcomed the giant German to the 'Home of Football.' Within moments of his arrival he had become a symbol of hope for the Anfield contingent across the globe. The only thing missing was a suit with the letter 'S' and a cape. 'The normal one' in his first interview with the club had one message for the fans.
"We have to change from doubters to believers.", the most beloved manager in world football at the time announced to the supporters around the globe. He may not admit it, but this philosophy has also been his downfall at major points in his Liverpool FC career.
UEFA Europa League FInal 2016
Unai Emery's outfit may have headed to Basel eyeing a hat-trick of European cups but the attention was all on the reds from Merseyside who overcame the likes of Manchester united, Villareal and especially Borussia Dortmund, gifting us a match not suitable for the weaker hearts.
But what the world witnessed in St. Jakob-Park was Liverpool's defensive frailties as Alberto Moreno's errors led his former teammates to yet another Europa League trophy. The man dubbed as 'The heir to Riise' has not recovered since. But, keeping his trust on the young Spaniard, Jurgen Klopp signed no full back in the following summer window with just the additions of Loris Karius, Joel Matip and Ragnar Klavan in defense.
#5 Alberto Moreno
The first game of the premier league season against Arsenal saw the reds display the first sign of what Klopp's gegenpressing football would look like. But once again the defensive unit showed no signs of improvement with yet again the flawed left-back being at fault for the first goal conceded.
The likes of Pep Guardiola, Jose Mourinho and Zidane, to name a few top class managers of football, would never have let the players who constantly disappoint be a part of the team. Although different characters, these managers exhibited the same ruthlessness- another reason for their success.
The mantle of 'Left-back' was then passed onto the ageing James Milner, who in comparison to Alberto Moreno appeared world class. The following year also saw Klopp sticking with the Spaniard as a relatively unknown Andy Robertson had just begun to ply his trade at Melwood.