Since the year rolled into 2017, the sky has fallen on Liverpool Football Club. Going into the new year the team was sitting in second place in the Premier League standings, had a chance to reach the final of the League Cup, and entering the FA Cup tournament against the minnows of the FA.
In just a short month it’s all fallen apart in league play Liverpool has yet to win this year with 3 ties and 2 losses.
The most frustrating part of their league play has been the inability to close games out against those teams in the regelation zone compared to their string play against the higher up teams.
Liverpool’s 4 league defeats this season:
0-2 vs. Hull
2-3 vs. Swansea
3-4 vs. Bournemouth
0-2 vs. Burnley
They’re unbeaten vs. the top-6 pic.twitter.com/BO57hDi2YI
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 4, 2017
Liverpool’s chance to play a final in Wembley Stadium crashed out almost as badly as their league play.
First they had to play an extra game against Plymouth Argyle from League Two. This was due more to tactics as Manager Juergen Klop rolled out Liverpool’s youngest lineup ever to face Plymouth on the road. Klopp was trying to conserve the players in the congested schedule.
It backfired forcing another game which was a lackluster win at Anfield, but this only lead to the crashing out against Wolverhampton at Anfield 2-0.
In their semi-final against Southampton in the League Cup, Liverpool never looked good losing 2-0 on aggregate.
With Sadio Mane away at the African Cup of Nations neither Daniel Sturridge or Divok Origi could score against a Southampton team who has won once in league play since December.
15 – Sadio Mane has been directly involved in more goals than any other Liverpool player this season (nine goals, six assists). Option.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 30, 2017
With such an abysmal showing since the new year, Klopp has faced criticism for not buying in the January transfer window. From an outsider’s perspective though it’s difficult to see what Klopp could have done.
He would have needed to find a striker, winger, entire backline, and goalkeepers. Essentially Liverpool’s struggles have been a total team failure.
When Liverpool needed a goal they could not score, when they needed a stop their backline would turn it over or their goalkeepers make mistakes conceding goals.
No manager could over come a total team failure.
With no tournament games left to play at home or in Europe for the rest of the year, it all comes down to league play.
Liverpool is in danger of losing a much needed Champions League spot if they don’t turn around their play. Time will tell if they can.