The Reds risk falling further behind Manchester City and Chelsea unless they reinforce their central midfield in the next transfer window.
It didn’t take long for doom and gloom to come, didn’t it?
When the final whistle blew at Anfield on Thursday night, the hashtag #FSGGet Out was trending on Twitter, with Liverpool fans venting their anger at the club’s owners on the social platform.
You might be thinking, is a draw at home with Arsenal really that bad?
Of course, Klopp and his players had a more upbeat tone after the first leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
“It’s only half-time,” Klopp told a post-match news conference.
Van Dijk said: “In London next week, everything will be fine.”
While it will take a certain amount of courage to turn against Liverpool reaching its first domestic cup final in six years, there is reason to be pessimistic about Liverpool fans in recent times.
Simply put, Liverpool fans are beginning to worry that history is repeating itself, and their long-standing fears of insufficient investment and depth in the squad and over-reliance on certain players are becoming a reality.
The past month has not been kind to Klopp’s side. Liverpool have played six games since beating Newcastle at Anfield on December 16, and their only win within 90 minutes was a win over League One Shrewsbury in the FA Cup last Sunday.
They have already dropped seven precious points in the Premier League, and on Thursday, they failed to overcome a devastated Arsenal, who faced Liverpool three-quarters of the time after Xhaka was sent off. One less gunman fighting.
Is this something to worry about? You have to admit it was worth it, especially when things from last season are still fresh in the memory.
Remember, Liverpool were top of the Premier League over Christmas last year but didn’t win another league game until January 28, when they were out of the title race and their proud home league unbeaten streak was swept away. ended and was knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United.
Of course, it wasn’t that bad this time around, but they needed to win and be convincing.
Of course, Arsenal’s performance hasn’t allayed concerns, especially when stars like Keita, Salah and Mane are sidelined for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Klopp may not like that, but when you’re facing 10-man opponents and only get one shot in the 92nd minute, the problem only gets worse.
“These players are going to be missed by any team in the world,” Klopp admitted after the game, although he said Liverpool were ready to miss the three.
Many people disagree with this. Go back to last summer, if you will, and many of the things we talk about now were discussed at length at the time, whether on social media, on podcasts, on radio or with writers, journalists, and TV commentators.
For example, how much will Liverpool miss Wijnaldum’s fitness? Are Takumi Minamino and Origi the replacements for Salah and Mane? Can Milner continue to fight age? And is it really wise to hope that the likes of Keita, Thiago and Chamberlain will stay healthy?
These are the questions people asked last July and August, and they are still there now.
Liverpool are not in a bad situation right now, they are still in the title race, still in the FA Cup, one win away from reaching the Carabao Cup final and in the last 16 of the Champions League. But if the boss has more investment, can they have better development?
The answer is yes.
Liverpool continue to move smart in the transfer market. Jota was an important signing, with both Tsimikas and Konat adding depth to the squad at key positions.
Thiago, poached from defending European champions Bayern, is a proven world-class player, while Elliott and Cade Gordon are two of the most exciting teenage players in the country.
They made a good deal, but are they doing enough? They are a good team, well-trained, but they continue to rely heavily on those few players and the ones they want to rely on the most – like Thiago and Keita – simply aren’t good enough.
Others, like Takumi Minamino, are not the answer Liverpool need and probably never will be.
Despite Klopp’s claims that the Japan international looked good in training and showed a high level in the occasional Carabao Cup appearance, the truth is that Minamino was loaned to Southampton last season , and has only started four Premier League games for the club since joining in January 2020. Even from the bench, Klopp rarely uses him in the heat of the game.
Origi is a useful substitute, but let’s not overstate the Belgian’s contribution.
He has just 21 league goals in six-and-a-half years and, if there was a decent offer, he would have been sold last summer or earlier.
Although Liverpool have the option to extend his contract by a year if he reaches a certain number of appearances, he is almost certain to leave at the end of the season.
This is the real challenge for Klopp and the Liverpool staff, who are currently led by Michael Edwards, but Julian Ward will take over as director from May.
Not only do they have to make key contract decisions (Salah, Mane, Firmino, Keita and Oxlade-Chamberlain are all set to expire in less than 18 months), but they also need to do for the future plan while re-energizing the present.
It wasn’t an easy task, Manchester City were galloping off into the distance and Chelsea were eyeing it. Fans may wonder how the club can compete with them.
Liverpool did it. Liverpool is like that. Don’t forget, they were “champions of everything” not too long ago.
If they want to get back to such heights, they need to start energizing the team as soon as possible, and the reliance on Salah and Mane cannot last forever.