Liverpool played out a hard fought 0-0 draw with Tottenham on Saturday lunchtime, and while the home side probably edged it, there were enough positive signs for us to work on given that it was Jurgen Klopp’s first game in charge.
And the new boss has today hinted that he needs more from his best players, singling out our creative stars Adam Lallana and Coutinho for necessary improvement.
“We don’t have to sprinkle magical dust on them: ‘and now you can play football’. They know how to play. We just have to create a situation where it is possible to do this,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“I am not sure how many games you saw like this from Adam Lallana? I know him from Southampton and he can do 20-30 percent more.
“Philippe Coutinho? Do you not think he can play better football than today? Of course, he can.
“Lucas? You don’t think he can play balls on the right and left side? Of course he can. Emre Can? Learning between running and passing? He can learn.
“Milner? The complete football player, the perfect professional. [You think] I should teach them technical aspects? They know. We have to altogether help them show it,” he finished.
The comments are interesting considering that Lucas, along with Mamadou Sakho and goalkeeper Simon Mingolet was arguably our best player – while Milner endured a difficult day at White Hart Lane.
Klopp now has a few days to prepare the side for his Anfield bow on Thursday night against Rubin Kazan, and it’ll be intriguing to see whether he chooses to mix up the lineup considering we’ve got a Premier League tie against Southampton next weekend.
Christian Benteke, Daniel Sturridge and Roberto Firmino are back in training this week (via the Echo) and could be available for the key clash with the Saints.
It’ll be especially key for Sturridge to return, as we look a totally different outfit when he’s starting up top.