Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has boldly accepted fault for Liverpool’s horrendous injury crisis – the worst we can remember of the Premier League era, the Telegraph reports.
Both Coutinho and Dejan Lovren limped off with hamstring injuries during the 1-0 victory over Stoke City, and to rub salt in an already infected wound, Kolo Toure pulled up at the death – leaving Liverpool with precisely zero fit senior centre-backs.
Martin Skrtel, Mamadou Sakho, Joe Gomez, Lovren and Toure are all out – meaning Lucas and Emre Can may have to deputise until we bring in reinforcements. If the central defensive situation wasn’t bad enough, we’re also without Jon Flanagan, Jordan Henderson, Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi, Danny Ings and Jordan Rossiter.
In fact, the ‘Injured XI’ is probably better than our healthy one.
“Maybe we would have to change our training methods. I am responsible, certainly,” the German told a packed post-match press-conference, in which he was clearly upset.
“The biggest problem for us is we have two and maybe three injured players again. It is very frustrating. It is a cycle that needs to come out. But it’s a big shadow over the game for us, the injuries. I don’t know how serious they are and we have to wait for this.”
Following the game, pundit and former centre-midfielder Graeme Souness suggested that the intensity of Klopp’s training regime has caused the injuries.
“All the talk was ‘we’re going to be energetic, we’re going to be high press at every opportunity’,” he began. “That demands real fitness. It’s a difficult balance coming in after 11 games to push the players when they’re playing two, maybe three games a week, weekend, midweek, weekend.”
It clearly would have been better for all involved if we gave Klopp the job at the start of the summer. This would have enabled him to build his own squad – and we’d have unlikely seen £32.5m spent on Christian Benteke…
More importantly though it would have given his squad the kind of pre-season needed for what Klopp is currently demanding of his players. It would have been tailored accordingly, but instead – he’s coming in blind without time to work with the players physically or tactically.