You’ve been warned. Do not suggest Liverpool have no ‘plan b’ if you wish to stay in Jurgen Klopp’s good books.
The team’s slump in form following the turn of the year, primarily caused by the absence of key players, fuelled criticism towards the idea that the Reds were somewhat one dimensional.
High intensity, counter pressing tactics were seemingly the only way we could win as far as many were concerned. While there is admittedly some substance to such an argument, a lack of strength in depth poses as the more straight-forward explanation for Liverpool’s downfall.
Speaking in response to Liverpool supposedly having a lack of alternative plans, Klopp told the Liverpool Echo: “I never thought or listened to things like this. Actually I lose a bit of respect if people say things like this.”
“In this season we had a lot of possession and won games against teams like Hull and Leicester. Brilliant football, it was not the highest intensity, pressing or whatever. It was football at its best or whatever.”
“When you go back and look at my teams, with Dortmund in 2012 or 2013, it was not all pressing and counter pressing, we played football and won games and all that stuff.”
“This season (we lost games) not because we didn’t have a ‘Plan B’ but it was about having difficulties in different games. If somebody speaks to me about ‘Plan A’ or ‘Plan B’ I don’t really understand this, it was never the case.”
A different approach is what could be required between now and the end of the season with the loss of key players proving disruptive to the team’s usual shape, forcing Klopp to reconsider his strongest lineup.
It will be an approach the players must adapt to swiftly, though, with the race for a top four spot hotting up in the final stages of the season. The extent of our current injury problems would make qualifying for the Champions League all the more pleasing.