Reflecting on recent performances it should be fairly reassuring for Liverpool fans that during Klopp’s first Dortmund transfer window he sold of 17 (seventeen!) players. Why, you may ask? Because we’re fucking shit that’s why. Although the level of performance has risen since Jurgen’s arrival, its as inevitable as a Mignolet mistake that some of these players, however much effort they’re putting in, are clearly not got enough. But who gets the axe and who stays?
Well this section should be pretty straight forward. GET THEM ALL OUT, ALL OF THEM. But no, on a realistic note it feels like centuries since I’ve not had to pray to the heavens above every time we concede a set piece. Of course our defence are far from innocent, but organisation stems from the goalkeeper. Its strange, as Mignolet will always pull of a wonder save now and then that makes you think, ‘wow he is actually a goalkeeper after all’ but I don’t think that this can be at Liverpool any longer. Without hunting out stats, I’m almost certain that Mignolet has cost his side the most points in comparison to all other goalkeepers in the league. Yep, it’s not great. He suited Sunderland perfectly and without being disrespectful, this was his level. I try not to let general consensuses form my opinion too much but enough is enough with Simon. Just a shame he’s signed a five year deal eh? That leaves us with Danny Ward. Personally, I’d start to play him now. He is someone I personally rate highly, and judging by his return from loan, the club do too. He was one of Aberdeen’s standout players during his time at the club keeping 12 clean sheets. ‘SCOTTISH FOOTBALL IS TERRIBLE THOUGH!!!!!’. Scottish football is a fairly low standard of football to judge players from but that means its often that the quality of defending in Scotland leads to a flood of goals. In any case, 12 clean sheets in any league in 4 months is impressive, especially at the age of 22. In terms of goalkeepers he’s practically just exited the womb.
So to summarise: Mignolet OUT. Ward IN. Oh, yeah… Bogdan. The less said about Bolton’s sub keeper the better.
We change our centre back partnership more than Chelsea change their manager so it’s difficult to judge who should stay but with the arrival of Matip surely one of them will be part of the Klopp exodus. I count at least 7, and that’s not including Joe Gomez. This doesnt include the warrior, Lucas, who has probably put in the best performance at centre back this season which says it all really. Times are so hard we find ourselves frustrated that £20m signing, Dejan Lovren is injured. To be fair, Lovren is the player who has reinvigorated himself the most under Klopp and I for one would not be opposed to going in to next season with Lovren as a Liverpool player. Sakho probably gets a pass too, we’ve seen he’s definitely got the ability and you don’t captain PSG at the age of 18 if you’re terrible. It’s just a case of both of these ever chastised players avoiding injury for a prolonged period of time. It seem’s that just as form hits they’re back on the sideline.
As for Skrtel I think it’s time to go. Although a great servant I think he has been one of the most overrated players of recent times. Constantly out of position, it’s only his last ditch tackles that are needed due to his poor positioning anyways, that make him look good. He’s far away from an own goal and is probably one of the poorest centre backs on the ball in the league. I don’t like being too critical on such a good servant, who has admittedly put his body on the line for the club on a number of occasions but football is a ruthless business. New haircut new club.
What a man. Kolo fucking Toure. My head says o but my heart says to stay. Has there ever been a bad word said about the man? If not just for his experience but his positive impact on other players then he’s a great player to have in and around the squad, especially with the amount of young centre backs at the club who’ll get a mention in a second. Not to mention he can still do a job. He hasn’t really put in a bad performance all season but you could see the affect of age coming in to play towards the end of yesterdays game. If Kolo was 20 years old it would be a no brainer, but as is life, we grow old. One would assume he’s also on quite a handsome wage too and while he’s not featuring too frequently this is detrimental to us. I can argument for either way, but one this is for sure; Kolo is love. Kolo s life.
We then have a player who you’d think was the saviour of Liverpool, Tiago Ilori. Now while our fans have be clamoring for him to get a chance for two years, he has struggles to get in a Granada, Bordeux and admittedly one of the best teams in the league this season… Aston Villa. Away from sarcasm, the injury hampered player does have talent. Having finally pulled on a red shirt twice this season he was one of the standout players, both times, although looking in great need of match fitness. He also was one of the standout players in a strong Portugal U21 side. I’d like to see what Klopp can do with him and think he should be used sparingly thoughout next season, in the Europa league (if we’re in it) and the domestic cups. We all know Klopp knows how to develop a young player. Which bring us to our last player, Joe Gomez. With Klopp’s arrival it really is such a shame he suffered such a serious injury. If fit, I’d hazard a guess he would be a starting player. But he must be managed carefully on return from such a sensitive injury. Going in to next season with Lovren, Sakho and Matip as senior centrebacks with Gomez and Ilori to challenge seems adequate to me.
Our right hand side…fine. Our left hand side on the other hand…well. Fairy happy with the ever consistent Clyne, maybe he could show a bit more impetus and unpredictability going forward but he has been one of our most consistent players in a dire season. Him and Flanagan going forward is a situation I’d be happy with. Wouldn’t mind seeing a bit more of Conner Randall too.
Alberto Moreno. He is the Yorkshire Terrier of footballers. Absoluteness brain dead. If solidity is what we aim for then Moreno should go. Or at the very least, be converted in to a left winger. ‘Moreno out of position’.. ‘Moreno caught ball watching’.. I’m tired of hearing this. He’s a poor mans Jordi Alba and would not be surprised if Klopp replaced him, with perhaps someone like Erik Durm. Brad Smith isn’t bad at all. Just as good a crosser of the ball as Moreno and probably more suited to the league. While I’d like to see him get more chances I think we should really be looking at a left back.
The midfield makes or breaks Klopps style of play. If we don’t win the midfield. We lose. Now in all honesty, I can’t see us selling Henderson or Can but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been poor. Henderson since returning from injury looks a shell of his former self. Being back around 2 months, he still hasn’t hit form and looks to have lost the spring in his step and for is passing the ball backwards too much. Frustratingly we all know what he’s capable of and he should be giving a chance to change it around as an in form Henderson is perfect for Klopps style.Oh, and he is captain. Can is interesting. He has it all. He can both attack and defend. It’s just a shame he’s nearly as tactically poor as Moreno.If he could be more disciplined and aware during games he would be without doubt one of the best young midfielders in the game. He’s often out of positiong and takinf too long on the ball. This has to change and Klopp will be aware of it. The German link will help.
In the middle ground we have Allen and Lucas who probably will go, although begrudgingly. Shining under Klopp on several occasions Allen would be the star man for a mid-table club. It is more a case of what’s best for the player in this situation as while he’s not bad by any means, he could be sold to raise funds for imports. We also have Lucas who if it was down to me, would stay no doubt. Being our only true defensive midfielder, I wouldn’t begrudge selling him if a high caliber replacement was sought after. He is a true servant to the club after often being heralded as useless by fans he has managed borderline 10 years at the club. I can see these two being sold though, if not just to raise funds. With us severely lacking scousers in the side I can see Rossiter staying rather than being farmed out on loan and eventually being sold to Huddersfield for £300K.
Now there are two definite players who should remain; Firmino and Coutinho. These two behind a FULLY fit Sturridge would be lethal. They not only have an abundance of quality but they fit in to Klopps style of play with phenomenal work rate.They give us fluidity and unpredictability. Even these two behind Ings would be a pretty good attack. There’s little to say about it really just watch them play and it explains itself.
What a conundrum Sturridge is. He IS our best striker. But against Manchester City he looked… shite. To be fair to him asking him to play 120 minutes of football is like asking Piers Morgan not to be a cunt. But how often is this going to be the case? Personally I WOULD keep him at the club but give him until January to prove himself and if he doesn’t then he should go. Which would be a shame as he is consistently one of the best strikers in the league when he does play, if not the best. It would be disrespectful to just cast off the man who has one of the best goal to game ratios in Liverpool history. But only time will tell.
Lallane is probably in the same boat as Lucas and Allen. While he will probably go, there could be a case for keeping him. But funds need to be raise and we need to bring in the highest quality. Saying that, I think Milner will stay. If not for his commitment and versatility. If he could beat the first man on a corner sometime soon that would be great.
There really isn’t too much to say about Ings. We should keep him. Before he was got injured he was one of our best players. A great back up striker who has the work ethic of a Klopp player. He’s young and can improve. The same can be said for Origi who initially didn’t impress me, seems to have come on leaps and bound under Klopp. Obviously Ibe should be kept. We’re severely lacking in wingers and Ibe is quite literally the only one. Not to mention he could be a superb player one day.
Finally we have poor Benteke. It was just never going to work was it. He could be great playing for a good team that suits him. But Liverpool player…no. We should sell as soon as possible otherwise we’ll be lucky to get half of that £32m for him. It just wasn’t meant to be although I will happily be proven wrong. But I wont be.
So in this golden age of Belgians we end up Benteke and Mignolet. Could anything be more Liverpool. These two should go, followed by Moreno with Lucas and Allen also likely departures. Kolo will probably leave on a free and Lallana really is a 50/50 situation. With that being said priority should lie with a new goalkeeper, left back, DM and striker. I can also see another winger being brought in. Should be interesting.