FSG’s huge error was not having CBs ready for Klopp on January 1 – Opinion

Posted by

FSG must shoulder a large portion of the blame for how Liverpool’s title challenge has imploded in the past month.

There has been a catalogue of errors since the summer which led to the devastating defeat to Man City and the end to hopes of regaining the Premier League.

As Raheem Sterling and Phil Foden ran rings around the makeshift centre back pairing of Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, the failures of FSG’s over-cautious transfer policy were brutally laid bare.

No wonder Alisson looked confused on Sunday as he’s had 12 (at last count) different centre-back partnerships in front of him already this season.

The club knew not replacing Lovren and entering the season with three centre backs, two of whom in Gomez and Matip have a history of injuries, was a big risk.

A risk which has backfired. No one could have foreseen Van Dijk would have his season cut short after Pickford’s horror tackle in the Merseyside Derby, it was beyond unfortunate.

But the frailties of Matip and to a lesser extent Gomez were clear for everyone to see.

FSG then compounded the Lovren error by not having a new centre back raring to go and support the team on January 2nd.

Although that seems like a different era, Liverpool were still in a glorious position when the transfer window reopened. 

Instead FSG dug their heels in, seemingly refused to enter the transfer market because of the massive uncertainties surrounding the pandemic and hoped their hesitancy as it had so far would pay dividends in the long term.

It hasn’t. 

Between January 2nd and February 3rd, Liverpool lost to Southampton, Burnley and Brighton and were knocked out of the FA Cup.

Jordan Henderson, the team’s driving force, has been played out of position during that entire time – he last lined up in the middle against Newcastle on December 30th.

By the time FSG did finally act and secure the bargain signings of Kabak and Davies the damage had already been done.

You have to question why, particularly in the case of Kabak who has been repeatedly linked to Liverpool for months and clearly now not without merit, was he not brought in a month earlier?

Fans, pundits such as Jamie Carragher (who might know a thing or two) and eventually Klopp publicly were not demanding Mbappe wrapped up in a bow outside The Shankly Gates – just a decent defender who could do a job for five months and stop us having to play our two best midfielders in the centre of defence.

However focusing solely on the centre back issues, ignores the fact Liverpool have been badly hampered by the rough patch our normally ever-reliant front three of Salah and particularly Firmino and Mane have been going through.

Sporting director Michael Edwards took the plaudits when he sold Rhian Brewster for £23.5 million to Sheffield United as generating such a fee for a largely unproven striker while inserting a buyback clause was dubbed a masterstroke – and more so given Brewster’s subsequent performances for the Blades.

But as the front three have not been their normal match winning selves, which other players have stepped up?

Where else do goals come from besides the currently injured Jota? 

Not Origi, not Minamino who has even been loaned out, not Oxlade-Chamberlain, not anyone frankly. Maybe selling such a promising reserve striker with a pedigree for goals at youth and Championship level and not replacing him was not the masterful piece of business we once thought.

Now I’m not advocating joining the delirious Twitter #FSGOut army and to start clogging up John Henry’s feed with angry messages.

The mere suggestion of FSG selling up because of this dip albeit fatal dip in form is absurd, surely most Liverpool fans would agree.

None would rather the previous owners who nearly ran the club into the ground were back in charge.

FSG have presided over an incredibly successful period. 

They have delivered the first league title in 30 years and the sixth European Cup.

It has been an incredible time to be a Liverpool fan.

We have been absolutely privileged to watch such a fantastic team over the past few seasons.

In fact probably the biggest stress of being a Liverpool fan in the past three years has been deciding who of the front three you like best.

At some stage, inevitably, this sensational group of players were going to have a barren spell and big drop in performance levels.

It’s unfortunate that it had to happen at such a crucial period of the season and the ramifications are so disappointing.

But above all it’s frustrating that when this fantastic team really needed some support from the owners, in the form of a new defender, they didn’t step up in time.

As the inquest begins into how Liverpool’s bid to regain the Premiership title has fallen apart so suddenly and emphatically, then we should point fingers at FSG and not feel any less of a fan for doing so.



More Stories FSG Jürgen Klopp


  1. So let’s get this right, what your saying is that the folks that bought you Virgil van Dijk, Allison Becker, Mo Salah, Sadie Mane, Andy Robertson, Diogo Jota, Fabinho AND JURGEN KLOPP are somehow responsible for some wobbly performances during a global pandemic when we have endured injured more than a month to 16 first team players. Including all of our centre backs?

    Thanks for your support.

  2. @Dale.. totally missing the point! No one predicts pandemics or denies the financial impact. However, no top team gets to start the season with ONLY three CBs two of whom are notoriously fragile and the main man VVD already had 3 seasons of constant playing every game so even he was due a possible injury! To assume from the start that the back up option is Fab or/and Hendo is irresponsible. We sold Lovren, we should have invested in a better replacement. Period. Upfront we did buy Jota which was smart and other than Klopp’s mistake to play him and others in a meaningless ChL game we have no qualms. His injury really is unfortunate. However we didn’t bother, again, to find suitable back up for Firmino as striker when we all know that his form and goal scoring record is not stellar through an entire season yet our back up is.. Origi who is not at this level. More to the point, even with all the mistakes made in the summer there was a chance to salvage the season by acting At the opening of transfer window not a whole month later when we got to play TWO midfielders at CB position and all is already lost. That part is malpractice.

    To the argument about financial implications of covid.. ok, so u don’t want to invest 50 mil in a top CB in summer or at least Jan1 to at least guarantee Top4, fine, so how much LESS income will it be if we miss out which is very likely at this time? I’m betting is MORE than the cost of a top CB who not only would have secured Top4 but possibly higher which also means more revenue! Bottom line, what they did is classic Billy Bean moneyball which is what FSG is in love with. Took a huge chance and lost and it not only cost us the season but just wait and see how the arguments now In the summer will be well we can’t go for a top CB and striker coz we are not Top4 team anymore and thus revenue is down… circling down the drain arguments..

    You can list all the players we bought you want but the reality is we have the least amount of NET spent of any top teams in the UK and the world. Almost no net spend for pool since Klopp took over. Compare that please with Chelsea, ManU, City… and then we can talk..

  3. You talk about “all the mistakes in the summer”. In case you are living in a cave, we weren’t even sure if there was going to be any football at all, we have been treading eggshells for the last 8-10 months, knowing any spike in infections would put an end to any football being played. In this environment, Klopp himself said, we would not be able to justify spending large amounts on players with people being furloughed and struggling to even feed themselves. I repeat, the business done in the summer was tremendous, despite the challenges, a number 4 CB would have been good, but if the right player is not available, then Klopps approach has always been to wait. You advocate a panic purchase in this window just gone to “salvage” the season, but it would come at the cost of the next three years. You don’t make a panic buy and then forget about it in the summer and start again, you have a massive fee to pay and give out an unwarranted big contract to an unworthy player, that damages your whole squad and undermines all that Klopp stands for.

    The top targets, whether they were the Leipzig centre backs or some other young star are also very likely to have been unavailable, the clubs would not be prepared to lose them mid season, equally the player is unlikely to be comfortable moving mid season, that’s before you even consider the exorbitant cost involved. Then on top of that you have a player who then has to try to learn the Klopp way at a time in the season when all they are doing is playing, resting, recovering, then playing again, constantly.

    Finally, has it perhaps crossed your mind that it was Jurgen Klopp who was reluctant to bring in a centre back and that it was only when Matip was lost for the season that he relented, just a thought.

    My final point is that to attack FSG after all they have managed to achieve is truly staggering. Considering where we were when they took over, I find it crazy that anyone cannot see the progress that has been made, unless of course you started supporting the club about three years ago

  4. FSG made a short sighted decision this January and have underfunded Liverpool since summer 19. Totally agree that FSG must accept share of the blame. They must step up in summer to rectify their mistake

Comments are closed