Eventually getting hit with an action-packed 3-2 loss away at a high-flying Arsenal on Sunday afternoon, Liverpool find themselves in the midst of what has become a rather public nightmare.
While Jurgen Klopp’s side might have opened the 2022/23 campaign with their sights firmly set on recapturing their Premier League crown, the Reds find just their goal difference keeping them in the top-half of the table.
With many around Anfield fearing that their superstar squad could be hit with the real possibility of missing out on a top-four finish, last season’s Champions League finalists find themselves under growing scrutiny.
Already sat 14 points adrift in the early-season title chase, the mood in their camp appears to be the lowest it has been during Klopp’s seven-year reign in charge.
Enduring their worst start to a Premier League campaign in a decade, where has it all gone so wrong for Liverpool this season?
A glaring defensive crisis
Watching Arsenal take the lead with under two minutes on the clock on Sunday afternoon, Klopp has been vocal about his side’s glaring defensive struggles since opening the 2022/23 campaign.
Now remarkably conceding the opening goal in 10 of their last 12 Premier League appearances, the former Borussia Dortmund boss has some serious issues that need addressing immediately.
Along with England international Trent Alexander-Arnold enduring a woeful run of form and with his spot in Southgate’s World Cup squad appearing in jeopardy, Virgil van Dijk has also struggled to find top gear with much stability this season.
Marking their return from September’s international break on October 1st with an action-packed 3-3 draw at home against Brighton, Liverpool have recorded just a pair of clean sheets from their previous 12 Premier League outings.
With Andrew Robertson still struggling with his fitness and appearing a million miles off the same defensive unit that held the joint-best defensive record last season, Klopp’s downbeat squad have already conceded a third of the overall tally that they conceded last year (26).
No stability on the road
Eventually slumping to a 3-2 loss away at Arsenal over the weekend and in the midst of their worst start to a season in a decade, fans around Anfield will have real concerns over their side’s performances on the road.
While Klopp’s former champions might have gained a reputation last season for their rugged
displays outside of Merseyside, they have rather drastically struggled to keep up that same momentum this year.
Opening the new campaign with a 2-2 draw away at Premier League returners Fulham on August 6th, Liverpool have remarkably failed to win any of their first five away appearances across all competitions.
With their struggles away from Anfield underlined by that infamous 4-1 drumming away at Napoli while on Champions League duties last month, Klopp’s men will face another huge challenge when they make the trip to Manchester City this weekend.
Likewise, yet to pick up a single domestic victory on the road so far this season, Liverpool are also enduring their worst away rut since October 2020.
Although club-record signing Darwin Nunez might have bagged his second Premier League strike away at Arsenal last weekend, Liverpool have largely struggled to click in the final third this season.
While the impressive Harvey Elliot might have caught the eye and cemented his spot as part of Klopp’s first-team plans, it appears that they’re missing one of their former attacking icons.
With reigning Golden Boot winner Mohamed Salah mustering just a pair of Premier League
strikes from his opening eight appearances, Sadio Mane’s absence is there to be seen.
With many believing that the Senegal international was their key attacking performer over the past few seasons, Liverpool fans were heartbroken over the summer as Mane made the move to German giants Bayern Munich.
Shockingly ending his six-year stay on Merseyside after making 269 appearances for the former domestic and European champions, Klopp has undoubtedly found it difficult to replicate the energy that Mane offered.
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