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Liverpool Echo
Liverpool Echo
John Aldridge

Liverpool have become too predictable and Jurgen Klopp must rip up his blueprint

Saturday's draw with Wolves was further proof Liverpool have lost their fear factor. Our identity has gone and this situation reminds me a lot of the Covid season, where we couldn’t win a home game.

Teams have discovered our weak links, which is becoming more apparent with each passing game. Scouts are sent out to identify those areas and that information then becomes common knowledge, to some extent. We did really well to counteract sides trying to exploit us last year but teams seem to be experiencing more joy in this department this season.

We're seeing the same approach from opponents time and time again: sitting back, wasting time and going down with injuries. What happens is others then learn from this and implement it. It’s only Man City who come out and play against us, both home and away. The likes of Tottenham and Chelsea are capable of being expansive at home, which is perhaps more because of their reputation, but it's a different story at Anfield. Tottenham did a job on us last year at Anfield, which stopped us winning the league.

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In fixtures where we're not getting much joy in attacking areas, we should try switching the wingers over to create an element of surprise. Our current approach has got us to where we have been in recent years and if something is not broken, don’t fix it. But it is broken, so why not change it up? The wingers used to switch sides without the manager's instruction in my day; Johnny Morrissey and Pat Nevin would have a little change when at Tranmere and the defenders would be confused by it. It's effectively a plan B and Jurgen doesn’t really do things that way, he sticks to what he knows best.

We have been spoiled by this team in recent years and they’re going through a little bit of a crisis right now. We are conceding big chances and Wolves came and caused us problems. We again conceded the first goal, which is ridiculous, and even the ever-reliable Alisson made a mistake.

There appeared to be a real lack of concentration in the defence, highlighted first by Joel Matip coming close to being caught out before Alisson eventually was. You can’t be switching off like that in games, you have to be totally alert to your surroundings. Alisson has been our best player this season, coming to our rescue with all the chances we are giving up, so we can't be too critical of him on this occasion. When goalkeepers make a mistake, they are in the firing line. It's a totally different story at the other end of the pitch: if a striker misses a chance, it’s forgotten.

Gakpo and Nunez displays offer ray of hope

Gakpo showed some good signs during his debut, but he’s got to have a bit more urgency about him. He looked somewhat taken aback by Anfield against Wolves. I’m sure he will get used to it and will be a success long-term.

I was also pleased for Nunez getting on the scoresheet after all the criticism that has come his way. It was a great finish, guided in well. Hopefully that will open the door for him to go on and score more. He is a player that needs chances created for him and we may have to play a few more balls over the top because he makes great runs.


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