What next for Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool?by Andy Dillon / 12 June 2019, 15:06Tweet
It is hard to imagine in football nowadays, but sometimes less is more.
In an industry that is forever chasing more money, more exposure and just more of everything the concept of doing less of something sounds criminal.
The pulses are settled again after a breathless title race between Liverpool and the ultimate victors Manchester City.
It went right to the wire, which will only have increased the hype and global appeal of English football to see such a tight race.
More so now, Liverpool struggle to fathom how on earth they came up short. In most circumstances the answer is more consistency.
It’s the easy go-to solution for most teams in most seasons and of course more often than not it works.
However, baffled Jurgen Klopp managed to steer his red machine through 38 testing matches with just one defeat throughout - better consistency than a Mary Berry Victoria Sponge mix.
Ninety-seven points, just one behind the eventual winners. Enough to have won it in any of the other 27 years of the Premier League. Impressive but equally infuriating for Klopp.
So what does he do now? What does he reach for to end Liverpool’s wait for a first Premier League title when steadfastness and reliability are already ingrained in his team for the marathon slog of a long season?
When you have midfielders in the mould of Jordan Henderson and James Milner there are men with stout hearts of oak and all that, who put in a shift week in, week out.
Firmino, the Brazilian tasked with the job of Liverpool schemer, had a solid season. Liverpool fans commend his dependability while the number of goals he scored tailed off.
Xherdan Shaqiri’s sudden exit from the first team in the second half of the season robbed the team of an unpredictable but exciting quantity. And this highlights what Liverpool need if they want to go all the way next season.
Instead of more consistent, tried and trusted seven out of ten players, Klopp needs to shop for a player with the wow factor that sometimes blinds the opposition with showbiz dazzle only to disappear from sight.
When you look at Liverpool’s bench from the final two domestic games of last season, the reappearance of Alex Oxlaide-Chamberlain suggests there is a possible solution.
A player who looks world class on his day but fades when it’s not and who has suffered with injuries over the years.
A glance at Manchester City’s subs bench from their final game and sitting on his hands is Kevin de Bruyne. An awesome creative force.
On the pitch were Riyad Mahrez and David Silva, two waspish forwards who flit around a pitch on air when their talent is in a generous mood. Liverpool’s Giorgino Wijnaldum is class and enjoyed a stellar end to the season but he’s not the same type of player as those two.
Liverpool finished the season one point and five goals behind Manchester City, so there is clearly not much wrong with the team or the durability of the team over a ten month slog.
City lost four games but still won the league. Proof that sometimes taking a little risk can pay enormous dividends.
Don’t regret the things you do, regret the things you don’t do.