Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp gave a rather gloomy verdict of his side after a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Napoli in their Champions League opener on Wednesday night. The German manager says the Reds need to ‘reinvent’ themselves and change their methods on the pitch.
It was an incredibly lacklustre performance from Liverpool and they were second best for literally all of the game.
Joe Gomez had a performance so bad in the first half that he was withdrawn at the break, while Trent Alexander-Arnold had a game to forget as well. It was also unlike Fabinho to see him record a poor outing while Virgil van Dijk’s performances have been poor of late and he produced yet another average showing. To cap it all, Klopp even lost patience with Mohamed Salah an hour into the contest and the German did not hold back in an honest assessment of his side after their defeat.
Speaking after the game, Klopp said: “It looks like we need to reinvent ourselves. There’s a lot of things lacking. We have to try to find a set up to be much better in pretty much everything,” Klopp conceded in post-match media duties.
“Not that difficult to explain when you saw the game. Napoli played a really good game and we didn’t. That’s the first explanation. Not compact defensively or offensively. Until Thiago entered the pitch I can’t remember one counter-pressing situation. We were just too wide.”
Looking ahead to the weekend, Klopp also said, “In three days, we play Wolves. When they saw the game, they cannot stop laughing probably. They were probably thinking that’s the perfect moment [to play Liverpool]. I would say it’s the perfect moment.”
Andy Robertson also echoed the comments of Klopp and admitted Liverpool did not deserved to win.
He said: It all starts because we weren’t compact enough. You come away here, we’ve not won here as a group, obviously we’ve always found it difficult and you just think: go and keep it tight.”
“Obviously we’re a pressing team and when your mate doesn’t win the ball you have to have somebody to back him up; we didn’t have that, people were flying into challenges, they were turning fairly easily and then nobody was there to back it up and then they had acres of space to run into. Nowhere near good enough, we can’t front it up any other way than that, it’d be daft of us.”
After a mixed run of results in pre-season, the defeat to Napoli means that the Reds are now without a win in five of their eight games so far in 2022/23 across all competitions. They will hope the story changes when they welcome Wolves to Anfield at the weekend.