Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has once again been discussing his team’s failure to address its biggest weakness in the summer.
The Reds’ central defence has come in for heavy criticism for some time now, with Dejan Lovren, in particular, failing to inspire confidence and Ragnar Klavan not faring much better when he has replaced the Croatian international so far this season.
Despite strong interest in Southampton’s Virgil van Dijk in the summer, a bid for the Saints captain never materialised and Klopp must soldier on (until January at least) with Lovren, Klavan, Joel Matip and Joe Gomez as his only senior defensive options in the middle.
The manager, however, insists that, although he is well aware of the problems Liverpool face at the back, there was nobody that he could have brought in that would make the defence any better than it already is:
“We watched all of the [potential signings] 500 million times.
“It is not that we ignore it. I said if there would have been a solution out there we would have done it. I had to make a decision and the decision was our boys are not worse than them.
“It is concentration. It is not a quality thing, but if there’s no-one, no solution out there, and no real quality issue then you have to work on it and that is what we will do.”
Klopp went on to suggest that mistakes, while not ideal, would sometimes be a by-product of the team’s attacking philosophy:
“For me it’s really difficult always to come to your planet, visit you and say ‘yeah you’re right, there were five good options out there and we missed them because, I don’t know, we wanted to spend the money anywhere else’
“To cool the people down what if the new player doesn’t hit the first ball and he makes exactly the same mistake?
“Oh yeah, sometimes they make bullshit, and we are not happy. Sometimes I see goals I’m angry about. Of course you wish we could have done differently, but that can happen. That’s really life.
“Sometimes we make mistakes because we are offensively that strong.”
Liverpool take on Burnley this weekend, though it remains to be seen which of Lovren or Klavan Klopp chooses to partner Matip. The manager has a decision to make up front too, with Sadio Mane suspended and Philippe Coutinho pushing for his first start of the season.
On this week’s episode of the Mixer Irish football podcast, we’re joined by Cork City captain Johnny Dunleavy to discuss the FAI Cup semi-final draw, and look ahead to this weekend’s EA Sports Cup final between Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk.