5) No consistent goalscorer
It is one of the most fundamental facts of football that a striker of 20+ goals virtually guarantees you a strong run in the title challenge. Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa are the prime examples, with each one of the trio’s clubs in race for the title challenge thanks to their outstanding goal scoring return. On the other hand, this is one area where Liverpool desperately lag behind. Despite possessing the likes of Sturridge, Firmino and Mane in their ranks, the Reds lack a much needed firepower in the goal scoring department. While much has been made of Liverpool’s shaky defence, the attacking department too are equally guilty of profligacy, failing to finish their quality attacks time and time again.
4) Lack of a leader
This is another underrated factor which plays against Liverpool. The club lacks an authority figure despite Klopp’s vibrant enthusiasm on the touchline. In dire situations, the team falls apart like a pack of cards displaying a huge leadership hole in the team. Steven Gerrard may have failed to win the league title in his distinguished career; however, the midfielder was a leader of men. The players looked up to him and he provided those inspirational moments such as the game against Milan in Instanbul. Jordan Henderson is the closest thing to Gerrard at the club; however, with the midfielder himself grappling with injury problems, the club lack a voice on the pitch to pick them up, which in retrospect has hurt Liverpool’s chances of a title success.
3) Goalkeeping struggles
Goalkeeping is another department which needs severe reinforcing sooner rather than later at Anfield. Simon Mignolet has often given some fine performances and is one of the best in one on one situations; however, the goalkeeper regularly fails to organise his defence in set piece situations, which is incidentally Liverpool’s Achilles heel. Klopp has time and time again given Karius a chance too but in vain, as the goalkeeper continues to get himself in trouble by taking too many touches and nearly conceding a goal because of it. Such problems cannot be overlooked and therefore needs significant reinforcing. The club needs to bring in a top notch goalkeeper to match the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United both of whom have top shot stoppers in Courtois and De Gea respectively.
2) Lack of the winning mentality
The lack of a winning mentality also plays a deterrent effect on Liverpool’s potential title challenge as only a few in the squad have come close to winning a major title. The likes of Sturridge, Mignolet and Coutinho are the only remains of the nearly conquering side of 2013-14. This in turn plays in Liverpool’s hands in big games, with the club defeated in two finals in Klopp’s first season at the Merseyside. Lack of winning mentality has hurt Arsenal’s chances too. Mourinho’s winning mind-set has emanated in the entirety of Manchester United squad, with the club looking as hot favourites for the title this season. Therefore, the Reds need to bring in a proven winner, to guide the team in difficult situations and to spread that winning mentality in and around the club if the Reds want to win a major trophy in the near future.
1) Heavy Metal management
Klopp’s heavy metal approach has no doubt turned around the club’s outlook towards the big games, with the reverberating feeling around the club that they can win the big games. And rightly so, under Klopp, Liverpool have impressed in big games defeating the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City. Nevertheless, the club have consistently failed to perform in the games against the relatively lesser competitive sides. With the club wasting so many chances against Spartak in the midweek, Klopp was an agitated figure on the touchline, which only exacerbated the players’ mind-set. The players often look to their managers for the organisation and calmness in difficult situations; however, at Liverpool, Klopp himself fails to control his emotions often getting involved in altercations with the fourth official. The likes of Conte and Simeone have seemingly mastered that art and if Liverpool are to succeed, Klopp must indeed take a lesson from the duo on how to manage his emotions in different games.