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Liverpool’s midfield woes and transfer neglect: Where did it all go wrong?



Liverpool have hit rock bottom, or so it seems, but it wasn’t meant to be, says Joel Rabinowitz, and the problems go back years, not the last eight months.

The thing about hitting rock bottom is that it assumes you can’t go any lower. This season, Liverpool are demonstrating an uncanny ability to dive to new depths, even when you think it couldn’t get much worse.

After being humiliated by Brentford and coincidentally scoring an equalizer against a very mixed Wolves side at Anfield (with significant help from VAR), the prospect of playing Brighton away from home looked like the ultimate doomsday scenario for the Liverpool.

And so it turned out. Every aspect of how Saturday’s 3-0 defeat unfolded was completely predictable before a ball was kicked.

From the first whistle, Roberto De Zerbi’s side beat Liverpool all over the pitch. The class gap came as no surprise as Liverpool delivered another performance lacking in intensity, tactical cohesion and spirit. In any case, the score did not accurately reflect how superior the hosts were.

Less than eight months after being two wins away from becoming the first team in the history of English football to achieve a quadruple win, Liverpool find themselves in a full-blown crisis. As things stand – and it’s hard to see how this will change – the idea of ​​salvaging Champions League qualification from this dystopian campaign seems extremely remote. Indeed, even a place in the Europa League looks optimistic at the moment.

Given what Liverpool did last season and the general level of expectation for this season, this is probably the fastest and most drastic decline of a major team in living memory. So how did things get so bad in such a short time?

Careless team planning

The most painful aspect of Liverpool’s current situation is that it was completely avoidable. In the summer of 2020, having won the Premier League and Champions League in consecutive seasons, Liverpool were arguably the most attractive project for potential signings in world football.

cause Liverpool all sorts of problems at the moment. Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s goal at Anfield was the best example of how porous Liverpool have become and how ridiculously easy they are to play.

It is all the more worrying given that Klopp and his coaching staff were given a six-week break during the World Cup to identify the root causes of Liverpool’s problems and come up with effective solutions on the training ground.

Since the Premier League has returned, there has been absolutely no sign that any of these issues have been addressed. Indeed, they have probably become even more frequent and acute in their occurrence.