The Napoli game was a carbon copy of what we have seen all month. And that is a Liverpool side that offered nothing in attack. The midfield and defence weren’t winning any awards either.
There is plenty to be of concern for Klopp right now and the return of Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino – all afforded extended breaks – cannot come soon enough.
Yes, pre-season results should be taken lightly but performances less so, and this was a very poor performance. It lacked imagination and energy – the hallmarks of their brilliant season – and was stained further by a worrying sloppiness.
‘The game was not positive. We conceded simple goals. We lost the ball. You need to have everything better. We need to make better decisions and have a better formation. It was not good” said Klopp.
‘If opponents want to analyse us now then they will say it is an easy job. But we will be a different animal when the season starts.’
Asked about his side’s poor pre-season Klopp responded by saying:
“I don’t want to find excuses before we play [City] but we had a completely different pre-season,” said Klopp.
“We played it without six players. From a freshness point of view, the games came at the wrong moment.”
“Have we had the best pre-season of our lives? I cannot say that with the results, but the sessions were really good,” said Klopp, whose side play Lyon in a friendly on Wednesday before the game against Premier League champions City at Wembley.
“The problem is all the games are in public so everybody sees what we’re doing. But we have to prove ourselves during the season, not in one game.”
Liverpool meet title rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield next week, and a similar performance then as we saw at Murryfield, will give City a huge psychological boost heading into the Premier League season.
While Liverpool will undoubtably get better when Salah, Mane and Firmino return from their summer break, the lack of depth behind those three stars has to concern Klopp heading into the new season.