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New Season, Same Defensive Frailties For Liverpool

No matter how hard Liverpool fight to keep Philippe Coutinho it will not address the frailties which undermined them at Watford.

Indeed, no matter how hard they fight to sign Virgil van Dijk from Southampton, it is hard to see how one more centre-half might cure all the ills.

It may be a new season but it opened with familiar old problems for Jurgen Klopp and his team and they were encapsulated by the equalizer in stoppage-time by Miguel Britos.

It was certainly not pretty and it was probably not fair given Britos was offside when Ricarlison’s effort from a near-post corner was diverted against the bar by the right hand of Simon Mignolet.

Any offense escaped the attention of the officials, however, and the Watford centre-half had the strength to keep Mignolet at bay as he nodded the rebound into the net from a matter of inches.

‘That’s really not that fun,’ fumed Klopp. ‘It was offside and that’s difficult to accept, be we know we can do better and we have to do better.

‘You cannot expect perfection in the first match but I was not happy in the first-half when it was obviously very physical and Watford were the winners in these situations.

‘They didn’t create too much with the ball but they scored two goals and everyone will say: ‘Oh, it was a set-piece’.’

They will because it was and it so often is where Liverpool are concerned as that was the second goal that Watford had scored from a corner in the match. In the first half Liverpool let Jose Stefano Okaka run unchallenged in to box head home from four yards out as Mignolet showed no inclination to leave his line for the cross.

‘I’m not fed up talking about set-pieces,’ said Klopp. ‘I have to talk about it. We defended most of them really well, but at the end is it enough if we concede one goal? No.

‘We have to work on it but there are a lot of things to work on. No direction in the first-half. Much better in the second-half, playing football but it leads to nothing.’

Attacking Liverpool are a treat to watch with Sadio Mane, Firmino and Mohamed Salah all looking impressive.

But Klopp’s side will not the successful if they have to get into a shootout in every match this season. They need reinforcements defensively and with less than three weeks to go in the transfer window, the clock is ticking on Liverpool’s season.

What did you think of the performance Liverpool fans?