If Liverpool are to mount a serious title challenge, they need some stability in the team, and this was not evident in today’s bizarre team selection.
The ‘fab four’ of Mo Salah, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané and Philipe Coutinho have arguably been the most entertaining set of attackers to watch this season, but two of these red-hot players were left out today.
Brazillian pair Coutinho and Firmino were not selected to start for the crucial Merseyside derby fixture against Everton, and the Reds’ ultimately ended up dropping points.
Understandbly, Klopp was trying to rotate the squad ahead of a busy Christmas period, but with two seemingly easier games ahead, versus West Brom and Bournemouth, it has left some fans scratching their heads as to why he chose this important game to rotate.
Plus, they won their last Champions League game against Spartak Moscow 7-0, yet Klopp chose to leave Coutinho on until the end and only subbed Firmino late on.
If the players are tired that just makes no sense at all. And surely Klopp knows enough about Liverpool’s history with Everton to know that this was a game that belies form and means the world to Liverpool fans.
he can moan about the penalty decision all he likes, but with Coutinho back to his mercurial best, they could have been out of sight by the time Everton got back into it.
Another concerning inclusion was the consistently inconsistent Dejan Lovren.
And if you’re wondering why he’s still in the side you only need to look back at Klopp’s failure to sign a centre-back in the summer.
These mistakes are starting to mount up.
Lovren has an entire portfolio of defensive errors this season, including gifting Everton a point today at Anfield by means of conceding a penalty.
And who can forget the two clangers against Tottenham at Wembley that lead to the Croatian national being subbed before half-time?
Had Liverpool not dropped those points today they would have climbed above Chelsea and taken third place in the Premier League on goal-difference.
However, the Reds’ remain in fourth, 13 points behind league-leaders Manchester City, and their title race is done before January – as a lot of people predicted it would be when Klopp didn’t sign Virgil van Dijk in the summer.
Klopp is above criticism, seemingly, but for how long?