Inconsistent Liverpool 'still have to develop', says Klopp

Jurgen Klopp knows Liverpool is lacking the fluency of last season, but hopes focusing first on defending will pay off eventually.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp   -  Getty Images

Liverpool is still seeking to strike the right balance between defensive solidity and attacking fluency, according to manager Jurgen Klopp.

The Reds were a potent force going forward last season under the German, unexpectedly rampaging into the final of the Champions League, only to lose 3-1 to Real Madrid.

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Untimely lapses at the back also saw Liverpool finish fourth in the Premier League, having conceded more goals than each of its immediate rivals Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham.

After 13 league games in 2018-19, Klopp's side has let in just five goals, the same as reigning champion City.

But that newfound solidity has come at the expense of sharpness in the final third, Liverpool having scored only 26 goals compared to the 40 netted by Pep Guardiola's league leader.

Speaking ahead of the Merseyside derby against Everton, Klopp was asked if a disconnect has developed this term between a more conservative approach in midfield, and Liverpool's previously unstoppable frontline. 

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"Yes, in specific games we can say that," he said.

"But to be honest for me it is quite strange.

"When everything is brilliant and we score goals you always ask about defending and how can we fix that?

"We fixed that, kind of, and it always happens that the first step is it costs you a bit of fluency and creativity. That is a completely normal thing.

"If someone would think about it for one second they would see it is clear, it is logical.

"Now, when we fix that, I can't say in the first moment to the boys: 'But that's not enough offensively'. That would be crazy. We still have to develop, that's what we do."

Klopp also rejected out of hand the suggestion that Liverpool should enter the transfer market in January in search of a solution.

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"Bringing one player in would change everything? That is bulls*** and you all know that," he said.

"One player doesn't change everything.

"We have the players for it. We have to win football games. Really, with all the things I saw in this country football-wise, if people cannot enjoy our football then I really can't help them.

"But I get constantly confronted with the question – something is missing. What's that?

"Of course it could be better but it is not because of one player. We are creative. I don't know how many goals we've scored but we've had many more chances.

"Creating is not a problem. You could say finishing [is] the problem, whatever you want.

"I get that you have to write about things, no problem, but write it and don't ask me about it because I'm not interested about it, I don't think about it and I can't answer it.

"I don't tell my boys to do one thing and then tell them publicly to do another thing."