Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says the hefty defeat to Napoli marks a watershed moment in his reign at Anfield as he vowed to undertake the “reinvention” of his team.
In the aftermath of a 4-1 total defeat, Klopp apologized to Liverpool fans and acknowledged that there are serious problems in his side that have been present throughout the season but have reached their peak in Naples.
Everything Liverpool have come to represent under Klopp – high pressing, runaway opponents and choreographed defense as well as attack – have severely malfunctioned in the most imperfect performance since becoming Anfield manager.
“We weren’t working as a team”
“It seems we have to reinvent ourselves,” Klopp told BT Sport.
“Many things are missing. We have to do it in the middle of the season. In three days of playing for Wolves, we have to try to find a set-up that will be much better practically everything.
“We weren’t working as a team. It has nothing to do with personal things. We don’t play well enough, it’s clear, it’s obvious and that’s why you lose games. It is my responsibility, I need time to think about it. My job is to find out, reset it and go “.
Asked to elaborate on how to reinvent Liverpool at his post-match press conference, Klopp said: “It’s a tough time, there’s no doubt about that, but if you don’t play exceptionally well you still have to defend at a really high level. high … We should be able to do it. In the minute we’re in the middle.
“It’s not that we have to invent a new kind of football, we have to improve. Everyone would be happy if we could play the things we played before.
‘We made things easy for Napoli’
“Tonight was the least compact performance I’ve seen here for a long time. Napoli were really good, but it was easy for them. We lost the ball in the box and the next situation was a counterattack. The reason why this is so is becoming clearer, but I need time to say the right things because it’s not 100% clear at the moment. You don’t think much after the game, you react more “.
One area that Klopp has hinted at not wanting to compromise is the defense of the high line, which has been constantly exposed as Napoli have created many opportunities. Klopp felt that the problems were more upstream.
“A high line is a risk when you have no pressure on the ball,” Klopp said.
“If you don’t have any pressure on the guy on the ball, yes, that’s a risk but normally it’s not. The problem is that we have never been close enough to put pressure on the opponent. “
On the day Chelsea fired their manager, Thomas Tuchel, because he didn’t believe he was the right man to lead the transition, Klopp can at least be sure he has the full support of Fenway Sports Group to find the solutions.
Klopp was asked if he had any fears that the FSG would adopt the same ruthless stance as new Chelsea owner Todd Boehly.
“Not really, but who knows? Obviously there are different types of owners, ”Klopp said.
“Our owners are pretty calm and they expect me to fix the situation and they don’t expect anyone else to fix it. That’s how they’ve always seen it and the day they change their minds they could tell me. “
Such is the Liverpool owners’ confidence in Klopp, his position will not even be on the FSG’s agenda as he is given the task of finding the answers.
“It was a very disappointing night, so I have to apologize to them [the supporters]”said Klopp.
“The problems we had tonight were obvious. Napoli number one played a really good game and we played a bad one. How come? We can’t ignore the bad start, the penalty and the other penalty. But we didn’t play well enough. For 60 minutes we have not had a back pressure situation, this means that we are too wide in possession and the midfield is not connected.
“These are the things of football. They are obvious. The question is why the boys didn’t play a good game because they want it, so it’s my job to fix it. It’s my responsibility. I really think it makes sense to look back and then I’ll have to. a message for the kids “.