Liverpool’s season suffered another setback after a 2-0 loss against Hull City on Saturday in which the side looked bereft of ideas and energy. The result leaves Jurgen Klopp’s side’s hopes of Champions League football for next season up in the air.
Hull perfectly executed the blue-print that so many have come to adopt against Liverpool. Sitting deep and defending in numbers, the Reds were gifted no space in between the lines and once again struggled to stretch the opposition. It was an all too familiar performance at the KC stadium, with the pedestrian and lacklustre performance raising serious questions about the future of several squad members.
After suffering similar defeats against Bournemouth, Swansea and Burnley earlier in the season, Jurgen Klopp’s side have failed to overcome a clear weakness in their game – something that has seen them crash out of the title race and put hopes of a top four finish in doubt.
Most worryingly is the way in which Liverpool yet again looked devoid of innovation going forward. The return of Sadio Mane to the side, along with Coutinho and Firmino was set to see Liverpool regain their early season form in which fast, fluid and attacking football was a huge feature. However, even the Senegalese international couldn’t prevent Liverpool from coming unstuck against a so-called ‘weaker’ Premier League team.
After securing a 1-1 draw with runaway leaders Chelsea, things seemed to be looking up for Jurgen Klopp’s side. Solid displays from both Emre Can and Gini Wijnaldum provided the German with a selection headache prior to kick off. Going with his national compatriot, Klopp’s decision to go with a more robust presence in midfield proved to be costly for Liverpool, who certainly missed the energy of Wijnaldum.
Emre Can completed just 84% of his passes, winning only one aerial battle and two tackles in the entirety of the match. His leisurely demeanor in the first half was indicative of Liverpool’s pedestrian football and marked the decline he has experienced this season.
Here’s some reaction to Emre Can’s performance from Twitter. Do you agree?
Emre Can is the epitome of average.
— Anfield Hub (@AnfieldHub) February 4, 2017
Emre Can simply isn't good enough to start right now either. Too slow in his play.
— Matt (@FalseFirmino) February 4, 2017
So Emre Can has a calf problem, which has been hampering his form. So yeah, let's start him, because that would help. Do one.
— Martin Turner (@Turner_LFC) February 4, 2017
Emre Can was a key player for Liverpool last season and he clearly has all the right tools to be a good player for Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, his performance against Hull marked the regression he has experienced this season and with his future currently up in the air, questions will be raised over whether Can will be at Anfield for much longer. With Liverpool looking to play fast, free-flowing football, WIijnaldum’s energy in the middle makes for a much better fit.