Given the geopolitical spectrum, 2017 promises to be a difficult year for us all to stomach, even by 2016’s standards, but Liverpool fans will be the ones gazing at the skies questioning why they are among the first to be feeling the burn.
Jürgen Klopp’s men enchanted the Premier League world with the German’s infamous ‘Gegenpressing’, imported from his days at Borussia Dortmund, as big results over the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester City saw the Merseyside club propel themselves into the hat of potential league winners this season.
Among the charge at the upper echelons of the league table, Liverpool were also fighting for multiple domestic honours too, but that scenario has now changed drastically.
Welcoming Wolverhampton Wanderers to Anfield for a fourth round tie of the FA Cup this Saturday, the visitors were on hand to stun the hosts with goals by Richard Stearman and Andi Weimann, whereas a late Divock Origi goal wasn’t enough to see Liverpool into a draw and subsequent cup replay.
The defeat not only concluded the Reds’ elimination from the FA Cup, but also sees them fall out of a consecutive cup competition, after Southampton’s 2-0 win on aggregate in the EFL Cup in midweek.
Liverpool’s 2017 woes go on, having lost once more versus Swansea City in the league, drawing a further three games and winning just once in seven matches since the turn of the year. That game was a 1-0 victory away to Plymouth Argyle in an FA Cup replay. Glamourous.
As a consequence, social media was awash with criticism for the Scouse outfit’s boss, Klopp, ranging from rival fans to former subscribers of the German’s managerial capabilities, whereas others stayed true to their man.
Jurgen Klopp has found a way to not lose any finals this season. pic.twitter.com/t9SMDnrCK4
— Paul (@Kolology) January 28, 2017
Wolves made seven changes coming into this game and still easily beat Liverpool 2-1. That's Klopp's third loss at Anfield in a row. Oh dear.
— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) January 28, 2017
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 28, 2017
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool record in 2017: Played 8 Won 1 (Plymouth at 2nd attempt) Drawn 3 Lost 4.
Tough playing more than once a week. #LFC
— Duncan Castles (@DuncanCastles) January 28, 2017
If you're Klopp Out, get in touch and let us know why!*
*so we can block you.
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) January 28, 2017
Other more popular figures within Britain’s footballing hub maligned Klopp’s squad selection for the clash versus Wolves, which saw the 2011 and 2012 Bundesliga champion make a total of nine changes to the team that faced Southampton in midweek.
Klopp learning fast that unlike in Germany, strength exists throughout our leagues & the kids just can't cut it…
— Jake Humphrey (@mrjakehumphrey) January 28, 2017
Don't get Klopp playing his reserves with no European football. Shows a lack of knowledge of the depth in English football and respect.
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) January 28, 2017
Despite bearing the blame for chopping and changing too much on this occasion, Klopp has felt the force of complaints coming in the opposite direction in recent days, claiming he overworks his first team too much.
The frenetic, self-proclaimed “Heavy Metal football” has been pinned against the German’s management, suggesting he’s both one-dimensional and culpable for the physical mismanagement of his players’ fitness, meanwhile the likes of Daniel Sturridge and Mamadou Sakho aren’t placed into the same equation anywhere near as much as they should be by Klopp.
With first-placed Chelsea waiting in the wings for Tuesday’s main card in the Premier League, calling on rotation made sense, but Klopp has, nonetheless, claimed full responsibility for Saturday’s additional slip-up in Liverpool’s season.
“We put in a very bad performance, we started badly and could not improve,” Klopp told BT Sport following the 2-1 defeat at home to Wolves.
“We tried, but were not good enough in the first half. The second half was better, but not enough. I am responsible, not the young players. You learn a lot about players in games like this, but I am responsible.”
Onto Tuesday night…