Few would have envisaged Liverpool coming up short against Swansea on Saturday afternoon, with the Reds holding the record of highest scorers and the away side conceding the most goals thus far. However, the Swans took full advantage of Liverpool’s defensive errors to gain a vital three points as they look to beat relegation.
Defensively, Liverpool have always been questionable. Conceding sloppy goals and failing to do the real basics provided a thorn in their side. However, that was thought to have been somewhat put to bed this season, with victories against Chelsea, Arsenal and City suggesting the Reds could battle at the top of the Premier League. The phrase “old habits die hard” is rather fitting in this situation, with Jurgen Klopp’s side coming unstuck by their own sloppiness at the back.
Dejan Lovren gave away a needless corner for Swansea’s first goal, heading the ball out of play under no pressure. The resulting corner was put in by Fernando Llorente, after the Croatian in the air to compound his earlier error.
After a performance fuelled with mistakes, Liverpool fans have been left pondering the long term future of Lovren at the club. Joel Matip is clearly the first choice centre back for Jurgen Klopp, but with neither Lovren nor Klavan covering themselves in glory at Anfield, many have called for the German to invest – be it in January or in the summer.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Dejan Lovren’s performance. Do you agree with these thoughts?
The sooner we aren't starting the likes of Lovren and Klavan, the better. Need a serious boost in quality in our defensive line.
— LFC Fans Corner (@LFCFansCorner) January 21, 2017
Lovren steps out of defence, and gets dummied by a player moving slowly in a straight line. Bin.
— Si (@PhantomGoal) January 21, 2017
Lovren has good games and he gives everything for Liverpool, but we won't win a title with him starting. That, I'm sure of.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) January 21, 2017
Despite heavy suggestions that his time at the club is up, many have been calling for the return of Mamadou Sakho to partner Matip. The Frenchman has fallen out of favour with Jurgen Klopp, but the defensive frailties within the side highlight the need for change in the centre back positions. Liverpool fans certainly seem keen on the idea of a Sakho-Matip pairing.
Sakho is fucking dying in the reserves while fucking Lovren and Klavan are costing us games.
Sakho & Matip should be our defence.
— – (@AnfieldRd96) January 21, 2017
Time to ditch Lovren at the end of the season. Klaven was peanuts he can play the noddy games
— Mark (@Batchowski) January 21, 2017
Neither Klavan nor Lovren are consistent enough to provide the defensive pairing for a side wanting to challenge at the top of the Premier League. Klopp himself reflected on the quality of his back four following the defeat, and surely it is only a matter of time before he looks elsewhere for a quality defender.
Has Klopp’s trust in his players been thrown back in his face? Many suggested Liverpool needed external recruitment to address their defensive issues, but he said he believed in his squad and would rather educate them into becoming better players. But with the defence continuing to be the clubs Achilles heel, surely it is time to invest?