Liverpool extended their poor form in 2017 to two wins in 12 games, meekly succumbing to defeat at Leicester City on Monday night, 3-1.
Jurgen Klopp‘s side had had 16 days since their last game, a win against Tottenham, but their mid-winter break failed to invigorate them and instead it was Leicester, without even a league goal since the turn of the year, who provided the energy and spark.
Jamie Vardy scored twice and Danny Drinkwater volleyed another, while Philippe Coutinho‘s goal at 3-0 provided to be nothing more than a consolation goal.
“It’s getting more serious now,” said Klopp post-match. “We all play for our future, myself included. We get judged every day, especially on match days.
“Of course, performances have influences on things,” he said, perhaps hinting at summer changes that will be made based upon such performances.
The manager then hinted at this annoyance at his side’s inconsistency – with the Reds unbeaten against the top six but suffering five defeats to relegation threatened sides this season.
“I don’t think they aren’t as good as I thought,” said Klopp. “But I think they need my help more to show it every week.
“I feel maximum responsibility because I am. I hope I use the word ‘we’ and not ‘they’ because I’m involved in this.
“It doesn’t get better. It was not good enough in the beginning, not good enough in the middle and in the end. It was 100 per cent clear what happened with Leicester tonight. Back to their roots, their line-up was clear.
“It was clear how emotional the game was because if Leicester didn’t show emotion it would be really strange. It wasn’t that intense but we weren’t ready for this.”
Quite why Liverpool weren’t “ready for this” is a question only the manager can answer, especially after the two-week break and an almost fully fit squad available.
He added: “15 or 16 days to prepare is not perfect, because of the rhythm. But for defending you don’t need rhythm, you need organisation.”
Liverpool were either organised badly, or not organised correctly. They simply played into Leicester and in particular Vardy’s hands – by playing Lucas on the left side of defence.
“Maybe it looked like at the end that a few players struggled with rhythm, but I don’t want to use that as an excuse or an explanation,” said Klopp.
There can be no excuses for Klopp and his side, this was truly awful.