Liverpool’s hopes of ending their season on a high note have been dealt a massive blow thanks to injuries to a host of players.
Dejan Lovren, Philippe Coutinho and Kolo Toure were the latest players to succumb to the demands of festive season football and amidst all the hullaballoo, one man who has come under scrutiny is our manager, Herr Klopp. Our exuberant boss has drawn a lot of criticism for these injuries because critics have been blaming it all down to his style of football.
Gegenpressing is a term that has already become an integral part of English football and the tactic that was drawing praise for having overturned the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton, is receiving abuse for being highly taxing on players.
The entire footballing world seems to be at loggerheads about the efficiency of this form of football because of the toll it takes on the players who have to execute it. I’ve found loads of articles and columns that have been blaming our injury crisis on Klopp’s method of football and the most substantial piece of evidence to support these theories would have to be Dortmund’s very own injury problems during Klopp’s reign there. Apparently, they themselves had a lot of injuries to deal with towards the fag end of Klopp’s reign as Dortmund boss.
To be more precise, his last year in Germany was his most difficult and this was the season in which a large number of his squad was ruled out with injury for large portions of the season. This however, is exactly the point that I’m trying to make here. Klopp had been Dortmund manager since 2008, but these injury issues only became commonplace throughout his squad in 2013 or 2014, his last or maybe even his second last season with them.
So, how can his methods already affect our players? It’s been barely three months since he became Liverpool boss and he’s managed our players for just 19 games. Is 19 games enough for his methods to affect our players? I’m not very sure, but then again, I can’t really put my foot down and say that this theory is entirely baseless because there is a chance that it may be true.
But then again, what I feel is that there is a chance that his methods may not have anything to do with these injuries at all. I’m not going to be a part of this witch-hunt that the media have begun until there’s substantial evidence to suggest anything here. I’m having a really tough time believing that Klopp’s Gegenpressing style is to blame for these injuries and I really don’t want to be pointing any fingers at the man who is supposed to be our messiah, already.