Tired players have felt the toll of the midweek games

John Aldridge reflects on a few disappointing results, the depth of the squad and looks ahead to the Brighton game.
John Aldridge  |  11th May 2018

A fatigued Liverpool team with tired legs were defeated at Stamford Bridge Sunday. First of all, you’ve got to give Conte and Chelsea credit. They got the tactics spot on. It was like playing an Italian team in my opinion. They were well structured, and once they got the first goal they were very difficult to break down. We looked a bit tired, and perhaps the players have got bigger things on their minds. I’m a little bit disappointed though, I have to say. Liverpool to win the Champions League is currently at 6/5 with RedsBet.

David Wagner did his mate Jürgen a big favour earlier in the week when Huddersfield held Chelsea to a draw at Stamford Bridge. But Liverpool still need at least a point against Brighton, preferably three to be completely safe. There’s a chance if we don’t get a result on Sunday that we’re not in the Champions League next season. That would be absolutely disastrous after the season we’ve had. Sunday is like a cup final, but thankfully it’s at Anfield with the crowd behind us.

Perhaps the many midweek games is one of the reasons, at this moment in time, the lads aren’t quite at it. It takes a toll on a team and players, mentally more than physically. There’s been a lot of hype and pressure around all of the games and Mo in particular has looked knackered in the last few. Salah to score in the first half against Brighton is currently at 2/1 with RedsBet.

Liverpool actually haven’t won a game since the ‘brain’ Željko Buvač left his position as assistant manager but I think it’s purely coincidental and I certainly hope it hasn’t affected Klopp or the team in any way. There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding it and we don’t know what has actually happened. But we can’t afford to let it affect us, we just have to move on. Things happen in football and you’ve just got to put it behind you and stay positive. Tough and difficult situations can be used as a motivational weapon sometimes.

We conceded late goals against West Brom and Roma, and drew to Stoke. We haven’t played as well as we can do. And to be fair we’re down to the bare bones with regards to the squad. In the last few games the lads have looked really leggy and tired, but they’ve only got one game between now and the final in basically three weeks so there’s plenty of time for them to recover.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered an injury in the match against Roma at Anfield.

Injuries to players like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lallana, Gomez and Matip have highlighted the lack of depth in the squad. The summer transfer window is very important. We’ve got to add four top drawer players in my opinion. Even though we made it to the Champions League final without him, Coutinho has been a bit of a miss in those terms. We’ve got to have more options but we need quality rather than quantity, like we’ve been saying for years.

Ideally, we’ll improve the spine of the team. Perhaps we need a new goalkeeper, and definitely a centre-half and a holding midfield player. Keita is coming in which will be really exciting. We also need someone who can play up front in any of the three positions, but it’s about finding them at the right price.

There’s going to be a few players leaving the club this summer too. Danny Ings has been out for a long time and is trying to find his way back into the fold and into form. Solanke is a young player who’s up and coming and he’s still learning his trade. I think one of them will probably have to move on personally, although I don’t know which one, as they need games. It’s not helped them at all that they haven’t had a run in the side to gain some confidence and momentum. It’s really tough. I think the manager will be looking at that intensely. Solanke to score in the second half against Brighton is currently at 17/4 with RedsBet.

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