This week Peter sits down and asks Roopa her opinion on the LFC season so far …
1. Hi Roopa, thanks for joining us, firstly, how would you sum up Liverpool’s season so far?
It hasn’t been the greatest first few months for Liverpool, particularly in September when the Reds won just one game out of six in all competitions. But we have since seen improvement, particularly following the 4-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur. It has been rocky at times, but there are several contributing factors to the poor performances as a whole. Realistically speaking, the Reds have only lost two league games so far and have had some tough fixtures and currently sit fifth and are looking to progress to the knockout stages in the Champions League. Could be worse.
2. Who has been the best performer for Liverpool in your opinion?
Mohamed Salah. It has to be. He has scored 12 goals in 17 appearances for Liverpool so far, with over half a season to go. He has been unstoppable and his pace is just mesmerising. He has quickly gone from ‘Chelsea reject’ to Liverpool’s number one. A brilliant signing by Jürgen Klopp who has definitely lived up to his price tag! Just may need to work on his finishing a bit more.
3. Which has been the best LFC performance this season?
It would be easy for me to say Maribor away or Huddersfield but they felt a little bit too easy. I would have to say the 4-0 win at Anfield over Arsenal back in August. Four different goalscorers and a resounding victory for the Reds against another top-six side. The team were spot on from the word go and really showed their desire and ambition to win against a strong side and they kept a clean sheet with Loris Karius in goal! It was a brilliant spectacle and I’d like to see more of that again.
4. Which has been the worst LFC performance so far?
A bit obvious, but it has to be Spurs at Wembley. I was watching that game probably a little too optimistic before they kicked off. Part of me thought ‘they’ve haven’t found their feet at Wembley, we’ll be sound’ – then Dejan Lovren happened. The guy had an absolute shocker and even Klopp called him out on it. It wasn’t too bad, it was a very intense game and the desire was still there but they made it too easy for Tottenham. Once it was 2-1 the Reds were back in it and the game could change but unfortunately that didn’t happen as we are Liverpool FC. Onwards and upwards though, eh?
5. Do you think Klopp will address the defensive problems by making signings in January?
You would hope so. This problem has been lingering for so long, particularly the lack of centre-backs. A back four which contains Lovren and Joel Matip does not excite me one bit. I doubt Virgil van Dijk could be a possible January signing for Liverpool but I’m hoping that Klopp has learned from his mistakes this summer and has been on the lookout for a centre-back he could potentially bring in. At least for now, when Trent Alexander-Arnold is fit he can play right-back and Joe Gomez could fill in at centre-back, but that isn’t a long-term solution.
6. What are your hopes and expectations for the rest of the season?
Realistically I’d say that once some key players regain fitness, Liverpool can start playing better football. Defensively, there have been some minor improvements and the Reds have only conceded one goal in their last three games. They are going into their busiest period now with games so close together and this is the key time to build up points they may have dropped in previous games. Top four is a must, if no trophies are to be won, but Liverpool will also begin their FA Cup campaign in the new year.
7. Who would you sell/buy in January to strengthen the squad?
Like I mentioned previously, Liverpool NEED to sort that centre-back problem, but if Virgil van Dijk is not an option, Klopp may have to look elsewhere. There are a few names I have seen bouncing around including Athletic Bilbao’s Aymeric Laporte, Lazio’s Stefan de Vrij and Bayer Leverkusen’s Jonathan Tah. A central defender and a holding midfielder. That is all Liverpool need at the moment.