Home Football English Football As The Axe Starts To Fall Across The Premier League, Should Klopp Be Looking Over His Shoulder?

As The Axe Starts To Fall Across The Premier League, Should Klopp Be Looking Over His Shoulder?

The managerial merry-go-round has started turning again in earnest as struggling sides look for new guidance before another season goes to waste.

Ronald Koeman became the latest Premier League boss to be shown the door last week following an atrocious start to a campaign that fans had such high hopes for.

With European football secured last season, Everton’s owners handed the Dutch manager a massive war chest that saw him spend in the region of £145 million during the transfer window.

It is was the money-spinning release of Romelu Lukaku to Manchester United, however, that was perhaps the most telling business transaction by the club and manager this past summer.

Without their big striker, Everton have floundered badly and now find themselves languishing in the relegation zone, with only eight points from nine games.

Up in Scotland, Rangers have similarly parted ways with manager Pedro Caixinha, after only seven months in charge. Sitting fourth in the Scottish Premier League table, eight points behind bitter rivals Celtic, the club has taken the decision look for new leadership as the Glasgow side struggles for form.

Back down south in London, West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has been handed something of a reprieve in recent days as the club has publicly assured him that his job is safe for the remainder of the season.

Level on points with Everton, Stoke and Swansea, the Hammers’ boss has been under constant pressure since last season. For now, however, he appears to be safe.

Now, among the growing list of managers under pressure is a certain German who is currently overseeing a stuttering Liverpool.

Jurgen Klopp took over at Anfield back in 2015 following his Bundesliga heroics with Borussia Dortmund. Bringing an energy and theatricality that saw him become an instant hit with fans, a renewed optimism swept through the red half of the city.

Two seasons on, however, Klopp and Liverpool are struggling badly. With only 13 points from the first nine games this term, the club is already twelve points behind Manchester City in the league.

Following their embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Tottenham last weekend, there is now a palpable unrest in the stands as fans begin to wonder if the German is the man who can finally bring home the Premier League title.

The transfer saga that surrounded Philippe Coutinho in the summer did little to help Klopp’s preparations for the new season. The striker’s public admission that he wanted to join Barcelona became the major talking point of the transfer window.

Despite remaining a Liverpool player, for now at least, Coutinho has not been able to stop the team from falling to two defeats and four draws already this term.

The 50-year-old has also been hampered by untimely injuries. A hamstring injury to Sadio Mane has seriously impacted Liverpool’s attacking threat, while Gini Wijnaldum and Adam Lallana have also been sidelined for periods this season.

Alarmingly, it is their defensive frailty that is by far the most worrying problem for the manager. At this point in the campaign, Liverpool have conceded more goals than any other season in the last half century.

Individual errors and below par performances are largely to blame but ultimately, some level of accountability must fall on Klopp himself.

While he has been reluctant to publicly point the finger, he must surely be doing so behind closed doors and if he isn’t, then he should be.

Performances from the likes of Simon Mignolet and Dejan Lovren have been left wanting all too often this term and Klopp needs to find a way to shore up his extremely porous defence, and quickly.

As another season begins to slide away, so too does the optimism of fans. Klopp was meant to deliver them to the promised land in the same way he delivered Dortmund.

During a trying time for bitter rivals Manchester United, Liverpool fans expected Klopp to elevate them to position where they could look down on their floundering neighbours.

Now, with United coming out of their post-Alex Ferguson era funk, Liverpool can only watch as Mourinho guides a rejuvenated side back to the top of the Premier League table.

Klopp and co. have a chance to stop the rot that has set in this weekend when they welcome Huddersfield to Anfield on Saturday. The Premier League new boys stunned United last weekend and you can well expect they will be looking to capitalise on Liverpool’s defensive problems.

A win for the home side could, if other results go their way, see them jump into the European qualification spots alongside Chelsea and Arsenal. Another defeat, however, and things will look increasingly bleak for both club and manager.

Should Huddersfield claim another big scalp, they will leapfrog Liverpool and entertain European notions of their own. For Klopp, defeat could send his side as low as 13th in the table and potentially only a handful of points above the drop zone.

Should this happen, expect the inevitable questions over Klopp to start. In a league where money talks, failure is being increasingly met with less and less tolerance.

While defeat will definitively hammer the final nail into the coffin that holds their Premier League aspirations, it likely won’t do the same for Klopp and his Liverpool career just yet.

What you can be sure of, however, is that the executioner will be sharpening his axe.

About Gary Brennan

Gary applies his questionable skills to the reporting of Rugby, MMA and Football. He is contactable on Twitter here:

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