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Jurgen Klopp has run out of miracles and we are seeing holes in Liverpool squad

The reaction to one of the worst defeats the Liverpool manager has overseen in recent years will inevitably be scathing

Taiwo Awoniyi of Nottingham Forest celebrates scoring the winner against Liverpool. Photo: by Michael Regan/Getty Images© Getty Images

John AldridgeSunday World

After last Sunday's epic win against Manchester City was backed up by a tight victory against West Ham on Wednesday night, it felt like a corner had been turned in this season.

Yet any hope that momentum had turned was halted at first base as the bottom side in the Premier League beat Liverpool 1-0.

The reaction to one of the worst defeats Klopp has overseen in recent years will inevitably be scathing, as the manner of the performance at the City Ground was a million miles away from what Liverpool have served up time and again over the last few seasons.

Right now, Klopp seems to have run out of miracles and we saw the holes in his squad once against yesterday.

Harvey Elliott, Curtis Jones and Fabio Carvalho are fine young players, but I was surprised when I saw all three on the starting list at Forest.

We don't know why Klopp felt he needed to rest Jordan Henderson, but playing three young players from the start was a gamble and it backfired.

If Klopp went with Trent Alexander-Arnold in his full-back role and James Milner in midfield alongside Henderson and Fabinho, I think you end up with a very different result.

As it was, you could sense that Liverpool were in trouble as soon as Forest scored after some sloppy defending in the 55th minute.

Klopp's team had a relentless belief that ensured they never gave up and generally found a way to snatch wins and draws in the closing stages.

We saw something similar with Manchester United during Alex Ferguson's reign as manager, as they benefitted from some generous referees who added on time and they kept finding a way to grab late goals.

It's the sign of a great team, but Liverpool are a long way from that at the moment.

The defeat at Forest summed up where this team are at this moment and when I look a Klopp on the touchline, he seems to be running out of options.

Not for a second would I question this remarkable manager and I'd replace every player in that Liverpool team before I started to think about the position of the manager, but you can see he is struggling to find solutions.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp made a bad call with team selection. Photo: Mike Egerton/PA© PA

If he had the players he wanted in midfield, there is no way he would have put so much pressure on the three young lads to start.

Injuries have had an impact on the results this season, but that cannot be an excuse for a team of Liverpool's stature.

Their opponents are investing heavily in the transfer market and they have back-up options when trouble strikes, but Klopp doesn't have that right now.

He has also got a team that continues to make defensive mistakes and misses far too many chances in matches.

Throw in the weakness in the midfield area and you have a lot of leaks that need to be plugged.

It has contributed to a horrible away record in the Premier League this season, with just two points collected from five games on their travels.

That’s a record of a team fighting relegation and the reality is that unless it changes soon, Liverpool could spiral towards a difficult place.

This is not quite a crisis yet, but it will be that if Liverpool don't clinch a top four finish this season, with the club relying on the finances from the Champions League to stay in touch with their rivals.

As Klopp correctly said in his press conference ahead of the Manchester City game, he is trying o challenge an opponent that have unlimited funds from sugar-daddy owners.

City didn't seem to like those comments, but the truth hurts.

Morgan Gibbs-White of Forest shields the ball from Curtis Jones, one of the young players Jurgen Klopp started. Photo: NurPhoto via Getty Images© NurPhoto via Getty Images

They were nowhere as a football club for most of my life and everything changed the day they were taken over by an Arab state and became the poster boys for Abu Dhabi's tourism.

I would not like my old club to go down that road in an effort to achieve success, but the reality is it is tough to compete at the top of the game if you don't have the same unlimited supply of cash.

The Premier League could be in for a different few years now as I can see Liverpool needing to start a rebuilding process which means they may be out of the title picture for a while.

So City have a clear run to dominate and win the title by a a long distance, which will be about as entertaining as an evening in a library!

You can probably tell I'm writing this column in a bad mood and I'm sure a lot of Liverpool fans have woken up today with a hangover.

We have been spoilt by the teams Klopp has served up for us in recent years and now reality is biting and it is tough to watch.

So City have a clear run to dominate and win the title by a a long distance, which will be about as entertaining as an evening in a library!

You can probably tell I'm writing this column in a bad mood and I'm sure a lot of Liverpool fans have woken up today with a hangover.

We have been spoilt by the teams Klopp has served up for us in recent years and now reality is biting and it is tough to watch.

When I look at the Premier League table now, Liverpool face a massive fight to get into the top four and the season is now all about fighting for the cup competitions.

Klopp had a first eleven that are still good enough to do that and they proved it last weekend by beating City.

Yet I worry that the confidence that is being drained away from this team with defeats like yesterday will start to bite.

You look at the midweek trip to Ajax in the Champions League and a match against Leeds at Anfield next week and think they should be two wins, but that confidence has gone for now.

None of us know what to expect from Liverpool any more and that’s why Klopp has to be worried about what comes next.


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