Emre Can has identified Liverpool’s biggest problem under Jurgen Klopp: inconsistency.
The Reds have produced some masterful displays under the German, who arrived in October, but haven’t done it enough to produce a mighty challenge for a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Liverpool under Klopp can perhaps be represented best by their success in cup competitions compared to their league form.
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The former Borussia Dortmund boss guided Liverpool to the Capital One Cup final and into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
But Brendan Rodgers was sacked with the club 10th in the league. They currently sit just one spot higher following their 3-2 defeat to Southampton.
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Klopp has overseen impressive victories at Chelsea, Manchester City and Southampton but losses to Newcastle, Watford and Crystal Palace have set the club back.
So it’s no surprise that Can has identified the weakness.
“A berth in an international competition clearly has to remain our goal,” the 22-year-old was quoted by Liverpool’s website as telling Kicker. “Our problem is that we are just not consistent enough.
“We follow up two good matches with one bad match too often. We need to manage to be consistent for a longer period of time. This also applies to me.”
Experience will help
And how will Liverpool become more consistent?
“With age and experience,” the German replied.
“I also believe that it will be easier to digest matches as you get older. I am someone who sometimes mulls over matches which have been played for too long.
“It's good to think a bit, but stewing over it is not good. I need to learn that.”
Can has been an important player this season, playing in 28 of Liverpool’s 29 league games, and Kopites will be chuffed with the development shown by the industrious midfielder in his second season at Anfield.
Can sees signs of improvement
He spoke of the progress the club has made since Klopp’s arrival, stressing that the standings are not the be-all and end-all of Liverpool’s success.
“You should not only look at the standings,” he continued.
“We still have to play one, two matches more than the teams ahead of us, we can still gain a few spots. Thus we have achieved something under Jurgen Klopp.
“You should look at the football we have played in recent weeks. We've made a huge step forward as a team and have put in good performances most of the time.”
That is true. Against City and United earlier this month, Liverpool’s attack - spearheaded by Roberto Firmino, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana - was unstoppable at times.
If they are as effective for an entire campaign, the trophy haul at Anfield will be updated in the near future.