Jurgen Klopp denies Liverpool have been ‘worked out’ by opponents ahead of Arsenal clash

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Liverpool’s poor form has led to suggestions that Jurgen Klopp’s tactics have been figured out by opposition managers.

Jurgen Klopp has rejected suggestions that Liverpool's mixed start to the season owes anything to his team having been 'worked out'.

The Reds have managed just two wins from their seven Premier League games thus far this term and sit in ninth place ahead of a trip to table-topping Arsenal on Sunday.

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesLiverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images | Getty Images

Given that this is largely the same squad that came within a whisker of a quadruple last term, it has been posited that the drop-off is a result of opposition managers finally coming up with a solution to Klopp's tactical plan.

However, the German does not believe that to be the case, and said: "Teams worked out how you can play against us when we are not at our best.

"Other teams have worked out how to play against us for years but it still didn’t work out for them because we were exceptional in the things we did.

"But in the moments when you are not exceptional then it looks like…

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"In our best games I could show you the parts where we could have had problems - here here, here. But we didn't because we put so much pressure on the opposition that they couldn't find these spaces, that's the risk you take.

"In the moments when you don’t play on your top [level], these gaps are still there, and they play the pass through and it looks like they know how to play against us."

Several reasons have been put forward for the fact that those gaps are being exploited more frequently of late, including that a disrupted pre-season period has affected the players' fitness.

But Klopp is convinced that other disruptions have led to a lack of collective belief in the front-footed defending he prefers.

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He added: "The way we defended, you need to be brave. We jump with our full-backs to the full-backs of other team, and it was great when we win the ball and put them under pressure.

"But when we are not in the right moment they just pass past our full-back and they are not in their position in the back line and you all say, you cannot defend like that.

"Oh yes you can, we did it for 200 games, but when the time is not right you can't, that's true. If you are late in a challenge, there is no challenge. Sometimes you have to do a step aside or a step back or whatever to get that timing again.

"In our case we don't talk about that we wanted it last year 100% and this year only 80%. It might be that the boys want to give 100% but maybe put in only 97 - but not consciously.

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"It's just in these decisive moments because things didn't work out right. Some players had to play too early, some players were new, some were young, and all of a sudden a well-drilled team didn’t work togther anymore.

"But not willingly, just because one was a bit, 'Can I really push up?' Pressing doesn't work like this, you commit to pressing and you do it.

"You have to commit to a common plan and that only works if everyone feels the same and that might have been a little bit a problem, that we were not all in the same place for doing these things because we all had different solutions for the same problems."

Klopp did, however, suggest that more changes of system may be in the offing as he looks to make his team more unpredictable.

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He continued: “For us it is much more important for us that we become unpredictable again and we need different systems for that.

"[4-3-3] is not the only system we can play: is it 4-4-2, is it 4-3-3 or is it 4-5-1. 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1?

"We don’t want to make it more complicated than it is but there are obviously different systems available for us and we have to choose which one is the best for the next opponent or the best for us in the moment.

"We have to be more unpredictable, definitely."

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