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Jurgen Klopp’s long-list of Liverpool problem as he aims to reinvent the Reds

After a shaky start to the season, ’s 9-0 hammering of Bournemouth was meant to be a turning point.

The moment when the Reds finally got their season going, put their troubles behind them and used that showing as the benchmark for future performances.

Jurgen Klopp’s side looked fearsome again, like the Liverpool of old, the devastatingly ruthless Red Arrows zooming forwards, cutting opposition defences to shreds and their seemingly tireless press suffocating rivals.

But as more time passes, that record-equalling result looks less like the rule and more like the exception, an anomaly in a sea of mediocrity.

In truth, results could have been even worse were it not for several moments of good fortune – and the Napoli result on Tuesday, a 4-1 defeat in Italy that could conceivably have been 7-1, is the straw that could break the camel’s back.

There is a recognition things have to change, with Klopp admitting the team need to ‘reinvent themselves’. So how can they do that? And why is it necessary?

What’s gone wrong?

This summer Klopp was potentially one of the least likely managers in the world to get the sack after last year’s fierce, but ultimately failed, charge for a historic and unprecedented quadruple.

First, he is still not close to being fired. But even the fact he was asked if he feared for his job after axed Thomas Tuchel shows how quickly things have fallen apart.

There’s no question of Liverpool being unlucky so far this season – even Klopp himself admits things need to improve.

The opening day draw against newly-promoted Fulham might easily have been a loss – Neeskens Kebano hit the post and there was a fortunate bounce before Mohamed Salah’s late equaliser.

A 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace saw Liverpool dominate the ball and take plenty of shots despite Darwin Nunez’ brainless red card just before the hour, but the Eagles could and perhaps should have won it with a glorious late chance for Wilfried Zaha.

Those draws papered over the cracks. Then a 2-1 loss against a side with confidence at rock-bottom, who had lost 4-0 against Brentford in their last game, raised alarm bells.

There are some qualifiers for Liverpool: it’s still early in the season, they’re just three points off the top four and six points off the leaders, Napoli are a serious side and all these recent woes have come amid an injury crisis.

However, their form is a concern.

With teams around them improving – Arsenal look renewed under Mikel Arteta, Tottenham resemble the successful Antonio Conte more and more every day, Erik ten Hag is taking promising first steps at Man United and Graham Potter looks a shrewd managerial appointment for Chelsea – they need to pick things up, and fast.

Fail to do so and they might not only be out of the Premier League title race – but be in danger of missing the top four. That would have been an almost unthinkable estimation even two months ago.

Refresh an ageing squad

Obviously, with the transfer window now closed until January, Liverpool can’t refresh the squad with new players for at least three-and-a-half months. But it has to be high on the agenda for the scouting and recruitment team.

With echoes of Mauricio Pochettino’s tenure at Tottenham, which ended with the Argentine being sacked in November 2019, the squad looks very… familiar.

Familiarity breeds cohesion, but it can also breed stagnation and staleness and Liverpool have pretty much had the same core team for five years now.

The first game of the 2019-20 season three years ago, a Community Shield defeat on penalties against , shared eight of the same starters as the opening-day draw with Fulham this season.

Nunez, signed this summer, is a promising striker but the only other two permanent additions, Fabio Carvalho and Calvin Ramsay, are more ones for the future than instant starters.

Similarly, Ibrahima Konate and Luis Diaz – the only two senior signings last campaign – have both settled in well, but a new signing, particularly in midfield, looks prudent.

Of course, the Reds shouldn’t be throwing huge sums of money at players if it doesn’t fit their plan, and it is widely believed they are saving their cash reserves for a mega-move for Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham next summer.

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