Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool are underperforming – that's why it looks like we have been 'worked out'

Jurgen Klopp - REUTERS/Phil Noble
Jurgen Klopp - REUTERS/Phil Noble

Jürgen Klopp admits it looks like opponents have ‘worked out’ how to play against Liverpool when his side underperforms as it has this season.

Liverpool’s coach rejects the idea rivals are trying new tactics to expose flaws in his attacking style, insisting it is the defects in his team enabling opponents to have more success.

“Teams worked out how you can play against us when we are not at our best,” said Klopp.

“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 [some games this season]. 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.”

Klopp takes his side to Arsenal this weekend knowing that the league leaders are well equipped to pounce should Liverpool repeat recent poor showings.

But he said any style will look flawed when not perfectly executed.

“There is no system in the world with no weakness: five at the back, four, three, no one,” said Klopp.

“It is all about how we perform. It is what we did and with what intensity we did it that changed everything because, defending in a 4-3-3 or 4-5-1, if you look at it you know where the gaps are but you fill them with your movement and the gaps don't really exist or are only open for a wink and then you close it.

“We know how to prepare for Arsenal but in the end it's how we execute

“The way we defend, 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.”

"We have to defend the s--- out of everyone we face."