Klopp Must Find A Way To Cope Without Coutinho
The little Brazilian has been majestic for Liverpool this season but he has a habit of picking up injuries and the Reds must learn to play without him.
Newcastle pressed hard and set up to stop their visitors scoring. The problem for Klopp’s side was that they could not unpick the black and white lock.
Coutinho is the man who so often breaks the deadlock, be that with an exquisite assist or a goal, and without him they looked a little toothless. Christian Benteke flattered to deceive once again and with Sturridge seemingly a walking injury the German will not want to become reliant on his number 10.
Newcastle Can Actually Work Hard
Much has been made of the lack of desire amongst this Newcastle team. Alan Shearer called them pit as having ‘too many 9-5 footballers’ last week and he had a point.
However, from the off here they went out to match Liverpool in terms of work rate, no mean feat against a side marshalled by Jurgen Klopp. They did so pretty well and the Reds struggled to make any real inroads against the home team early on. Vuron Anita was epitome of that all afternoon.
The Geordies showed a real desire to get forward, with runners from midfield flooding the box when the ball went wide, something that has been missing in recent weeks. In the end they got their goals. Maybe the penny will finally drop that endeavour breeds success.
Lucas Leiva Is Jurgen Klopp’s Flavour
The Brazilian is still only 28, which in itself seems something of a miracle. The bigger miracle, however, is that the Reds stalwart has somehow emerged to be one of the club’s most important players.
Lucas looked on the scrap head last season. In fact, he was all set for a move away from the club last January but was surprisingly selected on the side to face Arsenal at the Emirates. He put in an excellent showing, convincing Brendan Rodgers to cancel the proposed deal.
That indecision from Rodgers as benefitted his replacement massively. The holding midfielder looks a man reborn, not only dominating the base of midfield but striding forward and playing through balls galore, a trait we have rarely seen. It’s difficult to pick another player who has been so greatly affected by the German’s appointment.
Coloccini Is Still Capable Of A Decent Performance
Fabricio Coloccini was always going to be a man under scrutiny in this game. He has been poor recently and come to symbolise the awful atmosphere around the club.
His role as skipper has been called into question and he needed a big showing here to prove to the supporters that his heart is still in it. The site of Christian Benteke up top and not Daniel Sturridge will have been a joy for the Argentine, who struggles against pace.
Nevertheless, he was assured in his defensive duties and made numerous blocks and interceptions at the heart of the back four. It was a composed and reassuring display and one that will have gone some way to getting the fans back onside.
McClaren Is Safe… For Now
It’s been a dire start for McClaren and a loss here would have heaped pressure on the Newcastle manager. The Toon just don’t look as if they have any gameplan, whether that is down to the manager or lack of effort from the players is unclear, but what is clear is that the former England boss is on the brink.
£50m was invested in the summer and there has been little in return for that outlay. The tactics here were to not lose, and somehow they grabbed a goal off the unfortunate Martin Skrtel.
The availability of David Moyes will not have done anything to strengthen the former Middlesbrough boss’ position but this result could have given him a lifeline. It’s one he must grab.