Jurgen Klopp runs out of patience with goal shy Liverpool
Reds told to up their game against Stoke in Capital One Cup semi-final after dismal display against West Ham at the weekend
Liverpool's players will be under scrutiny in the Capital One Cup semi-final against Stoke tonight after manager Jurgen Klopp read them the riot act in the wake of the dismal 2-0 defeat to West Ham at the weekend.
The German hit out at his team's "passive" display and admitted that his patience was wearing thin after three defeats in the Reds' last six league games.
"Klopp was furious with his side after the 2-0 loss, making his feelings known publicly and privately in a dressing-room rebuke," says Chris Bascombe of the Daily Telegraph. "Having been supportive of his squad since taking over in October... Klopp cautioned that his tolerance had its limit."
Klopp had pledged to give his squad time to prove themselves, but the manager wants to see an immediate reaction in the wake of the performance against West Ham.
"Klopp conceded that the nature of Liverpool's defeat tested his commitment to give the players he inherited from Brendan Rodgers the rest of this season to prove their worth," says Tony Barrett of The Times. But he decided to stick to his plan "once his anger had subsided".
After some encouraging signs when he took over, it is now clear that Klopp must "come up with a solution to the myriad problems" Liverpool face, adds Barrett.
"Chief among them is a collapse in Liverpool's goalscoring output," he says. Liverpool have managed only 22 goals in the first 20 games of the league season, their lowest return at this stage of the campaign in the club's history. Barrett points out that the figure is two fewer than Manchester United have managed, and they have been the subject of fierce criticism for their lack of attacking flair this term.
And to rub salt into the wound, the tally of 22 goals "is also the same number that Luis Suarez scored for Liverpool in the space of 15 weeks between September 2013 and January 2014", adds Barrett.
In his defence, Klopp has only one fit striker – Christian Benteke – at his disposal, notes The Guardian. But the paper adds that the German is just as concerned about Liverpool's "defensive vulnerabilities that predate his arrival" and his growing injury list as he is about the lack of goals.