Jurgen Klopp admits Liverpool’s season wasn’t good enough but insists neither he nor his players are any worse than last year.
Liverpool have picked up one point from their last three Premier League fixtures and are trailing in eighth place, 10 points behind the top four, with leaders Arsenal coming out on Sunday.
The Reds will not only face the loss of Champions League places for the first time in seven full seasons under Klopp, but they will also end the campaign trophyless.
This is a far cry from 12 months ago when they had already won the EFL Cup and were in contention for three other trophies, although they ended up adding only the FA Cup to their collection.
Klopp, who has regularly lamented his team’s injury problems this season, is confident that Liverpool can come out stronger if the transfer window has the right mix of players.
“This is one of those moments where it’s really not good – I’m not local so I can’t explain it better in English,” he said of his team’s current season.
“You get caught in this whirlwind and it sucks you in that direction and all of a sudden you’re like, ‘Wow, where are we?
“I’m no worse as a coach than last year, definitely not. This does not mean that the result is good enough, not at all. But I’m no worse.
“And the players are not worse than the players. They just play worse. It definitely is. But yes, with smart recruiting, we will definitely get better. That’s the plan.”
The sensational winner from Firmino beat Stoke City 2-1 six years ago. pic.twitter.com/SX2HicuCCH
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 8, 2023
Liverpool have been linked with many players, including Borussia Dortmund’s Jude Bellingham, but Klopp is realistic about what’s possible in terms of strengthening his squad.
“The difference is that what we do next year will never be enough from the point of view of the people and your [the media’s] point of view,” he said.
“We can’t make 24 changes and say, ‘This is it,’ even 10 [changes]. But it’s just that we have to make changes, reasonable changes, and then we go again.
“We have other moments where we think about what will happen next year, but now is not the moment.”
Sunday’s rivals Arsenal are a source of inspiration for Klopp as the Gunners went from finishing fifth last season to leading the division this time around.
“I said last week that I hate the fact that I have to rely on what we have done in the past,” Klopp said. “Honestly, I don’t care what we did in the past.
“But since we can’t ignore the past, we can’t forget it, but if we get through this together, we can have huge benefits next year, not guaranteed, but a good opportunity.
“So it’s kind of still out there somewhere, and we have to release it again. Next chance for us [to do that] this is Arsenal.