Pundit: Why I’ve been unimpressed with Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp

Garth Crooks is critical of Jurgen Klopp for not steering Liverpool to a title challenge this season

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp Photo: The Sport Review

Garth Crooks has criticised Jurgen Klopp for failing to turn Liverpool into title challengers this season.

The Reds boss watched his players come from 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium to ease to a 2-1 victory over Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.

Klopp turned to his Brazilian duo Philippe Coutinho and Roberto Firmino at half-time after Republic of Ireland international Jonathan Walters broke the deadlock in the opening 45 minutes.

Coutinho, who was suffering with illness in the lead up to the game, levelled the Premier League clash with a close-range finish before Firmino netted a stunning volley to seal three points.

Liverpool’s 2-1 win cemented their spot in third place as Klopp looks to steer the 18-time English champions back into the Champions League after a two-season absence.

The Reds have conceded 39 times in 31 games in the Premier League this season to undermine their title aspirations.

While Crooks felt that Simon Mignolet produced an outstanding performance at Stoke, the Spurs legend was critical of Klopp for not sorting out his defence which has hampered their title bid.

“Mignolet has recovered his season with some sparkling performances since being dropped earlier in the campaign,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Yet if the German manager had got his back four right it’s difficult to see how Chelsea could be 12 points clear of the Reds with six games left to play.

“Hugging Mignolet in sheer relief that his keeper has kept him in with a massive shout of Champions League football next season is a bit of a cop out for me. Liverpool should have been challenging for the title.”

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