Liverpool they will be blamed. happened Jurgen Kloppresult and confession. “We’re 100 percent guilty of everything,” said the German, and though not for the first time, he wasn’t trying to dodge responsibility for a slide that surprised him, although there was an element of exaggeration in an empathetic statement. scale.

Over four seasons, Liverpool and Manchester City have set standards in English football that have never been maintained for so long. They left by a single point – 358-357, one more than Pep Guardiola Klopp – and battled fierce competition from parallel positions. Not now: Visiting the Etihad Stadium on Saturday, Liverpool started 27 points, 19 points behind Arsenal as they sought their third win against City this season.

The huge bays can stop at 22 and 30, respectively, until 5 in the evening. “An anomaly, yes,” said Klopp. “I would have preferred 12 points even though we are in the Champions League, but it would still be 12 points against City.” Now Liverpool begins an eight-day period where they will face City, Chelsea and Arsenal. “It’s like Champions League week,” Klopp said.

When he signed a new contract in April, he realized there could be problems considering the aging nature of his first major team and dedicating himself to rebuilding; A drop was possible, but Liverpool dropped to a level that was on par with Brentford and Brighton.

“The extent of this is a surprise,” Klopp said. “We’re in sixth or seventh place with games on hand (and if Brighton scores in theirs) and that’s not where we want to be. Other teams can gain confidence in sixth or seventh in the league. That’s not possible for us because we’re not where we want to be, where we want to be, where we need to be and where we should be.”

It was a sentence that touched on several issues. Liverpool’s history shows they should generally be at the top, but there were no league titles in the quarter-century before Klopp’s appointment. He’s built a great team, but feels over-achiever on one; maybe they needed it to compete with City. “I don’t think we’ve been the best team in the league in the last few years and we have to win,” he said. “We were always performing at our own level and sometimes punching above him. Not that we won the football games with 80 percent, there was no chance, the guys had to give their all and they did.

This maximum commitment has produced spectacular runs: 35 wins in 36 league games in 2019 and 2020, 68 undefeated league games at Anfield, a 63-game campaign with just four losses last season. Now they have become more volatile, more unpredictable. Their 7-0 win over Manchester United and then their loss to Bournemouth summed up their season.

Even Klopp doesn’t know what to expect on his side. “I would love to say; “How can you ask this question?” but that’s the situation we’re getting ourselves into,” he admitted. “We showed all these kinds of faces. Right now, no one can be 100 percent sure that we will be like this.

“There is inconsistency in moments. Three weeks ago, it looked like we were back. Bournemouth match, is there any real explanation for this? But we’re in a situation where we lose a game and everything changes again. Suddenly seven points instead of two or three (to fourth place). We have brought ourselves to this position.”

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There are extenuating circumstances. “We had scars, wow,” said Klopp. An ever-changing cast has made it difficult in a season with many makeshift sides. However, Liverpool also lost to teams under threat of relegation, set a poor away record and struggled at times to react appropriately.

“On the football side, we haven’t been able to adequately deal with setbacks throughout the season,” Klopp said. “If you can only perform when everything is going your way, then you have absolutely no chance.”

He is now considering the next direction. He spent part of the international vacation planning for the next transfer window. It is not yet clear whether this means Liverpool’s first £100m player. “The club will definitely spend the summer months,” said Klopp. “There’s nothing to be said for who and how many and things like that.”

The season presented evidence of the need for change. “It’s clear that after a certain amount of time you have to mix things up and start over,” Klopp said. “It’s totally normal, it happens all the time, it’s very rare for the same manager these days because people understand that when you dismiss a manager and bring in a new manager, things change and you recalibrate the roster.” But while the manager remains the same, Liverpool are adjusting to a new and unwelcome reality this season.