Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in-tray: 7 things he has to sort out at Anfield

The German is odds on to be named Liverpool manager by the end of the week

Tom Sheen
Tuesday 06 October 2015 12:30

Jurgen Klopp is expected to take over from the sacked Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool by the end of the week and with the Reds way off the Premier League's elite, the German will have his work cut out for him if he does decide to take the job.

Rodgers almost won the Premier League in 2013-14 but struggled last season when he was dumped out of the Champions League at the group stages before finishing sixth.

The Northern Irishman failed to win a trophy in any of his three full seasons and Kenny Dalglish's League Cup win in is one of just two pieces of silverware the club have won in the past 10 seasons.

Klopp will have plenty to do if he is to get the Reds back to English football's top table.

We have a look at his most pressing issues:

Sort out the transfer committee

Klopp worked under in a similar system at Dortmund, but his was a three-man team rather than the bloated six-man group that Rodgers had to work with. A term of Klopp accepting the job is that he get final say on players - something it appears that Rodgers never enjoyed during his time, with the likes of Mario Balotelli reportedly brought in without his approval. We all know how that worked out.

The German will be happy to work in this system but he has to be the man to identify players he wants, rather than being given starry names or talented prospects that he has little or no faith in.

Settle on a team

A criticism that was levelled at Rodgers time and again was that he never knew how, or with whom, he wanted to play. He fluctuated between systems, 4-3-3/4-2-3-1/3-4-3/3-5-2, have all been used at times in the last year as he tried to find a solution to various, glaring errors. Klopp will inherit a squad without a proper left-back, with unreliable centre-backs and with a group of forwards whose games don't really seem to complement each other.

At Dortmund his high-pressing, hard-working, 4-2-3-1 was known (and then copied) across Europe. The Liverpool squad wouldn't appear to have the quick wingers needed for that system, bar teenager Jordon Ibe, and he will run into problems down the road at certain positions with that formation - Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho both want to play in the space behind the main striker, a position that Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge are battling for.

Does he elect to ditch his tried and trusted method and play two up front to get both Benteke and Sturridge in the team? That will be one of many tactical choices he'll need to make quickly.

Get the most out of expensive flops

Let's be honest, Brendan Rodgers would still be the manager if players such as Dejan Lovren (£20m), Mamadou Sakho (£18m) and Adam Lallana (£25m), among others, had played at a level that their price-tag suggested. Klopp will have to make do with what he has, at least until January, and getting those players fit and in the kind of form that convinced the Reds to pay that much is his first port of call on the training ground.

Keep your stars

Pepe Reina, Jamie Carragher, Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Raheem Sterling. Not a summer has gone by in recent years where Liverpool - some being Rodgers' fault, others not - haven't lost one of their biggest and most influential players. Philippe Coutinho is already being linked with a move to both Barcelona and Real Madrid and in Rodgers' three years 30 players arrived and 35 first-team players left. Having a squad in such a constant state of flux is harmful. Players take time to form chemistry and adjust to a new city, team-mates or country.

Klopp needs to keep his core and improve on it.

Raheem Sterling is just the most recent of Liverpool's stars to leave the club

Convince top players to sign

Like the list of names above, there is a list of players who Liverpool were long linked with but then chose other destinations, for one reason or another. Some had a preference to live in London (Alexis Sanchez), wanting higher wages (Gylfi Sigurdsson), wanting Champions League football (Henrikh Mkhitaryan), refusing to pay the asking price (Willian), or failing his medical (Loic Remy). Not all of those would have been hits at Anfield, others would have been most welcome, but it remains a theme that Liverpool consistently miss out on transfer targets.

Win a trophy

Including Rafa Benitez's final season in 2009-10, where they finished seventh, Liverpool have won just one trophy, got to just one other final and finished in the top four in that one now increasingly anomalous season in 2013-14. Brendan Rodgers' three seasons brought seventh, second and sixth placed finishes and no appearances in any finals.

A League Cup win doesn't really solve problems but it certainly helps to buy time and support from the fans.

Keep the talking heads onside

An army of ex-Liverpool players appear in various media outlets and Rodgers was forever defending his decisions based on criticism from those former stars.

They have a large influence on the life of a manager at Anfield, and the perception and Klopp would do well to keep them happy.

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