Premier League Talking Points: Klopp Gets Reality Check

Jurgen Klopp (screenshot).
Jurgen Klopp (screenshot). /

This week’s Premier League Talking points comes at an intriguing juncture in the season – the final international break of 2015 is upon us. The masses thank the football gods, no more god forsaken international football.

In the meantime – of which there is too much until the weekend after next – we can quickly review what happened over the weekend in the world of the Premier League, with losses for Liverpool and – inevitably – Chelsea – while the North London Derby ended honours even, and Manchester United toiled to another lifeless win. All that and more below..

Klopp’s Reds Falter
Liverpool had been on a run of 12 games unbeaten (six under Jurgen Klopp), but lost on the seventh attempt – which could have seen him go par with the opening stints of legendary Liverpool managers Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. However, it wasn’t to be, as the Reds were once more undone by Crystal Palace and the enigmatic Alan Pardew.

Goals from Scott Dann and Yannick Bolasie were enough to cancel out Philippe Coutinho’s first half equaliser. Liverpool have now only beaten Crystal Palace once since their promotion in 2013 in the Premier League. The result leaves the Reds 10th in the table, and seven points behind 4th placed Manchester United.

The manner of the match – poor organisation on set-pieces, lack of coherency when they chased for the winner – and subsequently the equaliser – all pointed toward the less redeemable traits of the latter Brendan Rodgers era. Klopp will likely be a success at Liverpool, but time and patience must be his friends at the Anfield club, as he looks to mend of the ailments of too many failed reigns before him.

More from Chelsea FC

Van Gaal’s Men Win Again Yet Still Frustrate
It is an odd thing – winning when not playing well. Many say it is a sign of a great team, a sign of champions. Not always so. But Manchester United have not been playing well for nearly two and a half seasons, but for nearly one and a half of those the Red Devils have at least put the form together to reach the minimum requirement of their targets – Champions League qualification.

With Louis Van Gaal’s men now 4th and boasting a superb record at the back, and have conceded just eight goals in 12 games this season; that’s just 0.6 goals per game. United’s problems up front are well known, especially that of Wayne Rooney. However, with a goal against West Brom on Saturday the Liverpudlian broke a long goal-drought and will likely be able to – somewhat – justify his place in the team for at least their next match.

Time for Jose to Go-se?
Sorry for the terrible pun, there’s no need to push the joke, it’s already there and it’s in London, its Chelsea FC, now sitting in 16th in the table after 12 games. The Premier League champions are now officially the worst team to win the Premier League and flounder so poorly the following season.

More from Playing for 90

Chelsea of course lost away to Stoke on Saturday’s late kick-off, courtesy of a fine second-half goal from Marko Arnautovic. But what difference does one result make? Chelsea have been unacceptably poor since week one of the season. They’ve been out of the title race for way over a month, and if we’re honest, and out of contention of coming 4th too. Their only hope may be winning the Champions League itself like in 2012. Is Roberto Di Matteo the answer? Chelsea fans hope not, everyone else – absolutely – bring Robbie home!