Klopp Liverpool Salah

Jürgen Klopp’s farewell tour goes from metal to heartbreak

David Moyes sounded upbeat when asked about Jürgen Klopp’s leaving. “He’s gone, thank goodness. His size is excessive. Overly brilliant teeth. Personally, I’m delighted to see him go. Get away quickly.”

Even for those counting down the days—rogue miserabilists, irredeemable misanthropes, and competitive managers—this cannot be how the story should finish. Moyes said Liverpool were superior here and in their 2-0 loss at Everton on Wednesday.

David Moyes And Klopp

Liverpool beat Fulham last week, Crystal Palace, and Manchester United before that. Only one game has been won, and its unraveling is Klopp’s final season’s cruelest.

The German has not lost all magic, vigor, or inspiration. He showed his impact at halftime by bringing concentration and vitality to a club that had struggled in the first period. After being down 1-0, they had three great chances and an equalizer in 10 minutes.

Luis Díaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson

This performance was fun. Luis Díaz, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Andy Robertson were impressive despite being on the edge and playing all but six minutes over the past five league games, according to Klopp.

Liverpool displayed a willingness to improvisation in the first half, with Cody Gakpo on the left, Díaz on the right, and Robertson and Alexis Mac Allister as a front two. Later, Ryan Gravenberch decided to convert Gakpo’s nicely placed centre with an off-balance reverse backheel flick (he made no touch).

Ryan Gravenberch

Robertson’s left-wing passing option and Harvey Elliott’s right-wing option drew the team into easy passes into West Ham’s defense in the first half. They were more willing to try riskier but potentially more decisive passes down the middle after the interval. They needed a full-back and a triple deflection to score. They are a struggling team.

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Klopp’s heavy metal football has been replaced by heavy football. The boss is burdened down. His brief post-match press conference revealed a dismal mood: “I tried to do the right thing”; “It will be the next generation, not me any more”; and “I’m sorry I don’t have better news for you or anybody else.”

Harvey Elliott

Liverpool’s results aren’t the only issue. In pre-match warm-ups, Klopp stands in the middle circle, back to his team, analyzing opponents’ body language. If he had turned back on this gloomy April afternoon, he would have seen that some of his allies were even gloomier than the London sky.

Mohamed Salah was the most obvious example, exchanging half-hearted passes with Dominik Szoboszlai in his final minutes before retiring to the dressing room. While it may be presumptuous to call him melancholy, he showed little excitement. His shoulders and shape seemed to be fighting over who could slump further.

Salah

Salah was the first to leave the tunnel two hours later, when this game and Liverpool’s season ended.

For much of the match, his side was desperate for a player with his skillset – lightning pace and an eye for goal – but he did little once introduced to suggest he still had it or to replace Klopp’s touchline argument.

One run with a minute to play brought back good memories, but the throw at the end was awful.

When Klopp announced his departure in January, talk was of a title-winning farewell. The issue is atrophy, not trophies. Salah fled shouting about “fire” but we can hardly see the embers.

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