Is This The Real Reason For Liverpool’s Strangely Muted Attack?
Liverpool remain unbeaten in the Premier League as they head into this weekend’s match at home to rock-bottom Fulham, a game that the Reds will be expected to win, and in turn return to the top-of-the-table, for a few hours at least.
At this specific stage of the season only one Liverpool side in the whole history of the Premier League era has ever accumulated 27 points from their opening 11 matches (2002/03).
But while Liverpool’s defence has been an absolute revelation - they’ve only conceded five goals, it’s fair to say that their attack has not been the same ferocious juggernaut that petrified teams throughout the previous campaign.
Liverpool’s current tally of 21 goals from 11 league games is by absolutely no means a bad return, however it’s a whopping 12 goals fewer than leaders Man City, six off Chelsea’s total, and four behind Arsenal, while Jurgen Klopp's men only have one more goal than Bournemouth, albeit the Cherries have enjoyed an exceptional start to the season.
At certain points this season, away to Napoli and Red Star Belgrade in particular, Liverpool’s high-octane approach has been non-existent.
There’s been some interesting theories floating around Twitter for Liverpool’s uncharacteristically muted attack, with a number of fans rueing the summer departure of Zeljko Buvac, aka ‘The Brain’, who famously worked with Jurgen Klopp for 17 years at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, and then Liverpool up until his surprise exit.
However, the pair mysteriously fell out, while earlier this week Klopp confirmed that had not been in contact with the Serbian ahead of the visit to his homeland - Red Star Belgrade.
In the wake of the shock 2-0 defeat, Liverpool’s third consecutive Champions League away loss, supporters have taken to social media to highlight Buvac’s absence, and the effect it's having upon the team.
Does anyone think what we are lacking from last season is down to losing Zeljko Buvac? He was the one credited with developing the high speed attacking style that brought success at Dortmund and since he left it hasn’t been quite the same. Just putting it out there for opinions (@AnythingLFC_)
Our problem right now is a lack of energetic creative midfielder. Our bigger problem right now is lack of Zeljko Buvac. Klopp is really nothing special without him. Nothing at all and you can see it. (@johnnasty)
Players. What changed? I'll tell u what changed. Željko Buvač. He was the brains behind klopp. The genius on the training ground. Since he left our #lfc football changed. It's not a coincidence. It's a fact!! Klopp!! U need your guy back. and a NO10 (@dami_kiez)
There's one crucial thing missing from this #LFC team which is the reason they've been underperforming of late. It's not Oxlade-Chamberlain, it's not an attacking midfielder, it's not an out-and-out striker. It's Zeljko Buvac. He is still employed by the club but has vanished. (@DyerThomas)