LONDON, January 3 – Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said that his side must improve their commitment levels if they are to make progress this season following a 2-0 defeat at West Ham United.
Klopp has identified this month’s games as crucial to Liverpool’s campaign, with a League cup semi-final against Stoke City and an FA Cup trip to Exeter City while there are also potentially tough league meetings with Arsenal and Manchester United.
And he has demanded immediate improvements after seeing his side undone by headed goals from Michail Antonio and former Liverpool striker Andy Carroll at Upton Park on Saturday.
“It’s no day for being disappointed, it’s a day for being angry,” said the German, who has now overseen four Premier League defeats in his fledgling Liverpool tenure.
“We had the ball and possession and bad luck in a few situations, but that’s not what I want to see, to be honest. You have to be there in the decisive moments.
“I know about the things in football and today (Saturday) it’s our responsibly. My English is not good enough to process all the information that’s going around me in this moment.
“It was bad, I told the players after the game. Summary: ‘Not enough.’”
Klopp was particularly unhappy with his side’s defending after they conceded both goals to headers and struggled to deal with the aerial threat of Carroll throughout the afternoon.
“We could have done much better,” he said.
“If you fight in these moments, but at 100 percent — 95 percent is not enough. Who wants to see 95 percent? — that’s what we have to do.
“If you know in the other team there’s Andy Carroll, then how can you allow crosses? There was bad defending from my side. It’s about my responsibility. I am really angry about myself today.
“When I talk about defending I don’t want to use words like nasty and ugly. It’s football, defending. I was a defender and I enjoyed it.
“Nice part of the game, you get dirty afterwards, that’s not a problem. You don’t have to wash your clothes by yourself.”
– Bilic challenges Carroll -West Ham completed a first league double over Liverpool in over 50 years and manager Slaven Bilic singled out Carroll for praise afterwards.
The one-time England striker has scored in successive games after returning to full fitness and Bilic says that it is up to Carroll himself to maintain those levels.
“Andy was brilliant, not just because of the goal, but for his performance, everything: defending, holding the ball up,” said the Croatian.
“I think every ball that (goalkeeper) Adrian kicked up, he went to head it or to flick hit. And he was defending, tracking back, and when he had the chance to press the centre-backs, he took it.
“Now he looks fit to me. And basically we are talking a lot about him — ‘Andy England’, ‘Andy that’ — but now he is fit and it is all about him now.
“Is he going to look after himself, work hard, train, rest, to maintain his position or to even make it better? And then, and only then, he will become a great asset for us, and it is up to him.
“To be fair I can’t ask things from him, but I expect him to stick to what he was like recently. He would be very, very stupid to do otherwise.”
Bilic is hopeful that on-loan Argentine midfielder Manuel Lanzini will not face another month off after suffering a recurrence of a thigh problem.
“They have told me a little bit (of damage) and I will hear more tomorrow,” he said.
“It’s not big. It’s the same. It’s not hamstring or the muscle, it’s some kind of abductor and the tendon. I hope it’s going to be like they have said now, just a little bit.”