Jurgen Klopp has been here before. His Liverpool team look broken, devoid of confidence and quite frankly – very mediocre.

Parallels can be drawn between Dortmund’s slump in form and Liverpool’s current crises.

Borussia Dortmund suffered similarly to the Reds in the 2014-15 season. Halfway through the season, Dortmund were rock bottom of the German Bundesliga. A revival towards the end of the season meant that they finished in 7th.

Eintracht Frankfurt, Hertha Berlin and Mainz all won at Signal Iduna Park. Whereas this season it has been Brighton, Burnley and Fulham to win at Anfield.

Following Sunday’s defeat to Fulham, Jurgen Klopp said it was his “lowest moment in football”.

Liverpool have fallen from top of the league over the Christmas period – to eighth.

The Redmen have lost six home games in a row at Anfield. Dortmund similarly lost five in a row between September and October. Both runs were and are astonishing.

Dortmund had won the German Cup in 2014 and finished second in the Bundesliga. However, they found themselves in a relegation battle the next season. Home defeat to Augsburg resulted in goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller and Matz Hummels pleading with the yellow wall.

Losing Key Players

In successive summers, Dortmund sold their best player to Bayern Munich. German playmaker Mario Götze signed for Bayern in 2013, with talismanic striker Robert Lewandowski following suit in 2014.

Lewandowski was integral to how Borussia Dortmund played. The irreplaceable Polish International netted 74 goals in 131 games. As the centre piece of Klopp’s team, he ruthlessly converted chances that came about from Klopp’s gegenpress style of play.

Liverpool’s loss in players has been due to season ending injury, rather than players switching the Rhine Valley for Bavaria. Despite this, the consequences have been catastrophic for the Reds.

The loss of Virgil Van Dijk to a season ending injury has rocked the Liverpool machine. The undisputed best centre back in the game allows Liverpool to play higher up the pitch, giving the team the best chances of winning the ball back higher up the pitch.

Further season long absences to Joe Gomez and Joel Matip left the reds without a recognised centre back. In addition, Fabinho and Jordan Henderson have filled in at centre back and spent long times on the side-lines.

Lack of Pre-season

Klopp pinpointed the 2014 FIFA World Cup as a reason as to why his Dortmund team faltered so much in the autumn of 2014.

The intensity to Jurgen Klopp’s teams is their identity.

It requires a high level of fitness and immense amount of work on the training pitch.

Preseason is so key to Klopp’s teams. Since coming to Liverpool, the teams week in Evian (France) has been the most important week for the squad, as they get put through their paces away from the fanfare of preseason trips to the far reaching corners of the Earth.

The pandemic has meant that Liverpool finished their title winning season on July 26th away to Newcastle. The players were allowed two weeks off, before returning for pre-season and to action a month later on 29th August in the Community Shield against Arsenal.

A shorter break from the game has a huge impact on players performances the next season. It is the same for every team, but every team is not fighting in Europe as well as the league. Liverpool ran the seventh highest number of kilometres in 2019/20 season before the season halted for coronavirus, covering a combined total of 3,147km.

What Next for Liverpool?

Liverpool and Fenway Sports Group are not going to sack Jurgen Klopp. They know he is of more worth than any player in the Liverpool squad.

Outside the Hope Street Hotel before the Fulham game (where Liverpool stay and depart for before every home game), there were screams of encouragement and backing for Jurgen Klopp and the squad. There was no display of negativity towards the manager, merely support.

The difference between the shared experience of Dortmund and Liverpool, is Dortmund could not support Klopp to do battle with Pep Guardiola’s Bayern Munich. Munich had signed Dortmund’s two best players. Dortmund could not financially compete with Munich.

Alternatively, Liverpool are able to sign players this summer. Sitting fifth in the Deloitte Football Money League, the Reds are financially capable of investing in their squad. It is becoming increasingly likely that the Reds will not qualify for next seasons Champions League through their league form.

The only ticket to qualification for next year’s tournament would be winning this seasons tournament. The repercussions would make the red’s a more lucrative club for the worlds best to ply their trade in the summer.

Despite Liverpool’s wretched Premier League form, the Reds comfortably defeated Bundesliga outfit RB Leipzig 4 – 0 in the Champions League Round of 16.