Jurgen Klopp has demanded a “proper performance” from his faltering Liverpool team as they seek to inflict a seventh straight Anfield defeat on leaders Arsenal on Sunday.

The Liverpool manager continues to be exasperated by his players’ inconsistency in a season when they have run up 9-0 and 7-0 wins and beaten champions Manchester City twice, but also lost eight away Premier League games for the first time since he took over in 2015.

The Reds are in danger of missing out on Europe next season but Klopp insists his priority is to focus on getting their form right.

“I don’t know where we will end up but it is not about that at the moment,” said Klopp. “We can’t care about [finishing in] the top six or top four. We have to care about the next game, win a game, then another and another – and we are capable of doing that.

“If we really want to go through this [transitional period] we have to accept the things that happen afterwards, but before that we have to demand that we go for it against Arsenal with all we have.

“We have to produce a proper performance. We have to find a basis we can build on. First step: intensity, desire, passion. That was good at Chelsea [on Tuesday night] – the rest not so much. But it’s fine, let’s go from there.”

Arsenal sit eight points clear at the top of the table and have not lost since February but Klopp believes his side have what it takes to halt their title charge.

“When we find a way to bring our best performance on the pitch again then in that moment things can change,” he added.

“That didn’t happen yet or if it did, it was only in moments or the odd game. In this season we have two of the highest results in our history – 9-0 and 7-0 – but obviously that makes it even more strange.”

Klopp insists he has not become a “worse manager” from last season when Liverpool went within two games of an unprecedented quadruple of trophies but accepts his players have not performed consistently.

Trent Alexander-Arnold – left out for the 0-0 at Stamford Bridge – is one of them but Klopp refused to single out individuals.

“Trent has not been as good or consistent as he used to be, like pretty much all of the boys. Nobody has performed on the level we saw and to the level we know they can. In moments yes, of course, there’s been some great games, some super situations, but consistently nobody.

“I am not a worse manager than last year, definitely not. The players are not worse players – they just play worse. That’s definitely the case. But if we go through this together we can have a massive benefit next year.”

Alexander-Arnold, Virgil van Dijk, Mo Salah, Andy Robertson, Harvey Elliott and Cody Gakpo are all set to be recalled.

By admin