After such a spectacular win against Southampton, it was only common sense that Liverpool would go on to beat Newcastle United at the weekend, but the Magpies had other ideas as the Reds fell flat at St. James Park. There were failings all over the pitch, but striker Christian Benteke came in for a lot of criticism with the Belgian looking out of sorts in Jurgen Klopp’s all action, high pressing system — a game plan that the boss has backed the under fire forward to adapt to.
“Of course Christian Benteke didn’t do so well, but I’d say like a few players who were not in their best shape on this day at Newcastle,” explained the German manager. “It was not a problem of Christian Benteke, it was a problem of our game in common. Yes, of course, I think he can press. The No. 9 doesn’t have to defend the whole pitch, it is to close spaces,” continued Klopp, before adding, “It is not a question of Christian Benteke, he has done very good for us. It is okay — it is not a problem. Just on Sunday it was.”
With Daniel Sturridge once again set for a spell on the sidelines, the same old questions have been raised about Benteke and whether or not he’s a square peg for an increasingly round hole. After a poor showing on Sunday, the 25-year old is expected to feature when Liverpool line up in their final Europa League match of the Group Stage against FC Sion later today, but despite backing his man, Klopp made sure everyone knows that he has options at his disposal.
“We have Roberto too who can also play that position and that’s a good situation,” mused the manager before making light of Sturridge’s latest injury setback. “I am not sure Christian and Divock can play that good to make everyone stop asking questions about Daniel — you asked me four questions about him and he’s not even here!” joked the Reds boss before reiterating that his forwards will be given time to find their feet. “I won’t make pressure for them. I won’t say: ‘Take your chance or leave.'”