Jurgen Klopp Cited for Liverpool Injuries by Raymond Verheijen, Graeme Souness

Christopher SimpsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 6, 2016

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Philippe Coutinho of Liverpool reacts after going down with an injury during the Capital One Cup semi final, first leg match between Stoke City and Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on January 5, 2016 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)
Gareth Copley/Getty Images

Director of the World Football Academy Raymond Verheijen and Liverpool legend Graeme Souness believe Jurgen Klopp is responsible for the Reds' current spate of injuries. The former actually predicted their problems back in December.

Verheijen took to Twitter to share his belief and a prediction he made before Christmas that the German's energetic, high-pressing style of football would lead to a number of injuries:

According to the MailOnline's Oliver Todd, Philippe Coutinho, Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure all suffered hamstring injuries in Tuesday's 1-0 win over Stoke City in the Capital One Cup, and the trio join a crowded treatment room with four others also facing the same problem.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Marko Arnautovic of Stoke City and Dejan Lovren of Liverpool react during the Capital One Cup semi final, first leg match between Stoke City and Liverpool at the Britannia Stadium on January 5, 2016 in Stoke on Trent
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As a pundit for Sky Sports, Souness explained Klopp's preferred style of play puts serious demands on players' fitness:

Jurgen Klopp came in after 11 games and the players, certainly the players who were playing, would have had good fitness.

All the talk was 'we're going to be energetic, we're going to be high press at every opportunity.' That demands real fitness.

It's a difficult balance coming in after 11 games to push the players when they're playing two, maybe three games a week, weekend, midweek, weekend. I think it's a hard thing, a big ask to do that and not suffer the problems they've suffered.

The sports medicine people, they'll be tearing their hair out. They've got to manage that better because that can ruin your season. Hamstrings are not two or three days out, they can range from 10 days to six weeks so a hamstring is the one that players do not want.

The German has had great success with his dynamic "gegenpressing" style in the past as he won consecutive Bundesliga titles and the DFB-Pokal with Borussia Dortmund, as well as getting them to the Champions League final in 2013.

As Sky Sports News HQ revealed, a consequence of the Reds pressing high up the pitch means the players are covering substantially more ground than they were before:

As the injuries pile up, that increase in work rate is seemingly taking its toll and perhaps did so at Dortmund last season. As Todd noted, the BVB squad suffered over 100 injuries between them over the course of the campaign with a third comprising muscular tears.

Liverpool are still fighting on four fronts this season, including the Europa League, which can prove particularly draining for players due to the number of fixtures and travel involved, and the Thursday-to-Sunday turnaround of games.

Managing injuries is therefore even more crucial to the Reds than a number of their Premier League rivals, but Liverpool midfielder Adam Lallana believes the club have simply been "unlucky" with the sheer number of injuries.

Per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo, he said after the win over Stoke:

Sometimes you are just unlucky with injuries and we've had a lot of bad luck recently. I know from my time at Liverpool that we've got a world class medical team here. We certainly can't point the finger at anyone.

We have had a change of manager this season. When that happens lads look to impress more and give more. But I don't think these injuries have got anything to do with any changes to our training.

We've had so many games recently that we've mainly been doing recovery sessions between games so it's not as if the training has been really intensive. You can't blame that.

It's just a physical game. Look at the amount of games we've had over the Christmas period. If you look at teams around the league, I bet you'll find the number of injuries has definitely increased.

Not every club is in the semi-finals of this competition, playing in the Europa League and about to get going in the FA Cup on Friday night.

We've also had some massive Premier League fixtures. It's been a tough run and with the demands on players nowadays there's bound to be injuries.

It is probably a combination of all three factors—Liverpool's increased work rate under Klopp, their hectic run of fixtures and simply being unlucky—that has contributed to their injury problems.

Further, there may well be some teething problems as the manager implements his new philosophy on the players. 

What is clear is that unless Liverpool can get their stars fit and keep them that way—or at least bring in more cover in the January transfer window—their fight for four trophies this season may well result in nothing.