At half time in their game against Wolves, Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp, must’ve been wondering if the curse of the Saturday lunchtime kick-off had struck again for the Reds.
The German has often been vocal in his displeasure at seeing his side playing in the weekend’s early start, particularly when they’ve come after European matches, however, this one came directly after the international break.
That would’ve meant various staff travelling here, there and everywhere, and could be a reason why Liverpool’s performance in the first 45 at Molineux was so lethargic.
One player that encompassed the whole team’s malaise was Cody Gakpo, and TNT Sports’ Jermaine Jenas didn’t hold back in his condemnation of the Dutchman.
“Gakpo, I’m watching him and he’s running round like he doesn’t know where he is at the minute. He’s had seven touches in the game,” Jenas said during live commentary (h/t Rousing The Kop).
“The least of any player on the pitch. At least with someone like Nunez you know he’s going to make some runs in behind and as a midfield player, help each other out. But at the minute, he just looks lost.”
Ten minutes after the break it was Gakpo that stuck out a leg to divert Mo Salah’s cross into the net and begin Liverpool’s comeback, however, it proved to be his final action in the game.
Klopp by then had seen enough, and the question that remains is whether the manager will feel that Gakpo has justified retaining a starting berth in the next match against LASK on Thursday or the home fixture against David Moyes’ resurgent West Ham United next Sunday.