He returned to negative ratings after of Liverpool a goalless draw at home to Chelsea with familiar flaws affecting the Reds.
Jurgen Klopp’s men only managed to break through to an instantly forgettable point on Saturday afternoon, in a game that saw an awful lot of entertainment.
Liverpool’s task of breaking into the top four has now become even more difficult as boring performances and results continue to emerge.
Here’s how the media reacted to the Reds’ latest dismal performance.
A step back from the win over Wolves in midweek…
Richard Jolly of Independent I had to admit that Klopp’s thousandth match in management was not a classic:
“It turned out that a thousand clubs were not among the players that Chelsea signed during the Todd Payne era.
“But with Jurgen Klopp spending 1,000 games in charge and Michail Mudrik becoming Chelsea’s latest debutant, it was an illustration of how the two dominant forces have struggled in recent years.
“In the bitter cold of these clubs’ harsh mid-winter it was not a very good game; certainly not up to the standards they’ve set in the past, or compared to some of their epic duels.”
James Nalton of This Is Anfield was also not thrilled with what he saw:
“Previous incarnations of Liverpool entertained the fans during the match with their hard pressing, high line and intense play.
“The current Liverpool have gone for something safer and in trying to be more compact and hard to break down they have sacrificed some of that edge-of-the-seat excitement.”
“It’s not heavy metal football anymore. Although there were occasional quick passes, Liverpool also struggled to be a team that broke down opponents in possession.
“Hopefully once they get out of that rut they’ll start playing heavy metal again.”
Andy Hunter of The Guardian said a draw was all both teams deserved on the day:
Liverpool and Chelsea played out a goalless draw at Anfield that showed why they are both languishing in mid-table and struggling to realize their Champions League ambitions.
“Kai Havertz had an early goal ruled out by VAR, but otherwise there were few incidents and very little quality on display from both the hosts and Graham Potter’s visitors.
“The usual stakes in the match have been reduced: Liverpool and Chelsea are 10 points behind Champions Qualification in the league and occupy ninth and tenth place respectively.
“The league positions flattered both teams, especially on the back of a truly awful first half when four minutes of stoppage time in sub-zero temperatures went like a cruel joke.
Chelsea played with great control and composure, but that was only in comparison to Liverpool’s sloppy and aimless performance.
“The game got the result it deserved.”
Cody Gakpo has had a slow start to life at Anfield…
Nalton focused on of the Dutchman A disappointing afternoon still waiting for his first goal for Liverpool:
“The new Liverpool man had several opportunities to hit the target but, after showing some pressure and eagerness, he took his chances.
“The first moment looked good as Salah gave the ball into the box from the wing. Gakpo incorrectly assumed the shape of the body, leaned back and hit the stands.
“It would be unfair to call his second shot a good chance, but nevertheless his execution of a shot from outside the penalty area can still be appreciated. He had time to level the shot and blast it to the Anfield Road end.
“The power he’s getting in his shots is encouraging. A little more composure and attention to his technique and those shots can trouble goalkeepers wherever they are hit.”
The Mirror’s Tom Blow also thinks Gakpo isn’t easy:
“A lot was expected of Gakpo after his £45m transfer from PSV Eindhoven at the start of the window.
“However, it is one of the stars of the World Cup in Qatar, who scored nine goals and provided 12 assists in the first half of the Eredivisie campaign.
“However, of Gakpo Liverpool’s record – not a single goal or assist in four games – is starting to worry some critics.
“His performance against Chelsea was nothing to shout about either and the pressure could become unbearable if he doesn’t score sooner or later.
“For Gakpo’s sake, he should open the Reds’ account against Brighton next Sunday.”
Liverpool’s top four hopes look bleak indeed…
Joly said it is difficult to see any team in the Champions League next season:
“Whether it was in decline or transition, Liverpool and Chelsea started in ninth and tenth, both finishing nine points behind the top four and having played a game more.
“The last one Champions The league winners have less and less chance of getting into the tournament next season.”
Finally, BBC Sport’s Phil McNulty said it will take a lot of effort from here on out to finish in the top four:
“The quality of this game was reflected in the hushed atmosphere at Anfield when the final whistle was met with almost total silence, apart from very moderate cheering.
Liverpool have built a reputation for themselves and based their success under manager Jurgen Klopp not just on world-class talent, but on a searing intensity that has simply blown teams away.
“At the moment they look like a shadow of that team in every way, arguably devoid of attacking talent like Luis Diaz, Diogo Hota and Roberto Firmino, and Chelsea had very little to worry about and goalkeeper Kepa had no serious job to do.”
“Klopp’s side are now nine points behind Champions League places and it’s clear they need to find that missing spark – and fast – if they want to get anywhere near the top four.”