Despite being only five points behind joint-leaders Manchester City and Manchester United, Jürgen Klopp knows that Liverpool will not win the Premier League title. If Liverpool is some way behind the Manchester duo plus Chelsea in terms of defensive quality if not points, it has been lapped by the cream of Europe who will contest the Champions League.

Realistically, Liverpool — like most Premier League clubs — started the season with two winnable targets: the League Cup and the F.A. Cup. Klopp was not the only manager to select what amounted to a second XI in the League Cup third-round match against Leicester City on Tuesday, which Liverpool lost 2-0, but the Reds' strength (weakness?) in depth was exposed yet again when it became the only team of last season's top seven to exit the competition. And then there was one, but the F.A. Cup, which Liverpool's season effectively hinges on, does not kick into action until January.

Liverpool is a club expected to be challenging for major honors not making up the numbers, yet in the two years Klopp has been in charge the team has not improved and the 16 goals conceded in nine games in all competitions this season underlines, not that it needed underlining, the problem the German has failed to correct. The defense is broke and it needed fixing. Klopp has had four transfer windows to plug the holes in a leaky back four, but has preferred to buy forwards.