Neil Humphreys: Klopp getting away with murder
Liverpool manager has serious questions to answer
Juergen Klopp's resume and goofy grin have probably saved him from the sack.
He shouldn't be sacked of course. No manager should be removed after a couple of dodgy results.
But in the hysterical, demented world of the English Premier League, coaches can be culled for a bad second half.
And yet, Klopp seems close to untouchable at Liverpool when, statistically speaking, his head might already be on the block.
After 78 games in charge, he has 137 points. After the same number of Reds fixtures, Rafa Benitez had 144 points. Brendan Rodgers had a remarkable 148 points.
In fairness, Rodgers had Luis Suarez.
Klopp has, well, he has goodwill, a tremendous amount of goodwill that Liverpool's appalling defence simply doesn't deserve.
It's hard to imagine Benitez or Rodgers surviving a wretched 4-1 defeat at Tottenham - a side that had rarely troubled Liverpool in recent years.
To a certain extent, Klopp is getting away with murder.
His (early) successes at Borussia Dortmund and his infectious personality have earned him a long-term pass at Anfield, but serious questions still need to be asked.
Dejan Lovren has come to epitomise Liverpool's circus freaks masquerading as international defenders, but the blunders should not be examined in isolation.
Lovren arrived at Liverpool three years ago with an elevated reputation for being a commanding stopper.
But Klopp is slowly killing the Croat's career. Indeed, Lovren is living on painkillers from match to match.
Croatia recently sent him packing from international duty, claiming he wasn't fit enough to play. But Klopp keeps picking him.
Without condoning Lovren's cock-ups, he's essentially playing through excruciating back pain to accommodate a team with no reliable substitutes, thanks to a manager who failed to add a centre back.
Klopp had an entire summer to sign a healthier partner for Joel Matip. But he bought Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain instead, a ludicrous decision (see below).
Klopp's Virgil van Dijk shopping list, which was a list of centre backs all called Virgil van Dijk, was a tad narrow in its focus.
Liverpool's failure to sign the Dutchman exposes an omnipresent weakness that Tottenham gleefully exploited.
There are so many terrace chants alluding to Steven Gerrard's infamous slip against Chelsea in 2014 that you'd think the Reds hierarchy might have addressed the reasons behind his error by now.
From an ageing Gerrard to a galloping Jordan Henderson, the Reds have lacked the kind of holding midfielder that challenges for titles (like Nemanja Matic, N'Golo Kante and Fernandinho).
On five separate occasions in the opening half-hour, Tottenham players slipped behind Liverpool's backline. They scored twice, hit the bar and should've racked up a rugby score.
It's proving scandalously straightforward to get behind a Liverpool back four without protection. Klopp's Reds are easy on the eye going forward, but remain an ugly blot on the football landscape in the other direction.
But he didn't sign a natural holding midfielder. Nor did he sign suitable competition for Simon Mignolet, a goalkeeper who still flaps at crosses like a salmon on a fishing line.
Nor did he sign a centre back to replace Lovren. The Croat was awful. But dragging him off after 31 minutes smacks of dubious man-management at best.
How does Lovren come back from this? Who does Klopp promote in his place? At Wembley, Emre Can proved that defensive ineptitude really can be infectious and Ragnar Klavan offers no solution.
So the Reds are stuck with Lovren until the transfer window at least, a crocked centre back relying on painkillers and suffering global humiliation.
Oxlade-Chamberlain replaced him against Spurs. After a tactical reshuffle, he slotted on the left of a front three.
Klopp considers the Ox a winger, but didn't start the Englishman in a side already missing Adam Lallana, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum.
The Liverpool manager spent £35 million (S$62m) on a footballer he doesn't fully trust, playing in a position where he already has a couple of superior options and then says the winger needs time to settle.
Hopefully, Oxlade-Chamberlain won't need nine months to settle. By then, Klopp could have signed him for nothing (and Naby Keita will be on his way to Liverpool).
As a matter of urgency, Klopp needed a centre back, a goalkeeper and perhaps a holding midfielder. Instead, he bought a winger who already looks surplus to requirements.
The German's reputation and popularity sustain him, but the mistakes are piling up. A number of bizarre decisions must be challenged and remedied.
The title has already gone. After the Wembley debacle, even the top four is starting to look like a long shot.
Liverpool have conceded 16 goals in their first nine EPL games this term, the highest number over nine top-flight games since the 1964/65 season, when they let in 20.
Since making his Liverpool debut, goalkeeper Simon Mignolet has made 13 errors leading to goals in the EPL, three more than anyone else.