Why did Liverpool stumble in the Premier League power rankings?

Injuries and Lack of Key Players

The onset of Liverpool's faltering in the Premier League is multi-faceted. Beginning with an injury crisis, the loss of crucial key players was a significant wrench in Klopp's game plan. With nine first-team players injured, amongst which was the colossal presence of Dutch international Virgil Van Dijk, Liverpool's staunch defence started showing cracks. Without Van Dijk’s unwavering solidity in the heart of the defence, the team struggled to retain their previously impenetrable defensive line, making them more vulnerable to attacks.

Being without Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez, who also faced extended spells on the sideline, was just as detrimental. Liverpool lost their dynamism and attacking prowess down the right flank usually provided by these two players. This severe strain on the squad saw inexperienced or traditionally non-defensive players filling in these slots, affecting their performance negatively in the power rankings.

Drop in Form and Inconsistency

Similar problems plagued their midfield and striking divisions. A drop in form of their forward players, specifically Roberto Firmino, who only managed to net 6 goals in the Premier League also contributed significantly to Liverpool's slide down. World-class players weren't living up to their reputation and putting up the numbers needed to keep the team at the top of the power rankings.

Moreover, inconsistent selections and tactics also played into Liverpool's dip in the rankings. As Klopp struggled to find a fitting response to the plethora of challenges facing the team simultaneously, there were noticeable inconsistencies. Field formations were continually changing, there was a lack of consistency in team selections, and substitutes were often brought on too late to impact the game. Besides, there were tactical errors in some high-stakes matches against top teams like Manchester City and Everton, where defensive errors and poor game management resulted in Liverpool dropping crucial points. Here, one would typically expect to see clear, strategic planning and careful management of the team to ensure every point is meticulously contested, but this was sadly missing for the Reds.

Challenges of the Covid-19 Pandemic

Last but not least, the unique challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has hit all clubs, cannot be underestimated. It disrupted their pre-season preparations and compressed fixture list, causing fatigue and injuries. Liverpool were no exception and suffered greatly as a result of these new unpredictable circumstances.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Liverpool’s sudden and unexpected stumble in the Premier League power rankings isn’t owed to a single factor, but a complex mix of individual form, injuries, tactical decisions, disrupted planning due to the pandemic and a lack of the fabled insatiable hunger that drove them to prominence. Though Liverpool have lived through a challenging period, the ability of Jurgen Klopp to rebuild and inspire his troop should not be taken lightly. While this stumble might be a setback, it's certainly not an end for Liverpool Football Club's aspirations in the Premier League. After all, football, like life, has always been a game of unpredictable ebbs and flows.