Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has claimed that Jurgen Klopp’s team can’t switch from being “composed” to “nasty” quickly enough in games.
Liverpool, who have an array of high quality midfielders and attackers at their disposal, frequently enjoy long spells of possession but often struggle to make the most of their dominance.
The Reds were held to a 1-1 draw away to Newcastle United on Sunday afternoon and have lacked consistency of late.
During Sky Sports’ coverage, Carragher said: “It’s the switch. ‘I played in a lot of teams, under (Rafa) Benitez and (Gerard) Houllier, who were a lot more defensive thinking.
“They weren’t as good on the eye as this Liverpool team, so you’d go into the game with a mindset of ‘I’m defending… I’m coming away to Newcastle and I’m getting a clean sheet’. And you’d always be switched on defending. Maybe that inhibited us going forward at times.
“But with this Liverpool team it becomes like a training session. You have so much of the ball and you’re passing and it’s slow. As a defender we all love to play in the game – getting on the ball, passing, coming short and getting involved – but when you’re defending you have to be really aggressive.
“When you’re on the ball you want to be a bit more composed. Liverpool can’t switch from that composed way to that real nasty aggressiveness that you need as a defender. It takes them too long to switch.”
Liverpool’s defence remains a major source of concern as, regardless of who is deployed in the back four, Klopp’s team frequently appear vulnerable to crosses and quick movement.
Although Liverpool are capable of playing some swashbuckling football at times – they have created 101 chances in the Premier League this season – until those aforementioned defensive deficiencies are addressed, it is difficult to envisage them lasting the distance in the title race.
Liverpool return to action after the international break with a home game against rivals Manchester United.
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