Jamie Carragher has delivered a damning verdict on Liverpool, saying it is “not Jurgen Klopp’s team” and comparing his decline to Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal.
The Reds’ 3-1 defeat to Brentford on Monday night was predictable after they were lucky enough to beat Leicester 2-1 on Friday.
Despite the absence of key players due to injuries, Klopp’s team should have had enough to beat the Brentford team in the game, but instead they usually suffered defeat.
Yoane Wissa scored three times in the net, but only one was counted, and Ibrahima Konate was guilty twice, scoring a goal in his own goal, and Brian Mbeumo made the score 3:1.
Liverpool have conceded 51 big chances this season, according to Opta. That is more than twice as many as the five teams above them in the Premier League table. Massive issue.
— Adam Bate (@ghostgoal) January 2, 2023
After the game, Sky Sports statistician Adam Bate stressed that Liverpool had allowed 51 big chances against them this season, more than twice the number of any of the five teams above them in the table.
And in his post-match assessment, Carragher pointed to a “transforming” team that can no longer play the way it made them so successful under Klopp.
“I feel like we are watching Jurgen Klopp when he first came to the club,” he explained.
“In the first couple of seasons it was always a problem when they had the ball, someone was sitting deep, someone was counterattacking them.
“But I do not know what happened to Liverpool in terms of midfield.
Liverpool have bought one real midfielder in four and a half years, Thiago. It’s coming back to haunt them now.
“When I watch Liverpool now and, of course, the midfield, it seems to me that Jurgen Klopp’s team is turning into something else – a technical team.
“The only team he reminds me of is when I played against Arsenal under Arsene Wenger.
“Yes, they were a great football team, but with their real pace and physical strength, the teams could not cope.
“Then this team turned into something really technical and never won again.
“I do not know if there is an influence of Pep Linders, who is Jurgen Klopp’s number two and also has a big influence on what is happening.
“Maybe it’s the Dutch way of thinking when players start playing with the ball, I do not know, or they think that Liverpool do not need to reinvent themselves, but constantly tweak and change something, because maybe people are used to it.
“But for me, from the first minute of the Jurgen Klopp era, against Tottenham away, forget about the quality of the players, people were running all over the pitch and they were just “wow.”
“I don’t see Liverpool sprinting and shutting people down right now, but they’re still playing with that high line.
“It’s like it’s not a Liverpool team. I’m not looking at Jurgen Klopp’s team.”
The lack of investment in Klopp’s midfield was a constant theme as Carragher continued, with the 44-year-old even naming two young men who “don’t look like Jurgen Klopp’s players.”
“Tiago is not a problem for me if the other two are full of energy and have the strength to stop counterattacks and stop the opposition,” he continued.
“Everyone keeps talking about Jude Bellingham. Liverpool have no problems moving forward, in fact it is a midfield player who does not allow the opponent to pass through them.
“I’m talking about someone like Harvey Elliott [or Fabio] coming in Carvalho.
“These are the players I look at, great technical players, but in my opinion they don’t look like Jurgen Klopp’s players.
“Then you have players like Fabinho, who is getting old, Jordan Henderson, who has no more energy, James Milner.
“The Liverpool transfer committee or the people behind Jurgen Klopp and Jurgen Klopp, who brought players to the club, deserved more praise than any scouting network in world football.
“It’s on them.
“To allow a team that also won four trophies last season to be at a stage where they are fighting for the top four because there was only one player signed in the midfield now for four and a half years and they are absolutely running on exhaust fumes.”