Liverpool suffered a potentially damaging defeat at home against Swansea City on Saturday, and the inquest has started into what’s behind their woes.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just one game in all competitions since the turn of the year, which came in the FA Cup third-round replay with Plymouth Argyle.
As they now sit seven points adrift of Premier League leaders Chelsea, ahead of their game with Hull City on Sunday, Liverpool’s title hopes are arguably starting to diminish already.
While the general feeling is that this is merely a blip rather than anything more serious, the Sunday Supplement panel have questioned what’s behind their dip in form.
“If you play that style, the very high-energy style, you’re probably going to have a dip at some point in the season,” Paul Hayward of The Telegraph noted on the Sunday Supplement.
“It’s very hard for the players to maintain that intensity level, particularly when you don’t have a squad of 20 players capable of playing at that level. They are light of championship-class players still.”
Hayward went on to insist that he doesn’t see Liverpool falling away entirely, but that they still need improvements in certain areas to become legitimate contenders.
That last point was echoed by Ian Ladyman of The Daily Mail, as he picked out the defence as Klopp’s biggest problem as the Reds have conceded 27 goals in 22 Premier League games so far this season, which is clearly not good enough for a club hoping to win the title.
“The single, over-riding problem with this Liverpool team is they concede too many goals,” he said.
“They have got the eighth best defence in the Premier League at the moment. That can’t happen if you are going to win the Premier League.”
Liverpool are in EFL Cup action in midweek as they look to overturn their deficit against Southampton at Anfield in their semi-final tie, while it’s FA Cup duty next weekend against Wolverhampton Wanderers.
They finally return to league action in a crunch clash with Chelsea at Anfield on January 31, and that may well spell the end of their title hopes if they suffer another defeat to their direct rivals.