Former Liverpool ace Jamie Carragher believes that the club should have strengthened the squad in January, and their failure to do so is behind their slump.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have picked up just one win in their last 10 games in all competitions, with their poor run of form since the turn of the year seeing them drop out of the Premier League title race and crash out of both cup competitions.
While some will look to Sadio Mane’s absence and others will bemoan individual errors that have proven costly, Carragher believes it comes down to the fact that Liverpool don’t possess the necessary strength in depth to cope.
That he believes is the fault of the club’s hierarchy who should have strengthened when in a great position in order to show that they are ambitious and involved enough to know that Klopp needed reinforcements for his side to last the pace.
“Liverpool don’t have the squad to match the other teams and are in a major fight for the top four,” Carragher told Sky Sports.
“A major disappointment, whether it was down to the manager or the board, was not getting any reinforcements in in January. The players are there. I am not saying panic buy.
“The fact that they haven’t reinforced from a position of strength – where they were in the league as the best challengers for Chelsea – has meant they have fallen away.
“You can’t expect the likes of Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Philippe Coutinho to keep up their levels, they need to come out of the team, not dropped, but just taken out for a couple of weeks to freshen them up, but there isn’t the players on the bench to do that.
“Other sides have got that quality in reserve that Liverpool haven’t.”
His thoughts were echoed by Gary Neville, and in fairness, both have a valid point as ultimately as soon as the fixture list became a little more busy, Liverpool wilted.
With cup games during the week to go along with Premier League fixtures, Klopp’s high-octane and high-energy pressing game left his players running out of gas and the dip was noticeable to many.
Having lost that key element to what makes this team so good, they were left exposed and that is why results have fallen short of the standards expected.
Given that they have less games to contend with between now and the end of the season, while players won’t be rested, it gives Klopp and his troops a full week to recover, regroup and go again between games as they look to now avoid slipping out of the top four.