Belfast Telegraph

Gary Neville: Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in danger of becoming static, safe and predictable

By Jack Austin

Liverpool are in danger of becoming a “static, safe and predictable” club unless they improve upon their Plan A, according to former Manchester United defender Gary Neville.

Jurgen Klopp’s side limped to a goalless draw against Southampton on Sunday but still managed to keep hold of third place in the Premier League and hold the advantage over the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal and Manchester United in the race for the top four.

The Reds have played a game more than United and City, and two more than Arsenal, but would still remain in the Champions League places if their rivals win their games in hand.

And while Liverpool have been outstanding against fellow top-six sides this season, it is the mid-to-lower table teams whom they have struggled against most. In the 21 matches against teams in the bottom half of the table this season, Liverpool have only won 10, while losing six and drawing five – taking just 35 points from a possible 63.

Neville believes the reason for this is that they have lacked the attacking football they showed at the start of the season which is needed when teams set up for the draw against them.

“I think that over the last two or three months, or maybe longer than that, teams that sit back against Liverpool and make it very difficult for them are their Achilles heel,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“They can't beat lesser teams at home. Teams that come out against them and are expansive [Liverpool] are OK, they can play the combinations and be quick on the break.

“People talk about 'do they need a Plan B?' Maybe actually improving on Plan A is something they've stopped doing.

“Me and Jamie [Carragher] could have played as centre backs in that game for Southampton because they weren't shifted anywhere near enough.

“Liverpool, the nature of the club, they will always come up against inferior teams who will come and defend deep. They have got to do Plan A better.

“They have stopped making those little corner runs, those positions where they show and pinging people in on the edge of the box. If they play the likes of Firmino, Origi, Sturridge, whoever it might be, they've got to get them making those runs again.

“Because when they don't they become static, safe and predictable and for me that's the problem at the moment.”

Irish Independent


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