Brendan Rodgers has been criticised for his use of Danny Ings and Roberto Firmino in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester United.
Rodgers started with Ings and Firmino in wide positions at Old Trafford on Saturday, with the Northern Irishman critical of the amount of long balls his side played up to Christian Benteke.
Former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness, however, believes Rodgers must take the blame.
“The first thing you have to do with players is make them feel comfortable in positions they’re playing in,” Souness told Sky Sports.
“Firmino doesn’t want to be out there. On the other side Ings doesn’t want to be there. Right away they’ve got an excuse: ‘This is not my position, I’m not used to it’.
“Ings spent most of that half running towards his own goal. He would class himself as a striker, he doesn’t want to be doing that. What Firmino is I’m not quite sure, we might see that as the season pans out.
“You’ve got square pegs in round holes and it just doesn’t work. You have to make people feel they are playing in positions they are happy to play in and Liverpool haven’t got that right now.
“They need goals. You won’t always play well, but if you’ve got goalscorers it camouflages a multitude of sins and Liverpool have got to come up with a system.
“I think they have to sit the players down. They all know what their favourite positions are and he must know he’s asking players to play out of position and I don’t think some of them are very comfortable with that.”
Rodgers urged to change formation
Carragher echoed the thoughts of Souness and believes Rodgers should consider a change of formation to get the best out of the players he has available.
“There’s not enough help for Benteke,” Carragher said.
“Ings came in and I said before the game it must be two up front and they must be playing a diamond formation, but they were still playing 4-3-3.
“I don’t understand what the point was in playing Danny Ings in that wide position. He didn’t give the support to Benteke.
“You think about how many strikers Liverpool have on the books and they have no wide players. They’ve only got Jordon Ibe. Firmino is not a wide player and Coutinho played there last week and he’s not a wide player.
“I don’t understand this obsession with playing 4-3-3. Brendan Rodgers came to the club wanting to play 4-3-3 and it didn’t work.
“The great season they had was with two strikers and how they got them into the team is down to the manager. They’ve got a lot of strikers, no wide players, and he continues to play 4-3-3.”