Liverpool have overachieved so far this season, according to the Sunday Supplement panel, who also say ‘selfish’ Daniel Sturridge has failed to step up when the Reds need him.
The Reds have endured a miserable start to 2016, including exits from both domestic cup competitions following two home defeats in four days to Southampton and Championship side Wolves respectively.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won only one in eight games, with the absence of Sadio Mane a major factor following his participation at AFCON with Senegal.
In Mane’s place, Sturridge has had the opportunity to prove himself to Klopp, but the striker has failed to seize his opportunity.
“I watched the Southampton game (in the EFL Cup on Wednesday) and he just hasn’t stepped up,” Daily Telegraph football correspondent Matt Law said. “Mane’s obviously not there but they’ve needed Sturridge to step up this month and he just hasn’t at all.”
“I don’t know exactly what’s behind it but I’ve always thought he’s a selfish player, which I don’t think suits Liverpool’s style under Klopp.
“It’s way more about the team than it is about individuals under Klopp. In terms of the way he plays, he [Sturridge] is not a leader. When you need Sturridge to perform, you can’t rely on him.”
Oliver Holt, chief sports writer at the Mail on Sunday, believes Liverpool’s current position is a reasonable assessment of their capabilities, with the Reds having performed above expectations throughout the first half of the campaign.
He said: “The main issue, for me, is it’s a question of perception and I think Liverpool are in a better place than they should be.
“I think they’re overachieving and they’ve just had a bad week. I thought they were coming from too far back in terms of the squad and development of it under Klopp.
“They took the league by storm a little bit this year, partly because of the energy and tactics Klopp transmitted to the squad.
“I don’t think they’ve been found out but people have adapted to their style a little bit and they’re entering the new phase of their season.”
To hear the panel’s views, check out the video above.