Charlie Adam says Liverpool have to beat Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday and called out poor performers alongside Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have yet to hit their stride consistently this season, winning only three games out of nine. They have shown flashes of their best – such as the 9-0 win over Bournemouth – but other results have proved damaging.
The 2-1 defeat at Manchester United was a highlight in that regard. What’s more, their other two victories have come from dramatic late goals. Manager Klopp admitted in Monday’s press conference that defensive issues are clear to see.
Up next for Liverpool is a first ever competitive meeting with Rangers, as the two sides clash at Anfield in Europe.
The Reds recovered from a 4-1 defeat at Napoli to beat Ajax 2-1 in their previous group stage matches. Rangers, meanwhile, are smarting after a 4-0 defeat to Ajax and a 3-0 loss to Napoli.
Speaking on talkSPORT (04/10, 9.39am), former England star Stuart Pearce claimed it would be “unthinkable” if Liverpool did not get out of their Group A.
Ex-Anfield midfielder Adam said: “You could end up seeing Liverpool win four or 5-0, but you can see Rangers giving them a go because of the performances they’ve had in Europe in previous years.
“Liverpool are not in great form and it could be a 2-1, or it could be a 3-0 or 4-0, I don’t know what to expect.
“Liverpool will want to get three points because, as we know, going to Ibrox is a tough place. That home crowd have been phenomenal over the years and will back the team no matter what.
“Liverpool need to pick a result up from somewhere to start their season domestically and in Europe. Rangers are a good side on the road, they know how to stifle teams and will have that threat on the counter-attack.”
Charlie Adam tackles Alexander-Arnold criticism
Adam also commented on the criticism surrounding the performances of a host of Liverpool stars this season.
Right-back Alexander-Arnold has been a big focus in that regard, with talk over his form exacerbated because of his struggles to play for England.
However, former Scotland midfielder Adam insisted that more players must take the blame at Liverpool.
“The English players will get a little bit more scrutiny than the foreign players,” the 36-year-old said.
“That’s normal, but it’s not just Trent. There’s been five, six players who at times have not fired as well as they can.
“That is because Man City have set a standard. We talk about Arsenal, they’re top of the league, but Man City and Liverpool have been challenging together and Man City are obviously setting a standard for everybody else.
“It’s not just Trent, there’s been others. They just need one performance and if it is tonight, or Sunday, then there’s no doubt Liverpool will be up there at the top end of the Premier League come the end of the season – and also fighting for that Champions League.”
Liverpool have hope, but problems remain
It is all well and good saying Liverpool just need one performance to kickstart their season. But, it is not as easy as that – and results this season have proved that.
The 9-0 win over Bournemouth was a firm reaction to the defeat to Man Utd. Reds stars seemingly got all their gremlins out of their systems.
But, they only just managed to back it up against Newcastle, with Fabio Carvalho’s late winner.
There is therefore a clear lack of consistency that is affecting Liverpool. They have proved their ability to produce a classic Klopp performance, but they cannot back it up like in previous seasons.
Nevertheless, Klopp insisted on Monday that his side will go through good processes again and again until they consistently achieve success.
A solid performance and win over Rangers could maybe act as a catalyst for a more solid winning run.