Premier League • England

Pundit reveals key Liverpool star Jurgen Klopp missed against Brentford as major ‘influence’ claim made

Luis Diaz and Jordan Henderson of Liverpool

Match of the Day and talkSPORT pundit Danny Murphy believes Jordan Henderson would have helped Liverpool hugely against Brentford, pointing to the midfielder’s big ‘influence’ on the wider team.

Liverpool’s top-four hopes took another major hit on Monday as they were beaten 3-1 by Brentford in west London. There were multiple defensive errors as Ibrahima Konate scored an own goal in the first half, with Yoane Wissa soon doubling Brentford’s lead. Things could have been far worse for Liverpool too as the hosts had two goals ruled before half time.

Jurgen Klopp made three changes at the break. Virgil van Dijk, Kostas Tsimikas and Harvey Elliott went off for Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Naby Keita. Klopp has since revealed Van Dijk was suffering with a hamstring issue, while the other two substitutions were tactical.

The alterations seemed to work as Darwin Nunez finished past David Raya in the 48th minute, only for the goal to be ruled out due to offside in the build up.

Liverpool got their goal soon afterwards when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain headed home from a Trent Alexander-Arnold cross, sparking some hope of a dramatic Reds comeback.

But once again Liverpool’s defensive frailty come to the fore. Konate was too weak when dealing with a long ball and this allowed Bryan Mbeumo to bag Brentford’s third, finishing off a miserable day for Klopp’s men.

Liverpool were without captain Jordan Henderson for the trip down south. In a pre-match interview with Sky Sports, Klopp explained why this was the case: “Hendo has a concussion, [it’s] normal procedure. It’s not massive but we always follow the protocols.

“The next day we did a test and it was not 100 per cent, so we follow the protocol. He will be ready for the next game again but not for this.”

Liverpool ‘lack leadership’ without Jordan Henderson – pundit

Murphy has bemonaed Henderson’s absence for the game, saying the midfielder’s massive ‘influence’ would have prevented Liverpool from being so weak against Brentford.

“We talked about Henderson and his impact on this team,” the former Reds man said on talkSPORT. “When he’s not here they lack a bit of leadership, someone to give them a kick up the backside, someone to organise.”

Murphy continued: “He’s the one player I think of when he’s not there, he’s the one you miss the most because of the influence he has.

“At Liverpool games often you hear his voice – organising, encouraging, kicking people up the backside, you need people on the pitch who let you know when you’re not at it.

“I was looking around after the second disallowed goal went in. And I didn’t see anyone who said ‘oi, you, why are you not marking him? You, do better, you win the tackle.'”

Liverpool certainly looked weak in midfield without the 32-year-old. Luckily, his concussion does not sound too serious which means he will likely feature in their next game.

Liverpool come up against Wolves in the FA Cup on Saturday. After that, they return to league action with a trip to Brighton on January 14. It will come as little surprise if Klopp makes several changes against Wolves. He will want to give other players a chance after the shocking performance at Brentford.

Henderson will certainly be looking to make a difference. He will not stand for it if the Liverpool defenders are so poor against Wolves.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher reacted to the shock result by saying Liverpool are currently ‘not a Jurgen Klopp team’.