Liverpool will not be able to rectify their current issues this season, according to Alan Shearer, who has explained exactly what is going wrong for Jurgen Klopp’s team.
After winning two trophies last season and finishing as runners up in the other two that were on offer, Liverpool were expected to have another strong season this time around. The summer signing of Darwin Nunez theoretically should have added to their strength.
However, things have not been going as expected. After encountering a number of problems, Liverpool are ninth in the Premier League table after 18 games. Already, 10 points separate them from the Champions League places.
They have added to their squad with Cody Gakpo in the January transfer window. But no further arrivals are expected, judging from Klopp’s frequent comments.
Therefore, a big task is ahead for the current group of players to get back towards where a club of Liverpool’s stature belongs.
But the Premier League’s all-time leading goalscorer Shearer thinks their issues are too big for them to turn this season around.
In contrast, he expects another struggling big team, Chelsea, to get things back on track, despite being one place behind the Reds at present.
Shearer told BBC Sport: “I suspect Chelsea will improve after their poor spell in the past few weeks, as their players come back from injury, but Liverpool look miles off it at the moment.
“At the moment, Jurgen Klopp’s side are terrible at the back, with no intensity when they press. They look a shadow of the side that we are used to seeing at the top end of the table, and I don’t see things getting better any time soon.
“It is going to be a long, hard season for them.”
Shearer names favourites for title with Liverpool out of picture
Pressing used to be a standout feature of what made Liverpool successful under Klopp. However, the players who once instigated it have either left or lost some of their energy with age.
Therefore, they are a long way off competing for anything this season. A regeneration will be required at some stage of their future.
A whole 19 points above Liverpool, Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League. Despite them not winning the title since 2004, Shearer thinks that the Gunners are now the most likely side to lift the trophy in May.
He added: “Arsenal have to be favourites to win the Premier League now. It is very clear they are going to take some shifting from the top of the table.
“The only thing we don’t know about Mikel Arteta’s side yet is how they will cope with being frontrunners in the second half of the season. But it doesn’t look like their inexperience of being in a title race is fazing them at the moment.”
There is still half of the season to go, though, so there is plenty of time for things to change. It will be interesting to see which of Shearer’s predictions possibly come true.