Former Manchester United midfielder Paul Scholes has called out Liverpool’s ‘biggest disappointment’ following their dramatic loss of form.
The Premier League champions are just about clinging on to a top-four finish, having suffered a fourth successive home loss to Merseyside rivals Everton last weekend.
The defeat was also the Reds’ fourth consecutive league loss, despite their impressive midweek win over RB Leipzig in Europe.
Jurgen Klopp’s men are currently sixth in the table, five points behind West Ham in fourth.
Reflecting on Liverpool’s massive downturn, Scholes believes that Klopp’s side are not playing that poorly. However, he suggests that Roberto Firmino’s lack of contributions is a major worry.
The Brazilian forward has scored six Premier League goals all season, but only one since December 20.
Scholes told BT Sport: “It’s remarkable, from December they were up there. I did a game against Wolves and they battered them, they beat them 4-0. I’m watching it and thinking it was going to be another walkover, really, they’re going to win the league by 10 or 15 points.
“But these last few games, the mistakes they’re making, okay, they’ve had some horrific injury problems which you can’t really legislate for.
“Okay, if you’re missing Van Dijk, then you’ve got another centre-half to come in who’s just as good. But then they’ve lost Matip and Gomez, it’s been unbelievable, really.
Henderson’s midfield influence a big miss
“They’ve had to put Henderson at the back and they’re missing the big influence from the middle of the pitch.
“Don’t get me wrong, Alisson has made the big mistakes, the centre-halves still aren’t great. But I don’t think they’re actually playing that badly.
“They’re not creating chances, but at times, they’re controlling games. But the big disappointment for me has been Firmino. He’s a great footballer, but some of the chances [against Everton], he’s smashing everything.
“He’s the one who’s getting the half-chances and if you take one of them, it makes a big difference. But he’s been so erratic with his finishing.”
The Reds are next in action on Sunday night when they head to Sheffield United in the late game.
Klopp will be hoping they can get a winning run going again to bolster their top-four hopes, while all thoughts of a title defence are now over.