Graeme Souness believes Jurgen Klopp may have had abrasive talks with some of his Liverpool players after the manager made multiple changes to his lineup.
It has been a tough time for Liverpool of late. After losing five home games in a row for the first time in their history, Klopp rang the changes for the visit of Fulham to Anfield.
There was no place in his starting lineup for the likes of Sadio Mane, Thiago Alcantara and Trent Alexander-Arnold. In total, Klopp changed seven players from the lineup that lost to Chelsea on Thursday.
Klopp insisted before the game that his reasoning was simply to bring fresh legs into the side. But former midfielder Souness thinks there may be more to it.
“Has he had words with some of them? Is he not happy with some of them? I’ve mentioned the intensity before, that’s been missing,” Souness said on Sky Sports.
“There’s no doubting they’re still talented boys. To make seven changes, that’s a hell of a lot. Are you starting to prioritise? Are you thinking they’re going to struggle to get in the top four?
“It’s a difficult call, only the players and the manager himself will know if they’ve had words. But I’d imagine Jurgen, if he’s not reached there, then he’s pretty close to going down the road where he’s got to fall out with some players.
“I’d imagine seven changes are more than he’d want to make, so I think he’s had some harsh words with players.”
Keane thinks Klopp has ‘lost patience’ with players
Fellow pundit Roy Keane agreed with Souness, claiming that Klopp has “lost patience” with some of his star men.
“I think he’s lost patience with some of the players,” Keane suggested. “I think we keep analysing how they’re doing defensively, but going forward, the lack of goals, particularly at home.
“There’s a way to lose a game of football; Chelsea were very good [on Thursday], but I think Liverpool had one shot on target.
“I don’t think they’re a happy group, I look at the players being taken off and you obviously don’t expect them to be happy to be taken off. But shaking their head, sitting in the stand – not great body language.
“We saw it with Salah in the week, Mane at Palace, Milner at West Ham. I don’t think they’re a happy group.
“He’s made that many changes, okay, there’s games coming up, but I think he’s thought, ‘enough is enough, I’ve got to mix it up’.”