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kop crisis Gary Neville describes Liverpool's players as 'zombies' as he suggest change is needed

Warning for Klopp's broken champions as top four hopes are under threat

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp.

Gary Neville believes Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp needs to ring the changes at Liverpool in a bid to halt an alarming slide that is threatening their hopes of securing a top four finish in the Premier League.

Liverpool have lost four successive games at Anfield in a slump that has seen Klopp outgoing champions fall 19 points behind league leaders Manchester City, with Neville suggesting their slump in form is now much more than merely a blip.

After a 2-0 defeat handed Everton their first win at Anfield since 1999 on Saturday, Manchester United legend Neville suggested the moment has come for Klopp to take decisive action.

"They just look beaten, almost like zombies on the pitch. Walking around thinking the same thing," he said on the Gary Neville podcast.

"It's starting to get a little bit worrying in the sense we know they have got injuries, we know they have not got fans in the stadium, we know about COVID and there a lot of games, but it's the same for everybody,But it's the lack of change. A different idea.

"Maybe it needs something different from Klopp? He has been quite simply unchallengeable and still is at Liverpool but even he might be thinking now: 'do I have to do something different?'

"It's not for me to advise Liverpool or Klopp what to do but playing a box to protect your centre-backs or maybe going to three at the back. We have seen other teams go to that system. But it looks to me they need a new idea just to give them a spark or it could be a really depressing season for them where they do not qualify for the Champions League, although I still think they will.

"There is a chance of reset in the summer as that fourth year is always a challenge. Man City needed that year off last year when Liverpool won the league comfortably and maybe this is what it is for Liverpool. With fans returning, Virgil Van Dijk and Joe Gomez returning it means they will be more confident over the summer but at the moment it's desperate for them.

"I have not seen any change or a difference in what Liverpool do. Everton picked the right moment and if they were not going to show belief in that game then they never were. It was a brilliant moment for Everton."

Neville went on to reflect on similar injury problems during his time at Manchester United, as he recalled filling in at centre-back along with Roy Keane.

"At Manchester United I played as a makeshift centre-back when there were injuries - or Roy Keane did," he added. "But then Phil Neville and John O'Shea would play in midfield or Ronnie Johnson or Nicky Butt.

"You would play like a box in order to protect the centre-backs being got at. Sometimes against Arsenal we would play Darren Fletcher and Anderson in front as they were better defensively than Paul Scholes

"Liverpool are still pushing up really high - why not protect them more? Maybe they need to drop deeper for a game and try something different. I know it's not in Klopp or Liverpool's DNA but if you have got two central midfielders at centre back or two untried players there you have got to protect them.

"I think they have to try something different otherwise they will end up in a really bad drop off. From going from Champions League and Premier League winners to fifth or sixth.

"They cannot afford that. Liverpool need the financial might of the Champions League so they need to win it or get in the top four."

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