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Jamie Carragher doesn’t hold back as he identifies culprits in Liverpool’s demise

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez during the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium, London. Picture date: Monday January 2, 2023.© PA

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Jurgen Klopp admitted Liverpool could not deal with Brentford’s unique brand of “chaos” as they slipped to a damaging defeat – with their latest setback sparking a passionate rant against the manager and the club’s transfer committee.

Liverpool’s poor defending cost them dearly against Brentford’s canny set-pieces as Thomas Frank’s side claimed another famous scalp with a 3-1 victory.

Ibrahima Konate scored an own goal from one corner and Yoane Wissa had two goals disallowed for offside from two more corners before putting the hosts 2-0 ahead before half-time with a fine header.

That was only after Darwin Nunez had added to his growing catalogue of wasted opportunities in front of goal, rounding David Raya only to see Ben Mee recover to make a goal-line clearance.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain pulled one back after the break, but Bryan Mbeumo left Konate in a heap to fire in the third and finish Liverpool off.

It was a case of no Ivan Toney, no problem for Brentford as Liverpool went the same way as Manchester United and Manchester City this season.

They have now dropped 23 points so far this season – one more than they did all last term.

Klopp, who substituted key defender Virgil van Dijk at half-time, said: “Brentford create chaos with set-pieces. When I say they stretch the rules, they do, in offensive set-pieces.

“Don’t get me wrong, it’s smart, but they do. If you could single out all the situations you would find five fouls but because it’s so chaotic no one sees it in the end.

“So that’s what they do and it’s really good. You know before the game how strong they are from corners. The game got decided by the second goal which was our fault.

“We got away with an offside. That’s all OK, and then we are not awake, they cross the ball and score the second that decided the game.

“The third goal should not have been allowed but we should have played better.”

Brentford took Liverpool apart to inflict a damaging defeat© CameraSport via Getty Images

Klopp’s honest assessment was backed up by some strong comments from Carragher, who suggested the transfer committee at the club – which includes the manager – need to take the blame for a team that has lost its way.

"That has been a theme of Liverpool all season," Carragher told Sky Sports. "As soon as the intensity of a game rises they cannot cope.

"They need to play a slower type of game because as soon as it goes fast they are not at the races, they cannot keep up with it.

"Liverpool have had a problem all season against teams that are physical.

"This is a team, let us not forget, that prides itself on saying that intensity is our identity. They cannot cope with it anymore at this time. It looks like an ageing team coming to the end."

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Carragher was especially vocal when assessing Liverpool’s midfield, that has been heavily criticised this season.

"I don't know what has happened to Liverpool in terms of midfield,” he added.

"Liverpool have bought one midfield player in four-and-a-half years in Thiago. It is coming back to haunt them now.

"Thiago is not a problem if the other two are full of energy and stopping counter-attacks.

"People talk about Jude Bellingham but Liverpool don't have a problem going forward, they need a player to stop the opposition coming right through them.

"The transfer committee and Jurgen Klopp have been lauded more than any scouting or recruitment department in world football. This is on them.

"To allow a team that was competing for four trophies last season to be fighting for top four because the midfield has only had one signing in four years, they are absolutely running on fumes. How has it been allowed to happen?

Liverpool's Fabinho and Darwin Nunez applaud the fans after the Premier League match at the Gtech Community Stadium, London. Photo: John Walton/PA Wire© PA

"They have signed Cody Gakpo. If Liverpool think they can make top four without signing a midfield player in this window they have got no chance.

"When I watch Liverpool now, and certainly in midfield, it feels like Jurgen Klopp's team is morphing into something else.

"The only team it reminds me of is when I played against Arsenal under Arsene Wenger. Yes, they were a great football team. But their actual pace and physicality, teams could not cope with it. Then that team morphed into something really technical and they never won again.

"I don't know if there is an influence from Pep Lijnders, who is Klopp's number two and has a huge say in what goes on as well, maybe a Dutch way of thinking, getting players on the ball, thinking Liverpool need to keep tweaking things because people are used to them.

"For me, from minute one of Klopp's era against Tottenham, teams were sprinting all over the pitch. When I don't see Liverpool sprinting and closing down now and they are still playing with this high line it is like it is not a Liverpool team.

"It is not a Jurgen Klopp team now and I want to know why."


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