Emmanuel Petit has hit out at Liverpool as the Reds experience a slow start to the campaign.
Jurgen Klopp’s side have won just two of their opening seven Premier League games but despite losing their opening Champions League group stage clash to Napoli 4-1, the Anfield outfit have since earned successive victories in Europe’s premier competition against Ajax and Rangers.
Liverpool face one of Petit’s former teams Arsenal at the weekend and although there is still a long way to go in the current campaign, the Frenchman believes another defeat for the Merseysiders could spell the end for their Premier League title chase.
“When you look at Liverpool at the moment, they look so sloppy, terrible,” he told compare.bet (as quoted by the Liverpool Echo). “Something has been broken in this team. This could be the last chance for Liverpool to make something of this season, if they lose to Arsenal, they will be 14 points behind after nine games. It’s a huge gap.
“There are so many weaknesses. There are so many things that are not working with Liverpool. There is something that’s broken with this team. Mentally, they are not the same unit they have been for the last four or five years. Physically as well.
“I think with the fact (Sadio) Mane has gone, you can see something is missing up front as well. (Mohamed) Salah is a shadow of himself at the moment. The midfield don’t control the tempo anymore, they are not playing with character and personality. And in defence, my God. So many individual and collective mistakes, easily avoidable mistakes.
“They are not the same players they used to be. They don’t have the same concentration, the anger to beat the other team, to hurt them, to put pressure on them. They don’t run together anymore. They used to run together, like a unit, and the opponent would be scared of them.”
Arsenal have played a game more than Liverpool but find themselves a whopping 11 points clear of the FA Cup holders.
The Gunners earned a massive three points against Spurs in the north London derby recently and they will be confident of picking up another victory against the Anfield outfit.
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Keeping a clean sheet against Rangers on Tuesday will have came as a huge boost to Klopp with Petit just one of the many to question the defensive quality of this Liverpool side.
“Sometimes during this season I have felt embarrassed to watch Alexander-Arnold, (Virgil) Van Dijk and (Joe) Gomez when he was playing. So many mistakes,” added Petit.
“Martinelli is very confident, and every time he runs with the ball, he is so quick, so fast, and that’s exactly what Trent doesn’t like. To be one-on-one with a player that can hurt him.
“I don’t know how Trent is going to defend him, but the problem with Liverpool’s defence isn’t only on him. It’s the whole defence, and when I say that, I mean the whole team, because they start from the front.
“They are not doing the same job all over the pitch that they used to, and it means the team is too stretched. I think Trent is very good with the ball, but he’s one of the worst without it.”
We’ve conceded just one goal fewer than Arsenal and the same amount of Manchester City in the Premier League this term, however, which suggests things aren’t quite as bad as many are making out.
We’re not denying that our start to the season has been disappointing but a huge three points against Arsenal on Sunday could be the kickstart to the campaign that we so badly need!