Jamie Carragher: Did Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool reach the end of the tournament? The Reds defended like children against Napoli | football news

Jamie Carragher admitted he is concerned about the future of Liverpool under Jurgen Klopp, describing their performance in Wednesday’s 4-1 loss to Napoli as “embarrassing” and accusing them of defending like “kids”.

Klopp’s side conceded three goals in a poor first half and another in a row after the break at Diego Armando Maradona as they opened their Champions League campaign with the heaviest defeat of the tournament.

This came after a faltering start to the Premier League season, during which Liverpool won only two out of six matches, leaving the seventh team in the table before Saturday’s meeting with Wolverhampton.

“The problem tonight is not that match,” Carragher said during his appearance on CBS. “Forget about this game. For me, the biggest concern is, ‘Is this something that’s almost going to last all season?'” “

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Jurgen Klopp says Liverpool played a ‘bad game’ in their 4-1 defeat to Napoli, but is confident he has the backing of the club’s owners

“Is this the end of a cycle? Did Liverpool get a lot of summer transfer ideas wrong? Because this team seems far from it.”

The Sky Sports The expert sees signs of physical disruption.

“He was at full strength for five or six years under Jurgen Klopp,” he added.

“Out of the seven games Liverpool have played this season, they have conceded the first goal in five of them. They don’t start well.

“So, I’m not going to criticize their position because what this team has done – certainly in Europe, in the Premier League, the Barcelona game, the comeback – the mentality is fantastic.

Liverpool were disbanded by Napoli in the opening match of the Champions League group stage
Liverpool were disbanded by Napoli in the opening match of the Champions League group stage

“Is that a significant decrease physically because of what happened over the five or six years, the way they played, how intense they were?

“Can this team get it back? That’s the concern for me, not tonight. What will happen to the future of this team and this season?”

“This is still only the fourth game that Liverpool have lost in 2022, which shows how consistent they are, but more performance than results, in fact, what worries me now.”

‘Lack of sharpness is costing Liverpool’

Mohamed Salah, Yasar and Harvey Elliott respond during Liverpool's loss to Napoli
Mohamed Salah, Yasar and Harvey Elliott respond during Liverpool’s loss to Napoli

Liverpool’s defenders were heavily criticized for their role in the defeat to Napoli, especially Joe Gomez, who struggled badly before being joined by Joel Matip at the end of the first half.

But Carragher believes that their defensive problems stem from problems in the midfield, where the lack of pressure on the ball allows opponents to reach them very easily and exploit their higher defense line.

“The interesting thing for me now is that Liverpool are playing a high-stakes game, but they’re not really pressing the ball to stop the high-stakes game and cause themselves a problem,” he said.

Jurgen Klopp follows Liverpool's 4-1 loss in Napoli
Jurgen Klopp follows Liverpool’s 4-1 loss in Napoli

“How high your streak is is not an issue. It’s about being compact, being together.

“Right now it’s very easy to get past the Liverpool midfield. It’s never happened before. You can play in a fine line and be really pressured. But if you don’t, you have to adapt.”

Carragher’s analysis is backed by statistics.

This season, they are allowing significantly more opponents’ fast balls than in any of the last 12 campaigns in the Premier League, underscoring the space their opponents now find against them.

There is also a clear drop in defensive solidity from last season, with Liverpool becoming more vulnerable in their own half, especially inside the penalty area.

Liverpool's defensive solidity has diminished in their own half and in their penalty area
Liverpool’s defensive solidity has diminished in their own half and in the penalty area

Injuries in midfield haven’t helped them, with Thiago Alcantara, Jordan Henderson, Naby Keita and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain struggling with fitness issues and signing Arthur, who only arrived from Juventus on deadline day.

But Carragher feels that things could turn from bad to worse if Liverpool do not find a solution to their problems in that area of ​​the field and improve their “embarrassing” defensive performance.

“It’s embarrassing,” Carragher added of Liverpool’s defence. “It’s really embarrassing.”

“I’ve said before, it’s kids’ stuff and that’s a big problem with Liverpool at the moment. They’ve built their success on intensity on the ball, which means the opponent can’t raise their head to put the ball in.

“So your team is always always tight. It’s always really tight. Sometimes it’s a risk, but you get energy on the ball. That energy isn’t there now, so the back players have to adapt and have to come back three or four yards.”

“That’s all we’re talking about. But if they keep playing like this, they’re going to have a big problem in terms of the Premier League this season and qualifying for the next round of the Champions League.”

Cara judges Napoli in tweets

Liverpool’s remaining matches in the Champions League

September 13: Ajax (H) – The match starts at 8 pm

October 4th: Notice (H) – The match starts at 8 pm

October 12: Notice (a) The match starts at 8 pm

October 26: Ajax (a) The match starts at 8 pm

November 1st: Naples (H) – The match starts at 8 pm