What is there left to say about Liverpool? They are generally a team which dominates possession, creates a ridiculous number of chances, fails to convert those chances and to make matters worse, they are prone to defensive lapses at crucial moments.
Unfortunately, for supporters of the Merseyside club, those issues will need to be solved before they can be considered a serious threat to the rest of the front-runners in the Premier League.
Yesterday’s game was a perfect example of their almost inevitable play. They had hammered away at the Newcastle goal in the first half, missing a number of gilt-edged chances in the process before finally breaking the deadlock thanks to some brilliance from Philippe Coutinho. In fact, Coutinho’s goal was a much more difficult chance than some of the efforts on goal which took place before the Brazilian smashed in the opener.
Anyway, as the old cliché goes, a team is most vulnerable after they score a goal and that applied to Jurgen Klopp’s side yesterday. Jonjo Shelvey, a player who’s quality on the ball should be familiar to Liverpool, played a simple through ball to Joselu who glided past Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren who were caught out by Shelvey’s pass.
Jamie Carragher was speaking on Sky Sports in the aftermath of yesterday’s game and he was critical once again of Liverpool’s defending, and not for the first time.
“It sums Liverpool up defensively. In total control and they concede yet again. How many times have we got to say it?” Carragher argued in the studio after the 1-1 draw at St James Park.
“Listen, we’ve just waxed lyrical about Jonjo [Shelvey] there, it came from [Daniel] Sturridge losing the ball and that happened far too often, but again, Liverpool’s centre-backs are all over the place.
“It’s so poor. There’s a little bit of fortune [Joselu’s finish] but how poor that is from Liverpool – I said last week on Monday Night Football about how they are never switched on, I think I said ‘streetwise’ 25 times, but I’m going to say it again.
“As soon as that ball is lost – Jonjo Shelvey – think who you are playing against, what’s he gonna do? Look forward.
“Get in position early. A lack of concentration has cost Liverpool and I’ll say it again, whenever Liverpool conceded chances, they are always ‘big chances’, and this is exactly the same, a man running through on your goal.”
It’s hard to see how Liverpool’s defensive problems will miraculously improve over the coming weeks but one thing is for certain, supporters of the club will be hoping some business is done in January to solve this problem.