'It's as if they are a pub team with Peter Kay at centre-half' - Liverpool's 'stupid' critics slammed by Fowler

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The former Reds striker believes too much is being made of defensive issues at Anfield, with Jurgen Klopp's team a "spectacular" outfit at their best

The ongoing criticism of Liverpool’s defensive struggles is “stupid”, according to Robbie Fowler, with Jurgen Klopp in charge of a “spectacular” team.

The Reds, having failed to bring in another centre-back over the summer, have seen their inability to collect clean sheets thrust under the microscope once more.

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Soft goals continue to cost Klopp’s side precious points at home and abroad, with Premier League and Champions League campaigns being hampered by frailties at the back.

Fowler, though, is of the opinion that too much attention is being placed on those issues, with Liverpool having shown that they can be a “sublime” outfit when performing at their best.

The Reds legend wrote in his column for the Mirror: “It's strange these days in football how every situation needs a ­narrative – and everyone has to stick to that story.

“So with Liverpool at the moment, they can’t defend and that means they can’t win anything. Which is rubbish, of course, but it is amazing how it ­becomes almost self-fulfilling.

“I go to games and I think I’m watching something spectacular, something sublime. Yet I go home and switch on the telly and, by the end, I’m starting to ­believe I watched a pub team with Peter Kay at centre-half.

“Which is my way of saying there is an awful lot of things right about Liverpool and they are not too far away at all.

Robbie Fowler Liverpool criticism Peter Kay

“Which probably sounds crazy to the casual observer, who will have seen all the doom and gloom and thought they were in crisis.

“Yes, they concede some bad goals. But every goal is a bad goal really, isn’t it? And every team concedes their fair share of them. If you concentrate enough, then every single goal ­conceded you can bring it back to a mistake or a weakness...and then say the team conceding can’t defend.

“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not all about the defence, for a start. It’s a team game, everyone has to defend properly, not just the back four, and to highlight them in isolation is stupid.”

While the defensive struggles have held Liverpool back at times, a group of misfiring frontmen have also been questioned for failing to turn chances into goals and points.

Fowler added: “I love the way Liverpool play under Klopp. But if the system doesn’t deliver regular goals, then you eventually have to look at it. In saying that, I would be far more worried if they were not ­creating chances.

“I think they will turn a team over spectacularly very soon and then it could be the click they need to get things rolling.”

Liverpool will be hoping to find that spark on Sunday when they travel to St James’ Park to take on Newcastle.