Peter Crouch has said Liverpool are in a “horrible cycle” and that manager Jurgen Klopp needs his charges to once again find their confidence before it will end.
The Reds’ season hit a low point on Sunday with a 1-0 defeat at home to Fulham, with the result their sixth loss on the spin at Anfield.
Liverpool can now turn their attentions away from the domestic scene, as they face RB Leipzig in the Champions League on Wednesday, but Crouch is concerned as they do not look the same side with Jordan Henderson absent.
What has been said?
“I watched Liverpool on Sunday and couldn't believe I predicted in November this team would retain the title,” Crouch said in his column in the Daily Mail. “They had played so professionally and with such class against Manchester City that day, I couldn't see how they would be stopped.
“What I see in front of me now bears no resemblance. Mohamed Salah is the only forward who looks like he will score and even against Fulham his opportunities were few and far between. Teams have found a way of playing against them, especially at Anfield.
“The attacking threat has fallen down because of what has happened in the middle of the pitch. Without Jordan Henderson and Fabinho, they don't press as high, the full-backs don't get forward and the defence is vulnerable.
“When you have that mixture, it leads to confidence draining. When you don't have confidence, you don't want to shoot as often and you snatch at chances.
“It's a horrible cycle to be in and now Jurgen Klopp needs it to stop.”
Liverpool’s ‘horrible cycle’
The Reds topped the table by three points after 16 games of the season, but the wheels have fallen off in 2021.
Injuries have played a part, but the loss of star defender Virgil van Dijk in October did not hamper them.
Their long unbeaten run domestically, dating back to the 7-2 mauling by Aston Villa in October, was snapped with a 1-0 reverse at Southampton.
Since the loss to Saints on January 4, the Reds’ only wins in the league have been away from home at Tottenham, West Ham and Sheffield United.
Home defeats to Burnley, Brighton, Manchester City, Everton, Chelsea and Fulham have seen them drop to eighth in the league, four points adrift of fourth-placed Chelsea having played a game more.