Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher has revealed that there was a sense of shock as he received score updates during our defeat to Stoke on the final day of the season, but points out that the issues flagged in the game at least highlight work required to fix them in the summer.
The 6-1 loss was our heaviest since the formation of the Premier League, and tainted Steven Gerrard’s last game in a Liverpool shirt before his summer departure to LA Galaxy – although the skipper did at least bag our consolation goal.
The pundit posted his reaction on Facebook, and explained that the full-time result did not hurt as much as the scoreline at the interval, as the writing had long been on the wall well before Peter Crouch finished the rout four minutes from time.
“The Liverpool result today at Stoke is unacceptable for all concerned but it wasn’t the 6-1 score line [sic] at the end but more the 5-0 at ht. I haven’t seen any of the action but when hearing the score come through in the studio today after the first 45 mins there was a look of disbelief from all around,” he wrote.
The result has consigned us to sixth place in the table, just 12 months after we were battling at the very top of the league. The former defender suggested that despite the four places dropped since last year, and the six goals shipped at the Britannia, we have made progress in defence. However, Sunday’s result proved that there is still some distance to cover all over the pitch if we wish to return into contention for a Champions League qualification spot.
“Liverpool had defensive problems last season that eventually cost us the title and our record defensively this season is still not great but, the goalkeeper was in line today to win the golden glove award for most clean sheets today which shows some improvement. After today though it’s evident for all to see there is problems at both ends of the field that will hopefully be rectified in some way this summer,” he added.
Once the dust settles on the result and the performance, it will be much easier to accept that this game was not a fair reflection on our season. Similarly however, it would be foolish not to use this result as motivation to ensure that we are not even close to this position again.
Looking on the bright side, Stoke did us a small favour by highlighting improvements will be needed in both defence and attack for us to compete for the title in the future. Whether we got what we deserved or not, there is no way that this result can be dismissed without questioning why it happened. If we manage to solve those puzzles, then hopefully we will be looking back on a much more positive season in 12 months time.
Here is Carragher’s statement in full: