It’s hard not to sympathise a little with Emre Can given the criticism he has been on the end of over the past month or so.
His performances of late have been nowhere near to the standard Reds fans expect from him but in all fairness, very few Liverpool players have impressed since the turn of the year.
For a while it looked as though the German was evolving his game and moulding into the dynamic box-to-box midfielder that supporters expected him to become upon his arrival at the club. He had started to score goals and pose as an attacking threat in and around the opposition box.
That somewhat faded away at the beginning of the year though as he started to look ponderous on the ball and short of confidence.
Can himself has discussed how difficult it has been to ignore critics, telling the Liverpool Echo: “It’s not easy to ignore what people are saying because you naturally tend to read the newspapers and speak to friends and a lot of people in the city.”
“Of course they want to talk about football. It’s not easy to ignore, but we have to try and do that because it’s the best way to focus on the games ahead.”
“The most important thing is we have to stick together. When we have good performances we stick together and we must do the same when we have bad performances.”
Can has been at the club long enough now for fans to know he isn’t and never will be one to begin putting less effort in when things are going well.
He has the energy and the work rate to still be an asset to this side physically but it’s his decision making and intelligence on the ball that has let him down over recent weeks.
He has the talent to make a difference but he just needs some confidence back.