Peter Crouch told his fellow pundits on BT Sport that he felt it was time for Bobby Firmino to “step up” in light of Liverpool’s “over-reliance” on fellow forward Mo Salah, as reported by the Metro.
Jurgen Klopp’s men have suffered back-to-back defeats at Anfield after their latest 1-0 loss to Brighton.
“There’s an over-reliance on Salah, Firmino’s got to step up,” the former Red said. “It felt like he’s coming back into it. But Salah is the one scoring the goals, he’s still got 20-goals and we’re talking about him not being on top form.”
“But when Salah’s not on it or he misses chances, I just don’t think there’s enough when Mane’s out and Jota’s out in the team to score goals,” Crouch added. “Liverpool will get players back so they will go on a run, we can’t discount Manchester United and Leicester have been fantastic, another win for them tonight, they’ve got so many good players. But City are strong favourites.”
The squad has been absolutely ravaged by injuries of late, with illness and a minor muscle injury, for Alisson Becker and Sadio Mane respectively, ruling out the duo for the clash with the Seagulls.
There’s no question that Liverpool are already struggling without their starting centre-back pair – the decision to swoop for Ben Davies and Ozan Kabak underlines that particular point.
As soon as the new signings are filtered into the team, we’d imagine that having Jordan Henderson and Fabinho return to the midfield will have a more than notable impact on performances.
The fact remains, however, that a lack of options, as enforced by injuries, has left Jurgen Klopp with the impossible task of keeping his players fresh whilst trying to cultivate a viable threat against sides that play the low-block.
With the Reds’ title challenge on thin ice at the moment, a solution to get through fixtures with less expansive sides needs to be pursued, though we’re not denying the difficulty of the task facing Klopp.