Tony Cascarino, who represented Chelsea in the Premier League in the 1990s, has made an astonishing claim about Liverpool’s form this season.
To be fair, saying the team as a whole haven’t been playing as well as they did 12 months ago, as he did, isn’t breaking new ground – but implying not one of the Reds’ stars have at least matched last year’s performances is simply an ignorant lie.
Speaking to talkSPORT, Cascarino said he can’t think of one Liverpool player who has got close to last season’s form, completely ignoring 24-goal Mohamed Salah.
“This has been a nightmare season for Liverpool,” he said.
“Everything that could have gone wrong, has gone wrong. I can’t think of a Liverpool player that’s got close to playing as well as he did last season.
“That’s a problem for a start, Roberto Firmino bothers me – he’s got one goal in 14 games. On Saturday, he looked a shadow [of his former self].
“Who plays like him? You can go and get another centre-forward but finding a replacement for Firmino is tricky.
“If Jota was fit, you might see [Mohamed] Salah play down the middle or [Sadio] Mane – just changed it around a little bit.
“I thought [Gini] Wijnaldum looks like he’s played way too much football, which he has because he’s been asked to play a lot of games.”
It’s a little weird Cascarino can’t think of one player who has at least matched himself from last season, and then mention Salah in the same breath.
While it’s far from a good season for the Reds, ignoring the bright spark that is the Egyptian this term is just lazy analysis.
We have seen drop-offs in Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino’s form, but the introduction of the now-injured Diogo Jota counteracted that in the first few months.
It gets mentioned a lot, but for good reason – Virgil van Dijk’s absence is also a tremendous loss, with the whole team clearly feeling it.