Kenny Dalglish sympathised with his former side’s struggles this season, underlining Liverpool’s injury woes in the heart of defence as “contributing factors”, as reported by the Mirror.
Virgil van Dijk kickstarted the gradual decimation of the club’s centre-back options, with Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford injuring the Dutchman in the first Merseyside derby, before being quickly followed by a succession of defenders.
“There are no excuses, but there are some reasons,” the prolific ex-striker said. “One of the biggest contributary factors was losing four players in the same position, because then that was the back four out of commission or certainly weaker than they were.”
Accusations of excuse-making have been consistently levelled against Jurgen Klopp’s side, with a few neutrals and pundits questioning our mentality following a first title win in 30 years.
Nonetheless, the reality of the situation is that the loss of our talismanic No.4 alone would have hurt any top four side, (a point Manchester City made clear following the loss of Aymeric Laporte last season), let alone injuries to our remaining centre-halves and backup options.
This has been a thoroughly unusual campaign for us, for many reasons, but we’ve arguably handled our struggles better than most would have been capable of doing in our shoes.
There are no excuses, but there are, as Dalglish was right to point out, explanations, which we hope to move beyond in our bid to deliver a respectful end to the season.