Danny Murphy disagrees with excuse constantly used to explain poor Liverpool performances: ‘Maybe players can hide behind that’

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The loss of key men over time is an inevitable part of the football world and, in fact, any sport for that matter, though there’s no question that some outfits adjust better than others to losing a star player.

The exit of Sadio Mane in the summer window just gone has been repeatedly waved about in front of fans’ faces as an explanation for some of Liverpool’s poor outings this term, as was the case from Peter Crouch (Mirror) and Garth Crooks (BBC), for example.

Danny Murphy, however, wasn’t about to entertain such a rationale for a second, with the former Red instead pointing to ‘complacency and a lack of concentration’.

“I think the Mane thing is just an excuse, and maybe players can hide behind that,” the 45-year-old told talkSPORT. “I don’t agree with the Mane point. You miss quality, but him leaving is not the reason the players at the back aren’t tracking runners or switching off – that’s complacency and a lack of concentration.”

(Video) Liverpool fans will have heads in hands at Trent’s complete lack of effort for second Napoli goal

Trent Alexander-Arnold was arguably at fault for the second goal conceded in Naples

READ MORE: Murphy fears ‘terrific’ Liverpool star may be carrying an injury as he’s a shadow of his former self

Make no mistake: the loss of our former No.10 will have hurt Jurgen Klopp’s men ahead of the start of the 2022/23 campaign, though we can hardly fault the level of investment provided (£64m up front, to be precise) to source a successor in Darwin Nunez.

Regardless, it’s very difficult to imagine, had Mane chosen to remain in Liverpool red, how and where exactly he would have made a difference against Napoli.

A refusal to be flexible with the high line whilst the midfield isn’t looking quite so compact – as Jamie Carragher rightly noted on CBS – has meant that the defence is at times failing to compensate for the poorly performing department, leading to a multitude of moments where Luciano Spalletti’s men carved through our backline as if there were a total lack of world-class operators in the back four.

#Ep58 of The Empire of the Kop Podcast: Rating Liverpool’s UCL group, making a new signing… & more!

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