You would struggle to find any positives to take from Liverpool’s dismal defeat to Leeds at Anfield on Saturday night and Noel Whelan has singled out one Reds star in particular for his performance.
The likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez were well below par against Jesse Marsch’s side but it’s Brazilian midfielder Fabinho that has received severe criticism.
The former Leeds striker claimed that the No. 3’s legs look like they’ve gone and labelled his performances so far this season as ‘horrendous’.
“Fabinho was miles off the pace and Klopp was clearly not happy with him,” Whelan told Football Insider. “There was that furious exchange in the first half and he was constantly gesturing where the midfielders should be.
“I’m surprised he didn’t take Fabinho off at half-time, to be honest. He was that bad. He couldn’t cope with the energy and dynamism of Leeds, who had a proper go at Liverpool and were full value for their win. Klopp would have destroyed him in the dressing room at half-time.
“The fact he took him off after an hour, as well as Harvey Elliott, tells you everything about what he thought about the Liverpool midfield, and how there were too many gaps for Leeds to play in.
“Fabinho has been a brilliant player for Liverpool, but he’s been horrendous this season, a shadow of his former self.
“He’s not that old, he’s not even 30, but I’m thinking, ‘it looks like your legs have gone’. The decline could be terminal.”
The former Monaco man’s performance may have been lacklustre with him receiving a ‘rollicking’ from his boss during the first-half, but most of his teammates were also below par as we suffered our fourth league defeat of the season after just 12 games.
The 29-year-old is a vitally important part of our squad with the protection he (usually) offers to our defence and his ability to stifle dangerous-looking attacks from the opposition.
After going so agonisingly close to completing a glorious quadruple last season, our drop-off is extremely concerning.
It’s not just two or three of Klopp’s side that are struggling, it feels as if it’s the group as a whole and if we don’t sort things out soon then this campaign could prove to be a very disappointing one.
We were very good against Manchester City earlier this month, but other than that it’s hard to remember the last time we played well and truly dominated a game throughout.
It’s only October, though, and thankfully there is a long way to go in the campaign and we’ve already booked our spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League.
The sooner Fabinho is back to his best the better.