‘The wrong thing to do’ – Jermain Defoe critical of Liverpool player for one moment v Tottenham

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Jermain Defoe was critical of one Liverpool player’s decision making during the Reds’ 4-2 win over Tottenham on Sunday.

The former Spurs striker shone the microscope on Darwin Nunez after seeing the Uruguayan attempt to chip the ball over the onrushing Guglielmo Vicario rather than take it around the goalkeeper, with that late chance ultimately coming to nought.

Speaking on Premier League Productions (5 May, 18:40), the ex-England international insisted that the 24-year-old can’t afford to be so languid when presented with such inviting opportunities to score.

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Defoe said: “I think Jota is probably the best finisher. He actually finishes, like calculated finishes. Salah and Nunez, they shoot, if that makes sense. They don’t finish.

“Even Nunez, in the last action when he went through on goal, the obvious solution was to go around the goalkeeper and then pass it into an empty net, but for whatever reason he tries to dink it over him. It’s the wrong thing to do in that situation.

“The chances, when it comes consistently, week after week and game after game and you are missing all these chances, then you are competing against teams like Man City and Arsenal that get these chances and players are converting these chances, then you are going to fall behind.”

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Nunez can be frustrating to watch at times when he takes the wrong option in the final third or misses chances that he’d reasonably be expected to score, but let’s not lose sight of the fact that he’s netted 18 times this season in just under 3,000 minutes of football (Transfermarkt).

For context, Jack Grealish – who cost £100m – has a paltry tally of three goals in slightly more than 2,100 minutes this term. He mightn’t be a centre-forward like the Uruguayan, but he’s still an attacker with a Manchester City team which dominates almost every match they play.

We’re not for a second inviting a pile-on against the England international, but rather pointing out how Nunez seems to get a vastly disproportionate amount of criticism for his output.

Also, while fans are entitled to be annoyed at moments such as the one that Defoe highlighted, the 24-year-old certainly doesn’t warrant personal abuse over his performances on the pitch. If, as seems plausible, that’s the reason for him deleting his Liverpool-related posts on Instagram, that’s completely out of order.

For his sake as much as the team’s, we hope that he can silence some doubters in our final two games of this season, and throughout the 2024/25 campaign.

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  1. If he goes around the goalkeeper, he then needs to control his speed after passing and then use the left leg. Honestly, it’s hard for Nunez to do all of that. He is a direct impact player with no soft technical skills. Liverpool need him. However, he will start getting annoyed and look for a transfer.

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