Liverpool’s current issues with dropping points stem from the forwards not being in-form, says former defender Steve Nicol.
Jurgen Klopp has acknowledged the champions are in a difficult moment, but Nicol says the problems are not in defence – where Liverpool have had several injuries and played with midfielders Fabinho and Jordan Henderson at centre-back against Saints – but in attack.
The previously lethal trio of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah have failed to fire in the most recent outings, while Diogo Jota is out injured and Takumi Minamino has remained unused on the bench. Nicol says Klopp has to show his worth now by finding the right words to each player to help them rediscover a scoring touch.
“I think it’s pretty clear where the problems are. It’s up front,” Nicol told ESPN. “The front three are not producing, not delivering… they’re not even creating!
“Yes, at Newcastle they made opportunities but this Southampton game and the West Brom game, they never created anything. If you aren’t going to create, then you aren’t going to score goals.
“This is where Klopp comes into it as well and earns his corn. It’s all very well saying, this is wrong, this isn’t right – the fact is these three games we’re talking about, they’ve had over 70 per cent possession of the ball in every game.
“So it’s not a complete and utter shambles. The fact is Klopp now has to have a quiet word and a clever word with the front three.”
Salah is the league’s top scorer with 13 this season, one clear of Son Heung-min, while the Reds as a team have netted 37 in the Premier League – at least four more than any other side.
But since the demolition of Palace they have scored just one in three and taken two points, meaning their lead has been wiped out by second-place Manchester United, who are behind only on goal difference – with the sides meeting at Anfield later this month.