There’s no doubt that Saturday’s goalless draw with Manchester United was a disappointing result. Some positives can be extracted from it, to be sure, but overall there’s a sense that Liverpool could have, should have, done better.
At some point you have to just accept a result for what it is and try to move on. There’s another Champions League game coming up on Tuesday followed by another massive league clash next Sunday against Tottenham. Dwelling on what went wrong doesn’t do anyone any favors.
Unless you’re former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher, of course. In his role as Sky Sports pundit, Carragher is mostly concerned with two things: assigning blame, and stirring controversy. Which is how we end up at Carra going out of his way to pin the result squarely on Jurgen Klopp’s shoulders.
"Jurgen Klopp made changes but he still kept the three-man midfield the same. Manchester United showed such a lack of ambition, it was worth taking a risk by leaving Coutinho on and bringing on another attacking player. Yes, you can get done on the counter but it was obvious United were here for a 0-0 and hoping to nick a goal from a set-piece or a counter-attack.”
He went on (of course).
"I think Liverpool should have taken the risk to take (Gini) Wijnaldum or Can off. It's not easy as a manager but I'd have taken that chance earlier and the substitutions shouldn't have been just player for player, but more tactical. It would have given Liverpool an extra attacking player on the pitch - it could have cost them the game, but it could have won them the game - but the position Liverpool are in, it was a game they had to go for."
Carra has a point about substitutions, of course, but beyond that I just don’t see what exactly Klopp was supposed to do differently. Liverpool were up against a Mourinho team that showed up looking for a point. There’s only so much you can do against a team set up to play like that. Carra saying Klopp should’ve made his team play more adventurously is like someone criticizing a losing Formula 1 team by telling them they would’ve won the race if they just went a little faster.
Also, what does “more tactical” even mean in this context?
At least Phil Neville is honest about his intentions when he takes craven potshots at Liverpool . These days, Carra tries to sell his Hot Takes as nuanced expert analysis. But it all just amounts to “go faster.”