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Stop Blaming Virgil’s Absence, Says Carra

The former Liverpool great had some words.

Everton v Leeds United - Premier League - Goodison Park Photo by Peter Powell/PA Images via Getty Images

Yesterday’s horror show against Everton ended 2-0 against Liverpool, and saw us losing to the Ev at Anfield for the first time since 1999. The game obviously created a stir and lots of people have a lot to say, and lots of Opinions™ to share.

(Mostly) loveable and talky Liverpool great Jamie Carragher gave his two cents and wasn’t particularly kind in his match commentary.

“Liverpool have been so poor, they have got everything deserved,” Carragher said.

“They can’t keep saying ‘Virgil van Dijk is out’. I’m sick of saying it myself.”

Which is somewhat unfair considering that Virgil was indeed one of the most significant influences on the pitch over the past two seasons. And while his absence has been compounded by a string of injuries to almost every other player to feature at center-back, his leadership qualities were key in pushing last two seasons’ “mentality giants” along in their relentless pursuit of glory. So yes, Virgil’s absence is no trivial matter. And to come back to the other injuries, as Twitter used @Pippa35 suggested, Liverpool’s 2008/9 side without Hyypia, Carra and Agger for the whole season, and Alonso and Mascherano at CB would be, well...a much weaker side.

Carra pointed to one legitimate issue about Liverpool’s attack, which has undoubtedly been wasteful as hell over the past few games.

“Going forward is as big a problem as what we’re seeing defensively from Liverpool now. I know Liverpool have dominated possession but it doesn’t mean anything if you don’t create. And that is a big problem for this Liverpool team”, he said.

“Very rarely do you see Liverpool play now when you expect them to score.”

Once again - a patchwork squad, lack of Virgil and Joe Gomez who play a role in advancing the ball, the absence of Henderson in midfield - a myriad of factors are probably to blame, but converting easy to moderately difficult chances has been a massive issue recently.

As noted yesterday, Liverpool has gone nearly 9 hours without an open play goal at Anfield. And since they are also missing the fresh legs and unpredictability of Diogo Jota at the moment, there’s hardly more that can be done other than sending the front three to Get the Ball in the Net Boot Camp to think about what they’re doing, and hope they come back in scoring form once again.

Bottom line, maybe take it easy for now, Carra. These are tough times and a little compassion wouldn’t hurt your cred as an unbiased pundit.

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