It’s fair to say Liverpool are in a very bad moment. More than a moment, perhaps, having won just two of their last nine Premier League games and scored just eight goals over that stretch—with six coming in their victories over Tottenham and West Ham.
A 1-1 draw with West Brom, a nil-nil with Newcastle, a 1-0 defeat to Southampton, and nil-nil with Manchester United, a 1-0 defeat to Burnley, a 1-0 defeat to Brighton, and a 4-1 defeat to Manchester City have been their other results over the past six weeks.
Despite that, former Wales manager Chris Coleman thinks that some of the criticisms of this side are a little over the top—that writing this Liverpool group off, these players and their manager Jürgen Klopp, in the larger picture is perhaps a little premature.
“I’m amazed listening to some of the criticism of Liverpool,” Coleman said on Sky as relayed by The Daily Mail. “This is a team that won the title, Champions League title, been labelled as one of the best team in the Premier League—which absolutely they are.”
“This season they have had crippling injuries to important players. Also the style of football Jurgen Klopp likes that they have been doing for two or three seasons and sooner or later that will catch up. They are a great team [but] they are in a sticky moment.”
This group won the Champions League and the Premier League, won 99 and 97 points in back to back seasons. This year, with crippling injuries—including to the consensus best centre half in football—and no fans in the stands, they’re clearly struggling.
It’s perhaps not a situation entirely dissimilar to what happened to Manchester City last season, when following two seasons with 100 and 98 points they dropped off the pace and only managed 81 while struggling with injuries and inconsistent form.
Similarly to City last year, this Liverpool side didn’t become bad overnight. The players don’t need to be replaced wholesale in order for them to be competitive again. What they need is a chance to get healthy, to bring in a few reinforcements, and re-focus.
“No team can maintain those standards, but can they come back again?” Coleman added. “Of course they can. A lot of their players look a bit tired and jaded from playing the most attacking, the most exciting football, but they will come back again.”