The reasons for Liverpool’s struggles this season are clear and obvious, and they don’t change from one week or month to the next. Which can make it tempting to try to look for something new, or more, or different to blame.
At the end of the day, though, it’s simple. It’s the monumental injury list and three senior centre halves out with season-ending injuries. And it’s the lack of live support for a side that in the past has excelled at feeding off fan energy.
“I think the reason is there for everybody to see,” former Red Adam Lallana told TalkSPORT this week when asked about the club he left in the summer, pointing to injuries and the lack of fans as the root causes of their struggles.
“Without the fans and everyone knows how much of an impact Anfield is with the fans there. The injuries that they have had. You cannot hide from that. It’s not an excuse. I know a lot of the players, and I still speak to them now.
“They won’t be using that as an excuse, but I think it’s a reason why they have struggled a bit this season. I am more than confident that they will bounce back next season when they have a few more players back and a few more fans in.”
The importance of live support to this side was made clear just before Christmas when fans were let back into Anfield in limited numbers—and the Reds responded by playing some of their best football of the 2020-21 season.
As for the injuries, the players may not want to use them as an excuse, but Liverpool are built for the high line, and without defenders good on the ball and comfortable defending half the length of pitch their system falls apart.
That doesn’t change whether it’s January or March. Even if it’s tempting for fans to want to imagine there’s some easy fix—or for pundits to want to come up with something new to bang on about as the Reds continue to struggle.