Adrian Durham has criticised Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp for displaying ‘arrogance’ during the collapse of their Premier League title defence.
The fortress which was once Anfield has crumbled from unbeaten in almost four years to defeats in back-to-back matches as Brighton followed Burnley in leaving with a 1-0 victory on Wednesday night.
Having beaten high-flying West Ham on Sunday, the Reds were hoping to continue their resurgence in their pursuit of table-toppers Manchester City.
However, with Pep Guardiola’s men set to visit Merseyside on Sunday, the Seagulls bullied Klopp’s men to snatch all three points.
Defeat to City would almost certainly kill off any faint hopes of retaining their first-ever Premier League crown, but Durham feels as though Liverpool’s plight could have been avoided.
With deadline day signings Ben Davies on the bench and Ozan Kabak not signed in time to help out makeshift defender Jordan Henderson in the absence of Fabinho and Virgil van Dijk, the Drivetime host questioned the German’s logic.
He said: “I’m puzzled because since Christmas, they haven’t won any of their four home games and they’ve been pretty shocking.
“Listen, you’ve got to remember as well that it is a pandemic, there are no fans in the ground and I think certain fans in the ground make a difference so I think that is worth bearing in mind.
“But that [the pandemic] is affecting everybody – all that stuff can everybody – the pandemic affects everyone on the pitch, not just the home side or the away side.
“So what I am looking at here is an arrogance, I think, from Liverpool as a football club that they felt didn’t need to sign a centre-back early in the window so they didn’t bother and they waited until the last day to bring in two.
“One of them was available last night and Jurgen Klopp got arrogant because he thought ‘I’ll leave him on the bench because I can afford to have Henderson in the back four’.
“No, put Henderson in midfield where he belongs, where you need a spine. Your spine is gone with Van Dijk gone and Fabinho out and Henderson out of the midfield, your spine is gone.
“Stick him in midfield, stick a centre-back at centre-back – I know it is revolutionary but try it – you’re putting too much pressure on anyone of those two or three of those superstars up front to score goals.
“When the pressure is on them, sometimes it is just too much. So I think the club was arrogant not to sign centre-backs earlier in the window and I think that Jurgen Klopp was arrogant signing a centre-back who has been playing all season and not putting him in the team.
“What is the point of that? Ridiculous.”
With Van Dijk out for what could well be the season, the decision to not act sooner in the transfer window is hindering Liverpool’s cause.
Of course, the club do not want to repeat the panic purchases of the past like Andy Carroll and Mario Balotelli.
However, Durham feels as though the current injury crisis is not an acceptable excuse when their Merseyside rivals are currently thriving in spite of their own selection headaches.
“People can talk about injuries, lots of clubs have had injuries,” he continued. “Everton have had numerous injuries and here Everton are, four points behind Liverpool with two games in hand.
“All of a sudden it becomes clear just how bad this attempt is to retain the title from Liverpool Football Club.
“If people want to point to injuries, then have a look at your owners who aren’t signing the players you need to cover for those injuries.
“Have a look at Jurgen Klopp, who is given a centre-back and leaves him on the bench. Ask what is going on there?”