english premier league

“We last had real solidity back there in the Rafa Benitez era”- Phil Thompson on Liverpool defense

The former Liverpool man suggested that Liverpool have failed to replace the good of Jamie Carragher at the back-line

Liverpool though are considered as one of the best-attacking sides in the Premier League, but it has been the defensive problems that have led them down time and again. Liverpool have been thrashed by Manchester City and Tottenham this season by big margins. The only good performance this season was when they beat Arsenal convincingly. Former Liverpool defender Phil Thompson believes that the Anfield side has failed to replace Jamie Carragher, which has cost them dearly.

Missing Carragher and his leadership

Carragher, who dedicated his career at Anfield played 737 matches for them before hanging up his boots in 2013. Thompson believes that Liverpool significantly lacks his leadership as they have already conceded 16 goals in the Premier League, only Watford in top half have conceded more. Center Backs Dejan Lovren and Joel Matip have made plenty of defensive errors at the back, with the goalkeeper doing no good in pulling his side out of danger.

If he had been playing in the 2013/14 season we would have won the title

Phil Thompson noted that Liverpool have never been defensively strong under Klopp, who once again failed to add a quality center back to his side this summer. Squawka reported him saying to The Liverpool Echo,

“We last had real solidity back there in the Rafa Benitez era with Jamie Carragher and Sami Hyypia as a partnership. Since they left we’ve not had a really solid base to work from.

“As a centre-back, the three biggest things are organisation, communication, and concentration. They are bywords you use as a defender.

“Carra was the last of a generation really. One of his big strengths was organizing team-mates and communicating,” he added.

“If he had been playing in the 2013/14 season I’m quite sure we would have won the title. He was great at ensuring people were in the right positions at the right time.”

Liverpool finished a close second that season but were guilty of conceding 50 goals compared to 37 of City who went on to grab the title.

Author’s Take

Liverpool currently sits 9th in the Premier League table having won a mere 3 matches while losing badly to Spurs and City. While the Fab four of Salah, Firmino, Mane, and Coutinho have put in some goals, lack of defensive maturity is a major reason why they sit in the mid-table. Jurgen Klopp surely needs to get an upgrade to existing defenders this winter if his side are to challenge for something significant this season.


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