Today's Top Words:
liverpool klopp premier champions jurgen fulham reds season anfield now would you players team gerrard
Carragher echoes Shearer's concern as Klopp faces defining Liverpool decision

Below is a summary of the full article. Click here for the full version or go back to LFC Live.net

Jurgen Klopp faces a career-defining decision over his fabled Liverpool front line as Liverpool face Manchester United for the second time in eight days.

Last weekend's stalemate against United at Anfield - and Thursday's shock defeat to Burnley - underlined a big problem for the Reds as Klopp looks to mastermind his side's title defence.



Liverpool have now gone four Premier League games without scoring, and are without a win in five top-flight matches - with Sadio Mane the only Reds player to have scored in the league during that dismal run.



Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have torn defences apart in recent seasons with their quick movement, devastating finishing and intricate understanding of each other's play.



But after last Sunday's 0-0 draw against their fiercest rivals, Alan Shearer highlighted a change in the once fearsome front three, saying they looked "flat", "slower in the final third", and less dangerous as a result.

Roberto Firmino has scored just five goals this season and drew a blank against United (Image: Paul Ellis/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock) Read More Related Articles Read More Related Articles

And Jamie Carragher echoed Shearer's concerns - even going as far as to suggest that Firmino could be sold.

The 29-year-old has been laud during his time with Liverpool for his unselfish game, putting in the graft while his more prolific team-mates Mane and Salah grab the goals and the glory.

But as the three attackers edge towards the age of 30, Carragher expects them to be gradually replaced - a process which is already underway with Liverpool having signed Diogo Jota in the summer.

And the former Reds defender believes Firmino will be first to pay the price if his goal return doesn't improve.

"I'm still confident that Mane and Salah will start scoring goals again, but I must say I am worried for Firmino," Carragher told Sky Sports.

Jamie Carragher says Firmino needs to score more when his team-mates are not Read More Related Articles

"He's never been seen as the goal scorer, that's the responsibility of the other two.

"But he's there to chip in and when they're not scoring, and I just feel he needs to be a bigger goal threat.

"He had a couple of chances [against Manchester United]but he's not quite striking the ball right. His bringing players into the game has dropped off too.

"And also the counter-pressing and winning the ball back has dropped off with Firmino - and not just this season.

"I'm actually going back to last season, when Liverpool won the league. I was a little bit worried then and I was thinking, 'Can he turn it around this season?'"

Diogo Jota hit the ground running before being sidelined by injury (Image: PA) Read More Related Articles

Klopp of course defended Firmino - but then didn't start him against Burnley, with his replacement Divock Origi missing a sitter.

Jota would have been the obvious choice to step in, but is not expected back from a knee injury until early February - and Liverpool appear to be missing him.

The Portugal international scored nine goals in 17 appearances for the Reds before being sidelined, staking a claim to be an indispensable first-team choice. Firmino, in contrast, has scored five.

Now Klopp faces some big questions which could define his Liverpool reign.

With his forwards struggling compared to past seasons, does Klopp begin to break up his once fearsome front line?

Jurgen Klopp has big calls to make over the future of his revered front line (Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images) Read More Related Articles

If Firmino doesn't start scoring, does the manager start to phase him out, as Carragher suggests could happen?

And amid constant speculation linking Mane and Salah to La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, is it time for Klopp to look to the future?

It is a hugely difficult conundrum, with the first-choice trio having fired Liverpool to the Premier League title, the Champions League and the Club World Cup in the past two seasons.

Their collective dip in form could be merely a blip, or it could be a sign that their threat as a threesome is on the wane.

Klopp is facing the kind of decision that his friend and legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson faced so many times during his 27-year reign in charge of Liverpool's great rivals.

Klopp is facing the kind of career-defining decision that Fergie got right so many times (Image: Corbis via Getty Images)

Fergie usually got it right. And that fact will not be lost on Klopp as the Reds face United again in Sunday's FA Cup clash at Old Trafford.

Shearer hinted at the dilemma as he gave his verdict on Liverpool's goal drought.

"Their forward line has been brilliantly effective in the past few years but at Anfield I felt they looked a bit flat [against United]," Shearer told BBC Sport.

"We are used to seeing them tear into teams, but they are a little bit slower in the final third than usual, and it means they look far less dangerous."

Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane have been the subjects of constant transfer speculation

Keeping things in perspective, Shearer added that despite their recent problems, Liverpool remained just three points off the pace after they were held by United - although that gap has now increased to six points.

He said: "There must be some concern for Klopp about his side's form and how they can rediscover their trademark bite in attack, but on the plus side they are only three points off the top."

Klopp now faces the challenge - as Ferguson did so many times - of ensuring Liverpool still have the right players to stay at the top of English football.

Sign up to the Mirror Football email here for the latest news and transfer gossip


For more news relating to Manchester United, visit our sister site MUFC Live.

Click to visit Mirror | Click to return to LFC Live.net
LFC Live.net

OFFER - LFCLive Ad-free for just £6 year

Already signed up? Click here to login


Dont Buy The Sun



rss icon



Everton News - Liverpool FC News - Manchester United News -- BeIN Sports Schedule - Internet Commentator Database - Shortwave Radio Schedules - Twitter - non-gamstop-casinos.com - Contact

©2018 LFC Live.

Valid XHTML 1.0 StrictDont Buy The Sun [Valid RSS]