Martin King emphasizes Liverpool’s need to sell Martin Skrtel after the Slovakian’s most recent disastrous performance.
The 11th of June will forever be remembered as the day that the Wales national football team finally made their mark on Europe’s grandest stage. They did it against Slovakia, opening their Euro 2016 campaign with a 2-1 win. It was a day of mixed emotions for Liverpool fans, who would’ve been pleased with the performances of two of their players from the Welsh side, but a lot more frustrated with the display of another of their own in Slovakia’s Martin Skrtel.
The Reds defender was given a difficult afternoon in Bordeaux by a Wales side lead by the world’s most expensive player, Gareth Bale. Skrtel spent most of the afternoon trying, with little success to contain the Real Madrid man, conceding two goals in the process. Any Welshman who felt that their side could’ve won the match by four goals or that Slovakia should’ve been reduced to ten men wouldn’t be making any weak claims. Skrtel committed three silly challenges on three different players on either side of the pitch, including a shocking elbow to the face of Jonny Williams.
I could simply not understand why he remained on the pitch for 90 minutes and how Chris Coleman’s team were not awarded a penalty – it was a disastrous performance by the Slovakia captain.
Liverpool fans will know better than anyone else that Skrtel is capable of such a display. The number 37 has been at the centre of the Reds’ defensive problems for a few years now. Giving his attacker far too much time, lapses in concentration and poor decision-making – to name a few – are just some of the weaknesses that have been associated with the 31-year-old and these have cost his club (and evidently his country) on a number of occasions.
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Obviously the former Zenit St.Petersburg man also has his strengths. Skrtel’s power and aggression makes him a physical match for almost any striker, he’s good with the ball at his feet and is one of the best headers of a ball you’ll ever get to see in a red shirt, however, the centre-back has struggled to display these qualities consistently and doesn’t seem to be getting better with age and experience. A few performances from last season, like his second half howler at Southampton, will certainly back that up.
Jürgen Klopp has already waved goodbye to veteran defender Kolo Touré, whose contract with the club will not be renewed. I think Skrtel’s performance against Wales is yet another reminder of why he should follow the Ivorian out the door and Klopp should bring in another top centre-half along to feature alongside Joël Matip.
Key to the German’s success at Anfield will be solving Liverpool’s defensive issues and in my opinion, selling players like Skrtel should be imperative.
Featured Image – Squawka