Michael Owen has a potential reason for Liverpool’s forward woes in front of goal. The ex-Red believes people underestimate certain change.
Liverpool dropped more points on Monday. They fell to a 1-0 defeat at Southampton, meaning that’s just two points from a possible nine.
Tellingly, it’s also one goal in three games. That seemed unimaginable back when Liverpool hit Crystal Palace for seven but here we are.
The Reds look blunt, slow and low on creativity whenever they go forward at the moment. It’s the primary reason they’re dropping points, in truth.
And after their latest struggles, Michael Owen offered up a potential reason the forward line can’t score at the moment.
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“I think people underestimate how important defenders are in terms of your forward play,” Owen told Premier League Productions. “You think defenders: are they keeping clean sheets, that’s their job. It’s so far from the truth.
“If you’ve got a good, solid back – [Joe] Gomez and [Virgil] van Dijk for example – all of sudden, I can’t tell you the difference that makes to Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and to Andy Robertson.
“They think ‘right, we can trust those’. They’ve got pace, they’ve got strength – it’s fine. Even two v two, it’s fine.
“You can start playing more aggressive midfielders, players that like to break and like to score goals.
“Add a little bit of nervousness, full-backs come back a few yards, you start playing two holding players. All of a sudden, the dominoes start to fall.”
Eddie Howe, also in the studio, supported Owen with that “100 per cent”. He believes natural defenders will move the ball forward quicker than midfielders out of position, building attacks faster and better.
What RTK has to say
There’s certainly something in this. The forwards are the same, after all, but they can’t score goals. Liverpool just don’t look like a functional team right now.
The big change is the defence, of course. It certainly seems to affect things in what currently looks like an overwhelming way.
Liverpool don’t attack with confidence and that needs to change. Perhaps a signing does that or perhaps time fixes it by growing confidence through results.
The problem with the latter is that results aren’t coming. They’re having the opposite effect.
Right now, it’s far from good enough and something needs to change.