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'Cross out physical': Michael Owen has explanation for Liverpool struggles

Michael Owen thinks he has an explanation for the struggles at Liverpool right now. This comes after the Reds lost at home to Brighton.

It’s now back-to-back home defeats for Liverpool after four years without one in the Premier League. They sunk to a 1-0 defeat against Brighton with a thoroughly disappointing performance.

The big question, though is ‘why?’ – they just beat Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham 3-1 each, after all.

Well ex-Red Michael Owen feels he has an explanation for the struggles at Liverpool.

“We can cross out physical [fatigue] because when things are going well, you can run and run and run,” he told Premier League productions. “It’s so exciting because things are happening.

“The problem is when it goes the other way. When you’re struggling to find a pass, to beat a packed defence.

“All of a sudden, you start getting doubts. You start questioning yourself, your teammates. It becomes a heavy, lugging thing on your back.

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“You’re banging your head against the wall and start questioning everything. It starts getting tiring, mentally tiring. You’re questioning yourself – and there are a lot of questions at the moment.”

Owen went on to say that everyone could have different answers for those questions. The key thing, though, is that the problems ‘can only be mental’.

What RTK has to say

Yes and no, in our minds. Owen is definitely right that the players aren’t suddenly bad – this is a mental problem.

But the specific reasons are clear. Liverpool have been hit hard by an injury crisis this season and it’s robbed them of any consistency and flow.

Even just today, Liverpool had a midfielder at the back alongside a player with very little experience. They ended up playing Roberto Firmino wide left.

Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

They didn’t have their first-choice goalkeeper, either.

These aren’t excuses as such – they’re all example of why Liverpool can’t be the same team as last season. They just don’t have that relentless consistency anymore.

And as Owen says, that’ll have a sever mental effect. Hopefully, injured players returning can help fix that.

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