Paul Scholes has claimed that Roberto Firmino has been a ‘disappointment’ as Liverpool’s barren run of league form continued at the weekend.
The English champions suffered their fourth consecutive league defeat, this time to Merseyside rivals Everton, who claimed their first Anfield victory since 1999.
Liverpool now trail league leaders Manchester City by 19 points, having played a game more. Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp’s team face a precarious task of trying to claim a top-four finish – trailing West Ham by five points.
Against Everton, the Reds made it four consecutive home defeats – their worst run since 1923. Liverpool have just two goals in their previous six Anfield encounters, while Thiago is without at home win since he signed in September of last year.
Scholes on Firmino
Liverpool’s front-three are struggling for goals, too. Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino both have just one league goal each since the turn of the New Year. The latter has been criticised for his finishing, as his team endure their toughest period of the Klopp era.
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“I don’t think they’ve been playing badly,” Scholes said, per BT Sport Tonight. “The big disappointment for me is Firmino, the brilliant player he is. He’s smashing everything. He is the one that is getting chances, but has been erratic with his finishing.”
What RTK has to say
Scholes makes a valid point. It’s difficult to defend Liverpool’s No.9 off the basis of his recent display against Everton.
Firmino, 29, was totally erratic in front of goal and squandered numerous opportunities for his team. He had four shots in total – just one of which was on target.
Liverpool are without Diogo Jota, too, so Klopp is lacking in firepower from the bench, particularly when the front-three aren’t on song.
The timing of Liverpool’s form questions the decision to loan Takumi Minamino to Southampton on deadline-day. The Japan international has two goals in three games under Ralph Hasenhuttl, after all. He certainly seems like a viable option during Liverpool’s period of struggle.