Liverpool have been having a disaster of a season. In what was meant to be the year where we saw the Reds begin building a dynasty an injury crisis has derailed the lads hopes. After another disappointing performance this week, Michael Owen has said Liverpool are still struggling because of their defensive crisis.
Centre back injuries
This season has been defined by the amount of injuries that the Reds have suffered.
Not only have we seen more players ruled out than any other side in the division but we’ve also seen one position absolutely ravaged.
Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez didn’t even make it two months into the campaign before they were ruled out until next season.
Joel Matip was in and out of the side until his own season ender in January.
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As a result we’ve chopped and changed and added but the team still looks disjointed.
Michael Owen on Liverpool defence
Although Nat Phillips and Ozan Kabak have struck up a solid enough partnership in recent weeks they were found wanting in Madrid.
The duo conceded some sloppy goals and this was highlighted in the post match analysis.
Speaking to BT Sport, Michael Owen said that Liverpool are struggling because of the unfamiliar back four:
“It starts from the back. When you’re so confident with that back two you can squeeze, you can do whatever you like.
“You can flood men forward you can push your full backs forward you can do so many things but when you’re vulnerable at the back it goes down like a pack of cards and now they’re scared to press.
“It’s a knock on effect, a domino effect. They’re not pressing with the same enthusiasm, the same energy.”
What RTK has to say
We have to agree with Michael Owen here.
The confidence that Virgil van Dijk instills in his teammates is invaluable.
We can afford to go gung ho when we know we can rely on Big Virg and Joe Gomez to sweep up.
At the moment we don’t have that the lack of confidence is permeating throughout the side.