Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has suggested that Joel Matip and Joe Gomez were ‘shambolic’ in today’s defeat to Wolves.
The Reds were utterly dreadful at Molineux, conceding two slapstick goals in the opening 12 minutes. It got worse after the break, with Ruben Neves adding a third to seal the win for Wolves. And taking to Twitter, Carragher had his say on the performance of Liverpool’s centre-backs.
“It’s not too difficult to play Centre Back next to the leader of the back four, judge CB’s when they have to lead themselves,” wrote the pundit. “Shambolic.”
The barb is a clear reference to Matip and Gomez’s failure to step up in Virgil van Dijk’s absence. We’ve seen it before from both players. With Van Dijk still a couple of weeks away from recovery, we’ll likely see it again.
Matip and Gomez lead Liverpool to new lows
It’s impossible to put your finger on why Gomez and Matip are so dreadful without Van Dijk in the side. Next to the Dutchman, both have at times looked like world-class centre-backs.
But without Virgil, both seem to wilt. Matip in particular was abysmal at Molineux today. The 31-year-old looked genuinely scared in the opening exchanges.
Quite why he allowed the ball to bounce in the box with Hwang Hee-Chan bearing down on him can never be explained.
It’s one of the first things you learn when playing in defence. If possible, don’t let the ball bounce in the box.
He and Gomez appeared to be waiting for the other to clear the ball. After six years and seven years at the club respectively, there’s no excuse for such lack of communication.
So, Matip had a poor start. But from there on in it was kind of the Joe Gomez show.
The 25-year-old was poor for Craig Dawson’s goal, failing to clear a header the necessary distance. After that, he sent a number of erratic long balls out of play.
But it was his little run forward into trouble just prior to the third goal that was the pies de resistance. Dancing into difficulty, he sold young Stefan Bajcetic short with a terrible flicked pass. Out of position and with no way back, Adama Traore and Ruben Neves carved the Reds apart. Don’t worry everyone, Van Dijk and Ibrahima Konate will be back for next Monday’s Merseyside Derby. Oh wait…
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