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David Meyler | 'Liverpool won't panic, four games don't overwrite four seasons'

David Meyler joined Ger and Nathan on Monday's OTB AM to look back at Liverpool's scoreless draw ...

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

09:15 18 Jan 2021



David Meyler | 'Liverpool won'...
Soccer

David Meyler | 'Liverpool won't panic, four games don't overwrite four seasons'

Neil Treacy
Neil Treacy

09:15 18 Jan 2021

David Meyler joined Ger and Nathan on Monday's OTB AM to look back at Liverpool's scoreless draw with Manchester United in the Premier League yesterday, and zoned in on Jurgen Klopp's goalscoring problems.

For the third straight game in the league Liverpool failed to hit the net - the first time in 16 years that has happened to the Reds - as United's back four, and in particular Luke Shaw, stifled the Liverpool front three of Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah.

Salah's form has dipped since the crushing defeat of Crystal Palace before Christmas, coinciding with speculation around his future, and Meyler thinks the Egyptian may have allowed himself become distracted by transfer talk.

"You wonder about the transfer speculation, has his head been turned. Of course, he's won the Premier League, Champions League and Club World Cup, maybe he's looking for a new challenge, I don't know. But he certainly hasn't looked - in the last three or four games - like the Mo Salah that most Liverpool fans are well used to," Meyler said.

"It's not just Salah I suppose, all the front three aren't playing to the level that we're used to seeing them, and it is a concern of course. Dioga Jota coming back would be a massive plus because he'll put the pressure on them, but he's been out a couple of months - how long will it take him to get back up to speed to be at the level he was at?

"It certainly is a concern for Jurgen, because they have been the match winners for the past two or three seasons, and at the moment they're not firing," Meyler added.

Despite the concerns and frustrations around the Liverpool attack, Meyler says patience is the main ingredient to righting things. Diogo Jota remains a few weeks away from returning to full training, but when he does, Meyler says it will allow Jurgen Klopp to tinker with his attacking selections, just as he did in the Portuguese winger's prolific opening months of the season.

Until then, Meyler says there is no urgency to mix-up the tactical approach, pointing out that Salah, Mane and Firmino have earned the right to play themselves out of their slump.

"If it isn't broke, don't fix it. I don't think it's broke. It's four games. Yes they've dropped 9 points but at the same time we have to give them credit for their home form, 68 games unbeaten. That's remarkable.

"When Jota comes back he gives them a different dynamic, he could then play Salah or Mane through the middle, he might take out Firmino, it is interesting but at the same time I wouldn't be hitting the panic button. Four games doesn't change four seasons. They've been phenomenal with the goals they've scored.

"They're down to fourth in the table, obviously Man City have the game in hand, they could go top of the table and Liverpool would be four points off them, but there's still a long way to go, we're not even at the half way point yet.

"I was quick to criticise Salah, but you've got to give Luke Shaw credit, Harry Maguire credit, Lindelof, Wan Bissaka, they defended really well. They frustrated them. Any tempo that went forward, they were able to nullify their attack. There is a case that United defended well and deserved to get their clean sheet," Meyler said.

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Read more about

DIOGO JOTA Jurgen Klopp Liverpool Luke Shaw Manchester United Mo Salah Otbam Roberto Firmino Sadio Mane

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