Arsenal v Liverpool: Pictures
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Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has been warned that two of his best players are showing signs of being mentally drained after the club’s disastrous start to the new Premier League season. The Reds have only won two of their opening eight matches and currently sit firmly in mid-table with a 14-point deficit to early league leaders Arsenal, who managed to beat them over the weekend.
A tricky meeting with Rangers in the Champions League at Ibrox will be Liverpool’s next test before welcoming Manchester City and free-scoring Erling Haaland to Anfield on Sunday afternoon. The Merseyside giants have been informed ahead of the match by former goalkeeper Brad Friedel that although they should still manage to secure a top-four finish, a couple of players appear to be falling below their usual standards in terms of their mental outlook on proceedings.
“I would never count out Liverpool in the title race, just with the squad that they have,” Friedel told PressBoxPR when quizzed on his former club’s lacklustre start to the campaign.
“I think two of their players look mentally tired to me, [Mohamed] Salah and [Virgil] van Dijk, which are two of their huge players. I actually don’t worry about Liverpool, I grew up as a Liverpool supporter, Jurgen Klopp and his staff are fantastic.
“The squad he has put together is fantastic. For me, they are going to finish in the top four no matter what. If they don’t challenge for the title, I think he will get it right and challenge for the title next year.
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“I don’t think there is any room for error from now until the end of the season: they can’t drop more points. But I still think they have the right guy in charge, so I don’t think there should be any added pressure heaped on him.
“They are obviously not getting results right now, but I agree I do not think they played poorly against Arsenal.”
Liverpool have managed to qualify for the Champions League in each of the last six seasons but seemingly face an uphill battle to do so again this time around, with the Reds currently short on confidence and momentum after their sub-par start to the campaign. Friedel went on to explain that it would not have a detrimental effect on Liverpool’s transfer dealings next summer if they fail to get into the top four, with the club’s hierarchy still able to recruit the world’s very best talent.
“Would it be catastrophic to miss out one year? I don’t think so,” he added. “The people that they have behind the scenes are pretty astute.
“If you look at the way they run Liverpool, you don’t really see or hear about them, and they run the business impeccably well. They have one of the world’s greatest managers and one of the greatest squads, and off the field they are becoming a marketing machine.
“It is a blow to any of these top teams if they don’t finish in the Champions League. If they miss out three, four, five years in a row, then yeah, it will become an issue.”
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