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Aldridge: Liverpool a laughing stock

FORMER Liverpool striker claims the Reds are now a club "in crisis".

The Reds recently picked up their first trophy in six years by beating Cardiff in the Carling Cup final and they will be back at Wembley to face local rivals Everton in the FA Cup semi-finals a week on Saturday.

However, their form in the Barclays Premier League has been poor. Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Newcastle was their sixth in seven league games and they have lost eight out of 12 since the turn of the year, leaving them eighth in the table.

It is a situation John Aldridge - who played under Kenny Dalglish in the 1980s during the Scot's first spell in charge - feels needs addressing urgently.

“There is no getting away from the fact that Liverpool are now in a crisis,” said Aldridge. “To lose six out of seven in the league is something the club won't ever tolerate, we can't tolerate that.

“To have picked up just eight points out of 36 since the turn of the year is shambolic - that's relegation form. The fact that this is the worst run in the league since 1954 speaks volumes. Questions are being asked and they need to be answered.

“The eyes of the world are on Liverpool and the critics are having a field day. We're becoming a laughing stock.

“We're all proud to be associated with the club and everything it has achieved over the years. But at the moment being a Liverpool fan is just embarrassing and that's something I haven't had to say before.”

Aldridge has pointed the finger of blame at the players, who he has called on to show more pride.

He said: “The team just seems to have lost their belief. You can blame the manager and the coaching staff but at the end of the day it comes down to the players.

“They are getting paid unbelievable amounts of money and aren't producing the goods. Some of them should take a long hard look in the mirror.

“They are playing for Liverpool Football Club - one of the biggest clubs in the world - it doesn't get much better than that.

“They need to realise how lucky they are and start doing it or their Anfield careers won't last much longer.”

He added: “More than anything I want to see some pride.”

Kenny Dalglish will be required to provide a full written report to the club's American owners, Fenway Sports Group (FSG), to explain the club’s worst run since 1954 at the end of the season.

Dalglish, director of football Damien Comolli and assistant manager Steve Clarke will all be asked to debrief the American owners on Liverpool’s dramatic slump in league form.

All three will have to explain how a season which began with the promise of Champions League football next season has seen Liverpool register one win in their last eight league games.

Solutions

The trio will come under serious pressure to provide solutions to the crisis which is now gripping Anfield.

The feelgood factor from Liverpool’s victory in the Carling Cup looks to have completely disappeared and a major upturn in form is required.

Liverpool have lost six of their past seven league games, during which time they have gone from top-four contenders to falling below rivals Everton.

There is no immediate threat to Dalglish's position, but the imminent FA Cup semi-final with Everton, their league form and his response in the season review could decide whether the Anfield icon retains the trust of his board and his position as manager.

Liverpool’s complete lack of form and the below-par displays from big-money signings are a huge concern for owner John Henry.

FSG considers explanations such as bad luck and tiredness for their abysmal displays.


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