Jamie Carragher believes Liverpool may have “run out of legs” after witnessing Southampton progress to next month’s EFL Cup final at the expense of his former club.
ürgen Klopp’s side suffered their second defeat at Anfield in four days when Shane Long converted at the death to book the Saints’ place at Wembley.
Liverpool’s only win in their last seven came in an FA Cup third round replay against League Two’s Plymouth Argyle and despite their early season form suggesting they could mount a title challenge, they find themselves 10 points behind runaway leaders Chelsea.
Carragher, who made 737 appearances for the Merseyside club over a 17-year-long senior career, claimed that Klopp’s players look lethargic and suggested that the team's style of play could be tiring players out.
“Liverpool look like they’ve run out of energy and legs which is a big worry,” Carragher told Sky Sports, while analysing his former club’s defeat.
“Is that down to the intensity that they play at? That they train at? That’s a big worry.
“I look at the manager, certainly in the last two games – I’m a massive fan – but the changes from the bench are coming far too slow, they’re coming late in the game,” he added.
“The teams he’s picked for the games we haven’t agreed with. The fact he’s started with them teams and then hasn’t recognised at half time and made the change, and then the changes are coming 70, 80 minutes. It’s far too late.”
Carragher also suggested that Liverpool's squad was only the sixth-best of the Premier League's top six clubs and that Klopp was the main reason why they were challenging for the title.
Liverpool's squad is generally considered to be thinner than those of their rivals and this can in part explain why Klopp has relied on a largely settled starting line-up for much of this season.
“That squad, you’d never look at them and think they’re going to win the league, but the only reason you would have hope is, no Europe, and the manager,” he said.
“I think out of the top six Liverpool are probably the sixth best squad or the sixth best team, but they are where they are because of the manager and no Europe.
“But now they’re running out of energy and legs were maybe seeing what this Liverpool team is and you look at the bench, it’s nowhere near big or strong enough.”