Wednesday 16 January 2019

Jamie Carragher finds a silver lining in Liverpool's FA Cup exit as Alan Shearer rips into Jurgen Klopp's back-up players

Ruben Neves (left) fires the winner for Wolves during their victory over Liverpool. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Ruben Neves (left) fires the winner for Wolves during their victory over Liverpool. Photo: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes the club's FA Cup third round defeat at Wolves may be a blessing in disguise, as he suggested all their focus should be on winning the Premier League title.

With Jurgen Klopp is still seeking his first trophy as Liverpool manager, he selected a youthful line-up to take on a strong Wolves side at Molineux.

Ki-Jana Hoever caught the eye as he took his chance in an unfamiliar Liverpool line-up that featured some experienced second choice players, with the lack of fluency expected in a team that had never played together before.

The end result was another swift exit from a competition he has not viewed as a priority during his time as Liverpool boss and Carragher backed him in his team selection with this message on Twitter (above).

Meanwhile, former England captain Alan Shearer was critical of Klopp's back-up players, as the likes of keeper Simon Mignolet and defender Alberto Moreno failed to impress once again.

"Liverpool have a very big squad and when you rotate like Jurgen Klopp did you are gambling," Shearer told the BBC. "He is looking to guys who aren't in the first team to give him a performance and they failed miserably.

"I was not impressed with the Liverpool forwards. One guy, Daniel Sturridge is out of contract soon and Divock Origi is out of contract in 18 months - do something. They've done nothing.

"They're not working as a partnership, not running in behind the centre-halves. The manager will be going berserk. hey've come off the pitch barely in a sweat."

Klopp responded to criticism of his senior players, as he admitted some had under-performed at Molineux, with Daniel Sturridge, Divock Origi and Alberto Moreno all struggling.

"All these things that came out are really my responsibility, so it’s about rhythm," he stated. "Of course, you know they have rhythm. Div, can he have rhythm? No, not really. Daniel, maybe a bit more. Alberto, no, no rhythm.

"That of course doesn't help footballers against a [tough] opponent. We played Wolves here two or three weeks ago and they are really strong. We won, yes, but we knew it was really tough here. Now we played today, they didn’t change a lot – if they changed something – so that's not easy.

"Do I expect more? I always expect a lot more from the players. Do I think they could have delivered more today? I am not 100 per cent sure. It's not my job to say now, 'that was not good enough, that was not good enough' because I know they can do much better."

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