“One player is not going to change that”
It’s a new season, but the same old problems for Liverpool. That was the view of Jamie Carragher at half-time of Liverpool’s opening Premier League game of the campaign against Watford.
Jurgen Klopp’s side went into half-time trailing 2-1 at Vicarage Road, after conceding two sloppy goals. The opening goal came from a corner. Stefano Okaka scored with a header at the near-post, after drifting between Liverpool players Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip.
In the Sky Sports studio, Carragher and Jamie Redknapp weren’t impressed with Liverpool’s defending. However, they had different solutions to the issue. Carragher argued that it was something the team need to work on collectively, Redknapp reckoned that Virgil van Dijk would help shore up their leaky defence.
“That was Liverpool at their worst last season,” Carragher said.
“You’ve had a pre-season and nothing’s changing. What have they worked on? What are they looking at? You think, ‘what are your weaknesses?’ – set-pieces, getting done on the counter-attack. That’s what happened on the first goal – it comes from a counter-attack. Watford should’ve been one-nil up before the corner, nothing changes. What have they done?
"I was trying to give the benefit of the doubt to Mike Dean"
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“I think (Virgil) Van Dijk’s agent has got another 20 grand a week on his contract,” said Redknapp. However, this throwaway remark from the former Liverpool skipper sparked a heated debate with Carragher.
Carragher was adamant – extremely adamant – that one player, regardless of how good they are, cannot solve Liverpool’s shaky defence. But Redknapp said a defender of Van Dijk’s calibre, would instantly improve the team’s performance at set-pieces, as he is a “leader.”
You can watch the debate here. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the conclusion of the discussion, as Sky went to a commercial break.