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02nd Oct 2017

Joey Barton reckons that Liverpool’s defensive problems make them ‘the Amir Khan of football’

Paul Moore

What do you reckon?

Despite the fact that they’re only a point off the Champions League qualification places, there’s no denying that Liverpool have made a stuttering start to their season.

From the top 10 in the Premier League, only Watford have conceded as many goals as Klopp’s men – they’ve both conceded 12 goals.

Despite dominating the majority of the proceedings at St James’ Park, the Reds had to be content with a point in their recent match against Newcastle but Joselu’s fortuitous goal only illustrated the defensive frailties that Liverpool have.

With Matip and Lovren high up the pitch, the central-pairing were cut open by a simple pass through the middle by Jonjo Shelvey.

Speaking about the goal on Sky Sports, Graeme Souness said that: “the two centre-backs haven’t covered themselves in glory there – you should never get caught with a ball straight through the middle. They’re standing and admiring the guys in front of them. Oh we’re in possession again.”

Jamie Carragher echoed this point by saying: “They’re not switched on, they lose possession and think ‘Oh, I’ll just get back in position’,’ he said. ‘Matip’s done well getting back and getting the challenge, that’s just unlucky. ‘The first mistake is him and Lovren, maybe more Matip, because he can see more. But it just sums Liverpool up defensively, how many times will we see Liverpool in total control and going 1-1 or losing 1-0”

Speaking about Liverpool’s current defensive issues, former Man City and QPR midfielder Joey Barton compared Klopp’s men to Amir Khan’s recent performances in the ring.

Speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Barton said: “They are so chinny, to use a boxing analogy. They throw a great array of punches, they are lovely going forward, but they remind me of Amir Khan. They are vulnerable to just getting knocked out.”

Liverpool have only managed to pick up two clean sheets so far in the league and they’ll be looking to improve upon that in their next Premier League match.

Then again, keeping Manchester United from scoring is proving to be rather difficult this season.