Tom Werner, who is part of the Liverpool FSG ownership group, has listed three reasons why he thinks the Reds have struggled on the pitch this season.
After winning a first league title in thirty years last season, things were very different this time around. Jurgen klopp The team are currently seventh in the league and 25 points behind leaders Manchester City. They also have to fight for a top-four finish, with Chelsea in fourth, five points ahead as it stands.
This was quite the step back for the Anfield club after two years of impressive consistency.
And although Werner admits the team didn’t perform as well as expected, he tried to explain why it could be.
Speaking to Athletic (via Liverpool Echo), he said: “I would say we have certainly not exceeded expectations this year.
“I would have three comments. The first is that in my experience it is extremely difficult to be a repeat champion in any sport.
“You climb Mount Everest and you get to the top, then someone says ‘you have to do this again.’ And so it is difficult under the best of circumstances.
“Second, I think, I don’t want to make any excuses, but I think this pandemic has affected Liverpool and the Red Sox as they are very loyal and supportive fan bases, and people thought it would be very difficult to win a football game at Anfield, because it’s a fortress.
“And this year we have seen a number of matches that Liverpool have not played to the height of their abilities. I think a lot of it has to do with the absence of our staunch supporters.
“So I think the pandemic may have affected us a little more. But I don’t want to find any excuses either.
After breaking a record 68 games unbeaten at Anfield between April 2017 and January 2021, Liverpool are now on their worst home run in history.
A 1-0 loss to Burnley ended the streak and was followed by five more losses. They include Manchester City’s first victory at Anfield since 2003, Everton’s first victory across Stanley Park since 1999 and, more recently, a shock loss for the humble Fulham.
Liverpool’s injuries are taking their toll
Werner’s third and final point is one that many others have pointed out: injuries.
The Reds have faced without key players throughout the campaign, and Werner has highlighted one in particular.
“Injury is the third point. And again, it’s part of the sport, ”he continued.
“When the Everton goalkeeper knocked out Virgil van Dijk for the season it was a big blow as he was not only a critical part of our defense, but also a leader.
“But you know, I’ve been playing sports for 20 years, and I’ve seen a lot, it’s very difficult when you have multiple injuries to build your team.
“If Chris Sale [star Red Sox pitcher] goes down, it’s not as simple as “OK, well your starter # 2 becomes your starter # 1, and your starter # 3 becomes your starter # 2.
Werner ended with some praise for Liverpool, whose results in Europe were in stark contrast to their Premier League form.
“It really changes so much, and yet (Liverpool) are still fighting for success in the Champions League this year.
“There are only eight teams left in the tournament and we are one of them, and we have capable world class players.
“At their best, Liverpool are as good as any European football team.”
The Merseysiders face Real Madrid in the first leg of their quarter-final next Tuesday. It will be the first time they have met since the 2018 final, which the Spaniards won 3-1.
However, the man considered the “ bad guy ” of this match, Sergio Ramos, could miss both legs due to injury, which means the long-awaited reunion with Mohamed Salah might not happen after all.
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