Glen Johnson slates “strange” Thiago and questions “below par” Mohamed Salah
Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson has tried to identify the issues currently afflicting the form of Jurgen Klopp’s side.
After an inauspicious start to the campaign, the Reds appeared to have got themselves back on track following successive 1-0 home wins over Manchester City and West Ham. But, a recent 1-0 reversal inflicted by then basement boys Nottingham Forest at the weekend has brought the Reds back down to earth.
It was a sobering reality check at the City Ground as Forest recorded only their second win of the season, with Klopp left to pick over the bones from a rather limp and lukewarm showing in the Midlands. Without the likes of Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota and Darwin Nunez, the travelling Merseysiders struggled to find the attacking rhythm needed to breach Dean Henderson’s net.
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Another huge absence for Klopp’s side was Thiago Alcantara, who was nursing an ear infection over the weekend. In light of the Spanish midfielder’s latest set-back, ex-Red Johnson has now called into question his continued injury troubles.
“It’s one of those, Thiago is great when he plays and you wish he could play every week,” Johnson told Midnite.com.
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“But he should be fit for every game every week, because he’s that player that strolls about and does not sprint, so he shouldn’t have as many muscle injuries, Thiago doesn’t get hurt in a game is what I mean.
“Thiago does get some strange injuries and misses games for strange reasons, but he can’t be replaced, he just needs to get out there and play.”
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Johnson went on further to dissect and put Salah’s performances under the microscope, believing the Egyptian forward — who has netted only three goals in the Premier League this season, and only two from open play — is currently operating at a “below par” level.
“If you’re only completing four passes in a game, then it’s obviously personal,” Johnson continued. “The formation doesn’t make you give the ball away.
“Everyone is below par, Salah and the rest are fantastic players and they will find a way to get back to winning ways.
“A lot of them have been below par at the same time. When two or three big players are off-form, the rest can get the team out of trouble, but when it’s the other way round, then you’ve got a problem.”