BT Sport pundit Robbie Fowler believes Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp needs to reinstall confidence into his side after a heavy 4-1 loss to Napoli.
Napoli extended their unbeaten run in style at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona as Luciano Spalletti’s side struck three times in the first half to hand Liverpool an embarrassing defeat in their Champions League Group A opener.
After the game, former Liverpool striker Fowler says the result was indicative of the club’s performance levels all season and that Klopp needs get last season’s Champions League finalists motivated again.
“When you think of Liverpool you should never question the desire or the commitment,” he told BT Sport. “That was one thing that Jurgen Klopp will go in the dressing room and pick a few players apart there. Rightly so.
“It is just about getting the confidence up. They haven’t looked confident this year. They look a bit laboured. They look a bit lethargic.
“They’re not playing at the fluency that we’ve seen in the past and they’re all of Liverpool’s faults. Napoli were very good. Napoli Liverpooled Liverpool.
“Liverpool do to teams what Napoli did. Jurgen Klopp has a got a bit of work to do.”
Rio Ferdinand says Klopp is currently not getting the best results out of his star players that led Liverpool to a Premier League title in 2020 and the Champions League back in 2019.
He said: “Under normal circumstances in the last two or three years you would have said this is a complete surprise. But I think the way its been this season, this result has been coming.
“Lacklustre at times. There’s not many times in recent history where you can say Liverpol have lacked desire, fight or edge. Tonight they lacked all of those things.
“The big issue for Liverpool is too many of their big stars are nowhere near at the levels that we’re accustomed to seeing. Salah is not at the level in terms of output. Virgil van Dijk was the same. Fabinho even was a little bit off it. The two fullbacks look off it. The goalkeeper.
“Luis Diaz has shown good glimpses, but when you are the manager and you look at your team normally you can rely on three or four big names to produce performances. He’s not getting that at the moment.”
Michael Owen hopes Liverpool can quickly move on from the defeat and not allow recent results to affect future performances this season.
He said: “It’s the first game, there’s still lots of games to go in this group. You still fancy Liverpool to qualify out of it. Based on what we’ve seen this season it’s simply not good enough for Liverpool. Last season was brilliant.
“OK they probably didn’t win the amount of trophies they deserved. The season before that was one to forget. I just hope this season isn’t shaping up to be one to forget. They’re out of nothing yet. But if this continues it could still be a long season.”