The Reds legend has asked questions of the approach being favoured by Jurgen Klopp’s side at the back, with too many unnecessary risks being taken
Jamie Carragher admits Liverpool’s defending in a stunning 7-2 defeat at Aston Villa was laughable, with the Reds needing to address issues that could become an unwelcome “trend”.
The Reds have always played with a high line under Jurgen Klopp, with a sense of adventure and confidence from back to front having delivered considerable success, including Champions League and Premier League triumphs.
That approach does, however, carry a considerable degree of risk, with there a fine line between dynamism and disaster.
Defending Premier League champions Liverpool slipped into the latter of those two categories on Sunday when suffering a humbling reversal at Villa Park.
Alisson’s absence in goal did little to aid their cause, with Adrian enduring an evening to forget, but a number of those who are usually so reliable – such as Virgil van Dijk and Trent Alexander-Arnold – also allowed their standards to slip.
Carragher concedes that everything went wrong for the Reds in the West Midlands, but he feels leaks at the back have been springing for some time and need to be plugged before one “freak” result becomes a familiar source of concern.
The Liverpool legend told Sky Sports after witnessing a remarkable encounter at Villa Park: “Not really [can’t explain it]. I was almost laughing. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
“You don’t really associate this with this Liverpool team. It’s a shocking result and performance. Certainly the worst under Jurgen Klopp no doubt about that.
“It seemed very early on Liverpool did not start this game well. In the first few minutes there was danger there for them and it was interesting listening to Ollie Watkins saying they worked on Liverpool’s high line.
“For me, even though Liverpool have got a good defensive record, I don’t like them trying to catch teams offside. I don’t agree with it.
“Being a defender and having played that position myself, this team play a lot higher up the pitch. They almost sacrifice one big chance a game with the opposition going through on goal.
“When someone beats your press around midfield and they’re not far from your back four, you’ve got to get ready to go back.
“And I just couldn’t believe that it was Virgil van Dijk at the back to actually say ‘listen boys the game’s gone, it’s 5-2, let’s just step back. Let’s not make this any worse’. And it did get worse.
“They were fortunate it wasn’t eight or nine. You think of the chances [Ross] Barkley had in the first half, Ollie Watkins hit the bar in the second half.
“Listen, you can’t be too critical of what this team have done and Jurgen Klopp – it was one of them mad results that happen.
“But I think you go back to the first game [a 4-3 win over Leeds] – conceding goals. Started conceding goals at the restart at the end of last season – we put that down to having already won the championship so I just think in the next couple of weeks we come back to the Merseyside derby.
“Big game, Everton top of the league and I think you can really look at that and ask is it a freak or more of a trend that’s been happening over the last 10-15 games.”