Pundit hits out at Liverpool duo and midfield ‘dogs of straw’

Lewis Oldham
Liverpool star Oxlade-Chamberlain

Tony Cascarino has criticised Liverpool duo Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago as he believes Jurgen Klopp’s side are missing Georginio Wijnaldum.

Liverpool’s 25-game unbeaten run across all competitions was ended on Sunday against West Ham.

Klopp’s side were deservedly beaten 3-2 as Pablo Fornals and Kurt Zouma got on the scoresheet.

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This result dropped Liverpool down to fourth in the Premier League. They have six wins, four draws and one defeat from their eleven games.

Heading into the international break, they are four points behind Chelsea at the top of the table.

Wijnaldum left the Reds in the summer as he joined PSG. Cascarino has told The Times that Liverpool may “struggle” to win the title due to their midfield situation:

“The key reason why they are not as strong as they have been is that the midfield ‘dogs of war’ are more like dogs of straw at the moment,” Cascarino said.

“The three playing in there used to be so relentless and aggressive that they made it really hard for opponents to get at Liverpool. Now the centre halves are exposed.

“The big miss is Gini Wijnaldum, who left a big hole when he went to Paris Saint-Germain.

“Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Thiago Alcantara do not do the same job, especially against big physical opposition such as Declan Rice and Tomas Soucek in the West Ham midfield.

“Fabinho can do the job but he didn’t look fit to me.

“It’s the reason why I think Liverpool will struggle to win the league, although what we’ve seen in the last week — Manchester City losing to Crystal Palace, Burnley holding Chelsea, and now West Ham beating Liverpool — tells me the winning points total will be less than 90 this season, unlike some recent seasons.”

Elsewhere, Jamie Redknapp suggested that Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson had a “poor day” versus West Ham:

“I don’t know what Joel Matip is doing here, why he gets attracted to the ball and then just doesn’t run back to his own goal

“You can see Fornals, he’s running behind and Matip gets attracted to the ball. Just drop back, sprint back! But instead he tries to run to the ball.

“It’s a big mistake and the goalkeeper has got to do better as well. Alisson had a really poor day.”