Pundit on Liverpool defence: ‘It’s been an absolute disaster’

Joe Williams
Virgil van Dijk Liverpool

Former defender Steve Nicol thinks Liverpool’s defence during pre-season has “been an absolute disaster”.

Jurgen Klopp’s men only conceded 22 goals in the Premier League last campaign, one lower than champions Manchester City and the best in the league.

However, the Reds have conceded lots in pre-season including three in their 3-0 loss to Napoli on Sunday, which didn’t go down well with James Milner and Jordan Henderson.

“The rock that Liverpool really was built on over the last 18 months was their defence,” Nicol said on ESPN FC.

“So if you’re going to be losing goals the way they’ve been losing goals in pre-season, it really doesn’t matter who you’ve got up front because it’s been an absolute disaster.

“It is a worry, I’m sure they will start the season with the normal three up front, but they won’t be 100 per cent.

“That’s not how you want to start a season.

“I have nothing to say other than it’s pre-season.

“I’ve been part of a Liverpool defence that was rock solid as well but in pre-season we were letting goals in for fun.

“So the only thing I will tell you is that the difference between a pre-season game and a proper game is you’re completely switched on, you do a lot of things automatically.

“Pre-season you’re a yard slow and you’re overthinking most of the time.

“The goals we saw there [against Napoli], it wasn’t that Liverpool didn’t have players back, they had plenty of players back, but nobody’s shape, nobody’s thinking clearly, nobody’s making good decisions.

“Trust me, when the whistle goes for the beginning of the season, it will kick in.

“I’m not worried, I’m not worried.”