Michael Owen has pinpointed Liverpool’s lack of “intensity and energy” as the main reason behind their dip in form this season.
Liverpool were knocked out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Wednesday night despite an improved performance in the second leg, as they were beaten 3-1 on aggregate by the Spanish giants.
While Owen told BT Sport that the performance from Liverpool against Real Madrid was “really encouraging”, he labelled the malaise that set in over the season as “almost inexcusable”.
A trophyless season for Liverpool…
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 14, 2021
“I think the most common words we used in the build-up to this game were intensity and energy. We want to see that from Liverpool,” Owen commented.
“That’s what Liverpool have based their success on, certainly under Jurgen Klopp. It’s almost inexcusable when you don’t see that. You can get over injuries, you can get over a lot of things, lack of form.
“But if you don’t see that thing that makes everything tick, that spark to start with… and it’s so simple.”
Heavy metal brand of football.
Rio Ferdinand was also on punditry duty for BT Sport at last night’s Champions League clash at Anfield and raised similar questions over Liverpool’s lack of intensity throughout the season.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has explained his style of play as “heavy metal” football, in which his teams play a high-intensity, counter-attacking brand of football.
This style has proved to be very successful with Liverpool, but Ferdinand questioned whether it is now leading to Liverpool’s decline as the players are unable to maintain the intensity necessary for that kind of gameplan.
“We had more than enough chances to do what we needed to do and we didn’t take them and that was the difference unfortunately.”
Milner’s post-#LIVRMA verdict ⤵️
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) April 14, 2021
“We asked the question before the game. Is it because of the heavy metal brand of football Liverpool have been playing under Klopp?” Ferdinand questioned.
“He’s been here four years, five years… so is it sustainable, playing at that level? Is it the pandemic? Is it the injuries to key players?”
Liverpool’s Champions League exit ensured that they will win no silverware this season, as the clubs main objective is now to finish within the Premier League’s top four.