Liverpool have endured an inconsistent start to the new Premier League season and face the early leaders Arsenal this weekend, with Gunners icon Petit ripping into the Reds.
Emmanuel Petit believes Arsenal can effectively end Liverpool’s season, if they get the better of them this weekend.
The Reds, who took the title race to the final day of last season, are already 10 points behind Manchester City and 11 behind Sunday’s opponents. Jurgen Klopp’s side have struggled to find their usual levels of consistency and have already dropped half the points they did in the entirety of last season.
Petit believes Liverpool have fundamental issues causing their recent malaise and ahead of their trip to The Emirates, he has predicted Sunday’s clash to be season-defining.
“When you look at Liverpool at the moment, they look so sloppy, terrible,” he told Compare.Bet. “Something has been broken in this team. This could be the last chance for Liverpool to make something of this season, if they lose to Arsenal, they will be 14 points behind after nine games. It’s a huge gap.”
Arsenal meanwhile will look to continue their brilliant start to the new season, which sees them top the table with seven wins from their first eight matches. The Gunners take on Liverpool off the back of a thrilling 3-1 victory over arch-rivals Tottenham which outlined their credentials as potential title challengers.
The Reds will provide a stern test of their mettle however, with their only defeat of the campaign coming at the hands of ‘big six’ rival Manchester United. Petit thinks there are plenty of areas for his old side to get at however – tearing into the Merseysiders and suggesting they are a shadow of the team we have seen over the last few years.
Petit added: “There are so many weaknesses. There are so many things that are not working with Liverpool. There is something that’s broken with this team. Mentally, they are not the same unit they have been for the last four or five years. Physically as well.
I think with the fact Mane has gone, you can see something is missing up front as well. Salah is a shadow of himself at the moment.
“The midfield don’t control the tempo anymore, they are not playing with character and personality. And in defence, my god. So many individual and collective mistakes, easily avoidable mistakes.”
Much of the criticism facing Klopp’s defence has stemmed around the form of Trent Alexander-Arnold. The debate over his place in the England squad has put a magnifying glass on his club displays and he struggled against Brighton.
last time out.
Sometimes during this season I have felt embarrassed to watch Alexander-Arnold, Van Dijk and Gomez when he was playing. So many mistakes,” Petit, who won the World Cup in 1998, continued.
But the problem with Liverpool’s defence isn’t only on him. It’s the whole defence, and when I say that, I mean the whole team, because they start from the front.
“They are not doing the same job all over the pitch that they used to, and it means the team is too stretched. I think Trent is very good with the ball, but he’s one of the worst without it.”