28 Feb 2017

Anfield Fail: Carra slams Klopp for 'shocking' Leicester fiasco and defends 'incredible' Liverpool star

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher has leapt to the defence of one of Liverpool's most regularly criticised players.

As is usually the case, makeshift central defender Lucas Leiva is currently being scapegoated for Liverpool's 3-1 defeat to West Ham, but speaking to Sky Sports after the game, Carra rejected criticism of the Brazilian, and blamed Jurgen Klopp for playing him out of position. He explained:

"Liverpool were shocking. I felt sorry for Lucas Leiva. He’s probably getting a lot of stick from fans, but he’s not to blame. He shouldn’t be playing at centre-back; it’s like putting me on the wing - there’s no way I could do that".

Gary Neville added:

"Liverpool left Lucas - a very slow centre-back - against Vardy. He was exposed, but it's not his fault. Liverpool were poor, and leaving Lucas exposed encouraged Vardy".

Everyone but Klopp can see that Lucas is not a centre-half! Yes, he'll have the occasional great game (Spurs, for example) but he's a central midfielder, and just like with Milner at left-back, Wijnaldum in central midfield, Firmino upfront, and Can as an attacking midfielder, it's Klopp's choice to play the Brazilian out of position.

It's also Klopp's tactical failure to play Lucas in defence against one of the fastest strikers in the Premier League. Anyone with rudimentary tactical knowledge could've foreseen the pace mismatch between Lucas and Vardy.

Lucas plays where the manager wants him to play, and if he underperforms in a position for which he has barely any experience, then it's clearly the manager's fault. End of story.

Unfortunately, Klopp is too stubborn to see the reality; he'd rather cut his nose off to spite his face (by ignoring Sakho) and weaken the team (by playing Lucas at centre-back) than actually give Sakho a chance to win his place back.

Like all defenders, Sakho has his frailties (I've highlighted them enough times!), but he is an experienced, international class central defender, who is inarguably better in the position than Lucas.

The ultimate irony is that Sakho put in a man of the match defensive performance (complete with clean sheet victory) in the same weekend that Liverpool lost 3-1 to Leicester.

^ Lucas: Reportedly on £80k-a-week. Described last week as 'incredible' by Graham Le Saux


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